Chances are if you’re a homeowner with a yard, you own some yard tools. It may be a few, or it may be a lot, but regardless of the number, you still have to store them in the garage in some sort of organized fashion.
Storing yard tools in the garage can involve horizontal, vertical, or overhead space, or, most often, a combination of all three areas. Take inventory of your tools to determine what type of storage system works best for you.
To help you figure out the best way to store your yard tools, we’ve put together a few storage ideas. Ranging from ready-made options to DIY builds, you’ll find what you need to put your garage space to work for you and your tools.
Use Garage Walls to Store Odd-Shaped Tools
Yard tools like rakes and shovels, loppers and hedge trimmers, wheelbarrows, and hoses are cumbersome, odd-shaped items that can be hard to store. You need them to be easily accessible yet out of the way of your daily traffic patterns.
Since you’ve got three garage walls staring you in the face, why not store yard tools there? Garage floor space is at a premium, so there’s no reason not to take advantage of all that blank vertical space. The options are virtually endless.
Ready-Made Garage Wall Storage
Ready-made wall storage comes in a variety of forms to fit every budget and need. Most systems allow you to purchase the components and customize the installation based on:
- Your wall space area
- What tools you plan to hang
- How you want to hang them
Ready-made wall storage racks come in a variety of lengths and weight capacities. Rack systems are mounted on your garage wall and offer hooks or other attachments for hanging tools. Most rack and attachment systems allow you to configure the unit to best suit your specific storage needs.
Wall-mounted storage racks can be installed at varying heights for different size tools. You can put multiple racks around the garage and hang tools according to their purpose or frequency of use.
If you choose to store your tools on a purchased wall rack, be sure to look for quality steel construction and note the rack’s weight capacity so that you don’t overload it with heavy items.
You can use individual storage hooks to hang up shovels, rakes, hoes, and such. Since these are hung independently of a mounting board, they allow more flexibility for storing tools of different lengths and widths.
Heavy-duty hooks are perfect for hanging extension ladders in the upper regions of your garage walls. Make sure they are mounted into studs to maximize the weight they can hold.
Compared to other wall options, using storage hooks can be easier on the wallet and more doable for the less-than-handy man or woman.
Slatwall panels give your garage a clean, finished look by covering existing sheetrock or studs with a uniform system of panels and attachments. You use the slats to arrange the hooks and extensions to accommodate all different sizes of yard tools.
You can find slatwall accessories like angled and flat baskets of varying depths and widths, mesh baskets, ventilated or solid shelves, and different styles of utility hooks. Use a combination of all these attachments to customize the panels to fit your needs.
Pegboard is another tried and true method of storing items of differing sizes and shapes. Metal pegboards are the best choice for larger yard tools because of their weight and roughness. Metal will stand up to the banging and clanging that comes with returning a heavy iron shovel to storage.
For small garden tools, you can consider using durable plastic pegboard. It’ll work fine for these lighter items, but not as well for bigger tools.
Pegboard accessories include an array of hooks, baskets, and shelves. Be sure to note any weight limits before loading items into any type of pegboard attachment.
Build Your Own Garage Wall Storage
If you’re relatively handy with a hammer and want to save some money, you can build your own storage wall rack. There are several variations on this idea, but they all involve lumber, usually a piece of 2×4 of the length you want, and some type of hanging attachments.
Building your own wall storage rack can be done at a relatively low cost, especially if you’ve got extra wood and nails lying around from another project. Even if you have to make a trip to the local home improvement store, buying lumber and nails won’t break your budget.
Basic Wall Rack
This rack is about as simple and easy as it gets. Once you determine the rack length allowed by your garage space, you’ll cut 2×4 lumber to that length and attach it to your garage wall. Be sure to securely fasten the board to studs since it will be holding heavy items.
Since this rack is a completely custom job, you can add hanging attachments in whatever configuration suits your specific tool needs. Space them out to allow for rake heads or squeeze them tighter together for smaller tools.
Hanging attachment options vary depending on how much you want to spend or how “nice” you want your DIY rack to be. Many tools are made with a hanging loop on the end of the handle giving you flexibility in how you hang them. Some hanger possibilities include:
- Nails: Hammer long nails into your support board. If needed, drill a hole (slightly bigger than your nail head) into the handle of your shovel or rake and hang the tool on the nail through the hole.
- Wood Hangers: If you’re handy with carpentry, cut handle-sized curved slots in wood blocks and attach them to your support board. Store your shovel or rake business-end up resting on the slot.
- Metal Utility Hooks: Purchase heavy-duty metal hooks and attach them to your support piece.
Tip: Since you’ve customized your wall rack for your tools, it’s a good idea to label each tool’s spot, so you know where it goes back when you’re finished using it. For example, you can trace the outline of an ax head, so it’s obvious which direction to face the tool on the rack.
PVC Wall Rack
This creative yard tool storage idea is a variation on the basic wall rack. It’s particularly useful for long-handled tools:
- Use two 2×4 support pieces attached to your garage wall parallel to each other three to four feet apart.
- Add another 2×4 horizontally under the lower support board to provide a “floor” for your tools to stand on. This gets them off the garage floor for a neater look.
- You’ll need two 4-inch pieces of round PVC pipe per tool. Attach one PVC section on the upper support board and the other directly beneath it on the lower support board. You can customize the spacing of the PVC pipe sections to accommodate your specific yard tool collection.
- Then, slip your tools into the upper and lower PVC pipes for a secure, upright storage option.
Another inexpensive variation on wall storage racks is attaching round tubes to your garage wall studs with plumbing straps. You can use large diameter PVC pipes or cardboard concrete form tubes. Each tube can hold several long-handled tools.
