Trunk Organizer – Double your storage space!
Ever since I found this pin on Pinterest, I was dying to create my own trunk organizer.
Click image or this link to be taken to original instructions.
The instructions for this are great, and the materials are inexpensive enough – but this version just didn’t work for me – I wanted a trunk organizer that was collapsible, portable and sturdy – but removable as well… without any residual marks to my car.
The great news is that my version is MUCH easier to build (although more expensive), has a more custom fit and is much sturdier than the version above.
The best part is that your car’s manufacturer has given you the template you need to create your own!
The mat that lines your trunk is an almost perfect template to trace to create your own trunk organizer! (I purposely made my trunk filthy to give the most dramatic before and after photos).
Trace out your trunk liner/mat on a piece of 3/4″ plywood. Before cutting, check to make sure that your mat covers the floor in it’s entirety – my floor had a small plastic section that wasn’t under the mat (you can see in the photo above, on the left side), so I added it onto my drawing after the fact.
Once you’re sure you’ve covered the entire floor space within your template, cut it out with a jigsaw.
Chances are your trunk organizer won’t sit completely flush with the sides of your trunk; wheel wells and speakers provide all kinds of bumps and jut-outs. Don’t worry about a flush fit on the sides – if you want your trunk organizer to be collapsible, you only have to fit the bottom of your trunk.
Next you’ll need to accommodate for the slope of the back seats. My seats took up about 2 extra inches, so I had to cut that off of the edge of my plywood – the edge that lines up with the door. Put a cooler or some bricks underneath the plywood and line it up flush with your rear seats at the height you want – you’ll easily be able to see where the wood will bump with your rear door/hatch. Measure and cut that excess off with your jig saw.
You’ll want to buy 4 folding leg brackets like these:
Cut some scrap 2×2 wood to the length you want. I went with 11 1/4″ so that the total height of my trunk organizer was 12″, but if you want to fit something specific under your shelf, you’ll need to measure for that (eg. coolers might be 18″ tall).
Attach the leg brackets to each 2×2 leg as below.
When the legs are unlocked and folded down, the 2×2 wood will fit inside the quarter circle hinge area.
You’ll want your legs to fold towards each other, and parallel to the sides of your trunk. By doing this, even when the trunk organizer is completely collapsed, you’ll still be able to access the 2″ of space underneath it to hide valuables, or store a spare blanket.
I had some navy paint leftover in the garage, so I opted to paint mine – but this could easily be upholstered in trunk-like fabric with just a staple gun. The idea is to make the trunk organizer shelf dark enough that when (bad) people peek into your car to gauge for valuables, all they will see is a dark surface and the assumption will be that it’s the bottom of an empty trunk.
123rf.com (Kasper Nymann)
Storage chests and trunks can be practical and functional. However, there are many options to choose from. For example, you may want something expensive that can be a family heirloom, or you may want a budget-friendly option since it’s just something for the game room.
Because we understand that people have different décor styles and storage needs, we’ve found not only the best storage chests and trunks but also the best options in specific categories. So, whether you’re looking for something to set next to your accent chair, something durable and stylish for college students, safe for kids, a convenient home office accessory – or even something that can be folded up when not in use, we’ve got you covered.
These are the 15 best storage chests and trunks available in 2020:
2. Inexpensive Traditional Style: Sauder Shoal Creek Storage Chest, Oiled Oak FinishPros:
- It’s easy to assemble
- Engineered wood
- Could be heavy to move
- No choice of colors
Whether you’re looking for somewhere to store blankets or a place to hide the kid’s toys, this Sauder Shoal Creek Storage Chest with an oiled oak finish, is a beautiful option. Made of engineered wood, it is also available in a soft white finish, or a deep brown Jamocha wood finish. The chest’s dimensions are L: 34. 88″ x W: 15. 08″ x H: 18. 94″
Find more Sauder Shoal Creek Chest information and reviews here.
