Creating More Space In Storage Units: 3 Tips To Determine Whether Installing Built-In Shelves Is A Good Idea

The average American owns too much stuff, and simply cannot store it all in their own home. This is when storage units come in handy. They offer additional storage space for only a small price each month. Instead of tossing your belongings into cardboard boxes and then into the storage unit, consider installing different types of furniture or tools that will help your organize your unit. Built-in shelves come in particularly handy. This article will look at 3 tips that will help you determine whether installing these shelves is a good idea or not.

Go Over the Terms and Conditions of the Contract

Before you begin, you must first determine whether or not your rental contract allows you to make any changes to the storage unit. While some storage units allow you to change or install shelves and furniture to the unit, others may charge you a repair fee if your changes damage the structural components of the unit. To make sure that you're not violating any terms and conditions of the contract, look it over carefully. If you have any questions, make sure to file an inquiry with the manager of the storage facility.

If the rental contract allows you to make structural changes to the storage unit provided that you don't damage anything, you also need to consider whether it requires you to return the unit in its original condition. For example, are you required to take down the built-in shelves at a later time or will the storage facility allow you to keep it up if the next owner is interested in keeping the built-in shelves? You also need to consider whether the rental contract requires you to patch up any holes made by the screws.

Use Stud Finders to Look for Frames

Even if the rental contract allows you to install built-in shelves, the unit may still not be suitable for installing built-in shelves. Drywall is not particularly sturdy, so you'll need to fasten and secure the built-in shelves by attaching a screw to a stud. Studs are pieces of wood or metal underneath the drywall that form the frame of the room. By attaching the built-in shelves to the studs, you'll be able to ensure that they have the support needed for them to stay in place.

The easiest way to find a stud is to look for one using a stud finder. Place the stud finder on the wall and slide it horizontally across the wall until the device indicates that a stud has been located. Once you find one stud, finding the remaining studs should be a piece of cake, as studs are generally placed 16 to 24 inches apart from one another. Depending on the architectural style of your unit, it may not necessarily have any studs in the walls for support. If you can't find any studs at all or any studs in the area that you'd like to install the built-in shelves, you'll have to use other types of storage equipment rather than built-in shelves for storing your items.

Look Over the Blueprint of the Unit to Figure Out Layout of Plumbing and Electrical Wiring

Before drilling into the wall to install the build-in shelves to your unit, you'll also need to be well-aware of whether it's safe to do so. Check the blueprint of the storage unit to figure out whether there is any plumbing or electrical wiring hidden underneath the walls. You don't want to compromise these structures by accidentally drilling into them. You should be able to get a blueprint of your storage unit from the manager of the storage facility.

You should use the blueprint to determine which areas are most promising for installing built-in shelves. Ideally, there should be nothing hiding underneath the drywall except for studs.


There are plenty of different furniture and tools that you can install in your storage unit in order to create more space for storing different items. You can store small items and trinkets on the built-in shelves. Built-in shelves also come in handy for organizing your items to make sure that they are easy to find later on.