Please help me utilize this space

lexi7August 29, 2008

Please help me utilize the space above the top shelves in my closets. There is a lot of space that is not visible from the door, but looking up above the shelf to the ceiling is a lot of unused space that is a little hard to access. It is the same way in my kitchen cabinets. I searched this forum, under storage, but found nothing about that space. Since you are all so talented, you have probably already utilized that space in your homes. Please share your ideas.

Thanks, Lexi

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I would think it would be a good place for blankets, comforters, pillows that aren't used that much and they are light.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 8:31PM
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Thats where i keep clear shoe boxes with excessive amount of shoes..and purses.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 8:38PM
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Thats where I keep seasonal/holiday stuff... the stuff I don't use except for one part of the year.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 2:05AM
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Install shelves up there that run front-to-back on both sides, perpendicular to the normal side-to-side shelves. Leave enough space in the middle to enable a person standing on a ladder to get in.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 7:40AM
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dd50, arizonarose,and southernsurfergirl thanks so much for your response. I am doing those things, but I am trying to find a way to make the space more useful. graywings I really like that idea. I had not thought about installing shelves in a different direction. Thank you all so much. Please keep the ideas coming. I especially want to use the space on the top shelves of my kitchen cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling.
Bless you,

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 9:49AM
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I find that in my home (w/ 9'foot ceilings, even in the closets), I can't put something too TALL in there, or it won't make it out, bcs it can't turn the corner to come down between the shelves and the wall over the door.

Whatever it is has to be short.

The underbed boxes work pretty well; my DH puts his out-of-season clothes in them, and I can stack them two high.

So if you decide not to mess w/ re-installing shelves, or if that means too much space lost for some reason, that's your other possible solution. Short boxes of some sort.

I used to pile stuff on top of my kitchen cabinets, but I found eventually that the sense of clutter looming over my head was really oppressive. (When we redid the kitchen, I got tall cabinets.) Plus the stuff got gunky.

For a while I considered having a carpenter make a frame to attach to the top of the cabinets and the ceiling, and then attaching doors to the frame--sort of "boxless" cabinets. But that was just too much work.

The other option I might have considered was to put some sort of covered boxes up there to stash stuff in.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 10:12AM
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We remodeled our kitchen and had the contractor install cabinets above the existing cabinets, between the cabinets and the ceiling. they are great for little-used items , like my blender and crockpot.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 1:51PM
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We have almost thirty foot of top shelf storage in our walk in closet. We store out of season sports equiptment in their own sports bags along with our luggage up there. Most have smaller pieces of luggage inside of the larger ones. It's also a good idea if you don't have the space on the racks to store off season clothes in the luggage. A great way to store extra blankets and pillows is in the zipper bags bedding comes in. If you don't have those and are short on space there are always Space Bags. They even come in cubes now.

I may have misunderstood, but I thought you meant on the top shelf "inside" your kitchen cabinets. Am I wrong?

If I'm right, then I'd store your stemware and other seldom used or seasonal dinerware.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 5:23PM
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On the top shelves of the kitchen cabinets I would put things that aren't used that much. Seasonal dishes, platters. Even large pots that are only used once in a while.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 5:48PM
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Thanks everybody. I do not think I explained it very well. My kitchen cabinets do not have a top on them with extra space to the ceiling. Paneling goes all the way to the ceiling. The space above the top shelf in the cabinets is about 30" from the shelf to the ceiling, however, the space to access that area is only 12" X 17.5" for each cabinet. Around the top of the cabinet just below the ceiling is a board maybe 1"X3". I have thought about hanging hooks, but I don't know what I would hang from them that would not be used often. I would have to use a ladder to reach them. I have a wire type shelf that I put on the top shelf to hold bowls above the plates. I probably just made everything more confusing. All that wasted space bothers me since I need more storage. I appreciate your ideas.
Thanks, Lexi

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 7:48PM
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Lexi, it sounds like you have what would appear to be a bulkhead above your cabinets, but it's hollow and is accessable from the top shelf of your upper cabinets.

I know how you feel about unused space. We have a huge attic and it's driving me bonkers that we are not using it for storage at the very least. I finally did convince my hubby we need to utilize that space for the kids stuff we are storing for them, so he started to build up the joist to attach a floor to last fall. It got too cold then he worked a bit this spring, but ran out of time. I'm just waiting for cool enough weather now so he can finish it. I mean this could easily be a third floor it's so roomy. I'd be happy if all I had was your little problem. But I still understand and if I did this is what I'd do.....
Take off the paneling and add a top to the cabinets. Yes it would be open space, but if you buy cute baskets with lids to store seasonal table linens in it would look cute and you'd gain storage space. I have a couple wicker picnic baskets that would work great for this. I found them both at garage sales for very little money.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 9:31PM
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Justgotabme you explained it perfectly. That is a good idea. Thanks. I can not go that expensive route right now, but I could nail baskets to the back of the wall.

About the attic - be careful about how much weight you put up there. A friend of mine had it all come tumbling through her ceiling one day. They had gone to the expense of having a carpenter put a floor in the attic too. Good luck with your new project.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 9:54PM
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