There is nothing worse than moving into your home with all your boxes of mechanical and garden tools then find you have no shelving storage to put everything. All garages and sheds are different sizes and the things you have that need to be stored may need a variety of different sized shelving. You may have moved from a home with a large shed and now you are stuck with a garden shed.

If this has happened to you then you need to make use of every bit of space. A lot of things could be hung from the walls, or if you have a gable roof then put a shelf across the of the gable part of the roof beams and use for storage. You could do this by fixing some lengths of steel across from one side to the other. I have even seen chains used in this way with lighter things stored across the two chains which act as a shelf in the roof.

By having two uprights and welding short pieces onto those it will save you from buying extra steel.  Use wood for the shelves as shown in the above photo.

Steel or wood shelving

To have someone build those for you will more than likely cost you a fortune. You need to decide whether you want them made from steel, or wood. Steel is the better and stronger option and will last longer.

If you decide to go down this line you should obtain several free quotes to know how much you are realistically up for then pick the best which may not always be the cheapest. Ask to see some of their work before handing over any money. Never pay for the whole job until completed.

Caution: Always ask to see their building certificate or at least find out where they work from as there are so many unreliable or crooked people waiting to rip you off.

Prefabricated steel shelving

You could buy prefabricated steel shelving. These can often be found in salvage yards or other secondhand places. If you ask your friends they may even have some unused spare shelving they could give you. Or you can buy these at Amazon between $60 and $80.

Plastic Modular shelving at Amazon

You can buy Plano Modular shelving at the time of writing cost approximately $56

Old cupboards

If you are struggling to make ends meet you may be able to find a couple of old cupboards or even bookcases to store your things in your garage. Then again check if your friends and neighbors have any they no longer want. As you can see in the picture we used some of our old ones which my husband will store a lot of his glass for his lead lighting hobby.

Steel shelving

Make do build your own shelves

The handyman can build their own shelving

If you are the handy type person that can use a welder then make your own shelving. Let's face it there are all types of shelving. But if you need to do things on a budget the less steel you use the cheaper the job will be. So I will give you an idea on how to put up shelves using the least amount of steel.

These measurements are only a guide; you can put as many shelves as you wish depending on height of the articles you need to store on the shelving.


For heavy duty shelving, buy or use C channel steel. You will need two lengths of sturdy steel; the length will depend on the height of your shed roof. If it is a gable roof you will need to make sure that you do not put your top shelf too close to the roof or you will not fit anything on either end of the shelf. We made our first shelf 400cm down on each end of roof top.

Decide how wide you want each shelf; in the picture we made these 500cm long. We had 4 shelves, so we cut 8 pieces 500 cm long.

We then laid the long steel out and marked where we would put the shelves. Then we securely welded 4 short lengths to each long piece. Take care to do them both exactly the same. You will not want the shelves to be crooked.

We used C channel steel. We then stood them up in the position we wanted them and screwed them to the inside of the shed from top to bottom. If the shed is flimsy, you could reinforce this by screwing through into a piece of wood on the outside. Ours did not need anything.

Now all you need to do is find the timber to put across to make your shelves. These will need to be screwed into the steel shelving. If you are short of timber then you could even leave spaces between the timbers to reduce the amount needed.

With that done all you need to do now is load the shelves up with all your tools and gear. And lets face all men need a shed to store everything, so a little money spent on doing this will not only give him something to do but keep him busy for awhile too.

Plano Molding 925 Heavy Duty Shelving with Vents, 5-Shelf
Amazon Price: $54.99 $50.35 Buy Now
(price as of Feb 26, 2016)

Improvise and use Imagination

There is nothing wrong with improvising when you first start out.  Most people need to organise the basics of the home before worrying about the shelving in the shed. Therefore you could improvise by using Storage boxes or even fruit boxes laid on their side and stacked on top of one another in the beginning.

If you have a few bricks laying about then you could make use of them.  All you would need is a couple of lengths of timber then put two brick on top of one another and thene measure the length of the timber and place two more bricks at other end.  Now repeat that again and you will at least have two shelves.

If you are storing heavy equipment then put two more bricks in centre to hold the weight.  At least this will get you buy until you can do something better.

So never give up try different options and see what types of shelving works best for you until you can afford to buy more expensive shelving.