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October 18, 2007

Garage organization systems

According to a U.S. survey, the crud in our garages is taking up most available floor space.  Hence the average North American chucks up to $6500 worth of mostly useless stuff on the floor of the garage, while the $20,000 vehicle sits outside in the cold, rusting.   

It’s time to get our cars back into garages.  We spent more than $688 million dollars last year on garage organization and it barely made a dent. If you don’t believe me, walk down your street and count the number of houses with cars parked in the driveway. Statistics say that 50% of us can’t park in our garage. I think that number is low.

Most garages are a monument to unexploited wall space. Going vertical with storage means relief for horizontal surfaces (floors and tables). It’s breathtaking to see the litter of possessions find their place on perky wall-mounted shelving. You’ll be able to sweep again. You’ll be able to hold family reunions in the garage so the house doesn’t get wrecked.

The most durable, easy-to-install and economic garage organization option I’ve found is Rubbermaid’s FastTrack system, a rock-solid, hyper-engineered example of profound human ingenuity. Designed with heavy-duty, lifelong service in mind, each four-foot section of FastTrack rail can hold up to 1,750 pounds. If you drive a compact car, you have the option of hanging your vehicle on the wall.

FastTrack comes in a kit – I got the Supreme ($200) – which contains six 4-foot rails, myriad hook styles for ladders, tools, hoses, cords, sports equipment, bicycles and even a specialized wheelbarrow mounting hook, which allows you to get your wheelbarrow off the floor without spraining a glute.


Stuff You’ll Need

Electronic studfinder




Measuring tape

Use your studfinder to mark the location of the studs on the wall.

Measure up at least 48 inches and make a horizontal mark.

Align the bottom of a FastTrack hanging rail so it’s just touching your mark; shift the rail right or left so that the holes line up over the studs.

Install one screw near the middle of the rail and then level the rail. Install at least 3 more screws into studs so you know that the rail will hold maximum weight.

Clip on the plastic rail cover. Load that baby up with hooks, tools, recreational equipment, power tools or troublesome relatives.

Invite the neighbours over to marvel over your hallowed sanctum of order.

Park the car in the garage.


Another garage organization option is available in Canada from www.onwallsolutions.com. They offer PVC wall paneling with horizontal channels to which you add an infinite array of hooks and shelves, much like the display formats used in stores. You can configure OnWall panels for basements, garages, pantries, home offices, laundry rooms and kids’ rooms. Each box of six 15”x 96” panels, which covers 40 square feet of wall, sells online for $319. The company offers free design consultations in your own garage. And they’ll install it for you too, but if you were a DIFM (do-it-for-me) person you probably wouldn’t be reading the DIY column; we DIY types want more intensity in our lives, more learning, more swearing, and ultimately, more bragging.

FastTrack is available at The Home Depot, Totem, Reno Depot and selected Rona Home and Garden Centers


Paul Kurutz

Great video on organizing the garage. If you would like to take a look at a very wide variety of options for organizing the garage check out a company called The Garage Store. They handle everything from verticle and overhead storage to custom made cabinets and floors. Check them out at www.garagestore.net


Hi Paul,
Great store - let me know when we're getting one in Canada!

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