Garage Shelving Plans: DIY Hardware Organizer

Updated: Jan. 03, 2024

Store all your fasteners and hardware in these flexible, portable and possibly free DIY hardware organizers!

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A full day






Organize your garage shelving with this plan for a system of DIY hardware organizers. Store nuts, bolts and fasteners in the bins, then carry the bins to your project as you need them.

Tools Required

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Air compressor
  • Air hose
  • Brad nail gun
  • Cordless drill
  • Miter saw
  • Safety glasses
  • Table saw

Materials Required

  • 1 x 4 x 8' pine (3)
  • 1-in. brad nails
  • 2-1/2-in. screws
  • 2' x 4' x 1/8" hardboard (1)
  • 4' x 8' x 1/2" plywood (1)

Project step-by-step (6)

Step 1

DIY isn’t just about building and fixing things. It’s also about inventory management: maintaining a supply of the stuff you need and knowing where to find it. This simple bin system is the perfect project to get you organized with everything from bolts to screws. It’s modeled on the bolt organizer systems used in cabinet shops, plumbers’ vans and mechanics’ garages. Also, learn how to DIY garage cabinets.

The materials cost for the bolt organizer bins shown here is $30 to $55, depending on the type of plywood you choose. A store-bought light-duty system would cost just a few bucks more, but these homemade bins offer two big advantages: They’re far tougher than plastic bins, and you can customize them to suit your equipment. Plus, they make the perfect scrap-wood project because all the parts are small.

Learn how to DIY a storage bin shelf.

Step 2

Cut the Parts

    • Note: Once you’ve determined the sizes you want, fire up your table saw and rip plywood into strips. If you’re following our plan, you’ll need strips 1-3/4, 3-1/2 and 6 in. wide. Then cut the strips to length, making parts for one box only. Test-assemble the box to check the fit of the parts.
  • Rip strips of plywood to width on a table saw, then cut them to length with a miter saw.
  • Clamp a scrap of plywood to the saw’s fence to act as a stop block.
    • Note: That lets you cut identical lengths from several strips with one chop.

DIY Hardware Organizer Cutting the PartsTMB Studio

Step 3

Cut Divider Slots

  • Set your table saw blade to a height of 3/16 in.
  • Screw a long fence to your miter gauge and run the fence across the blade to cut a notch on the fence.
  • Position a stop block 3-1/4 in. from the center of the notch.
  • Place a side (A) against the block, run it across the blade, rotate it 180 degrees and cut again.
    • Note: You have to remove the guard for this step. Be extra careful!
  • Check the fit of a divider in the slot and reposition the block slightly to adjust the width of the slot.
    • Note: It may take two or three tries before you get the width right.
  • When you’re done cutting slots, it’s time to clip off one corner of each side.
  • Set your miter saw 45 degrees to the right.
  • Clamp on a stop block and “gang-cut” sides just as you did when cutting parts to length.
    • Pro tip: Slotted sides require left/right pairs. For every side that you cut with the slot facing up, cut another with the slot down.

DIY Hardware Organizer Cutting Divider SlotsTMB Studio

Step 4

Cut the Cleats

  • Tilt the blade to 45 degrees and set the fence so that the bin cleat is 1-1/2 in. wide.
    • Note: Getting the fence positioned may take some trial and error, so cut a test scrap first. Our guard was removed for photo clarity. Use yours!

DIY Hardware Organizer Cutting the CleatsTMB Studio

Step 5

Assemble the Bins

  • Join the parts with glue and brads, using an an 18-gauge brad nailer.
  • Tack the back (C) to the bottom (B), then add the sides (A), the front (D) and finally the cleat (F).
    • Pro tip: The glue will provide plenty of strength, so drive only as many brads as needed to hold the parts together while the glue sets.

DIY Hardware Organizer Assembling the BinsTMB Studio

Step 6

Mount the Wall Cleats

  • Mark the stud locations with tape and screw on the lowest cleat.
  • Make sure the bottom cleat is level and straight.
  • Cut spacers at least 1-3/4 in. tall and use them to position the remaining wall cleats.
    • Pro tip: Larger cleats will create more space between rows of bins, making it easier to reach in and grab stuff. Bins filled with hardware put a heavy load on the cleats, so drive a screw into every wall stud.

DIY Hardware Organizer Mounting the Wall CleatsTMB Studio