How to Rock the Basic Cube Shelves

Ah, the humble cube shelving unit. Do you have a cube organizer that isn’t working for you? I’m going to show you how to rock the basic cube organizer, commonly found at stores like IKEA, Target and higher end stores alike.

How to style basic cube organizer shelves


To be honest, these shelves can be a little intimidating. You might find yourself throwing lots of little things, like office supplies, in the cubby holes, just because you can.

The three main tricks to using this type of cube shelves to their full potential:

  1. Give each section a definite purpose. You might even label the front or inside shelf, if that helps you to remember what goes there.
  2. Add bins and baskets to help you use all of the space, make things easier to get to, and give a cohesive, organized look.
  3. Adults, put the things you use less often on the bottom, and the things you use more often towards the top. If the unit is for kids, put the things they use most often on the bottom.

You can see all of these tips in use in this cube bookshelf, which happens to sit in a home office.

How to use a basic cube organizer shelves in a home office


You’ll notice that this isn’t perfectly styled. Why not? Well, these cube shelves are workhorses, which means they are a great place to put things that need to be up and off the floor. But for people who are mostly “out of sight, out of mind,” putting everything in pretty bins would essentially make stuff just disappear, and not in a good way.

So, we balance form and function. First, it has to work. Then, we can make it pretty, or prettier.

And there’s nothing pretty about piles on the floor.  😉   Just sayin’.

Once you have your cube shelves arranged with a function and reason for each small cube, and once you’ve gotten stuff off the floor, add a touch of your personal style to gather and hide smaller items, like the tape, shipping labels and large envelopes, stationery and cards that we’re hiding in this unit in these cube bins from Target.

cube shelves organized

The top of this unit has plenty of room to show off family photos and decorative items.

Click to see how I’ve styled a larger cube shelving unit in this office makeover.

home office cube shelving organizer

There’s also this office makeover with the IKEA cube shelves.

home office with IKEA cube organizer shelves

What do you think about these cube shelves now? Ready to take another shot at making your cube organizers really work for you?