Do you have an old bookcase in your house? Perhaps it’s stuffed with books, papers & magazines. Perhaps it’s empty, or maybe it’s so full of “shtuff” that you’ve forgotten that it’s even a bookcase!

A bookcase can be a handy and creative piece of furniture … if you let it. Sure, you can fill it up with books and magazines, but how about a few of these ideas to get your bookcase glowing with creativity:

1. Use a few of the arm-level shelves as a place to put your keys & wallet/purse when you first come in the front door. Then, on the shelves just above that, put some framed pictures that make you feel good when you look at them.

2. “Things” in your home that DON’T have a home — can they be beautifully displayed? How about on your new “display-shelf?” A bookcase serves as a great place to show off things that would otherwise not have a place to “live”. Although having too much shtuff is never a good idea, displaying a few meaningful items on an otherwise bland bookcase can turn your room into a much warmer place.

3. Baskets! Baskets! Baskets! Do you have some “ugly” but useful things that clutter up your living room, office or wherever? Get some cool-looking baskets that fit nicely into your bookshelf and fill them up with things like blankets, remote controls, toys, workout equipment, loose papers and more. Use your imagination, and you can pretty much think of anything ugly that needs hidden! One of my favorite things to do is to get baskets that contrast in color to the bookshelf (e.g. black baskets in a white bookshelf).

4. Mix it up! Use each of the shelves for something different for an eclectic look. Try a treasure chest on the bottom, a few books stacked neatly in the middle on the second shelf, some black & white framed photos on the third and some baskets holding “ugly” (or pretty) stuff on the fourth, and so on. You get the picture. The key here is that really NOTHING is off limits. Anything can be made to look great if you get those creative juices flowing.

Bookcases are a great way to store or show off your cherished shtuff. So here’s to taking advantage of that beautiful piece of furniture today! I’d also love to hear your comments about the unique ways you’ve used your bookcase.

Author's Bio: 

Jen Burmeister is a simplicity coach, freelance writer and soon-to-be-mommy in Troy, Michigan. To read more articles like this or find out how Jen can help you further, visit: