DIY Ideas

  1. Unexpected Ways to Use Shelf Brackets

    Consider, if you will, the humble shelf bracket.

    Largely designed to hold wall mounted shelves, shelf brackets have been increasingly popular among the handier decorators out there to serve a number of roles around the house, both decorative and functional.

    Best of all, it doesn’t take much to get started down the path of shelf bracketing—all you need is a little imagination, some nails, and empty wall space! Here’s a few of the more fun shelving bracket ideas we’ve come across:

     

    Lighting holder

    Perfect for renters that don’t want to permanently install wall sconces for their new light, many wooden shelf brackets are the perfect place to hang any lamp with the right-sized hook or appropriately long (and strong enough) electrical cord. Simply thread the cord through any opening in your wall bracket and let the light shine!

     

    Outdoor planters

    A common complaint among city folk with green thumbs is that they simply don’t have room in their yard to plant everything they want. A great way to get around this is to take some sturdy metal wall brackets and mount them into the fence around your yard, or maybe the side of your house or garage if construction allows it, and keep a planter box on it. It won’t be quite the same as a full garden but you could easily grow some smaller flowers, succulents, or your favorite herbs & spices in a safe, sunny space.

     

    Bike racks

    Some of the tougher, more industrial brackets (such as wire shelving brackets) can serve perfectly as a bike rack in a garage or shed to save space. Make sure to measure the distance between your wheels to get everything mounted properly!

     

    Standing desks

    In a similar vein, there’s been an increase of people using shelving brackets and flat wooden slats (or in many cases long wall mounted wood shelves) to create standing desks at the perfect height in their home office. Takes up less room than a desk and gives you all the flat workspace you could need!

     

    Entryway tables

    Finally, waist-high shelving brackets with a solid wood sheet atop them could serve as excellent entryway organization. Mount these right inside the door (making sure to not block the door itself of course) to give your keys and phone a place to land when you get inside—and pair them with a mail organizer to really get things under control in your front room.

     

    Have you ever used shelf brackets for something other than a shelf? Drop a comment below!

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  2. How to Recycle & Reuse Clutter

    While decluttering, some stuff is easier to get rid of than others—literally.

    We don’t just mean what a hard time you might have trying to sift through clothes you want to donate, but the stuff that’s actually difficult to discard like products that need to be recycled or disposed of safely due to environmental concerns.

    You know what we’re talking about—batteries, paint, and the like. If you’ve been trying to clean out your house and get rid of some sensitive material but you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got a list here of common clutter and where to take it!

     

    Old cell phones

    We all have that home office desk drawer full of old Androids and outdated iPhones that have built up over the years, especially given how common smartphones have become, and while you might be convinced you’re holding onto one as a backup, it’s time to face how you don’t need them all. The easiest way to get rid of them is to find a Best Buy location that offers low-cost (or free) electronics recycling services. Barring that you could try to find an EcoATM kiosk in the mall to see if they can be traded in for any cash back, or contact a local recycling center to see if they take cell phones.

     

    Rechargeable batteries

    Similarly, if you’ve had to get your phone battery replaced, you’ve probably wound up stuck with the old one floating around your house, never quite sure what to do with it but not willing to throw it in the trash. You’re correct there—these things shouldn’t be thrown in the trash due to the metals inside them (the kind of stuff you don’t want in a landfill), so try to keep these somewhere safe and out of the reach of kids (like on high closet shelving) until you can contact a local recycling facility.

     

    Non-rechargeable batteries

    Ah yes, the old scourge of kitchen drawers everywhere—unloved single-use batteries. Maybe you’re sure you’ll need them someday, maybe you’re worried about disappointing the Energizer Bunny, but either way, all single-use batteries have a shelf life and will need to get ditched eventually. Similar to rechargeable batteries, you’re going to need to keep these somewhere safe until you contact either a local center or, in some communities, your local trash collectors to take them off your hands.

     

    Glass jars, bottles, & containers

    Glass is a sticky situation. Smaller glass bottles (like beverages) can be easily recycled down at your favorite supermarket in most parts of the country, but a lot of bigger ones like wine bottles and Mason jars don’t really have anywhere to go. This is where a little imagination can come in! Mason jars can be frequently reused for things like craft supplies, pens/pencils, and change jars; wine bottles can easily be turned into bird feeders or even spray bottles with the right attachments, and liquor bottles can be converted into DIY soap dispensers and oil lamps if you’re feeling crafty.

