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A garage is coveted real estate—an empty space with infinite possibilities. But, often, the garage becomes a repository for everything that doesn’t fit in the house and you need a setup to maximize space. Storage systems come in all shapes and sizes, including shelves, cabinets, hooks, and ceiling-mounted racks. These racks are typically made from durable materials, such as steel or heavy-duty plastic, and feature high weight capacities that can exceed 1,000 pounds. This guide will review some of the best garage storage systems on the market so you can free up valuable floor space and finally use the garage for its intended purpose: storing your car.
- Best overall: Fleximounts Overhead Garage Storage Rack
- Best cabinet: Seville Classics UltraHD Tall Storage Cabinet
- Best for gardening equipment: StoreYourBoard Tool Storage Rack
- Best for sports equipment: Kinghouse Garage Sports Equipment Organizer
- Best budget: CX Black & Yellow 4-Tier Storage Shelving Unit
How we chose the best garage storage systems
Garage storage is about being efficient with space, so I chose storage systems that can capably hold a large volume of things while taking up as little floor space as possible. Since a garage storage system is bound to take a beating, I chose models made from durable materials that can absorb abuse, such as steel and high-grade plastic. I also considered price, since garage storage systems can quickly get very expensive. Believing that a good storage system shouldn’t cost more than the stuff you’re storing, I chose models that offer the best bang for your buck while still meeting the aforementioned criteria.
The best garage storage systems: Reviews & Recommendations
As someone with a large garage filled with lots of stuff, I’m intimately familiar with the struggles of setting up apparatus like a garage door opener and organizing the interior. I applied my experiences taming my garage in researching more than two dozen garage systems for this list of the top five.
Best overall: Fleximounts Overhead Garage Storage Rack
Why it made the cut: Of all the storage designs out there, this one saves the most space by getting your stuff off the garage floor, making room for the family car.
- Weight capacity: 600 pounds
- Storage capacity: Up to 105 cubic feet
- Dimensions: 96 inches long by 48 inches wide by 22 to 40 inches high
- Material: Steel
- Takes up no floor space, making it ideal for small garages that also house cars
- Large amount of storage space
- Can also hang items from the rack
- Weight capacity of 600 pounds may be too little for heavier storage needs
- Items are harder to access
If the main reason you’re purchasing a garage storage system is to get junk off the floor so you can use the garage for its intended purpose—housing your car—then Fleximounts is your best option. Whereas shelves and cabinets do a good job organizing things, they take up precious floor space. Since Fleximounts hug the ceiling, they take up no floor space. The rack measures 4 feet by 8 feet and drops down from the ceiling 22 to 40 inches.
How much it can store is dependent on the height of your garage ceilings and the position of the garage door. Set to its maximum drop-down height, this rack provides 105 cubic feet of storage, about three times the amount of space that most garage shelving systems offer. You can also hang sporting equipment, gardening tools, and more from the racks for even more storage for those fancy new electric bikes.
Though this overhead rack is an excellent way to save space, some trade-offs exist. The rack can hold a maximum of 600 pounds, which may not be enough depending on what you plan to store on it. You’ll need to haul anything you plan to store up a stepladder to get it into the rack, which can be difficult for some people, especially if the objects are heavy. Accessing items stored in an overhead rack isn’t as convenient as grabbing them from a cabinet or shelf. Still, if your main goal is to maximize floor space in your garage and you don’t mind the access limitations of overhead storage, then Fleximounts is the way to go.
Best cabinet: Seville Classics UltraHD Tall Storage Cabinet
Why it made the cut: We loved this cabinet’s rock-solid construction, lockable doors, and large casters that allow you to maneuver it around the garage even when full.
- Weight capacity: 600 pounds
- Storage capacity: 27 cubic feet
- Dimensions: 18 inches deep by 36 inches wide by 72 inches high
- Material: Steel
- Takes up a small amount of floor space
- Durable construction with reinforced cornersLarge wheels let you roll it around the garage
- Lockable door protects valuable tools
- Expensive for the amount of storage capacity
While there are more affordable garage cabinets available, few have the durability and versatility of this model from UltraHD. A garage cabinet should be able to take a licking, and this model can, thanks to stainless-steel construction and a sturdy design that includes reinforced steel corners on its top and rubber bumpers on the lower corners.
