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Making Sliding Storage Shelves in One Weekend

Learn how you can turn a 20-foot garage corner into 70-feet of space with stacked, slide-out storage shelves. Plus, see how to create bonus shelving with leftover wood. 

My garage was getting a little out of control. Bulky tools from home improvements projects, boxes upon boxes of holiday decorations, gardening tools, piles of landscaping bags – nothing seemed to have a place.

It was hard to get work done efficiently – not to mention, find something when I was looking for it.

​It was time to get smart about garage organization, storage, and shelving. 

DIY sliding garage shelf tower filled with garage tools

I decided we need a some sort of shelving tower with deep shelves.

One of the ways I maximized was by using sliding shelves in the storage tower. This increased the amount of things our shelf could hold but didn’t compromise being able to easily find them. 

It was definitely an easy and practical addition to the garage shelf project. 

DIY garage storage shelf with sliding drawers using gate handles

Determining a Space for the Sliding Storage Shelves

I already had several prefabricated metal garage shelves doing a decent job of garage storage, but they had their shortcomings.

I had been eyeing this corner space next to our garage fridge. The space was 3 feet deep and about 6 feet wide, and it was currently underutilized.

There were just piles of boxes, gardening tools, and other things that had accumulated.

Corner spaces in the garage often become dumping grounds, as ours had become. I decided to capitalize on the vertical square footage, transforming this messy corner into garage storage shelving.

So, after a few days of pondering over garage storage shelving ideas and messing around in TinkerCad (an awesome 3D designing website), I came up with the idea below for garage storage shelves:

Garage Shelves Tutorial - Create More Storage

Garage Storage Shelf Requirements

I had 3 requirements for the sliding storage shelves project for my garage. My first requirement was deep storage shelves. The area had a lot of depth, and I wanted to make the most of the space.

I went with 3 ft deep shelves; this was twice as deep as the prefab shelves, so twice the garage storage space.

The second requirement (which is not evident in the TinkerCad drawing above) was sliding garage shelves.

Although 3 ft deep garage shelves would hold a lot, trying to reach something at the back seemed very burdensome. You would have to move things out of the way to get back there, which wasn’t very efficient, especially for vertical space.

Therefore, I wanted some of the deep garage shelves to be on drawer slides.

My last requirement was enough clearance at the bottom of the garage shelves to fit some of my taller tools (like my shopvac), and for them to just roll out (without having to drop off a shelf).

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Preparing Space for the Garage Storage Shelves

To start the sliding storage shelves, I first cleared out and cleaned the designated area for the garage shelves.

Then I located the studs in the wall (using my trusty stud finder), and used green painters tape preserve their locations.

​The garage shelving unit was going to be bolted to the studs to make it stable.

Here’s the wall with the studs marked:

Garage Corner turned into Sliding Storage ShelvingBuilding the Shelf Supports

The actual construction of the garage shelves was fairly straight forward. I just followed the design I created to construct the sliding storage shelves.

The whole garage shelf was made of 2 x 4 wood that was cut to different lengths.

Unfortunately, I was so caught up in the construction (it was a pretty fun project to work on), I forgot to take many pictures. Therefore, I’m just going to provide some visuals.

First, I made 3 vertical support structures for the garage shelves. I would install these on the ends and middle.

​These supports looked like a 3 ft wide ladder – see pic below:

How to Build Sliding Storage Shelves

Next, I used 6 ft cuts of 2 x 4s to connect the 3 vertical supports, and to form a basis for each garage shelf.

​I also added 2 extra 6 ft pieces at the back of the structure to bolt into the wall studs.

Building Garage Sliding Storage Shelves- Easy Tutorial for More Storage

Adjusting for Sliding Garage Shelves

Before considering sliding storage shelves, I thought about making all of the shelves look like the very top one. However, that was going to be too simple, and I like to make things a little challenging.

Hence, the modifications for the garage sliding shelves.

The shelf slides were going to bear the load of the garage shelves, so it was not necessary to run as many 6 ft planks as the top shelf (which was just a static shelf with no slides). Three connecting pieces per row was sufficient.

