Beyond Garage Cabinets: Garage Organizers

Let’s look at special devices to help with garage organization, as well as general-purpose garage organizers to help you “conquer the clutter.”  We address using garage cabinets to organize your garage in another article.  Here we’ll look at gadgets, systems and other ways to help with organizing all the “stuff” in your garage.

A “garage organizer” is any device that contains and subdivides space so that stored items have a logic or a visibilty aiding retrieval.  A rolling mechanics tool chest is a “garage organizer” to the extent it keeps wrenches and other tools organized in a way let’s your FIND what you need.

garage organizer

Chest serving as a garage organizer

Remember: Storage is only half the problem. Knowing where something is and being able to EASILY find it is the real success.   Garage organizers exploit the fact that having a specific place to store a logical grouping —  e.g., all your nails, nuts, bolts, washers, screws, clips, grommets and other “fasteners” — will help you find that 1-1/4 inch wood screw you need.   Likely, the garage organizer you select for your “fasteners” (or any other logical category of things)  would quickly display everything — so you  see all the different sizes and can quickly find what you want.   This can be done with an organizer chest, like that shown here.  Or it can be an insert in a drawer – something like the organizer you use in the silverware drawer in your kitchen.

standalone garage organizer

Freestanding, garage organizer

My favorite garage organizer is this wonderful standalone tower by S. Kuramata comprising a rod which serves as a hub for a stack of rotating shelves.  It’s beautiful.  It’s elegant.  And it will give you lots of ideas about how to think about “garage organizers.”  They don’t need to be boring, that’s for sure!

The most popular types of garage organizers are those which hang items on the wall.  The old-fashioned pegboard system  was a very popular way to hang up tools – easily seen, fetched, used and replaced.  But as power tools proliferated and as single tools became sets (e.g., of wrenches or Torx bits), storage of these items on pegboards became more problematic.  Have you ever seen a Skil saw hanging on a pegboard?

Garage organizer on the wall

Popular “rail” systems serve as garage organizers

Some wall-mounted systems – sometimes called “rail systems” or simply “rails” – are meant to carry heavier, bulkier items.  Special hooks can even carry bicycles and cantilevered boxes or shelves that support heavier loads.

Cubbies, especially those that can be adjusted, create nooks which can hold medium sized items, be they sporting equipment, tools, paint supplies, woodworking materials or whatever.  Cubbies are like a constellation of open-faced (doorless), small, compact, garage cabinets where “everything has its place and everything is in place.”

cubbies serve as garage organizers

Cubbys serve as garage organizers

The last popular non-cabinet garage storage solution is simple:  garage shelving.   Shelving is just cubbies without the vertical dividers!

Standlone bookshelf-type shelves are popular, and  the shelving that attaches to walls offer great space to store and then see the items stored.


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