Garage Ceiling Storage: The Storage Solution Hiding in Plain Sight

garage ceiling storage hero

You walk into a garage filled with clutter that covers the floor from wall to wall. Then you look up at the garage ceiling area and notice all that open space is completely unused. Meanwhile, the homeowner’s vehicles are left parked in the driveway.

What’s wrong with this picture?

This illogical scenario is more common than you might expect. Garage ceiling storage space is surprisingly underutilized.

Not taking advantage of your garage’s vertical storage space makes it much harder than it has to be to keep a garage organized and functional.

The 3 keys to maximizing garage storage space

Maximizing a garage’s storage space (for the ceiling and the entire room) is more simple than you might think. Here are the three keys to achieving this goal:

  1. Reduce or eliminate the amount of clutter and non-essential items in the garage.
  2. Strategically locate where your storage systems are installed.
  3. Buy well-designed storage systems that are highly functional.

Seriously, that’s it. Follow these three golden rules and you’ll set your garage up to flourish as an efficient home storage space.

Let’s take a look at a few important things related specifically to garage ceiling storage, including why homeowners don’t use their garage’s overhead space more, some common garage ceiling storage systems, and items that are ideal for overhead storage.

3 reasons garage ceiling storage gets overlooked

1. The solution is hiding in plain sight

Sometimes the answer to a problem is staring us right in the face and it’s almost too obvious to see. That’s one of the reasons a lot of people never consider using the upper areas of their garage for storage.

The garage walls, another woefully underused storage space, also fall into this category.

2. It may not seem practical

Garages in older homes tend to have ceilings with lower heights (overhead clearances in the 8-10 foot range are not uncommon). It’s understandable that a garage with low ceilings wouldn’t be making use of overhead storage systems because it may seem unpractical.

You can still expand your storage space, even with a low garage ceiling height, however. Even if you’re adding smaller garage ceiling storage systems that hold fewer things than a large space can, every little bit counts. Of course, you don’t want to overstuff the garage with storage systems to the point where there’s very little room left to park your vehicles comfortably.

Look at it this way: if something can be stored up high in the garage, that means it’s not cluttering up your floor.

3. Unfamiliarity

Another reason for the lack of garage ceiling storage space being used is simple – unfamiliarity. Most homeowners have no idea about the many types of garage overhead storage solutions that are available.

It’s the kind of thing that is easy to be in the dark about if you’re not in the process of planning a remodel and gotten an idea of which modern garage storage and organization systems are available. Or perhaps you haven’t had the opportunity to see a neighbor’s or friend’s relatively recent garage makeover, which can plant the seed for ideas in which your garage can be improved.

garage cabinets and overhead racks

All of the bulky items stored in these overhead racks would be taking up too much of the floor’s valuable space.

6 common types of garage ceiling storage systems

10-15 years ago, most people’s idea of a garage ceiling storage system involved some DIY shelving mounted up high on the walls or sliding skis or spare pieces of lumber between their ceiling joists.

Nowadays, there are lots of products designed to take advantage of your garage’s ceiling space for storing items. Here are the most common types of garage ceiling storage systems:

  1. Heavy-duty overhead racks: this is your best option for storing heavier items because of their high weight capacities (Garage Living’s overhead racks support up to 600 lbs). This type of rack, which has a wire mesh platform, is installed on the ceiling joists and anchored to the wall for additional support. Look for a model that has a durable powder-coated finish and can be adjusted.
  2. Moveable storage lift racks: these racks have a metal platform that can be raised and lowered with a wire or rope pulley hoist system that is powered by a hand crank or motor. There are also storage lift racks that move up and down using a scissor lift-style system.
  3. Storage hoist systems: these are similar to the wire/rope pulley storage lift rack system, but they don’t use a platform and are designed to store one specific item. Commonly, this includes things like wheelbarrows, ladders, kayaks and canoes, and car roof cargo boxes.
  4. Ceiling-mounted tracks with storage bins: a system of rails or tracks are mounted on the ceiling and plastic storage bins can be slid in and out.
  5. Ceiling-mounted storage hooks: this is the simplest and cheapest method to store things in a garage’s ceiling area since all you have to do is screw hooks into the ceiling joists to hang things. This is one of the more common bike garage storage ideas people use.
  6. Overhead storage hangers: another type of storage product that is typically designed for one specific item. These hangers are installed on the ceiling or upper walls (or both) and have arms that will support items like ladders, skis and snowboards, surfboards, and kayaks.
woman putting storage bin in overhead rack

This heavy-duty overhead rack is designed to hold bulky items and a lot of weight.

Items that are perfect for overhead garage storage

Many of the things that sit on the floor of messy garages are bulky and heavy. By simply moving them into the upper reaches of the room, a huge amount of valuable floor space can be freed up.

That instantly makes your garage more parking-friendly and capable of being used for other functions, such as a workshop or for exercising.

Here are just a few of the many things that are ideal for storing in a garage’s ceiling area:

  • storage bins
  • sporting goods and outdoor toys
  • out-of-season patio furniture
  • seasonal tires
  • holiday decorations
  • out-of-season lawn, gardening, and landscaping tools
  • camping gear

All of the above items are the more obvious choices for storing in a garage’s overhead space. Now think outside the box. How about one or more of your family’s vehicles?

Yes, even cars can leverage the underused vertical space in a garage with a car lift. This handy product expands the parking capabilities of a garage by raising a vehicle so another vehicle can be parked underneath it.

Double car lift

Garage ceiling storage isn’t just for things like storage bins, tools, and seasonal tires. Car lifts can also take advantage of this underused space.

We have garage ceiling storage solutions (and more)

Don’t let your garage’s valuable ceiling storage space go to waste while you deal with the headache of floor clutter on a daily basis.

Garage Living will change the way your garage functions with our storage systems for the ceiling. We also carry the best organization and storage systems for the rest of the garage, such as slatwall and cabinet systems.

Transform your garage into a high-performance space in both looks and function by scheduling a free design consultation with us.

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MENTIONED IN
Miami Herald Dwell Architectural Digest This Old House The Globe and Mail HGTV House of Bryan Vancouver Sun
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