Next, I needed structures to attach the slides to. I came up with the design below:

Notice the 4 slide supports on each row (one on each end and two in the middle).  In between each pair of slide supports was going to be the actual sliding shelves.

At this point in the project, it was time to secure the structure to the garage wall. If I proceeded any further with construction, the DIY shelving unit would be too heavy for me to carry (not that it wasn’t already really heavy).

Also, there was just enough room for me to squeeze in between the 2 x 4s to get to back to bolt the structure to the wall studs.

Next, I wedged myself in the middle of garage shelving unit, picked it up like superman, and inched my way over to the wall. I used some lag bolts to secure the shelves to the studs.

Constructing the Storage Shelves

After that, I had to build the actual sliding storage shelves. Here is my design for each sliding shelf:

Building Garage Storage Shelves that Slide

During construction of the garage shelves, I did add an elevated piece to the back of each shelf. I didn’t want items falling off the back as I pulled the shelf forward.

First, I installed the slides on each slide support. Then, using ¼” scrap wood as shims, I elevated each shelf and secured them to the slides.

With the sliding shelves installed, the garage shelf project was pretty much complete. Last, I just had to install some gate handles for each shelf to be able to pull them out easily.

DIY pull out storage shelves from garage shelf towerUsing gate handles for DIY pull out shelves on garage shelf tower - free plans

Although, I did make a last-minute design decision though – I omitted the bottom row of sliding shelves and replaced it with a static shelf (like the very top one).

I realized that some of my tools (like my miter saw) didn’t have enough clearance to fit on the DIY sliding shelf.

​Consequently, I settled for just 2 rows of sliding shelves, which was still plenty of awesomeness.

I took the pictures below of the completed DIY garage storage shelves:

DIY pull out storage shelves - free plans

DIY garage storage shelf tower with pull out shelves

DIY wall-mounted garage shelves with free plans

There is also enough space to pull a car into the garage too – with about a foot to spare.

​However, I was a little worried about bumping into the garage shelf with the car, so I got a cheap parking sensor to help (it turns from green to yellow to red as you get within a foot of the sensor).

Garage Storage Shelves - Easy Tutorial

Bonus Storage Shelving

After I finished the garage shelves, I had an extra 2 x 4 leftover. Still in a shelf-frenzy mood, I turned those into some normal shelves on the wall.

​To the left of the sliding shelf structure was a hideous area begging for some DIY garage organization, and a prime target for a storage solution:

Creating More Garage Storage - Sliding and Floating Shelves

Using some shelf brackets, I bought a while ago, I threw together a simple shelf for the garage with the leftovers from the main project.

​Below is what I turned the above disaster into – see shelf at the top of the picture.

Creating Garage Storage - Floating Shelves and Sliding Shelves

Using the Sliding Storage Shelves

The sliding storage shelves truly transformed a disorganized corner. We gained a ton of lost space through building the shelf tower.

Storage-wise, the garage shelves hold more than we could have imagined – most of the boxes of holiday decorations (Eileen loves that she can easily access these), tool boxes, and large tools such as the miter saw.

Underneath the storage shelves, I store the shop vac, jaw horse, and snow blower. It’s the perfect height.

Pleased with the outcome of my DIY garage organization, I found building the shelving unit one of the most fun and creative projects I’ve worked on recently.

​I also completely impressed Eileen with doing the whole project in one weekend – that was the best part. She was also thrilled that the cost was less than $200.

If your garage is getting out of control and you have underutilized space, you should definitely think about building these sliding garage storage shelves.

The design worked beautifully, and you can’t beat the turnaround time and low-cost.

With phase 1 of “Project DIY Garage Organization” was now complete. Phase 2 of the garage construction is coming this summer – a dream folding workbench with fancy storage solutions.

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74 Comments

  1. Wow, what a great project! Very well executed. And the low price tag of $200 for a custom piece with slide out shelves is unheard of. Sweet!

