How to organize a garage on a tight budget

If you have a garage, you definitely need some great organizing tips that go beyond the pegboard. These tips are useful for families who need help to organize about 20 garden tools, 5 bicycles, 10 basketballs, and 15 fishing rods that might currently be scattered all over the garage floor. It isn’t about spending money but looking at creative ways in which you organize things so you can find them again. Start organizing the garage on a budget now.

21 cheap tips for garage organization

Organizing a garage isn't a one-size-fits-all project, so we've compiled some of our best garage storage ideas. Check out these tips to make your garage more organized and better to use.

Prepare your garage

First, before organizing your garage, completely empty the space. This slight tip will allow you to see what kind of storage options you’ll need, which will also depend on how you want to use the space.

Sort the keepers

You need to sort three piles - trash, donate, and keep. Therefore, you now need to decide what to do with the keep pile. Of the items you decide to keep, you will now further group these items into “like items.” For example, you wouldn’t put a screwdriver together with your gardening items. Hand tools like screwdrivers, hammers, etc. would go together in one area of the garage, while all your gardening tools would go in another area. With this approach, you would have a “garage zoning” system which will make it easy for you to know what goes where.

Create a plan

You should know all the items you will store in the garage, and the best way to store them in good condition is something you must consider, too.  If you are looking to organize your garage on a tight budget, being creative in the solutions you come up with is important. You will spend more money without a straight plan!

Canvas storage bags 

Protect bulky seasonal decorations from garage dust and dirt by storing them in canvas storage bags. Tuck a dryer sheet in before zipping to deter insects and critters.

Everything has its place

You need to have a place for everything. All tools should have a toolbox, or perhaps a drawer organizer. A garden rake or shovel should have a hook to hang on the wall. Your cleaning supplies and other liquids should have a shelf or cabinet to go into. There are several options such as:

  • Wall hooks
  • Pegboards
  • Wall shelves
  • Drawers
  • Cabinets
  • Toolboxes
  • Overhead storage racks
  • Bins for smaller items

    Use a drawer organizer

    This device will help you keep everything in a hand reach. You can store there everything you want from different tools for the garden to screws. A bamboo drawer organizer allows you to be organized and keep everything in one place.

    Use storage bags

    Plastic storage bins are helpful for everyone and it is a great garage storage system to separate and organize your equipment by sport or season. Unfortunately, they usually get stacked against a wall somewhere, which makes getting to the bottom bins difficult, especially for your household's littlest teammates. But you can make it just for yourself in different ways. 

    Garage rack

    If you and your family live an active lifestyle, you should have space for bicycles. Vertical storage is a fantastic way to get bulky items out of the way! A wall bike rack is a great idea if your kids can get their bikes hanged themselves.

    Use the wall 

    Do not waste lots of opportunities for garage wall ideas. The best strategy is to add a layer of three-quarter-inch plywood over the drywall or bare studs. That gives you a continuous fastening surface so you can mount storage hardware easily, arrange items in a space-efficient way, and cram more stuff onto the wall.

    Add storage cabinets

    If you need some space to keep your items, you can buy a storage cabinet to cater to your storage requirements. There is nothing interesting than having a cabinet for convenient storage of household items. They are also strongly manufactured to ensure long-term reliability and use. You can even make them by yourself from wood and with the help of strong hands.

    Use corner shelves

    Use every spot in your garage! Of course, you have some shelves, but you definitely do not have it in a corner. This nifty corner shelf unit takes advantage of existing studs, and it's fast, easy, and cheap. And it's great for can storage ideas.

    Use labels

    Do not make a mistake and label every item in your garage to not miss or forget. The worse thing you can do is to put things in their new home and forget where they go or what is in the storage containers. This means that items easily get misplaced, you end up destroying what you have created because you forgot to label exactly where to find each item or category.

    Garage-wall tool holder

    If you have lots of rakes, shovels, brooms, and garden tools cluttering your garage, but not a lot of walls to hang them on, try this. Cut two 16 x 16-in. pieces from 1/2-in. plywood and screw them to a wall stud at a slight upward angle. Then slide in your tools.

    Roll-around workshop

    If your garage does double duty as a parking space and workspace, a rolling workbench is essential. It restores parking space and converts your garage into a workshop. A standard rolling bench made from 2x4s and plywood.

    Build big cabinets in place

    You don't have to be a cabinetmaker to build big, sturdy cabinets, especially if you build them in place. All you have to do is screw 2x2s to the wall and ceiling and then screw plywood panels to the 2x2s to form the top, bottom, and sides of cabinet boxes. This approach is simple, fast, and economical. This cabinet would also be a great place for garage TV ideas, don't you think?

    Don't waste the high space

    If all the stuff in your garage is within easy reach, you're probably wasting lots of storage space. The high spaces may not be prime real estate for often-used tools, but they're perfect for long-term storage. Deep shelving or cabinets near the ceiling can hold a ton of seasonal stuff like holiday decorations or camping gear.

    Try attic-decking panels

    To maximize the overhead garage storage space above garage rafters, install attic decking panels to create a useable and accessible surface for storage. Before you start this project, though, consult a knowledgeable building professional to make sure your rafters are rated for the extra loads.

    Use pegboards

    Measure and cut ¼ inch-thick pegboard,  back it with 2×4’s to create a frame. Finally, fasten it to your garage walls using 2-inch drywall screws. You can also add various hooks to the pegboard to hold tools, shoes, ski poles, and many more. To prevent the hooks from falling out, secure them with hot glue and zip ties. 

    Pegboard cubbyholes

    Here's a tool storage technique for all those slender tools and shop accessories. Cut short lengths of PVC pipe (1-1/2- and 2-in.-diameter pipes work well for most items) and slide them over pegboard hooks. Then load them up with files, hacksaw blades, zip ties, pencils, stir get the skinny. 

    Pegboard shelves

    Here's a slick way to store a whole cluster of tools on pegboard with only two pegs. Cut some 2-1/2 in wide mini shelves; drill holes or slots for router bits, screwdrivers, chisels, and files; then drill a couple of 1/8-in. holes in the edges for the 1/8-in. diameter pegs. With a vise and pliers, bend the pegs to about 85 degrees and hammer them into the holes. Be sure the pegs fit tightly in the wood so the shelves can't fall off.

    Throw and go

    Shelves and cabinets are great, but when you're in a hurry (and kids always are), it's nice to just throw and go. Find complete instructions, including diagrams for cutting the wood.

    The best cheap tips for organizing the garage

    Therefore, if you need to organize your garage on a tight budget it is possible, you must have a plan and get creative with your storage solutions. All the items that you store in the garage must be useful, don’t just store clutters and remember to think of vertical storage options to keep as much as possible off the floor!

    1 comment

    I just wanted to thank you for the advice it was very helpful.

    Helen Gonzalez January 04, 2023

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