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Storage Solutions

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Organize and Decorate Bookshelves

Accessorizing bookshelves can be very easy if you know a few tricks of the trade.  Bookshelves are obviously made for books, but that doesn’t mean they cannot hold other personal and decorative items to make them more visually appealing.  After all, unique knick-knacks, photos, and other personal treasures are what make your home interesting and inviting. 


Top Ten Tips for Decorating Bookshelves


  1. Organize Books by Size and Color- Remove the book jackets to reveal the more stylish and colorful hard-back bindings.

  2. Place Books both Horizontally and Vertically- Sometimes tall books won’t fit into the shelves.  Lay books on their sides and stack according to size (have book titles facing out).  You can use this horizontal organizing method to create book-ends for books arranged vertically.

  3. Create Groupings- Group decorative objects and collectibles.  Example- A collection of pewter pictures frames or glass paperweights adds interest to the bookshelf display.  Keep the items together in one group on one shelf and arrange them by size.  If the collection is too large for one shelf, continue the display on an additional shelf.

  4. Height- Use books as ways to prop up small items.  Example- A collection of decorative boxes in multiple sizes can be easily displayed.  If one or two boxes are very small or short, place one or both of them on stacked books.  Using objects of varying height adds interest to any display.

  5. Depth- Create depth on each bookshelf by zigzagging objects instead of arranging them in a row.  The use of mirrors on bookshelves also can help create a sense of depth.

  6. Symmetrical or Asymmetrical- Balance keeps book shelving displays uniform.  Symmetry achieves a more traditional style, while asymmetrical displays can be a bit more casual or artsy.  Make sure to balance asymmetrical displays by creating similar visual weight of all objects. 

  7. Focal Point- Create a focal point with one large object.  This may also help to create a more modern or contemporary look.

  8. Create Personality- Make sure to include unique and personal items on the bookshelves.  Family photos, baby shoes, glass dinner bells, interesting hats, antique gardening or sporting equipment etc. give clues to family hobbies and interests.

  9. Tell a Story- Themed bookshelves are very easy to create.  Example- Create a beach theme by using shells, antique glass buoys, hang a small wall plaque in the bookshelf- “on the beach” or one shelf can even be home to a small fish bowl etc.  All these items will tell your seaside story.  

  10. Accessorize with Flowers and Plants- Use cut flowers and plants as ways to create color and softness on the shelves.

Kitchen Storage Strategies
Kitchen Storage Strategies

Geting the kitchen organized can be fun and of course very useful.  Organization certainly saves a lot of time and even money.  After all, how many boxes of baking soda does one household really need?


The solution to storage dilemmas is getting and keeping organized.  This may require a trip to the store, but it’s well worth the cost and effort.


Spices and Condiments:

There’s no longer a need to be digging around for the dried sage, it’s now stacked or lined up neatly on or in the new storage unit.  A drawer pullout or vertical unit holds all these condiments and spices superbly.  Storage experts suggest utilizing an area not more than “an arm’s length away from the cooktop.”


The Dishes Go Here:

Your everyday plates can either be stored vertically or stacked.  A metal or wooden plate rack on the counter or in a cupboard is convenient and handy.  If you prefer stacking dishes, bowls, cups and saucers- look into “maximizer units.”  These units are made of wood, plastic, wire or acrylic and are available in many different sizes.  They allow the homemaker to make the most of available storage space and provide a clean, well-organized appearance.  Experts recommend storing dishes near the dishwasher or sink to easily put them away after use.  

Cooking Utensils and Silverware Space Savers:

At a single glance utensil and flatware trays allow you to find the specific tool and silverware needed.  No more digging for your favorite spatula, there it is right in front of you.  These in-drawer trays compartmentalize tools and flatware vertically and horizontally for easy access.  For even more efficient storage and organization, look for trays that stack on top of each other.


The Big Stuff… Pots, Pans and Large Bowls:

Cardboard dividers or a pegboard system customize your space.  Cardboard dividers can be purchased and then cut to create sections in a drawer or in under the counter cabinets.  Linens, such as placemats and napkins, can also be efficiently organized in this manner.


Messy Wine Cabinet:

Invest in a wine rack.  Why?  Wine should be stored on its side so that the cork does not dry out.  Select a place that keeps an even temperature and not exposed to extreme cold or heat.


The Fridge:

Use “maximizer units” made of acrylic, plastic or metal in the fridge.  These units are great tools to organize open bottles of jam, Mayo, mustard, salad dressing etc. 

My best,

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