do-it-yourself gorm!

there are many wonderful things about ikea — the affordable furniture, the infinite hacks, the free coffee before 9am, the sheepskins, and, most of the time, the surety of stock. that is, when you decide you want to buy a 3-drawer malm dresser or a billy bookcase, you merely have to get yourself to ikea, load said item into your car, and there you go. unlike craigslist or a really great flea market, there’s no need for that sick feeling you get from walking away from something fabulous — what if i end up needing this and then it’s gone? no? is that just me? well, anyways, at ikea, if you want to think about something for 20 minutes, said item — and 85 others exactly like it — are still going to be there in aisle 12, bin 6, or whatever, whenever you’re ready. such is the beauty of ikea.

except. except when this is not true!

for no apparent reason, these gorm shelves have been out of stock at all three of the ikeas within driving distance for months now. so frustrating when all the stands between you and a relatively finished basement is some wood shelving to get all your stuff up off the floor.


a set of three shelves were really the perfect width and depth for the area i had in mind, though, and i wasn’t willing to compromise or spend a lot of money on a thing to hold our ice skates and slo-cooker. the width of this area is weird; there’s a little raised platform 99″ long that i can’t explain. but it means any shelving unit longer than 99″ wouldn’t be level, and anything shorter wouldn’t take full advantage of the area designated “storage.” there’s also a depth issue, as the ductwork drops the ceiling height significantly about 24″ from the wall. so we needed something slightly shorter than 72″, slightly shallower than 24″, and no longer than 99″. enter gorm. perpetually out of stock gorm.

something else good about ikea, as it turns out: a lot of their stuff is sold in parts — table legs, table tops, bed slats, and… shelves! after several visits (and yes, i do know you can check stock online, i was just there to buy sheepskins on more than one occasion) staring forlornly at the “temporarily oversold” sign in aisle 1, where my gorm should have been, i figured out you could buy pretty much everything except the frame seperately.

race bib artrace bib art

so i bought 14 shelves and 3 cross-braces and downloaded the assembly instructions from ikea’s website to prove to pierre that all we had to do was buy 12  1 x 4s and we’d be in business. this is where my involvement ended, but over the course of several weeks, pierre put together three pine shelves for our odd storage space without incident. in fact, i think they’re even better than the store-bought ones, because the frames don’t contain pre-drilled holes every two inches, which are there so you can adjust shelves easily, but are a little unsightly.

gormblue metal drawers

i found these heavy-duty metal drawers at guff, when we were there to special order our tv console in march. it fits on the shelf perfectly, and now holds so many things that were scattered about before: sewing supplies, gift wrap stuff, and little craft tools like my mat cutter, spare leather… you know.


it’s hard to make extra rolls of toilet paper, your christmas decorations, seven years’ worth of tax forms, empties waiting to be refunded, and two caddies of nails and screws look pretty, but everyone has this stuff and it’s got to go somewhere. best go on some diy gorm shelves.

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