Picture this: you’ve got an image in your head of a beautiful, organized set of shelves that stand front and center in your office. You make a plan, go shopping for all the bins, and set to work creating your #Shelfie. But…when it’s all said and done, you actually aren’t happy with the result.
If that’s where you find yourself then this video is for you! Click the video below to learn some common mistakes people make when creating a #Shelfie:
Now, before I dive into the common mistakes I see in #Shelfie creation, I want to start with one great big caveat: The ONLY criteria you should judge your shelves by is whether or not YOU, yes you, personally like them. If the shelves make YOU happy, then they are a win.
So, in this post, you’ll hear me recommend using modular storage so that your stacks of bins all come out to the same height. But maybe you love the varied look of different heights! In that case, dump what I have to say and do your thing! These tips are here to help you if there’s something that doesn’t seem quite right about your #Shelfie, but they are absolutely not “the laws of organization” that must be followed. All that matters is that at the end of the day you have a space for your things that makes you smile.
With that said, let’s dive in.
To Match or Not to Match
If you don’t like your shelf, it may be that you either used too many of the exact same container or you didn’t use enough matching containers. The more common pitfall here is to not match enough containers. If you use 5 different types of containers on your shelf, it can end up looking like a hodge podge. But if you only use ONE basket over and over and over again, it can make the shelf lack character and give the shelf a very heavy feel.
Closed vs Open Storage
Closed storage is a bin that you cannot see into at all. Open storage is where you can see exactly what is in the bin.
When you use clear bins you have to be very, very particular about how you organize what is inside your bins. I love using closed storage because the stuff inside the bin doesn't have to all match or be super organized to make the shelf look nice. Another advantage of closed storage is that if you don’t have enough stuff to fill the space you are organizing, nobody will know the difference if your bins are all closed! I have several empty bins on my shelves – which means I have room to grow!
Using non-modular storage
Non-modular storage is storage that doesn’t stack well. Typically with this type of storage you’ll have to stack the exact same size of bin in order to get a uniform look. That means there’s no option for varied bin sizes. Modular storage is a bit harder to find. These Kuggis bins from IKEA are my favorite option.
This is a step that a lot of people skip, but it makes your shelves look really nice, and it helps you keep it organized! You can click here to check out a previous video I recorded on labeling your bins.
Containers that Don’t Fit
You found the perfect bin, but it’s a little bit too long and hanging over the edge. Eek! This is such a frustrating pitfall, and it’s more common than you might think.
The problem here is actually likely your shelves. So many shelves are incredibly narrow. When I’m looking for shelves to purchase, I always pay attention to the depth. 13” or more is ideal. If your shelves are really shallow it’s going to be harder to find bins that fit without an overhang.
Make sure that the decor and color scheme of your shelves match the rest of the room. If you’ve got a light and bright room but you put dark wood shelves in the room, it may not quite look right. Don’t be afraid of a good coat of paint!
Let me remind you: it’s important to create a shelf that YOU like! It doesn’t have to look exactly like what you found on the internet. If you’re hearing everyone tell you “it can’t be too matchy matchy” but you love that look, forget what everyone else is saying and do what you love!
Liked these tips? Then I think you’ll enjoy the #Shelfie Handbook that was written to help you create a beautiful, organized set of shelves that you love. You can find it here.
Organization that actually sticks for busy, happy lives.