Repurpose Fruit Crates (& Other Items) To Take Your Shed Storage To The Next Level

Proper storage in spaces like sheds, garages, and workshops is essential. The right shelving unit or organizer can turn a messy chaotic working or storage space into a well-appointed dreamy place to devote to gardening, woodworking, crafts, and more. While store-bought shelving units, in industrial-style metal or wood can be expensive, the solution to storage may be closer than you think. By using old wooden fruit crates, shipping palettes, and wooden drawers from old dressers, you can create an amazing storage system in your shed or workshop that keeps your space working smoothly and orderly.

Wooden crates can often be found in thrift stores, flea markets, and secondhand venues like Facebook Marketplace and eBay for around $10 to 20 each. You can also check with your neighborhood orchard, which uses these wooden crates to store and haul their yields. You can even pick up new ones in a few different sizes at craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby. Other wood materials, like shipping palettes, can often be sourced from similar places, or may be found behind some retailers (check with the staff if you are in doubt as to whether you can take them.) Wooden drawers may already be in your home from old dressers and desks that have seen better days. Using these upcycled wood pieces is a great cheap and easy way to get lovely rustic-inspired storage with a sense of texture and history, as well as make the most of your shed or other storage space.

Using wood crates for storage

Wooden fruit crates are perfect for storing items in a shed and are a far more rustic and stylish alternative to plastic bins. You can use them alone or create a shelving unit by screwing several together. To build a simple set of fruit crate shelves, use a drill bit to create a starter hole (this will prevent the wood from splintering) before using 2-inch screws to fasten several crates together either vertically or horizontally. Or hang the wood crates directly on the wall by screwing a 2 by 4 foot plank to the studs and attaching the back of a crate with wood screws. To create a bank of shelves on the wall, you can place several crates together using circular wooden spacers to separate them evenly. For lots of storage, you can even create an entire crate wall

To customize the look of your upcycled wood shelves and storage systems, add some paint to fit your decor, or use other decorative elements like vintage stencils to add some character to your crates. Or add peel-and-stick wallpaper to the back for a bit of depth-creating pattern and texture on your shelves. Use them to store items like planters and pots, garden tools, seedlings, or hardware. The wood slats are excellent for dirt and moisture since they allow them to drain through the bottom. 

More upcycled wood storage ideas

Wood pallets are perfect for several things, including dissembling them to create other pieces of furniture like a unique TV stand. By themselves, they make a great way to keep things in storage slightly elevated above the floor. Hang a pallet on the wall with some added screw-in hooks or pegs to create a perfect place for storing cords, bags, garden tools, and other essentials. Old dresser drawers, attached to the wall with screws into the studs, make a perfect way to put to use old wood boxes instead of throwing them out. Drawers, particularly from older dressers, have excellent construction, so can be quite durable as shelves.

Customize your wood palettes and drawers by adding paint, stencils, or hand-painted designs. Use the pallets for small metal baskets or bins for small items. With larger hooks, you can even hang larger tools and hardware along the pallet. The drawers, especially narrow ones, are perfect for holding jars of hardware and small bits of metal.