My battles with garage storages and basements will never end. I hate staff and clutter lying all over the floor. I believe in having a location for every tool or item: gardening tools, storage boxes, paint buckets and motor repairing tools and ensuring it is in the right position. Getting everything off the floor and onto shelves is the first major step to the organisation. The shelves may be cluttered, but at least things can begin to find their location and be categorised.
Do you have a heap of stuff in your garage and need to find a way to organise it? I will show to you how to build simple, inexpensive shelves that can hold your storage containers and get your garage organised in a days’ work.
Storage shelves can be constructed from plywood or scrap six 2x4s as they are strong as anything you would purchase from a shop but much cheaper. Steel and plastic can also be used to build the shelves, but steel has proven to be quite expensive while the plastic can sag and fall apart. Tools required for the task includes spirit level, impact/driver or drill, tape measure and a saw. The dimensions of your shelf should be sufficient enough to support standard boxes and tool cases but not too shallow that will hinder your access to stuff stored far back. A depth of 16 inches is sufficient enough to meet your shelf needs as it will relieve the extra space on top of the bins, which can be used to for another level of shelving.
You can build your shelves in any way you want. You shelving can be as short or as tall as you want. The span between legs can be altered depending on the size of storage you require. As a safety measure, ensure the shelf is secured to the wall to prevent it from tipping forward or racking.
Every efficient way of building a shelf would still need you to mark frame parts to ensure a quick assembly. Cut the frame parts to the length you require, such as 6 inches. Circular saws are needed for this task. Afterwards, pinpoint the positions where the rails are going to be screwed to individual legs. Do a similar thing to 2x4s. It makes the whole thing fit together in an instant. Mark the leg parts and the rails after trimming your parts to length. Each shelve can be supported by at least three legs to make it stronger. These support brackets can vary by two inches.
The brackets are then assembled using standard ½ inch screws using an impact driver. They are bolted to each connected end. A longer bracket and its length can be in contact with the shelf as it will be much stronger than having the wall side of the bracket extends to the shelf. It is good to work on top of a piece of plywood as it will assist you keep each frame aligned up. You can you use the edges of the plywood to adjust and line up things as you bolt them jointly. It will also ensure you pick the straightest lumber while shopping.
Installing shelves in each frame would be much easier if you had an assistant to help you hold the frames. You can also lean on the frames against the wall and hold the next frame while you bolt the shelf into place that is if you are working alone. You can also raise the bracket using a 1-inch piece of scrap wood. It will be much easier to bolt the ends together, instead of guessing where the centre is and holding it in place.
Wall studs should be 16 inches on centre (OC), which can be confirmed with the use of a stud finder. Mark out the stud positions you plan on securing the brackets to. Use construction screws to bolt each unit to the wall via top rails, spaced on a second or third stud. The shelf unit is strong but it can be secured further through bolting the unit together via the front legs. If your floor is uneven, you can shim the legs.
Hang the top bins from cleats to prevent stocking the diminutive bins on top of each other. You can start you screws in individual cleats first and later use a spacer to identify the cleats location as you bolt it on. This will ensure a fast installation of cleats. Ensuring the shelves are 16-inches apart and 16 inches from the ceiling will ensure they are not too low to crowd your working space. Use a spirit level to level the brackets that were marked before pre-drilling and secure them to the wall studs.
Once the bracket placements are set and they are on level, pre-drill holes in the stud and brackets and assemble them to the wall using ½-inch screws. You may have marked the wall more than was needed but the shelves can cover it. It is not huge issue as it is just the garage. Attach the first bracket flush on the wall and place the second bracket 16 inches from the first, attached to a stud. Skip the next stud and place the final bracket 32 inches from the second one. If you are planning on putting heavy storage bins on the shelves, you can decide to attach another set of support. Furring strips can prevent the whole unit from collapsing, especially when a small child is trying to climb it.
You are ready to secure the shelves once the brackets are up. The shelves should be pushed all the way back the wall. You should then pre-drill four holes via the shelf into the brackets. Bolt four screws through the shelf into the 2x4 support. You can drive the screw sub-flush or flush to prevent snagging or anything sliding over them. You can cut slots onto your shelf to ensure segregation of items. It is a convenient design as it keeps your garage well organised. You can add flashy paint on the shelf to illuminate the garage, if it is dull-looking, into a cool space.