Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bookshelf Storage

I previously wrote about book organization, but there are many other uses for bookshelves. If you're low on storage space in your house, think up instead of out. Tall bookshelves are incredibly handy. You can buy relatively inexpensive ones or make your own. They can always be painted or varnished to match the room they're in. Here are some uses I've found for tall bookshelves in the past:
  • Kitchen Pantry - I used a tall bookshelf as a pantry by storing cereal, pasta, cookbooks and small appliances on the shelves. (Adjustable shelves made it easy to fit the shelves to their contents.) Having sewn my own kitchen curtains, I sewed a matching curtain to cover the shelves. All I had to do was pull back the curtain to my "pantry" and items I commonly used were at my fingertips.
  • Bedroom Closet - I came upon this idea while contemplating the need for another bedroom dresser. We have great clothes storage in the summer, but winter clothing is bulkier and needs more space. Another dresser would have fit but the drawers wouldn't have pulled out comfortably. I took an unused bookshelf and created shelving for sweaters and sweatshirts. I even made the top shelf shorter so it can be used for books - whatever we're currently reading. I haven't put a curtain up in front of this one, but it could easily be done to create more of a "closet" look.
  • Game Shelf - Bookshelves are for more than just books. Designating one for board games and puzzles made it easy for me to organize them (a shelf for puzzles, a shelf for family games, a shelf for strategy games, etc.) I find this much easier than digging through a closet (unless the closet has great shelving!)
I am currently only using the Bedroom Closet idea, just because in my current house I haven't needed the others. A useful tip is to buy (or make) the same type of shelves for all around the house. This way you can put two adjustable shelves on one and four on another if it suits your fancy. (If you make your own bookshelf I suggest making the shelves adjustable - you'll love it in the long run.) I love shelves. They make me feel very organized. What can I say? I'm an organizing geek.

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