Entries from December 2012 ↓

Sturdy Shelves for Post-Holiday Storage

For those that have either finished off their holiday season or are in the very late stages of the holidays, you should give yourself a pat on the back! Yet another stressful season of giving and receiving has come and gone, and you have gotten through it with style and grace.

Of course now that it is over comes the least fun part of the entire season, clean up time. And as a prepared individual I am sure you have done a great job of purchasing all of the necessary holiday storage accessories to put away ornaments, doilies, wreaths, trees and more!

But maybe you are running into a whole other kind of storage issue – you have a place to keep your decorations, but do you have a place to keep those storage items? Sometimes we think we have done the proper planning ahead, only to bring the storage bins and cases into the garage, attic, basement or closet and find there is absolutely no shelf space available for these items.

Often holiday storage accessories are great for keeping your decorations in good shape and keeping elements like dust and moisture away, but have a bulky design that ends up taking too much space. However, they often have a stackable design and a sturdy interior “skeleton” so you can pile them up on shelves.

I would recommend looking into garage storage shelves to keep your holiday storage items neat and organized. There are a wide variety of shelves on the market, from durable metal-frame shelves that are great for large amounts of storage, down to smaller shelves that are good for closets and other tight areas.


With these storage solutions for the garage, closet or anywhere else in the home, you will not only keep those areas organized, it will also be much easier to quickly find all of your holiday decorations next year, making set-up as easy as possible.

Shelves for the Post-Holiday Clean Up

The holidays are quickly approaching – savvy and experienced parents have done all of their shopping and gotten that most stressful part of the season out of the way. The rest of us are scrambling around driving from mall to mall and shopping center to shopping center, digging through the decimated aisles searching for that last “Baby Alive Wanna Walk” doll with knowledge that what is being sought will never be found.

But even for those parents that are on the ball and have done all of their “parental duties” for the holiday season, there is one oncoming tidal wave that is simply inevitable: the influx of new toys that will be strewn across the floor throughout the home. No matter how much you insist that relatives stray away from toys and other clutter-y gifts, there is still going to be a mountain of toys to clean up. The worst part is it seems like with each additional child the amount of toys grows exponentially!

For many parents the only solution for this sudden influx of new toys is to just wait for them to break (like they always do come mid-Spring), freeing up enough space to store all of the toys in their right place. But other parents not only think ahead enough to buy the toys on time, they think ahead enough to have a place to store all those toys after the holidays!

Six Bin Shelf

In my humble opinion, the best choice for storing the new toys your children acquire is a colorful and easy-to-use cubby system such as the RiverRidge 6 Bin Storage Cabinet. What is great about this cubby system is that it encourages children to help in clean up with its colorful cubby drawers. Each of the drawers are made from soft materials that are kid-safe, plus with six separate storage bins there is plenty of room for all of their new holiday toys!

Fixin’ It Up with Wall Shelves

Last month I was able to achieve one of my biggest goals in life – I finally joined the ranks of so many proud Americans and became a homeowner. It took a long time to save enough money to be able to responsibly afford a nice home here in Southern California (definitely did not want to end up like so many of my fellow citizens and go underwater on my mortgage), but now that I finally was able to pull the trigger on my home I could not be more excited.

One reason I had grown tired of bouncing from apartment to apartment was simply that – I was tired of gathering all of my stuff up and piling it into a moving van year after year. The life of an apartment dweller can be pretty exhausting, especially dealing with rent increases. Another reason I am really glad to not have to answer to a management company, which almost always has ulterior motives and is just looking to get as much money out of me as possible. Similar to being your own boss, I can finally say that I am my own landlord.

But despite these nice conveniences of being a homeowner, the biggest reason I wanted to buy my own home is that I am a bit of a fixer-upper nut. I love being out in the yard or on the roof fixing up my home or giving it an added modification. With an apartment, if you so much as paint some trim or baseboards, you undoubtedly are headed down the road towards a vanished security deposit.

One of the first improvements I made to my home was increasing the storage and display space around the home. As a first-time home buyer I went the fixer-upper route and saved myself some money. Unfortunately this means the house is also as bare bones as it gets. Adding wall shelves to my home was the first step I took to add storage and display space to the walls. With a variety of materials and sizes available, I really went to town throughout the house.

My next few posts will deal specifically with the new improvements I made on my fixer-upper home and maybe you can learn a thing or two from my experience!

New Apartment? Low on Bathroom Storage?

Use a wall-mounted bathroom cabinet to add storage and organization.

What I have learned over the years of moving from place to place is that every city has its own quirks when it comes to apartments and renting. For example, in Boston for nearly every apartment and real estate agency you are required to pay a realtor’s fee, which typically amounts to your first month’s rent.  Another example is when I was preparing to move to Los Angeles I discovered that a great deal of the apartments do not come with a refrigerator – you have to supply your own!

Running into these various quirks in renting culture throughout the years, I have gotten used to rolling with the punches and supplying my own essential furniture or spending weeks on Craigslist trying to find the perfect “no-fee” apartment. My most recent apartment has a similar quirk in that is completely missing storage of any kind in the bathroom.

It’s just me and my wife in the apartment, but having a bathroom with no storage is just not acceptable. We have a walk-in closet but that does not suffice for storing towels, toiletries and extra toilet paper! I figured the best way to get around this lack of bathroom storage was to install my own shelves or cabinets onto the wall.

While browsing the internet I came across a great bathroom wall cabinet that served the perfect function. The Harrington Medicine Cabinet made for the perfect initial storage piece in the bathroom. This compact medicine cabinet has an adjustable shelf plus three open cubby areas that are perfect for storing my toothpaste and my wife’s face soap.

Harrington Medicine Cabinet

Not only does this medicine cabinet provide storage and organization in the bathroom, it also features a mirror at the front, which provides a great deal of convenience to the room. Simple additions to the apartment make organization easier and give you a sense of “home” in a location that can often feel sterile and impersonal.

Wall Shelves as Gifts?!?

When it comes to thinking about gifts for the holidays, there are many things that instantly come to mind. Train sets, bicycles, puppies, even fruit cake might come to mind as a typical holiday gift. However there is one type of item that you’d never think would make an excellent gift. This item is great because it combines function with style, and can be used in any room.

What I am talking about are wood wall shelf units, designed to have unique shapes and angles and are as much décor pieces as they are shelving. There are a wide variety of these shelving units, from the more contemporary units to elegant and sophisticated traditional style shelf units.

The deluxe four-level wall shelf has a simple design with storage on a variety of levels. With levels at different heights, it draws the eye in to the items that are stored on the shelves, whether they are pictures, artwork, trophies, portraits or any other item!

Four Level Wall Shelf

For those with more simple tastes, the 12″ x 24″ Wall Display Shelf is a great choice. This wall mounted wood shelf also has four levels for storage, but also vertical bars that separate the shelves, adding a little bit of visual interest. This shelf is a safe choice because its transitional style looks good in both modern and traditional décor styles.

12" x 24" Wall Display Shelf

For those with more daring tastes, the Trio Shelf is a great gift. This wall shelf features a contemporary style that adds modern flare to the home, plus adds display space. Three “branches” provide the perfect place to keep items.

Trio Shelf

While it might not be the most eye-grabbing or sophisticated gift there is, giving someone a wall shelf is a great, usable gift. I would especially recommend them to friends that might be moving into a new space, or perhaps those that have children and are starting to take more family portraits or have their children’s artwork displayed.