Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

We interupt this regularly scheduled post...

The Hubster has a lot of books. Maybe not as many as some, and certainly not as many as his dream library would hold, but he still has close to 1000 books. Maybe more. And we are trying to figure out a place for him to put them all where he will have access to them when he wants to read them instead of having them stored in boxes.

We did find a solid oak entertainment center on Craigslist several months ago that we have in the workout room to be used as a bookshelf. Several weeks ago, I cut extra shelves to put in the cubby areas of the unit, so the space for books within the unit was tripled. However, there's a little space to the right side of the bookshelf that's empty. A space that could ideally hold a lot of books. The area is only about 12" deep from the edge of the bookcase to the wall but almost 3' from the back wall to the edge of the door, so we'd really like to utilize that space.

We considered several different options like: hanging shelves on the wall to accommodate more books, just stacking books back in the empty space between the wall and the bookshelf and maybe adding a skinny tower bookcase in the empty space leading up to the door, or we could just use it to store the vacuum cleaner or something. However, we came up with a different solution.

Last year, when we were thinking that we were going the route of shelves on the wall, we got some solid oak shelves that were not quite 3' long and 12" wide on Craigslist for $5 each. We wouldn't have been able to have gotten those laminated shelves they sell at the home improvement stores for that price, and they would warp anyway. So they were a good price, and we picked up some for this project and a few others for me to use in my craft area.

However, we realized that putting the shelving on the wall wasn't ideal. First of all, we didn't want to hang the shelves without studs, but the area is so narrow that there would only be one stud we could use for shelf supports. The other would be hung on drywall with drywall anchors, and there would be a chance of the shelves being heavy enough after we added the books, that they would pull the brackets out of the walls. So we weren't willing to take that chance.

We recently came up with a solution that we think is perfect.

We bought a couple of 6' long 1"x10" pine shelves, some heavy duty casters that can take some weight and still roll freely, and a metal handle that can fold out of the way. We will be making a bookcase that we can roll back into the empty space between the wall and the edge of the bookcase. It will have a handle to make it easy to pull it out to access the books toward the back, and the handle will fold out of the way, so it's not sticking out for us to bump into.

Today, I got the shelves cut down to the appropriate size, since they were just a couple of inches too long and too wide. The top and bottom will be fixed, and we'll likely have one fixed shelf toward the middle of the bookcase, but the rest will be adjustable. The problem was trying to get the holes to line up so the shelves would be level. They would not only have to line up front to back but also side to side.

I knew there had to be some sort of a jig or template to drill holes for this type of situation, but they were definitely worth more than we wanted to pay. Today, I found the perfect solution, and it didn't cost a thing. I was able to clamp a piece of pegboard tightly onto each piece of the pine shelves and drilled rows of holes that will be perfectly level from front to back on each piece and from side to side when they're assembled to hold the adjustable shelves.

We've really had a problem remembering to keep both batteries for the drill charged, so we can use them for bigger projects. And you wouldn't think this would be a big project, but it was. One battery was completely charged, and the other had about half it's charge left. We were barely able to drill all of the holes before both batteries were dead. So we're charging the batteries tonight, so we have them available for putting the thing completely together in the next few days. I'll post pictures when we're done with it.

Right now, I'm going to bed. I should have been asleep hours ago, but poor Scooter woke up with gastrointestinal difficulties that resulted in needing her needing showered, her clothes bleached and her bed stripped of all bedding. The worst load of laundry has been finished, but thankfully the other 2 can wait until tomorrow.


  1. Sounds like a great solution!

    Hope Scooter feels better today!

  2. ingenious solution! what a great plan .Hope Scooter feels better soon

  3. I love books! I love book shelves! It looks like we have a lot in common, except for how we say "suite". If it is a large hotel room with a kitchen, living area, etc., I say "sweet". You say "suit"? I know you were talking about bedrooms. I guess I say "bedroom suit". Oh, I don't know what I say. I probably just say bed, nightstands and dressers. Have I really driven you crazy now? Sorry! :(


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