The Shelving Store Blog

  1. 10 Things to Clean & Declutter When Selling Your Home

    You’ve done it! You’ve finally decided to sell your home!

    You’ve got a realtor working out the deals, you’ve got listings all over the place, and you and your partner either have your new place picked or are still checking out spots in the new neighborhood. Either way, you’re all excited about the move and ready to go, until something dawns on you:

    You really should get this place cleaned up a little before you try to sell it.

    We’re not here to judge! We do know, however, that a lot of houses can use a little tidying up before showing them off at an open house, and during all the chaos of a move it can be hard to know where to start decluttering. Scan this checklist below and see what you can do to get a home that anyone would be happy to buy:

     

    1. Front Yards: Any real estate pro will tell you that one of the biggest factors in a successful home sale is curb appeal, and that means you should make sure your home looks great on the outside. At your earliest convenience, make sure your front yard is neatly kept and presentable looking, and people will flock to your door.
    2. Entryways: In a similar vein, the entryway is going to contribute to a potential buyer’s first impression, and making it clean and inviting is going to help a lot. If you have any entryway storage like coat racks or shoe benches, consider leaving them there for the duration of the sale to make your home seem more inviting and show off what can be done with the space—and if the seller seems really interested in them, consider cutting a deal to leave them behind after the sale. (You’ll have plenty of time to get more when you’re done moving!)
    3. Smaller Storage Areas: Especially these days when space is at a premium, a lot of people are going to prefer houses with smaller storage options all over the house to help organize things like coats, clothes, cleaning supplies, etc. If you have any smaller closets (hall closets, space under the stairs, places like that) make sure to clean off any available wall shelves and storage space to make them look as useful as possible.
    4. Living Rooms: This is one of the big ones. A lot of people base their home purchases around one or two rooms, and more often than not the living room is high on that list right alongside bedrooms (which we’ll get to later). Unless you’re already far into the moving process, you should consider leaving your living room furniture like end tables and coffee tables where they are so people can see what they do with the space, but try to remove any excess clutter (magazines, books, empty soda cans) to make your house more presentable. You also might want to move out any unused chairs and throw pillows and cut down on the amount of rugs to avoid making the space look too ‘heavy’ and give the illusion that it’s smaller than it actually is—the key is to show people what they can do with the space, not brag about what you did with it.
    5. Backyards: While the backyard might not make as much of an immediate first impression as the front yard does, you’ll still want to keep it presentable and tidy to show off its size and design potential. Make sure the yard is mowed, try to empty out any available storage sheds, and...well, there’s no polite way to say this, but try to clean up the dog mess.
    6. Kitchens: Kitchens are a big one for many home buyers, and there’s a lot you can do to make yours more appealing. Take whatever kitchen organization you have around (wall shelves, kitchen carts, etc) and purge it of anything that’s too gross, expired, or near-empty to be of use to free up space and make it look like a more professional kitchen. (Or at least as professional as you can get at home.)
    7. Hallways: Most hallways in homes aren’t going to be the roomiest, and likely only exist as a small space between rooms. Maximize this by removing any kind of visual clutter from your halls like wall hooks, pictures, dividers, and the like to help the hallway look less cramped.
    8. Bedrooms: Right up there with kitchens and living rooms, the bedroom is one of the most favored rooms when shopping for a house, and prettying yours up will do wonders. Clean your nightstands free of pictures, extraneous lamps, and excess cables to free up space, try to take down any art you might have hanging up, make sure your dresser drawers are all tucked in, and don’t leave any excess clothes on the floor. (Of course, that’s a pretty good idea in general.)
    9. Home Office: If your home has more bedrooms than you know what to do with, one of them probably wound up being a home office at some point—and the next buyer is probably going to do exactly the same! Try to purge this room of anything but super relevant office supplies (desks, file cabinets, etc) to show how much space it has and maybe plant some ideas in the heads of potential buyers.
    10. Kids’ play areas: Finally, if your home has (or had) a room given over to a kid’s play place, keeping it intact could help nudge any potential buyers with a family of their own into making a purchase. Of course, by now you’re already well-versed in how hard it can be to keep these rooms clean, and now might be a good time to try and make one big sweep of it all. Limit the number of toys on display (to better show off the space potential of the room), clean off any bookshelves you might have in there, and don’t let your kids put any new toys in there until the house is sold. That’ll both keep it clean and make it easier to move in the long run.

     

    Have you had any luck selling a house lately and have a tip you want to share? Drop a comment below!

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  2. Clever Ways To Turn Your Doors Into Storage

    When was the last time you took a look around a room and said to yourself “I wish I just had a little extra space in here”?

    Was it within the last few days (or, if you’re reading this at home, the last few hours)? It’s a common issue that many households face, but there’s frequently an easy solution that gets overlooked: over-the-door storage!

