Entries from November 2012 ↓

A Folding Bookcase For a Wandering Wordsmith

When looking for a Christmas gift for my best friend this season, I found myself searching for a unique but functional present. We have been very good friends for quite a few years now after meeting together in college while we studied writing. Unfortunately I am not able to see my friend all that often anymore as he is constantly traveling due to his employment situation. It is hard to get a feel for what someone is into and wants as a gift when you only see them once a year or so.

About two years ago he was hired on as a contract screenwriter and now he is constantly moving from city to city, spending about six months in each location before moving on to the next project and city. You may or may not know that contract screenwriters do not make a ton of money, and have to live in fairly tight quarters, often in very expensive cities in which the films are produced.

With that living situation in mind and the knowledge that my friend is one of the most avid comic book collectors I have ever met, I knew what the perfect gift would be for my friend. Whenever he moves, all of the comic books, graphic novels and collectibles come with him, which can be quite a hassle when you are trying to move as quickly as possible.

The perfect gift for my friend and his comic collection is a folding bookcase. What makes this unique type of bookcase perfect for my friend is that is provides enough storage for all of his books when he is settled in the apartment, but when it is time to move the bookcase folds down compact for easy packing. Three tiers provide plenty of storage for the comic book collection, and a solid wood construction means that it has a long-lasting quality.

Folding Bookcase

Whether it is for a gift of just for you, a folding shelf is a great choice for the home. In fact, I liked the shelf I got my friend so much, I bought one for my own home!

Wood Wall Shelves for Holiday Decor

For many families, one of the best-loved holiday traditions is to get into the spirit of the season and “deck the halls with balls of holly”. Getting your home looking festive is a great way to spend quality time with your loved ones, all while bringing some holiday cheer to the home! One issue that many people run into when decorating the house is that the decorations take up so much space. When there are festive flowers and wreaths on your console, it’s hard to find a place to put your mail when you get home.

One great way to display your favorite holiday decorations in style without taking up all of your practical surfaces is to place them on wall-mounted shelves. There are a wide variety of wood wall shelves in an array of styles and designs, and some even have a bit of holiday cheer themselves! When the holiday season is over, they make for a great place to display artwork, photographs, awards and more.

Ornamental 14" Floating Shelf

The Ornamental 14” Floating Shelf is a great example of a wall shelf that adds a touch of simple décor to the room while providing a place to store candles, votives or other smaller holiday items.

Birch Wood Wall Shelf

For those that celebrate Christmas, a larger wall shelf is a unique place to display your nativity set. A large wall shelf such as the Birch Wood Wall Shelf, which has a large display area of 32” x 10” offers the ideal amount of space plus the ability to hold a little bit heavier weight. This shelf also doubles as an excellent make-shift mantle if you do not have one above your fireplace, or don’t have a fireplace at all!

Hopefully these examples or other wood wall shelves can provide you with the perfect display surface for all of your favorite holiday decorations, no matter what holiday you are celebrating

Where to Store All Of That Stuff?!?

During the excitement and the rush of activity that marks every holiday season, it is very easy to forget one simple fact of life: You are going to have more STUFF after the holidays than you did before. And unless you are lucky and a home-expansion was your gift this year, it is going to be a tough predicament to store all of those holiday decorations, presents and more. One way to maximize your holiday storage accessories is overhead storage shelves. What is great about this style of shelving is that it takes up absolutely no floor space and can be installed anywhere, whether it is the attic, closet, basement or in the garage!

Heavy Lift Storage Hoist

This storage shelf has a capacity of 250 pounds, and uses a unique hoist system to make it easy to lift that weight.

Telescoping Ceiling Storage

Just in case you have more this season than you ever expected, this ceiling shelf can be adjusted to accommodate more items.

MonsterRAX Overhead Garage Storage Rack

For the most heavy-duty of storage, this MonsterRAX system has an extreme storage area of 64 cubic feet!

Did you get a brand new bicycle this year? Make sure it stays in prime condition by giving it a safe storage place!

Garage Gator Motorized Storage System

Or make it easy on yourself with this automatically lifting platform shelf!

Overhead storage shelves are the perfect way to ease the heavy-duty post-holiday clean-up.  Every single one of these large overhead units has free shipping until Dec. 30, 2012 and many are discounted, up to $40 off!

Shop these items and more:

Corner Wall Shelves for Every Occasion

Today we have a guest blog from one of my good friends, who I have known since middle school and has a home-storage dilemma on his hands:

Unfortunately for me and my ever-fading sanity, I have been living in a tiny studio apartment for the last 3 years. I would love to make an upgrade to a one-bedroom but unfortunately that is a little bit out of my price range for the time being. What makes living in a cramped studio apartment so frustrating for me is that I barely have enough space for all of my belongings, which I have been lugging around with me for the last five years or so.

Because the apartment I live in is just so small and I am so lacking in appropriate closet space, in order to keep my things from piling up on the floors around me, I have to use wall shelves for storage.  The problem with this solution is that now that I have been using this method for a couple of months, I have run out of space along my walls for more shelves. There are shelves on literally lining the entire perimeter of my studio apartment. I spent the last weekend finding some solutions for how to add even more storage and display space to the apartment.

