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How to Install Elfa Shelving from The Container Store

We installed Elfa shelving from The Container Store to add a huge amount of storage in a small home office space!

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This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Last week I kicked off our latest room makeover by sharing the plans for Donnie’s masculine (yet very organized 😉 ) home office! He does so much around here, so I am thrilled that we’re finally focusing on a space that is alllllllll his!

One of the biggest components of the room is a full wall of shelving to hold his books, video equipment, and supplies for his various hobbies. His office is not huge, so we knew we would need to really maximize every inch of the space so that he could neatly store all of his items, and we decided to use the Elfa system from The Container Store to do just that. (This post is not sponsored by The Container Store. We had just heard a lot of good things about Elfa and wanted to give it a try for ourselves!)

We thought the easiest way to talk about the Elfa installation would be to show you via video, so you can see the whole process below!

How to Install Elfa Shelving from The Container Store

Creating Our Elfa Design

Coming up with our initial design for the shelving was a little bit intimidating just because there were so many options to choose from! We had taken a few trips to The Container Store to look at the different colors and styles of shelves and hardware and had looked at different configurations in the store and online.

After we had a good idea of what our options were, we measured the space in Donnie’s office and sketched out a basic plan based on the amount of space we had and the items we needed to store.

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Donnie then took our plan to The Container Store and talked to a designer there, who made a few suggestions and helped him solidify the design. They then put in the order for all of the pieces he needed, and he was able to go pick it up the next day.

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The Pieces We Chose

We ended up going with the Sand Melamine Solid Shelves because Donnie really liked the color and texture and thought they would work well with the “feel” he was going for in his office.

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We also used a few of the Platinum Ventilated Wire Shelves at the top of the design for a place to store all of Donnie’s video equipment. We ended up using the Platinum color for all of the uprights and brackets as well to give the system a more masculine look.

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In addition to the shelves, we chose to incorporate some mesh drawers in various sizes to hold and corral smaller items. Donnie also used some accessories like drawer dividers and bookends to help organize the space.

The Installation Process

The first step in the installation process was to install the top track, which would determine where everything else would go. Donnie spent a lot of time taking measurements to make sure the track was perfectly centered, and he used the uprights to help figure out the height of the track.

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Once the track was securely in place, he was able to hang the uprights, space them out, and start clipping on the brackets that would hold his shelves and drawers.

One thing to note: The 16″ shelves that Donnie was using actually required a 14″ bracket to secure them to the upright, while the mesh drawers used a 16″ bracket, so he had to be aware of which size bracket each component accepts while he was doing his installation. The brackets for the ventilated shelves are also slightly different than the brackets for the solid shelves.

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To install the drawers, Donnie snapped in the correct bracket to the upright, then attached the drawer frame with rollers to the brackets. From there, the drawer simply dropped into the frame, and it was ready to be used.

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From there, he could just continue adding brackets and shelves in the configuration he had planned, using books or other items to double check that his spacing was correct along the way.

The Final Elfa Shelving Unit

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Donnie was absolutely thrilled with the way his wall of storage turned out! The whole build only took about two hours, so it was fairly simple and he was left with an organization system that will be perfect to meet all of his storage needs.

The total cost of the wall of storage + another smaller unit that we’ll show you next week was about $1200, so it is a bit of an investment, but Donnie will be using this system for years and years to come.

This shelving will allow him to keep his items organized and be more efficient with his work space, AND if he ever needs to switch pieces around or add new items, Elfa is flexible enough to meet whatever needs he may have. The initial investment will be well worth it in the long run.

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Everything is looking pretty bare in Donnie’s office right now, but we will be back with the big reveal next week so you’re able to see how we organized the wall of storage, added other organizational elements throughout the room, and solved the standing desk vs. sitting desk debacle that Donnie was dealing with! I can’t wait to show you the finished space!

Update: Donnie’s office is finished! You can see the other posts about his space here:

Planning a Masculine and Organized Home Office

How to Install Elfa Shelving from The Container Store (You’re here!)

An Organized + Masculine Home Office: Reveal!

[Psssttt… Get our top 100 tips for organizing every room of the house here!]

Have you ever used the Elfa system in your home? I’d love to hear how it’s working for you!

Have a wonderful week!

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

14 Comments

  1. This is great! Would LOVE to see this for the IKEA Algot system too!!

  2. Ashley- At Home with Ashley says:

    I can’t wait to see how it looks filled! We have quite a bit of photography equipment and I need to find a nice way to house it. Yay for Donnie getting a fancy office!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      He was very excited! 🙂 Looking forward to sharing the full reveal! Hope you’re having a great week, Ashley! <3

      ~Abby =)

  3. I just saw on the Container Store website that the Elfa systems are 25% off till Oct. 15. I’m not in the market for shelves at the moment unfortunately but still good timing! Love your blog!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing, Jen! Have a wonderful day! <3

      ~Abby =)

  4. You always show me something new. I had no idea what this was when I read your newsletter so I checked it out. Looks like great storage. Can’t wait for the reveal, those are the best!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, so glad you enjoyed it, Debbei! Looking forward to sharing this week! Hope you’re having a great weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  5. We have Elfa in five of our closets. We have had them about 10 years or so. So far we have been happy with them.. another thing, you can take them with you if you move.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So true! Glad to hear that you’ve been happy with them… we are loving it so far! 🙂 Have a great evening!

      ~Abby =)

  6. Why did you choose the Elfa system over the Algot this time? I’m looking at a similar situation in my house and trying to decide.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Amanda! We LOVE ALGOT, but it only comes in white, and Donnie really liked the look of the platinum/sand Elfa combination for his more masculine office. There were also a few pieces he wanted to use that Elfa had but ALGOT did not. We also had just heard great things about Elfa and wanted to give it a try ourselves so that we could compare the two systems and see what we liked about each one. I hope this helps!

      ~Abby =)

  7. Do they shelves just sit on the brackets or are they secured to the brackets?

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      Hi, Vicky! The shelves clip into the brackets so they are secure. They don’t just sit right on top. I hope this helps!

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