Although we tend to think of garages mainly as short- and long-term parking spaces for the cars, they’re actually pretty good multitaskers. If you deck yours out with the best garage cabinets, it will also serve as a decent storage area for your tools and all the things you can’t fit inside the house.
The first thing to think about when installing garage storage is what future remodeling you might be doing to the space. Permanent fixtures allow for less flexibility with future garage upgrades. Next, consider what you’ll be storing. If you or anyone else will be doing carpentry work inside the garage—and if there is enough space to accommodate such grand ambitions—you should consider storage that incorporates a workbench. For those who decide to get one that’s separate from the storage, it’s a good idea to get the workbench first and plan the cabinet or shelf storage around it.
Finally, don’t forget the primary purpose of this part of the house. Garage storage and organization should be secondary to the cars that will be taking up most of the space. Garage cabinet systems must allow for the easy opening and closing of both the garage door and the door leading into and out of the house. The point of the best garage cabinets is to make the space as functional as possible, not serve as barriers to such essential activities as using doors and getting in and out of cars.
- Best wall-mounted garage cabinets: Bold 3.0 Grey 7 PC (48″ Stainless Top, LED Light, LED EXT, 48″ Back Splash)
- Best garage storage shelves: FLEXIMOUNTS 2-Pack Floating Shelves
- Best free-standing garage cabinets: Rubbermaid 72-Inch Four-Shelf Double-Door Resin Storage Cabinet
- Best garage tool cabinets: Power Tools Storage Organizers and Cabinets
- Best garage cabinet systems: Ulti-MATE 8-Piece Garage Cabinet Kit with Bamboo Worktop
- Best rolling garage cabinet: Seville Classics UltraHD 12-Drawer Rolling Workbench
- Best cheap garage cabinets: Seville Classics Wall Cabinet Storage
The hunt for the best garage cabinets isn’t as simple as buying a few storage cubicles and calling it a day. Start with a checklist of questions: Do you want metal garage cabinets, wood ones, or some other type of material? Do you prefer mounted garage wall cabinets or garage storage cabinets on wheels? Once you figure out what you’ll be storing in your garage, you’ll have a clearer idea of what kind to get.
Related: Best bike storage: Wall mounts, bike hooks, and more bike storage ideas
Should you get wall-mounted garage cabinets?
There are myriad benefits to getting wall-mounted garage cabinets—namely that they are more permanent fixtures than free-standing cubbies that sit on the floor. Depending on your taste and the space, these units can either be in the form of enclosed cabinets with doors or wall-mounted shelves. They are typically raised above ground level, so they make it easy to clean underneath the cabinets, and they make the space they are in appear less cluttered. Wall-mounted garage cabinets are also sturdier, and garage storage shelves require less bending than most standalone models. Both are less prone to wobbling around.
This type of organizing system does come with a few downsides. They require installation, and they can’t be easily rearranged once they’ve been mounted to the wall. Also, they may not be as tall as standalone units, which may mean storing longer items elsewhere in the garage. And if you prefer things to be out of sight and out of mind when not in use, wall-mounted storage shelves won’t keep anything hidden.
If the cons of permanent garage storage outweigh the pros, and you aren’t good with a hammer and other tools, make sure you consider the cost of hiring someone to install garage wall cabinets when comparing their price to that of other types of storage.
Best wall-mounted garage cabinets: Bold 3.0 Grey 7 PC (48″ Stainless Top, LED Light, LED EXT, 48″ Back Splash)
These cabinets have lockable doors, and the base can be fixed securely to the wall. Amazon
This item offers a combination of drawers and multi-sized cabinets, and although the base is designed to be secured to the wall, wheels make the tool-cabinet portion fully portable. The worktop is made of stainless steel, so you won’t have to worry about messy jobs leaving permanent marks.
Best garage storage shelves: FLEXIMOUNTS 2-Pack Floating Shelves
These may not look particularly sturdy, but together they can hold up to 400 pounds. Amazon
These are made to be installed solo using the materials included and can be secured to wall studs or solid concrete. The various parts can be arranged in assorted ways—parallel, pyramid, staggered, etc.—to accommodate different design tastes.
What about free-standing cabinets?
As previously mentioned, free-standing cabinets are a popular option for garage storage and organization that come with several limitations. If they sit on the floor, you won’t be able to clean under them, and you’ll probably have to do a bit more bending to retrieve items and replace them after using. Although they may wobble around a bit, they’ll likely be tall enough to store anything inside, and they’ll be easier to move around if and when you decide to give your garage a brand new look.
Best free-standing garage cabinets: Rubbermaid 72-Inch Four-Shelf Double-Door Resin Storage Cabinet
The parts snap together easily, so no tools are required, and no installation is necessary. Amazon
The shelves inside, which cannot be adjusted or removed, hold a maximum weight of 690 pounds, and the high-density polyethylene will not rust, dent, rot, or peel, unlike metal and wooden cabinets.
