The greatest asset any shed can have is plenty of good shelving space. Not only does this provide storage area, but properly planned, it also allows you to keep everything neat and tidy in the shed and everything in an organised place.


Shelving is not something that you need rush in to when you acquire your new shed. It can take time to set things up and find out what will suit your needs and your workflow. So to start with, I would recommend metal storage shelves that can be obtained via eBay or a local hardware store. These usually come in kit form and you build them with varying spacing between the shelves to suit your needs.  The only problem is where to put the shelves in your shed! 

To get around this problem and give yourself some options, I recommend putting the shelves on lockable wheels. You can buy these from eBay or Amazon to suit the weight you are putting on the shelves. When I first did this I found that the shelving started to fold so it was back to square one to work out a better method.  The result was to bolt some decent size angle to the bottom of the shelving and attach the wheels to these supports. This was very successful and there was no further buckling in the shelving and it was easy to move the shelving around the shed.

The mobility of the shelving is the key to shed design. What you might think is the ideal location for shelving in the first instance may well prove unworkable in a week. Without the wheels you would need to unpack and relocate the entire shelving unit. With the wheels however, you just move it all where you want it to be for better accessibility.

One of the problems with shelving units though is that they tend to be deep so you can end up with a lot of wasted space.  Personally, I have found that the ideal shelving depth for my tools and equipment is 300mm (or 1 foot for those using imperial measurements).  Generally, I also found the height between shelves was optimised at between 200mm and 300mm.  These measurements were arrived at through observation and experience.

Now I'm a bit of a man cave lover.  I absolutely love my shed and have a sound system and TV set up there where I can relax and enjoy myself. I particularly love being able to play my music without worry about the volume.  My shed though was quite open and I decided a wall between the "Man Cave" area and the rest of the shed would be a great option to partition it off and also create a lot of new and very usable shelving.

I had been fortunate in acquiring a substantial amount of beautiful pine lining boards that were going to be burnt by someone. (The old "one man's junk is another's treasure" situation.) I decided to use this for the top of the wall and then pallet boards for dado.  The wall was erected by putting a bottom plate of 90 x 45 on the floor with concrete screws. It is 4 metres long.  Studs if 90 x 35 were placed at 450mm centres and then the noggins were placed at an even height to provide a fixing point for the dado boards.  As the wall finished in the middle of the shed, it had no fixing point to secure it so I took a piece of 90 x 45 and secured it from the top plate, (also 90 x 45), to the roof of the shed.

The wall was then clad with the lining boards set at a 45 degree angle and the dado boards vertically at the bottom.

Now the wall was done it was time for designing and putting the shelving in place on the back of the wall. I placed studs in to provide an even spacing for the shelving and started with shelving for my battery and power tools. I made the shelving unit 300mm deep based on past experience with other shelving units.  As I built the shelving, I stocked it with the tools as I went. That way I could see everything in place and make adjustments as necessary.

Next requirement along the shelving unit was for the boxes of chisels, drill bits and other items I used on a regular basis. Because of their size, I set the shelves all at 200mm in height and then relocated all the items into the shelves in order of regularity of use.  Next bay of shelving was for screws, nails and bolts.  Again, 200mm in height was plenty to stack 2 boxes.  I tend to buy these items in plastic containers when I need them and put them "into stock" rather than buy a small packet.  It's much more economical to buy these small items in bulk.

This completed the main areas I needed and I then went on to see what else I could relocate off the large shelving units to the smaller ones.  I made the shelving spacings to suit and had spots for camp ovens, jugs, some paper towel and other items. All worked out very well.

To finish it all off, I applied stain to the front side of the wall in the "man cave" using a teak diluted with water at 4:1 to get the right colour.  Due to the watery nature of the stain, this proved a bit of a disaster and I ended up with spots on the wall and on the floor so I will have some repainting to do in those areas.  I had previously made a batch of mine own, (see article on stain),  but I wasn't happy with the colour.  Once the stain had dried, I applied two coats of satin polyurethane to protect the timber and finish the wall.  Very pleased with the overall result. 

Feel free to ask any questions about the process in the comments section.



Smashing Mosaics and Woodcraft