If you have an unfinished wall that does not have insulation, here are three ways you can increase the storage in your home or garage by using the space between the studs.
#1 Hang Extension Cords
Extension cords can be a mess, but not when you hang them in the spaces between the studs. Start by getting some cord wraps like these ones from Amazon (link: https://amzn.to/3QQHwSd).
They can hold up to a 100ft extension cord, have a clip that can be connected to different types of hooks, and have a 4.7 out of 5 rating on Amazon. These are the ones I use in my garage.
To hang the cords between the studs, cut a piece of 1×2 lumber or a 2-inch-wide strip of 5/8” or 3/4” plywood that fits snugly between the studs (see below for tips on making sure the strip of wood is the correct length). The distance won’t always be the same between the studs and the studs may be warped so measure every time before you cut. Add two pocket holes on each end and use pocket hole screws to attach the strip of wood to the studs on each side at the back of the stud cavity.
Add a screw to the strip of wood that you can hang the cord hanger on. Make sure you don’t screw it in too much or it will go through the wall behind the stud cavity.
Hang your cord and it won’t stick out beyond the cavity. You can add multiple hangers if needed like I did in the garage. You can hang multiple short cords on one screw.
#2 Add a folding table
To give myself more space to work on projects in the garage, I added a table that folds down between the studs when not in use. I used a piece of 1/2” plywood as the table top and folding brackets that I got from Amazon (https://amzn.to/3syxuwg). Here’s what it looks like folded and open.
Folded between studs
Open to work on
I produced a full video tutorial on how to measure and install this hidden work surface.
#3 Add storage for small tools
You can store small garden hand tools, like shovels, weed pickers, or clippers in between studs in the garage so they are easy to access when you need them.
I showed how to make a small garden tool holder in this video.
In the video I mounted the holder on my French cleat wall. To mount it between studs, create the tool holder from a piece of wood not as wide as the width of the cavity between two studs. Mount a strip of wood to the studs using pocket holes as described above. Then attach the back of the completed tool holder to the strip of wood.
You could also create a similar holder for tools in a storage room such as screwdrivers, pliers, or a hammer.
Pocket Holes are the Hack to Using Space Between Studs
You’ll notice that in all three methods of adding storage between studs I use pocket holes to attach a board to the sides of the studs at the back of the cavity. This is the secret hack to making the most of this usually wasted space.
The reason for using pocket holes is that you don’t want to try to attach anything to the wall on the other side of the cavity. Whether that wall is the outside brick or siding in the garage or an interior wall in a storage room, you can’t screw anything into it without ruining the finished side. By using pocket holes, you can get a solid board that you can then screw into – with short screws of course!
The trick is to cut the board to fit tight into the back of the cavity between the studs. There are two parts to making this work well. The first is measuring accurately and the second is cutting multiple times.
To measure the length most accurately, don’t try to bend the tape measure and hope to read the right distance.
Instead, put a piece of painter’s tape about 10 inches from one side. Use your tape measure to measure ten inches exactly and draw a pencil line at that point on the tape.
Then measure from the other stud to the line you drew on the tape.
Add the measurement to 10 inches to get the total length of board you need to cut. This will give you a much more accurate measurement.
When you go to cut the board to the correct length, cut it slightly longer than you need. Test fit the board. If needed, trim a little with the saw or sander to get the fit tight. A tight fit will help the pocket hole screws hold the board solidly between the studs.
If the board is a little short, it should still work fine as long as you aren’t hanging anything heavy on it, which you shouldn’t be doing with this method anyway! If you were going to use a 1” Kreg screw, maybe use a 1 1/4” screw instead if the board is a little short, just so it gets enough hold into the stud.
Don’t let the space between the studs in unfinished walls in your basement or garage go to waste. Use those spaces to increase the storage in your home.