How to DIY a Ceiling Garage Storage System

Build this simple, slide-in storage system for your garage.


A full day






If your garage is running out of space, try building this overhead storage system. The construction is simple and fast, and the whole system is made with standard materials.

Tools Required

  • Circular saw
  • Cordless drill
  • Drill bit set
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Miter saw
  • Safety glasses
  • Socket/ratchet set
  • Stepladder
  • Stud finder

Materials Required

  • 1/2 1x2 x 8' pine stop strip (1)
  • 1/4" x
  • 2" wood screws (1 box)
  • 23-1/2" x 19-1/2" x 13" plastic totes (6)
  • 2x4 x 8" (2)
  • 3-1/2" lag screws and washers (16)
  • 3" wood screws (1 box)
  • 4' x 8' sheet of 3/4" plywood
  • Carpenter’s glue (1 pint)

Are all those cardboard boxes in the corner of your garage driving you crazy? Holiday decorations, camping gear, seasonal clothing and extra bedding take up valuable garage storage space. And who can tell one brown box from another?We’ve designed this system to get all that stuff up and out of the way and into unclaimed storage space near your garage ceiling. We built this handy overhead garage storage system around special reinforced plastic totes that hang from carriages made from 2x4s and plywood strips. In this article, we’ll show you how to assemble these simple carriages, align them perpendicular to the ceiling joists, then anchor them into place with lag screws. It’s that easy. Add labels to the sides of the totes and you can tell at a glance where to find that long-term storage item. You can build and install the carriages in an afternoon and start organizing right away!

Project step-by-step (12)

Step 1


measure totes

Measure the top of the tote to determine the width of the tote rims (3/4 in.) and the size of the bottom flanges of the carriages (in our case, 3 in.).

Step 2

Bottom flanges

bottom flange for storage

Cut 3-in.-wide strips of 3/4-in. plywood for the bottom flange. Center them on 4-ft.-long 2x4s, then glue and screw them. Use 2-in. screws every 10 in.