20 Creative Storage and Shelving Ideas

Everyone’s got one: a bare-bones, rectangular bookshelf that is sliced into perfect pieces straight-across, no-frills shelves. And, while these shelves certainly get the organizing job done, they’re often not much to look at.

That’s easy to change, though, thanks to pioneering DIY-ers and designers everywhere who have gone out and turned their shelving and storage issues into art. Below are examples of 20 projects that will turn your organizational systems into beautiful focal points.

1. Wood Block Cut-Outs

Remember the classic board game Operation? This bookshelf has oddly shaped cut-outs, and it’s up to you to find the perfect knick-knack to fit into each space. My favorite part about these shelves is that each block can be moved so you can customize to your own liking.

2. Have a Seat… On the Wall

Inspired DIY-ers will have this eye-catching shelving unit up in no time. All you need is enough coat hooks to hold onto the chairs you want to hang up. This look will most likely end up feeling rustic, making it the perfect addition to an outdoor patio space or a blank mudroom wall.

3. Organizing Booth

Whether or not you’re a Doctor Who fan (this particular booth is from the BBC television show), you can probably appreciate the uniqueness of this storage system. Now, to find an unused phone booth lying around…

4. On the Up

The materials for this shelving unit might be a bit easier to come by. Sliding pieces of wood across the steps of an old ladder will make a display case out of just about any corner in your home.

5. Star Shelves

This one’s for the kiddos (or kids at heart). Artsy adults can turn one of their kids’ interests — Star Wars, dinosaurs, cars — into the outline of an awesome storage unit. The other kids on the block will be talking about this one.

6. Better Bed

Little ones and parents alike will love this idea. This bunk bed set maximizes bedroom space with a built-in shelving unit.

7. Shelving Susan

Perhaps you don’t know what to do with that spinning cabinet in your kitchen or mudroom. Create cubbies inside of it and you’ve got a showcase of your family’s footwear. Added bonus: it’s easier to locate your favorite pair here than inside of a bin or at the bottom of a closet.

8. Spell It Out

This bookshelf serves two purposes: it turns your office, library or den into a work of art, AND it reminds you to open the books you’ve acquired over the years.

9. Small Bathroom Solution

If you’re dealing with a small bathroom — or, worse yet, a small bathroom and a space sans linen closet — hanging baskets sideways on your walls to hold towels makes a useful focal point.

10. Skater Shelves

If your son or daughter routinely spends time getting gnarly, a skateboard shelf might be the perfect addition to his or her bedroom.

11. Drawers-Turned-Shelves

An old piece of furniture can easily turn into a jaw-droppingly cool storage cubbie. Check out these drawers, which, because of the diagonal cuts, are practically artwork for your office or living room.

12. Shoe Circles

There are plenty of storage ideas for your family’s shoes, and for good reason: families often have lots of ‘em. This budget-friendly system relies on PVC pipes to hold pairs in a funky, modern way.

13. Hit a High Note

Has your acoustic guitar played its last gig? Remove the instrument’s front and place a few slats of wood across its inside to create a funky, albeit small, shelving unit.

14. Bauble Bar

This is an easy fix if your jewelry is, more often than not, tangled. A simple rod bedecked with hooked curtain-rod rings not only organizes your collection, but turns it into an eye-catching display in your bedroom or closet.

15. Step Up Your Shelves

There are plenty of under-the-stair shelving units out there, but not many of them are quite as literal — or as interesting to look at — as these.

16. Small Kitchen Solution

Cramped countertops? These fruit holders made from recycled crates utilize the area between the top of your counter and the bottom of your cabinets without taking up precious prep space.

17. Shoes on Display

It’s a shame to keep all of your fabulous pumps hidden in your closet. This simple shelf will turn a section (or, entire wall, depending on the size of your collection) of your bedroom or closet into a piece of art by holding all of your glamorous footwear.

18. Top Table

In this edition of “Turning Old Furniture into Shelving,” we have a strategically stacked set of old tables that, with their naturally flat tops, become perfect shelves for books, electronics, and more.

19. Topsy-Turvy

These shelves, on the other hand, are anything but flat. Add interest to the wall in a child’s bedroom or playroom with storage that seems straight out of a Dr. Seuss story.

20. And, the Most Outrageous of All…

This one should be filed under “shelving system pipe dream.” One trailblazing homeowner turned an old car on its ear, turning it into a shelving system. You may laugh, but you may also have an old set of wheels lying around…

BIO: James works for a construction company and blogs in his free time at Homey Improvements. He also enjoys hiking, photography, and buying new gadgets. Follow him on Twitter @DIYfolks.


  1. Macs October 28, 2017 at 6:13 am

    Wow! Amazing storage ideas to have at home. These can definitely create more spaces and keep things well organized. Thanks for sharing these awesome storage ideas.

    1. Jodi Shaw - Site Author October 31, 2017 at 12:39 am

      You’re welcome Mac, thanks for reading!

  2. Nicole May 11, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Indeed great storage and shelving ideas yo have shared with us. By using such great ideas we can make small room or small space more specious, more organized and lot batter. I will surely follow these ideas to make my home more organized and more specious. Thanks for sharing these creative ideas with us.

  3. Lara May 11, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Good ideas.


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