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How to Make a Cardboard Box Storage System

If you have a lot of small supplies to store but would rather not invest in a permanent storage system yet, you can make your own from boxes and add to it as your collection grows. It's not the best, and sturdy system, but it's flexible, easy and inexpensive, and that might be just what you're looking for!

Steps

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    Get the boxes. If you can't find them locally, look online. You can use any measurements you want, as long as four long boxes (drawers) fit into one cubic box (compartment). Here are some suggested measurements and quantities:
    • 25 to 500 cubic boxes - 13 x 13 x 13 inches (33 x 33 x 33 cm)
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    • 25 to 900 long boxes - 12 x 6 x 6 inches (30.5 x 15.25 x 15.25 cm)
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    Assemble the cubic boxes into a shelving unit.
    • Cut the flaps on one side.
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    • Tape the cubes together - front, back and side.
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    • When taping is completed, put the completed shelving unit against a wall.
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    Assemble the long boxes, which will be drawers. Cut out a square at one end of the box. Four drawers fit in one compartment.
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    Load your inventory in the drawers.
    • Write the description on the box. Then, put the drawers in so that the order makes sense.
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    • Sort the drawers alphabetically.
    • Alternatively, sort the drawers so that things you use most often are at arm level, easiest to reach, and things that are less frequently used are lower or higher.
    • Slide the drawers into the compartments.
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    • Use compartments without the drawers for larger objects.
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    • Use small containers to store small objects. These are tennis ball cans. Check with your local tennis club - you might get hundreds of them for free.

Tips

  • If the cans are almost full and you're worried about stuff falling out, you can pad under the can's open side (under the flap) to prevent inventory from falling out.
  • One thing to consider is structural integrity. You can improve on that tenfold by adding truss-like structures in a few of the compartments. You can also laminate (glue) a sheet of cardboard (use the cut flaps) to sides of the overall shelving unit or between layers of compartments.
  • Use the cut flaps to create "grid systems" inside the boxes. i.e., Select six of the cut off flaps, mark them into thirds, then cut all of them halfway up at the marks on the same side. Once all of the flaps have two cuts half up, slide the cuts onto each other to form a grid (it will look like the spacers inside a case of wine). This gird would be for the larger boxes. You will then have a box with nine smaller, more shallow compartments. Ideal for stockings, scarves, yarn, paper rolls. Besides using all of the box and creating more organization space, the grids add support within the structure.

Warnings

  • To prevent the storage unit from falling forward, fasten it to the wall before use. Get some screws and wide washers, with holes narrow enough to prevent your screw heads from going through. Put your screws through their washers, then drive them through the back of some of the upper boxes (3 at least) into a stud in the wall, or into a previously installed dry-wall anchor.
  • Put heavy items in the bottom row.

Things You'll Need

  • boxes
  • scissors or box openers.
  • tennis ball cans (optional)
  • tape

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