5 Shelving Solutions for the Garage or Storage Unit

5 Shelving Solutions for the Garage or Storage Unit
  • Opening Intro -

    Winter is quickly coming to an end, and you know what that means: spring cleaning.

    Now, before you panic, take a deep breath. Spring cleaning does not have to be a nightmare. Once you learn how to organize your space, the rest is easy.


Whether you stash your belongings in your own garage or a downtown Scarborough storage unit, these five storage tips will make your spring cleaning job a walk in the park.


We all heard the adage, “Keep it simple, stupid,” when writing essays in high school. I’m here to propose a variation: keep it short, stupid. To put it simply, there’s no point in using shelves that are too high to reach comfortably. You’ll either hurt yourself trying to reach them, or abandon whatever is up there because it takes too much effort to reach.

Save yourself the pain of dropping something heavy on yourself, and stick with shelves you know you can reach. Most shelving options from major retailers average between five and six feet tall.

Never underestimate the importance of labels

Remember how your wood shop teacher had that board with the shape of every tool outlined in paint, so you knew exactly where to put things? This isn’t as elaborate as that, but the same principle applies.

Whether you’re storing things in boxes, drawers, or shelves, one of the easiest – and most often overlooked – organizing tricks is to label everything. If it’s a box of batteries, write “batteries” on the side. If you’ve got an entire shelf devoted to gardening supplies, slap some masking tape on there that says, “Gardening S upplies.”

One good rule of thumb is this: if you told your five-year-old to go grab something from the garage or storage unit, would he be able to find it?

Box it up

If you find yourself having trouble navigating through all the stuff on your shelves, get some boxes. Storage companies generally sell packing supplies, or you can hit up the back door of your local big box store and see if they’ll let you take some boxes off their hands.

Once you’ve got your hands on some boxes, the real fun begins. Make sure you’re not making your job harder – if you have two boxes’ worth of Christmas decorations, keep them near each other. If you have half a box’s worth of miscellaneous hardware, try a smaller box and free up the shelf space for more items.

Remember to label all the boxes so you don’t waste time digging through them!

Upcycle old filing cabinets

In this day and age of digital record-keeping, filing cabinets may be standing empty. Instead of just tossing them out, think of them as shelves with boxes built in!

Even if you don’t have any files to store, you can keep anything in the drawers of a filing cabinet. As with boxes, make sure you’re not wasting space. If a filing cabinet drawer is too big for all your flower seed packets, stick them in a shoebox and use the drawer space for something else.

Make your own

If you’ve exhausted all your shelving options, it might be time for a trip to the hardware store. You can make sturdy shelves using plywood and two-by-fours, and you have the liberty to make them any size or shape you desire. You should probably stick to right angles if you’re a novice.

If you’ve never built anything before, never fear – online tutorials abound!

Whatever the current state of your storage situation, organizing it is an easy job once you’ve got the right setup. Try out these shelving solutions to transform your space, and you’ll find yourself looking for excuses to visit the garage.  It’ll look that nice!

Image source: wikimedia

Home Improvement reference:

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