No. of Recommendations: 2

You wrote, Another possible store for you is the Container Store. There's one in Bellevue:

I love the place. ...

I certainly like The Container Store as well. I believe the first store was in Plano or Richardson, not too far from where I used to live. I've been there several times and still have a couple of items from them. I also think I know where the one is in Bellevue. It's in the Lincoln Square Town Center off of 8th St. I've already been shopping in that area a couple of times.

However, I've also looked online and I don't think it's worth visiting the store. They have lots of storage containers and hanging ... things. But their one and only storage solution offering is Elfa shelving. I bought and used a small amount of Elfa shelving in my house in the '80s and '90s. The lack of a solid, level shelf was extremely annoying - you couldn't put anything small on it or it might just fall through. Of course you could hang things through the wire - that was it's only saving grace. And since my application was in a laundry room, it worked out well enough that I never replaced it.

My new house had Elfa (actually it was an Elfa knock-off) shelving in the bedroom closets before the painter took it down. However on close inspection, we realized that all of the shelves were contaminated with some kind of dirty, tacky residue of an unknown origin. Manually cleaning the shelving was impractical - we could have just had more cut if that was the right solution. A pressure washing would have done the job; but I had to give away my $400 pressure washer before I moved because the movers said they wouldn't take equipment with gas or oil in it. So rather than try to clean up shelves I didn't really like anyway, we decided to try designing storage for the closets ourselves.

Ironically, I could probably slap up replacements for ALL of the previous owner's Elfa for a bit over $100 - less with the Elfa knock-off stuff. That would give us a place to put stuff at least. I believe the previous owner only had like 3 walls covered in the master bedroom and 2 walls in the guest with only one shelf per wall. Either they didn't need the storage or they were intimidated by the cost or complexity of the job.

BTW, I actually don't know if a previous owner or the builder put that shelving in. I'm the 3rd owner of record, so it's possible the previous owners never changed it. But I've never seen a builder use Elfa-type shelving in a home before. So I have to wonder if this was original and if not, what was in here originally? Anything? After all, if you're replacing a storage system, the normal impulse is to put in MORE.

FWIW, we have a white Martha Stewart Living closet starter kit that's supposed to be delivered Friday for the guest bedroom. That should at least cover one wall in that closet. (I actually think if we buy a few additional parts, we might be able to fill out the entire closet with it.) Once we have that in, it should relieve some of the pressure we have to be able to hang and/or store things. Right now all we have to work with is one hanger hooked over the master bedroom door, two clothes baskets, a dressing table and drawers, a gentleman's chest and a couple of suitcases. We still have wardrobe boxes down in the garage we've yet to unpack...

- Joel
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