Use Your Bookshelf for Storage (11 Space Saving Ideas)

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A bookshelf’s primary function might be to store books, but that’s not all they’re useful for.

With a touch of creativity and a couple of add-ons, you can use your bookshelf to create storage for other things.

So if you have an unused bookcase, don’t throw it out or give it away just yet. There are so many ways to re-purpose it, whether it’s adding wheels, a splash of paint, or changing its position.

And if you don’t have one lying around, they are still a great, multi-purpose furniture to have around.

Find some inspiration from one of these useful suggestions.

1. Organize your entryway

Are you like 90% of the population, spending excessive time endlessly searching for keys or pacing up and down the house fetching jackets, shoes, and leads?

If you’ve answered yes, I’m telling you that this doesn’t need to be your life.

Placing an attractive multi-functional bookcase at your apartment entrance can solve the problem. It creates a dedicated space for those necessary items, which makes them easier to find. 

Add some baskets for your keys, leads, sunglasses, and other accessories, and store your shoes on its bottom shelf. Adding a hook or two on the side of a bookcase can also work well for hanging outdoor wear and umbrellas. 

This Nathan James Telos 4-Cube Organizer from Amazon is in the simple yet stylish Scandi style that I love.

Nathan James 71001 Telos 4-Cube Storage Organizer, White Storage Open Cubby Shelf with Angled Design, Brown/Glossy White

Cube storage looks great in entryways, and the space below the cubby offers enough room for a few pairs of shoes. Add a pot plant on the top shelf with a couple of nick-knacks, and your entryway will never look dull again. 

2. Divide your space

If you live in a loft or a small open-plan apartment, dividing your space with a bookshelf can give you the illusion of more space, and help to define your space better.  As a bonus, it can also add more storage.

Narrow and modern

This VASAGLE Bookcase from Amazon is the perfect divider for a small space. It doesn’t take up too much room but creates an excellent division between your apartment spaces. 

VASAGLE Bookcase, 5-Tier Bookshelf, Display Shelf and Room Divider, Freestanding Decorative Storage Shelving, Rustic Brown ULBC62BX

Slim with ample storage 

The Martin Furniture Woodford Solid Wood Bookcase from Amazon has removable shelves. It can store anything from cookbooks to TV remotes, depending on which room you choose to border it with. 

Martin Furniture Woodford Solid Wood Bookcase, Storage Space, Living Room Divider, Book Shelves, Dark Brown

3. Organize your closet

If you live in a small apartment, there is always a chance that your closet space, well non-existent or extremely minimal.

Why not use a bookshelf as your new closet organizer? 

Cube storage works great for this, especially if you want to separate different-styled clothes (sweaters, t-shirts, jeans, etc.). Or, if you have a collection of shoes, pop each pair in a separate cube for easy access. 

You can add hooks and pop up some hangers to hang your more precious crease-prone items. 

Simple cube storage

This Furinno Luder Bookcase from Amazon comes in a selection of cube options to suit your needs. You can easily add extra shelving depending on what you have decided to store. 

4. TV stand and media storage

If you have the right-sized bookshelf that can support a decent amount of weight, you can easily use it as a makeshift TV stand. 

What’s great is that the shelves below can be used to store all your media supplies and toys. Think TV remote, speakers, game console, and games. If you have oodles of board games, this is also an excellent spot for storing them. 

This bookshelf by the DEVAISE Store on Amazon works well as a TV stand. Not only can it be rotated, but it also boasts a highly flexible design. When you no longer want to use it in your living room, change the design and use it for your bedroom or entryway storage

DEVAISE Flat Screen TV Stand for 43 45 55 inch TV, Modern Entertainment Center with Storage Shelves, Media Console Bookshelf for Living Room, Black…

5. Headboard storage

Need a headboard? Don’t want to spend a fortune by going the fully upholstered route? Try making use of a bookshelf instead. 

A bookshelf headboard offers much more storage space than a traditional bedside table. 

Store your books, reading glasses, lampshade, slippers, eye mask, and other night-time necessities. What’s great is that they’ll all be within arm’s reach. 

Make sure the bookcase matches your room design, and measure your bed carefully before purchasing.  If you can’t find the size you are looking for, think of placing multiple cube storage bookshelves alongside each other and have them mounted to the wall.  

