6 Easy Ways To Organise & Display Shelves
These shelves have been the bane of my aesthetic existence for goodness knows how long. No matter what I seemed to rearrange or declutter, it never looked right and as this is the only open storage in my room, it was something I couldn't ignore.
Hi, I'm Ellie and I'm addicted to organising.
But genuinely, since I discovered minimalism earlier this year, I've been on a mission to declutter my life from physical items, to events to my finances. It's all been assessed, it's all been reduced and there have been many a trip to the charity shop. But alas, I struggled with these shelves. These shelves made their way into my life back in 2015 when I moved from halls to a student house. As a student on a literature degree, I used to own a heck of a lot of books so it was a no brainer. And the shelves were only about £30 from Argos. They're a bit shaky, but I need them.
The shelves have changed use over the years but they used to house beauty and skincare products, books, perfume, uni stationary and my camera. Because I built them myself, I didn't use all the 'available' shelves so have a few bigger spaces and a few smaller.
But the main occupant was books. And I had a lot - many of which I no longer needed and knew I wouldn't ever look at again.
Purge Your Books.
So I purged them. The best method I find for decluttering is to pull everything off the shelves. I very much adapted the Kon Mari method by looking at each book and getting rid of the obvious ones first e.g. texts I studied in university, plays etc. Then I went through everything else. I kept aside the books I need for my Masters, and any that I thought I might use for my dissertation. I then kept five books that I either loved or wanted to reread. This reduced two shelves of books to one half full one. I then got a few quotes from various book buying websites and sold the discarded books for about £8 for 10. Worth doing - it's more than you'll get from a charity shop. I fully plan on going through this shelf in about a month and if I haven't touched the books, it's time to get rid again.
Sort it Out.
The beauty shelves have been a headache for so long. Beauty products tend to look cluttered, no matter what arrangement so I settled on arranging them within this gold tray/basket that I've had for years from H&M. I keep smaller bottles in a box lid and fit everything around it. This is mainly skincare, nail polish and contact lenses. I use the basket to clip any hair clips to. Because everything is in a basket, it's easy to clean the shelves if necessary!
Use Storage You Have.
Just like how I repurposed the basket/tray for my beauty bits and bobs, I used a basket that used to house towels to store big beauty products that were either ugly or too big to fit comfortably anywhere else. Because I wear monthly contacts, I always have loads of saline solution so needed a home for things like that. The basket also holds hairspray, dry shampoo, texturising spray, nail polish remover, spare tooth brushes - the big things. The basket is really high so it hides everything wonderfully! Down the side I use a jar for my cotton wool and an old tray for all my big earrings. I'm really happy with how this looks - much happier than if the bottles were loose.
There are some people out there who have entire shelving units dedicated to coffee table books and knick knacks, but that simply isn't practical for me. Because my room is the only space that is purely mine, I needed a space for all my university work - think binders, notebooks etc. So the bottom shelf is dedicated for that. I went through all my notes and got rid of everything that wasn't relevant and tore out all the used pages in my notebooks - keeping only notes that I may use.
Don't be afraid to keep things.
As much as I said the first step is to purge, don't feel like you have to chuck everything out. I still keep things that mean a lot to me - I have a dangling decoration that my Dad bought me from Nepal and some wooden elephants from when I was living in Thailand. Ultimately, it's your space so don't feel like you have to get rid of everything just so it looks like Pinterest.
Use the Space You Have.
By the end of all my organising, I had a spare small shelf so I used this to house my perfume and "pretty" books. Because I have this blog, I like to keep a magazine on hand and a few props for flatlays etc which is what I've used a shelf for. When I'm not using the props, it's pretty and photogenic but it also serves a purpose!
I'm so happy with how I've been able to organise these shelves - with closed in shelves, they can be tricky to keep sorted but remember to take into account your own needs and what you need them for!
Have you decluttered anything lately? What do you think of how I've organised these shelves?