Shelf Organizing Cheat Sheet
I have written a ten part series on closet organizing, but if you’d like to see the best placement practices summarized on one sheet, here it is. This is just for a closet with shelves, from top to bottom, not one with a hanging rod. Before following these, I recommend emptying your closet entirely and purging the excess. When you reload, consider this.
1. Top Shelf
Should be reserved for items you use the least, like seasonal or keepsake items. When you get these items on the hard-to-reach shelf, you free up space for the more important items on the easier-to-reach shelves.
2. Above eye level
This level is best for larger, lighter, and more self-explanatory items. Rolls of paper towels or linens would be good examples. They don’t require room to sort through, strength to access, or labels to identify.
3. Eye level
This is prime real estate. Reserve the items you access most frequently for this level. This is the perfect spot for clear plastic boxes with labels.
4. Below Eye level
This is the perfect spot for clear drawers with labels. Clear drawers are great containers for saving space and making smaller items more findable, but they don’t make sense at or above eye level. Below eye level, however, you can look down into the drawers.
Like the top shelf, the floor, particularly in the back, is good for items you access less frequently. For deeper closets with recessed shelves, it is important to leave the front of the floor open, so you can step in and access the shelves. A great way to prevent this spot from filling up with a pile of loose stuff, is to store a large item with wheels there. A suitcase or a tower of drawers with wheels, would both be good candidates, as space-holders.
Obviously these don’t represent hard and fast rules, just guidelines to consider when you place items in you closet with shelves.
I know I’m venturing into controversial territory again, so let me know if you disagree with any of this or have some favorite closet practices of your own.