Open shelves are an easy, inexpensive way to add some much needed organization to any space. Do it well and your wares can be at your fingertips looking neat and tidy. But be careful, too much of a good thing and you could end up being featured on an episode of Hoarders.
Here are a few tips to keep your shelves in tip-top shape:
• If you’re not sure how much space you'll need, consider adjustable shelving so you can rearrange as you go.
• Start organizing by whoever uses the space the most. Kitchen shelves should be organized by the household chef, records rearranged by your in-house DJ.
• Put like with like — Group your glasses. Spices stick together. Art books go with art books. Arrange by color. You get the idea.
• Make sure labels are facing front so you grab the peanut butter and not the arsenic.
• When buying things like Olive Oil, consider the fact that it will be on display. You may want to choose the packaging that's more design friendly (without scarfing quality).
• Invest in good containers. Cereal doesn’t have to stay in the box. Put protein powder in a jar instead of those bulky canisters. Band-Aids and Q-Tips can go in new boxes.
• Keep an open space. This can be used for guests with specific cracker needs, or maybe a place for overnighters to rest their weary toothbrush.
• Larger, heavier items — like a blender or stand mixer — work best on lower, easy-to-reach shelves.
• Be a ruthless editor. Get rid of or store things you don’t use often. The Bundt Cake pan that only comes out at Christmas (or chicken roasting time)? Put it away, not on display.
• And now might be a good time to buy a good step-stool or ladder like this one from Design Within Reach.