3. Kids: Vasagle Lift Top Storage Chest/Bench with 2 Safety HingesPros:
- Slow-closing safety latch
- Assembly is easy
- May be too small for some adults
- May be too small for some adults
- Not designed for heavy items
If you plan on moving the storage chest around and/or it will be utilized by kids, this Vasagle Lift Top Storage Chest/Bench with 2 Safety Hinges provides protection for both. The safety hinges have been designed to open and close slowly, preventing the probability of catching your little one’s fingers and arms. There are also built-in handles that you can grasp to easily move the storage chest.
It’s constructed of medium density natural fiberboards that have been painted white and the beadboard design on the front adds architectural details to any room. The storage chest is also available in an Expresso color, and it measures 29.9”L x 15.8”W x 18.9”H.
Find more Kids: Vasagle Storage Chest with Safety Hinges information and reviews here.
4. Industrial: DormCo VIN Steel Plated Silver TrunkPros:
- Industrial locks
- Steel corners
- Rubber wheels for transport
- Dents easily (although that adds to the weathered look)
- Some people may find it too industrial
- May be heavy even with the wheels
If you want a storage trunk that’s easy to transport, this DormCo VIN Steel Plated Silver Trunk does the heavy lifting for you. The two rubber wheels on the bottom allow you to tilt and then push or pull it like a suitcase. On the other end of the bottom side are two rubber pieces that ensure you don’t scratch the floor (or trunk) when setting the trunk down. It’s made of birch plywood covered with a steel plated finish and the weathered appearance creates an industrial vibe. Dimensions: 31″L x 18.70″W x 15.75″H.
Find more DormCo VIN Steel Plated Silver Trunk information and reviews here.
5. Treasure Chest: vidadXL Vintage Wooden Storage TrunkPros:
- Looks authentic
- Includes latch
- May not be as sturdy as higher-priced models
- No color options
- Might be heavy to lift
If you like the look of treasure chests, this vidaXL Vintage Wooden Storage Trunk with a latch closing, is a good option. Made of wood and chipboard, this is a budget-friendly alternative to achieving the same look. The storage trunk also has handles on each side to make it easier to carry. Dimensions: 26″L x 15″W x 15.7″H
Find more vidadXL Vintage Wooden Storage Trunk information and reviews here.
7. Glam Style: Beautify Cream Vintage Metal Storage Trunk with Rose Gold HandlesPros:
- Elegant design
- 2 trunks
- Sturdy hardware
- May be too small for some items
- Could be hard to keep clean
- People either love or hate rose gold
If you’re looking for elegant storage options consider this Beautify Cream Vintage 2-piece Metal Storage Trunk with Rose Gold Handles. This vintage set adds instant glamour to any area, and the contrasting steel hardware is a clean contrast against the white trunks. In addition, the steel is sturdy and allows the cases to be carried from the front or sides.
Other color options for the trunk include gray and blush pink. The small trunk’s dimensions are 20.4″L x 10.2″W x 7.8″H inches and the large trunk’s measurements are 23.6″L x 14.1″W x 9.4″H inches
Find more Beautify Cream Vintage Metal Storage Trunk with Rose Gold Handles information and reviews here.
8. Suitcase Style: Deco 79 Wood and Leather 3-piece Vintage Suitcase StoragePros:
- Includes 3 pieces
- Leather straps
- Rugged metal edge caps
- Smaller than some trunks
- May be more cumbersome to transport
- Can’t hold really large items
The only thing better than a great-looking vintage suitcase trunk is three great-looking vintage suitcase trunks. And this Deco 79 Wood and Leather 3-piece Vintage Suitcase Storage set can be used to store your valuables at home, used as decoration, and even transported to your office. Made of Miff, with a matte leather finish and brown metal, the leather straps and metal edge caps contribute to the vintage look of the suitcase trunks. Dimensions: 23”L x 16”W x 9’H; 21”L x 13”W x 8”H; 18”l x 11”W x 6”H.
Find more Deco 79 Wood and Leather 3-piece Vintage Suitcase Storage information and reviews here.
