Best Options for Garage Shelving: Leader of the Pack Rat

Top 8 Best Garage Shelves

best options for garage shelving leader of the pack rat

There’s a general understanding amongst gearheads that no matter how big one’s garage or storage space, it’ll eventually fill up. A two car garage will be just as full as a single, while that 40’ x 40′ unit your neighbor is building will be filled to capacity by year’s end. It’s just the natural order of things.

And before you get yer knickers in a knot, we’ll be doing a separate post about storage cabinets and workbenches. This list is simply about shelves – and trust us, you need more of them than you think. Your author is partial to shelves that hang from the ceiling to keep floor space free, but those that rise from floor to ceiling have their place as well. It’s always a good idea to mount these securely – especially the ones hanging from the rafters.

Just make sure to sell that box full of parts in the corner which fit a car you haven’t owned in a decade, ok?

Table of Contents

1. Editor's Choice: Fleximounts Overhead Garage Storage Storage Shelf

True to his word, this author is kicking off with a product he would actually buy. This garage shelving will keep your gear off the floor, freeing up space for what's supposed to be in the garage - cars. Suspended by robust angle iron, the whole unit weighs over 40 pounds, so make sure the brackets are securely fastened into a roof joist and not just the gypsum or ceiling tile.

A 22-inch to 40-inch ceiling dropdown provides up to 60 cubic feet of storage space depending on how closely you mount this thing to the ceiling. Surface dimensions are three feet by six feet, making it ideal for organizational tools like Rubbermaid containers but also suitable for those boxes of junkyard parts you keep meaning to sort through.

Pros

  • Off the floor, 450-pound capacity

Cons

  • You'll probably need a ladder to access it

Bottom Line

  • A smart use of garage space

True to his word, this author is kicking off with a product he would actually buy. This garage shelving will keep your gear off the floor, freeing up space for what's supposed to be in the garage - cars. Suspended by robust angle iron, the whole unit weighs over 40 pounds, so make sure the brackets are securely fastened into a roof joist and not just the gypsum or ceiling tile.

A 22-inch to 40-inch ceiling dropdown provides up to 60 cubic feet of storage space depending on how closely you mount this thing to the ceiling. Surface dimensions are three feet by six feet, making it ideal for organizational tools like Rubbermaid containers but also suitable for those boxes of junkyard parts you keep meaning to sort through.

2. AmazonBasics 5-Shelf Heavy Duty Storage Shelving Unit

Looking for all the world like a chip rack hauled straight out of a rural general store, this shelving system from the House of Bezos mixes wire platforms with plastic endcaps. It's available in a couple of different colors and with or without casters (we'd bin them for stability).

Amazon says it'll bear about 1,750 pounds of evenly distributed weight, meaning you can't park the kid's dirt bike on it so don't even try. Creating vertical space is never a bad idea and this shelf will certainly get the likes of gas cans and toolboxes off the floor.

Pros

  • Five shelves, convenient size

Cons

  • Wire racking means stuff can fall through

Bottom Line

  • You can put at least 300 pounds of detritus on each shelf

Looking for all the world like a chip rack hauled straight out of a rural general store, this shelving system from the House of Bezos mixes wire platforms with plastic endcaps. It's available in a couple of different colors and with or without casters (we'd bin them for stability).

Amazon says it'll bear about 1,750 pounds of evenly distributed weight, meaning you can't park the kid's dirt bike on it so don't even try. Creating vertical space is never a bad idea and this shelf will certainly get the likes of gas cans and toolboxes off the floor.

3. HyLoft Folding Storage TireLoft

Yes, this is a specific-use shelf ... but it's still a shelf. It's also the one residing on the wall of my garage holding a quartet of 18-inch mud tires for the truck. Adjustable in width, this unit can hold a range of tire sizes and is good for about 300 pounds in total.

Installation requires it to be securely bolted into wall studs, not to mention the need for it to be level. After all, tires are round and can roll away. If you're confident with those skills, this rack is easy to set up and folds away when not in use.

Pros

  • Gets space-robbing spare tires off the floor

Cons

  • Patience-testing installation

Bottom Line

  • Gets a real-world thumbs up from me

Yes, this is a specific-use shelf ... but it's still a shelf. It's also the one residing on the wall of my garage holding a quartet of 18-inch mud tires for the truck. Adjustable in width, this unit can hold a range of tire sizes and is good for about 300 pounds in total.

Installation requires it to be securely bolted into wall studs, not to mention the need for it to be level. After all, tires are round and can roll away. If you're confident with those skills, this rack is easy to set up and folds away when not in use.

4. Wall Control Pegboard Organizer

This handy pegboard is now offered in more colors than the vast majority of cars on sale today. In fact, there are no fewer than 35 hue combinations when considering both the backboard and shelf options. It all makes for a good way to organize tools and other garage necessities. The advantage of having tools on display is twofold: they’re at hand and you can show them off. Doesn't do anything for theft prevention, though.

