Home Projects Floating Pull-Out Crate Storage

Floating Pull-Out Crate Storage

You’ve got that closet, right?  The one that is weirdly shaped, super small, or just a pain to keep organized.  We have one of those storage closets right off our kitchen under the stairs.  It’s narrow, deep, and has a sloped ceiling in the back…and it had turned into a huge dumping ground.  I needed a closet storage solution that would take advantage of the depth, give us some hanging space, and keep the small stuff organized.  So when Crates and Pallet asked me to come up with a project to use their pallet storage crates the lightbulb went off in my head…Floating Pull-Out Crate Storage!

First we had to clear the clutter!  We did a massive clean out of all the junk that shouldn’t be in there.  A bazzilion reusable grocery bags…gone.  Mismatched gloves…gone.  Small army of dust bunnies…gone.  Then we were ready to organize!  I used a combination of small and half crates on the existing wire shelves to store the little things.  Then I mounted large pallet crates to the wall using full extension drawer slides so they have a small footprint but are easily accessible.  Boom, floating crate storage!

We labeled all the bins with chalkboard stickers so we can change things around with the seasons or as we find thing fit better in other places.  It turned out to be a great fit for our closet and now everything has a place and we can actually walk into the closet.  Score!

All of these pallet crates are available at Home Depot.  You can also see the whole product offering at CratesandPallet.com.

DIY Floating Pull-Out Crate Storage

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Here is what you’ll need for the project:

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Okay, consider this fair warning…I did this build in a closet.  So some of the pics aren’t the best because I just couldn’t get good lighting and work at the same time.  But you’ll get the picture…if you know what I mean 🙂

This is what the closet looked like beforehand.  Yikes!  We had way too much junk piled in the closet, so the first thing to do was to take it all out and start fresh.  After we did this we decided that we really only needed half the hanging space in the back of the closet.

DIY Sliding Crate Closet Storage-60

This was perfect because now we had a great spot for the large crates.  I stacked them up and figured out the space would allow for 4 large crates to be used under the wire shelf.

DIY Sliding Crate Closet Storage-62

To prepare the large crates for mounting I reinforced the sides with 2 sections of 1×4 furring strip.  This gave me something substantial to mount the drawer slides to the crate.  I cut 2 18″ pieces for each crate on my miter saw.  The Mobile Miter Saw Station I built really comes in handy!

DIY Sliding Crate Closet Storage-11

I laid out the 1×4 strips on the large crate and used 1-5/8″ screws to attach them flush with the top and bottom of the right side of the crate.  I repeated this for all 4 crates.

DIY Sliding Crate Closet Storage-4 DIY Sliding Crate Closet Storage-6 DIY Sliding Crate Closet Storage-8

At this point I took all the crates outside to spray paint them.  Before spray painting I sanded all the edges smooth with 150 grit sandpaper.  I gave them 2 coats of blue spray paint except on the right side which would be against the wall.

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While they were drying I cut a spacer board to help with the drawer slide install.  I took a scrap of 1/4″ plywood and cut it to 18″ by 6″.

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I used the spacer to layout the center lines for the drawer slides on each crate.  This would make sure the slides were equally spaced and more importantly, parallel.  I centered the spacer 1-1/2″ from the top of the crate and drew a line on each furring strip.

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I disassembled the slides into it’s two parts and used the extension piece for the crates.  I lined them up flush with the front of the crate and centered the mounting holes on the reference lines.  A few quick pilot holes and screws and the crates had their slides.

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Now that the crates were ready I moved back to the closet to install the mounting strips and slides.  I cut 2 more pieces of 1×4 furring strip to 39-1/2″.  I mounted one in the back corner into the corner stud.

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The next strip was mounted so it ended 18-3/4″ from the back wall (the extra 3/4″ was to account for the base moulding).  I couldn’t hit a stud here, so I used 4 drywall anchors to hold the strip.

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Now here is where that 1/4″ plywood spacer really comes in handy.  I sized the furring strips to be flush with the top of the top crate and then have  3″ of spacing between each crate all the way down.  So all I needed to do was measure down 1-1/2″ from the top and set the spacer flush with the front of furring strip.  Then I struck lines on each side of the spacer.

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Now all I had to do was align the slides with the front of the furring strip and the mounting holes on the center lines like before.  Attach the slides with the included screws.

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I repeated this all the way down and had all my slides mounted.

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Now the only thing left to was install the crates onto the slides.

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At that point we labeled all the crates with chalkboard tags and then started strategically putting things back in them.  As you can see we ended up with far far less in the closet than when we started.  I guess that’s what clearing the clutter is all about!

Go visit my Projects page for other great projects to build!

FixThisBuildThat Sliding Crate Closet Storage 2

Crates and Pallet provided me with tools and/or monetary compensation as a sponsor of this build.  All opinions are my own and are not filtered by the sponsor.

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  • I really, REALLY love this idea!!!

  • Randy Freeman

    I like this idea

  • Trevelyan Bloomfield

    What weight do you estimate these crates will hold? Is there any binding of the slides when loaded? What was your final cost?

    • The stuff we have in it is pretty light. I loaded it with a 20lb weight and it still opened and closed easily, but I could tell it was dragging. We typically have less than 10lbs in each one and I don’t forsee that being an issue long term.

  • Randy Freeman

    currently looking at this idea for pull outs in spice cupboards and the food packaging wraps .

  • Carie

    Awesome idea! But mostly, I’m drooling over your shop. Just saying.

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  • Manda Marie Smith

    Brad: This is somewhat unrelated, but what kind of hardware would you use for floating crate shelves?

    • Not sure of you exact application, but you’ll want to go into the studs if you are going for anything heavy. And I’d put anchors up high and down low in the crates for stability.

  • keeferzjr

    IS there a reason you didn’t paint the mounting strips to match the wall? I know you don’t see them much but it would have been a nice touch.

    • Frankly because we planned on painting the whole thing a new color and I hadn’t gotten to it yet. But yes, painting would be a little nicer touch.

  • Jim

    Think I will build a set in my closet because the shelf above the pole is overstuffed. Also I would suggest that all sides of the boxes be painted to reduce the possibility of warping due to unpainted surfaces absorbing more moisture.

  • Jim

    Think I will build a set in my closet because the shelf above the pole is overstuffed. Also I would suggest that all sides of the boxes be painted to reduce the possibility of warping due to unpainted surfaces absorbing more moisture.

  • Heather Harmon

    Love this idea ! I’m so passing this along to my sister ! She has a tiny closet

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