Shelves are great for storing bulky and heavy items like bags of cement or soil, tool boxes, planters, large bins and power tools.
Garage shelves provide inexpensive yet high-capacity storage compared to cabinets. That’s not to mean that you should only use shelves in your garage. Some things like chemicals, small tools and small parts like nuts and bolts are best stored in closed cabinets.
There are different kinds of shelves from standalone shelve racks to wall and overhead shelves. In this post, I discuss some of the best garage shelving ideas you can add to your own space.
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Best Garage Shelving Ideas
1. Best For Most Garages
If you are looking for affordable garage shelves that can hold a lot of weight, I recommend the Raybe 72” shelving rack.
It has the standard narrow and tall design that works well in most garages. You can fit it in a small space and still have lots of storage space.
The Raybee rack is 72” tall, 31.5” wide and 16.5” deep. It has five shelves, each with a capacity of 400lbs. The rack’s total capacity is 2000lbs.
So it can easily hold most of your tools and other supplies like paint cans and compost or soil bags. Just make sure you distribute the weight among the shelves. Don’t exceed 400lbs for a single shelf.
The shelves are, of course, adjustable. You can also break the entire rack into two shorter racks.
2. Heavy Duty Garage Shelves
If you want shelving that can hold heavier items like multiple cement bags, heavy tool boxes, and gardening equipment, I recommend the Dewalt industrial storage rack.
This is a seriously heavy duty unit. It’s only 4 feet tall (48”), but the rack more than makes up for it in capacity. The total capacity is 4500lbs, more than double that of most garage shelving racks. Each of the three shelves can hold up to 1500lbs.
If you have any extra-heavy stuff in your garage you need to organize, this is one of the best storage racks.
The wire shelves are adjustable allowing you to customize the height of each shelf space. If you need additional storage space, Dewalt says you can stack a second similar rack on top or place it next to the first one.
While the Dewalt rack is not very high, its 50” width provides more horizontal storage than most garage shelves.
3. Plastic Garage Shelves
Metal shelves are the best for garages. They are strong, they can bear a lot of weight and they are durable.
That said, there are situations when cheaper plastic shelving will do. If you want shelves to hold lighter items like plastic bins, power tools, or winter wear, then a plastic rack is adequate.
The Juggernaut resin rack is cheaper than a similar size metal rack. It also has a lower weight limit of 750lbs, or 150lbs for each of the five shelves.
A 150lb capacity per shelf is plenty. You can put several paint cans on the shelf or even a full bag of cement.
The Juggernaut rack is made with heavy duty plastic that won’t warp, bend or crack. And since it’s plastic, you never have to worry about rust.
Another upside of getting the Juggernaut resin shelving is that it’s a lot lighter (28lbs) than a metal rack. This makes it easier to assemble and move.
The only major downside of this particular rack is that the shelves are not adjustable. You have to work with a fixed space between the shelves (about 15.5”).
4. Budget Garage Shelves
You don’t have to get plastic garage shelves if you want to save money. There are some low cost metal racks like this Amazon Basics 5-shelf unit.
There are a couple of things you have to compromise on to get a budget rack like this one.
For one, it’s a bit smaller than a standard garage rack. It’s 24” wide, 14” deep and 60” high. Secondly, it has a limited capacity of 1000lbs or 200lbs per shelf.
That’s still a lot of weight. You can load the shelved with everyday garage items like power tools, lawn mower batteries, potting soil and other things.
The shelves are adjustable, giving you the flexibility to organize your rack to fit specific items.
If you want an even cheaper option, 3 and 4-shelf versions of the Amazon Basics rack are available.
5. Wide Garage Shelves
The standard garage shelving rack is tall and narrow. This design works great in most garages since it saves space.
But if you don’t like reaching high for items, consider getting lower and wider garage shelving. My favorite unit is the Omega 2-tire starter shelving rack.
It’s 48” wide, 24” deep and 36” high. There are also other sizes available, including a 72” wide rack if you need something extra-wide.
Each rack can hold up to 800lbs of weight for a combined capacity of 1600lbs. You can adjust each shelf in 1-inch increments.
6. Wall Mounted Garage Shelves
If you don’t have floor space to spare, consider getting wall mounted garage shelves. Don’t worry, they are usually easy to mount with everything you need included in the box.
Fleximounts is one of the most popular brands when it comes to wall and ceiling mounted shelving racks. Their 2-pack shelving unit provides a combined horizontal storage space of 12 feet. Each rack is 72” long and 24” deep.
One advantage of wall mounted shelves is that you have a lot of flexibility in how you position them since they are not connected.
You can mount them vertically, side by side, or one each side of a corner. When mounting them vertically, you can leave as much space as you want between the racks.
All the parts and hardware you need for mounting are included. Once properly mounted, each shelf holds up to 800lbs of weight.
If two shelves are not enough for your storage needs, there’s a 4-piece pack available for a total storage length of 24 feet.
There’s also an option that comes with hooks that attach to the wire racks. You can hang items like bikes from the hooks.
7. Overhead Garage Rack
Overhead or ceiling mounted racks are another great space-saver in a garage. They are also useful for storing items that you want to protect from water damage.
The main downside of a ceiling-mounted rack is that you can’t access stuff as easily as you would with a floor shelving rack.
So I recommend overhead storage for items that you don’t use often like rock salt or leftover paint cans.
The Fleximounts overhead rack measures 4 by 8 feet and can hold up to 600lbs of weight.
It comes with long ceiling brackets that attach to studs with thick screws. You can set the rack to between 22” and 40” from the ceiling.
This lets you adjust the rack depending on your situation. For instance, you can install the overhead rack over where your vehicle parks or over wall cabinets.
Similar to wall shelves, overhead shelves come with plenty of flexibility. You can get multiple of the Fleximounts racks and install them in a line to create a big overhead storage system.
You can also install the racks right next to a wall. One set of brackets attaches to the ceiling while the other attaches to wall studs.
8. Garage Shelves With Wheels
If you want shelving you can move around the garage or your home, I recommend the Seville Classic 5-tire rolling shelving.
It’s a regular metal rack but with wheels, allowing easy mobility even when the shelves are loaded. Two of the wheels are lockable, so the rack stays put where you position it.
The commercial-grade wire shelves can hold plenty of weight – up to 800lbs per shelf. This gives you a total capacity of 4000lbs distributed among the five shelves.
The Seville Classic rack is 72” high (75” with wheels), 36” wide and 18” deep. A thick epoxy powder coating protects the steel from corrosion, even in the sometimes humid environment of a garage.
Can You Make Your Own Garage Shelving?
DIY garage shelving is also an option if you prefer something custom made.
DIY metal shelving is beyond most people’s skills and resources. Unless you know how to weld and have the right equipment, stick with store-bought metal shelves.
DIY wood shelves are easier to build, but wood is not exactly the best material to have in a garage. The wide temperature fluctuations and varying humidity can affect the performance and longevity of wood shelving.
If you opt for wood shelves, either use outdoor-rated plywood or treat the wood to protect it from moisture and warping.
For most homeowners, however, it is easier and probably even cheaper to buy garage shelving.