At some point in the evolution of a gym, equipment needs to get off of the floor. This is good for cleaning, maximizing space, optimizing space for workouts, etc.
It is unfortunate that an expense needs to be incurred that does not directly translate to gains.
In the garage I have the following scattered about the floor. (a) 280# bumpers, (b) 2 kettlebells, (c) 2 sets of hex head dumbbells, (d) change plates, and (e) atlas stones. In the house, I have also stashed (f) paralettes, (g) ab wheel, (h) 2 abmats, (i) wall ball, (j) sandbag, (k) loadable dumbbells, and (l) 150# bumpers.
I have thought of getting a plate tree or just a heavy duty storage shelf, but I really feel like I would be better served by a 4 ft tall, 4 ft wide mass storage system. These are readily available from Rep Fitness (2x2 11 gauge), Rogue Fitness (2x2 11 gauge) and Titan Fitness (2x2 13 gauge, thinner). There are lots of options on line and if you really want to go nuts, Ghost Strong would be happy to custom make something for you.
Dialing this in from Rep Fitness:
(2) Pair 6 foot uprights - $45 each (6 foot uprights are only $5 more than the 4 foot so why not)
(2) Connectors - $12 each
(1) or (2) 4 foot ball/plate storage - $42 each (6 foot width is considerably more expensive and I do not have room)
(1) or (2) 4 foot DB/KB storage - $80 each (6 foot width is considerably more expensive and I do not have room)
(1) set of 4 dividers - $15 (cheap add on)
(1) set of wheels - $20 (cheap add on, but they do not appear to lock)
(1) pair of change plate horns - $15 (yes please)
Plates would be on the ground level
Dumbbells could be 24 inches above plates
KB shelf could be 18 inches above dumbbells (I really do not need to store these in the garage right now)
Med ball shelf could be at the very top ( really do not need to store these in the garage right now)
Minimum Cost - $286
Maximum Cost - $408
I am biased towards the minimum configuration and can always add additional shelving. Alternatively, it would be nice to have the extra plate storage so that everything is separated.
I have 21 inches of bumper plates in the garage and another 12 inches in the basement. All would fit on one shelf. I have a pair of 5# and 2.5# plates that would go on the horns. I would get another set if I got 10# pairs.
I have (2) pair of hex dumbbell (50# & 27.5#, planning on adding 35#) in the garage and another set of plate loaded in the basement. All would fit on one shelf.
I have (2) KB in the garage - 35# and 15#
I have (1) med ball inside the house, planning on adding a second one.
My sand bag and paralettes would not fit on the modular storage system