Most people have at least one drawer or shelving area that is a chaotic mess filled with everything you never knew what to do with, but did not want to get rid of it.
With shelving, a minimalist approach is best especially if you want to highlight artwork, photos or any other knickknacks you treasure. However, there are some rules you need to follow to get the best decorative result.
First and foremost, to reduce clutter, do not pack everything closely together. Let the items have some breathing room to get the best result.
Anyone can get organized and get control of their surroundings by following a few simple tips to get the most out of your available space.
Start Your Reorganizing Project Fresh
Before attempting to reduce shelf clutter, you have to declutter completely. There is no way you can organize a mess without first starting fresh. Pull everything off a shelf and go through it. There is probably something that can be thrown out or boxed away.
Once the mess is out of the way, and you have organized it into groups, you can begin to think about what you want on each shelving area. You can add what you need, and put away what you do not rather than simply trying to rearrange everything that is already there.
Stand back and visualize what you are trying to do and decide on what the theme of your shelves will be.
Next, prepare the shelves with the following rules.
Reduce Straight Lines
WCredit: Opensourcehen displaying books on a shelf, try reducing the straight lines created by books stacked side-by-side. You do not want your home to look like a library. The only caveat to that is if you have a separate Study in your home, or a large number of books that you actually need to display together.
For every other situation, break it up by inserting some curved items to separate some of the books, for instance, a commemorative plate sitting in a stand or even a small plant. This will soften the look.
Vary the Height of Items
When displaying items on a shelf, try varying the heights of items by elevating certain pieces using decorative boxes or even stacks of books. This has the same effect of softening the lines and adding interest. However, do not clutter everything.
Rotate Your Knicknacks
Just as stores rotate their window displays, you should reorganize your décor from time-to-time to keep everything fresh and interesting. This includes the items you are displaying on your shelves.
If you have frequent guests, try offering something new every couple of months. No one wants to see the same thing all the time. You might have seasonal items you like to display for fall or the holidays. Mix it up, but remember not to overwhelm.
Move Shelves Around
If you have adjustable wall-mounted shelves, try moving the shelving height around from time-to-time to accommodate taller or short objects, depending on the type of items displayed for that particular shelf.
You can design a series of longer and shorter shelves that created a large open center for displaying a focal point such as a large flower vase or other keepsake.
Group Like Items
If you are trying to get rid of the clutter, group similar items together. This includes items that are shaped the same or have the same color or height.
But remember, do not create straight lines throughout the shelf. Break them up to add interest and soften lines.
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Conceal Unattractive Items
If you have shelving that is used to stash away old Playstation or Xbox games, or CDs or DVDs, you do not want to line them up on a shelf in the living room.
Instead, place them in attractive boxes or baskets for organization.
You can even use the boxes as display stands to add height to various items on your shelf.
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Layer Items by Height
As I said before, you should vary the height along the shelf to add interest and break up hard lines, however, be sure to put the taller items in the back.
By places shorter items toward the front, you give the impressive of depth. Again, do not overwelm. The items on your shelves need breathing room to make the greatest impact.
Add a Background
For open shelving, whether wall-mounted or floor standing units, you can add interest by applying a background on the wall. Be creative. You can even tile behind the shelves with leftover tile from another project in your home, or even add a small piece of vinyl flooring to the wall.
Then place the shelves over, or in front of your backing and no one will ever know the difference.
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Make New Closet Space
If you need more space to hang clothes, make an instant closet by placing some 6 foot high book shelves at each end of one of the walls in a room, then add some rods to span the length between the two shelves. Hang clothes in between the book shelves.
Alternatively, for more shelving space, try using some space in your closets, particularly if you have a walk-in that is not being completely utilized. You can use the same bookshelf design to get more shelving space inside your closet.
Use Rafter Space in Basement
Credit: OpensourceIf you have an open basement, garage or even a crawl space, you can utilize the space in between the floor joists/ceiling rafters by creating shelves using wire shelving attached to the bottom of the joists.
These types of wire shelves are about $3 a foot at any home improvement store and can be attached with special fasteners.