Why You Need Shelf Liner + Cleaning & Organizing Hacks

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Duck Brand Easy Liner. All opinions are 100% mine.

Why You Need Shelf Liner + Cleaning & Organizing Hacks Best Children's Lighting & Home Decor Online Store

If you’ve ever asked if it’s really necessary or worth the time to use shelf or drawer liners, you’re not alone. I’ve wondered the same over the years, and I’ve sometimes skipped this important step, only to go back and redo it later. Since it’s a common question, I thought it would be helpful to share why you need shelf and drawer liner. And since we all love cleaning and organizing hacks, I’ll also show you some other creative ways to use it.

clear shelf liner and scissors on blue background
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I love to organize and I’m a firm believer that when you take a little extra time up front, you end up with far better results in the long run. In my guide, 10 Steps to Get Organized and Stay Organized, I talk about the importance of completely clearing out a space before you organize. Not only is it helpful to start with a clean, blank slate before organizing a space – it’s also important to take a few extra minutes to line your cabinets, shelves, and drawers to keep them clean and nice for the long haul.

Do You Really Need Shelf & Drawer Liner?

  1. Protect Cabinets and Shelves from Moisture and Stains – Shelf liner is designed to keep surfaces clean and dry, protecting them from moisture and stains.
  2. Make Clean Up Easier – Dust, crumbs, leaks, and spills are inevitable, especially under the sink, in the pantry, and in the fridge. A removable and wipeable shelf liner makes clean up quicker and easier.
  3. Give Shelves and Drawers a Fresh Start – It’s smart to protect your shelves and drawers with liner right from the start, but when you’re not the first to own your home, there may already be years of yuck left behind. Adding shelf and drawer liner can cover up anything that can’t be cleaned, giving you a fresh start in the space.
  4. Keep Drawer Organizers In Place – In addition to protecting the bottom or your drawers, a textured drawer liner also helps to keep drawer organizers in place so they don’t slide around each time you open and close the drawer.
  5. Protect Painted Furniture – Whether it’s a piece you spent hours DIYing, or a special piece you purchased, painted furniture deserves a little extra care to prevent any chips or scratches. Lining the shelves and drawers will protect your investment of time and/or money.
  6. Protect Shelves From Scratches – I always recommend using baskets and bins to keep shelves organized all throughout the house, but both plastic bins and baskets made from natural materials can scratch your shelves over time. Lining each shelf before you get organized will protect your shelves for years to come.
  7. Add Style to Dresser Drawers – Lining dresser drawers provides a nice, clean surface for your clothes while a little dash of style. I prefer a cushioned, non-adhesive grip drawer liner, like Fabric Topped Easy Liner® that can removed and washed in the washing machine.
  8. Add a solid surface to wire shelving – Wire shelving is economical and durable, but they also allow dirt and dust to fall through, and in the bedroom and linen closets they can snag fabrics or leave unsightly bumps. Lining wire shelving keeps things cleaner and provides a nice solid surface to protect clothes.
  9. Protect Your Security Deposit – If you’re a renter, adding non-adhesive shelf liner is a great way to protect your security deposit by ensuring you’ll leave the kitchen and bathroom cabinets in great shape.
three rolls of Duck Brand easy shelf liner
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19 Ways to Use Shelf & Drawer Liner All Around the House

Shelf and drawer liner – as the name implies – is great for lining shelves and drawers. But that’s not all! In fact, I’ve created a list of 19 different ways I use it all around my house, from cleaning and organizing hacks to simple DIY decor.

#1 Cabinet & Pantry Shelves

Lining cabinet shelves keeps them clean and dry. In your dish cabinets, shelf liner protects the shelves from nicks and scratches, and in the pantry shelf liner keeps shelves free of stains from food leaks and spills. [More kitchen and pantry organizing ideas]

Shelf liner under teal and blue striped drinking glasses

I prefer to store my glasses upside down to keep them dust free, but once in a while they have a little bit of moisture in them after they’ve been washed. The texture of the Clear Classic® Easy Liner® not only protects my shelves from moisture, it also allows air to circulate so the glasses dry properly.

