The 5 Best Garage Storage Containers That Are Built To Last

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Best Garage Storage Containers
Bustle / Amazon

Garages house a whole lot more than just cars. The best garage storage containers are the right size for the job and are sturdy enough to hold what you need them to. While there are plenty of options on the market, getting the right size and style of container for what you'll be storing inside will save you a lot of time and hassle.

Storage containers come in a wide range of sizes, and choosing the size for you should at least partly be based on what you’re storing inside. If you buy a large bin and fill it to the hilt with heavy objects like tools or books, it will be that much harder to move around later. So for heavier items, you'll generally want to go with smaller containers. You’ll also want to make sure that the bins you choose will fit in the space you have.

There are also multiple styles of storage organizers to choose from. Beyond the classic large plastic totes, you may also want to consider soft-side storage containers that can fold down easily when not in use, especially for items that aren't super heavy or delicate. And not all plastic totes are the same. Features you may want to consider include wheels, water-resistance, and whether or not you have the ability to lock them if need be.

From small odds and ends to bulkier things, these storage solutions will keep everything contained and organized. If floor space is at a premium, shelving units can make good use of vertical space in your garage, and I've even included a storage system that will even let you make the most of overhead space below.

1. The Overall Best Small Storage Containers

With a maximum capacity of 4.5 gallons, these small Sterilite storage bins are ideal for small to medium-size items or heavy objects like miscellaneous tools or crafts. While these bins store plenty, they are still small enough to handle with little effort. These storage bins are clear so you can find your items with relative ease, and with recessed lids, they’re easily stackable. Made from durable plastic, these bins are not waterproof or airtight, but they are secure enough to keep dirt, dust, and pests at bay.

According to an Amazon reviewer: “They stack well and are sturdy enough for medium-duty use. I use them all in the garage for organizing items ranging from tools and oils to spare automotive parts and hardware.”

2. The Best Large Storage Containers

If you’re looking for larger storage options, consider Sterilite’s wheeled industrial tote. With a 40-gallon capacity, it’s much bigger than our previous entry and sturdy enough to carry plenty of weight. And since these totes are equipped with wheels, they’re easy to move, even if the load is heavy. Designed with recessed lids, these large storage containers are stackable, and the handle rotate. These totes are not waterproof, and some reviewers have pointed out that water will pool in the lids if left outside. That said, a sturdy C clamp keeps the lids securely attached to the tote if you're concerned about keeping dirt, dust, and pests out of your stuff.

According to an Amazon reviewer: “I purchased two of these containers & they hold quite a bit & the best is they are on wheels with a handle which makes it much easier to move around instead of trying to lift a heavy container.”

3. A Budget-Friendly Pick In Lots Of Sizes

For a budget-friendly option that offers plenty of storage space, consider these storage totes by Iris USA. At less than $10 each, this set of six cheap plastic storage bins can carry 32 quarts (or 8 gallons) of stuff. What’s more, these bins feature sturdy latches that secure the contents inside, keeping them away from dirt and pests. These storage organizers are stackable, so they’ll make the most of the storage space you have, and the translucent color gives you an idea of what's inside at a glance. These are also available in 5 quart (1.25 gallon), 19 quart (4.75 gallon), 26 quart (6.5 gallon), and 53 quart (13.25 gallon) sizes.

According to an Amazon reviewer: “This box is sturdy, well made, and stacks well. I’ve had three repeat orders already. The size is perfect for storage on shelving.”

4. The Best Soft-Sided Storage Containers

These large storage bags hold up to 24 gallons of stuff each and are ideal for soft and bulky items. Plus, when you're all done with them, they can fold down easily to be stashed away. These bags are made with reinforced seams and zippers, and the max capacity is 60 pounds. However, since the sides are soft, you probably won’t want to use them to store fragile items. These storage bags have carry and backpack straps. Each order comes with four bags and a lifetime replacement warranty.

According to an Amazon reviewer: “They fit tons, quite resilient, kept our stuff together but easily accessible for TSA if an inspection were needed. [...] The zipper prevents you from overstuffing the bags. Brilliant product! Excellent solution for packing for camp. No more bulky steamer trunks or suitcases. Also good for storing clothes in closets or items in attics and garage. Strong and durable.”

5. A Large Water-Resistant Storage Container With A Latch

If you’re looking for a storage bin that can stand up to the elements, Rubbermaid’s ActionPacker storage bin might be a good bet. This large container can withstand harsh outdoor temperatures ranging from a low of 0 to a high of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, making it ideal for garages and even outdoor use. While there’s no gasket to seal this container so it's not waterproof, reviewers have written that the double-walled lid fits tightly and does a pretty good job keeping moisture out (not to mention, dirt and pests). You can add a lock to the latch for extra security. And if a 48-gallon tote sounds like a bit much for your needs, you can also choose from 8-, 24-, and 35-gallon sizes.

According to an Amazon reviewer: “The containers are solid, [they] hold more than you would think, and keep your belongings dry if outside in the rain or snow [...]. The latch to close seems solid, and I am very rough on stuff."

Also Nice To Have: A Heavy-Duty Shelving Unit

To make the most of your vertical space, consider adding a six-tier shelving unit to stack your storage containers on. Plus, it's super durable and can hold up to 600 pounds. This unit features adjustable shelves and rolling feet, and, according to many reviewers, it’s easy to assemble. While this shelving unit has wheels, they can be locked in place for a little more peace of mind. With a 4.7-star rating after more than 1,300 reviews, it's a popular pick. Choose between 76- and 82-inch heights.

According to an Amazon reviewer: “We bought 4 of these to store things in our garage. We liked them so much that we bought two more. We especially like the fact that we can customize the level of each shelf in order to store a variety of different size boxes, tools, etc. They feel super sturdy and look great! “

Also Great: An Overhead Storage System

To make the most of their overhead space, HyLoft's overhead storage system gets things off the ground. It is made with scratch-resistant steel, the height is adjustable, and it has a 250-pound capacity. Choose between black and white tones. However, while installation is fairly straightforward, it takes a little bit of time and know-how.

According to an Amazon reviewer: “Install: was really easy to install in my garage as I have beams that run the full length of my garage. Just used a stud finder, pencil, drill, drill bit, socket with extension used on my drill. The box that it’s packed in comes with a template that you cut out so that you can quickly mark your drill holes. I installed six of these in my garage and it takes maybe 30-45 minutes to install each one without rushing. [...] Sturdiness: these are very sturdy and I store my photography and video equipment, full size DJ PA speakers, all of our camping equipment (chairs, stove, foldaway kitchen, tent, etc.) and have not noticed any sign of fatigue.”