What are the Different Types of Storage Shelving?

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  • Written By: Paulla Estes
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 27 February 2020
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Storage shelving is a handy way to accommodate the growing number of possessions many people have today. Storage shelving can be used in houses, apartments, condominiums, offices, businesses, and stores. While storage shelving is becoming more and more common, it is actually an old concept with a new purpose.

Storage shelving has been used since ancient times, when our more primitive ancestors built a type of mud shelving right into their caves or mud homes. This type of ancient storage shelving was most commonly used to hold cooking utensils and dried foods. While ancient royalty often kept treasures in boxes or chests, storage shelving and display racks were also used to store jewels, trinkets, and gifts from neighboring heads of state. The early 20th century found the common person using storage shelving simply as a means of holding items used in daily life, such as the aforementioned cooking items and food, as well as a book or two, writing materials, and clothing. Tools and weapons were also kept on early storage shelving, where they could be accessed easily and often.


Today, storage shelving has taken on a whole new meaning in our lives. Gone are the days of meager possessions, even in many of the most humble homes. Not only do we accumulate more possessions in the early 21st century, we also tend to hold on to things from our past. Rather than using things up, giving them away, or throwing them out, we put our cherished and not-so-cherished possessions onto storage shelving.

There are many varieties of storage shelving to fit any and every lifestyle. For closets, garages, porches, and storage sheds, there are plastic, metal, and wooden shelving units, many of which can be attached to walls with rods, hooks, or brackets. Most of these shelving units are affordable, and even plastic storage shelving is quite sturdy. For a bit more expensive price tag, many home owners opt for built-in storage shelving, complete with doors to cover up the items stored.

Wooden, pressed wood, and even glass storage shelving is often used in living rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms to display possessions while providing a more decorative look. Storage shelving can even be placed all the way around a room, just below the ceiling, for an interesting d├ęcor option that provides space for items away from the rest of the room. Businesses may use bookcases or metal shelving, depending on the items to be stored. Storage shelving can be put almost anywhere and is especially handy when closet space is minimal. Storage shelving can be used for just about anything, including books, paperwork, food, canned goods, display items, games, clothing, linens, outdoor equipment, sports equipment, gardening tools, power tools, automobile items, and cleaning materials, to name a few.


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