     

    Leftover paint

    Got some unused paint from that last redecorating project? A lot of home restoration companies will take donations of old paint to help with their projects (such as Habitat for Humanity), and so long as you keep it in an airtight container on durable, corrosion-proof chrome wire shelving (or other, similar shelves) it can last indefinitely until you can safely get rid of it, or repurpose it for painting a dresser or a doorframe the next time you feel crafty.

     

    Old tires

    Whether you’re an amateur mechanic or simply a biking enthusiast, old tires can be a pain to get rid of. The craftier types among you can turn them into fun tire swings, flower planters, or even ottomans. If you’re not feeling the upcycling, start calling mechanics and bike stores—a lot of places will happily buy your old tires off of you to resell later on to someone that needs them more.

     

    Got any other handy recycling tips? Leave a comment below!

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  3. Let's Play Dress Up: How to Make Wire Shelves Look Even Better

    Whether you’re redecorating a room, repainting walls, or moving everything around, we know how it feels to suddenly have something in your room that just doesn’t quite match.

    And as helpful as wire shelving can be, sometimes it just doesn’t match the look you’re going for—similar to how the TV stand your mother gave you when you moved just isn’t quite working in the living room anymore.

    But wait! Before you decide to relegate your wire shelves down to the basement and go through the cost and trouble of replacing them, there’s actually a lot you can do to make them match your current decorative mood without breaking the bank or leaving you stuck with a more-decorative but less-helpful shelving solution. Before you go moving those wire shelves around, try these steps first:

     

    Throw me a line: One of the easiest and most helpful ways to change up the look of your wire shelving is to add wire shelf liners across each shelf. This can have a twofold effect on your shelves: by adding a splash of color you can change up the look of your shelving without the cost and trouble of replacement, and the solid lining will make your shelf even more usable by providing a solid surface to keep smaller items/anything that needs more stability (salt shakers, picture frames, etc) close at hand and right on display.

     

    Get rustic: A common renovation trend these days is to try and go for a more rustic ‘natural’ look in homes and apartments, and that usually means one thing: a lot of wood. With a little creativity, even your wire shelves can get in on this new look while still providing the sort of shelving and stability you need. Use wooden shelf liners or butcher block tops atop your shelves to give them a more natural vibe (so long as you don’t still need them in the kitchen, of course), and if you’re really the crafty type you can cut thin plywood strips to glue along the front of your shelves to help them match their new liners and blend in better with your new surroundings!

     

    Play paintball: Not literally, of course, but after a big wall repaint, a few cans of spray paint can go a long way towards dressing up wire shelves. Grab some spray paint that works on plastic or metal (in certain cases, chrome wire shelves or epoxy-coated shelves may require specific paints) and spray paint the shelves to match their current surroundings, or paint them a complementary color to help them pop even more.

     

    Add bins: If you’re not up to customizing the shelves themselves, a good way to change up the look of your shelves is to use storage bins. By varying up the color of your bins and using them to store all the smaller items your shelves usually hold, you can streamline the clutter and add color to your shelves that might have looked more disorganized beforehand.

     

    Got any other tips for making your wire shelves match your home decor better? Leave a comment below!

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  4. Get Social For The Summer: Backyard Storage & Organization Tips

    Summer time is the perfect time for things like barbecues, pool parties, and other fun outdoor gatherings - if you’ve got enough backyard to have them, that is!

    Most homeowners have a backyard, but it’s probably fair to say it doesn’t always get the attention it needs before the weather turns nice. It’s fine, we all do it, but if you’ve got a backyard that you want to be the center of some fun outdoor parties over the next few months, you might be looking for a little help to get it presentable and ready for company.

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  5. Organization For Returning College Students

    It’s summertime, and that means the kids are home from school - including your college students.

    The break between semesters can be pretty long, and if your college-aged kids aren’t involved in any summer classes (or if their school doesn’t offer them) they’re probably going to want to spend their time back at home to see their friends and not have to think about homework, or where they can do their laundry.

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