Beautiful DIY Shelving Systems

DIY is all the rage- and a favorite small space hack is swapping your bookcases for wall-mounted shelving. For those of you who are especially crafty there are plenty of DIY options. Even for those, craft challenged, these selections come with step-by-step directions to get your shelves up in no time!

Here are eight different DIY ways to turn a blank wall into a storage mecca.

Above: Dabito from Old Brand New  used components available at the hardware store to create this wall-mounted shelving system, which includes a desk.

Here’s a tutorial for DIY pipe shelving from Magnolia Market.

Danish-inspired modular shelving unit from Hello Lidy.

DIY wall mounted shelving from Almost Makes Perfect.

For making the most of awkward spaces, try these corner shelves from A Beautify Mess.  

For those unable to mount shelves to the wall there’s this floor-based option from Sinnen Rausch. 

Make Your Living Room A Guest Room

Having a guest room is nice, but for a lot of us that’s just not possible. Here’s some of our best advice for hosting guests in your living room.

Test the space before your guests arrive

Spend the night in your “guest room” to put yourself in your guests’ shoes. Maybe it’ll inspire you — to upgrade your air mattress, to get a mattress pad for that lumpy sofa bed, orto provide a fan to block out street noise.

Provide a lamp!

Going straight from bright overhead lighting to complete darkness can be a little jarring — not to mention the hazard of walking from the light switch to your couch bed in pitch darkness in an unfamiliar place. Providing a lamp close to your guests’ bed is a nice touch, both for comfort and (potentially) safety.

Don’t skimp on bedding

It may not get used very often, but your guests will appreciate it if you make it a point to get proper bedding for your guest-bed-that-isn’t-a-bed. Blankets and extra pillows will be appreciated.

Provide a spot for luggage

Provide your guests with a luggage rack or an out-of-the-way spot on the floor for your guests’ suitcases. Try to leave a little extra room, so they’ll have space to spread out and won’t have to pack everything back in their suitcase every day.

Give your guests a little space

Even friends so close they don’t mind crashing on your couch, appreciate a little privacy sometimes. You might want to retreat to your room a half hour or so before bedtime, to give them a little time to wind down on their own.

Anticipate your guests’ other needs, too

Clear a path to the nearest outlet so they can charge their phone. Write down the wi-fi network and password. Put out some extra towels. This kind of consideration will go a long way toward making them comfortable, even in a really small space.

Ideas For Small Kitchen Storage

A perpetual curse of the small apartment is the small kitchen, and a perpetual curse of the small kitchen is lack of storage. Sure, only having 18 inches of counter space is a real bear, but before you get there, where are you even going to put anything? If your kitchen suffers from lack of storage, try one of these tips to help you fit everything in.

Copper pots hanging directly on the wall, for a statement wall that’s as stylish as it is practical.

One solution for a small kitchen is a pot rail. Mount one under the cabinets and use it to hang kitchen tools, small shelves for spices, and even holders for utensils that don’t have a home in a drawer.

This kitchen demonstrates perfectly how rolling wire shelving can help to supplement storage space in a kitchen that happens to be lacking.

Hanging a pegboard on the wall is a great way to create storage for utensils, and even pots and pans. (Having a spot to hang utensils will be especially welcome if your kitchen is short on drawers, which most small kitchens are.)

It’s a small detail and one that might be easy to miss, but using magnetic spice containers on the edge of a metal shelf , is a great way to keep spices easily accessible but off the counter. (You can also hang magnetic spice containers on the side of the fridge, on on the oven as shown above.)

Baskets make the most of that awkward space above the cabinets, and an extra shelf, mounted a few inches below the upper cabinets, provides a place for frequently-used ingredients. Even the space on top of the fridge can be utilized with stylish baskets as above.

How To Streamline Your Condiment Shelf

People keep condiments for about a year which can result in a fridge door packed with half-full containers at questionable food safety levels.

Here’s how to get a cluttered condiment area under control — and make it last.

Address what you’ve got.

Take every condiment out of your fridge and line it up on the counter. Look at the sell-by dates and open every jar. Combine duplicates and toss anything that smells/looks dicey or is well past its expiration.

Date your condiments.

Write the date you opened the item on the lid of the condiment with a marker. Toss anything you’ve opened after about three months.

Group like with like.

Instead of jamming the jars back into the fridge doors all willy-nilly, arrange them by category — salad dressings, sandwich toppings, and so on. If you keep things in an organized manner, it’s easier to tell what you have and what’s missing.

Stick to smaller quantities.

It may seem like a bargain, but there’s no advantage to buying a king-sized squeeze bottle of mayo if you live by yourself! You won’t save money if you have to toss food because you couldn’t use it in time.

Keep track of seasonal purchases.

Don’t jump the gun on barbecue season and buy a bunch of new sauces and relishes before checking to see what’s already in your fridge! Seasonal purchases are the biggest culprit for condiment clutter — we tend to buy new without tossing the old. If you do have old stuff, chuck it before you add the new stuff in there.

Beware of specialty condiments.

Maybe you pinned a new recipe that you’re pumped to try that calls for some new esoteric ingredient that could end up rotting in your fridge for the next 2 years? To avoid wasting it, challenge yourself to find other recipes that’ll use it up. You’ll not only reduce food waste, but you might also discover your new favorite go-to recipe!

Cleaning Your Kitchen Is Way Easy

Some of us (let’s face it – most of us) have trouble remembering to clean our kitchen, and that means about once a week we reach a point when we freak out and panic about how dirty it is. We spend four hours deep cleaning and then ignore the whole room for the rest of the week, saying to ourselves, “there has got to be a better way!”

Well there is, and thankfully for us space cadets, it comes with a couple handy acronyms! First, in the morning, remember your “to D.E.W.” list! The “D” is for dishes – make sure you clean them the night before, and are ready to put them away in the morning. There’s nothing worse than going to do dishes at night and having to put all the clean ones away first. “E” is for eating – decide what’s for dinner and pull it out to defrost! And the “W” is for wash – move your laundry to the next cleaning stage.

In the evening, follow the “triple S’s” – Start the dishwasher (this one is pretty self explanatory), set yourself up for tomorrow, and straighten up. Setting yourself up for tomorrow is anything from packing your lunch to doing the evening dishes – whatever makes you have to do less work in the morning. And straightening up, well that’s just wiping down countertops and straightening towels.

Two simple acronyms, three steps each, to make sure you have a cleaner kitchen and a happier and less stressful life! Now if only there were acronyms for remembering when your kids soccer practice is…