Custom-Built Shelving

Stephen’s first dabbling in building stuff was with shelving. Shelves provide the space for the kind of storage and organization I CRAVE! With having three kids, we have so much stuff… toys! dolls! Legos! electronics! scrunchies! baseball cards!… and the list goes on. The unfortunate thing about our house is that we don’t have a ton of closet/storage space, so the above-said items tend to be strewn across the house. All. The. Time.

Stephen found some great free plans that showed him how to custom-build shelves. You can always buy the metal shelves from Home Depot, but let me tell you… for less money, you can build yourself bigger, better suited-for-your-space, heftier shelves!

The first shelves I’m going to talk about are movable shelves. (In a later blog, I’ll talk about the shelving system we did that attaches to the wall- be sure to check back!). Stephen built these types of shelves for his workshop area, our storage area in the basement, and also for my mom’s garage.

The first step- find some great online plans that match what you are wanting! There are thousands of FREE building plans for almost every project you can think of. You have to be flexible, though, to be able to change measurements based on what you need. This time, we used our favorite DIYer again,

The first shelf Stephen did (for his workshop) was pretty simple in terms of what he needed… he wanted to build it with 4-levels and have it be about 6 feet in height. He translated the Ana White plan from the plan’s height to his height and made sure he had enough of the supplies.

You repeat the above two steps four times to create the four shelves.
You attach the shelves to the boards.
Not too complicated, is it?

Next up… my mom’s garage! My mom had some specific things she wanted to store in her garage that had different heights. Stephen adjusted the shelves so that these items could fit, without much wasted space.

See how one has 4 shelves with less space between them; the other one has three shelves with more space between them. Also, the 3-level shelf’s top shelf isn’t as high as the other one. All of this was done based on my mom’s needs!
Notice how the bottom shelf doesn’t start until about 18 inches up so that bins can fit on the ground! Stephen’s workshop shelf started much lower, because he didn’t need space on the ground.

The last shelving unit Stephen did was in one of our basement’s storage areas. We mostly have organized bins in this room, and we wanted a shelving system that could accommodate bins but not have wasted space. Stephen manipulated the plan using the basics he learned and created a very cool system that fit the walls around our storage area perfectly!

These shelves actually take up three of the walls in this room.

Stephen followed the original plan but modified the shelves themselves to be much longer with more supports along the way. The lowest shelf is high enough for the bins to fit on the ground underneath, and the top shelf isn’t too tall that we can’t get the high bins up and down easily.

You can actually sit on these shelves and they don’t budge. It’s amazing how durable they are! Also, you can paint or stain these according to what you want. If you’re in need of more storage, hopefully this will help motivate you to build yourself some shelves!


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