START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
Shelves vs. drawers... April 28, 2005 2:54 AM

As in everything else, my husband and I are polar opposites when it comes to organizing stuff.

I prefer shelves. He likes drawers.

I like being able to see what I have, and shelves seem to give me more discipline to organize what's there.

He just tosses everything into a drawer, willy nilly. And calls it organized. To me, it looks like a pile of junk, but he seems to know what goes in which drawer and can USUALLY find stuff.

Is one form of storage preferable to the other for certain things? Or is this just taste? And what the heck do I do to create harmony here, because so far nothing gets put on shelves or in drawers because of our natural differences...

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 April 28, 2005 4:50 AM

Why don't you divide the organising between you? I'm presuming you have enough space for your clothes, which would (again, presumably!) be in separate storage anyway. As to everything else: categorise it, and decide that you will put A, B and C on shelves and he will put X,Y and Z in drawers. He can leave the A's and B's for you to put away and so on, as long as you agree on what goes where and can trust each other to keep up the deal. I don't know what sort of stuff you're talking about, or whether it could work so simply. But I do know that it's impossible to keep things tidy if the storage method feels unnatural. With the best will in the world, you probably won't put things in the "right" place unless it feels like the right place. I'm a "cardboard boxes on shelves" kind of gal, myself. Would this be a suitable compromise, do you think?  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
I have organization problems with both April 28, 2005 7:13 AM

Shelves are horizontal spaces on which I can disorganizedly pile things. Draweres are hidey holes where I disorganizedly stuff things. Filing cabinets are some help, but when they get full they lose their organizational helpfulness.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Sarah Jane does seem to have the right comprimise! April 28, 2005 8:19 AM

I feel my problem is, I end up putting to many things in or on!

 It starts off nice...And sometimes not so slowly ,it turns into a overstuffed drawer, or a shelf with just too much stuff on it.Execpt my hubby's drawers. I put his stuff away neatly. I leave mine like a tower on top of the dresser!?! Of course. I can hardly find my clothes without spilling them everwhere. Go figure!

  My kitchen & bathroom are the most organized in my home. Everything else go's along in a visous cycle.

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 April 28, 2005 11:23 AM

I found a compromise for some things.  Milk crates on shelves.  They have the visibility of shelves, and the containing abilities of drawers.  They also work well when you don't have shelves or drawers.  I have six heavy duty ones stacked on their side that work wonderfully for my sweaters.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
my 2cents April 28, 2005 1:35 PM

Great ideas ... and to elaborate on Michelle's comment ... I often use decorative wicker baskets for storing things into on shelves.  They act as a drawer and contain everything without making a shelf look untidy.

 [ send green star]

Never presume! April 28, 2005 1:48 PM

Not even that our clothes are put away. The davenport is the current preferred storage area for just-washed clothing.

Here's why I asked:

We lost everything in a housefire six years ago. We have not replaced most of our furniture, and this includes bureaus, bookshelves, armoires... (We're still using cardboard boxes draped with fabric as side tables in the bedroom.) Largely because of funding issues; partly because we (especially I) have been very slow to heal from that experience.

So, I'm gradually coming out of this and now want to organize all the stuff we've accumulated since the fire... and I'm trying to figure out storage solutions that will work for both of us. All on a shoestring buget, as we still live pretty much hand-to-mouth.

It doesn't help that I'm not particularly fond of anything we've acquired, but that's probably an issue for another thread.

Wicker baskets on shelves would be great for me, but I don't think G. would ever manage to put stuff in them... or keep them organized in a way that makes sense to me.

It doesn't help that the man doesn't know what a trash can is... but that's also another issue for another thread. (Complaining about SOs, maybe.)

An added impetus to all of this is the impending visit from a friend I haven't seen since 1993, before I was married and when I had a VERY different life. She's coming halfway across the world (from Florida to Alaska, anyway) to see me... and I know she's coming to see ME, but still...

So: Let me phrase the question a little differently.

