When you’re picking out the perfect metal building, it’s easy to dream up all the ways you can put it to good use. But once the building is installed and ready to use, that empty and undefined space can seem a little overwhelming to start organizing. Shoving all your holiday decorations, ATVs, and lawn equipment in haphazardly will certainly clean up your yard, but will you be able to find those items again when you need them? A little shelving and some organizational tools keep your metal building easy to use regardless of what kind of items you’re storing in it.

Freestanding vs Wall-Mounted Shelving

Heavy-duty shelving is the primary form of organization needed for most metal buildings. From garages to barns and workshops, practically any purpose you have for your metal building is improved with permanent shelving. DIY plastic and metal shelving may cost the least, but these shelving units have very low weight limits and tend to bend over time. Durable shelving made from solid wood and metal materials can support hundreds or even thousands of pounds per level and will last for years. Metal buildings offer the perfect framing for hanging large wall-mounted shelving units. If you want the maximum weight support without affecting the strength of the structure, stick with freestanding shelves that support themselves from the ground up to reduce the strain on the walls.

Metal vs Wood Shelves

Wood shelving, whether freestanding or wall-mounted, tends to include metal supports to create a composite design. These shelves tend to offer slightly lower maximum weight limits than their metal counterparts, but they also weigh slightly less to reduce the load on wall-mounted systems. Metal shelving is heavier but offers the highest levels of support for heavy car parts and tools. If you’re choosing freestanding units, the decision is entirely up to you since they offer similar benefits. Wood shelving systems are only preferred for wall-mounted designs in most cases, unless there’s a high level of humidity in the building. Metal shelves work better for humid environments since even coated wood tends to warp and swell over time when exposed to moisture.

Tool Hanging Racks

Storing full-sized hand tools like rakes, shovels, and gas or electric weed trimmers can take up a lot of shelving space. For a more efficient storage method, try racks that hold tool hooks and baskets at the ideal height for quick scanning. There’s no need to shuffle through a large pile of tools to find that hedge trimmer when every tool has its own unique spot to hang. These systems are similar to pegboard walls and accessories but are easier to install inside of metal buildings. Metal tool hanging racks are also more resistant to humidity than most pressed pegboard products. Consider adding hanging racks to the backs of doors as well to take advantage of the extra storage space.

Stalls for Small and Large Equipment

If you’re using your metal building to store vehicles, ATVs, or heavy equipment like front-end loaders, consider dividing up the interior space with a few barn-style half walls. Building stalls similar to the ones used for housing horses can make it easier to park and unload your equipment. These enclosures also increase the security of your storage systems. It’s much harder to pull a piece of heavy equipment or vehicle out with a winch or second vehicle when each item is parked in its own secure stall. Smaller stalls are also great for organizing lawn equipment and small tools with extra shelving and racks separated by purpose.

Counters and Cabinets

For garages and workshops built into pre-engineered metal buildings, countertops and corresponding cabinets are essential for organization and workspace alike. Freestanding tool bench and cabinet systems are available from most home improvement stores, but you can also build your own with some lumber, thin cabinetry plywood, and the right nails. Wall-mounted cabinets also expand your enclosed storage space for smaller items like art supplies and specialty tools. Whether you’re a woodworker, a painter, or just need to organize your car repair parts, cabinets are endlessly customizable with adjustable shelves, basket systems, and similar accessories.

There are complete metal building organization systems that include dozens of shelving units, but you can often get better results from mixing and matching your favorite storage methods. Take a mix and match approach if you plan to take full advantage of your enclosed storage space and want your metal building to remain flexible in the future.