If you don’t want your tool handles to touch the garage floor, simply create a “floor” with a 2×4 mounted on the wall a few inches off the garage floor.
Who doesn’t like free? Pallets can often be found at your local recycling center, free for the taking. Grab a few and get to work! Add a little paint, and you’ve got an attractive, eco-friendly way to store larger yard tools along the garage wall.
Take the back off the pallet, leaving the pallet top and sides. Stand it up against your garage wall and attach the pallet securely to the wall. Long-handled tools will easily slide down into the pallet bin and stay upright. If you choose, you can cut the pallet side lower for easier access to shorter handled tools.
We’ve already discussed buying prefab slatwall panels, but have you ever thought about building your own slatwall out of wood? You can put together a simple frame of any size and attach thin 1×2 or 1×3 pieces of wood in a slatted style to create a custom slatwall.
If your garage studs are exposed, you can forgo the frame and attach your thin slats directly to the studs. Add purchased accessories or craft your own attachments to suit your needs.
If you’re the crafty type who likes to repurpose old, unused items you find around the house (or garage), consider some of these ideas:
- Iron Rake Head: Mount a handle-less rake head with prongs up and hang small tools like trimmers, trowels, and such from the prongs.
- Wicker Baskets: These are ideal for storing gardening gloves and lightweight garden tools. Mount the baskets to your garage wall with nails.
- Plastic Laundry Baskets: Hang these on nails to hold small tools, gloves, netting, and such.
- Golf Club Caddy: Easy to use. Just put your tools in the golf bag and hang it on the garage wall by the bag strap. Roll it out to the garden when it’s time to work.
- Gun Rack: Mount an old gun rack to your garage wall and use it to store your long-handled tools horizontally.
Garage Floor Storage Allows Easy Access
Sometimes you may need to keep tool storage simple and easily accessible on the floor. Floor space around the garage’s perimeter or in one of the car bays is a great place to store yard tools, especially more oversized items like wheelbarrows and lawnmowers, which can be parked on the floor out of the way.
But, you’ll need somewhere for yard tools like shovels, hoes, and mattocks too. For that, you want a storage shelf or cart. What you can store on a cart or shelf is limited by the unit’s size and shape, but the good news is that there are various ready-made sizes on the market.
The advantage of a ready-made shelf or cart is that, well, it’s ready-made. You may have to do a bit of assembly, but once that’s done, your new storage unit is ready to go.
Storage carts typically come with a grid system that provides a place to stand up long-handled tools like rakes and shovels. The grid keeps tools separated and upright. Most carts are on casters, which allows you to move the cart around if your garage configuration changes.
Typical carts hold about 40 tools; this might be a stretch if you want fairly easy access without having to pull every tool out to get to the one you need. So if you have a large collection of yard tools, consider buying two carts, so you don’t have to cram everything into one unit.
Storage shelves are stationary versions of the carts. They use the same grid system for holding longer tools. Since they tend to have a solid bottom shelf, they offer better storage for your smaller hand tools. There are corner shelving units available that allow you to take advantage of any unused corner in your garage.
Many of these shelving units are made of plastic and can, with time and use, crack and break. Look for metal shelves whenever possible.
For those who only have a few basic yard tools or who need to keep curious children at bay, a storage cabinet may be the way to go. Most are tall enough to handle tools like rakes and shovels and have built-in slots that allow you to insert a shelf to hold smaller items like hand tools and bags of fertilizer.
Because the cabinet is not mounted to your garage in any way, it’s easy to place it wherever it’s needed and move it around if your storage needs change.
DIY Floor Storage
If you’re handy and want to build your own storage unit for yard tools, you can design a free-standing shelf unit or rolling cart and make it with just a few building supplies.
- One idea for storing your lawnmower and its accessories is to repurpose an old table or build a simple square table with legs about two feet tall. Push the mower up under the table and use the table’s surface to store gas cans, extra blades, and the leaf bag.
- Repurpose an old chest of drawers as storage for long-handled tools by removing the drawers, laying it on its back, and adding wheels. Voila! A cute and clever way to store long yard tools.
- A simple way to store small yard tools such as pruners, garden spades, and hand rakes is to put them inside a five-gallon bucket. When it’s time to work, you can grab the bucket and head to the garden with all your tools already conveniently gathered inside.
Maximize Space with Overhead Garage Storage
In every garage, there is a lot of space just waiting to be noticed and used. Look up, and you’ll find a great place to put yard tools that you don’t need to get to very often. To help you take advantage of this space, consider installing overhead storage racks.
Depending on what you want to put there, you may need to purchase sturdy totes or bins to hold your tools for safety’s sake. If you’re tall enough to reach the overhead racks without a ladder, you can even consider storing frequently used tools there, like hedge trimmers, shovels, or rakes.
However, together, overhead racks and storage bins are pricier than other storage options. They can also be trickier to install since you’ll need to make sure the rack is securely attached to the ceiling. Correct installation is paramount to ensure safety for whatever is underneath the area.
For the “vertically challenged,” overhead storage is not a good option as it’s not the safest or most efficient place to put items no matter how infrequently you need them. It can be inconvenient to pull out a ladder just to get to a shovel or leaf rake.
Storing yard tools in the garage is inevitable for most of us. Making the most of your garage’s space without having to park the car outside in the elements is a worthy and reachable goal.
Look around your garage with an eye for what tools you have and how you’d like to store them. Consider your budget and your DIY ability as your plan takes shape. Armed with the knowledge of the vast array of storage options available to build or buy, you will be able to have your yard tools handy in no time at all.