    1. Thanks Ola! Ash did such a great job creating space on an old dusty corner! I love the sliding part – makes it so easy to get to the back!

  2. I love this idea! It drives me crazy not being able to see what I have on my shelves. Especially in a dark garage!
    #MMBH

  3. I already commented on these great storage idea, but wanted to thank you for sharing at Over The Moon party. Hope you will share at Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hope and Thursday Favorite Things this week.
    Hugs,
    Bev

  4. Wow! You guys are amazing! Thank you for sharing at the Make it Pretty Monday party! Happy week to you! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

    1. Awww thank you so much, Kathryn! We love sharing on your link party! Have a great week:)

  5. This is great! We currently rent so it isn’t something that I would want to tackle right now but I am for sure going to save this for when we buy our first home. I am BIG on organizing and decluttering and this would make life so much easier! Can’t wait to actually be able to create this for our own home! Thanks!
    Visiting from Meandering Mondays!
    -Lyndsey @ Gaining Success Young

    1. Thanks Lyndsey:) Yes owning your home is great because you can do whatever you want:) I love organization too – I hate wasting time finding things when I could be using that time in other ways 🙂 Have a great day!

    1. Thanks Wendy 🙂 I think you could – Ash taught himself! Let us know if you have questions!

    1. Yes, Michele – it totally was! And we have filled that shelf to the max – but it’s all easy to get to 🙂

  6. That is an awesome project! Making the shelves slide is perfect, because as you said, it can be very difficult to get things out from the back of a deep shelf. I wish you lived closer to us so you could install projects like that in our garage!

  7. Haha Leslie! Would love to 🙂 I love those garage shelves – I’m hoping they multiple because our garage is getting messy again 🙂

  8. LOVE this! How great to have the shelves slide out! Wanna take a trip to Montana to build me one? 😉

    1. Thanks Sarah! The shelves created so much more space! We are trying to see where we can fit some more storage towers:) thanks for the pin!

  9. My husband is going to love this, he’s currently in the process of building garage storage. Thank you for sharing at the Creative Muster party. PINNED
    Robin | Fluster Buster

    1. Aww thanks so much, Linda! I agree with the storage- you really can never have enough:) have a great week!

  10. I love the idea of sliding shelves in the kitchen or pantry but would never have thought to use them in the garage. Very cool. Have you noticed any issues with things falling through the slats?

    1. Thanks Alayna! Kitchen and pantry sounds like a great idea. We haven’t had anything fall through the slats – but we mostly have large boxes and tools on the shelves – so nothing that would really fall through.

    1. Thanks Christine! I love how fast Ash did them too. Any project that gets done in a weekend makes me happy:) thanks so much for the pin and share!

    1. Thanks Cristina! I still can’t get over how much space Ash created with these shelves!

  11. This. Is. So. COOL.
    I’m seriously DIY-geeking out about this and want my fiance to get started RIGHT AWAY lol
    Thanks for sharing! #fandayfriday

    1. Hahaaa thanks so much Amanda! What a nice compliment! We LOVE them too- so much created space:)

  12. Sliding garage shelves sound like a dream come true! This is a great project and I could definitely used this in my garage and basement. Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story, have a great weekend.

    1. Thanks so much Sandra! They work out so well! The sliding part was something Ash thought of along the way and it’s their best feature! Good idea about putting them in the basement! Have a great week!

  13. Thanks so much for posting to the #fandayfriday link party! Hope you got some great traffic from the party this week hope to see you again next week!

  14. Great tutorial! I am trying to make over my garage, you gave me an idea 🙂 Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays, I will feature your post on the next blog hop.

  15. Where fid you get the shelg/drawer slides? The cheapest oned i have found are $38 a pair with only 100 lb capacity.

  16. Love this and can’t wait to add it to my basement. One question, how many 2x4s do I need to follow your plan?

  17. I’ve been thinking about getting some new storage options for my garage. I’m glad you talked about how you don’t want to bump into garage storage containers with a car, and how you can get other things to prevent that. I’m going to have to look at some custom garage storage options and see what I can find!

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