Introduction: Hoarding Made Easy or Organizing With Shelves
What to do about too much clutter? My office was a shared workspace with more stuff in it than could have been held. So what to do, through it out? NO of course not, Hoarding 101 tells us just find a better way to stack your cr@p. I looked at a bunch of shelving options to get my technical books and little collectibles up and out of the clutter. Floating shelves was the idea that most interested me but they can run over $50 a shelf. Then there were prefab shelves with hardware but to put up 8 of them would have come in at about $180. This solution was about $50 not counting the cost of the stains and polyurethane as I had those left over from previous projects.
Hammer, Wood screws, Screwdriver, power drill, Saw, level, and a Stud Finder.
Step 1: The Parts...
Since the walls in the office are already white, and considering that the shelves will be filled with stuff I chose a rail shelving system. It is old fashioned and considered ugly by most, however the plan is to not see it past the STUFF. The hardware was cheap enough with each piece being about 2 to 4 dollars, I also picked up some 1x8 planks and had them cut in the hardware store in 3 ft pieces, yielding 8 shelves and some nice scrap for other projects.
Step 2: Mounting the Rails...
Measure out the vertical rods to support a 3 foot shelf and screw them directly into the wall. It is much preferred if you can hit a beam this will provide the strongest support without using anchors or some other type of drywall mount.
Step 3: Calling All Studs...
Use a stud finder to avoid the ugly guessing game you can see in the first image. It seems not all builders are as careful at placing posts an equal distance apart. An inch off here or there for the safety of hitting the stud is worth it. Once you know where the post is use your drill to make a pilot hole. The bit should come out with pieces of wood in it and not just the chalk of drywall if you were successful.
Step 4: Layout the Shelves
I decided on this pattern as i have larger stuff on the bottom shelf and wanted something symmetrical. I laid every shelf down to find the best sides and map out the pattern. Made the final adjustments to the spacing of the arms and then it was time to stain.
Step 5: Putting on the Makeup...
Prep the wood with a good sand on the rough cut edges, clean off the dust so they are ready to stain. I picked 2 stains to compliment the other wood in the room and contrast each other a bit. I made a light diamond shape surrounded by the dark wood. The staining process was very straight forward and to save time I tried using stain with the polyurethane already in it. I do not recommend this going forward. If you get drips you have to sand the whole piece down and redo. Slow and steady, doing the process over and over again will produce the best results. I just used an old t-shirt to apply the stain and let the wood dry outside. .
Step 6: Make It Fit...
Once the shelves are stained and dry you are ready to install them into the positions you have mapped out. There is a little play in the shelves as the 8 in bracket is just a little bigger. To firm up the shelf I took some scrap wood and cut shims to hold the shelf firm.
Step 7: Completing the Project...
Once loaded up the finished product looks pretty good. The actual set up without staining and drying time was only about two to three hours, and included loading the shelves.
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