March 7, 2012

Store Bottled Water Off The Floor on A Dolly

When bottled water goes on sale, I buy a few cases for our emergency water supply. I keep some cases in the garage, and some in the emergency closet. And of course bottles in our 72-hour kits, and barrels in the basement. But the cases were not stacking very well in the garage, so I needed a better storage idea. I didn't want shelves because most shelves don't allow you to double-stack cases of water. The water needed to be off the floor and movable when we clean the garage. Not an easy feat. Our garage doesn't get very hot in the summer, which is nice. And the bottles are out of direct sunlight.

Tipsy cases of water

So I ran to our local Home Depot for help. The handy dandy hardware guy came to my rescue with an idea: a furniture dolly. He showed me the Milwaukee1000 lb. Capacity Furniture Dolly. The wheels began turning in my head. That might work! With a dolly we could move the water if needed, and use the furniture dolly as a dolly if we every needed it. At $19.93, this was the price I was looking for.
Milwaukee 1000 lb. Furniture Dolly

He suggested I get some plywood to lay across the cart, and then stack the cases. But I wasn't about to spend $10 on a piece of wood. So I grabbed four 2x4's from the dent-and-scratch wood pile for .50 cents a piece. They were already the right length. Cool! So I put them evenly across the dolly.

2x4's across the dolly

Then I re-stacked the cases with the newest cases on the bottom, and the oldest on the top. It's hard to see, but I've written the expiration date with permanent marker on the front side of every case. In this stack there are probably six different dates. I like the cases with the cardboard bottoms, but sometimes price wins out.

Cases nicely stacked on my dolly contraption.  Looks like it's tipping, but the camera woman was tipping.Isn't it nice! Still need a few more cases, but I will get them next month when they go on sale for $2.50 again. Varying those dates prevents them from expiring at the same time.

How much does a 24 ct. case of 16.9 ounce water weigh? About 26 pounds. I need 20 cases at 26 lbs. for a total weight of 520 pounds. Still under dolly capacity. It's a cool thing! Just don't ask me to move it.


  1. Great idea. Harbor Freight has those dollies at a cheaper price but I have one in the garage and will transfer some water to it this week.

    Thanks Valerie.

  2. Great idea. The only thing I would do differently is to add a tow rope to help in pulling the dolly.

  3. Take some dollar store saran wrap and go tightly around the two bottom rows of water a few times. This will make the base sturdier and then you can move the whole thing easily without falling or tipping. In the trucking industry this is called shrink wrapping your load.

    Great idea, Congrats!

  4. How does that keep them from tipping? You restacked them so they aren't as tall, but you don't need a dolly to do that.

  5. The tow rope is a great idea. The saran wrap is a great idea too, but I would have to do it every time I re-stack. A cart with side supports would be the best thing, but more costly. This dolly will work great for me right now. The dolly keeps the water movable, and keeps the bottles off the cement floor in case chemicals from the cement leach into the bottles.

  6. This might work well with the 55 gallon drums of water. When you need to dump the water and re-fill, this makes an easy way to roll them to an area where the old water can do some good in the yard.

  7. Wow! That's awesome! Thanks for all the great tips!

  8. Thanks, Valerie, You have such GREAT ideas! I've posted your message on our new Facebook page today for many more women to see! We'd love to have you join us at


    Also, I told Michelle at about you and posted you on her FB site: LDS Women for Faith and Family!

    Thanks for the great work you are doing!

  9. I wonder if a 55 gallon drum dolly would work better for a 55 gallon barrel. Does anyone know? I saw some on, but pretty pricey.

  10. Just found the Morse Clamp+Go Dolly Handle you attach to a drum dolly. I have no idea how much this costs, but watch the video.

  11. Can you tell me how you rotate this type of water storage? Do you frequently use bottled water as a staple? Or would you try and use it up right before expiration? Just curious how that lifestyle might work if I began storing more small bottles of water rather than mainly large containers. Thanks!

  12. Hi Jenna,

    Because of our many sporting activities, we periodically grab bottles of water from a case to drink. This makes it easier for us to drink what we store, but not too quickly. We also refill sport bottles. I buy a few cases every few months to add to the supply.

  13. Stack the water vertically by expiration date so that you can rotate by replacing old to new in rows instead of layers.

  14. Harbor Freight has mover's follies starting at $11.99 this weekend. I think this is a great idea.

  15. try a piece of cardboard between the layers of cases

  16. You are not stacking the water cases correctly. Put a layer down then with the next layer turn them 90 degrees, so a case on the second pile covers the end of a case and the end of another case. This will inter lock the pile. Look at how bailed tall stack of hay bails are stacked.


Thanks for your comments and suggestions!


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