10 Beautiful Ways To Hide Your Cluttered Shelves

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As everyone knows, clutter is never a good thing. A mess of items can cause you to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and less productive. If you have clutter in the bedroom, this could be one reason why you toss and turn all night. Additionally, if you find it hard to focus on the task at hand, your disorganized shelves may be to blame. And, of course, a messy home doesn't leave the best impression on guests, which may cause you to socialize less or feel embarrassed about your living space.

While it's typically best to attack the root cause and declutter your possessions, sometimes this isn't possible. Maybe you have a large collection of knick-knacks you're not ready to part with, or perhaps your bookcase is orderly but it still adds too much visual clutter to the room. If so, there are 10 ways to modify your shelves so that the clutter is hidden, which will contribute to creating a peaceful environment in your home.

1. Add sliding doors

Adding sliding doors to your bookshelves will allow you to easily cover up the clutter without making anything less accessible. The benefit of using sliding doors over swinging ones is that, even if your bookcase is in a really tight area of your home, you can still use the doors without taking up any extra square footage in the room. 

2. Attach swinging doors

While sliding doors are a great option, perhaps you'd rather use swinging ones, which could also be used to hide away a messy desk area. These come with the added benefit that you can also store additional items on the inside of the doors, so that all your clutter can be tucked away in one place out of sight. 

3. Suspend long curtains

An easy way to cover up messy shelves is by hanging a curtain across them. This could be done just like you would do with curtains in front of a window, by hanging a rod above the shelves. Another alternative is attaching the rod to the top of the shelving unit, which would only cover up the clutter and not any of the space above the shelves. 

4. Use both open and closed storage

Choosing a shelving unit that has both open and closed storage is a great way to make sure your shelves don't look disorderly. You can tuck away most of your items into the cabinet portion of the piece so that they're out of sight while also displaying some of your possessions on the open shelves as well. 

5. Arrange a folding screen wall

If you need to hide a large wall of messy shelves, simply place a folding screen wall in front of it. This will separate your living space from your storage space and streamline the design of your room. This is also a great solution to use when entertaining guests, as you can easily erect the screen wall when people are over and then take it down afterward. 

6. Install barn doors

Barn doors are sliding doors that have a more decorative appearance. These farmhouse-style doors typically have metal fixtures and a crisscrossing pattern on the front that looks like an "X". For most of these pieces of furniture, the doors slide to either hide the shelves in the middle or on the sides, which allows you to have both closed and open storage in one small piece of furniture. 

7. Make cabinet curtains

While you could cover an entire wall of shelves with curtains, another solution is to use cafe curtains below countertops to cover up low shelving in the kitchen, at a wet bar, or on a bookshelf. To make these, you'll need to cut your fabric to size so that it falls right to the top of the floor, then sew a pocket for the curtain rod and attach the material, allowing it to bunch up at the top.

8. Place items in baskets

A simple way to make your disorganized shelves appear more streamlined is by placing items inside baskets. A huge benefit of this solution is that it's extremely easy to execute since you just need to place your items inside bins. It also allows you to group like possessions into different baskets, which you can label to make everything easy to find. 

9. Include window shades

While fabric window shades are typically used on windows, they could also be used to hide items on shelves. Just install the shade at the top of your bookcase the same way you would at the top of your window, and when you want to hide the clutter, simply pull it down to the floor. This will keep all your possessions easily accessible, as you can just lift the shade when you need to retrieve something. 

10. Hang artwork on shelves

If you want to hide clutter on your shelf, place the items inside a bin and then lean a framed piece of artwork in front of it. Another alternative is to hang a large piece of art on the center of your bookshelf with the help of a self-adhesive wall hook (like those from the Command Brand), which will distract from the jumble of items behind it.