What Are The Types Of Garage Storage Containers

What Are The Types Of Garage Storage Containers

There are many things you need to do and know before you can start organising your garage. One thing you’ll need to do, for example, is clean out your garage and decide what needs to stay and what you can get rid of.

Determining what types of storage will work best in your garage and organising the things that you keep in your garage is a great place to start. 

But your knowledge should go beyond just types of storage. You should also consider what each type offers regarding features, material, mounting options, and price. A storage solution from Garage Storage Solutions can transform your garage into a social focal point for visitors with a modern look.

Types Of Garage Cabinets

How to Build a Garage Storage Loft

Garage cabinets can come in many different types, including freestanding, rolling, modular, customisable, wall-mounted, and overhead, as well as entire garage storage systems that can help you create the ultimate garage workshop.

Free Standing Cabinets

Freestanding cabinets are the most basic type, with a simple rectangular design and standing 5 to 6 feet tall. 

They have shelves that can be adjusted to a variety of levels so you can organise your tools. However, they don’t attach to other cabinets or fasten to the walls, nor do they have wheels. Instead, a sturdy set of legs or a solid base provides support.

Rolling Cabinets

Rolling cabinets range in size, but their defining feature is a set of wheels that lets you move them around your workshop or garage. They may be part of a modular set, but most are separate from other garage storage systems.

Modular And Customisable Cabinets

Modular and customisable cabinets are designed to be a part of a system of storage. You can arrange them into a customised storage solution based on your space and your needs. In addition, they give you control over the configuration of your cabinetry.

Wall-mounted And Overhead Cabinets

Wall-mounted and overhead cabinets fasten to the walls or ceiling of your garage or workspace, giving you extra storage space without taking up floor space. 

They’re a good choice for making the most of a small space. Overhead cabinets may have built-in lights, providing garage lighting as well as storage.

Garage Storage Systems

A complete garage storage system can include five to 10 pieces of garage furniture, like cabinetry, shelving, and workbenches that fit together to form an organisational system that can store everything from tools to lawnmowers to bicycles. 

These systems are similar to modular cabinets, but they are typically sold as bundles instead of individual pieces. 

The manufacturer predetermines their configuration, so they aren’t as customisable as modular cabinets.

Garage Storage Buying Guide

Storage Options

There are many different sizes of garages out there, and as such, there are many storage options available to you. 

Because there are so many options, it is relatively easy to find combinations that will work best for you, your family, and your garage space.

The most commonly used types of garage storage are cabinets, shelves, sports racks, and tool chests.


Cabinets are a great way to begin organising your garage because they provide a safe place to put things. 

If floor space is an issue in your garage, wall cabinets will work best for you, but a base cabinet will work just fine if floor space is not a problem. You can also combine wall and base cabinets to make a set.

Storage Cabinets

Storage cabinets are either wall-mounted or freestanding. These types of cabinets come in many different colours and are available in many kinds of materials. 

Most have a coating that protects them from rust, corrosion, and scratches. Some other options you have with cabinets are:

  • Adjustable or fixed shelves
  • Pre-assembled or assembly required
  • Wheels or no wheels
  • Drawers or no drawers
  • Lock or no lock

There are three main things to keep in mind when looking for a storage cabinet. The first is thickness. You need to consider what items you will be putting in the cupboards. If you are storing heavier items, you will want a cabinet that has thicker shelves.

The second is the environment that the cabinets will be in. If your garage is not temperature or moisture control, the types of materials you can get your wardrobe in will be limited, as some materials do not withstand the weather or climate as well as others. 

Metal cabinets are the best choice for you if your garage does not have temperature or moisture control.

The third is the layout of your garage. You need to think about how the cabinets will fit with the floor plan. Know wall-to-wall measurements, and be sure to measure while the car is in the garage so you can get an idea of how much space you have to work with.

Safety Cabinets

Safety cabinets are made specifically for keeping hazardous substances such as flammable liquids, pesticides, and corrosives safe from fires. 

In some cases, they can even be used for firearms to provide a safe, secure place to store them so you don’t have to worry about young children getting into them, which could be disastrous.

Safety cabinets are pretty standard, thanks to regulations. There are more restrictions in some states than there are in others. 

The door style is one of those restrictions that differ depending on the state. There are three main types of doors:

Manual: Manual close doors that open 180 degrees and will self-latch when pushed closed.

