This Weekend: Streamline a Shelf (And Make Room for Summer Souvenirs!)

This Weekend: Streamline a Shelf (And Make Room for Summer Souvenirs!)

Adrienne Breaux
Jul 25, 2015
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

Bookcases and other shelves in the home often start out as organized arrangements of your favorite reading materials and accessories. But give them enough time, and they turn into cluttered mixes of books, magazines, stuff you kind of set down and forgot about — and usually a nice thick layer of dust. This weekend, choose an entire bookcase, just one bookshelf or a shelf anywhere in your home to clean, streamline and make room for souvenirs from your summer travels.

This Weekend's Assignment:

Clean a shelf of your choosing thoroughly and then put everything back in an organized, fresh way

If there's one thing I neglect to clean on the regular, it's my bookcase. Sure I give it a half-hearted dusting along the book spines when I dust the rest of my living room, but that doesn't really clean the whole case. And it's natural to keep filling up this display spot as the year wears on...haphazardly stacking more books and magazines than can fit, dropping off found natural objects or little pieces of art or greeting cards. The once beautiful arrangement that you first orchestrated on these shelves when they first came into your home can be erased by time and our natural cluttering tendencies. This weekend, pick a favorite shelf (or a shelf that could really use some help) and do these three things:

1. Take everything off the shelves and clean
Clean not just the shelf itself (and think about using a natural wood polisher if your shelves are made of wood), but clean all the objects thoroughly, as well, using whatever cleaners would work the most gently on their materials. Take this opportunity to weed out the stuff you know you don't want to put back, either moving them to another location or adding them to an outbox of things you're going to sell or donate.

2. Begin putting objects back on to the shelf
Consider vignette rules when it comes to arranging your bookcase or shelf — think about arranging things in groups of three, consider different heights. If you just have books, play around with organizing them by colors on their spine.

3. Leave room for summer memories
Perhaps most importantly, find some room on this shelf (or maybe another shelf in your home) where you can display proudly an array of summer souvenirs from your travels and adventures. Maybe it's small vials of sand from all the beaches you visited, or things you collected or foraged from nature. Maybe it's cute items you bought from stores and museums. You want to surround your home with these mementos so that when work gets tough or the weather gets frightful, you can physically touch and look at items that help you remember a carefree summer time!

Remember, as with all of our Weekend Projects, just do what you have the time and energy to do!

AND WE WANT TO SEE YOUR WEEKEND WORK! Share your tips and photos of your Weekend Project work on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #ATweekendproject.

Last weekend we asked folks to spruce up their ceiling fans, and folks shared how they were tackling that task as well as their own home betterment projects:

(Image credit: Instagram user jnkay)

We love how Instagram user jnkay interpreted the ceiling fan sprucing task by adding some fun pom-poms!

We love all the DIY design details in this shot by Instagram user rebeccawright03! Read the caption for how much was actually spent on these great home finds!

Instagram user la_meredith added paint to a surprising part of her home to create a "homey" look.

→ Find all of our Weekend Projects in one convenient place.
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