These storage shelves are simple to build and cost less than $75 in materials! Make the most of your garage, shed or basement and get those bins organized.
Our backyard shed has become a dumping ground! It’s gotten so full of random stuff, I couldn’t get our bikes out without rearranging the mess. I’ve had these storage shelves on my to-do list forever, and now I regret not building them years ago! This simple project requires minimal cuts and costs less than $75 for all the materials.
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Materials Needed for Storage Shelves
Instructions for Building Storage Shelves
Before I could start building, I needed to dig out the mess and get it organized. Obviously, my previous system of throwing everything into the corner wasn’t working . . .
Camping gear was mixed with ski boots. Grass seed and cement sat side by side. The beach bag was filled to overflowing with sand toys. I started grouping like items together into these bins I picked up from Home Depot.
The back wall of the shed emerged as the junk was cleared away. It’s 9 feet long and 8 feet tall, which are easy dimensions to work with. I could use full length studs and two 4′ x 8′ sheets of cheap oriented strand board (OSB) I had cut at the store. I even managed to get it all home in my car without contorting myself into the driver’s seat!
Of course, after lugging all that lumber home, I realized the studs I purchased were less than 8 feet long. Oops! It looks a little wonky because the frames are smaller than the platform, but luckily storage shelves don’t need to look pretty!
There’s two ways to build these storage shelves: building the frames then attaching them to uprights, or building the shelves onto the uprights. I started with the former, then switched to the latter when I realized the shelves were too heavy for me to install by myself! I’ll show both methods so you can choose which one works best for you.
“Build the Shelves First” Method
Attach three 21″ pieces to the ends and center of one 8 foot 2 x 4 using 3″ screws. You can also drill pocket holes into the shorter pieces and attach them with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws. Attach another 8 foot 2 x 4 to the other ends to make the frame.
Place a 24″ wide sheet of OSB on top of the frame, and screw it into place with 3″ screws.
Set your shelf on its side. Mark a line 21″ from the bottom of three of the remaining studs, and align the mark with the bottom of the shelf. Check that the stud is square, then attach it to the frame with 3″ screws.
Repeat for the other two studs. Now flip the entire thing over and attach the other three legs the same way. Stand it up, and you have the first shelf complete!
Continue building complete shelves, then install them 21″ apart. Use clamps to hold them while you screw them in place, and don’t forget to check that they’re level!
I switched building methods after the first shelf went in. There was no way I could lift an entire shelf and screw it into place by myself, and I was far too impatient to wait for my husband to get home to give me a hand. Luckily, the other method was just as easy!
“Build Shelves in Place” Method
Mark the vertical supports 21″ up from the first shelf, and clamp one of the long 2 x 4’s in place. I used the shorter pieces to hold the board at the right height while I clamped. Attach with 3″ screws, then repeat for the other side.
Then, clamp the shorter pieces and screw them into place. I couldn’t get to the back side of the shelving unit, so I used pocket holes for these. Offset them a few inches from the vertical supports so you don’t hit one of the other screws.
Slide the next sheet of OSB on top and screw in place around the perimeter with 3″ screws.
Repeat for the next shelf (you’ll probably need a stepladder for this).
Start filling them up! These shelves provide so much storage in a small footprint!
My new bins fit perfectly side by side, with enough room to easily slide them in and out. Don’t forget to label them so you know what’s inside. I couldn’t live without my label maker!
Lightweight, bulky items were mounted on the wall with large wall hooks (I got mine from Harbor Freight, but I found similar ones here). The extra sheet of OSB will come in handy when I need to make a temporary work surface outside. It also helps protect the wall from bike tire marks!
With everything in the shed up off the floor, there’s more than enough floor space for the bikes.
My old miter saw and stand have a new home by the door to make it easy to move into the yard. I can’t wait to work outside on sunny days!
I hope this helps you get your own garage, basement or shed chaos under control! Remember, if you prefer to get the plans for this project as a printable PDF, you can access them through the woodworking plans library!
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