Garage Shop Organization #1: Garage Organization Project

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Blog entry by CanuckMike posted 01-22-2014 12:15 AM 3122 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Eviction Notice

So my shop was located down in our basement but we decided to finish it so I had to move into the garage. It wouldn’t be as warm in the winter but it had a much bigger access door and no stairs to lug heavy pieces up. So out everything moved. As you would expect it was a mess tools were piled in totes and stacked as high as I could reach.

After a few very frustrating years living out of totes, never seeming to find the tool I was looking for, it was time to get organized and finally setup shop!

Main Storage Closets

The back wall of the garage I decided to build floor to ceiling cabinets. I used 2×6s for the vertical supports and 2×4s for the horizontal. It was all framed using nails into the existing studs and ceiling joists. I did not anchor them into the cement though and it hasn’t been a problem yet.

The framing was so solid that I was climbing and sitting in it while nailing it all together.

Here are pics of the finished but yet unpainted product…

Inside the house we did some renovations and I replaced all of our luan slab doors and repurposed them here hinges and all. I was able to just rip the doors down a little bit and fit them very easily, they are set flush with the 2×6 vertical supports and start about 8” above the floor. This provides handy access for cords, hoses etc.
The top sections have flip up doors that are made from portions of the same interior doors.

Here are a few pics of how I configured the space behind the doors:

I created a sliding pegboard setup in the first closet that occupies the middle shelf the 3 sections.

In the second (middle) closet I added a half shelves in two of the sections to store all of my power tools in their bulky cases.

In the third closet I left it mostly open and it contains my compressor and a built in clamp rack. I was not able to make room for all of my clamps in there but most of them are there. I also made and installed this pipe clamp rack just outside the closet again keeping them in the same general area.

The rack does not come out further than the 2×6 next to it so it does not interfere with opening the door.

Corner Shelf and Recycling Center

The door from the house to the garage is on the back wall of the garage near a corner. There was enough space to install another storage unit with all 2×4 construction and again floor to ceiling. This unit will also hold the recycle bins in open shelves. This has proved to be a most convenient location.

Here is a photo that shows almost the entire corner shelf unit. You can see the base platform, two open shelves and then a top cabinet.

Here are the open shelves

Here is the upper cabinet

Here is the almost finished product loaded with stuff. The only steps left is to install the double doors for the upper cabinet and give it a paint job.

As you can see in the finished photos all of the framing was covered with 3/4” MDF for the bases and shelves.

Small Storage Bench

In the space between the main storage closets and the corner shelf and recycling center I had enough room to make a small storage bench and a generous platform step for door access. The original step for the door was a small 2×8 that was only as wide as the door frame. It served the purpose but wasn’t too user friendly.

This new step is much better and allows me simply close the door without stepping off the platform. The storage bench next to the door serves several purposes. It holds my cordless drills, their chargers and all of the bits I typically use. It also has some small storage bins stacked above organizing some related hardware items and small tools. Of course it also has my old 80s boom box locked to my favourite radio station.

On the left side of the bench I have installed peg board that runs all the way to the ceiling. Although it is not yet properly organized there is much potential there for storing frequently used items. The top of this bench is where i have instructed all of my family members to put tools or other items they think belong in the garage so that I can put them away properly. I also use the top to hold my sketches and plans for the project I am working on.

In the drawers below I have many items stored from measuring and marking tools to pliers and screwdrivers. The bottom two drawers hold some of the bigger odd sized items like my dovetail jig and tenoning jig. Here is are a few pics of the drawers extended.

I am still working through where I want everything to go but I can honestly say that it is coming along and has come a long way from the absolute chaos that it was!

7 comments so far

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2801 days

#1 posted 01-22-2014 12:49 AM

Some purdee gr8 ideas going on there.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View NormG's profile


6111 posts in 3001 days

#2 posted 01-22-2014 03:13 AM

Now that is being organized, congrats

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View CanuckMike's profile


11 posts in 1595 days

#3 posted 01-22-2014 12:19 PM

It is definitely coming along. Now it is just a matter of finding a place for everything and logically grouping items together to be a little more efficient. This part will definitely take some time and will change as my shop evolves.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2270 days

#4 posted 01-22-2014 03:49 PM


To call that a nice start would be an understatment.
With that much dedicated storage it should make setting up the rest of your shop quite enjoyable.

Nice storage closets. – Grandpa Len.
Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View AngieO's profile


1267 posts in 2145 days

#5 posted 01-22-2014 06:49 PM

Nice! I’m trying to get some ideas for storage and organizing for my shop as well. Thanks for sharing.

View CanuckMike's profile


11 posts in 1595 days

#6 posted 01-23-2014 02:36 AM

You are right GrandpaLen it has made a huge difference but now it is about specializing the space and figuring out what tools/material etc. to group together and then making a hanging/organizing item to keep it all straight. Once I have an idea of what I want to put together I typically troll around here and pintrest for ideas on how others have done it.

The other item I didn’t make too clear in this blog entry was that the construction of the storage units was quick however it’s been almost a year now unpacking and putting items where I want and I feel like I’m still far from done :)

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2270 days

#7 posted 01-23-2014 07:55 AM


Shop Organization is like doin’ the Hokey Pokey.

You put your saw stuff in, you take your saw stuff out, you put your saw stuff in and you shake it all about,
you do the shop organization and you turn your stuff around, that’s what it’s all about.

Getting comfortable in your new work area is the first step, setting up a new smooth work flow will actually take sawdust, cutoffs, what did I do with that sand paper, and a couple of finished projects, to sort out the rest.
The evolution never ends.

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len.
Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

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