Due to a serious lack of storage space in my small kitchen, I’ve kept “pantry” items on a small set of bookshelves in the dining area of my apartment. Over the past few months those shelves have been getting more and more crowded, and eventually just ran out of space altogether. So just before New Year’s I ordered a large Expedit shelving unit from Ikea, also known as a Really Big Shelf. While I waited for it to arrive, I spent some time organizing what should and should not go on the new shelf, and sorting what should go into storage bins vs what should go on the shelves. Finally, the shelf arrived, and building day was here!
First, I moved the old shelves around a bit and cleared off the big wall for the new Really Big Shelf, then got out the tools I’d need:
Then I started unpacking the boxes. Of course the cat had to inspect the first box as soon as it was emptied:
Four boxes later, I finally had all the parts out and organized:
Since there were an awful lot of small tan pegs to blend right into my tan carpet, I dumped all the bits and pieces onto a small tray to keep track of them. I also put an allen bit in my electric screwdriver so I didn’t have to hand-crank all the bolts:
Following along with the instructions, I built an “L” out of the bottom and right-hand side of the shelf. To make this easier later, I built it face down, meaning the little hold for the wall bracket are at the TOP on the side frame:
Next I hammered the first set of pegs into the bottom of the shelf, and attached the upright pieces. Those pegs don’t like to go in properly by hand, I’ve found it’s much easier to just tap them in with a hammer. Saves lots of frustration:
While I’m adding cross braces and more uprights to my shelf, Max is checking out the tunnel in the hallway created by all the parts boxes:
After more pegs, more cross braces, and lots more uprights, I finally have the interior complete and ready for the side and top pieces:
And it’s up!! One Really Big Shelf, framed in and upright, ready to be bolted to the wall:
Note – this is a Really Big Shelf, and while it can be built by one person, standing it up really, really should be done by at least two people. Once it’s up, be sure to bolt it to the wall using the included brackets.
Once the shelf was filled with the appropriate storage bins, pantry containers, tea, teapots, cookbooks, and all the other assorted items that don’t fit in my kitchen, I put the dining table back in the dining area:
And there you have it, one Really Big Shelf along with two smaller shelves to create a pantry-like storage area. The final step will be framing some photos to fill in across the top of the shelf.
To see what sort of things I’ve stored on the shelves, click the picture below to view it on Flickr, then roll your mouse across the photo to see the notes: