Garage organization ideas on a budget

In sticking with my recent theme, I want to talk about garage organization ideas on a budget. I’ll admit, I don’t like to spend money, and it’s especially hard for me to part ways with cash on things that really matter. I know, this makes no sense, but its how my brain works.

garage organization ideas

Garages are generally used for two things – parking your car, or storing everything that doesn’t have a place in the house. I use my garage for the latter, which is why it was important for me to develop some sort of organizational tool to keep my things.

As we both know by now, there are plenty of pre-fabricated shelving and storage solutions out there – My wife told me about a store called The Container Store – which I’m sure has exactly what you need in this instance. Again, if you’re reading this, then you’re probably interested in the ‘budget’ portion of the title.

So here you are, wondering how to organize your garage on a budget and I just told you about The Container Store.

Anyway, lets cut to the chase and start brainstorming!

Pre-fabricated Garage Shelving

Wire Shelving

Not all of the pre-fab stuff is super expensive – think wire shelving! Lowe’s has 4ft sections of wire shelving for $20 . This stuff is cheap and durable – the website says each section will hold 350lbs and it’s sure to remind you of your grandmothers laundry room every time you walk into the garage. I’m not hating on this – it is seriously a great budget friendly shelving solution for your garage.

Stand-along Plastic Shelving

If you want some pre-fabricating shelving that looks a little nicer, check out these 4 shelve units from Home Depot. While this unit is a little more expensive than the previous wire shelves, it’s stand-alone and much more aesthetically pleasing. I’ve owned a system like this and it worked just fine. According to the website, each shelf is capable of holding 100lbs – so capacity is reduced, but overall not a bad shelving unit for less than ninety dollars.

Pegboard Organization

Pegboard works great to organize and hang hand tools or store fishing poles. Not only is pegboard cheap and easy to install on any wall in your garage, but you can cut it to a custom size and fit. You can even get pegboard in colors other than cardboard brown!

Hang on Rafter Hooks

Rafter hooks are another pre-fab idea that is cheap and easy to install. These hooks screw into the bottom of rafters (exposed or behind sheetrock ceiling) and allow you to hang things like bicycles, yard equipment, kayaks, or even more storage containers! Be sure to take note of the maximum weight allowed for the hooks you purchase; you wouldn’t want anything to fall on you in the garage!

Do It Yourself Garage Organization Ideas

Now on to the DIY garage storage solutions! I know that these are the things you are most interested in – you probably could have found the other ideas on your own by searching Google. Wait, is that how you got here!?

Repurpose Old Kitchen Cabinets

If you have recently remodeled your kitchen, or plan on doing so in the future, consider repurposing your cabinets for the garage. Kitchen cabinets along with the countertops are a great way to storage space, as well as a great idea to organize tools in a garage. Personally, I like to use kitchen upper cabinets as lowers in the garage. They are not as deep as the lowers so when you install a countertop, there is a larger overhang allowing you to sit or stand at the counter like a workbench without your feet hitting the bottoms.

I know, great idea, right? But what if you don’t have cabinets? Take a look on any local marketplace app to see if people are selling them. Although I get discouraged by these apps sometimes because people think their trash is made of gold. Check out the local landfill too – because just as some people try and sell their trash, others throw away good stuff!

Build Garage Shelves with 2X4s

This is one of my favorite do it yourself garage organization ideas – custom shelves are, as the name implies, super customizable, easy to build, and relatively cheap for the amount of storage space you end up with. Custom wooden shelves are not only really strong, but they’ll last forever as well! Keep reading and I’ll outline what It will take you to build some on your own.

Supplies List for Garage Shelves

  • 2X4 studs for frame
  • At least 3/8” thick plywood for shelfs
  • Wood screws to fasten frame and shelves
  • Saw to cut 2X4s
  • Saw to cut plywood
  • Level
  • Tape Measure
  • Screw gun

Overview of Construction

Take your time when building garage shelves – make sure you build them large enough for what you plan on using them for. There is not need for treated lumber when building these garage organization shelves because they are inside of your garage and should not be getting we normally.

Pine lumber is really easy to mark and cut with just about any saw you have access to – I prefer using an electric miter saw for the studs, but you could easily cut these by hand if you needed to. If you look at the picture below, you’ll notice that I only put frame legs in the from on the shelves. This is because I secured the back of each shelf to the studs behind the garage wall. While this adds strength to the shelving unit, as well as reduced the amount of studs needed in construction, it also makes this shelving unit a permanent fixture – so no moving this one around!

Cost of Garage Shelves

Assuming you have the tools necessary to construct this shelving unit, the pricing breakdown is below.

2X4 Pine Lumber – 8ft stud12$3.35
19/32″ plywood, 4’X8′2$24.17
2-1/2″ Deck ScrewsBox of 86$9.98
Total Cost$98.52
Shelving Cost

These DIY garage shelves are comparable in cost to the plastic 4-shelf product I highlighted above, yet have much more usable storage space. The shelves I constructed have 48 square feet of usable space whereas the plastic shelves only have 16 square feet! That’s three times the space, not to mention the storage room underneath the first shelf!


I kept the DIY portion of this brief because there are so many ways to customize shelving like this – don’t do exactly what I did because it may not work for you. Use this as a template – or motivation to build a custom setup of your own! When it comes to garage organization ideas, and especially ideas on a budget, you need to make the solution work for you. By taking your time and getting your hands dirty, you can save a ton of money and end up with a solution that fits you and your family better than any off-the-shelf solution could (see what I did there?).

Let us know if my garage organization ideas on a budget inspired you to tackle a DIY project. How did it come out? Do you have a better idea than me? I’d love to hear about it!                            

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