#2 Under the Sink

Adding shelf liner below bathroom and kitchen sinks protects your cabinets from water drips as well as spills from cleaners. [More Tips: organize under the kitchen sink | organize a small powder room cabinet | organize under a master bathroom sink]

Shelf liner on bottom of cabinet under bathroom sink

#3 Fridge And Freezer Shelves

The fridge and freezer get messy – and the spills always seem to be sticky! Lining the shelves, drawers, and bins on the doors make clean up much easier. You can simply lift out the liner, wipe it clean, and put it back in place for a fresh start. As an added bonus – the Clear Classic Easy Liner is dishwasher safe!

Shelf liner in fridge door bins

#4 Beneath Drawer Dividers

Adding drawer liner in the kitchen keeps drawers clean and protects them from nicks and scratches. I used to think that drawer liners weren’t necessary when using drawer dividers, but I recently discovered that a textured liner – like the Clear Classic – actually prevents drawer dividers from sliding around as you open and close the drawers. [More drawer organizing tips]

clear shelf liner below kitchen drawer organizing bins

#5 Protect Dishes & Pans

Our every day dinner dishes are pretty durable and inexpensive, but I have a few sets of nicer dishes that we use when we entertain. Rather than purchasing expensive plate protectors, I prefer to cut squares of Select Grip Easy Liner to create DIY plate dividers to keep my nicer dishware from chipping and scratching.

shelf liner between stack of blue and white salad plates

This Select Grip Easy Liner also provides a great layer of protection between you non-stick pots and pans.

#6 Under Garbage and Recycling Cans

I love my pull out trash and recycling bins that keep the garbage tucked out of site, but when things inevitably get messy, it’s really hard to reach to the back of the cabinet to clean it up {as you can see in the left photo}. To make clean up easier in the future, I cut a piece of Clear Classic liner to fit the base of this cabinet. Next time something gets spilled, it will be much easier to slide the liner out, clean it, and slide it back in place.

Cutting clear shelf liner to go under trash and recycling cans

#7 Protect the Table From Kids Art

My kids every type of crayon and colored pencil under the sun, yet they still prefer drawing with markers. They are pretty responsible, and know that they can’t use markers without putting something under their paper to protect the kitchen table – but usually that just means stacking up more paper below, which can be wasteful.

Little boy drawing at kitchen table with rolling art cart next to him

For a reusable alternative, I cut a few pieces of Clear Classic Easy Liner for the kids to use under their art projects. With the smooth side up, the clear liner creates a perfect drawing surface that protects my table from marker bleed-through.

Clear shelf liner under kids art with sharpie marker

#8 Easy to Clean Place Mats

The pieces of clear plastic liner that I cut for the kids to use under their art fit perfectly in the kitchen drawer with my fabric place mats – which made me realize that these could also be sued as easy to clean place mats.

shelf liner cut to size of placemats in placemat drawer

#9 Under Dog Bowls

A piece of Clear Classic Easy Liner under pet food and water bowls protects wood floors and makes cleaning up spills quick and easy. The texture of this liner also keeps the bowls securely in place so they don’t slide around as your furry friend eats.

non-adhesive clear shelf liner under dog bowls

#10 Shoe and Boot Shelves

When we redesigned our coat closet a few years ago, I added a couple of shelves where we keep our snow boots tucked out of the way below our coats. Lining the shelves with Clear Classic shelf liner keeps the them clean and dry, even when our boots aren’t. [More tips: how to organize a small coat closet | ideas for organizing a larger coat closet]

shelf liner under boots on coat closet shelves

#11 Protect Painted Furniture

Whether it’s a piece you spent hours DIYing, or a special piece you purchased, painted furniture deserves a little extra care.

Black and white striped cabinet with shelf liner in drawers

Lining the drawers and shelves will protect the paint and prevent any nicks and scratches. Be sure to choose a non-adhesive liner, like the Clear Classic, as adhesive liners may end up doing more damage to your painted furniture.

non-adhesive shelf liner in painted drawer
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#12 Protect Shelves from Scratches Caused by Bins & Baskets

I always recommend using baskets and bins to organize on shelves, but sliding those bins on and off the shelves over and over can cause scratches. Spending just a few extra minutes to line each shelf before you start organizing will protect your shelves and keep you furniture looking nice for years to come.

