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.
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!
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.
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.
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.