Shelf Solutions

Store More with Multipurpose ShelvingBooks displayed on white picture ledge shelf

  • What: Picture ledge shelves
  • When: Birth until kids stop producing clutter
  • Why: Increase storage, reduce the mess
  • Where: Amazon

I can’t get enough of these basic shelving materials. Unlike the bigger bookcases, which take up floor space and block doorways and must be anchored to the wall if you have small children, I can squash one of these picture ledges into almost any unused vertical space.

They fit on a wall behind a door and rarely impede the door’s opening function. With three kids in roughly 1500 square feet of living space, every inch counts. Currently each child has their own shelf to store their creations. That means instead of having them cry when we have to clean up their latest designs, or me having to cry when I try to squish a glass onto a table overrun with toys, they can put them away. Toys stored on their shelf may not be removed or handled by anyone else without express permission.

Picture ledge floating shelves in white with Lego creations standing on them

Each kid gets their own shelf to store items and display creations.

But even if you don’t need space for three dimensional toys, these shelves work great as extra storage for books. You can set books upright several deep on them. Instead of looking like a mess on the sofa or the floor, it looks like an art display. Plus my kids can easily see the books and choose the ones the like. Returning them is no issue, either, since they can put a book anywhere they find space on a shelf. Removing one or even several books doesn’t cause the entire thing to collapse, though it does hold much less than a standard bookshelf.

Books displayed on white picture ledge shelf

These picture ledges works great for kids’ books, too, especially in tight spaces and can be placed next to reading spots.

If you don’t need extra literature storage, you can also have a rotating art display. I don’t know about you, but in our household, the art can sometimes outpace my efforts to stay afloat. With these shelves, you can prop up works of art for display. When more art appears, add it to the collection effortlessly.

Picture ledge shelf installed behind headboard to keep electronics and reading lamps as seen from above

We use two shelves installed side by side a few inches below and behind our headboard to use instead of nightstands. The shelf, seen here from above, hides all our electronic gadgets and provides a place to clip reading lights.

The options expand beyond kid clutter, too. I can squeeze one above the stove to store spices or underneath the cabinets for things I want to see but keep higher out of reach. In our bedroom, we installed two side by side behind our headboard to create space for things like glasses, and electronics, and books. We can manage one night stand beside the bed if we squeeze things tight, but got tired of fighting over who got that side of the bed.


Objects and art displayed on a picture ledge floating shelf

I use one shelf to keep some of my favorite things on display.

I have one in my bedroom to display my favorite objects. I can add or remove items at any time with zero hassle. The shelves come in a variety of widths to fit almost any space. If you want more flexibility, install two side by side to make longer units. The depth holds a large variety of items, and the lip along the front prevents stuff from sliding off. You can find them at almost any major retailer, including IKEA, in several different finishes. We have both black (or a very dark brown in any case) and white versions, and I love them all.

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