Get the Right Size Shelves, Bookcases and Storage

Stepped bookcase under a sloped ceiling

If you’re looking to buy new shelves, bookcases or other forms of storage for your home, making sure you’ve got the right sized space available is crucial.

Here are some tips and advice on measuring up, so you don’t find yourself faced with new shelves or bookcases that don’t fit!

Installing new shelves, bookcases and storage solutions into your home can significantly help with the battle against clutter and make the rooms of your house seem more streamlined and organised.

Bookcases, shelves and other storage options are applicable to many areas of the home – the lounge, kitchen, bedrooms, study or office and even the garage, which may serve as an additional storage space.

These days there are so many storage and shelving options available, from modern and retro, to classic and traditional, as well as plenty of fun and unique options for brightening up tired looking children’s rooms.

There’s also usually something for all budgets too and if you’re on a tight budget, you can even customise your own storage solutions to get the look you want, without a huge price tag.

Even if you’re living in small studio, flat or house, you can still squeeze in some storage solutions and take advantage of the space you’ve got available. Baskets can fit into small spaces and be used to tidy up toys, whereas cube-style boxes can double up as extra seats in the lounge, to increase their practicality.

Measuring Up

In the first instance, and especially if you’re wanting to install new shelves and bookcases, it’s essential that you work out where you’d like to put them and find out exactly how much space you’ve got available.

The best way to do this is to get out your trusty tape measure and get measuring the height, width and depth of space available!

When you’re measuring:

  • Use a metal tape, rather than a fabric tape measure, as they’re much more rigid and more likely to produce accurate measurements.
  • If you’re not exactly sure if you’ve measured everything correctly, do it again and double-check.
  • Avoid rounding off any measurements – even something as tiny as a few millimetres can make all the difference when it comes to making something fit correctly.
  • Clearly write down each of the measurements as you take them – it’s very easy to forget them if you don’t!
  • It may help to roughly sketch out a diagram of the room in question and the area where you’d like the bookcases or shelves to go. Write in the measurements into the appropriate points as you go along.

Whilst getting accurate measurements is essential for bookcases and shelves, where they need to fit in properly, you may have a bit more flexibility available with other storage solutions. If you’re aiming to buy smaller boxes, baskets or cubes, they can fit in much smaller spaces and even be moved around the house if you fancy a change of scene. If you’ve got a tight space to fill, though, then it would be recommended that you take measurements to get an accurate idea of the exact space available.

Don’t forget to take all your measurements with you when you go shopping for bookcases, shelves and storage solutions.

Shops should provide details of the key measurements of products that they’re selling, but if you’re in any doubt either ask a shop assistant or go armed with your tape measure so you can take a few quick measurements yourself.

Shops should be fine about you doing this, as it’s in their best interests to be able to sell a product that fits your needs perfectly.

Having new furniture in a room can brighten it up and bring it to life, as well as help organise books, CDs, ornaments and clutter, so why not have a look at how your home could benefit from new shelves, bookcases or storage options?

Pair of leaning ladder shelves

Shelving Solutions

Storage ideas for your home, from practical bookcases to designer shelving units.