This is a metal pegboard, purported to be many multiples stronger than one hewn from traditional materials. This also means it’s magnetic. Three 16 in x 32 in Black powder-coated pegboard panels combine for a total tool storage area of 48 in x 32 in which will accommodate many pegboard hooks.

Pros

  • Looks great, endless customization

Cons

  • You'll forever be buying more pegboard hooks

Bottom Line

  • Doubles as a wall feature

This handy pegboard is now offered in more colors than the vast majority of cars on sale today. In fact, there are no fewer than 35 hue combinations when considering both the backboard and shelf options. It all makes for a good way to organize tools and other garage necessities. The advantage of having tools on display is twofold: they’re at hand and you can show them off. Doesn't do anything for theft prevention, though.

This is a metal pegboard, purported to be many multiples stronger than one hewn from traditional materials. This also means it’s magnetic. Three 16 in x 32 in Black powder-coated pegboard panels combine for a total tool storage area of 48 in x 32 in which will accommodate many pegboard hooks.

5. Fleximounts Garage Wall Shelving

Similar in concept, if not spirit, like the ceiling-mounted shelves listed at the beginning of this list, are these wall-mounted units. Offered by the same company as those roof hangers, these units provide a surface measuring two feet by six feet. There are a pair of shelves in the pack.

Supported by multiple wall hangers and a robust crossbar, these shelves are listed as being able to bear "up to 400lbs total". We will err on the side of caution and assume that figure refers to both shelves, putting capacity at 200 pounds apiece. We recommend you do the same. High-quality screws are provided in the kit; make sure to mount the supports for these shelves into wall studs lest the works of it come crashing down with the grace of a drunk elephant.

Pros

  • Provides storage space up and out of the way, affordable

Cons

  • Will require precise bracket placement

Bottom Line

  • Measure twice, install once

Similar in concept, if not spirit, like the ceiling-mounted shelves listed at the beginning of this list, are these wall-mounted units. Offered by the same company as those roof hangers, these units provide a surface measuring two feet by six feet. There are a pair of shelves in the pack.

Supported by multiple wall hangers and a robust crossbar, these shelves are listed as being able to bear "up to 400lbs total". We will err on the side of caution and assume that figure refers to both shelves, putting capacity at 200 pounds apiece. We recommend you do the same. High-quality screws are provided in the kit; make sure to mount the supports for these shelves into wall studs lest the works of it come crashing down with the grace of a drunk elephant.

6. Smaid 12-Pack Garage Storage Hooks & Hangers

Yeah, ok - technically not a shelf. But these hooks and hangers provide the same benefit of getting your crap up and off the garage floor by creating space on which to hang items like ladders, shovels, and even some larger tools. When properly installed, these hooks can apparently hold better than 75 pounds each.

A dozen hooks are included in this pack, arriving in five sizes from flat arms over a half-foot deep (perfect for a ladder) to curved hooks that'd be ideal for holding a big hammer or mallet. Each hanger hook provides 2 types of screws for use on wooden, brick or concrete walls.

Pros

  • Can literally be placed just about anywhere

Cons

  • Not technically a shelf

Bottom Line

  • Endless customization options

Yeah, ok - technically not a shelf. But these hooks and hangers provide the same benefit of getting your crap up and off the garage floor by creating space on which to hang items like ladders, shovels, and even some larger tools. When properly installed, these hooks can apparently hold better than 75 pounds each.

A dozen hooks are included in this pack, arriving in five sizes from flat arms over a half-foot deep (perfect for a ladder) to curved hooks that'd be ideal for holding a big hammer or mallet. Each hanger hook provides 2 types of screws for use on wooden, brick or concrete walls.

7. RhinoShelf RhinoMini Universal Shelf Kits

Part of a larger storage system, this RhinoMini shelf is intended as a universal wall-mounted design that does not compromise your ceiling. If you think that to be an odd statement, then you've never witnessed the devastating hack jobs that some people do installing those hang-from-above shelving systems.

RhinoMini is available in a ton of sizes, ranging from just 4 feet long to nearly 20. The seller describes them as "economical, strong, and attractive", adjectives that have also been used to describe your author but you'll have to guess which ones.

Pros

  • Many options, looks tidy

Cons

  • Very expensive

Bottom Line

  • Get what you pay for

Part of a larger storage system, this RhinoMini shelf is intended as a universal wall-mounted design that does not compromise your ceiling. If you think that to be an odd statement, then you've never witnessed the devastating hack jobs that some people do installing those hang-from-above shelving systems.

RhinoMini is available in a ton of sizes, ranging from just 4 feet long to nearly 20. The seller describes them as "economical, strong, and attractive", adjectives that have also been used to describe your author but you'll have to guess which ones.

8. 2x4basics Custom Shelving and Storage System

Fancy yourself a bit of a carpenter? On good terms with the crew down at the building center? Then this may be a good option. Essentially, the seller is providing the end caps and hardware to create a shelving system. Getting the lumber itself is your job. These days, with lumber in demand and prices stretching into the stratosphere, that may be easier said than done.

