• Hoist bicycles to the rafters with a rope-and-pulley system ($22) that makes it easy to raise the bike and lock safely in place. When you’re ready to ride, release the lock and lower your bike to the garage floor. You’ll need an hour or two and basic tools to secure the pair of pulleys to ceiling joists and thread the ropes. (Similar hoists are available for kayaks or small boats; $25.)
  • Avoid unintentional skateboard “tricks” with a specially designed wall rack that makes it easy for kids to hang up helmets and skateboards together; about $40. Secure this one to wall joists in less than an hour.
  • Keep scooters and bikes out of the way with tool hooks installed on a length of 1-by-6-inch lumber. You’ll pay $3 for each pair of vinyl-coated screw-in tool hooks and $1 per foot for lumber. You’ll need only an hour or two to secure the lumber to wall joists and screw the hooks into place along the board.

Sporting Goods

Active pursuits require a lot of gear that ends up in the garage. These organizers help tidy up all those sports balls, rackets, bats, gloves, clubs, fishing rods, and other outdoor fun-related goodies.

  • Bring together balls and bats on a convenient wire rack equipped with hangers that hold gloves too; $40. Or, mount one or more ball claws on the wall to securely grip sports balls of all kinds; $12.
  • To keep your garage organization from going downhill, stash two pairs of snow skis, poles, and boots in one handy steel ski rack; $45. Securing this rack to wall studs helps it hold the weight of the equipment. If you can’t position it on studs, use wall anchors for a secure installation. You can do the task with or without anchors in an hour or two.
  • Make a port for your fishing rods by suspending two wire shelves from your garage ceiling about 5 feet apart, then threading the rods through the openings. Use shelves left over from a project or purchase a 4-foot-by-16-inch vinyl-coated wire shelf for less than $9, and saw it in half crosswise (or clip with bolt cutters) to make two 2-foot shelves. Snip additional wires where you need wider slots to accept pole handles or reels.

Tools

With a little imagination, you won’t need specially designed storage to organize your tools.

  • Conveniently hang wrenches and bungee cords using an ordinary vinyl-coated wire tie-and-belt rack, available at big box stores; $8.
  • Metal tools cling to a magnetized rail, keeping items in view and easy to retrieve; $24. Simply screw the rail to wall studs to safely hold the weight of the tools (it’s an idea you may be drawn to.)
  • Cushion and protect tools by padding your toolbox drawers with a soft, non-slip liner. The open-weave design keeps moisture away and prevents tools from rolling around. Enough material to line eight average-size drawers is $15. Just cut the liner to length to fit and slip it into the drawer.
  • Organize small items — such as pencils, box cutters, and tape measures — by stashing them in electrical junction boxes; 50 cents to $2 each (free if you have spares). Purchase a variety of sizes and shapes and secure them to studs or pegboard.

Yard and Garden Gear

Rakes, ladders, clippers, shovels, and sprays — a host of supplies keep your yard and garden looking lush and well-cared-for, but your garage? Not so much. Keep your garden and landscaping tools organized with these novel storage solutions.

  • Transform an old cabinet into a nifty garage storage unit on wheels. Hunt down an old four-drawer filing cabinet for a few dollars at a garage sale. Remove the drawers, turn it on its backside, and use a couple afternoons to apply paint and pegboard sides. Less than $25.
  • Hold heavy tools, long-handled implements, ladders, and more. Long steel rails with extruded holes mount high on the garage wall and secure to studs. Arrange a series of hooks and pegs on the rail to hang big tools. Two 48-inch rails sell for $22.
  • Secure a wooden pallet to wall studs to create a pocket for holding long-handled garden tools. To find free wooden pallets, check with local businesses as well as online classifieds, such as Craigslist. Cost: Free.
  • Keep bottles of fertilizers, repellants, and lubricants upright and easy to retrieve. A can rack ($15) prevents cans and bottles from tumbling off shelves.

Related: See a slideshow of more garage storage ideas