Picture of Ceiling Storage Solution
I'm a bit of a hoarder, I must admit.  Not like, at the level of mental illness or anything, you won't be seeing me on Hoarders any time soon, but I have a tendency to collect bits and pieces of things I think maybe someday I'll use.  Maybe.  Just in case that interestingly shaped piece of whatever might need to be hot glued to a proton pack or something.  You know what I mean.

What this means is that I've got a lot of knick knacks and doodads in my shop.  There are never enough shelves or spaces to store things, so I'm always looking for a new place to sequester my thingamajigs.  All the walls and shelves and cupboards are jam packed, so I went to the only place that wasn't full up:  the ceiling.

Several months back, I swear I saw an instructable about something really similar to what I've done, only using a purpose built track and full sized rubbermaid containers.  I went looking to thank the author for the inspiration, but I was never able to find it again.  I'm starting to think I dreamed the whole thing up, but if you know what I'm talking about please let me know so I can properly give them credit.

**** UPDATE:  clide has informed me that I did see this somewhere, but it wasn't on instructables!  To see the inspiration for this instructable, check out this link.  ****

My solution was to use the bare rafters as a starting point to hold several small plastic storage containers.  It's worked out fantastically well for me and really helped me to clean up and organize my workshop!  I hope you find it useful and build something similar, and as with all of my instructables, if you build this or are inspired by it, post a picture of your own version (or a link to the instructable you submit) and I'll send you a profile patch!

Here's a quick demo video:

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I don't know about you, but this ceiling storage idea gives me the creeps! I'd be so worried that the drawers would fall out! Better to have them angled a bit?

depotdevoid (author)  CameronRobertson9 months ago
Eh, only happened once, and it missed me! That time it was because I'd put waaaaaay too much weight into one of them. Really, it's pretty safe as long as you don't make poor decisions.
MoserLabs1 year ago

excellent instructable! And please keep up the good work! It's ones like this that get people's creativity rolling

depotdevoid (author)  MoserLabs1 year ago
Thanks, glad you liked it!
uloixia1 year ago
Ah thanks! I checked this Instructable out at work and all videos are blocked, so I can never watch videos.

I think I may try this out in my garden shed, and in my garage after we get a new roof on it! Thanks!
uloixia1 year ago

My one question is how do you remove the bins? Let's say I want bin #6 out of a row of 12. Do I have to leave a space at the end and slide 5 bins out to get to #6, or is there some other way you're doing it so that I only need to take out the one bin I'm interested in?

depotdevoid (author)  uloixia1 year ago
Nah, it's super easy. Watch the video, about 10 seconds in I show how you get one of the tubs out.

Are you planning on doing this yourself?
DeanAshby2 years ago
Wow, I didn't know you could do that at your ceiling! I thought the only storage you could build at your ceiling is to add an entire compartment like a huge box or platform. But to have small individuals drawers like these is just amazing. I guess the most critical process of this DIY project is to measure the width of the plastis tubs to ensure they are held firmly by the two wooden rails. Else, the drawers might just slip off from the rails and drop to the floor easily.
tinker2343 years ago
i wonder if i could make these out of scrap wood do you know how to remove a suspend ceiling also a magnet could be use as the handle to unlock it so the front is completely smooth
depotdevoid (author)  tinker2343 years ago
I'd be worried about using a magnet for the handle--if it's easy to detach, then you'd run the risk of having it twist off while the box is over your head.

Scrap wood would work, and you could definitely get a more appealing look that way. The only downsides there would be added weight and not being able to see inside, and that could be worth it if you want them to look nice!
yeah just a thought i think plywood with a plexiglass window could work if your organzied but these you can see whats inside be very helpfull
BreakFix4 years ago

Props! I love seeing Instructables that make me palmface and wonder why I never thought of that.

Much thanks ^^
depotdevoid (author)  BreakFix4 years ago
Awesome, glad you liked it! I'm happy to instigate a facepalm whenever possible!
zack2474 years ago
i would love to get that done in my basement but theres a suspended ceiling now..

its so amazing, im surprised no ones patented it yet!
depotdevoid (author)  zack2474 years ago
Thanks zack, I'm glad you liked the idea.

Believe me, If I thought there was a way to make money on this, I'd be out there like the oxyclean guy hocking this all over the place!
Geoffrito4 years ago
Ah what a weird coincidence, I was floating an idea like this around my head this morning. I have the same problem as you do and over the past ten years or so my workshop has gotten completely out of hand. Thanks for the instructable!
depotdevoid (author)  Geoffrito4 years ago
No prob, I'm glad you found it useful!
E_MAN4 years ago
I am thinking about mounting this to the bottom of a shelf......
depotdevoid (author)  E_MAN4 years ago
Awesome, I'd love to see some pictures if and when you do!
Oh come one! I don't have a basement, neither can I reach the ceiling in any way. I think I'll go do some 3D design... I'll just describe what I'm thinking in case anyone who's adult and not a minor with awesome resources can do it, since I can't. It's basically a drop-down file cabinet (kinda like the stairs to the attic that just drops down) that's hinged to the ceiling then you've got some strong pulley system for it.
depotdevoid (author)  nutsandbolts_644 years ago
I would absolutely love to see your interpretation of my system, please post some pictures!
aggrav8d4 years ago
1. Glue/nail jar lids to ceiling.
2. Put things in jars.
3. Screw them onto the lids.
Not to say that's not a good idea, BUT, I'm 52 and that was an old ( and good) idea when I was very young. That should be made known.
"That which is old shall be new again"
Yeah, I knew about that one long ago, and was humbled to find that my Grandfather used it in his shop as well, long before I could reach a work bench.

I think it's one of those tricks that's been around for at least 100 years, probably started with canning jars if not before even then.

(If anybody has an example from an ancient roman workbench, that'd be hilarious).
+1 for AWESOME.
depotdevoid (author)  aggrav8d4 years ago
I've got a few of those above my workbench, all full of nails and screws and such. Sadly, I've been over torquing the jars when I put them back and a couple of the lids have started shredding.
Hey, love that idea, simple to do but effective. Like the magnetic spice rack instructables.
depotdevoid (author)  Nemesis2010774 years ago
Oh yeah, I've been meaning to make one of those for a while . . . thanks, you may have just pointed me to my next project!
talonts4 years ago
You really should use screws instead of nails to hold the strips to the rafters. Unless you used ring shank nails...regular nails will pull loose over time. Not good for stuff over your head.
depotdevoid (author)  talonts4 years ago
Probably true, but there isn't a lot of weight in them, and as I mentioned I used a lot of nails just to be safe. I'll recant the first time a tub full of DC adapters lands on my noggin!
+1 because I've had one land on my foot. and then there's the BIG old supply from out of a dot matrix printer, 42v no-load....
. +1.
Broom talonts4 years ago

What he said!
I think this is a great idea, I only have one problem. The ceilings in my basement are 10 feet, yes you read that right, 10 feet tall.
Hey wow... my ceiling is really low... would you consider sending me the spare 2' of headspace?.. I'm in New Zealand ... maybe you could airmail it to me? lol..
Hey, I'm in NZ too michaelmacnz! I don't suppose you'd sell me a foot of Susieknitster's spare space to lift my basement ceiling also?
Well.... I asked for 2' (but I only need 1'... so I could fax you the spare 1' ... waddya think..
Well, thanks mate! Just let me raise my house a foot to accomodate it (ah! Queen's Birthday Weekend project!) and I'll be back to you...
Mine too!
Susie, would you consider using longer lengths of PVC as handles? :)
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