Garage Overhead Storage Considerations

Garage overhead storage areas are best for bulky items that are infrequently needed.  Bulky or light items work best because the attachments holding the storage bin/platform to the ceiling cannot normally carry too much weight.   And “infrequently needed” is another key consideration because you often need a ladder (and moving the car out of the way) before you access the storage.

The two most popular places for garage overhead storage are 1) between an overhead garage door (when it is up / open) and the ceiling and 2) a platform which extends out over the hood of a car.

overhead storage rack

Some overhead storage solutions use a pulley and winch to hoist a basket or platform, like that shown here. You put the items to be stored in the basket or on the platform and then pull on the rope or cable to move the basket / platform up toward the ceiling and out of the way. The benefit of this system is that you don’t need a ladder and you may not need to move the car to get something out of storage.

Another solution which is common but far less popular is the “overhead bike storage.” Unlike the platforms or baskets that basically hang in the middle of the garage, the bike storage takes advantage of the headroom over the passageway along one of the passageways around the cars. You wheel the bike into the garage, and either lift or hoist the bike into the space above the heads of those who walk through the space.

Overhead storage can be a real blessing, but there are some warnings: 1) Don’t invite “varmits” to nest there. The fact is that an undisturbed spot in your warm, dry garage is pretty attractive to squirrels, birds or other pests. 2) Don’t store gasoline or other items that won’t handle heat well – as the area under the roof can get very hot in summer and 3) Make sure you have adequate ventilation and no leaks in the ceiling before installing an overhead storage area. If moisture accumulates there, in an enclosed area, mold, mildew, rot or worse might be the outcome.

Last, remember: Storage only makes sense in the context of retrieval. If you store something and can’t find it … or can’t get it back – then the item is “lost,” not “stored”! Most overhead storage systems help you FIND what you stored by being made of wire racks – so you can see what is being stored. And use either clear plastic bins so you can see what’s inside without climbing a ladder or label things boldly enough to be visible from below.

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