Quick, Cheap and Mobile Shop Storage

— on June 25, 2019 by in Shop Projects

One of my constant shop dilemmas is storage of all the random frequently used items needed in the shop. I’m not talking about tools (well, mostly not). Instead I’m worried about fasteners, sandpaper, painting supplies and anything else I reach for often.

In the past I’ve stored this stuff on a mis-matched set of shelves in whichever garage I happened to be in. Some of it was in random tubs and others was just out on the selves directly. It wasn’t organized and the items out ended up caked in dust from various projects. Finding stuff was a disaster.

Yet Another New Garage

With yet another new garage, I decided to “solve” the problem in a new way. I built a rolling cabinet from a couple sheets of ply I had laying around.

Roll storage self with pull out plastic shoe boxes for organization.

This cabinet is on small casters so I can move it around the shop, and hopefully it will fit in future shops. The back and the side of the cabinet will eventually house tool and clamp holders.


Construction is super simple. All the elements are attached to each other with pocket screws. The shelf can easily be broken down again to transport flat or to recycle. The pocket screws also made it easy to adjust the width of each section to match the shoe boxes. It’s also trivial to adjust the widths later if I choose different boxes with a slightly different width.

Pocket screws holding together the cabniet.

The cabinet is populated by “drawers”, really just cheap plastic “shoe boxes”. I made one side hold larger boxes and the other smaller boxes. Because the boxes are clear, it’s pretty easy to see what each contains. I still plan to add labels at some point.

Shoe box drawers slide in and out easily.

The drawers are supported by simple runners of scrap plywood screwed into the vertical elements. I found the spacing experimentally and then cut a spacer from scrap so I could quickly and consistently install them.

Slider rails attached to the shelf.


The plywood was laying around, but if I were to buy it, I’d need a sheet and a little, so that could be as much as $50 depending on what I chose. The casters were a few bucks each (call it $5 each). The boxes cost $1 for the small shoe box size and $2.99 for the larger size. I had the fasteners lying around.

All in the project cost me about $60 since I had the plywood lying around.


I got this idea from April Wilkerson’s video about a similar project. Her project differed because she built it into the stud bays in her shop and because she used smaller containers. She placed fasteners directly into them.

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