Organizing this tricky space, which is part storage and part entryway, doesn’t have to mean a trip to a big box store or a secret stash of cash. Just try our thrifty tips below.
1. Renew old storage
Move outgrown toy cubbies into the garage to store sporting goods like balls, helmets and gloves.
2. Breathe new life into a bookshelf
A taller shelf can hold gardening tools, empty flowerpots and seed packets in a bucket. Or top a table or old desk with a short bookshelf to create an instant craft bench, and tie it all together with a pretty coat of paint.
3. Recycle a hotel-style towel rack
Hotel-style towel racks (those wall-mounted shelves for open towel storage) are great space maximizers. Use one to stack rolled beach towels on top, and use the hooks or hanging bar on the bottom to hang a whisk broom and dustpan, or that one tool you always misplace.
4. Think inside the box
Old, large file cabinets turned on their backs and emptied of drawers can hold garden tools as well as bags of soil, compost or fertilizer. Don’t forget to transform the cabinet’s drab outsides with paint or easily applied vinyl decals!
5. Rethink desk supplies
These castaways abound at thrift stores, and you can use pencil holders to corral screws, bolts and more on a workbench. The narrow slots of a drawer divider are perfectly sized to hold rulers, carpenter’s pencils and foam paintbrushes.
6. Go upright
Metal file folder organizers can hold pieces of plywood, stray bin lids and any other lightweight item that fits.
7. Stash it
Use metal or wire wastebaskets to keep bamboo garden poles or odd lengths of scrap wood in line. Paint them for a pretty alternative to the industrial look.
8. Resurrect a picnic table set
Stack a wood picnic bench on top of a table, add a second bench on top of the first, and secure everything together at the back and sides with fence boards. Voila! Instant shelves and workspace.
9. Construct a mini-mudroom
Install a simple shelf with hooks over a bench and turn your garage entryway into a hardworking drop spot. If you back the space between shelf and bench with pegboard, you’ll gain even more vertical storage.
10. Tap into unused space
Consider installing ceiling hooks for bikes and shelves on the sidewalls, allowing room for car doors to open. You could also place rafters in the ceiling to store boxes. Or use the back wall for shelves or storage and install a parking block, or car stop, so you know how far to pull in when parking your car.