In addition to its rock-solid construction, I also love the versatility the large, 5-inch, heavy-duty casters provide. The wheels make it easy to roll into position for better access to its contents and are also handy if it’s necessary to rearrange the garage to make room for something else.
While the cabinet’s four shelves provide ample storage, what sets it apart from other cabinets are the lockable doors. The ability to lock the cabinet makes it ideal for storing expensive power tools, ensuring they stay secure even when the garage door is left open.
Although the cabinet does take up some floor space, it occupies a smaller footprint than many other cabinets due to its tall and narrow profile—it’s 18 inches deep by 36 inches wide by 72 inches high. The lockable doors and durable construction make this cabinet ideal for those who like the clean look a cabinet offers or who want a secure place to store their tools.
Best for gardening equipment: StoreYourBoard Tool Storage Rack
Why it made the cut: The length of this set of hooks makes them capable of holding a lot of gardening tools.
- Weight capacity: 325 pounds
- Storage capacity: N/A
- Dimensions: 37 inches long by 10 inches deep by 3.25 inches wide
- Material: Steel
- Affordable way to store gardening tools
- Sturdy steel construction
- Long hooks can hold multiple tools
- Mounting system suits most garage setups
- Hooks might be too close together for large gardening tools.
Few things add more clutter to a garage than a jumble of yard equipment leaning against the wall. This tool storage rack from StoreYourBoard offers an economical and effective way of getting those tools organized and off the floor. The rack consists of four sets of double hooks mounted to a 3-foot-long bar that attaches to the garage’s wall studs. Each hook consists of two prongs set two inches apart, a design that makes them well-suited for holding garden hoses or the heads of shovels, rakes, weed whackers, or extension cords.
Each set of hooks is spaced 7.75 inches apart, providing enough clearance to hang most garden tools side by side without bumping heads. At 10 inches long, the hooks extend further into the garage than most. While this eats into the space savings they offer, the tradeoff is worth it for those with many gardening tools to hang.
With its sturdy steel construction, the rack can hold up to 325 pounds, well over the total weight that you’ll likely hang from it. Three large lag bolts are included for secure mounting. This rack’s sturdy construction, coupled with long hooks that give it a high capacity, make it an ideal choice for those with an extensive collection of gardening equipment.
Best for sports equipment: Kinghouse Garage Sports Equipment Organizer
Why it made the cut: We love the multiple racks that allow parents to organize equipment so kids can get at different items without having to dig through all of them.
- Weight capacity: N/A
- Storage capacity: N/A
- Dimensions: 36 inches wide by 16.5 inches deep by 46 inches high
- Material: Steel
- Multiple racks and bins make it easy to organize equipment
- Casters allow users to roll the rack out for easier access
- Mesh bottoms prevent smaller objects from falling through the rack
- Not as sturdy as other storage systems
When there’s no place to put all the balls, skateboards, baseball bats, gloves, helmets, and other outdoor sporting goods equipment, they inevitably end up scattered on the garage floor. While throwing all that gear into a bin or two is one option, a better one is this organizer from Kinghouse.
Unlike racks that have one section for holding all equipment, this model features a large storage area on the base and smaller racks at the top. This makes it easier to separate large items like skateboards and inline skates from medium-sized basketballs and soccer balls and smaller tennis balls and baseballs, so kids can access each without having to dig through one large pile.
In addition to multiple racks, this organizer also offers other design features, including hooks on the sides of the rack that can hold baseball bats and a tight mesh bottom that prevents smaller items from finding their way through the rack and onto the floor.
I also love that this rack sits on casters that make it easy to wheel into and out of the garage onto the driveway, making it easier for kids to grab items or put them away. With its ability to store a large volume of stuff while still making it all easily accessible, this rack is an ideal option for those looking to tame a mountain of sports gear.
