The Shelving Store Blog

  1. How to Declutter Your Closet (And Make A Little Money While You're At It)

    ‘Decluttering’ has been a hot topic in the world of home organization and design lately, and while there’s been plenty written about the effect decluttering can have on your mental well-being and stress levels, there’s another place it can start to have a positive impact on your life: your wallet!

    Starting a closet purge is the first step towards learning to let go of a bunch of stuff you don’t need anymore, and a great way to get all of it out of your house is to sell it! Consignment shops like Plato’s Closet or websites like Poshmark make it easier than ever to get cash for the gently-worn clothes you’re not going to wear anymore, and will go a long way towards freeing up space in your home. Let’s start by getting your closet decluttered, and then we’ll help you figure out what to do with it all:

     

    Decluttering

    • Start by going through everything in the closet and asking yourself a few crucial questions, like:

    ○     Do I love this?

    ○     Am I going to wear it?

    ○     Does it still fit?

    ○     Does it project the image I want? Can I wear this in front of other people? (This one tends to be a real deal-breaker for a lot of indecisive thinkers.)

     

    • Once you’ve found an answer for those questions, start finding other places to keep them all. Set up a storage bin or even just a big cardboard box to separate the stuff that’s getting sold or donated from what you’re keeping, and make sure to keep the box somewhere you’re not likely to lose it.

     

    • As for everything you’re keeping (which hopefully isn’t much), it’s time to make your closet a little cleaner and easier to get through. Put up some closet wall shelves and sort your remaining clothes by type, size, seasonality, or whatever works best for you—just remember to make a plan and stick with it. Otherwise you’ll find yourself in this mess again sooner than you know it.

     

    Getting rid of it all

    • From here, let’s decide what you want to do with the clothes you plan to get rid of:

    ○     Can you sell it directly? Is there anyone you know that’s always buying clothes for craft projects or just likes thrifting? Can you unload some of it more quickly that way?

    ○     Where can you take it to in town? Does your city have a lot of consignment shops or resale stores you can take them to first? This tends to be the easiest method, and you’ll usually end up walking out of the store with money you didn’t have before.

    ○     What about a yard sale? It might not always be the right time of year, weather-wise, but a great resource for selling off unwanted clothes is to throw some tables in the driveway and hold a yard sale. It’s the reason your parents held them, and you’d be surprised how much less stuff you’ll have afterwards.

     

    • Finally, just remember to keep all of your stuff separated. If you’re taking them to a store to sell, a lot of them require clothing to be freshly washed and bagged neatly, so break out the laundry bags and get folding. Otherwise, you’ll at least want to separate items by type (shirts, bottoms, etc) to make them easier for your friends/potential customers/both to sift through.

     

    Have you sold a bunch of your old clothes lately? Got any tips for people who need to do the same? Drop a comment below!

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  2. Get Motivated To Deep Clean Your House (And Make It Easier Next Time)

    We’ve all spent time with the smaller projects in our homes, the kind of stuff that takes up an afternoon at most—but what about the really big jobs?

    For many, deep cleaning the home involves mentally psyching themselves up. The toughest messes and the biggest jobs require a lot more time, energy, and attention, and it’s pretty understandable that most people might get a little put off by the idea.

    However, there are ways to both get your home cleaner than ever before, and make it easier on yourself next time too! By taking steps during your next big deep cleaning project to keep it clean for longer and make it easier on yourself the next time a big clean rolls around, you might even have an easier time finding the motivation to do it!

     

    Keep all your tools close at hand

    One bothersome part of cleaning is trying to remember where all your supplies are. Without the proper planning, you could find yourself spending more time looking for stuff than you do cleaning. Take some time to locate everything you normally use for cleaning (your lucky broom, your favorite all-surface spray, etc) and keep them right nearby, using plastic storage bins or over the door storage to make sure they’re right at hand when needed.

     

    Make a plan of action

    During any big deep cleaning project, it’s easy to get distracted by new messes you find along the way. How long has that stain been on the ceiling? Is now a good time to clean out the microwave? These can all start to pile up and throw you off track after a while, so one of the best ways to stay focused is to start out by making a plan and a goal. How many rooms do you plan to tackle? What’s the biggest sticking point in each room you’re cleaning? Map out your approach and the whole thing will go much faster—and stay right on track.

