Saturday, March 2, 2013

Thrifty Project: Store 16 Totes In Less Than 21 Square Feet!

Thanks to my very handy hubby, I now have a great way to store all my totes so they take up less space in my basement. 16+ full-size storage totes in less than 21 square feet!

We just finished construction on our new (smaller) home, and downsizing has taken a toll on my organization. Our new house has a full unfinished basement which will be used for storage (and as a play area for the grandkids). It didn't take long for me to realize I had to find a way to get all my storage totes up off the floor and stacked where I could have access to any one of them without digging through the pile.

We had a pile of extra lumber on hand from several recent projects so I was able to have two of these storage shelves (each will hold 16 full size totes plus a little more) for only the cost of 2 sheets of OSB board! I've added a supply list below in case you'd like to build some of your own!

Here are two pics of one of the shelves empty -

Each shelf takes up approximately 80" x 36" of floor space, and each unit will hold 16+ full-size totes.

This pic shows the shelf full of totes - not completely organized yet mind you, but at least you can see how many totes it really will hold. Also, the first shelf was made using 2x4s for the shelves (but only because we had a lot of them on hand). We decided to use OSB for the second one he made, and I like it better. Plus it would be even cheaper to build if you had to go out and buy everything.

I also wanted to mention that these shelves are VERY sturdy! Make sure to use screws instead of nails when you're building the frame. It's fine to use nails to anchor the OSB (or whatever you want to use for your shelves), but use screws everywhere else for added durability.

Here's a supply list for each shelf (that will hold 16 totes):

6 - 2x4s that are 6 foot long (for the upright posts)
3 - 2x6s that are 36" long (for the bottom bracing between the front and back upright 2x4s)
9 - 2x4s that are 36" long (these create the supports where the shelves lay)
2 - 2x4s that are approximately 6 foot long for use as the back braces (angle cut on each end at 45 degrees to stabilize the entire unit)
2 sheets OSB (or plywood, but OSB is cheaper) - first cut to 80" long then ripped in half to make them 24" wide
2 1/2 inch wood screws

My husband is not a carpenter so this is not an exact science. It was simply his goal to build some shelves for his wife (me) using stuff we had on hand, that would be sturdy enough to hold a bunch of totes. He exceeded my expectations.

I will add a step-by-step tutorial if anyone is interested. This is not a difficult project at all if you can measure and cut straight, use a drill, and have a little help holding here and there. It took him about half a day to make the first one while he was creating the design, but the second one went together one evening after work.

I am thinking I need just ONE more to hold all these totes :-)