Best budget: CX Black & Yellow 4-Tier Storage Shelving Unit
Why it made the cut: This shelving set is the most affordable and easy-to-assemble garage storage solution we could find.
- Weight capacity: 1,600 pounds (200 pounds per shelf)
- Storage capacity: About 30 cubic feet
- Dimensions: 48 inches long by 20 inches wide by 55 inches high
- Material: Heavy-duty plastic
- Affordably priced storage solution
- Multiple shelves can be locked together for easy expansion
- Assembles quickly and easily
- Can hold 200 pounds per shelf
- Takes up a fairly large amount of floor space
One of the main barriers to getting a garage organized is often the complicated assembly and high price tag that come with many garage storage systems. This set of plastic shelves from CX is a great option for those who don’t want to spend hours assembling the unit or pay more for the storage system than the value of the stuff they’re going to store. The shelving unit consists of four 20-by-48-inch heavy-duty plastic shelves that can hold up to 200 pounds each, which is plenty of capacity for most storage needs. The shelves sit on sturdy feet with rubber non-slip coverings. Slats are cut into the shelves to prevent moisture from collecting and potentially causing water damage or mold growth.
There are several design features I love about these shelves. You can assemble the shelves in less than an hour with no tools required. The feet are adjustable, allowing you to level the shelves to account for any irregularities in the garage floor. This shelving is also expandable. Grooves on the ends of the shelving allow you to lock it together with another shelving unit on both sides.
Its smart design and high weight capacity make this set of shelves a great budget option for those who don’t mind its larger footprint.
Things to consider when buying the best garage storage systems
Storage systems need to hold a lot of stuff, so how much a cabinet, rack, or shelf can hold is crucial. Consider how many cubic feet of storage space the system offers and compare it to what you plan to store to ensure the system suits your needs. In addition to volume, weight capacity is also important. How much weight a storage system can handle ranges significantly, from hanging racks with a max capacity of around 300 pounds to shelving that can hold more than 1,500 pounds. Consider the weight of what you need to store when deciding which storage system to buy.
Since garage storage systems are designed to open up space for cars, how much floor space a storage system takes up is crucial. With that in mind, it’s important to pay attention to the storage system’s total footprint to determine just how much floor space it will occupy. Generally speaking, shelves take up the most floor space, followed by cabinets. Storage racks that mount to the ceiling take up none and are installed with enough clearance to allow space for cars, people, or garage doors below them.
Look for garage storage systems made from durable materials such as steel and heavy-duty plastic. These materials can endure the rigors of life in a garage. Avoid materials, such as MDF or thin sheet metal, that are easily damaged by moisture or small impacts.
Q: What kind of material is best for a garage storage system?
Painted steel and heavy-duty plastic are the best options for garage storage systems. These materials have great strength qualities, allowing them to hold hundreds of pounds. While a garage is not exposed to the elements, it is an unfinished space susceptible to high humidity and extreme temperature changes. Whereas materials such as pressboard and thin sheet metal can be damaged by moisture, painted steel and plastic aren’t susceptible to rust or corrosion.
Q: How do you maximize storage in a small garage?
To make the most out of a small garage, consider going vertical by using hanging overhead racks as opposed to cabinets or shelves that take up valuable floor space. Install hooks that allow you to move items such as bikes and gardening equipment off the floor and onto the walls. If you need a workbench, consider installing a foldable model that stays flush with the wall when not used.
Q: Are overhead racks safe?
Overhead racks are safe as long as you install them properly and make sure the ceiling can support the weight. When installing the racks, make sure they are bolted to ceiling joists using the fasteners included with the racks. Also, pay careful attention to the manufacturer’s weight limits for the racks when loading them, and make sure you don’t exceed them.
Final thoughts on the best garage storage systems
A good storage system can help you organize your garage to free up floor space, allowing you to use it as a workshop or fit the car inside. That said, a good storage system will only help you organize your garage if you choose the right one. Before selecting a garage storage system, take stock of what’s currently in the garage. Decide what you need to store and select a system that best matches those needs.