     

    Play music or set a timer

    Speaking of distractions, the easiest way to let a project start to draw itself out is to let the minutes fly by while you spend time checking your phone, cleaning other rooms, or losing focus on the task at hand. A great way to stay motivated and remind yourself how much time you’re working with is to make a playlist of your favorite songs or set a timer. Make a 20 or 30 minute playlist, or simply set a timer somewhere in the room, and get cleaning until the music is finished. You’ll often find yourself getting in a groove and continuing to clean long after time is up.

     

    Figure out where to start

    If your problem with beginning a project is being unsure of the first step, cleaning can go a lot easier if you map out a good beginning. When starting a cleaning project, begin with one of the faster projects like vacuuming the living room or putting the dishes in the dishwasher to help you get in the headspace of staying productive and cleaning. The rest of the project will fall into place as soon as you can get over that first hurdle.

     

    Remember: it doesn’t have to be perfect

    A lot of people can fall into the trap of being too critical on themselves after a long cleaning project, no matter how much better their home looks when it’s done. If you find yourself taking way too long in one room, or getting too hung up on one part of the job (cleaning your countertops, or getting that stain out of the couch) then you may be losing focus and becoming too hard on yourself. You’re not expecting a visit from the Queen Mother, you’re just trying to get your living room back together. This will stop you from getting discouraged, help you use your time better, and make it easier to get started next time.

     

    Got any other tips for staying motivated while cleaning? Drop a comment below!

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  3. End-ing the Debate: The Difference Between End Tables & Accent Tables

    There sure are a lot of tables out there, aren’t there?

    And it seems like they all have a different use. Some are supposed to go in the bedroom, some are supposed to go in the living room, but you’re never too sure where each one of them should be used—and they’re all going to wind up covered in coasters and magazines eventually anyway, right?

    However, for those among us that like to think they have a bit more flair for interior design, you might be surprised (or happy) to learn there’s actually intended uses and places for most of these tables! Today, we’ll look at two of the most common ones: end tables and accent tables!

     

    End Tables

    Let’s start with end tables. Most end tables are pretty standard and, well...table-ish in design; square top, two-to-four legs holding the whole thing up, nothing too shocking so far.

    What separates them from other tables is, more often than not, their intended function. As fitting their name, end tables are often designed to fit compactly into the spaces near the end of other items, or at least out of the way. For example, a common place for end tables is to bookend a sofa by fitting into the smaller spaces between the sofa and other furniture and/or the walls. They’re also good at filling in unused corners of a living room with functional table space and making areas of the room feel less ‘empty.’

    Of course, what end tables really excel at is just that: adding functional table space. End tables are designed primarily for usefulness, despite the number of shapes, sizes, and finishes they can come in, and are perfect for adding a useful flat surface to your living room in areas that might not be too reachable otherwise. Perfect for holding drinks, giving you a place to set your book when you’re done reading for the night, and helping stop the remote from immediately getting lost.

     

    Accent Tables

    This brings us to accent tables! You’ve probably heard the “table” part of the name and jumped to a few conclusions—four legs, solid top, and so on.

    The biggest difference here is that accent tables are typically intended as more decorative. Not that they aren’t perfect table-like settings to keep items such as coffee table books, but accent tables are made for the purpose of complementing the design of your living room, adding color or texture, or simply helping with the ‘flow’ of things in the room. Accent tables are great to park near coffee tables and chairs to improve or change the overall look of your living room or den, and are an awesome way to freshen things up without a lot of costly renovations or the hassle of furniture moves.

     

    Do you decorate your living room with end tables or accent tables? Got any other fun ideas for living room furniture? Drop a comment below!

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  4. Ideas & Uses for Floating Shelves

    Named for their ability to mount seamlessly to the wall and look like they’re, well, floating, floating shelves have been a staple in home decoration for decades.

    Different from standard wall shelves thanks to their lighter profile and range of materials, floating shelves can make a big difference in home organization and storage when used properly.