    From racks to hanging baskets to entire shelves, the backside of doors is a great solution to a number of storage issues that smaller rooms can experience. Below, we’ve collected a few of our favorite uses for over-the-door storage, where they can be used, and how it can make your storage problems easier than ever:

     

    Extra pantry space: Pantries have a history of getting cluttered, especially if none of your ingredients are old enough to throw out and you just know you’re going to need them soon enough. Instead of finally having to purge all those spices, get some over-the-door baskets for some of your bigger items like boxes of pasta and canned goods to free up space and make everything that much easier to reach.

     

    Towel storage: By installing either a towel bar, a shelf, or a wire basket on the inside of one of your bathroom doors (either the door leading into it or the door leading to your towel closet, if you have one) you can greatly expand the space you have for clean towels and prevent any awkward situations on your way out of the bath next time.

     

    Accessories—scarves, hats, etc: With a little imagination, the back of your closet door can become an excellent place for accessories like hats, gloves, and scarves. Take some coat hooks or rails of some kind (long handles, curtain rods, etc) and mount them inside the door of the closet to provide easy, hanging access for things that don’t quite work on either shelves or hangers.

     

    Extra shelves: Whatever the room, whatever you use it for, a lot of spaces could benefit from some extra wall shelves to hold things, but sometimes the walls themselves just don’t have the space. Instead, mount these to the inside of a nearby door (the door to the room, the door on the closet, etc) to provide that much extra storage room.

     

    Magnetize it: For the particularly crafty out there, we’ve seen many good examples of people using magnets to hold things like kitchen supplies. Take a thin sheet of metal with some trng magnets and mount them to the inside of a door—it quickly becomes a great way to hold pots and pans, makeup tools, and much more.

     

    Has your house benefitted from over the door shelving? Let us know in the comments!

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  3. The Difference Between Decluttering & Organizing

    We’ve all been a little overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in our home sometimes. (It’s okay to admit it, you’re among friends here.)

    And while there’s no one-size-fits all solution to every house clutter need or every organization project, it helps to know what exactly you’re setting off to do before you do it. (You know, like the last time you decided to repaint the dining room before deciding what color it should be.)

    When beginning a house cleaning project, a lot of people use “organizing” and “decluttering” interchangeably. This might help people get in the right headspace to get things done, but the process and end goals can be vastly different for each method of cleaning. Understanding the difference can go a long way towards helping you plan your big cleaning project and taking the right steps to get it all done.

    If you want to simplify it, you can think of it this way: decluttering is when you get rid of stuff, organizing is just finding a home for the stuff you have.

     

    Obviously there’s a bit more to it than that, but this is a good thing to keep in mind when trying to prepare. Specifically, you’ll want to prepare in different ways for each task. Organizing often requires bringing in extra home storage like wall shelves, closet storage, and the like to keep things organized. Much of your time will be spent finding new homes for a lot of your stuff—emptying out dresser drawers, rearranging kitchen cabinets, and the like. When you get ready for an organization project, it often helps to take things room by room and make a list of everything you want to do, one by one. Need to clean up that utensil drawer? Got an office desk that needs to be rearranged? Don’t tackle it all at once, and be prepared to feel cleaner but no less cluttered than before.

     

    Decluttering, on the other hand, focuses more on actively trying to have less stuff. While the list-making and note-taking isn’t any different, you do have to prepare yourself for having less stuff and getting rid of a lot of things. This is often where people falter—getting rid of things is almost always hard, even if you know the end result will be worth it, and you might find yourself not donating or throwing out as much as you’d hoped.

     

    The question then remains—which one of these is right for you? Honestly, that answer depends on a lot of things. If you’re not interested in downsizing, or if you simply want to make your home a little more picturesque and aesthetically pleasing, a simple reorganizing may be enough to breathe some new life into things and get a new look into your home. Decluttering is a good ‘extreme option’ for messes that just won’t go away and rooms that can’t stay organized no matter what you do. Give it a thought next time you want to clean your home and see how it goes.

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  4. When, Why, & How to Reorganize Your Basement

    Basements, am I right?

    Unless you’ve got a finished basement that you use for entertaining company (or if one of your kids lives down there—and trust me, kids love basements), the odds are pretty good that your basement has become a haven for everything that doesn’t quite have a home somewhere else.

    Tools, knicknacks, holiday decorations, coats you wear once a year...starting to sound familiar? It’s a common story, told by basements the world over, but it isn’t as immense and unfixable as you might believe. 

