Garage hanging storage gets stuff off the floor. Its no secret that clutter is inevitable, and its favorite place to pile up is in the garage. However, by applying either a store-bought system or a home-made garage storage system that hangs from the ceiling, you can easily take charge of the clutter, and store it out of the way. Below is a garage storage solution I made for my own garage. The entire cost of the project was less than $200, and it yielded close to 50 cubic feet of garage storage.
The first thing I had to do was finish the ceiling above my garage door. I could have used the space above for storage, but I decided to insulate it instead to help with heating and cooling. The six wire shelves came from a rack that retails at home improvement centers for around $70. These particular shelves are roughly 2 feet wide and 4 feet long, which in my garage, are perfect for garage hanging storage. For the ceiling supports, I used six 10 foot sections of Unistrut which added up to another $70. Then, I used ¼ Allthread for the shelf supports which cost roughly $10.
The rest of the hardware, which includes lag bolts for attaching the Unistrut to the ceiling, spring nuts for attaching the Allthread to the Unistrut, Fender washers, and ¼ nuts all totaled near $30 bucks. Once I gathered all the parts, it was time fasten the Unistrut to the ceiling joists. I easily found the joists by looking for the drywall screw heads, then eyeballing the approximate location for the garage hanging storage.
To ensure the lag screws got fastened to the center of the joists, I used a small screwdriver about the width of a coat hanger to push through the finished drywall until I knew precisely where the edges of the joists were. Then, I drilled pilot holes at the center point of the joists. Next, I put fender washers over the lag screws, and carefully screwed them in with a ratchet. I repeated the process for all 6 pieces of Unistrut.
The next step, was to install the 1/4" Allthread. After measuring the distance between the peak of my open garage door and the ceiling, I had about 24 inches to work with. Because I didn't want to cut it too close, I decided to cut 6 foot strips of Allthread into 20 inch pieces. There are a variety of ways to cut Allthread. This is yet another nice thing about home-made garage hanging storage... the methods can be as crude as you want! I chose to use a jigsaw with a bi-metal blade. I had to clean up the first ring of threads on most pieces with a thin file, but it really wasn't that big of a deal. Then, it was time to insert the spring nuts into the Unistrut. I measured off equal distances on each piece and set all the spring nuts in place by pushing them in parallel to the Unistrut, then turning them perpendicular to seat them in place. Next, I installed each cut piece of Allthread into the spring nuts.
Next in the garage hanging storage project came attaching the actual shelves to the Allthread. This part was probably the easiest step of all, yet one of the most rewarding because of the visual progress. All it took was pushing the shelf up through the hanging Allthread then adding a fender washer between the bottom of the shelf and the holding nut. Piece of cake!
Finally, the best part... Filling up the new garage hanging storage space with stuff! Yes! It didn't take long for mine to fill up. For the most part, I put seldom used tools and household hardware up there, but the beauty is, anything goes. Of course, it's not a good idea to put really heavy stuff in your garage hanging storage space for two reasons...
First, it makes it harder to get things up and down, and second, your ceiling joists could sag over time, creating costly repairs. So, that's my garage hanging storage project in a nutshell. Can it be done with less money? Absolutely! You can find shelves from second hand stores, flea markets, friends, neighbors, industrial trash, or wherever. You can also use different materials like wood instead of metal, You can save on Unistrut by cutting it into smaller pieces spaced correctly to hang the Allthread as opposed to running it the whole length of the shelf spans like I did.
It all depends on you, your budget, and how you want your garage to look. Most important of all... Have fun with it! You'll enjoy the storage space for years to come.