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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!

Elfa Shelving Installed in a Home Office

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

We are currently hard at work on my husband 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. 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!)

Organized pantry with decanted baking items, pasta, and spices

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How to Install Elfa Shelving from The Container Store

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!

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. We had also 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. We then sketched out a basic plan based on the amount of space we had and the items we needed to store.

Empty home office with gray walls and bamboo shades on the windows

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

Pieces and supplies for building an Elfa shelving unit from The Container Store

The Pieces We Chose

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

Platinum vented shelves and solid sand shelves from an Elfa shelving unit from The Container Store

Then 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.

Platinum drawers and sand shelves from an Elfa shelving unit from The Container Store

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. He used the uprights to help figure out the height of the track.

Man on a ladder installing an Elfa shelving unit from The Container Store

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.

Storage Containers Sitting on an Elfa Shelving Unit from The Container Store with Sand Shelves and Platinum Uprights and Accessories that Is in the Process of Being Built

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.

Building an Elfa Shelving Unit from The Container Store with Sand Shelves and Platinum Uprights and Accessories

Then 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

Elfa Shelving Unit from The Container Store with Sand Shelves and Platinum Uprights and Accessories

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!

How much does Elfa shelving cost?

The total cost of the wall of storage + another smaller unit for his reading corner 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.

Elfa Shelving Unit from The Container Store with Sand Shelves and Platinum Uprights and Accessories

Everything is looking pretty bare in Donnie’s office right now, but you can see how we organized the wall of storage, added other organizational elements throughout the room in the home office reveal here. (You’ll also see how we solved the standing desk vs. sitting desk debacle that Donnie was dealing with!) He is really loving his finished space!

The Container Store’s Elfa System: Frequently Asked Questions

The Elfa system is a modular wall shelving system from The Container store. Along with shelves in many different colors and styles, it includes various accessories like baskets, bookends, dividers, hooks, pegboards, and more.

Elfa is absolutely worth the money. At the time of this writing, we have now had our Elfa unit for more than 5 years, and we could not be happier with it!

It has held up perfectly and continues to keep our home office organized. We have even purchased additional Elfa shelves to organize more of our items.

IKEA’s equivalent to Elfa is their BOAXEL system. (IKEA’s version used to be called ALGOT, but they updated it a few years ago.)

The BOAXEL system is also a great option for home organization. We’ve used the former ALGOT version in tons of different spaces in our house, and it has held up very well.

BOAXEL is much less expensive than Elfa, but it is more limited in the color and accessory options it offers.

Want to save this post to revisit later? Be sure to pin the image below so you can find it easily!

How to Install Elfa Shelving from The Container Store

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

Thank you so much for following along! Have a wonderful week!

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


  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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