    Have you been thinking about some floating shelves but just aren’t sure where they will go? Or are you just looking to see how other people use them to see if you want to try them out yourself? Check out a few of these ideas we’ve found and see what one works best for your home or apartment:

     

    DIY nightstands: Some floating shelves, such as floating ledge shelves are dense enough to be installed low near the bed and used as nightstands! These shelves take up way less space than your average end table and are great for low-profile storage of things like glasses and lamps in areas where there’s not enough room for a whole end table or nightstand.

     

    Filling in corners: With both standard floating shelves and floating corner shelves, these shelves are a great way to utilize corners for storage needs. Line up two floating shelves in an L-shape to bridge any corner gaps and keep things neatly arranged where you can get to them.

     

    Open vertical storage: Of course, the goal of any shelf is to let you store things better, and in smaller apartments or homes that lack in closets or shelving, floating shelves are a great low-profile way to add storage space. Particularly in rooms where you need easy access to a lot of small things, like the laundry room, the home office, or even that corner of the basement where your toolboxes all wind up, floating shelves can provide unobstructed access to whatever you need to declutter.

     

    Opening up the kitchen: Speaking of which, a lot of kitchens are moving towards a more open, ‘door-less’ design using floating shelves to store things like dishes and cooking utensils without the claustrophobic look that cabinets can sometimes provide. Floating shelves can easily replace cabinets, particularly over the oven or the sink, and provide a more dynamic look while keeping everything even easier to reach.

     

    Converting tight spaces: Small spaces like removed cabinets, gaps in the walls, or even disused medicine cabinets in bathrooms and bedrooms can be easily filled in with floating shelves to provide extra storage in areas that might not have been too useful before. Take some time to find those hard, out-of-the-way spots in your house and put them to work with shelves.

    Do you have floating shelves in your home? Let us know how you use them in a comment below!

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  5. Other Uses for Magazine Racks (That Don't Involve Magazines)

    The, er, younger among you reading this might be surprised to learn it, but people do still read magazines sometimes.

    You remember magazines, right? Bigger and more colorful than a newspaper, shorter than a book, usually with some movie star or U.S. senator on the cover. See, back in our day we used to stash all of them in magazine racks throughout the living room. This kept them up and out of the way until they got old, piling up in the closet until we got rid of them at a garage sale.

    And while there are some magazines still out there, they’re not as popular as they used to be, and that means you might have some extra magazine racks or holders around the house that aren’t being used. Don’t throw them out just yet though! There’s plenty of ways to repurpose magazine racks around the house that can help you get more organized than ever—all you need is a little time and imagination. Here’s a few of our favorites:

     

    Pantry organization: Depending on their shape, extra magazine racks can easily serve as pantry organizers for items like canned goods and pasta boxes. Line up all your canned vegetables and chili ingredients in your magazine rack and never worry about something rolling out of the pantry again!

     

    Long box storage: Think about all the kitchen items in those long boxes that are impossible to store—aluminum foil, Saran Wrap, and so on. Magazine racks are a great way to stack those up and keep them easy to reach while keeping them out of the way of the rest of your kitchen supplies. Set one up on your counter or in a cluttered cabinet and take some of the stress out of putting your leftovers away.

     

    Craft room organization: If you’re the crafty type, magazine racks are often the perfect size and shape to store excess fabric. Fold it all nice and neat (on cardboard or plastic spacers if you can) and tuck them into each slot of your magazine rack until your craft space is suddenly a lot easier to use.

     

    Hand towels: There are few things worse than washing your hands in the bathroom or kitchen and suddenly having no idea where the towel is, leaving you flailing about with wet hands. Magazine racks can hold folded, backup towels under the sink, near the toilet, or wherever else you have the space to stash them in case of a dry-hands emergency.

     

    Dish racks: Speaking of drying things off, magazine racks are typically a good shape and size to hang onto dishes right after washing. Line them up and let them air-dry, or use them to display your favorite plates until the perfect occasion comes along!

    Got any other tips for your old magazine racks? Leave a comment below!

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