Gliding Your Way to an Organized Home

Contributing Writer

Do you have nightmares of that plastic container shelf in your kitchen cabinet? Can you never find the exact one you’re looking for as you plunge your hands into the dark depths and various mismatched pieces come falling onto the floor? Or you can find the bowl, but never the matching top?

Charlie Robbins.

Charlie Robbins.

Do you find yourself waking up in a cold sweat, muttering, “It was that last takeout from Cracker Barrel. Two days ago! Where could it have disappeared to in two days?”

What can you do? You can pop another Ambien and go back to sleep. You can resolve that this weekend—Saturday at the earliest, or certainly by Sunday – you’ll clean out that shelf and organize it.

Or you can call Shelf Genie of Kentucky, turn the whole job over to a professional and never have another Tupperware nightmare.

As we told you a couple of weeks ago (“Spring Cleaning Tips from a Pro”), the first step to getting ready for spring cleaning is to pull everything out, de-clutter and organize before you can thoroughly clean, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Getting to the backs of shelves, cabinets, linen closets and pantries allows you to clean up dirty corners and spills you hadn’t been able to see before. It also allows you to find that can of glazed carrots you thought was gone forever. Or to see that you have five cans of the same tomato soup. Or that you have six identical sets of measuring spoons.

But then you have to confront the fact that – even with the thorough cleaning and dealing with the redundancies – your efforts to put everything back neatly and well-organized will last about three weeks, just like the last four times you did it.

Charlie Robbins, owner of Shelf Genie of Kentucky, promises you he can make this the last time you have to organize. The product he makes is a pull-out shelf – the company calls them “glide-outs” – that will guarantee you’ll never have to remember what’s packed away in the very rear.

“One of the reasons for all that shelf and drawer clutter is that people run out of room because of all those items in the back that just stay there, taking up space, because people didn’t remember they were there,” Robbins says. “One of our marketing tag lines is: More Space, Easier Access, Better Organization.”

Shelf Genie starts by removing existing shelves, measuring the height of new shelves the homeowner desires, and installing flat pieces of wood in those positions. On top of those new shelves go the railings – industrial-quality, self-lubricating metal strips with ball bearings – and then the glide-outs are attached.

“An important thing to remember is that our metal gliders are not the thin, low-grade runners so many pull-out drawers and shelves come with, the ones that easily get bent or misshaped,” Robbins says. “These industrial grade gliders have lifetime guarantees.”

The glide-outs themselves come with raised wooden rims around them (Robbins calls them “walls”) that are two and one-half, five or seven inches high, depending on what the shelf is being used for: silverware at the low end, cereal boxes or two-liter soda bottles at the high end. The walls keep the products inside from falling over or off.

There are also nine and 11-inch applications, but Robbins says these are mostly for file cabinets.

Though the glide-outs pull out to their full extension, so homeowners can easily see and reach the very rear of the shelf, they’re guaranteed to hold up to 100 pounds.

While the kitchen comes in for the bulk of the work, Robbins says he has installed glide-outs in bathroom vanities and linen closets, laundry rooms, garages – anywhere, actually, where there’s a cabinet or set of shelves.

“They may seem like a luxury,” he says, “but I’ve seen where they’re absolute necessities – for the elderly, who have trouble bending, reaching or pulling a heavy item from the back. Also the handicapped, amputees and the wheelchair-bound.”

There are three lines of glide-outs – Basic, Classic and Designer – and any number of custom configurations, but Robbins says a typical cost for four glide-outs is $800-$1,200, including installation and warranty. He says 70-80 percent of his installations are in the mid-priced Classic line. He also offers a free consultation.

There are five ways to reach him: phone or text him at 502.794.0794; email him at crobbins@shelfgenie.com; go to the web site, shelfgenie.com/Kentucky; or to his Facebook page, ShelfGenie of Kentucky.