I am sure you are thinking the answer is obvious – “Just get a shelving unit, man!” But what you may not realize is that there is just no more floor space left in my 300 square foot for a bulky shelving unit.

After hours of scouring home-improvement sites and clutter-reducing blogs, I finally came across the perfect solution to adding more storage to my tiny studio apartment without: adding wall mounted corner shelves to the room! These shelves are perfect because they utilize the only space along my walls that has not yet been filled with wall storage shelves. Now I am able to store all of my belongings along wall shelves.

Corner Wall Shelf

The solution to all of your home-storage problems??

Organizing the Bathroom with Wall Shelves

My newly-organized bathroom.

As a college student and as a post-graduate that lived with a multitude of roommates, it took a lot of work to make the small space usable and comfortable for all of us. Organizing the  smaller-than usual bathrooms that we shared was quiet a trying task, especially considering how many of us there were. Add in the fact that I was living with some of the messiest people I know, and that is a recipe for a disaster-area-esque bathroom.

The first apartment I shared with roommates was a two bedroom that was shared by four college students. As you can imagine the 1000 square foot apartment was barely large enough to contain us, let alone all of our junk. The hardest hit room was definitely the bathroom, which looked like a scene out of a third-world country.

So when our lease was finally up and it came time to find a new apartment, I dropped those roommates like they were hot and found some new roomies that were hopefully a little bit cleaner (by the way, my ex-roommates were great guys, just terribly messy). I wanted to be able to bring a date back to the apartment without having to explain that a bear had made its way into our apartment, and that is why there is garbage and clothing strewn about the entire place (it is a pretty tough line to sell, let me tell you that).

Another step I took to ensure that the new apartment looked great was to install bathroom wall shelves, keeping each roommate’s towels and toiletries and other bathroom items organized and easily separated. Of course other steps throughout the house had to be taken as well, but I felt like finally getting the bathroom organized was the first step in having a clean home.

After just six months of living in a non-garbage-dump apartment, and I actually was able to get dates (and more importantly, keep them). Turns out the girl that I ended up marrying was one of the first people that I took into my new apartment, it is a good thing that I had learned to keep it clean!

Tool Storage for the Cold Season

Finding a place to store your garden and outdoor equipment during the fall and winter months can be quite a hassle, especially for those that are not blessed with a large shed or garage. I personally am lucky (or cursed, I guess it depends on your outlook) enough to live in a one-bedroom apartment with absolutely no outdoor space, so this is not an issue I have to worry about.

However, I do know of quite a few people that do run into this dilemma including my brother-in-law who owns a small house with a decent amount of yard space. His front and back yard require quite a bit of maintenance during the summer, spring and early autumn seasons, so he has a bunch tools like a weed-whacker, shovels and hoes, wheel-barrow and so much more. The problem is during the winter months, he has to find a place to store them while his yard is buried under half a foot of snow.

The problem with storing all of these tools is that the yard is too small to accommodate a full-size shed with shelves. What I recommended to my brother-in-law was to try and install small yard-tool rack to some solid wood surface of his home. Luckily, the side of his house is made from weather resistant solid wood, perfect for installing the rack. He also built a small awning above the rack for weather protection, keeping his tools dry.

What is great about the yard tool rack is that it is able to store just about any type of garden tool, whether it is a shovel, rake or a weed-whacker. Even without the luxury of additional yard storage space, my brother-in-law found a way to keep his tools in great shape throughout the off-season.

My brother-in-law’s expertly installed wall rack.

For those that are lucky enough to have a small shed or a garage that is large enough to accommodate tools, I would recommend using durable garage storage shelves to store your tools. There are a wide variety of garage shelves, including all-metal shelves, metal frame with wood shelves, and even all-wood shelves.

Home Office for Working Remotely

More and more, Americans are finding ways to make working from home a feasible solution. There are various reasons why working remotely can be beneficial to both the employee as well as the employer, including a need for less office space, less time wasted during the day with a commute, money saved on gas because there is no commute, and much more.

One big obstacle in getting your home ready to be worked from is setting it up to mimic your in-office conditions. Working at a desk that is separated from the everyday distractions of the home is very important and increases productivity as it feels similar to being in the office. Some are lucky enough to have a separate room that can double as an office, while others will just have to find a secluded corner of the living room.

If your job includes a lot of paperwork, then it is vital to have the right shelves and files to keep your desk area organized. These office organization furniture pieces are taken for granted by those that work in the office – those that are setting up an at-home office will quickly realize just how much furniture is provided on-site.

One must-have item for the home office is a filing cart. Personally I prefer the filing carts that are set on wheels or casters because they make it easy to move them around the room. Without a proper filing cart, you may find your desk begin to pile up with paperwork. This gives the office a cluttered appearance, which is only compounded by the fact that it is in your home – making your own living room look cluttered.

A range of bookcases in any shape and size!

Another helpful item for the home office is a sturdy and spacious book case. This is more important for those that require reference books and other larger items for their job. A bookcase can be a great way to add a touch of décor to the room while providing convenient storage.

As working from home becomes more and more common-place, many people who never dreamed their field offered that opportunity are discovering otherwise. By using quality office furniture in the home you can create an organized and functional home office.