9. Coffee Table: Signature Design by Ashley Farmhouse Storage Coffee TablePros:
- Opens on 2 different sides
- Distressed appearance
- Requires Assembly
- Farmhouse style may not appeal to everyone
Some people hide storage chests and trunks out of view, but this one takes center stage. The Signature Design by Ashley Farmhouse Storage Coffee Table looks good in the middle of your room, and can complement the rest of your furniture. Made of pine veneers, pine wood, and engineered wood, it also opens on both sides. When closed, it can serve as place for a centerpiece, or a place to rest food and beverages. In addition to brown, it’s also available in a white body with a brown top, or a grey body with a brown top. It requires assembly, but is easy to put together. Dimensions: 36″W x 36″D x 18″H.
Find more Signature Design by Ashley Storage information and reviews here.
10. Rolling Luggage: Unitravel Vintage SuitcasePros:
- Plenty of color choices
- Retro combination locks
- Four spinner wheels
- Lightweight material
- Plastic wheels
- Not designed for rough use
Too stylish to keep at home, this Unitravel Vintage Suitcase can also roll through airports with ease. It includes four wheels to make rolling the trunk easy – and the wheels also spin 360 degrees – and there are also handles to carry the case by. The combination locks on each side of the front section ensure your valuables stay safe. Color choices include light gray, dark blue, dark green, dark pink, and light green – and there are also additional colors to choose from. Dimensions for this particular model are 21.85”L x 13.0”W x7.68”H; however, there are also 3 larger sizes as well.
Find more Rolling Luggage: Unitravel Vintage Suitcase information and reviews here.
11. Table Storage Trunk: Southern Enterprises Nailhead End Table Storage TrunkPros:
- Includes safety hinge
- Assembly required
- No color options
If you want a smaller storage option that also doubles as a stylish end table, this Southern Enterprises Nailhead End Table Storage Trunk is both decorative and functional. It has a quilted texture that’s perfect for small spaces, and would work well next to your sofa or even as a bedroom side table. Materials used in this Expresso finish trunk include medium density fiberboard, pine veneer, and hardwood. The metal safety hooks make it easy to carry the trunk, which supports up to 100 pounds. Dimensions are 21”W x 21.25” D x 24”H.
Find more Table Storage Trunk: Southern Enterprises End Table information and reviews here.
12. Console Table: Drifton Storage Trunk Console TablePros:
- Provide multiple storage places
- Safety hinges prevent slamming
- Cannot be locked
- Assembly required - add legs and lower shelf
- May be heavy to move
Another storage trunk with multiple functions, this Drifton Storage Trunk Console Table, actually provides three separate storage areas. You can store items inside of the trunk, and also store and display objects on top of the trunk. In addition, you can utilize the shelf to store and display those tall and long items. Having the trunk mounted eliminates the need to bend over. The console table trunk is made of medium density fiberboard, ash veneer, plywood, metal, and a metal tube.
The tabletop can support up to 40 pounds. The interior can support 30 pounds, and the shelf can hold 20 pounds. Overall dimensions are 40″W x 16.75″D x 32.25″H; The tabletop is 38″W x 13.75″D; Shelf: 38″W x 13.75″D x 14.25″ H; Interior storage: 38″W x 13.75″D x 7.5H (plus 2″H inside lid)
Find more Drifton Storage Trunk Console Table information and reviews here.
14. Patriotic Style: Household Essentials Storage Trunk – Americana DesignPros:
- Great rustic features
- Only Oklahoma license plates on trunk a
- May be too casual for some design styles
- May be more decorative than durable
You can show your patriotic side with this Household Essentials Storage Trunk Americana Design. The stars and stripes are prominently displayed, and if you look closely, you can also see various U.S. license plates. It’s a large trunk that offers plenty of storage. The trunk is made of medium density fiberboard, combined with aged brass metal handles and leather strap accents.
Dimensions: 6.14”H x 25.6”W x 15.2”D
Find more Household Essentials Storage Trunk information and reviews here.