6. Bedside table storage

Much like the headboard, a small bookshelf works just as brilliantly as a bedside table. It will typically provide more storage than a regular side table. 

The extra shelves and storage space are helpful for all your night-time accessories. 

Two or three-tier cube storage

Minimalist but practical, these cube bookcases work well as bedside tables (like this Furinno Luder Bookcase from Amazon).  If you want to conceal your storage, purchase a basket or two.

Furinno Luder Bookcase / Book / Storage, 2-Tier, White

Rotating storage

This 2 Tier 360° Rotating Stackable Shelves Bookshelf is a handy option.  Not only can you store oodles of supplies, but you have easy access to your nighttime thingamajigs with a simple rotation.  

2 Tier 360° Rotating Stackable Shelves Bookshelf Organizer (White) - Intexca

8. Kitchen storage

When moving into a smaller apartment, you may wonder where to store all your crockery and kitchen supplies. Some kitchens have very little cupboard or shelving space, making it hard to organize your kitchen supplies. 

Adding a bookshelf nearby or in your kitchen can utilize its shelving for storing extra dishes, glassware, or cookbooks.  

Try adding some wheels to the bottom of your bookshelf to make it mobile.  

9. Craft storage

Living with a daughter who can only be described as a crafting fanatic, I’ve often used bookshelves to store our overflowing crafting supplies

Bookcases without doors are typically easier for storing crafts, as you have speedier access to your supplies.  

Remember to label and add baskets or bins. Clear plastic organizer sets work brilliantly to keep your supplies organized, especially if your bookshelf has closed drawers. 

Organizer set

This 25 PCS Clear Plastic Drawer Organizers Set has everything you need to sort and organize your crafts in drawers.  

Vtopmart 25 PCS Clear Plastic Drawer Organizers Set, 4-Size Versatile Bathroom and Vanity Drawer Organizer Trays, Storage Bins for Makeup, Bedroom, Kitchen Gadgets Utensils and Office

9. Mini Bar

Nowhere to store your wines, spirits, and whisky glasses? Why not turn your bookshelf into a mini bar? 

Add wheels to make it mobile and racks for more accessible storage. If you have open storage, display your favorite spirits and decanters to add character to the room. 

You can also try popping a couple of these well-crafted ZEAYEA 2 Pack Wood Wine Bottle Holder from Amazon on your bookshelf. 

ZEAYEA 2 Pack Tabletop Wood Wine Holder, Foldable Countertop Wine Rack for 20 Bottles, Free Standing Wine Storage Rack Display Shelf for Home, Kitchen, Bar, Cabinet, Pantry

10. Bathroom storage

Your bathroom may lack cabinetry for storing towels, cosmetics, and toiletries, but adding a bookshelf can serve the same purpose. 

If you lack space, a ladder bookshelf works well in bathrooms. If space is more than limited, try mounted bookshelves instead.   

Ladder bookshelf

There are loads of ladder bookshelves available on Amazon, similar to Amazon Basics Modern 5-Tier Ladder Bookshelf Organizer. Not only do ladder bookshelves occupy minimal space, but their height provides you with loads of extra storage. 

Amazon Basics Modern 5-Tier Ladder Bookshelf Organizer, Solid Rubberwood Frame, White, 14 D x 24.8 W x 70.1 H in

Fun and funky

Even a unique bookshelf such as this one from Amazon: Rolanstar Tree Bookshelf with Wooden Drawer can work well for storing rolled-up bath and hand towels. It looks lovely and takes up minimal space. 

Rolanstar Bookshelf with Wooden Drawer, 9 Shelf Tree Bookshelf, Modern Book Storage, Free Standing Tree Bookcase, Utility Organizer Shelves for Home Office, Living Room, Bedroom, Rustic Brown

11. Kids’ toy storage

Bookshelves are a lifesaver for toy organization. If your child is on the messy side, adding labeled baskets can sometimes help your child keep things ordered and tidy. 

Open bookshelves or cube-styled bookshelves work best as they provide easy access to toys. 

Amazon has several styles and sizes that will suit almost any size room.  Have fun searching and selecting with your kids.  

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