Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How to Manage Deep Shelves

More Organizing Advice from www.thecustomcloset.net

Organizing Tip: Solutions for DEEP SHELVING
Some of my clients have very deep shelving (deep front to back) in their closets, cabinets or open shelves in their garages and other storage areas. It's great to have all that room, but sometimes it can do more harm than good if not organized properly. Deep shelving can cause things to get lost in the back, and make it really cumbersome to access things stored in the back. This can make all that extra space become ineffective, and even wasteful. So, what to do? Here are some options:

1) INSTALL PULL-OUT SHELVES: This is an optimal solution for kitchen/bathroom cabinets, and even some closets because the shelves can then be pulled-out and you will have easy access to everything. But, this may not be a workable solution for wire shelving or garage/attic shelving.

2) LAZY SUSANS: For shelves at or below eye level, put inexpensive 'lazy-susans" in the back section of the shelves. Not a maximum use of space, but whatever is put there can be easily accessed by spinning what's needed into reachable distance...

3) STADIUM SEATING: Think of the concept of the tiered spice racks for the back-end of the shelf, or a make-shift version of this using old shoeboxes or even sturdy cardboard mailing boxes to raise up what's in the back half of the shelf so it's view-able. Keep what you store in the front of the shelf low, so you can see what's on the higher level in the back. (you can wrap the boxes in nice paper to make it look more pleasing. Can combine this w/ the lazy susan idea as well.

4) DEEP BASKETS OR TRAYS: Long baskets or trays that you can pull out to see what's in back. I've also heard someone using window box liners. Not the best looking, but can be very func tional and act as a long slide-able tray.

5) USE THE DOOR: If it's a closet or cabinet, then another great solution I I found is installing baskets, racks, bins, on the inside of the door itself. These can be a larger/deeper size if you install them in the right location on the door so that when the door closes, these bins fit in the space between the shelves. You can then mark a line on the shelf w/ paint, marker, shelf-paper... to block out the area that get's taken up by the baskets, so you know not to put stuff there. Then, your shelf is not so deep anymore b/c you're only storing stuff behind the marked line, and everything, both on the door and on the shelves, is more easily accessible. I've also heard of cutting a U-shaped area out of the front of each shelf to accommodate baskets on the back of the doors and allowing you to reach the back of the shelves.

6) IDENTICAL FRONT TO BACK : Process-wise, you want to store identical things on deep shelves in rows going front to back (no surprises on what's behind the front item - all the same going to the back and nothing unknown get's lost behind the front.)

7) LABEL: Even if you do have to store items in the back that don't relate to what's in front, then simply label the front of the shelves so it's clear what's stored in the back.

So, you can see, with a little creativity, you can transform those deep shelves into much more functional storage spaces!

Linda English
Organizing With EASE, LLC
201-638-9593 | www.orgwithease.com