Sliding: bi-fold door on a spring-loaded track that self-latches and self-closes; has a fusible link that holds the door open and will break at certain temperatures, allowing the door to close.

Self-close: self-indexes, self-closes, and self-latches when you release the doors; has fusible links to hold doors open.

In some states, door style is a matter of preference, but safety cabinets must have self-closing doors in others.

Handles are another option that differs based on state regulations. Some states allow any handle that locks, but others require self-latching handles. Self-latching handles increase safety because they lock automatically. 

This means you do not have to worry about making the mistake of forgetting to rotate the handle to lock it manually.

Complete Storage Systems

Complete storage systems are made up of any combination of cabinets. Most stores require a minimum of three cabinets to make a set, and some locations include more than twelve cabinets.

These combinations can be all freestanding, all wall-mounted, or a variety of both. A lot of combinations give you the option of including a workbench and a pegboard.

When choosing combinations for a complete storage system, you want to be sure you know your storage needs. 

It is all too easy to get carried away and go overboard—then you end up with more storage space than you know what to do with. Not to mention, you will probably end up with a regrettable hole in your wallet.


Shelves are another great storage solution. Like cabinets, you can mount shelves on the wall or get a freestanding unit. 

You can also purchase add-ons that connect in various ways, allowing multiple organisation options.

Freestanding Shelving Units

Freestanding shelves are available in various materials and can have anywhere between two and ten frames. These shelves are either fixed or adjustable, but adjustable is the more popular.

Some freestanding units come with bins to store things, and others come with caster wheels to make moving it easy.

Like with the cabinets, you want to keep weight capacity in mind, as what you plan on storing will influence what kind of shelves you should get.

Add-on Units

Add-on shelves are like freestanding shelves, except they only have two legs, with the other side open. 

This is because they are made to attach to other freestanding shelves. In addition, there are many ways you can connect add-ons—two of the most popular side and corner attachments.

Attaching it to the side of the starter unit will make a longer shelf that you can then line your garage wall with. 

Attaching it to a corner of the starter unit will make it into an “L” shape ideal for placing in a corner.

Wall-mounted Storage Shelves

Wall-mounted shelves are perfect for small garages with no floor space to accommodate freestanding cabinets or shelves. 

Some shelves, like wire ones, have accessories that allow you to attach racks or other storage devices to the underside of the frame.

Wall-mounted shelves allow you to make the most of your wall space (or vertical space) and keep your stored belongings off the floor. 

This maximises floor space, increases overall garage storage capacity, and provides a safer working environment.

Ceiling Shelving

Ceiling-mounted shelves are great because they take advantage of that unused space above the garage door. 

Before you go out and buy these, though, you need first to measure the space between the ceiling and the top of your (open) garage door. You need at least sixteen inches between the roof and the door for the shelving to be functional.

While these shelves are designed to fit between the ceiling and the garage door, you can use them elsewhere in the garage, too. 

This option allows you to adjust the height of the shelf to your liking, and the only limitation would be weight.

With these shelves, keep in mind that you want to store stuff on them that you don’t use very often because you will need a step ladder to get to it.


Often, the clutter in our garages comes from bikes and other sports equipment that we have no other place to store. 

Investing in racks can help with this problem. Yes, you still have to store them in the garage, but they won’t take up as much space.

There is pretty much a rack for everything: bikes and kayaks, snowboards and skis, surfboards and paddle boats, sports equipment; you name it, it’s probably out there. 

And the great thing is that there are multiple mounting options available, so you can choose a rack that best fits the space available to you.

Bike Rack

There is a perfect bike rack for every garage, available in freestanding, wall-mounted, and ceiling-mounted options. The freestanding ones tend to take up more floor space but can typically fit more bikes in them.

The wall-mounted ones allow you to get your bikes off the floor. Plus, there are many options on how to hang bikes from wall-mounted racks. 

Depending on which kind you get, the ceiling-mounted ones have the potential to store more bikes than freestanding racks. 

Like the wall-mounted racks, there are many options available to hang a bike from a ceiling-mounted rack.

If space is a problem for you, there are space-saving bicycle racks available in freestanding, wall-mounted, and ceiling-mounted options, although the freestanding space-saving racks only fit up to two bikes.

Ski/Snowboard Rack

Ski/snowboard racks are only available in the wall-mounted option, but a couple of wall-mounted options are unmarried. 

