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How to Make Your Own Simple DIY Garage Storage

This year was the year we were finally going to get our garage organized and under control once and for all!  In preparation for this huge spring cleaning, I’ve been looking into all kinds of DIY garage storage ideas.  We had some space restrictions so early on I decided that making something was not only going to be the most cost-effective thing but also the most customizable.

After thinking about what might suit us best, we came up with our own ideas for creating the storage space that we needed.  We made three different storage systems out of three pieces of plywood and did it all in a day. 

It was such a satisfying project that was an easy DIY and made a huge difference in how our garage functions.  I used three plywood sheets for these three projects (one for each storage unit).  Let’s get into it!  

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scrap wood diy garage storage unit
The vertical scrap wood storage we built is functioning so well!

Table of Contents

The Great Garage Reorganization and Beautification Project

The whole project was spurred by the garage’s lack of storage and organization and our general frustration anytime we had to work out there.  It was always a mess, to put it mildly.  

messy garage
All that wood piled around that black cabinet on the left was a major problem. Also the whole garage lacked any kind of organizing system

Step one was to do the garage floor, so we cleared everything out and put it in a storage pod on our driveway. I gave the walls a fresh coat of white paint, and that alone made a world of difference. It felt so clean afterward!

Then we coated the floors ourselves using a Polyurea (Polyaspartic) coating. When it came time to put everything back in, we took our time to create zones and organization for some of the areas that were lacking before, and these few simple DIY garage storage ideas were born!

New Polyurea floors
Our new garage floor and a fresh coat of paint! I didn’t even want to bring any of our junk back in here, HA!

DIY Rolling Storage Cart

DIY garage storage pull out cart
Here is my rolling cart all loaded up with tile supplies! It fits a surprising amount of stuff!

The first thing we made was a rolling storage cart to slide under the landing of our stairs.  We realized that if we could make better use of that space we might be able to eliminate a shelving unit which would free up some wall space.  

Wall space is at a major premium in our garage!  On one side our garage door goes right up to the wall so there is no room to put anything there that is not pretty flat, or we can not open the car doors.  

By creating the rolling storage cart to fit under the platform for our garage stairs, we can store some heavier items and lesser-used items there and eliminate an entire garage shelf that we had before.  

How to Make a Simple DIY Garage Storage Cart

I measured the space that I had available to decide how big to make my cart.  I decided on 4′ x 4′, but you can make it any size you need.  4′ is the maximum width if you want to build it out of a single piece of plywood as I did.  

First I cut the 3/4″ plywood in half using my circular saw and a guide so that I had a 4′ x 4′ piece.

I cut a sheet of plywood in half to make a 4’x 4′ piece, which was the size of my platform.

Then I took the remaining piece of plywood and cut 4 strips that were 6″ long each on my table saw.  

I then cut 6″ strips on the table saw for the side pieces.

I took two strips and cut 1-1/2″ off of one end to account for the thickness of my plywood when I assembled the box.  

Next, I assembled the box by overlapping the sides and screwing them together with the longer pieces overlapping the shorter pieces.  I considered using pocket holes for this, but at the end of the day these vertical supports are not doing much besides keeping things from falling off my cart and I didn’t think the extra effort was necessary.  

I used clamps to hold the corners while I screwed the sides together first.

Once that was done I sat it on the floor and placed my 4′ piece on top.  I added a little wood glue and screwed it down from the bottom into the sides.  

Next I flipped it over and screwed the bottom on by screwing down into the sides.

I added a wheel at each corner using wood screws and another in the middle for good measure and that is all there was to it!

I found these castors at the hardware store and added one to each corner and an extra one in the middle for good measure.

This rolls easily and it takes pretty heavy loads since it is made out of 3/4″ plywood.  You could make one to fit plastic storage bins or you can just pile stuff on there like I did.  

This just fits under my stairs

It is a great way to get some stuff you don’t need all that much like extra building materials, paint cans or seasonal items out of the way and get rid of a little garage clutter! 

I was able to fit a crazy amount of stuff on this pull out! This is all my tile stuff including my tile saw, leftover supplies and spacers, trowels, etc. I don’t need this all that much so it is a great thing to store under there.

Scrap Lumber Plywood DIY Garage Storage

The next thing we made was storage for scrap sheet goods.  We decided to use the space between our two garage doors for this.  We don’t have enough floor space to put it anywhere else but at the end of the day, this worked out great!

We have a shortage of wall space in our garage so we built this to just fit between our two garage doors.

We didn’t have room for an 8′ sheet to lay on its side so we took advantage of the vertical space and went up instead of out.  

We cut a piece of plywood at an angle to that we were able to get two pieces the same for each side using our circular saw.  I didn’t even bother to use a guide this time, this is not fine carpentry here! Ha!

We cut this shape out of a single piece of plywood, it was about 6′ tall total. I just drew on the plywood a shape that allowed me to use most of the sheet to cut both pieces

Next, we used a piece of leftover plywood from the first project to make the floor.  We cut a piece to 4′ x 16″ inches using the circular saw.

We cut a few strips out of the leftover materials to use as bracing across the back.

We attached the sides to the bottom by screwing in from the sides. Then we added some strips along the back as well.
We were running short of materials so we just added a couple of strips along the back in a few places to save on plywood. Then we used some blocking as needed to attached it to the wall and make it level.
You can see the strips on the back in this photo. The wall returns here towards the second door so we used that little bit of wall space to hold a few brooms!

Once we had all of that assembled we screwed it all together.  We put it in place between our garage doors and screwed it to the wall, marking the stud locations and screwing directly to the studs.  We also shimmed up the front a little bit to account for the slope in the garage floor.

We were so excited to load this up I forgot to take pictures of it empty! We shimmed up the front a little to account for the slope in the garage floor, and attached it to the wall at the back.

