Tag Archive | garage

Building a garage shelf in 2 hours

(spoiler alert…. or NOT)

I think I have said before that there is no simple “Oh let’s do this” projects in my world.  I count myself lucky if I *only* need to gather tools not find them, or, buy them.  Things are getting better as we unpack and organize but it is a frustratingly slow process.

One thing I intended to start a full 2 weeks ago was build shelving in the garage.  I did my research, plumbed the Pinterest pit, and consulted friends and came out with a plan with few cool things to try but the hitch was that I needed full sheets of plywood and 8ft long 2×4 and my mini van is just not up for that.

Order it you say?  They deliver?  Yes!  I started down that path because I recall someone had free delivery.  Called around last week and no, not free, but $25 is ok.  Spent a few days building the cart, researching weight limits and looking at a few cool options for the next project because if I’m paying for shipping I’m getting everything for the next few projects in one shot.

Cart finally as perfect as I can make it and then I see delivery is $75….  put on the breaks, call, hear  “no, $25 was never a thing” (I swear it really was!) but this puts me in a mind to just buy a utility trailer.  Why shouldn’t we buy a >1K trailer to build a less than $100 garage shelf?  It has been on our list for a while, this just bumped it up.  NOW we need to research trailers!  I already had gone down the path so we just needed to actually do the looking.  That means 1 day lost to thinking, another to research, and on the third we went out at lunch and found the perfect trailer and a good price but they needed 1 more day for paperwork.


Look at that cute trailer and that (kinda) clean garage

Yesterday!  Yesterday we got the trailer and I got to push ‘buy’ on my cart so the lumber guys could pull everything and I finally got the wood at the house.  Now I can start?  Well almost….  It would be much easier to just pull the trailer full of wood into the garage but there is a pile of boxes (much smaller than it was, I’ve been working on it) in the way so I moved them all and walked in the trailer.  This trailer weighs practically nothing,  nearly 100% aluminum and I had no problem walking it full of lumber into the garage.

Finally! Finally, I can start!  I use my impact driver (love!) with a new star bit (love love) and some highly recommended lag screws that require no pre-drill (love love love!).  I put up my back supports and then… then the battery dies.  Oh well, I had to cook dinner anyway and tomorrow I think I can just get it done.

The night passes and morning comes; it is the next day.  Make breakfast, pack lunches, brush 3 sets of hair and find shoes/jackets/papers and bring all the children to school.  Come home and hear the beginning of the supreme court testimony and turn it off.  I can see both sides, I am glad I’m not in charge of that.  At 10am I get out there and by 11:15 I have this.


Lars for scale, and, to show strength.  He is not 300lb but he is also not 200….

So not 100% because I don’t have the short screws I thought I had to screw down the plywood but no project can be finished in just 1 trip to the store.  Given the time yesterday to anchor the backs, I would say this is a 2 hour project IF you have;

  • a clear plan on what you want and how to build it
  • ability to make the cuts and the joints without some youtube research
  • tools
  • materials
  • way to get materials to your house
  • clear space

It personally took me 2 weeks and 4 days to make a 2 hour set of shelves.  I think we need a bit more reality in our building expectations.  Those youtube people just skip right to the building part and make it look so easy.

My further plan is to extend right with top shelving only and to the left I’m torn between another section of 4, or, just another top shelf.  Either way I’ll be faster this time because I have 5 of the 6 necessary steps to get going done already.  It does feel good to finally check this one off the list.

I’m a busy bee

Occasionally I feel like I don’t have anything to do.  There are always things I could do but things like laundry, bathrooms, cleaning etc are just not inspiring….  Two weekends ago we were at semi loose ends because our weekend away plans didn’t happen so last weekend I didn’t let go to waste and we did lots of little projects.  This weekend things are going in an upswing as we get ready for thanksgiving visitors and one of those visitors will be building me a pantry in the garage 🙂


I would say we are building it together but dad has far more actual real life skill in all things building.  We facetimed today to go over the area and look at the site and by mid morning I had a shopping list that will literally require a forklift.  We are building a 7×8 ‘box’ in the rear quarter of our garage.  Inside will be the freezer that already lives in the garage and a ton of organized storage for all the bulk things we like to buy.  It will be semi-heated to stay above freezing so I can put all the jars of tomatoes someplace other than Lars’s office.  It will also be the new home for all non essential kitchen items hopefully freeing up some space in our kitchen.  Step one of this is to demo what is out there now so that is what I’m going to do as soon as I publish this.


Lets hope next time I show you a picture of this area in my garage it is 100x more functional and beautiful


Achievement unlocked!

I have lived in MN for a bunch of years now and need number one on moving to the state was a garage.  I HATE frost/snow on my car.  I have nothing against frost or snow on grassy surfaces but walking out of the house with about thirty seconds of time to spare and seeing an icerink on my car is one of my least favorite things in the world.


When we house shopped an attached garage was a necessity because we had garages at our apartment but it was a long cold walk.  We did get the garage we wanted but year after year the crap of summer did not get cleaned up before the first frost of the year.  UNTIL THIS YEAR!!!!  Ta Da!  I did it!  I win!  (you might win too if you always keep your garage clean, live in a frost free area, or also plan well for the weather – in that case congratulations too)


Here is my garage full of cars a whole 3 days before we had a hard frost

Ok, so this is not earth shattering or life changing but for me it is a sign that I finally got the job done in the right time and that is something I really like.


related story – I double hate frosty windshields for a very good reason. Once (only takes once) when I was babysitting during college I left the couples house after they got back on a dark and cold night and my windshield was very frosted over.  I was impatient because it was cold and I scraped just enough figuring that it would melt soon and I pulled away.  I heard the absolutely terrifying and agonizing sound of metal ripping because I misjudged the dark colored dumpster that was a few feet ahead of me and it had a metal loop sticking out of it and that little loop opened my fender like a can opener.  The development was still under development so there were no streetlights and ever constant dumpsters but it wrecked my night to say the least.  I don’t know if I would have seen it with a clear windshield but I think of that every single time I think about driving with a less than perfect windshield.  So, a clean garage I can park in means I can stick to my timeline without the risk of frost or being late.


ps.  we still need to learn how to park in the garage again

pps.  I don’t know what I would do if this happened to my babysitter but the people were wholly unsympathetic and I felt very alone in the world