Nevertheless, the end caps in this kit made of heavy-duty industrial resin which permits the construction of strong, custom-sized shelves after you’ve picked up a few lengths of 2×4 lumber. Once joined with the wood, each shelf can apparently support spans up to 8 feet in length. Finished shelf depth is 16 inches.

Pros

  • Dirt cheap, an ingeniously simple solution

Cons

  • The kit is dirt cheap but the lumber is not

Bottom Line

  • Break out the tools then store them on a shelf you made

Fancy yourself a bit of a carpenter? On good terms with the crew down at the building center? Then this may be a good option. Essentially, the seller is providing the end caps and hardware to create a shelving system. Getting the lumber itself is your job. These days, with lumber in demand and prices stretching into the stratosphere, that may be easier said than done.

Nevertheless, the end caps in this kit made of heavy-duty industrial resin which permits the construction of strong, custom-sized shelves after you’ve picked up a few lengths of 2×4 lumber. Once joined with the wood, each shelf can apparently support spans up to 8 feet in length. Finished shelf depth is 16 inches.

FAQs

What is the best shelving for a garage?

Every garage is different and so does the spare floor space it has. Therefore, when talking about shelving, the storage that is best for one garage might not be a good choice for another.

For instance, you may not have enough room for floor shelving but the items you want to store are heavy. In such a case, overhead garage storage would be the right selection. Likewise, if the items are light in weight, you can go for wall shelves that have no legs and can be installed directly on the wall.

Listed below are a couple of options that you may find suitable according to your garage’s real estate:

FLEXIMOUNTS 4 x 8 Overhead ( Buy here!)

This one can be installed on the roof and can hold up to 270Kg (600lbs) of weight. The storage has 6 vertical posts for a strong grip. However, the shelving cannot be fixed to a metal ceiling/roof.

HyLoft 777 Wall Shelf ( Buy here!)

Shipped in a pack of 2, these wall shelves don’t need floor space and can be installed directly on any of the walls of the garage. Each of these can hold up to 68Kg (150lbs) of weight.

HOMEDANT 5-Tier Heavy Duty Metal Shelving ( Buy here!)

A standard storage shelving with 5 shelves, where each shelf can hold up to 118Kg (264lbs) which makes the total capacity of up to 590Kg.

Is it cheaper to buy or build garage shelves?

It is always cheaper to build garage shelves as compared to going for the readymade ones. In addition, tailored shelving matches your exact needs and you also get to choose the material of your preference which makes the setup last longer

How deep should garage shelves be?

Ideally, a 16” depth is appropriate if you want to store large items. As for the smaller ones, it would be good to have a 12” deep shelving.

How do I hang shelves in my garage?

You can follow the simple procedure that is given below to install storage shelves in your garage:

Use a pencil or any other marker to mark points horizontally at equal height on your wall

Grab wooden shelving (a wooden plank of the desired length) and place it over the marks that you made in the previous step

Use the screws to fix the shelving on the wall

Follow the same process to Install one more shelving at some height

If required and if the space of the wall allows, install more shelving at an equal vertical distance

Once done, install another layer of shelving over the first ones, and use the nails to hold them in place temporarily

Next, install a wooden plank vertically on either side of the second layer of horizontal planks. Because these will work as the legs of the shelving, make sure that the vertical planks are long enough to reach the level of the highest horizontal plank from the ground

Now, remove the supporting nails that were used to temporarily fix the second layer of horizontal planks. Notice that you now have the second set of shelves that is an exact copy of what you installed on the wall. Also notice that the second set has two vertical planks that will act as the stand

Detach the second set from the first one that is installed on the wall

After this, install 14.5” to 15” or 18.5” to 19” wooden cleats on the wooden planks on the wall. Make sure that the cleats are installed at an equal horizontal distance that is big enough to accommodate wide boxes or tools

Screw the second set with the legs to your side of the cleats

Finally, place and screw strong wooden plyboards to bridge the gaps between the two sets of wooden shelving to create the platforms

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our [s]‘90s sedan shopping habits[/s] operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Rental Reviews, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main Photo Credit: urfin/Shutterstock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

Comments
Join the conversation
2 of 17 comments
  • Mattb47 Mattb47 on Feb 27, 2022

    Another plug for Gladiator shelves. They're about as good as you can get without going to full blown commercial-grade heavy-duty shelving. For the vast majority of home users, the Gladiators will last nearly forever and work perfectly. Watch out, too, on Edsal / Muscle Rack shelving, which is sold all over the place. Many units do not come with the post couplers. Without the couplers, the 2-piece vertical posts do not connect securely. And you're forced to mount a shelf where the 2 post pieces connect. With the couplers, post connections are good, and you can mount shelves anywhere. Edsal / Muscle Rack *should* include these with all their racks, but don't. And finding these coupler aftermarket is difficult. The Gladiators have much more secure post connections, and shelf placement isn't a potential problem.

  • Secret Hi5 Secret Hi5 on Feb 27, 2022

    “Just make sure to sell that box full of parts in the corner which fit a car you haven’t owned in a decade…”’ How’d you know?? -_-

Next