Turning Shelves Into Drawers

It has been quite awhile since I’ve blogged about organization here at Resourceful Mommy, but the fact remains that organization is a constant battle in my home.  In fact, even as I write this my home is upside-down as we prepare to move to a larger home.  Our goal – more space to organize in and less things that must be organized.  As I walk around my home equally filling boxes and trash bags, I’m visited by the ghost of organization attempts passed.  Some of them were successful, and we will surely mimic them again in our new home.  Others?  Well, let’s just say that they are not blog-worthy.  One of my favorite Resourceful Living strategies is to utilize bins, and I was reminded this weekend of how I turned a deep, dark linen closet into a functional space with just the power of clear, plastic bins and trays.

Turning Shelves Into Drawers with Bins and Trays

How many times have you mistakenly added an item to the shopping list because you couldn’t find it behind all of its toiletry brothers and sisters in your bathroom closet?  Ever been in the midst of cooking and ditched an attempt because you thought you were out of baking powder/celery seed/cumin or some other tiny yet necessary kitchen item?  Awhile back I decided that I had enough.  I wanted to turn my deep shelves into drawers…but how?

My lower kitchen cabinets were retro-fitted with slide-out shelves before we purchased this home, and I’ve often felt that the deep, narrow pull-outs were the best feature of the house. In fact, as we spent the past six months searching for our next home, I found myself immediately counting out houses whose kitchens were less functional.  Paying to have my linen closet’s shelves turned into pull-outs would have cost a fortune, but a quick trip to Target to buy clear trays and bins saved the day.  By placing items in bins that can be pulled out to reveal small items hiding in the back of the shelf, I saved myself the hassle of pushing shampoo bottles, soap containers, and medicines around during every toiletry search. Low, flat trays work well for tall, sturdier items while bins with high sides are great for all of those little boxes of infant ibuprofen, eye drops, or first aid supplies.


Is there a room in your house that is calling out for a slide-out shelf?  Behold, the power of bins!

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  • I was just looking at this large open “pantry” space I have and wondering if I could do some sort of shelving. Your suggestion is easier — thanks, Amy!

  • Last spring I bought some cheap plastic baskets at Target for my pantry & started organizing my food in the baskets. It was easy to pull the basket out & dig through the similar items to find what I need. Nothing gets lost and it looks pretty neat too!

  • Genevieve MamaNatural

    Oh my goodness! My husband literally just did this today! Our pantry closet is a whole new world and actually looks barren because of the space efficiency. Now we have plent of space for baby stuff ;).

    Nice blog.

  • Great job Amy! Now just grab a label maker and/or make pictures of what’s inside, even if they are clear…you’ll appease very kind of learner in your family big and small =)

  • What a great idea! we are expecting our first child any day now and our hall closet is a disaster. i love this idea and will be going to the store tomorrow to pick up supplies. thanks!

  • Great job!! I LOVE organization and this is a great tip!

  • I did something similar a year or so ago. After I did it, I couldn’t believe how much easier things were to keep organized. Why hadn’t I thought of it before? LOL

  • This is something I have been doing for a few years. It is amazing what BINS can do. I LOVE being organized and am always looking for new ways to make life easier. This was a great post and great tip!


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  • […] a confession. While I have had the occasional good organization idea (I still love using bins to turn shelves into drawers), I continue to find myself overwhelmed by the papers that come home each day in my […]