15. Colorful/Numerical: B FSOBEIIALEO Faux Leather Folding Storage ChestPros:
- Easy to assemble
- Faux leather
- Might not be sturdy enough to sit on
- Won't fit every style
If you like numbers and bright colors, this B FSOBEIIALEO Faux Leather Folding Storage Chest, meets both requirements. It’s also long, wide, and deep, making it suitable for many storage options. The trunk is constructed of medium density fiberboard and covered with premium faux leather. It can hold up to 550 pounds, and the elastic sponge pad makes it comfortable to rest your feet on. The trunk is also foldable for easy storage, and easy to clean – simply wipe with a damp cloth.
In addition to the black trunk, other background colors include red and also blue. Dimensions: 30″L x 15″W x 15″H.
Find more B FSOBEIIALEO Faux Leather Folding Storage Chest information and reviews here.
Tips on choosing storage chests and trunks
When deciding on the right storage chest/trunk, these are some tips to keep in mind. “My favorite storage chests/trunks are the kind that also double as ottomans,” says Jennifer Quinn Williams, president and founder of Saint Louis Closet Co. “They are the perfect place to store blankets and extra throw pillows for your living and family rooms.” They're also an idea solution when you need more closet space.
Whenever you can get multiple uses out of a product, she says that’s a win-win. “I have one in my family room that we use to store family photo albums and one in the living room where I keep my seasonal throw pillows,” Williams reveals. “When my son went to college, I bought him a storage chest for his dorm room that doubles as a step stool and storage for extra school supplies.”
Does price affect performance?
We’ve included storage chests and trunks at various price points. However, you’ll need to determine your usage to decide what’s best for your needs. “The best storage chests and trunks are ones that you are going to have for the rest of your life,” says Darla DeMorrow, a Certified Professional Organizer and owner of Philadelphia, PA-based HeartWork Organizing. She says this is one of those times in which you get what you pay for.
“Avoid buying the cheapest just because of price,” DeMorrow says. However, if you’re just looking for something to hold the kid’s toys or a few blankets and other items, you might not want to break the bank.
On the other hand, DeMorrow says that a sturdy, well-made chest with good bones can last a long time. “Look for a chest made from wood or reinforced with metal structure,” she says. “Something that can be easily reupholstered or painted can later be repurposed in a child’s room, at the foot of a bed, in a mudroom as convenient seating, or in your main living space as a coffee table.”
Choosing between shapes
When deciding between the various styles of storage chests and trunks, here’s something else to keep in mind. “Something with a flat - as opposed to curved - top will have more options as a coffee table or stacked storage,”DeMorrow says. “Chests that are flimsy, character-themed, or oddly shaped won’t be useful for many years.”
In addition, she recommends child-safety hardware even if you don’t have small children. “Child-safety hardware that eliminates smashed fingers is a must. Think long term about future children or even grandchildren.”
When it comes to decorating any part of your home, it always pays off to focus on ideas and projects that allow your personality shine through. Displaying photos and knick-knacks are a great way to infuse some personal style into a space, but some of the most well-decorated homes take styling a step further, like thinking about the shelving/display case itself rather than just the items that go on it.
The designers on "Home Made Simple" recently took this idea to heart, creating a quirky, customizable shelving unit out of an old wooden trunk.
Repurposed steamer trunk
(3) 2x3-in. foam board (1/2-in. thick)
4-in. fabric of your choice
(6) 1x1x6-in. lumber (ledgers)
(3) 1x6x20*-in. lumber (shelves)
(3) 1x2x20*-in. lumber (shelving trim)
Wood stain to match existing trunk
Drill with pre-drill bit and Phillips head screwdriver bit
Glue gun with extra-strength glue sticks
*Length will vary depending on your trunk size
Preparing the interior foam board:
- Cut your foam board into two rectangles that are the exact same measurements as the inside of the trunk.
- Lay your fabric print-side down and place one of the foam cut-outs on top of it. Leaving 1-in. excess on all sides, cut the fabric around the foam.
