Shelves come with a variety of design features.  They are not just flat stacked lengths of surface.  A few options in shelving units are shelves with baskets, drawers, and / or coat hooks.  Any of the previously mentioned choices can be helpful with household storage issues.  There are many other types of shelves but I will just stick with these three basic options for now.

Shelves with Baskets

Buying them or DIY

Shelves with baskets can be either a pre-made unit or one that you create yourself.  The pre-made units can be more costly but they will look like they belong together and the baskets will fit into the cubbies perfectly.  You can get a simple two-basket shelf for about 25 dollars and the price just goes up.  The number of baskets is a good indicator of how high the price can run.  Once you get up into the four or more baskets, your cost will be in excess of one hundred dollars.  If money is an issue, and you already have some baskets, you might be able to create your own custom shelving unit.  The main consideration here is to make sure that the baskets fit securely on the shelves that you are going to use.  If the baskets are deeper than the shelves, you can run into the problem of baskets falling off.  Just take your time and check the fit to make your own shelves with baskets.  One of the good things about making your own unit is the flexibility that you will have.  The pre-made units usually do away with all the shelves by filling them with baskets.  Even if you want baskets, you may not only want baskets.  Shelves without baskets are good too.  You can pick up some cheap baskets at any discount store.  If you catch them when they go on sale, you can get them cheap.  I like the ones with fabric liners in them so that things do not catch on the woven basket material.

Shelves with Drawers

Which Drawer for which Situation

The main question here is do you want actual drawers, such as you would find in a desk or kitchen pullouts.  An entertainment center is a great example of shelves and drawers in one unit.  Entertainment centers are somewhat big though and might not work in your situation.  Another option might be a credenza.  I like credenzas for the efficient use of space and the long flat surface on top.  If you have read any of my storage articles, you will know that flat surfaces are something that I prize highly.  The other main option is a bookcase with drawers.  These are very popular and an efficient use of space.  Many people use kitchen pullout drawers to store their canned goods.  Cabinet shelves are very inefficient in the storage of canned goods.  Adding some pullouts to your existing cabinetry can increase the storage capacity of your kitchen shelves or pantry.  You will want to make sure that your kitchen pullouts can hold enough weight for what you are planning to store.  Canned goods weigh quite a bit so be cautious here.

Shelves with Coat Hooks

No Coat Closet - No Problem

This is my current need in my home.  I am in serious coat closet deficit and need some way to store coats other than tossing them on the couch or bed.  A shelve with some coat hooks will solve quite a few of my domestic storage problems.  These shelving units normally have three to six coat hooks with a shelf above them.  There can be a single shelf, multiple shelves, or square cubbies.  I am thinking that for me the cubbies would work out the best.  Every family or household will have its own preferences though.  What I really need to find is a shelf, coat hook, and key holder combo.  I am probably delusional but I bet they sell them.  Even if they do not actually make them, I have some little hooks and can fix what I buy to suit my needs.  I think I have told you more than you wanted to know about my personal storage problems.

Different shelving units tend to work best in certain rooms.  Baskets are great for a teen or child’s room, to hide toys and such.  The kitchen pullouts are, of course, for the kitchen.  The coat hook shelves are best near a door.  Even though I just said that, certain rooms are better than others your house is different than mine and you should not allow my views to limit your own decorating options.  I did not even touch on bathrooms, porches, or garages.  There are plenty of shelving types to use in those areas as well.  Just think, shop, and be creative to solve your storage problems.