What are the best garage storage shelves?

Over time, your garage can become a drop zone for everything without a designated place. Overrun with boxes, sporting goods, yard equipment, paint and camping gear, your cars may sit outside because there is no room left. 

Garage storage shelves offer a simple, proven way to organize your garage and restore order. There are several styles, sizes and materials to start the decluttering process. For its 2,500-pound capacity and steel construction, the best garage storage shelves are the Husky Industrial Welded Steel Garage Shelving Unit.

What to know before you buy garage storage shelves

What are the kinds of garage storage shelves?

There are three types of garage storage shelves.

  • Wall-mounted shelves are the strongest and provide the most weight-bearing capacity. They are attached directly to the wall studs using heavy-duty brackets. Once installed, they are not easily moved.
  • Ceiling-mounted shelves are attached to the ceiling joists and provide above-ground storage out of the way of cars and other activity below. They also keep items protected from water damage. They are excellent for bulky seasonal items that get used occasionally.
  • Freestanding shelves are easy to assemble and move as your space needs change. They come in a variety of colors and materials but typically hold less weight than wall- or ceiling-mounted units.

What are garage shelves made from?

  • Metal is the strongest material, used for all types of shelving to provide long-term corrosion-resistance and support maximum weight. They are more expensive and heavier than other materials.
  • Plastic or resin shelves are popular for freestanding units. They are inexpensive and easy to move around. Review the manufacturer’s weight limits, as the plastic is strong but can buckle under too much tension.
  • Wooden shelves are most common for do-it-yourself projects. Wooden shelves are less expensive and easy to customize. Make sure to use hardwoods such as oak or maple — soft wood such as pine can easily bend under too much weight.

Are garage shelves challenging to install?

Some freestanding shelves are easy to assemble without any tools or a small supply of hand tools. Wall-mounted and ceiling-mounted units may require power tools and the assistance of another person. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions based on your skill level.

What to look for in quality garage storage shelves

Casters and adjustable feet

Not all garage floors are level. Freestanding shelves may wobble if their bottom feet aren’t flush with the ground. Look for models with adjustable feet that can be raised or lowered to make a level connection.

There are also shelves with lockable casters that let you wheel them to a new location and then secure them in place. Always empty shelves before attempting to move them.

Coating

Metal shelves come with a corrosion-protective coating. This coating is a thermoplastic powder or chrome-plated covering that extends the shelves’ life. Black epoxy is also popular, since black shelves blend well with most backdrops.

Document protector

Owners manuals, technical drawings, receipts and other important papers can be stored in a document protector. This laminated cover hangs on the side of the shelving for easy access and keeps your documents free from water, dust and wrinkling.

How much you can expect to spend on garage storage shelves

Inexpensive shelves cost $25-$100; these include basic freestanding units made from plastic or fiberboard with two to four shelves. Medium-priced shelves run $100-$250. Metal freestanding shelves and ceiling-mounted shelves in this range have higher weight capacity and durability. Expensive shelves, which include wall-mounted and ceiling-mounted shelves with longer and taller sections for the biggest storage projects, are $250-$600. 

Garage storage shelves FAQ

What if I have dangerous chemicals that I want restricted?

A. Consider a safety cabinet for your shelves if you have hazardous items you want to keep out of sight and out of reach. Some shelves come with a doored section for closing off items, but they don’t typically lock. 

Do garage storage shelves have a warranty?

A. Most shelves have a lifetime limited warranty. You may need to register your product online for it to be activated. Read the manufacturer’s information for details of your warranty’s length and provisions.

What are the best garage storage shelves to buy?

Top garage storage shelves

Husky Industrial Welded Steel Garage Shelving Unit

Husky Industrial Welded Steel Garage Shelving Unit

What you need to know: This heavy-duty shelving can support up to 2,500 pounds on each shelf for anything you may need to stow.

What you’ll love: Made from powder-coated steel, this unit is over 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide. The shelves are adjustable in 3-inch increments. It assembles easily and comes with a lifetime warranty.

What you should consider: Reviewers had some concerns about the wire end shelves not having cross supports for greater strength.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot and Amazon

Top garage storage shelves for the money

Amazon Basics Four-Shelf Adjustable Heavy-Duty Storage Shelving Unit

Amazon Basics Four-Shelf Adjustable Heavy-Duty Storage Shelving Unit

What you need to know: For smaller garages with sports equipment and lawn tools, these affordable shelves are perfect for decluttering.

What you’ll love: They comes in sets of three, four or five 3-foot shelves. Made from black-coated steel, each shelf holds a maximum of 350 pounds. It is adjustable in 1-inch increments and requires no tools for assembly.

What you should consider: Some customers reported difficulty assembling the shelves due to awkward positioning of the connectors.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Fleximounts Adjustable Height Overhead Garage Storage Rack

Fleximounts Adjustable Height Overhead Garage Storage Rack

What you need to know: This sturdy storage rack is kept high above the garage activity to keep seasonal items dry and safe.

What you’ll love: Providing up to 105 cubic feet of storage, this overhead rack is 8 feet long and 4 feet wide. It can be lowered between 22 to 40 inches. It must be used with wood studs or concrete walls. Steel construction holds up to 600 pounds.

What you should consider: Installation requires more than one person.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot and Amazon

 

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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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