Easy DIY storage shelves for attic or garage

Happy Monday!  I have a new project to share with you today but it’s more of a storage/organizing post not a pretty type post.  I have been in major purge and organize everything mode over here the last few weeks (anyone else?)   We had nasty weather in January and beginning of February with lots of rain and cold so perfect time to get projects and organizing done inside before yardwork and outside projects start soon.  

So we have a walk in attic space in this house which I absolutely LOVE!  It’s not huge but being able to walk into vs. a pull down attic stairs is wonderful!  So I knew that eventually I wanted to add some shelving against this wall – it’s a tall wall and perfect space for shelving.  For now, I am storing all of my Christmas dishes, cake plates, large serving pieces in the attic and also needed storage for serving pieces and more.   Having them all boxed up wasn’t working at all  – I really wanted them out so it was easy to grab and actually use them.


So I cleared all the boxes and did lots of measuring.  Since I had the exposed studs to work with that made it easy to use as the “legs” of the shelves on that side. 


I followed this tutorial by Ana White which is an easy and cost effective way to make basic wood shelving for an attic, basement, or garage.  I first screwed the back support boards for each shelf into the studs.  Then I screwed the outer shelf support boards onto the back boards just with a few screws to temporarily hold them.  And then screwed my outer legs into the outer shelf boards.  Doing it this way this way allows you to get the perfect height and distance for your shelves and do this project with one person.  It also made it easy to do in a small space since I didn’t have enough space up in the attic to lay down the whole side of the shelving unit flat and then lift up and hold in place.


See how the front board is just tacked up with one screw in each section to temporarily hold it.  Once you get your outer legs all firmly attached, then remove those temporary screws and scoot the outer support out so you can add the middle support pieces!  If that’s not making sense, check out Ana White’s post as she has some better in process photos that may better explain that part.


I loved doing it this way – it cut down on so much measuring, leveling and work! Here it is in process of adding the middle support boards.  Since I was working with a fixed unit attached to the back wall studs I couldn’t drill a screw into the opposite side into the middle support pieces.  So I used my Kreg Jig mini to attach those.  This was my first time doing Kreg joints and I am officially hooked!  This shelving unit is so secure – pretty sure if we had an earthquake the house may fall down but this shelf would still be standing. Smile


Once all the middle supports were in place, I cut some basic plywood flooring pieces to size and set on top of the shelf supports and secured with screws.  Of course the dimensions of this won’t really help because this is made to be built in the space you have in your home.  But I did make sure that I built the shelves wide enough apart that large plastic storage bins could be stored on these shelves if I wanted to do that as well. 


And here they are all filled up.  I could probably organize them a bit more but it works for now.  I need to redo my wreath storage in another area although some of those are being put to use in the house now since all the Christmas ones are all stored away.  But I’m just so glad to actually have all this out of boxes and easy to access!  Yes, I will have to wash anything I pull out to use but I find that pieces that don’t get used often even stored in cabinets have to be washed as well before using them.  I did keep some super fragile glasses boxed up just because I didn’t want to risk them getting broken. 


So here’s the before…


And here’s the after! 


Once again, not pretty but functional storage!  I don’t really have another tall wall in the attic but I’m trying to figure out where I could add maybe a small version of this just because it was so easy and makes storage so much easier and organized! 

Where would you want to add something like this?  I have seen people add shelving like this along one wall in the garage and then stored holiday or outdoor items in tubs all along it.   So useful for an unfinished basement room, attic, or garage!


  1. Wow, you make it look so easy. I am going to try this in my garage.

  2. Jennifer King says:

    Currently updating my pantry…these shelves look great!

    Loving the Little Debbie boxes!

  3. Having extra shelf space as this can make a world of a difference great idea for those of us saving space

  4. Helen Fountain says:

    This looks great. I love having everything on shelves as opposed to boxes. I always forget what I have. This way easy to use everything you have. Thanks for sharing.

  5. this looks awesome…. ill surely try this and send you a pic!thank you so much for sharing this!

  6. These would be great in my garage. It’s such a mess at the moment!

  7. As Carolyn said same situation is with me. But your shelves will guide me a lot to cleanup that mess. Thanks for sharing.

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