Garage Ceiling Storage and Shelving + Space Saving DIY Project

Garage ceiling storage and shelving DIY project. Space saving storage idea to give you more useable floor space in your garage.

“Welcome to the neighborhood! How are you settling in?”

It was a question asked a few times from several of our wonderful neighbors. We were trying to but the lack of storage space put us to a screeching halt.

The garage was chuck full of boxes from floor to ceiling, making us miss our 16 foot DIY shelving and workbench combo we had built in Arkansas.

Oh well, let’s get building.

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At the moment, this two car garage was a zero car garage and adding shelving around the sides or front wasn’t going to be helpful.

Any shelving towards the front wouldn’t allow for enough space to fit a vehicle. Any shelving placed along the sides wouldn’t allow for space to pull a vehicle in because our garage had to be cute with two separate doors and a column in the center.

Less cute now.

Table of Contents: Garage Ceiling Storage and Shelving

This is our own personal experience. It is advised that you seek professional guidance. Always practice tool safety and follow the manufacture instructions.


Materials List

  • 10- 2×4 studs
  • 7/16 plywood sheeting cut to size
  • 1 box- #9×3 inch construction screws
  • 1 box- #9x 2 ½ inch construction screws
  • 4- 3/8 inch lag screws + washers


Garage corner with no shelving.

Custom Ceiling Storage Designed For The Space

We decided to build our suspended garage shelves on the right side of the garage but by doing so we needed to keep the electrical box clear along with stopping short for the kayak on the wall.

Our design was going to be two hanging shelves in the corner with the lowest shelf being 44 inches from the ceiling. That would give us a nice 18 inches for each shelf, with the bottom shelf having a bit more room to account for frame above.

Left shelf- Two- 48 in. x 24 in. shelves

Right shelf- Two- 60 in. x 18 in. shelves

Find the studs

After drawing up our design we needed to find the studs to make sure it could accommodate the shelving. We then marked each stud with a pencil on both the walls and along the ceiling.

Then we marked where each shelf would sit. The lowest shelf being 44 inches from the ceiling.

Build The Frame

Left Shelving-

  • 4- 48 inch 2x4s
  • 6- 21 inch 2x4s
  • 1- 24 inch (for the ceiling support)
  • 1- 44 inch 2×4 (ceiling support)

Right Shelving-

  • 4- 60 inch 2x4s
  • 9- 15 inch 2x4s (one for the ceiling support)

We built the frame for each shelf but left the front board off to make it lighter and easier to maneuver while mounting.

Then we mounted each shelf into the studs in the wall, keeping everything straight and level.

We attached the front board to each shelf and then secured the 24 inch 2×4 into the stud in the ceiling using lag bolts and washers. (using a spade bit to countersink the washers) Then we attached the 44 inch brace into the 2×4 on the ceiling, and each shelf, using the 3 inch construction screws.

Repeat for right shelving.

Build the frame. Mount into studs. Secure into ceiling support.

Plywood Shelving

  • 1- 7/16 4×8 plywood sheet cut to size
  • 1- 7/16 2×4 plywood sheet

*Fun Fact- The home improvement store can cut 4×8 plywood sheets to size for you. Or you can use 5- 2×4 plywood sheets.

Cut to fit each shelf and secure with #9 2 ½ inch construction screws.

Plywood shelf cut to size.

After everything was finished we did a weight test before loading our new garage ceiling storage and shelving with totes, tents, and other camping supplies that we only use on a semi regular basis.

Although this shelving unit did pass the dead weight test, we decided to use this space for bulky items that weren’t too heavy.

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9 Things To Take Into Consideration

You might have noticed that a few of our measurements are odd. The 60in. x 18in. shelf would cause for a bit of plywood waste but we decided the shelving we needed outweighed the wood waste. There were two reasons we decided to design it the way we did.

  1. We decided to make the shelf only 18 inches deep was to accommodate for a vehicle being parked on that side of the garage. At 24 inches it would hang several inches over the vehicle, making it impossible to try and walk around if needed.
  2. The 18 inches also took into consideration other types of cars that could park there. If we put it at the full 24 inches, windshields could become a problem pulling in.
Finished garage ceiling shelving with car fitting under the storage area.

Other things to take into consideration-

  • Where the studs are located
  • Electrical boxes and or plugs for future use
  • Garage doors when open
  • Light fixtures and attic ladders/doors
  • Windshields of cars being pulled in
  • How comfortably you can walk around a car with shelving attached to the ceiling
  • How high the ceilings are vs how low to hang the shelf
  • What you’ll be storing vs how much weight the shelf needs to hold

Garage Ceiling Storage With Before and After Photos

Before- Empty garage wall.
Two garage ceiling storage shelves with room for totes, tents and more.

This DIY project was very much needed to get us moving in the right direction of fully settling in. Although we still have some work ahead of us, we’re up for the challenge.

Interested in seeing the other side of the garage?

After donating, recycling, and putting a few more boxes away, we were finally able to see light through all the cardboard.

Cluttered left side of the garage ready for another DIY project.

This garage will continue to be a work in progress with wall storage, more shelving, and another DIY workbench with a spot for every tool.

We’ll be sure to share all of our ideas and future DIY projects with you.

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