How to Hang a Ceiling Shelf

Updated February 21, 2017

Hanging shelves are systems that hang directly down from the ceiling. To hang shelves from a ceiling, use a bracket or track system that is fastened directly to the ceiling joist. Once the bracket or tracking system is in place, attach hangers. Some hanging systems don't allow you to make shelf height adjustments, while others will give you maneuverability to accommodate your storage needs. Hanging ceiling shelves are commonly used garages to maximise overhead space.

Locate the ceiling joist using a stud finder if the ceiling is covered with materials such as drywall or wood.

Choose the ceiling joist that coincides with the shelf dimensions. Mark the joist with a pencil to indicate shelving track placement.

Lay each shelving track along the chosen ceiling joist. Slip screw fasteners through the tracks' predrilled slots. Drive the fasteners into the ceiling joist using a screw gun.

Slide the base of each hanging bracket into the track system. Space the hanging brackets apart according to the shelving width. Fasten any required hardware to lock the brackets into position.

Lay shelving on top of the hanging brackets, locking them into place with fasteners or locking clips, depending on the shelving manufacturer's recommendations.


Most do-it-yourself retailers carry several types of garage ceiling hanging systems. The systems come in sets that include all the brackets and hardware needed to hang the shelves.

Things You'll Need

  • Stud finder
  • Hand tools
  • Hanging shelf system
  • Screw fasteners
  • Screw gun
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About the Author

Elizabeth Arnold has written for a wide variety of publications and websites. Her experience includes writing travel features for "Recommend" magazine and packaging marketing copy for both Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros. consumer products. Recently, Arnold was a staff writer for "Special Events" magazine. Arnold studied English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.