- Once the fabric is cut, keep it in place by putting a small dab of hot glue in each corner on the side that's facing down. Then, fold the fabric over the edge of the foam board and secure it with lines of hot glue. (At the corners, fold fabric like a wrapped present by tucking one piece under the other.)
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the other foam board and fabric.
- Once the boards are covered, apply hot glue quickly and carefully to one back at a time, and press board into the inside of the trunk.
- Smaller foam panels will be added to all four sides of the inside of the trunk. Repeat the previous steps to create these smaller foam panels.
Adding the shelves:
- Use a dry rag and wood stain on all the lumber, matching them to the existing color of the trunk. Allow to dry before moving on.
- Measure the inside long edge of the trunk and mark the center with chalk. Repeat on the opposite side. (These will be the positions of the first two ledgers that will support the center shelf.) Center 1x1x6-in. lumber over one of the chalk marks and secure in place with a nail gun. Repeat for the opposite side.
- Measure the distance between the center ledger and the top of the trunk, and mark with chalk. Repeat on the opposite side. Secure the ledgers as with the previous step.
- Measure the distance between the center ledger and the bottom of the trunk, and mark with chalk. Repeat on the opposite side. Secure the ledgers.
- Position the 1x6x20-in. lumber over the top two ledgers to make the first shelf. (It will be a snug fit; nails not needed.) Repeat for the two additional shelves.
- Position a 1x2x20-in. lumber over the front edge of the top shelf to hide the ledgers. Secure in place using a nail gun (space nails 4-6-in. along the length of the shelf). Repeat for the two additional shelves.
OPTIONAL: Adding legs
(5) 1x2x4-in. lumber
(5) 2x3-in. handrail, cut to 8-in. length
(10) 2-in. wood screws
(20) 1 1/2-in. wood screws
(5) 1/2-in. nailed furniture pads
- On one side of 1x2x4-in. lumber, find the center point of the wood. Use the pre-drill bit and drill one hole on either side of the center point. Repeat for all five pieces of lumber.
- Flip the lumber over and drill four more pre-drill holes, one in each corner. Repeat for all five pieces of lumber.
- Attach an 8-in. leg to each lumber piece using two 2-in. wood screws through the pre-drill holes from the first step. (The four pre-drill holes should be on the same side as the leg.) Hammer nailed furniture pads to the bottom center of each leg.
- Attach four legs to the side of the trunk, one in each corner, using 1 1/2-in. wood screws through the four pre-drill holes in the lumber.
- Attach the fifth leg to the lid of the trunk to help support the lid when the trunk is open.
"Home Made Simple" airs Saturdays at 9 a.m. ET on OWN.
More DIY projects on Oprah.com:
How to build your own fireplace surround
A chic coffee table made out of one big tire
How to make a floating panel shoe rack
Also on HuffPost:
What Stylish Living Rooms Have in Common
Tired of your groceries rolling around or getting squashed in the trunk of your car? If so, you're in luck, because now you can upgrade your car's back storage space with this quick and easy DIY project.
This pop-up shelf storage space, which you can make yourself in just a few hours, will help you separate all your grocery items when in use, and can also be folded down and stored away to make room for bigger items when necessary. The project only requires a few simple supplies and you can find the complete (visual) step-by-step guide at Instructables.
In short, to make this shelf, you'll need an open wire closet shelf, two folding legs, an auto-grade carpet, zip ties, and teacup hooks. You can use tools such as a needle, thread, scissors and a hacksaw to help with assembly. Here are a few tips before starting: First, make sure to measure the shelf and legs so they can fit correctly inside your car's trunk. Second, you'll want to incorporate a slight incline for the shelf (away from the trunk door), so items can stay in place. Finally, you must add the teacup hooks to your backseat—level them with your desired shelf height, and then attach the legs to the shelf with zip ties.
Voila—your personal truck shelf storage is ready to go! You now have more room for your groceries, shopping bags, and other items you have to cart around. How great is that?
Find the complete tutorial at Instructables.
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