October 19, 2012
by Susan Hunsberger
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What about the Sides of Your Shelf?

PROBLEM: Space is at a premium in our tiny house with two adults and two kids. We need some more storage.

SOLUTION: Hang things from the external sides of your shelves. You can install hooks or hang wall file holders for papers. Owner Chrystal Metzger of Lexi’s Toy Box in Ann Arbor shows us a wonderful example of how she uses the sides of a shelf.

QUESTION: Do you have an example of this idea working for you?

October 12, 2012
by Susan Hunsberger
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Break Up the Shelf


PROBLEM: Things get scattered around on my shelf, so I can’t find what I’m looking for.

SOLUTION: Anderson Paint in Ann Arbor has the perfect solution. Find a way to divide your shelf into smaller sections. You’ll notice that they have four different products on the shelf, but each is housed in a container. These containers make it easy for both the customers to find things and the staff to put things away. Thanks, Bob, for the example!

HINT: Notice how the container allows you to stand things up that might otherwise fall down.

September 28, 2012
by Susan Hunsberger
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Floor to Ceiling Shelving

PROBLEM: We have a lot of stuff and I want all of us to see what we have. I also want everyone to be able to easily put things away without confusion.

SOLUTION: Lisa, owner of pot&box of Ann Arbor, brings us a solution. First, build a wall of sturdy shelves. Then put alike things together on the shelves. You’ll want to consider the frequency with which you use the item and its weight when deciding where to put it. Beautiful organization, Lisa!

HINT: Have a sturdy ladder that is easily accessible and either a person to take things from you, or a bag to put things in, as you climb down the ladder.

May 13, 2011
by Susan Hunsberger
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Option for the Non-Pull Out Shelf

PROBLEM: I have deep cupboards in my kitchen and the shelves don’t pull out. It is impossible for me to get to the things in the middle and back of the shelves.

SOLUTION: Put a tray, baking pan, plastic bin, or cardboard box on the shelf, which can act like a pull out shelf. You can slide the bin part way out or take it all the way out in order to access what you need. The space behind the bin can be used for taller things that are less often used and the area beside the bin can be
lined with the same item so you know exactly what is there.

HINT: You might want to put felt strips on the bottom of the container so that as you slide it in and out it doesn’t scratch the shelf.

April 22, 2011
by Susan Hunsberger
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A Purpose for Each Shelf and Drawer

PROBLEM: When I come home from shopping I stick my groceries here and there. Then when I need my tea, pancake mix, or macaroni and cheese I can’t find them.

SOLUTION: Give each shelf and drawer a specific purpose. For example, this shelf is for pasta or this drawer is for coffee supplies. The key is to only put items that belong to that category in that drawer or on that shelf.

HINT: It might be helpful to label the shelves while getting used to their purpose.