By Laura Gee, Storage and Organization Contributor

Living five minutes from the beach has to be the best part of our new house. I’ve always loved the ocean and would sit on the shore all day everyday if I could. Even though a trip to the beach sounds like the easiest, most relaxing thing for many of us, the reality is that a lot of stuff is required for a day at the beach these days. Boogie boards, chairs, towels, lotions, snacks, coolers, an umbrella, a tent…the list goes on and on. We don’t even bring as much as most people we see, but we still have a lot of stuff. To accommodate this and to stay organized, my husband and I set up a corner of a garage that is totally storage friendly and has made packing for the beach so much easier.

We realized that several short shelves and a couple of big hooks were all we were going to need for this project.

At the home improvement store, we saw many pre-made shelving systems but they were so expensive and the cheap ones were made with wire. Wire shelving is not ideal for holding things like bottles of suntan lotion, snack packs, or flip flops. Things slip through them so easily. Spending a fortune didn’t seem logical nor did using wire racks that were probably going to be more trouble than they were worth. That’s when my husband suggested we go look at an alternative.

We decided to turn the shelves into a cheap DIY storage project. We realized we could build four wooden shelves for less than the price of two wire ones.

All you need:

–          8- 8” metal brackets

–          1 sheet of 23/32 x 4 x 8 OSB Underlayment (cut into 4- 1×2 pieces at the store)

–          32 screws

–          Screwdriver

–          Measuring tape

–          Level


First, decide where you want your shelves to go on your wall. Then carefully measure and mark the wall with a pencil to show where you shelves should be placed. I highly suggest using a pencil to lightly draw a line where each shelf will go and mark where each bracket should be placed. Use a level and your measuring tape to be sure that your shelves will sit flat and are neatly hung.

This is where you would paint your wooden shelves and brackets if you want to. In retrospect, I wish I had painted all of the pieces white. Our garage is a standard builder’s beige, which I kind of like, with white trim. I wish I had painted the shelves and brackets white to give it a cleaner look, but oh well. These are just garage shelves and at the moment, we were more concerned with function and price than appearances at the moment! So if you want, paint your pieces NOW before they are mounted.

Next, start mounting your shelves being sure to constantly use your level to make sure your shelves are being installed properly. It might sound tedious, but an un-level shelf is incredibly irritating and an eye sore.

On the near wall, we mounted the giant chair hooks on the wall. There is no big secret or trick to that other than looking for a stud for secure mounting! One minute after hanging the shelves our boogie board and all of our chairs were off the floor and out of the way!

            Now when we want to escape to the ocean for the day, we can quickly grab what we need off of the beach shelves and toss our chairs in the trunk. Everything is organized, out of the way, and easy to access. In addition to space for our beach stuff, we had extra storage space on the shelves for other items. Best of all, we didn’t spend a lot of money! We already had all of the screws and tools, so the only expenses were for the board, the hooks, and the brackets.


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