Newspaper Columns from the New Britain City Journal

Entries in shelves (2)


What to do with built in bookshelves

Dear Les Is More:

I am sick of my built in bookcases. They never look like bookcases do in magazines or on TV.  Do you have any ideas what I can do?



Dear Lucy:

Yes.  I have plenty of ideas—thanks for writing in.  However, you don’t tell me the room it is in, or what material it is made out of –so here are my suggestions in no particular order. 

  1. 1.       Paint the inside or wall paper the inside of the bookcases and use texture rather than color to make them stand out.
  2. 2.       Separate your books by color (use the spine of the book as your color guide) and use a few shelves to showcase a different color. 
  3. 3.       Make a few of the shelves book free and use this space for decorative items.
  4. 4.       Use baskets to make the shelf organized.  I love Kaisa Grass Tray Basket (12.00) from SERRV International (  or  1-800-422-5915) this muti-purpose basket can hold magazines and looks great on a book shelf.  Using a few baskets such as Kaisa Basket Set which comes in 3 nesting sizes is great for different items and the handles on the baskets help you to move your magazines to your favorite chair. This is also a fair trade crafts non- profit organization and their products are the most beautiful I have seen in a while, and very reasonable.
  5. 5.       I love using unusual types of baskets such as the (DabneyLeeat Lucite tray which is sexy in all the right ways.  Designed by a New York artist, this tray is beautiful and is perfect for your bookcase.  Use it to house a favorite large scale book, or a favorite book and spare glasses for the bar. Anything from this company makes a great addition to any space.
  6. 6.       Paint the entire bookcase a bold color or stain it if it’s wood.

Good Luck with your design challenge and as a last resort,  you might want  to donate all of your books, take down the book case and buy a e-reader. 


Pantries & computer files- reorganized

Dear Les Is More: What's the best way to organize a pantry with deep shelves to make the best use of the space but, still know what you've got in there?  Thanks Andrea

Dear Andrea:

Take the measurements of the inside of the drawers and go to a home improvement store and look around at what they have. There are many products on the market now that will help you divide and conquer that space. You can also go online to the and look at what they have. If all else fails, just store sweaters in there—that is what I do with my stove.

Have an Organized Day.

Dear Les Is More: I need serious help--SERIOUS FREAKIN' HELP-- organizing all of my files on my laptop. Thanks, John

Dear John:

This takes patience on your part—you will need to open every file on your hard drive and decide if you need to keep it. Then, the files that you need most often put on your desk top with a creative name. For every column I write, I put the date and the subject in the title. For photos, I put who is in the photo (Princess Cruise with friends or Nephews at Tom’s birthday party) –the more detail the better. It’s going to take you time, but in the end beginning organized saves you time. Good Luck.

Have an Organized Day.