According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “25% of people with two-car garages don’t have room to park cars inside them and 32% only have room for one vehicle.” It’s doubtful that the value of that clutter, that we are protecting in our garages, is worth $33,000, which is the average cost of a new car these days. Make space and protect your investment instead!

To make space, there are ultimately only two directions for stuff to go: OUT or UP.  “Out” means discard & donate, as much of the excess as possible. It’s always makes sense to start with a purge. For the rest, “up” means taking advantage of vertical space. Here are some options for that.

storage-dynamic-duoShelves and Bins

These plastic shelves from Home Depot are very simple and inexpensive. They go together in about 10 minutes and cost about $40.  It’s important that you also get bins that fit and fill the space well, like these flip-top totes. I prefer the clear ones because they maximize find-ability. Wherever possible “reveal, don’t conceal.” Finally, label windows from U-line, make it easy to switch and protect labels.

donation depotDonation Depot

Stuff comes into our homes so easily, that it’s important to have a competing plan for stuff to circulate OUT. That’s
what the Donation Depot is all about. Unlike the trash and recycling bins, that take up floor space, the donationpegboard copydepot can rest on a convenient shelf, so it is easy to collect now and grab later. This way, that stuff you had been meaning to donate is not upstairs, it’s inches away from the trunk of your car.


For small tools, pegboards are more than just holes and hooks these days. There’s loops for screwdrivers, magnetic attachments for wrenches, loops for scissors, and cradles for drills. Watch this video to learn more about pegboards.

4. Monkey Bars frontMonkey Bars

Of course many items in the garage are too big for a pegboard and too awkward to fit on shelves. For these large and awkward items, the best product I have found is Monkey Bars. The essential structure of Monkey Bars is a high shelf supported by a very sturdy and adaptable set of brackets. On top of the shelf you can support many bins of off-season and infrequently used items. Underneath the shelves, you can hang golf bags, bicycles, lawn furniture, and garden tools, just to name a few. They are a great use of space, because unlike standing shelves, they do not take up precious floor space. Compared to other garage systems, they are less expensive. It’s $65/foot or $260 for a four foot length of shelf. All the hooks and other attachments, of course, cost extra, but it still amounts to significantly less. The cost includes installation. Finally, Monkey Bars are completely customizable, no matter how large or small your garage storage challenges are.

So whether you have multiple items that need boxing and shelving, or hand tools that you’d like to keep handy, or big awkward items that eat up floor space, the only direction to go is UP.