7 Clever Wire Shelving Hacks That Will Get You Organized
I am not a fan of using wire shelves as closet shelves. So I’ve been on a mission to justify removing them from my closets by finding other organization projects where they work well. And that’s how these wire shelving hacks came to be. Between finding ways to repurpose wire shelves, getting my bathroom organized, and adding a bunch of kitchen storage ideas, my house has never been more organized!
Wire Shelving Hacks
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Let me just start by saying…I hate wire shelving!
Okay, maybe I should say, I used to hate wire shelving.
Small bottles and cans tip over sideways if you don’t put them down in exactly the right place.
If you store towels or clothes on them, some bits of fabric are always sticking down through the holes. And those fabric bits become unwanted cat toys (there is nothing more tempting to a cat than being able to pull fabric through a hole with her claws).
So imagine my dismay when I first got the keys to my house and walked from room to room opening the doors, and every single closet had wire shelves! Ack!!
Thinking back on it now, I probably should have expected that…since that’s standard for builder-grade houses like mine, but at the time I was totally unprepared.
I’m sure you can guess what the first thing I did to my house was. Replace all of those wire shelves with proper shelving units.
And that created my next problem: I had all of these wire shelves (and there were lots of them!) taking up space in the garage. I don’t like to throw those kinds of things out, so I have been on a mission to find creative ways to repurpose wire shelves.
Keep reading to find out the wire shelving hacks that I came up with.
1. Make A Shoe Rack
While I don’t like using wire shelves for storing clothing, they do make excellent shoe racks.
Turning them upside down so that the lip on the shelf is at the front makes sure the shoes don’t slide off the front. Then you can use the same clips to attach them to the walls that you would normally.
I made this shoe rack in the garage for storing work shoes. But when I finally get around to organizing my closet, I’ll be putting one there, too!
2. Organize Your Pantry
Wire Shelf Tin Can Storage, via familyhandyman.com
I haven’t actually done this way to repurpose wire shelves yet.
But the next time I’m organizing the pantry portion of my kitchen cupboards, I’ll be using up a few more of those wire shelves with this idea (from familyhandyman.com) that makes tin cans really easy to access.
You Might Also Like: 10+ DIY Storage Ideas To Get Your Kitchen Organized
3. Hang Cleaning Supplies
The next one of my wire shelving hacks does require the shelf to be installed somewhere. But at least the holes between the shelves come in handy!
They’re perfect for hanging cleaning supplies that have handles.
Hook the handles over the edge of the shelf and the wires will keep them separated and easy to grab.
4. Make Tools Easier To Store
This wire shelf storage solution is another way to repurpose wire shelves that takes advantage of those holes in the shelf.
Cut out one or two of the wires, and they work really well for storing things like drills that can be awkward to position on normal shelves.
The end of a cordless drill fits right through the hole and keeps the drill standing upright.
Similarly, the blade of a circular saw slips through the hold and keeps the saw in place.
Click HERE to find other creative ways to organize your tools.
5. Keep Wood Bits Contained
If you’re a DIYer like I am, you probably have a bunch of leftover wood from previous projects.
Wire shelves turn out to be one of the best ways to keep those bits organized!
Again turning the shelves upside down creates shelves that are great for storing lengths of wood. When you go to pull a piece off the shelf, the lip prevents all of the other pieces from falling off.
I put them on top of a wood organizer frame like this one*, and it works perfectly!
Click HERE to find other ways to organize your garage.
6. Organize Garden Tools
This wire shelving hack is another great use for the wire shelf holes!
Garden tools with long handles (like rakes and shovels) will fit right through those holes. Again, you may need to cut out one or two of the wires to make the handles fit.
But the shelves keep the garden tools standing upright and easy to access.
Click HERE to find more ways to organize your garden tools.
Store Wrapping Paper
Wrapping paper is another tall, thin thing that can be awkward to store.
Making the holes bigger by cutting out a couple of the wires makes wire shelves perfect for keeping the wrapping paper rolls organized, and easy to get to.