Are there items that should be stored on shelves? Are there items that should be stored in drawers? (As a general rule...) What are they?
 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Kristin. I do not think there is a rule... April 28, 2005 2:06 PM

I think shelves & think books. Maybe figures or trinkets, (what ever you like to call them *)  & maybe boxes. Sweaters store nicely on shelves. Sometimes shoes do as well.

I think drawers & I want my delicate items, & socks, ..ect.

I think your asking for storage in your bedrooms... Mostly for clothes?

If it works for you do it. I think if your husband will use drawers. Perhaps he should have drawers...Unless you have to put his things away. If you like having shelves. You should have a wall maybe with shelves. You could hide the shelved area behind fabric "drapes" if you didn't, or aren't ready for baskets.

That always looks nice. I have never been that coordinated! You should find big baskets that work for what you’re trying to store. Adjustable shelves would be very nice. 

Seasonal items, you have to find what works for your space. Those space bags are nice to have at my house!

Am I way off is is this more what you are asking.


 [ send green star]  [ accepted]

Yes, bedrooms... April 29, 2005 2:08 AM

and bathrooms, and offices, and kitchen, and mudroom, and living room...

Crystal, you're right. I should have shelves and he should have drawers. Here's what I wish: That we could get rid of all the stupid little closets in this place and convert them either into more space for the rooms and have armoires and chifferobes (sp?) instead... or that we could install shelves in some closets and drawers in others.

The issue repeats itself throughout the house. We've just got to buckle down and buy some cheap shelves and cheap dressers and be done with it for now.

That's another issue: I resist buying cheap stuff (even tho that's all I can afford) because I hate it and don't want it in my space. But how stupid: If it will actually clear up my space, it's preferable to nothing. Every time I get ready to buy those pressed-wood bookcases, I grieve for the ones I lost that I had designed myself and hired a craftsman to build...


And I live too far out of town to get to the thrift stores regularly... and they never seem to have any good stuff when I do get there. Yard sales aren't much better.

Whine whine whine
 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 April 29, 2005 5:56 AM

Yes, I agree with someone else (I can't remember who -- ) that said undies and socks go into drawers.  I also associate drawers with stuff you want to hide, like private papers, clothes you may not want this friend to know that you really wear (come on, everyone's got something like that! ), whatever.  I associate shelves with stuff you want people to see, like the nicer clothes, sweaters, file holders, books, baskets, whatever.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Kristen April 29, 2005 7:32 AM

I think your on to something talking about turning your closets into more of a armoire, or wardrobe keeper...

 You sound like you have the same tiny closets I have! They are so small you can't really keep clothes hanging in them without the clothes being smushed!

You could take out the rod. Go ahead and get some adjustable shelving tracts...You could buy some wood, to have real shelves. ( I salavaged a bunch of old real wood shelves. Painted them & turn my kitchen "pantry" into a wonderful storage space. I say pantry in qoutes because it's just a tiny closet.)

I'm trying to get of the point. Take out the rod. Find something that will fit in the closets for a dresser. Put in shelves at the top. Or if you can find a light enough dresser you could have a shelf or two @ the bottom. I'd still put some up higher...   

I do have a little bit of a rule with small items. I like small items, in drawers, &/or in say a box, or basket. 

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Closet solved itself LOL April 29, 2005 11:29 AM

I was trying to keep purses and shoes in canvas organizers .. they hang on a rod .. well it all fell down!!!

So my project for the week was to find a workable solution - I "built" a cube with 48 cubbies in it ... sandles fit in one, tennies fit one per hole. then using the dreaded pressboard (I have to let the things outgas for at least a week) I made a set of selves that hold my purses. 

I think i need those wire dividers to keep some of the floppy ones separated, but all in all it is working much better as I can SEE what is there@!!

 [ send green star]  [ accepted]

 April 29, 2005 10:18 PM

Go Gayle!  It sounds like you've made some great lemonade out of the lemon that the rod falling out was.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
  New Topic              Back To Topics Read Code of Conduct


This group:
Get Organized
95 Members

View All Topics
New Topic

Track Topic
Mail Preferences