The IKEA Kallax is Your Tidy Home’s Best Friend

home organization ikea kallax

Today I’m trying out a new series of posts I’ll run from time to time on organization and life at home. This first post is dedicated to my friends out there (you know who you are) who have texted me before, determined to change their homes through organization. 

The craze lately with Marie Kondo and her new Netflix series Tidying Up makes me so happy. I, too, have a secret — I am an organizational nut. I wasn’t always this way; my evolution into an organizational superpower has resulted from moving every 2-3 years since college. When you move and purge as often as I do, you start to learn that a) we all have too much stuff and b) we don’t know where to put it. Today’s post is all about a powerful tool in home tidying that you need for your home: the IKEA Kallax shelf.

What is Kallax?
ikea kallax home organization
Our living room has 2 EXPEDIT (the older version of KALLAX) shelves mounted horizontally to serve as an “entertainment” center, which holds board games, DVDs, craft supplies and guest bedding.

The IKEA KALLAX is a no-frills shelf with cubed compartments. You can buy them in a variety of configurations and finishes, with the 8-cube, plain white finish costing $80. I like the 8-cube compartment because it’s easy to move around and can be mounted to the wall horizontally (like a buffet or entertainment center) or vertically (like a bookshelf). The larger versions are great if you have lots of wall space, and the smaller ones can double as a nightstand or even a bench under a window.

IKEA kallax home organization
LEGOs and clothing live side by side in our children’s bedroom on IKEA KALLAX shelves.

I first got hooked on the IKEA KALLAX when our kids were babies because, as any parent knows, with kids come STUFF. Those onesies and little shirts pile up! As they get bigger, so do their clothes. And oh, don’t even get me started on the toys. I still have nightmares where I have to claw my way out of a swimming pool filled with LEGOS.

Because of the mountains of toys, I loved the 8-cube KALLAX mounted vertically because when my kids were toddlers, I could store toys within their reach on the lower 4 cubed shelves. The upper 4 cubed shelves were great for keeping craft supplies and other items that need adult supervision.

KALLAX is Versatile
ikea kallax home organization
One wall of our living room is designated as the kids “playroom”, where we have 4 IKEA KALLAX shelves mounted vertically. The bottom 2 rows store toys; the upper 2 rows hold books.

But KALLAX isn’t just good for families and their playrooms. We have 11 (!) KALLAX shelves throughout our 4-bedroom apartment here in London. In case you’re keeping count, that’s 88 cubes’ worth of storage in total! These cubes hold everything from DVDs and guest bedding, which we store in KALLAX cubes in our living room to food photography props, which I store in my dining room. In other homes we’ve lived in, we’ve used KALLAX as a linen closet (when our house didn’t have one) and a dining room buffet (with some cubes dedicated for tasty adult beverages).

The IKEA KALLAX Is Better Than Bookshelves
ikea kallax wall
4 IKEA KALLAX shelves, with one mounted to the wall horizontally, in our kids’ bedroom for displaying LEGOS and storing clothing.

The advantage to having a KALLAX as opposed to a regular bookshelf is the depth. It’s 15 inches, whereas most bookshelves top out at around 12 inches. This extra 3 inches of shelf space translates into more storage space for items that aren’t books. For us, that means extra LEGO storage space in our kids’ bedroom (as shown above).

The great thing about KALLAX is that these little cubes are useful in any room. Plus, the shelves are easily removed, disassembled and transported to different places in your house depending on your needs. The footprint it takes up in any room is small, with the depth of each shelf measuring in at just over 15 inches. All you need is a little wall space.

So, are you ready to make an IKEA run?  Let’s do this!

Come back next week to see what storage bins I recommend for using in your IKEA KALLAX!

Looking for other home tips? Check out these posts:
Like this recommendation? Pin the image below for later!

ikea kallax

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About me

I’m Ann, a mom / wife / lawyer / certified culinary enthusiast. I share recipes, travel guides and home life tips while living overseas. Currently based in São Paulo, Brazil.

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