Image byAt Home with Ashley
While you can definitely double up on what you use certain spaces for, it’s critical that you have dedicated space for storage and organization. Even a small closet or a few shelves will do. We have two types of organization in our home – aesthetic organization and practical organization. Practical organization doesn’t have to be pretty. Nothing needs to be in matching bins or pretty baskets. Because we’re often sticking that practical organization behind a closet door our main priority is developing a system of organization that works for us. Everything that needs to be stored and organized in a particular place gets assigned a spot on a shelf where it always gets to go. That makes it easy when we’re picking up around the house because if everything has an assigned spot, there’s no throwing random shoes in random closets where the towels are supposed to be stored.
There are tons of home organization systems out there and while we take a little time to go full Mari Kondo on our homes in January, we use organizational time the rest of the year to keep up with whatever system we put in place.
Image by I Heart Naptime
When we are organizing a closet or pantry, we really like to use clear bins. Clear bins help us see what we have and we lose a lot less that way…and we buy a lot less because we can always see exactly what we have. While clear bins may not always fit the vibe of a space, we still recommend using them in a closet so you can always tell what is being stored. If clear containers aren’t your thing, give smaller, cute containers a try that have low enough sides that show you what’s being stored.
Image by Ultra Shelf
Open storage, while a little less practical, is some of our favorite storage. Because while we push for practicality behind closet doors, open storage has the freedom to be creative and cute. On our bathroom counter we use a fun, stone catchall to organize our face serums and perfumes. On the floating shelves in our bedroom we have a few small baskets and boxes that all store things like our family photos and important documents. We have baskets of blankets in the living room and a magazine holder full of sheet music next to the piano. On the kitchen counter we’ve got baskets for fruit and stonewear to hold utensils. We love collecting fun items that fit with the aesthetic of our home that double as storage.
As we organize in the new year, we like to think about practicality – even when it comes to this kind of organization. In a hanging basket near the front door we keep room sprays so that we can fire off a spritz before people come over so they walk into a yummy smell. We used to keep these little room sprays in the kitchen but it wasn’t practical for the only thing we used them for – tricking people into thinking we have it more together than we do – so we changed up the organization and storage so that they are safely out of reach of our toddler but in reach when we hear that knock on the door. It’s kind of a silly little anecdote, but it illustrates the point. You want to be storing your items as close to where you will use them as possible – which is what makes open storage so great.
When it comes to open shelving in general there is a level of aesthetics that goes into styling the shelf but there should also be an element of storage. After all, floating shelves are still shelves. If you want to store a lot on your shelves, make sure you’re ordering them deep enough. We recommend at least 9” deep for shelves that are going to store a lot of large items, and at least 11” deep in the kitchen. Use bins and baskets to store things on shelves, or small decorative storage pieces, but also don’t be afraid of using the thing you are storing as decor. We love books on floating shelves because they double as decor. But using books isn’t the only way to do this. We’ve seen everything from watering cans to fabric and sewing supplies on shelves displayed in a way that takes organization to the aesthetic level.
Image byInspired Home
Happy new year and happy organizing!
Maddison is a copywriter who has been working in the interior design and home improvement area for the last five years. From hands on projects to writing for your favorite HGTV home reno couples, Maddison has developed a deep love for a well-styled room with the perfect personal touch.