Shelf liner under acrylic bins on shelves

#13 Cover Wire Shelves

Wire shelving is popular in the garage, pantry, and closet because it’s durable and economical, but it also has it’s downsides. Wire shelving allows dirt, dust and small items to fall through from one shelf to the next, and it’s very hard to clean, especially if you’re dealing with a sticky or greasy substance like food, detergent, or motor oil.

Elfa shelving in garage with matching white storage bins
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[More Tips: How to Install Garage Shelves & Drawers | Brilliant Garage Organizing Ideas]

In bedroom and linen closets, wire shelves also provide additional challenges, including potentially snagging clothes and blankets, as well as leaving ridges in the clothes folded at the bottom on the stack.

Adding plastic liner – like Clear Classic Easy Liner – gives your wire shelving a clean, solid surface that prevents small items from falling through and is easy to clean. Or for an even more upgraded look, line the wire shelves in your closets with the fabric topped shelf liner shown in #14, below.

clear shelf liner on wire shelves

#14 Style & Function in Dresser Drawers

Adding shelf liner to your dresser drawers provides a nice, clean surface for your clothes, and it also provides an opportunity to add a little dash of style. As I talk about in 10 Steps to Get Organized and Stay Organized, adding pretty touches can provide great motivation to keep your space organized.

dresser drawer lined with gray and white striped fabric shelf liner

This striped Fabric Topped Easy Liner® {which also comes in other patterns} is perfect for lining dresser drawers because it provides a clean, cushioned surface for you clothes and it’s machine washable! It’s very easy to cut to the exact size you need, and the gripper back keeps it securely in place until you’re ready to remove it.

#15 Custom Jewelry Tray

I love the striped, cushiony Fabric Topped liner so much that I found a few other places to use it as well. I cut a piece to fit in my acrylic tray, and it makes the perfect place to put my jewelry at the end of the night.

Jewelry tray with gray and white striped fabric shelf liner
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#16 Coffee Table Tray Instead of Coasters

The fact that this Fabric Topped liner is washable makes it so versatile. The same acrylic tray, lined with the premium cushion striped liner makes a super stylish and functional tray for the coffee table that replaces the need for coasters.

Coffee table tray with fabric-line, washable shelf liner

#17 Stop Things From Sliding

Any time you need to stop something from slipping, Select Grip Easy Liner is a great solution.

Laundry room with DIY wood countertop

When we created an inexpensive, DIY countertop in our laundry room, we added a layer of non-slip, grip shelf liner between the machines and the counter. This allows the countertop board to shift and move as the washer and dryer wiggle and jiggle their way through the cycles, without ever sliding out of place.

shelf liner under laundry room countertop to stop it from sliding

When our boys were babies, I used a changing tray on top of a chest of drawers, rather than buying a dedicated changing table. A layer of Select Grip Easy Liner kept the changing tray firmly in place {even with a wiggly baby}, and when our boys outgrew diapers, it allowed us to easily move the changing tray with no damage to the dresser.

A Couple More Creative Uses…

Over time, I’ve come to prefer non-adhesive shelf liners – like the Clear Classic Easy Liner and the Fabric Topped Easy Liner – for my shelves and drawers, but adhesive liners come in lots of pretty patterns and can be used in a variety of creative ways. Here are two examples:

#18 Line the Walls Instead of the Shelves

In my pantry, I used adhesive shelf liner in a fun pattern to line the back wall between the shelves. Used as faux-wallpaper, the adhesive shelf liner was easy to measure, cut and install, but can also be swapped out quickly if I want a different look in the future. [Tips: How to Organize a Small Reach-In Pantry | Creative Pantry Organizing Hacks]

Why You Need Shelf Liner + Cleaning & Organizing Hacks Best Children's Lighting & Home Decor Online Store

#19 Upgrade Open Shelving

When I added open shelving above the toiled in our master bathroom water closet, I gave the shelves a quick style upgrade by wrapping them in adhesive contact paper. This is an easy and inexpensive way to add a custom look to any space with open shelving. [Easy DIY Shelf Tutorial.]

shelf wrapped in marble shelf paper
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I’d love to hear what other ways you use shelf liner around your house and beyond. Leave a comment with your tips and ideas!

collage of creative ways to use shelf liner for cleaning, organizing and decor

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