Start with the bottom most shelf. The largest and heaviest items should go here. Do you have some large heavy books? Or a collection of large books? Or you could slide some really nice woven baskets onto the bottom shelf and have them hold your paperback stash. The point here is that the bottom shelf should have the weight.. both the visual weight and the actual weight. The items you place on this shelf don't necessarily have to be books. Maybe a large vase or urn... or a large globe.
Small adjustable shelves can be built between the studs and provide great storage space for small items such as jars, cans, bottles and for organizing and storing screws and nails. These storage spaces are built by attaching a series of 1x2 wood strips horizontally to the inside edges of two adjacent studs, approximately six inches apart. Also cut some 1x4 and 1x6 pieces of lumber, slip them on top of the 1x2 where they should fit between the studs very nicely.
In choosing a storage shelf, whether wood, metal, glass reinforced fiber, plastic, or a combination of wood and aluminum or wood and stainless steel, consider its durability, lifespan, stability, safety and cost. Other elements such as beauty, size, height, mobility, ease of access all come into play in determining your shelving options. The popular type nowadays as a storage equipment is the metal shelf with a capacity of 150 lbs to over 1,000 lbs. per shelf. They can be made of aluminum, galvanized, chrome plated or stainless steel.
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