    Given enough patience and time, any basement can be whipped back into shape if you take the right steps and understand exactly why (and when) you should be doing it. Take a look at our checklist and see if it applies to your current basement predicament:

     

    • Figure out what projects to prioritize: The basement can be messy, but it might not be worth stressing over if you have other, bigger jobs to be worrying about. Particularly in situations where your basement may be holding onto the detritus of other cleaning projects, make sure your basement reorganization won’t get in the way of anything else you’re trying to get done around the house.
    • Assess the current mess: One of the most important steps of cleaning a basement is understanding what’s being kept down there and what you need to do about it. Is most of the clutter things that really can’t go anywhere else, like holiday decorations? Are things like unused furniture, clothes nobody has worn in years, and dusty VHS tapes the culprit of the clutter? This is going to affect how you handle the rest of the cleaning project going forward.
    • Judgment day: Now comes either the hardest part or the easiest part, depending on your attitude toward decluttering. Take everything down there and sort it into “keep” or “discard” piles. The discard pile should be everything you’re okay with donating or throwing out—unless it’s something with actual value, try to avoid selling anything as this can cause your decluttering to slow down significantly and you may not wind up getting rid of anything. As for the keep pile, this should be anything you plan on using in the near future or anything you can’t get rid of just yet. Try to stick with whatever you decide for either item to keep the project flowing.
    • Sort everything you keep: From there, you’ll want to break down the “keep” pile even further to help with the organizing. Divide everything up by whatever system works best for you (types of item, frequency of usage, size, etc) and decide on the way that works best for you to keep it all organized.
    • Assess your storage options: A lot of basement clutter, no matter what you’re keeping down there, can stem from not really having a home for everything. Take a look to see where everything in your “keep” pile is going to go, and add more storage options as needed—wall hooks, wire shelving, wall shelving, and so on.
    • Don’t store anything in a dangerous area: Finally, once you’ve decided where everything is going to go, make sure it’s avoiding the typical ‘basement problems’. Pick areas that aren’t prone to leakage, flooding, or drafts to keep your stuff safe and usable for the next time you venture down into the basement to find something.

     

    Hopefully these tips should keep your basement cleaner, safer, and easier to get around through the rest of the year.

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  5. Tips for Organizing with Open Shelving

    “Openness” has been an increasingly popular trend in home & apartment design lately, and that goes from the floor plan to the closet and all the way to the home shelving you use.

    Open shelving has been popping up in living spaces of all sizes thanks to its ease of installation and even greater ease of use—but is it right for your home?

    Above and beyond the decorative aspects of it, open wall shelves can actually do a lot to help keep the various rooms of your home better organized while providing a nice visual enhancement, even if you’re just using them to help keep your rooms cleaner.

    Check out a few ways that open shelving can help around your house:

     

    The Kitchen

    Open shelves, especially more durable ones like metal wall shelves, are always a good decision inside kitchens due to their ease of access—and let’s face it, you probably have a good amount of stuff in your kitchen that could use a more organized home. Depending on where they’re placed, open shelves are perfect for storing dry ingredients (spices, herbs, sugar, etc), serving trays or mixing bowls, or utensils (but try not to keep them too close to the oven to prevent heat issues!) right where you need them most without having to fight through the old junk drawer.

     

    Living Rooms

    In the living room, open shelves are a great way to reduce clutter while also giving you more opportunity to decorate a little bit. Unless you need them to support a ton of weight, more ‘decorative’ shelving options like glass wall shelves and wood wall shelves can match a variety of previously-existing living room decorations (so you never have to fret about it matching your mom’s couch that you were gifted). These can be a good spot for books you want to display (either old favorites or something you’ve been meaning to read), family photos or knicknacks you’re particularly fond of, or just some small succulents or cacti. A good tip is to remember what you’re stacking on them, though—areas prone to bad windstorms or earthquakes might not want to put your old porcelain that high off the ground.

     

    Dining Rooms

    Most dining rooms seem to be full of a ton of stuff you use all the time, and almost as much stuff that you don’t. While your everyday-use dishes, silverware, and the like are better off kept accessible at ground level, open shelving can be a great way to store things like stemware and those fancy plates you got on your wedding day that you’re saving for just the right time and place. Pair it with a wall mounted wine rack to help keep all your entertaining wine right at the dinner table where you need it.

     

    Bathrooms

    Bathrooms tend to be harder to organize than you’d expect—there’s already closets and cabinets, but those can fill up quickly and, well, there’s a lot of stuff we need to keep in bathrooms isn’t there? Open shelves can solve a lot of those problems. Try putting some up on the wall closest to your shower to help organize towels and keep them right at hand where you need them, or hang one up over the toilet (ideally high enough and far enough back to prevent bumping into it with your head) to keep paper towels, toilet paper, and any other needed bathroom supply where you can quickly get to it.

     

    We’ll be back soon with more open shelving organization tips, but in the meantime leave a comment below if you’ve recently put wall shelving up in your home and tell us what you think!

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