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Garage Organizer

Martha Stewart Living, March 1999

Do your garden tools lack a sense of order? Inexpensive brass brackets and bamboo rods are an easy way to take advantage of the unused space between the studs in your garden shed or garage. Cut rods 1/4 inch shorter than the space between the members. Screw the female ends of two brackets to the inside of the studs, taking care to ensure that they face each other exactly. Cap the ends of each rod with the male ends of the brackets, then screw the bamboo rods into the brackets in the studs. The rods can be easily removed and slipped through spools of string or wire beforehand for easy dispensing. Common S-hooks and spring clips from your local hardware store transform the rods into a convenient place to hang tools and other supplies.


Comments (23)

  • Kris S 21 Aug, 2013

    This would work just as well with sash rods or tension rods instead of the bamboo. They are also more sturdy.

  • GailLawrence 26 Mar, 2013

    Regarding the hanging spikes with labels for marking your garden. I have a different use - I use 2 or 3 spikes to anchor flowerpots to keep them from blowing over in the wind. Also, I make them from wire coat hangers. Take wire clippers and cut the straight end on the left and then clip around the curve on the right 3 or 4 inches (like a candy cane). Then hook the end over the lip of the pot and push stake in the ground. This works great in the fall with top-heavy mums.

  • JeaNaeRemala 11 Aug, 2012

    You can also use inexpensive tension curtain rods that fit between the studs in your garage or shed. Good luck!

  • PlmKrzy 9 Aug, 2012

    i wish i could upload a picture. these brackets are used on my antique canopy beds, for the rods that hold the side panels and bed skirts. they are attached to the frame of the bed and canopy structure. the male part screws into the wall and has a threaded cylinder protruding.. the female part is a sort of cylindrical ring that slips on to the rod then is screwed on to the male part. sort of like a coupler. I have looked for replacement rings -can't find them on any web sites

  • Patricia Deak Blouch 7 Aug, 2012

    The "things" hanging on the left are metal plant markers. I think this idea for maximizing storage space is great, and I wouldn't obsess about "brass rods" and use the inexpensive tension rods you can buy at any dollar store for about $2 each. Don't like the color? Pick up some spray paint at the dollar store, too, while you're there. I agree about the enlargement feature --- it would be "A Good Thing!"

  • jenniealice 3 Jun, 2011

    I agree with the other comments: I've looked online quite a bit now and cannot find any "brass brackets" that are inexpensive. The concept seems to be like a curtain rod holder, but I cannot find anything similar that would suit the task. It would help if an example vendor could be provided.

  • EngineerMom 23 Mar, 2011

    What are the brass brackets? Can we see a closeup photo? Are they for closet rods?

  • OrganizeClutterDotNet 8 Jun, 2010

    The bamboo looks great, but I bet we'll get more strength out of galvanized pipe. I love this organizing ides...

  • Sharon Carbine 17 Jan, 2009

    Martha, as you may know, most Web sites permit visitors to enlarge pictures. Will you please add this feature to your "Organizing Tips" Web pages? This would help as tremendously n n n n n n especially when we are being introduced to concepts and materials we are not familiar with. Thank you!!

  • jazam 10 Jan, 2009

    i believe the things hanging are spikes with labels on the top for marking your garden ie: differnet flowers or vegetables??? If this was all i'd have to organize it might be helpful..sorry Martha but other info has been great!

  • CathiM 9 Jan, 2009

    The things hanging on the left are plant markers made of aluminum, I'm pretty sure.

  • Sissy 9 Jan, 2009

    Again, my kingdom for the ability to enlarge these pictures!! Now, can someone tell me what the heck the hanging stuff is on the left? I can make out the spool on the top, then a glove and ___?? (I swear, the stuff hanging down looks like the old silver icicles we used to put on the Christmas tree!!!) I obviously have a problem that enlarging would fix!! Thanks, friends---what would we do without each others' help?!!

  • WHATdesigners 9 Jan, 2009

    If you are still unsure of what the "brackets" are. Here is a link to some:

    I'm sure you'll know them when you see them!

  • Alabaxter 9 Jan, 2009

    This works too for ribbons and wrapping gear - just a cut-out between the studs cabinet in the spare bedroom. the rods at the top hold ribbons and supplies like scissors and a couple rods at the bottom hold the rolls of wrapping paper. Now I've just got to figure out how to get my tissue paper there too.

  • moj400 9 Jan, 2009

    You can buy short tension rods (spring loaded) at any Kmart, Target or Walmart, and adjust to fit your space. I got some that were 12 inches long, designed for sidelite curtains on an entry door. They adjust up to 19 inches wide. As long as you're not hanging anything too heavy, they should work just like the ones suggested in the article, and I only paid a dollar each!

  • Antler 9 Jan, 2009

    Whenever I don't quite understand a step in the instructions, I just print out a copy of the project and carry it with me down to my favorite crafts or hardware store. Lots of times the helpful clerks will make a note of Martha's website address, too!

  • Antler 9 Jan, 2009

    Whenever I don't quite understand a step in the instructions, I just print out a copy of the project and carry it with me down to my favorite crafts or hardware store. Lots of times the helpful clerks will make a note of Martha's website address, too!

  • pdub2126 9 Jan, 2009

    I think the brackets that they are referring to are like the brackets in a know to hold the closet rod. One end slips into a full circle that is attached to one end of the wall and on the other end is a circle with a notch cut out of it so that the rod will slip into the top of the bracket...just on a smaller scale. Hope this helps!

  • hedster 9 Jan, 2009

    for the record, a picture will always help - i find your response a bit of an insult, lbuser. These ideas on the website are great, but often there is not enough detail and often extra pics would certainly help. The brackets look like a "U" and are screwed into the 2x4. Then the bamboo rod will sit in the "U".

  • Experimenter 9 Jan, 2009

    I need help understanding the brackets, too.

  • lbuser 9 Jan, 2009

    If you have no idea what the brackets are then a picture is not going to help. Just print the instructions out and take them to your local hardware store. They are very common and the sales people will know what to give you. If you pick up some bamboo rods or plain dowels then they will even know what size to give you.

  • mmkeyes 5 Apr, 2008

    What are the "brackets" that you mention? I understand the concept, but have no idea what you are referring to. Can you show a picture of them?


  • StellaK 5 Mar, 2008

    Our best bud came up with a similar treatment for hanging water skis in our boathouse. He mounted copper brackets on the ends of the exposed joists of the ceiling (instead of between the joists); the brackets held copper tubing which was spaced apart wide enough so that the skis could be inserted and supported on the front and back ends. The copper looks great, and the skis are off the floor and out of the way.