I have a question for Heather and DSC readers! Moving to a new apartment – yay! – and contemplating kitchen storage/decor. There are a decent amount of cabinets, and also two or three open shelves. I’ve never really had open shelves in a kitchen. What do I put there? How do I keep it from looking messy? Any tips or pix are very much appreciated. -Amy G

It’s been awhile since we had a reader question! Time for all you brilliant dollar store organizers to weigh in. This question was found at the Dollar Store Crafts Facebook page, and we already got some good advice there:

Chris B.: There are a ton of baskets at my Dollar Tree in all shapes, colors and sizes. Mix baskets with knick knacks, art and utensils. Use the baskets for smaller items like flatware or measuring cups. You can also spray paint them if you can’t find them in colors you like.

Amy G: Any tricks to spray-painting the wicker kind?

Chris B.: Use lots of light coats of paint letting them dry for 15 minutes between coats. Also spray from every direction so you make sure it is completely covered.

Carrie H.: You could also glue small chalkboards to the front of the baskets and write on them so you would know what is in them.

Heather’s Ideas:

I have always wanted to paint the back wall of some open display shelving a contrasting color, so that’s my idea for a fun detail in a kitchen like yours. Use the open shelving to display dishes or other kitchen items you really like, or go outside the box and display other items you love but might not be natives to the kitchen (such as books, oversized letters, or vintage toys).

How about you? What would you do with Amy’s new kitchen, and how would you keep the open shelving from looking too messy?

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*Image by Hannah at Made With Love By Hannah; kitchen rug project