Closed September 2017

Clutter Video Tip: Options for Garage Storage Cabinets

An organized garage, the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship, Clutter Diet… to boldly go where no man has gone before. We don’t need a Vulcan mind meld to know that almost all garages could use built in storage. A good multipurpose cabinet would be just the thing for storing your phazers and tribbles. In this video I am showing you my built in storage as well as sharing some things to look out for when you shop for your own. Thinking early about cabinet quality and garage shelf design will make the “Enterprise” of garage organizing much less stressful. May your garage Trek help you live long and prosper. 😉

(Click here to watch on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded player. Or watch the video at


Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet Book and online program, and today’s Clutter Video Tip is about garage cabinets. There are lots of budget options out there for garage cabinetry nowadays, and I’m going to take you through some of the trade-offs and the features and show you what you might be looking at in this decision.

The first thing you want to decide is open-shelving versus closed-door cabinetry, and for most people closed-door cabinetry is a great option because the garage is a place typically where we store things that we don’t use very often and we don’t spend a lot of time in here, but if you do have a workbench and you have things that you need to have a little bit more accessible to you, more readily available, you might want to have areas of your garage where you do have open- shelving. But I think for most families, the garage is kind of the final frontier, so it’s better if you have it behind a closed door, where all that stuff you don’t use very often, that you’ve pushed out of the house and you want to store away, you don’t have to look at it. You can drive in, you can see this clean, streamlined look, and I think that makes people really happy.

This is the option that we chose, a very inexpensive option, particle board with laminate veneer. So, we were able to choose what color of laminate we wanted, and we chose the hardware that we have for the hinges. Also, we have fixed particle board shelving in here. Now, this is an area where you might want to upgrade. You could do adjustable shelving instead. We decided not to. It actually hasn’t mattered for this particular project. But that’s a place where we saved some money.

Another place we saved money is in the back of the cabinetry. This is the sheetrock wall of the garage that you see back there. It’s attached directly to that. There wasn’t a cabinet facing built for the back of the cabinet itself. It didn’t matter to us because my philosophy is, it’s just a garage. So this worked really well.

Another thing to notice though that I might do differently if I were to upgrade or change these cabinets out, is the bottom of the cabinets. Now you can have an option where you have your cabinets raised up on legs, and as you see in this picture, our cabinets go all the way to the floor with the particle board cabinet facing. And if you are washing the car or you are hosing down the garage floor and cleaning it, you have to be very careful that the water doesn’t creep up on the edge of that cabinet, get soaked in by the particle board, and warp your cabinet facing. So if I were to do it over again in this particular area of the garage I would have opted for the elevated legs.

Another thing to point out about this cabinet, by the way, is that there isn’t a center beam here to disguise the gap between the two double doors. And to fix that they added this cosmetic piece to close that gap so that we were still able to have this wide open space to easily put anything into the cabinet. So when you shut the door you have this piece that you have to close first and then the other door closes on top of it and it has a nice clean look. This was the most inexpensive route. You can certainly go up from there. You could have slat wall put on the walls and have everything fastened onto it and configurable. But again, for most people, it’s just a garage.

If you need help making this decision, we have an on-line program where we help people for free for 14 days and you can get unlimited access in our Member Message Boards from our team of certified professional organizers. You can learn more at

See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

You may have been searching for functional garage storage.

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Marilyn McSpadden

Hi Lorie – Did you have these custom cabinets made? Thanks, Marilyn


Hi Marilyn!! Yes, the cabinets were custom made so that they would fit our space exactly. We did opt for the most economical route with the company, though.


Hi Abby, peg boards are great! First they give your tools a home. So there is no guessing about where to return the tool. Second they also give visibility to your tools, so you know hat you have and you don’t purchase duplicates. Here is a blog post with some before and after pics utilizing peg boards: Good luck with your project, let us know how it turns out.


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