I’m sure it’s no surprise to you, that most of the time, the internet shows immaculate, unrealistic pictures of homes with no clutter, toys, papers, nothing out on the kitchen counters or tables, no shoes spread out in the entryway, no messy closets etc… If we let ourselves be sucked in by these images and think they should be reality, it can makes us feel pretty sloppy, inadequate and inferior by comparison.
Notice the similarities in these pictures… not a toy, paper, dish, book or sock in sight!
For most of us, this scenario is unrealistic, and it should be really. We certainly don’t want our children growing up in a home where there is no “living” going on, or one where we can’t have some of our favorite things around us. I strive for a balance somewhere between “everything-in-its-place” and a “free-for-all.” I also want guests to be able to feel comfortable, and to relax in my home without feeling like either they can’t make footprints in the carpet, or that they’re in the middle of a zoo.
For many of us, especially with kids, our reality often looks like this:
But you know what, my family and I LIVE in our home, and we have toys, books, DVD’s, collections, pictures, knickknacks, started projects and puzzles, etc..
but I’ve also found there are lots of ways to store and organize our things, even in “plain site.” So I’m here to give you some ideas to keep the things you own and love, close by, but orderly.
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- Plastic or Canvas Bins are an organized person’s best friend! They can be used to store out of season clothing and shoes, seasonal decorations, bedding, linens and toys… and they come in all shapes, colors and sizes.
In My Hall Closet I’ve used plastic bins to store and organize shoes, winter hats and gloves, summer hats, pool goggles etc…
For my 11 year old son, these under bed storage bins work great for keeping his itty bitty Legos off the floor. These bins are easily found at home improvement stores, or stores like Walmart and Target.
2. Baskets of all shapes and sizes… tan, wicker or white – are so handy for corralling things big and small.
They make great storage in an office space.
I use larger baskets for pillows, and smaller baskets for…
library books, to hold file folders and mail.
3. For pretty and functional storage in your kitchen, you could use gorgeous bowls or glass jars.
Also in the kitchen, the refrigerator is an easy place to put lists, for easy viewing of things you need to see and be reminded of frequently.
I keep my Birthday and Anniversary Printable on the side of my refrigerator, all filled out, so I can quickly see the dates and not forget anyone!
4. Furniture with built in storage does double duty!
Like this DIY gorgeous coffee table from Thrifty & Chic
A silverware caddy can keep all of those remote controls within easy access.
Dressers naturally have lots of room for things, but you don’t have to just keep them in the bedrooms. They can also work in living rooms, kitchens and entryways to store things.
A dresser in the living room can keep DVD’s or books or toys out of site when you want them to be.
Ottomans make a nice piece of furniture that does double duty. No one knows that mine has linens in it!
5. Pretty binders/3 ring notebooks can hold all kinds of materials that you need to keep close at hand, like passwords, bills, medical records, etc… and these days they make so many pretty options, that they can practically be part of your decor.
6. Armoires to me, are a wonderful piece of furniture that deserve their own category. I’ve seen them used to hold so many different things besides clothing, like TV’s, craft supplies, homeschool materials, sewing stations, contained office space (desk), for dress up play clothes and even as a pantry.
My armoire in the living room used to hold our DVD collection behind closed doors.
7. Magazine holders are amazingly functional. You can use them in practically every room in the house as I showed in this post, for workbooks, file folders, clipboards and more, and they come in so many styles to fit your particular decor.
8. Decorative boxes can be used to store crayons, cd’s, office supplies etc… and they too come in all different styles to fit your decorating style.
Pretty boxes on a desk or table, or in a drawer make for pretty storage and organization.
9. Cube storage is something I’ve totally used in my home to the extreme. I’m sure my husband will never let me look at another piece of cube furniture, 😛 but they are incredibly efficient to store things.
Family Room Cubes
There are also endless options for baskets and bins to use in cube storage, just be sure when you are buying, that you measure your cubes, so you don’t end up getting baskets or bins that don’t fit (Been there done that).
10. Shoe and Clothing bags are another organizing must have! They are certainly not just for shoes.
I’ve used them to organize and store games (which are sort of in plain site).
To keep my daughters hair accessories available and un-jumbled, and also to hold cleaning supplies and small items in my pantry.
If I haven’t already made the case for these miracle organizers, they can also be used to sort: small toys, art or craft supplies, small clothing items, office supplies, shampoos, soaps, toothbrushes…
There you have it, 10 Ways to Store and Organize your stuff in plain site. 🙂