Garage Storage Shelves

Keeping our garage clean organized is a never-ending battle around here. Every time either one of us works on a project we just clear an area to work in and push everything else to the side. It’s a terrible system. The only time we really clean the garage is when we have a party because I like to keep the majority of the mess, and all of the beer pong, out of the house. With our July 4th party coming up in less than two weeks it was time to clean the garage, yet again. It took most of the weekend, hence why I skipped the Weekend Recap yesterday. Who wants to read about garages twice?

The biggest eyesore in the garage this time around were the storage boxes filled with seasonal decorations and our childhood toys and books. The shelves in our shed were already full and the hole to get into the attic is too small to fit most of these boxes through, so they had to stay in the garage. Bleh. Organizing the garageI seriously don’t know how we ever get anything done in here. Messy garage of 2014Anyway, to solve the storage box dilemma we decided to build some shelves to store the boxes and other garage necessities that clutter the floors. I really wanted something that would fit in the corner next to the garage door with at least 3 shelves, plus space underneath for stuff like gas and weed killer. Garage storage shelvesWe measured our space and decided the best dimensions would be 34″ wide (to allow the garage door to open and close) and 5′ long. We then measured our storage boxes to figure out how tall each shelf would need to be. We decided around 20″ would be best, which made the total height of the shelves about 6 ft tall. I have to use a step stool, but Jesse can reach the top no problem. Armed with our total measurements, off to Home Depot we went for our supplies. We needed:

  • 2 4×8 plywood sheets
  • 10 8 ft. 2x4s
  • 1 box 3″ deck screws
  • 1 box 1 1/4 screws (for attaching the plywood)

Shelf suppliesAfter we got home Jesse got to work making all of the cuts while I worked on another project and went to the grocery store. And guys, he made a cut list! We usually have a problem with our building posts not being very detailed because: we discuss a project, make a plan, high five, buy the supplies, Jesse starts building (usually while I’m asleep or not home), I step in to try to watch or help, Jesse gets annoyed, I get annoyed, I move on to another project, Jesse finishes building, I paint/stain/seal, I take pictures, I start writing post and ask Jesse how he built it, Jesse says “I don’t know,” I get annoyed again, post goes live with me explaining things the best I can, people ask a bunch of questions and for things like cut lists. The nerve. This time he made a cut list and helped with the picture taking, so I call that a win!

  • Start by cutting 4 of the 2x4s down to 6 ft. long. These will be the legs for the shelves.
  • Cut 6 of the 2x4s to 57 inches. These are the braces that run along the front of the shelves.
  • Cut the rest of those 2x4s down to 31 inches. These are the braces that run along sides of the shelves.
  • Cut the plywood into 2 57″ by 34″ for the bottom shelves.
  • Use the left over plywood to make 2 30″ by 34″ pieces. These will make the top shelf, and save you money instead of buying a third full sheet of plywood.

Everybody still awake? It’s time for the fun part, assembly! Start by marking where you want to attach the front braces. We attached the first one 20″ from the bottom, then 20″ from that and the last one at the top (another 20″ up). Make sure you take the measurements from the top of the 2×4 braces!Constructing garage storage shelves


You’ll want to lay the 2×4 flat when attaching it to the legs. This allows you to attached the side braces behind the front braces and gives you a more polished look. Garage storage shelf bracesAfter the frame is assembled it’s time to start attaching your shelves! Garage storage shelves frameAt this point, we could have painted the shelves or stained them, but it’s just going in the garage, no need to be fancy. Adding plywood shelvesAfter everything is attached, it’s time to load ‘er up! It felt so good to get all that crap off the floor and bring some order to the garage chaos. Garage organizationAlong with the storage boxes I loaded the shelves with bags of potting soil, firewood, a bin of scrap wood and a bin of cardboard boxes for shipping things. You can also see that I added another shelf with paint stuff on it. This shelf was bent in a bunch of places and covered in spider webs in the shed, but I decided to bring it in and take a rubber mallet to the bent spots and wipe it down to use it for my painting stuff. I used to keep my painting supplies in one of three closets in the house, which was annoying. Now I’ve got most of the stuff I need (a lot of the paint is still inside) in one convenient location. Paint storageWe still have to finish cleaning the other side of the garage, Jesse wants to do it so I’m not moving his stuff around. But we’re almost back to having an actual work space again! 

I hope you all had a great weekend! Is your garage as messy as ours? Please make me feel better and tell me yes! 😉

*Linking up at VA Bloggers,*

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  1. Oh my gosh your garage is HUGE! I’m jealous. haha we have a tinnnny 1 car garage behind our apartment (which is kind of amazing that we have a garage at all) but it’s literally so small that I can’t fit my car into it!! Alex is using it as a workshop though 🙂

  2. The shelves look great! And so functional! Our garage is a mess too. We have stuff lining all the edges all around and it really annoys me. We bought a shelving unit a while ago, but we still haven’t put it together. It might be on our to-do list for this weekend. Our garage would feel a lot bigger and would be way more organized if we could everything on to the shelves and off the floor!

  3. I am kind of jealous of your massive garage! We only have a shed. It’s a bit disheveled, but since we just moved in, we haven’t had a chance to spread out yet!

  4. *sobs into pillow over lack of workspace*

    So jealous. I’m looking at shed plans right now in the hopes that I can build one soon. Even then I won’t have electricity in it which means I’ll have to run an extension cord anytime I want to do anything. I’m hoping to build in lots of shelves and stuff right off the bat though so it will stay organized from the get-go.

    Two questions for you. What on earth do you use that giant pitch fork for? And, I assumed that 2×4 frame in the second picture was part of this project but then it wasn’t. Is that for a table?

    1. Haha. So sorry Joseph. We usually use the pitch fork for spreading mulch. And yes, the frame is for another farmhouse table! We are going to try selling a few of them!

  5. Good project, sounds like an easy enough shelving unit even I could do it. 🙂 You can never go wrong with a well organized space. Thank you for sharing.

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