Unexpected Organizing: Hidden Shelving

Welcome to the second post in my Unexpected Organizing series! If you missed the post about bedroom furniture everywhere, please do check it out.

Reminder: I’m being super real with you, letting you in on how I do things around my home with photos that may not be “Pinterest Pretty.” And again, let me be clear that I don’t think you should organize just like me! I want to show you that you don’t have to organize “perfectly”—you just have to organize in a way that works for you and your family. I’m excited to share some ideas that may help you to clear some spiritual clutter out of your home.


Today’s Unexpected Organizing idea comes in the form of shelving. Not built-in or free-standing shelves in a room (although I do love a good set of bookshelves, and all of the books that go on them), but movable shelving that can fit inside small spaces.

You already saw one example of this in my bedroom furniture post. I keep my small exercise weights inside a nightstand in my family room. I use a simple, lightweight, coated wire shelf to hold the lightest weights above the heavier ones so they’re easy to grab.


Because the weight is distributed equally, and placed near the edges of the piece where the most support is, the wood isn’t bowing. I use the same kind of shelves in our bedroom closet.  They helped to make more room for my hubby’s shoes and to keep them nice (rather than in a big pile).


Of course, you could use these shelves for their original purpose, to hold extra dishes in kitchen cabinets, too. (They’re usually found in the kitchen organization aisle of stores, or on Amazon here.)


If you’re heard my wardrobe talk, then you know I use inexpensive shelving under my clothing rod to hold clothing and accessories that people normally keep in dresser drawers. These shelves keep everything I want to wear this season visual and accessible, all at once. My out-of-season clothes, shoes, and other accessories are in my dresser and in a tote under my bed, staying clean and out of the way. (If you haven’t heard my wardrobe talk, call your women’s ministry leader and ask her to book me for your next event! It’s such a fun talk. Or read Organizing for a Wonderful Wardrobe, the handbook based on the talk!)

Here’s how it looks in the summer:


And winter:


I’ve used the same kind of shelving to increase storage space in some of my other closets as well. I store extra linens and beach vacation items at the top of my linen closet this way.



This kind of shelving also adds much needed space to my pantry. I use the high space to store things my husband uses but I don’t (because he can reach them!), kitchen gadgets I only use once or twice a year (ahhhh, how I love my little chocolate fountain), and food I want to have to really think about before eating (I can easily drink all of my daily calories in hot chocolate if I’m not careful).


Where might you place some portable shelving?


Take the Challenge:

  • Do you have any cupboards or closets with unused high spaces?
  • Do you have anything shoved in a drawer or other out-of-the-way space that you’d like to be able to see and access easily each day?
  • Do you have things in a big pile that you could shelve instead, making them neater and more accessible?
  • Do you have a big stack of boxes (even decorator boxes) that you could pare down and/or place on shelving, making it easier for you to get things in and out?


But watch out for:

Remember that our God is not a God of disorder, but of peace (I Corinthians 14:33). Avoid cramming spaces too full. Make it visually pleasing so you can see (and thus use) what you have. Don’t use shelving to keep so much extra stuff that you can’t see what you need and love! Also, make everything easily accessible so you can get your things in and out without any hassle—no squeezing and shoving, my friends!


Tell me about it:

Where do you keep a little unexpected shelving? I’d love to hear your ideas.


For more home organization ideas, check out my second book, Building Your House.  And check back for the next installment in the Unexpected Organizing Series!


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