How to Organize a Garage on a Tight Budget

When you start thinking about how to organize a garage on a tight budget, you may want to crawl in one of the many boxes stashed in yours. When was the last time you parked a car in your garage, anyway?

When you consider the investment of time, containers, and shelving, the whole garage cleanup process can add stress and dollar signs. But you can do it on the cheap. Here’s how to organize a garage on a tight budget—and as efficiently as possible:

Organize before you buy.

The first step to organizing your garage is to declutter it. Many make the mistake of buying a bunch of bins, filling them, and then forgetting about them. Though fast, this method is a nightmare when you try to find something in the future. Before you rack up a bill at The Container Store, take stock of your supply.

Organize items into piles—sports equipment, garden supplies, etc.—and then create sub-piles based on size and category. For example, safety gear like helmets and knee pads can be their own sub-pile in the sports equipment category. The only items you don’t need to organize are those you’re going to donate or sell at a garage sale. Toss anything that’s broken, damaged or missing pieces.

Think vertical.

Think of your garage like a tiny house. Use tall shelves and ceiling storage to elevate your space. Keep items you don’t use as much, like Christmas décor and pool toys, towards the top. If you’re not working with very much space, check out our blog on how to organize your 1-car garage.

Buy in bulk.

The Costcos and Sam’s Clubs of the world are made for garage domination. Shelves, sheds, and bins are around every corner—and for 30%-50% less than retail.

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 add various hooks to the pegboard to hold tools, shoes, ski poles, and more. To prevent the hooks from falling out, secure them with hot glue and zip ties.

Repurpose old furniture.

We’re willing to bet we could find furniture collecting dust in your garage. Make the most of your unused pieces. Take out the drawers of an old chest and transform it into a workbench. You can also utilize a beat-up bookcase as bin storage.

Hook and hang bikes.

Hooks and plywood make storing bikes easy.

Garage ceiling mounts can cost more than the bikes that hang on them—up to $300. But for under $4, you can use heavy-duty hooks and plywood to store bikes on the ceiling. Learn how here.

Still need space? Find a storage unit near you. Reserve online to get the first month free!