The extra storage we gained by putting these scraps between the doors was great.  We always have some sheet goods leftover and it’s nice to keep it so you aren’t always buying new stuff when you have a little project that needs a piece of wood.  

We found this old chandelier chain leftover from inside and used it to keep the plywood contained

Scrap Lumber Shorts DIY Garage Storage

Our scrap wood shorts were getting out of hand too.  My husband was using concrete form tubes to stick them in and then we also had a couple of plastic storage bins that we also used. Needless to say, that was not working great.

We had some tubes strapped to the stairs on the left that e kept scrap wood in and then on the right there was just a Rubbermaid full of short pieces. It was a MESS.

When we reorganized our space we wanted to make sure we left a little empty wall space so that we could incorporate some wood storage.

The good news is that by installing the rolling cart under the stairs, we eliminated a whole shelf’s worth of stuff.  That allowed us to have plenty of room to build something along the garage wall for scraps.

We measured the space that we had available to see what size we wanted to build.  We only had a single sheet of plywood left so we played around with a few ideas on how to build the scrap wood storage with the wood we had.

First, we cut 4 strips of wood that were 6′ tall by 12″ wide.  Next, we cut a piece for the bottom that was 12″x 60″.  

We started with two side pieces, the bottom and the back and screwed it all together
We added in a couple of middle pieces to keep the scraps more organized and separated

At that point, we only really had scraps left to make the back, but we decided that this didn’t really need a solid back so we used the scraps to cut a piece for the bottom, middle and top.  We cut another strip to use as the front piece which would keep wood from sliding out the front.

This is the back, we added a larger piece to the bottom and then a strip at the top. We also added a second strip about mid way down the back of this

It took two of us to put this together, we had to hold the pieces in place and used a ton of screws to just screw from one piece into the next.  We did our best to make it straight and square.  

We just overlapped the pieces and screwed into the sidewalls, which was enough to hold the pieces in place

Once it was all together, we had to shim up the front of it a little due to the slope on the garage floor.  Then we used a stud finder to find the wall studs and screwed through some of the back braces directly into the studs.

Once it was all secure, we loaded it up with all our scraps!  

For easy access but to still contain the pieces if they were to fall, we added a little hook and chain along the front of each compartment.   We screwed into the front of each board and hooked a chain that we found in our hardware pile.  

We scrounged around in the hardware bin and found some chain and hooks to put on the front to keep the wood from falling out

What are Some Other DIY Garage Storage Ideas

I did a DEEP DIVE into the world of garage storage before starting this project and I came across a ton of great ideas.  Maybe some of these will work for you!

Overhead Storage

If you have a taller ceiling, make use of that vertical space with an overhead storage rack!  Making use of that space above with an overhead garage storage system is a great way to store lesser used and holiday decorations and it gets them up and off the floor.  Here is a great tutorial for rails that fit storage bins that you can make yourself, or these shelves that you can make to fit over the garage door.

You can also buy these items ready made, like this ceiling rack and this rail system!

DIY Garage Storage – Pegboard or Slatwalls

If you have enough wall storage to spare, using a pegboard, slatwall or French cleats makes storage so versatile.  The thing about these types of systems is that once you put them up, you can change and move what you want to store on them pretty easily.  

We have this slat wall with some hooks to store out backpacking and sports gear

My husband made a whole wall of French cleats in our back garage to save on cost.  His greatest pastime is moving things around in his man-cave so it works really well for that!  He has mounted all kinds of things to those cleats.  

Hamilton Park Home has a great tutorial on making a French Cleat wall if you want to make one yourself!  

Hamilton Park Home has a great tutorial on how to build a French cleat wall

If that seems like too much work, you can also buy these systems like this one and this one ready-made and install them on the wall.


This seems simple enough but getting things up and off the floor is the name of the game in having an organized garage.  Sometimes it’s just as simple as putting a few hooks in the wall in strategic places.

We bought a set of these heavy-duty hooks to hang our scaffolding on the wall.  We found the studs using a stud finder and drilled some pilot holes into the studs, and then just screwed these in strategically to hang our scaffold.

We have these types of hooks all over our shed as well in the exposed wall studs to hold things like garden hoses, hand tools, and our step ladder.


​Garage storage shelves probably seem pretty obvious, but if you haven’t got any storage yet this is the best place to start.  You can make your own garage shelves if you want to really customize them.  

We have found that the Gorilla Brand shelves that Costco usually sells are really great for garages.  They can be stacked together, they are deep shelves so they easily fit Rubbermaid bins, and by having something removable it allows for the ultimate flexibility. I couldn’t find them online but these ones are very similar.  Some of the shelves we have now have moved to three different houses!  

We use heavy-duty shelves because we like the versatility of being able to move them around, adjust the shelf height and change things up when needed.

Cabinets and Workbenches

We are not done in our garage and we want to add some cabinets and a workbench in the shop area.  I think that cabinets are great for tools, it’s nice if you can close the door on those and they stay a little bit cleaner and look a heck of a lot tidier.

I am a big fan of the sturdy cabinets that are made for garages, so I think that is the direction that we are going to go when it comes time to do ours!  

You can make your own garage cabinets if you want to save a little money, I found this great tutorial on making your own cabinets here.

All the Gadgets!

I had to restrain myself and try not to get sucked into all the cool gadgets that you can get for garage organization!  I do think I am going to buy a retractable hose reel for our water taps, and maybe some of these straps for extension cords.

I love these organizers for your power tools, too.  I’m trying to wait to see what we really need when it’s all said and done but I have quite a wish list at this point! Here are some of the items I found!

1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7/ 8/ 9/ 10/ 11/ 12

That’s it for now!  When we get some new cabinets I will write another blog post about that!  Stay tuned!

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