Our garage is a catch-all. It is our home’s giant junk drawer. We have a million outdoor toys and things that need stored. It’s also my craft area because it can be ventilated. It’s always messy. In the summer, the kids drag out all their toys and then don’t put them away – that’s customary at our house. In the winter, they sometimes play in the garage for something different to do. I don’t think words can convey just how messy it is, so lets let some photos do the talking, shall we?
I’m honestly embarrassed to show these off, but this is real life with kids. Sometimes it’s better and sometimes it’s worse, but it always looks like chaos.
We needed an intervention. I decided to get some shelving units to help use up some vertical space to store totes and things. Wire and metal framed shelves are expensive and not very big. So after some digging, I decided to build my own. I researched on YouTube to see what it entailed, and decided that I would need a unit with 4 legs. Many videos made theirs directly mounted to the wall with no back legs. We rent currently, so I wanted something that we could just take the anchors out and move away. It wasn’t much of a change to do that versus build it directly on the wall. I spent about $300 on the lumber and supplies. Two metal shelves would have cost me more than that, and it wouldn’t have been enough storage. I took advantage of the height of my ceiling and decided to not cut the 8 foot legs off. It fits perfectly with some room on top for storage too. The only thing is that it wouldn’t fit under the garage door standing up, so it has to lay down to come out of the garage, and its very heavy. I also decided to not cut the width of the shelves so it is 8 feet long as well. That saved a lot of time trimming boards.
I’m going to preface this by saying that I am terrible at measurements and math. But I did this project all by myself, so I’m confident that anybody can do it. I started by building my frames for the shelves. I bought everything at home depot and had them cut a lot of the lumber for me to save time.
Each cross member of the shelves is 21 inches long. That makes the shelves about 25 inches deep – if you need to know what totes will fit my measurements. I needed 24 cross members total. You get 4 cross members from each 2×4, so you’ll need 6 2x4s cut into 4 21 inch pieces each.
After building the frames for the shelves, I topped each one with MDF that I also had Home Depot cut down for me. I told them to cut them exactly in half lengthwise to make 2 (half of the MDF width – 4 foot – is 2 foot which is the depth of the shelves). I did have to trim the ends a little but a hand saw worked just fine since MDF is not very hard to cut. Once I had the shelves made, I stood them all on edge on the garage floor and measured and marked the legs where the shelves would sit, every 16 inches (the totes are 13.25 inches tall plus the height of the shelf itself and accounting for the MDF width). The top of the MDF met up with my 16 inch marks. I used a carpenter’s square for all of that to make sure that everything would be level when I stood the unit up. I also pre-drilled all of my screw holes and half way drilled them in so that all I had to do when it came time to assemble was torque the screws in tight. A lot less of a hassle doing it that way.
Once the legs were in place, all I had to do was stand it up. That was the hardest part honestly. I recruited some help and we shimmied it upright and into place along the wall. I used 3 inch deck screws and a stud finder to anchor it to the studs in the wall so that it won’t fall over. I anchored it in several places across the top two shelves so it definitely isn’t going anywhere.
I intentionally left an entire shelf out so that I could construct a crafting bench in the middle. I made small shelves on either side for added storage and in the center, installed some peg board to hang all of my resin supplies. I got a bunch of clear peg board containers and a few hooks from amazon to help me organize. I also got some LEd lighting to give me a well lit work space. Even if I don’t want to do resin work anymore, this space is so versatile, it will work for just about any project. It turned out so well!
Just check out that before and after! I’ll try and link my supplies as best I can. If you don’t have a lot of tools and don’t want to spend a fortune, I suggest going to Harbor Freight if you have one nearby. They have the cheapest prices on tools that I can find. They aren’t DeWalt quality by any means, but they do the job perfectly fine.
Storage bins https://www.menards.com/main/storage-organization/storage-totes-bins/storage-totes/sterilite-reg-clearview-latch-trade-66-quart-clear-storage-tote/17571706/p-1444444108846-c-12667.htm?tid=1941881953214790323&ipos=12
peg board https://www.homedepot.com/p/48-in-H-x-24-in-W-White-Pegboard-109099/202093803 you’ll need 2 of these
Clear Pegboard conainer https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011DYDIWI/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Pegboard hooks https://www.menards.com/main/tools-hardware/tool-storage/wall-mounted-storage/tool-shop-reg-3-double-loop-pegboard-hook-2-pack/49332/p-1555569001321-c-12657.htm?tid=-5947855682044707409&ipos=11