You can either have a rack that stores the skis and snowboards vertically or one that keeps them horizontally.

The wall mounts that offer vertical storage tend to keep your skis and snowboards more secure, as a lot of the horizontal ones work more like tables, meaning your skis and snowboards could easily be knocked out of place. 

The vertical ones also tend to take up less space than the horizontal ones.

Sports Rack

Sports racks, like bike racks, are also available in freestanding, wall-mounted, or ceiling-mounted options. 

There are many options available to you for each of these types, but freestanding seems to be the most popular because they tend to have more room to store your sports equipment.

The wall-mounted ones have fewer selections to choose from than the freestanding ones, and most don’t hold as much, but some can hold quite a bit of equipment. 

They have sports racks for golf sets, lawn chairs, baseball equipment, and even racks with nets made specifically for storing balls.

The ceiling-mounted ones aren’t as popular and have even fewer choices available to you than the other two, but if floor and wall space is an issue in your garage, a ceiling-mounted sports rack could be the best choice.

Kayak Rack

For storing kayaks, you can either choose a freestanding rack or a wall-mounted rack. The freestanding ones aren’t as popular, as they take up more floor space in your garage, especially once you put your kayaks on them.

Some wall-mounted ones can store up to three kayaks, and you can select a rack with hooks to place your kayaks on or a frame with slings to slide your kayaks in. 

Some of the sling variations can be hung from the ceiling, but they are considered wall-mounts because the kayak itself is on the wall.

Surfboard/Sup Rack

Surfboard racks often double as stand-up paddleboard (SUP) racks. They are either freestanding or wall-mounted, but there are limited options for freestanding surfboard/paddleboard racks.

The wall-mounted variety tends to fit more boards than the freestanding ones anyway. Not to mention, it saves some floor space.

Fishing Rack

Because fishing poles take up a relatively small amount of room, it doesn’t matter if you purchase a freestanding or a wall-mounted rack for them. 

Both types will hold many fishing poles, and both will not take up that much space in the garage. Can I find garage storage cabinets to match my style? Absolutely! Even the cabinets in the garage should reflect your unique tastes and style. Garage Storage Solutions offers stylish storage in a variety of materials and finishes.

Tool Storage

Another thing that tends to clutter up garage space is tools. Unfortunately, some people have more tools than they know what to do with. 

You can solve part of this problem in the cleaning-out process that you should go through before installing any storage options for Workbenches.

The rest of the problem lies with the leftover tools after the cleaning-out process. It is these tools that you must find a space for. 

Fortunately, there are many tool chests to choose from—and in many different sizes—that will store all those tools that have nowhere else to go.

Top Chest

Top chests can have between one and three drawers to more than twelve drawers, so one bin could do the trick depending on how many tools you must store. Many top containers have the following feature options:

  • Handles
  • Wheels
  • Locking mechanism
Middle Chest

Middle chests are typically smaller than top chests; they can have anywhere between one and six drawers. 

They come with the option of having handles and a locking system, but not wheels. This will be a good tool chest if you do not have that many tools to store.

Bottom Rollaway Chest

Bottom rollaway chests have the most options for you to choose from: wheels or no wheels, handle or no handle, lock or no lock, one to three drawers or more than twelve drawers. 

They are the most customisable and typically have the most room for tools. In addition, the handle and wheels make it easy to move, which is ideal, especially since many devices can make it heavy.

Combination Set

A combination set usually consists of a top chest, a middle chest, and a bottom rollaway chest. Still, there are limitless possibilities with all the different options available for top, middle, and bottom compartments.

Garage Storage Materials

What Are The Ways To Organise Tools2

It was mentioned briefly in the cabinets section of this article, but the materials you choose to get your garage storage in really does matter. 

Some materials do better in the weather than others, and some materials have better protection against rust than others. Some are more sturdy and durable than others.

This section of the guide will tell you which materials are best to help you narrow down your search.


Metal cabinets or shelves, such as those made from steel or aluminium, are the most popular material type, and for a good reason. 

Metal is renowned for its strength. It can hold a lot of weight, and the chances of bowing or breaking in your lifetime are slim.

Metal has its limits, however. For example, it may have sharp edges or corners, making it potentially dangerous, especially if you have children. 

It stands up to water and moisture well enough, but it is susceptible to rust. You should note, though, that most metal products used in outdoor environments are treated with rust-preventing agents that will delay the appearance of rust.


