10 Ways to Store and Organize in Plain Sight
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.
- 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.
Daughter’s room cube storage with bins and baskets
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
Coffee tables with drawers or shelves underneath are so functional.
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. 🙂
These are great ideas! I’m trying to remind myself that if I have less stuff, I won’t have to spend so much time organizing! I’ve found some great baskets and other organizers at Ikea!
I so agree, having less stuff is key! 🙂
Wow, lots of great ideas here! Nice post! 🙂
Thank you so much, so glad it’s helpful! 🙂
These are my organizational goals!
The perfection or completre chaos trap is totally me. It is all or none! Right now, I am working on just haveing less stuff!
Less stuff is a good place to start for sure! 🙂
I’m actually in the process of switching a lot of our storage/lack of storage to cubes and baskets. It just seems to make so much more sense in my little house! Thanks for all the other ideas. #Titus2Tuesday
They sure can hold a lot of things! 🙂
Now this is exactly the kind of organization I love. Realistic and simple, but so effective. Baskets are a moms best friend 🙂 I have learned it does take a lot of repeated training to get my girls to actually put their small toys away in the bins though!
I’m all about realistic and simple! 🙂
I love baskets and bins but I have one problem, getting my little people to make use of them. If I have a basket for gloves, the gloves get piled beside the basket or the gloves go in the basket along with the hats and scarves which are supposed to go in their own tote.
That’s a common problem with children for sure! 🙂
Love each of these ideas! Thanks so much for sharing this post!
Thank you! Baskets and bins are my favorites! 🙂
I think one of the great things about baskets and cubes is the ability to stuff a bunch of stuff in one when you’re trying to clean up quickly for unexpected company! 🙂 Blessings, Janet
These are great ideas! I hate visual clutter so I’m pinning this to save for future reference
Love these ideas! Going to share on facebook this week.
Wow. What great ideas. Looking forward to getting more organized!
Hello fellow cubist. I have an entire wall of cubes.I got a sturdy old desk that I painted white to match the cubes (my office loI). On the desk is another 3 cube unit. It ties the whole wall together. Have them stacked 3 high.My TV is on the top.The back of the unit is a cord nightmare. These units hold cable box, phone, stereo and printer, as well a lifetime of treasures. I am so pleased with the project. I am in an apartment and space is precious.Next is my bedroom. A decorative divining wall of cubes to close in a small area for crafts. You dear lady have given me some fab ideas to do it with style, and I thank you. Best wishes to you! Your ideas are treasure finders and treasure keepers. Barb K
Thank you for kind words, and I’m so glad you find their extreme usefulness as well! 🙂 🙂