This is an easy Ikea hack for vegetable storage made from an IKEA storage system is easy. Follow these simple steps and you have the perfect storage for your homegrown potatoes and other vegetables.
WHY YOU NEED A SPECIAL VEGETABLE STORAGE RACK
When you are gardening like us you will have an excess of certain vegetables come harvest time. One such vegetable is potato. I am always amazed at how many come from planting just one potato. Since we cannot consume all of our harvest at once, we have to store them optimally to last longer. Due to the short summer we have in the northern hemisphere, our harvest is limited to only one season for the whole year. Therefore, for us it was important to make a practical vegetable storage racks for our harvest.
Most older Swiss homes and apartments come with a vegetable storage rack in their cold cellar. The very first apartment I lived in, had one such storage and this was so practical to store winter sturdy vegetables like carrots, pumpkins and potatoes during the long winter months.
Two decades back, we used to order winter vegetables from an organic community farm by the end of autumn in preparation for the winter months. Back then we did not have easy access to organic vegetables like now, therefore, this community was our best source. Since our refrigerator and freezer were really so small, these storage racks was a life saver.
HOW TO STORE POTATOES ?
Potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place, such as a pantry or cupboard. If you are able to grow you own, don’t wash the potatoes. Just brush the soil off and use a well ventilated container away from light to prevent the spuds from spouting. In Europe, most organic growers don’t wash the potatoes which are for sale.
In the kitchen, I use Tupperware Potato Storage container where I store small quantities of potatoes. But for the larger quantities we formerly used wooden crates and stored them in the cellar.
Do not store potatoes together with apples or onions. For this reason I store them in 2 different rooms, so the ethylene gas from onions or apples will not cause the spuds to sprout new roots.
Lets get into how we made our DIY Ikea Vegetable Storage Rack.
POINTS TO CONSIDER FOR YOUR VEGETABLE STORAGE RACK
- Wooden racks with the gaps in between help in airing the vegetables and prevents mold.
- Store your potato in a cool and dark storage area, because light will cause the roots to sprout quickly and you cannot store potatoes for long.
- Ideally, harvesting potatoes in autumn are optimal for long time storage during the cold winter months.
- Natural wooden shelving without any paint is ideal.
WHY WE MADE OUR IKEA HACK FOR VEGETABLE STORAGE ?
There is an option of buying customized or ready made vegetable storage racks. These racks are quite expensive and on the other hand we had absolutely no space in our cellar to fit one such unit. The only space we had was below the work bench.
My husband made our DIY work table 20 years ago, by fixing a thick wooden board meant for durability and fixed it to the wall and 2 additional legs towards the front for support. This customized table has already moved 2 homes and I use it for packing things which I sell, and he uses it for fixing things, carpentry etc.
Since we wanted to save money too, the best option was to buy the shelving system Hejne from IKEA. These shelves were the most budget friendly option and by tweaking it a little we now have our own DIY vegetable / fruit storage rack.
This whole project costed in and around SFr. 65.- for the materials. We already had the tools needed for the project, so no extra investment there.
TOOLS YOU WILL NEED
1 Hejne shelving unit from IKEA (78x50x171 cm )
1 Hejne extra shelves ( 77×47 cm )
Standard Folding Ruler ( we use metric unit in Europe )
Timber Roofing Battens of 2.4 cm x 4.8 cm ( or 1″ x 2″ in inches )
OUR DIY IKEA HACK FOR VEGETABLE STORAGE
Below you see the picture of our DIY work table. The height of the table is 90 cm and the width of the table is 147 cm and depth is 54 cm.
Therefore, we needed 1 full Hejne Shelving unit and 2 extra shelves from the same series. This was our requirement. But the principle is same. If you want a bigger unit, you can customize accordingly.
I will try my best to summarize our Ikea hack for vegetable storage as best as I can, but with many pictures for your reference.
VIDEO TUTORIAL FOR VEGETABLE RACK
STEPS FOR IKEA HACK FOR VEGETABLE STORAGE RACK
We cut the 4 vertical frames ( measuring 171 cm ) which support the shelves into halves and we got 8 frames out of it. We further adjusted these frames to the height of the table and it was just perfect.
We fixed from the first set of the frames to the table block from below. Since we had the table attached to the wall, we still needed to attach the frames to the table at the back to support the shelves.
While fixing the frames, make sure that the holes in the frame are mirroring each other.
Next screw the first shelf in a sloping angle as shown. You can also fix it straight on the slots on the frames already given by IKEA. But for practical reasons, we wanted the slope to enable the potatoes to roll easily.
Fix the next frame together with the first shelf. And then fix the next group of shelves. Fix the lower shelf about 5 cms higher than the previous one. The slot given by IKEA will not work, since we have already used it for the first shelf. So you will have to make a new one to fix it.