Shelving Tips

Read these 7 Shelving Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Home Organization tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I customize shelving?

Modular Shelving

No matter how large or how small, modular shelving is going to work for your space. You do need to worry about the depth of the shelf and about the corners of the room, but otherwise all bets are off. If you have a long, blank wall and a lot of stuff, custom designed shelving, or modular shelving may be a better solution than, say, creating a custom built in shelving unit.

Choose the right veneer or finish for the room and make sure you are accounting for corner usage and the end cap of the unit. A shelving tip: When you are shopping for modular shelving, you want to assess your ceiling height and the width of the blank wall. Choose modules, that when put together, will fill the space the right way - if you choose modules that are the wrong size, you won't maximize the space.

What are my shelving options if I have small things that don't fit on shelves and in small drawers?

Choosing the Right Shelving

A big issue with the clutter of today is that it doesn't always neatly fit into a small drawer or on a book shelf. If this is the case with your stuff, you may want to consider a different kind of shelving for organization. Maybe what you really need is bins.

In some cases, you can get bins that will fit like drawers into your shelving unit. You see people do this with baskets pretty frequently, but you can also consider a multi bin organizer, which is literally a wall shelving unit constructed out of bins.

Of course the bins can still hold books but these units can also hold shoes, craft supplies, toys and even tools. These bin units are often more usable than regular shelving for about the same price. Consider what you really need to organize, what needs to go into the shelving unit and then find the right one to suit your need.

How can I make my book shelves meet my home organization needs?

Creating a Library

If you are a book lover and you have books in every orifice of your home, it may be time to create a library of your very own. If you have a finished basement, or a tolerant spouse, your living room may be the answer.

You can get a wall unit, or you can do wall to wall shelving with a custom installation. If you don't have a ton of money to throw at the project, get some custom cut plywood shelves from your local lumber store, sand and stain or paint the wood and hang the shelves with simple metal mounting strips and brackets (this also makes them adjustable).

If you have more money to throw at the project, consider getting floating shelves - they will cost a bit more and they may not have the same weight capacity but the look is great.

Creating all of this wonderful shelving is a great idea, but you do need to make sure you don't end up with a house full of books. Use the same rule as you do with shoes - in one - out one! Your local library will love you.

What kind of shelving should I use in a small space?

Ladder Shelving

If you have a small space with lower ceilings, you may want to choose ladder shelving for your space. Ladder shelving has good vertical reach and the shelving is deeper at the bottom and becomes shallower as it reaches to the ceiling. This is excellent for a space with lower ceilings because it will make the upper part of the room appear roomier. These shelves are also great because they can be connected from side to side to form a wall unit and they have special corner units that can be attached to the sides for additional storage. Use of baskets and other storage bins is ideal with ladder shelving, especially on the lower levels.

How can I use shelving in my basement?

Basement Shelving

A lot of people miss the boat with in home shelving and they pay the price with disorganized homes.

Take your basement for instance. The basement is a great space for storage and if you don't have uniform storage containers, shelving is the next best bet. By purchasing shelving made of a moisture resistant, composite material, you won't have any problems with corroding and you keep your stuff off the basement floor.

If you are using cardboard to store anything precious - this is *key* to keeping your things safe. You can get utility shelving in stackable heights so you can conform it to the space you have and get your shelving straight to the ceiling. Don't be afraid to bolt your shelves to your basement walls, especially if you live in an earthquake region.

How can I make my kitchen cabinet shelving more effective?

Kitchen Cabinet Shelving

Kitchen cabinets come with simple shelving that is not always effective. One of the best ways to make use of your kitchen cabinets is to customize your kitchen cabinet shelving to your pots and pans.

Design your space around the things that you love and your space becomes more effective. Use pot lid racks on your cabinet doors and create a cabinet specfically for your taller items like your lobster pot, blender or ice cream maker.

Turn another cabinet into one for cookie sheets with long and deep dividers wide enough for muffin pans as well. Create a lazy susan in your corner cabinets so you can rotate the contents of your cabinet and use the space more effectively.

Are their shelving options that are easy to move? Are there folding wood shelves?

Foldable Shelving

If you aren't sure where all of your books and things should end up, you may want a more mobile solution to your shelving needs. One great shelving idea is folding wood shelving. These are perfect for temporary storage because they can be folded up with ease and they are thin enough for easy storage. They are also usually stackable so you can customize them to your space and they make corner units for smaller spaces. Foldable shelving doesn't always have the highest weight capacity so it will be great for CD's, paperback books, and displaying picture frames and other personal items.

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Guru Spotlight
Sherril Steele-Carlin