Storage & Organization
A Quick and Budget Friendly Fix for Expanding Storage Shelf Space in a Pantry or Closet
In an effort to increase the square footage of storage in our home and on a tight budget, I decided to take a tour of our house to look for unused vertical or horizontal closet space. I was surprised at the opportunities I found.
Our main storage areas include a small closet next to the ground floor bathroom, a good-sized pantry off the kitchen, and a deep and narrow closet for our upstairs bathroom. After visiting each, I noticed that the previous owners had installed shelves that only occupied half the depth of the closet, and when I looked up, I saw space for an additional one or two more shelves!
What a waste of perfectly good space!
Custom shelving doesn't have to be expensive, especially for our organizational and storage needs. If it's not out in the open, it doesn't necessarily have to be pretty (although there are a lot of nice decorative shelves out there). To make a shelf, all you really need are the right measurements, a plank of wood, a ledge to hold it up, a drill, and some screws.
For this project, I started by measuring the depth and length I would need for the planks of wood. Then I counted the number of shelves I wanted and accounted for two 1/2″ shives (ledges) for each shelf. We already had the screws and drill on hand. Plywood works, but we got a slightly thicker wood to prevent sagging in the middle. Otherwise, a bracket can be installed for added support as well.
A drill and some simple materials are all you need.
We checked for studs when screwing the wood shims in to make sure the shelf would remain secure in the drywall. The actual installation took less than 20 minutes! I just love fast, functional, and inexpensive solutions.
Extending the shelves doubled the storage space.
By adding five extra shelf extensions, I nearly doubled my storage space. Now my small appliances, pots, pans, and other need-to-store-but-want-available items have a home sweet home.
Plenty of room for supplies now.
Down the line, I plan on painting the walls a cool color, (any thoughts?) and will paint the boards white to clean things up a bit. There is also the opportunity to section off some of the shelving to make more of a custom fit.