Condo Blues: Small Space Garage Workshop Organizer Ideas for Short People

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Small Space Garage Workshop Organizer Ideas for Short People

It is amazing how the size of an empty garage shrinks once you park the car. Or at least it felt that way after we bought our condo.  I have to get really creative when it comes to carving out but storage space AND workspace in a small garage. Add to the mix that I’m short gal and most organizers are made for people much taller than me and really creative turns into super duper really creative.

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Starting the right of my workshop is my shop vac  (This is the exact wall mounted remote controlled wet dry vacuum I bought ) that is always right where I need it for dust collection when I’m working with power tools on the workbench. I thought I’d miss having the giant size shop vac like everyone says you are supposed to have but I really like the smaller size because it is much easier to empty (compost bins LOOOOVE sawdust!) and heft around the house. Not to mention, it won’t get buried under stuff hanging on the wall.
Disclosure: I am including some affiliate links in this post to the products I use and love with all my heart for your convenience.

I’m 4’11”  which means anything hanging higher than the shop vac is pretty much dead to me storage wise. That’s why and how I started decorating that part of my garage space.
The latest addition of my Ma’am Cave gallery wall is a canvas print one of the coolest DIY things I’ve ever done, appear in a Mother’s Day newsletter promotion for one of my favorite tool brands thanks to our friends at Canvas on the Cheap.!

Ordering the canvas print it couldn’t have been any easier since I own the copyright to the original photo. I was even able to upload the photo I want reprinted from my Instagram to Canvas on the Cheap’s website when I placed my order. Thanks guys!

I can’t reach tools over the workbench to use and store hanging on super cool pegboard tool organizers like these and I know from experience that my work area will turn into a jumble of junk if I don’t make it easy to put my stuff away when I’m done using it. 

That means workshop tool benches that are glorified tables like this one were out space and building a workbench from base cabinets with shelves and drawers were in.

Originally I planned to make the workbench by adding a top to bathroom base  cabinets because bathroom cabinets are lower and would allow me to create a workbench at the correct height for a short lady like myself. The plan changed when my Father in Law offered me two mismtached kitchen cabinets he was getting rid of for free.

Since I’ve spent a lifetime of working on counters too high anyway and free cabinets allowed me to buy this hanging woodworking shop air filtration system sooner rather than later to keep my husband happy because absolutely hates having his car covered in sawdust.

All of my tools fit in the workbench and are out of sight from prying eyes who might want to liberate them from my garage without my permission.

I lined each workbench drawer with non kitchen slip shelf liners like these to keep my hand tools divided by type (pliers, drill bits and accessories, a zillion screwdrivers, and miscellaneous) in place. Kitchen shelf liners are a much cheaper option than  these non slip tool drawer liners I considered buying and allowed me to put the savings toward – you guessed it – more cool tools!

This is only a fraction of my screwdrivers and bits.

Each cabinet is divided into zones and organized with the absolute best tool cabinet organizer in the world this hanging battery operated LED motion sensor light that  keeps me from tossing stuff around inside the cabinet when I’m looking for something and turning it into a hot mess which happened more than I want to admit before I installed motion sensor lights in each cupboard. I highly recommend this!

I created the power tools bays with these closet shelf dividers to keep me honest about putting things back where they belong and from keeping my tools from flopping around the shelf in a hot mess jumble.

Originally I hung a tap llight in each cabinet but was forever replacing dead batteries because I forgot to turn the light off before closing the cupboard door. That’s why I recommend using motion sensor lights. No more dead batteries when you need a light!

Above the workbench is a heavy duty power strip, and power tool battery charging station with a small work light for detail work I built from pallets. The blue on blue color scheme is influenced by my favorite paint colors:
  • Oops paint for cheap for the walls
  • Free sample pint for the shelves and workbench
I spray painted all of the hardware black so it coordinates and looks purposeful and less like I’m clearing out random hooks and brackets in my hardware stash.

You caught me. the hardware choices are really me trying to clear out my random hardware stash but now I have extra money in the budget and the room to store exotic hardwoods so win win!

Every shop needs a minion. Mine sits on a shelf and  keeps my tablet and phone out of the way when I stream music while I’m working on a project. Stuart is also kind enough to keep track of and wear my safety glasses when I’m not wearing them in the shop. Thanks little dude!

Read this Condo Blues post to earn how to make an action figure phone stand.  It is a great beginner woodworking project to do with your kids!

To the left of the workbench is I store random hardware stored by type in repurposed glass jars in a toolbox either on the workbench or beside it on the floor beside my bench for easy short girl access instead of hanging everything on the wall and out of my reach.

The same goes for the DIY bar clamp organizer I added to the side of my workbench instead of hanging on the wall.

If you don’t’ want to DIY it, you can buy a metal clamp rack from Amazon and mount it to the side of your workbench or on the wall.

For the time being I store my compound miter saw on the floor to the left of my workbench until I decide what type of rolling adjustable heght miter saw stand I want that will fit in the storage space. If you have a suggestion on one you like, let me know in the comments below!

Rounding out the rest of my garage workshop organizers are a hanging repurposed dowel  hanging to store tape and two coat hooks I snagged from our Donate Pile to organize extension cords. I keep all of my power and exention cords from unwrapping with DIY bungee and wine work cable ties.

Wine cork cord wraps are an excellent excuse to sharea bottle of wine!

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