Uncluttering the bookshelves: done!

As  mentioned in a recent post, I was inspiried by a feature on Houzz not long ago to tackle the bookcases in our living room, which were badly in need of some decluttering.  I craved some breathing room on the shelves, and even with paring down our stuff, I knew what we needed was a bit more space.  But how to find space in our tiny 2-bedroom, which I always think I’ve found every last place to put things?  Enter: IKEA (again!).

It may sound a bit crazy because there is already a lot going on in the room, but we decided to add another bookcase to the media wall.  We had two liatorp bookcases with glass doors plus the “buffet” piece that we use as a TV stand, and the bridge unit that connects the bookshelves over the TV.  The whole set up, pre-decluttering, looked like this:

In our original plan (the one we took with us to IKEA) we wanted to add another bookcase with solid doors so that we could throw a bunch of stuff in there so that the shelves that showed had some breathing room.  Unfortunately, what we discovered once we got to IKEA is that I measured incorrectly, and there is actually no option to have solid doors cover all of the unit.  We ended up with solid doors on the lower portion and decided we’d figure it out at home.

Although I wouldn’t call this a perfect solution (more space–or a basement!) would be idea.  But, alas, here in our tiny 2bedroom, there just isn’t more space, so I’ve decided that this is a pretty good solution.  Eking out space is really my specialty after all!  Here’s what we ended up doing on that wall (the room is so small I couldn’t quite fit the entire wall into the frame of the camera!):

And here’s a closer-up pic of the new open bookshelf:

Unfortunately, because so much of the storage is still visible, we weren’t able to part with the corner bookcase.  Instead, we re-arranged the corner of the room a bit and re-styled the bookcase to give it some more breathing room as well.  Again, not perfect, but we’re definitely happier with this new set up!  Here’s what the corner was like previously:

And, now:

And a closer up pic of the bookshelf:

As for what I did to de-clutter and re-style the bookcases, here’s a quick run-down:

  1. found a few more books/games/CDs/DVDs to get rid of to free up more space
  2. moved as much as I could to the “hidden” storage
  3. grouped similarly colored books together
  4. brought in some decorative items that had been in a cupboard
  5. adjusted some of the shelves so they were not all exactly the same height, which allowed for some very tall items to be displayed
  6. added a some mirrors to help reflect light and open up the space
  7. used paint chips to label the magazine racks to bring the color scheme of the room to the shelves

Have you undertaken any de-cluttering projects lately?  Gone to IKEA recently?



4 thoughts on “Uncluttering the bookshelves: done!

    • I think that would look fine! I actually didn’t get around to making labels for them (just a place for labels…). What kind of label maker do you have?? I know you can also print onto clear labels on a regular printer, but I haven’t tried that yet. What do you think works best? My handwriting isn’t the best either!

  1. Like how your open bookcases concept worked out. Quick question about your Liatorp bookcases. Are you able to purchase it with just the shorter doors (not the ones with the glass panels)? I have little kids and would rather not have glass doors in the living room. Thanks much!

  2. Hi Jennifer! I’m not sure if IKEA still sells these doors, but we did purchase them that way (I think in 2012 sometime). We didn’t somehow take the larger glass doors and alter them. I couldn’t find the doors on IKEA’s website, but it is possible they still have them in the store. You could get a similar look though with their Besta line (see what we did here: https://the2bedroomblues.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/this-besta-is-the-best-a/) or with their Billy line. Good luck!


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