Wood is a timeless option, as it is available in many sizes, designs, colours, grain finishes, and styles. 

And when you get bored with one colour, you can simply repaint rather than re-buy. You can cut wooden shelves to fit your wall perfectly.

The biggest drawback to wood cabinets is that they are not as resistant to moisture as other materials are. 

When exposed to these elements, the wood may crack, bow, or break. Also, you would need to maintain the wood regularly to keep it in tip-top shape.


Plastic cabinets offer a cost-effective way to store your belongings. Not to mention that plastic is virtually maintenance-free and easy to clean. 

It is also water-resistant, which means it will do well in garages that get moist. These things make plastic cabinets super durable, adding up to a long lifespan.

The downside to plastic is the adage, “you get what you pay for.” Plastic is cheap, which, unfortunately, means it is also low-quality. 

Plastic is not designed to take heavy lifting. Storing heavy items on plastic cabinets or shelves can cause splintering, cracking, or even buckling, so you should look at other materials if you have heavy items to store.

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) is popular because it is inexpensive but still durable at the same time. Its smooth surface makes it perfect for painting but also makes it easier to see scratches.

A word of caution, though: MDF’s edges and corners are easy to crush, so you need to handle it with care. Also, MDF does not hold up well in moist environments, so if your garage is leaky, MDF may not be the best choice.


This one refers specifically to shelves. Wire shelving is one of the less expensive options. They are also super easy to upkeep and clean. 

They are also available in many different sizes and shapes, so there is one out there that is perfect for your garage.

Unless you can get them mounted on studs, wire shelves won’t support a significant amount of weight, at least not for extended periods. But the open construction allows airflow to circulate, decreasing the chance of mould or mildew.

There are many ways you can organise your garage, but before you begin, there are some final things you need to consider.


Garage storage costs vary vastly depending on many factors. For example, how many cabinets and shelves do you need? What kind of rack? 

What kind of tool chest? Then there’s the materials they’re made from, the size selection, the brand, and any extra features you may want to add.

For cabinets, the smaller ones are usually less than $100, but the bigger, higher-end ones can go from anywhere between $250 and $1,000. 

Safety cabinets can’t be found for less than $250, and complete storage systems can go for more than $5,000. Prices vary depending on the brand of the cabinet.

You can find decent shelves for under $100, but those with special features can go for more than that. Most frames are under $750.

Most racks are between $50 and $500. The pricing depends on the type of rack (bike, kayak, etc.) you are getting. Also, whether it’s freestanding, wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted may affect the price.

Tool chests can be as little as $250 or more than $2,500; it all largely depends on style and how many drawers you want. Some top and middle chests can be bought for less than $250.

Another thing to consider is whether you will install cabinets and shelves that need to be mounted by yourself. But, again, if you will have a professional do it, that’s an added cost.

Key Features

The features that cabinets, shelves, and tool chests offer were already briefly discussed, but here we will go over some of the more key features from each one to help you get a better idea of what you want.

Adjustable Or Fixed Shelves

This feature is available for both cabinets and shelves. The main thing you want to consider is what you’ll be storing. 

If it is a bigger item, fixed shelves may not offer enough room to store it. Ask yourself, “do I want to be able to adjust the shelves as my storage needs change?” If the answer is yes, you will want to look for adjustable shelves. If the answer is no, you will want to look for fixed shelves.

Lock Or No Lock

Do you have children? If you do, you may want to consider getting a cabinet or tool chest that locks to keep potentially hazardous substances or dangerous tools away from them.

Wheels Or No Wheels

This was an option that was available for cabinets, shelves, and tool chests. If you want to move these things with ease, you should consider getting them with wheels. 

An advantage to getting them with wheels is that you can rearrange their positions in your garage whenever you want, either to accommodate new storage or because you want a fresh look.

Diy Options

If you’re a handyman and want to customise your garage storage pieces, there are many ways to do so. However, doing it yourself has its perks. For one, it’s cheaper, and two, you can completely customise cabinets and shelves to fit your garage perfectly.

Choosing The Best Garage Storage

Thanks for checking out our guide to the best storage. As you can see, there are so many great garage storage ideas. There are bins of all shapes and sizes with different portability, durability, and functionality. Garage storage wall hooks should form part of any garage makeover as they provide a clean and really easy way to lift anything from your garage floor and have it accessible via your garage wall.

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