Click HERE to find other ways to store your wrapping paper.
Now that I’ve found some ways that wire shelves can actually be good for organizing, I don’t hate them quite so much 🙂 Hopefully, you have found some ideas that you can use, too!
But I still have a few left over in the garage, so please share if you have any other great ideas for repurposing wire shelves!
Have any other great wire shelving hacks? Tell us in the section below.
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This post was originally published on April 4, 2017 but was updated with new content on January 8, 2022.
I do not know why you hate wire shelves in closets so much! I have always preferred them, because pressed wood shelves off gas and smell odd ( I actually think that they stink) and your clothes and bedding do not smell good. I know that you can line them with fragrant paper, but that is more extra work. I find that the wire shelves allow your clothing, bedding and towels to breathe and air can circulate around them. The only disadvantage to wire shelving however, is that the sweater or towel on the bottom has wire marks on it. To each his own.
Hi Christine…I find wire shelving harder to clean and things always get caught between the wires or fall through them. If anything happens to spill, it covers everything in all of the shelves underneath. But it definitely is a personal preference. So as you say, to each his own 🙂
I love wire shelving. All the dirt falls to the floor and it’s a lot easier to keep clean. Light passes through, and so does air. And, there are so many more options. This isn’t a library bookshelf, it’s a storage area. I’m about to pull custom shelving out and use wire. I have been a full time home school (4) homemaker for 30 years. Less work in service areas equals more time with family. I think you’re starting to see that. Blessings.
Hi Lisa…I actually find wire shelves harder to clean (you have to wipe down the top, sides and bottom of each wire rather than just wiping all the way across a solid shelf). With the wire shelves any spills end up landing on whatever is on the shelf underneath and makes an even bigger mess. And tall narrow things won’t stay where you put them (they’re always falling over or falling through the wires). But it is a personal preference, so do what works best for you 🙂
I put everything in clear bins. I have no spills.
Two of your ideas will work perfectly for me, laundry and shoes. I find w/ laundry it will be easier to keep the shelves cleaner. I have a lot of material on bolts. I think I may try the wire shelves as a way to store fabric similar to the fabric store. I like the idea of more space in the closets. Thanks for sparking the creative juices this morning!
Hi Marcy…I hadn’t thought of using them to store fabric bolts, but that’s a great idea! (I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but I have another post for storing smaller pieces of fabric that you might like: https://www.fromhousetohome.com/organize-fabric-scraps/).
Thank you for the great suggestions.
Using your idea for the wrapping paper, I’m going to store my left over “project” wood by standing it up on end. Can’t wait to get to it!
That’s a great idea, Gloria! I might have to try that, too 🙂
I am going to do the shoe rack with upside down shelving, but what clips do you use and what is the right angle to hang shoe shelving at?
Hi Maria…I used the same hook clips that you usually use for installing wire shelving. The only difference was that I used them to attach the sides as well as the back of the shelf to the wall. I put my shelves in straight, because it’s the easiest to make sure the shelves are level :). However, since the lip is a decent size, I think you could do any angle up to 45°…the bigger the angle, the better you can see all the shoes. I think most store-bought shoe shelves are on about a 20° angle. Hope that helps!
Thank you, you’re fabulous! I’m doing all of our closets and loving how it all looks…I’m working on the shoe racks today…hopefully it will look as nice as yours! Keep posting, I love all your tips!
What did you use to cut the wires out of the shelves?
Hi Caitlin…I used wire cutters, but you could also use a hacksaw or a jigsaw. You really have to clamp down hard with the wire cutters to get them to work, so the other two might be easier.
How is the shelf with the wrapping paper attached to the wall? I love this idea!
Hi Stephanie…I used the little white hooks that come with the wire shelving to attach it to the wall (the same ones that you would use if you were hanging it up as a regular shelf).
Love these ideas, especially the shoe rack.
Thanks, JoAnn! The shoe rack is my favorite, too 🙂