Create the perfect heavy-duty storage shelves for your garage or storage space. Cost-effective and easy to build on alone.
Things are well underway for my garage makeover, and we are rolling into One Room Challenge Week two with these easy DIY Storage shelves all wrapped up. If you missed Week 1 you can check out all of my plans for getting this space cleaned out and in functional order.
The One Room Challenge is always a HUGE source of motivation and inspo for a variety of home spaces. You can check out all of the other bloggers over on the ORC Blog.
Easy 2 x 4 Storage Shelves
The main focus for this week was clearing out the clutter and installing some more storage. I wanted cheap, easy and functional. These plans from Ana White DIY delivered all of that and more. You can check out her site for an instructional video as well.
I built my shelves alone so I’ll give you a quick tutorial and my own tips for installing these solo.
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- 2 x 4 Framing Lumber
- Plywood or MDF
- Stud Finder
- Impact Driver
- Power Drill
- Self Tapping Screws
- Kreg Jig & Screws
- Speed Square
- Miter Saw
Spacing & Height
If you saw last week’s post, you know that this mess is what I was working with for my before. I removed some upper cabinets in the corner that I’ll be repurposing later.
I planned my shelving heights to line up with an existing set of shelving on the opposite end of this wall. It’s also a good idea to plan your heights to accommodate whatever you’ll be storing in your space such as bins and totes.
I planned my shelf depth to be 24″ wide. Ana’s plans recommend planning your width and depth to best maximize your plywood and 2 x 4 product.
Drill into studs
For the first step you simply mark your studs and drill a 2 x 4 directly into the wall at your preferred heights. Make sure to calculate the extra height from your plywood topper. Mine added an additional 1/2″.
My shelves were placed at 4, 6 and 8 foot heights with an 8 foot long span.
Solo Tip: Use an impact driver and self-tapping screws. Attach the board to the center stud and use a level to work your way out towards the ends.
Attach Outer Hortizontal Supports
For the next step, place an identical 2 x 4 directly on top of the board you just attached. You only need to use a screw on each end here because you’ll be removing them later.
Solo Tip: Clamping the boards together helps to keep things lined up, and provides an extra hand if working alone.
Attach Outer Vertical Supports
Now attach another vertical 2 x 4 on each end. If your shelves will span more than 8 feet or you’ll be placing extremely heavy items on them you may want to add a middle support as well.
Now, are you ready for the magic trick of this whole thing? Unscrew the second set of horizontal 2 x 4’s and BAM, you’ve got an identical set of rails for your exterior side. Mind. Blown.
I chose to cut some additional support cleats to ensure these would hold the maximum weight. A girl needs options. I set up a makeshift stop of sorts to make quick work of the cuts. Since my overall shelf width would be 24″, I cut the cleats at 21″. (24″ – 3″ for the 2 x 4 sides).
Using my Kreg Jig, I drilled pocket holes in one side of each cleat and attached it to the back. The opposite side is attached by driving 3″ screws directly through the front 2 x 4 into the ends of the cleat.
For the shelf tops I used cheap 4′ x 8′ sheets of 1/2″ plywood. I cut them in half with my absolute favorite tool for cutting large sheets of stock, the Kreg Rip Cut.
I just attached them to the 2 x 4 framing using some leftover screws.
I was able to complete these easy DIY Storage shelves solo in about 2 hours, and you can’t beat the functionality for the price. I’ve already been able to get so many things organized and up off of the floor.
How neat are these vintage card file boxes?
They fit the depth of the shelves perfectly, and they hold a ton! I was able to get a few things sorted and organized into them and LOVE how some of the workshop clutter is starting to disappear.
You can check out the garage wall storage system in this post.
Up next Week
I was also able to get the old cabinets removed from the opposite wall to prep for the built-ins.
Coming up this week I’ll be working on plans for the built-in mudroom wall and finishing up with decluttering! Be sure to follow along on Instagram stories for all the behind the scenes action.