What can you do about tool storage?
Steel cabinets work best for tool storage in garages. The drawers should be deep and fully extendable to permit the placement of bulky tools, and they should be padded to protect both the tools and the drawers and to stop the tools from moving around inside. Some come with convenience features like surge protectors, organizing trays, and USB charging ports.
If you are adding tool storage to an existing garage storage system, consider stackable chests that you can place on top. Tool boxes, tool bags, and tool belts are decent alternatives to bulky tool storage, as are peg boards with multi-tool hangers.
Best garage tool cabinets: Power Tools Storage Organizers and Cabinets
Solid, Polished Wood
A built-in outlet makes this a more convenient and self-contained option. Amazon
This was designed with variety in mind. It can hold small objects like hammers and clamps, power drills, and hanging tools, and the wood is moisture-proof and resists erosion. There are no drawers or doors, however, so all of your tools will always be in plain sight.
When choosing your garage storage, you can opt for individual cabinets or a full system. One of the big benefits of garage cabinet systems is that the slats or rails permit you to install them anywhere on the wall, rather than being limited to where the studs happen to already be placed.
If you go for a full system, just be sure it will more or less be suited for whatever storage needs you might have in the future. Of course, if necessary, you can always complement it with one or two individual cabinets.
Best garage cabinet systems: Ulti-MATE 8-Piece Garage Cabinet Kit with Bamboo Worktop
The tall portions have a wire management system that allows for easy access to power outlets. Amazon
Tipping the scales at a whopping 911 pounds, this system is unlikely to leave any storage need unsatisfied. It’s massive and a bit unwieldy, so a lot of space will be required to house it, and there are no rollable parts, so once you decide on a location for it, be prepared to stick with it.
Do you want to improve portability with garage storage cabinets on wheels?
If you want the ability to rearrange your garage storage without having to do any heavy lifting, garage storage cabinets on wheels are an excellent idea. If you go this route, though, you need to get a rolling garage cabinet with top-notch wheels that won’t break under the load of the storage space on top of them.
This may sound like a pretty convenient arrangement if you need to occasionally move things around, or even if you are working on a project and you want to have everything easily accessible from your work space. You’ll just have to be a bit more vigilant about keeping the floor space clean to prevent small items, like pebbles and twigs, from getting jammed in the wheels.
Best rolling garage cabinet: Seville Classics UltraHD 12-Drawer Rolling Workbench
Durable and Practical
You won’t have to worry about leaving fingerprints on this stainless-steel cabinet. Amazon
This is a fairly basic option that combines a variety of drawers with one storage cabinet and a workspace that you can move around the garage to wherever it’s needed. It weighs 276 pounds, so the wheels will come in especially handy when you need to relocate, and it will easily fit in with most garage decors.
Best garage cabinets on a budget: What you get for under $100
You can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on garage storage, depending on your preferences and requirements. Although you can splurge on garage furniture that’s as beautiful as it is practical, if you’re not willing to pay a four-digit price tag, you can still satisfy your basic storage requirements at a fraction of the cost and get something that won’t bring down the aesthetic value of the space. Best of all, you’ll have extra cash to spend on the car you’ll be parking in it. Here are the best garage cabinets we’ve found at a reasonable price.
Best cheap garage cabinets: Seville Classics Wall Cabinet Storage
Small and Sturdy
It is fingerprint resistant, protected from corrosion, mountable, and fairly easy to assemble.
This isn’t designed specifically for garages, but it can fit right into a space next to your automobiles. It’s two feet wide and one foot deep, so don’t think you’ll be storing your entire life in one of these. Still, it’s a great option for putting away tools and other smaller items, and at such a low price, you can get more than one to satisfy your storage needs.
FAQ: people also ask
Why are garage cabinets off the floor?
Garage cabinets are off the floor to allow for easy sweeping and cleaning underneath and also to keep contents safe from flood damage. In addition to being more visually pleasing, a bit of height above the ground (four inches or so) means you’ll have to do less bending to reach things at the bottom, and it also makes garage storage systems easier to install and maintain.
How high should I mount my garage cabinets?
You should mount your garage cabinets so that the distance between the surface of the floor and the top of the cabinets is about 96 inches. This height will allow you to reach the top either by standing on your toes or on a chair or stool.
Can I use kitchen cabinets in the garage?
You can use kitchen cabinets in the garage, including both the base and the upper cabinets. The installation process is pretty much the same, and the combination of drawers and cabinets allows for the convenient storage of larger and smaller items.
Related: Here’s what’s inside my dream garage
The best garage cabinets come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can go with wall-mounted garage cabinets, free-standing garage cabinets, or garage storage cabinets on wheels, and individual cabinets and more expansive garage cabinet systems satisfy a wide range of storage needs. The latter can set you back thousands of dollars, but if you’re strapped for cash, you can find decent garage storage options for closer to $100.