I have another great free storage idea. Palette shelf. I needed a new book shelf in my new home, but I really didn't want to buy a new shelf. Now my personal style is shabby chic so this works for me. If you are very traditional this isn't going to work. However, most all other styles this can work for you.
First, get a helping hand on this one. Palettes are heavy and best not to tackle all on your lonesome. Second, go onto Craigslist and get some free palettes. Companies are always happy to have people take the palettes away. They are hard to dispose of because they are heavy.
Again, I have to apologize because I got started on the project and didn't take step by step pictures.
1.) Map out how you want your shelves to look. Every palette has vertical support beams which make great horizontal support. I was able to come up on a couple of boxes as well that I decided to use as a base.
2.) Once you have a map, start pulling, cutting and assembling. You will need to pull the cross beams of the palette as I have done here in order to reveal the vertical risers. Depending on the quality of the palette you might be able to do that with a hammer or you will have to get a crowbar to pry it up. Net cut the shelves that you want. I used scrap wood. Again this is something that you can find on craigslist. People are always looking to get rid of scrap wood and you can come up on some for free.
3.) Assemble. Dry fit everything, and then start screwing!! yes, do not nail. Since these shelves will house books which are a heavier load, use screws. They will hold your parts and pieces together better.
4.) Once assembled you can leave as is if you want a more rustic look or you can stain. I chose to stain because I want to unify with the other wood furniture in my home. This was the most expensive part of the project (I can't remember how much but less than $5 for a tin of stain). I used dark mahogany with a dry brush. This kept the weathered look, while making it all feel like the same color. Keep in mind your wood is going to be extremely dry. It will suck the stain up immediately. You might want to get a water bottle to wet the wood in areas to prevent this.
5.) Let dry to a couple days if you are using stain. A good oil based stain will be dry over night, but will off gas for a couple days. Don't want those stinky fumes in your home!
6.) Final step is of course ENJOY!! Here is my final product. Never mind the crappy paint colors on the wall and fireplace (I still haven't painted).