Jan 10, 2012

De-clutter now for a more organized 2012.

We all have 'things' that we need on a weekly - often daily - basis. They're functional but oh so unattractive.  How to hide them is always a creative challenge. Try these tips.

1. Charging station:  Charging phones, I-pods and the like is a must! If you can hide the cords and chargers,  it will neaten your space. Many console tables and nightstands have power outlets behind them. If they have a drawer, drill a small hole in the back and mount a power strip inside the drawer. Run the power cord through the hole to the outlet. Plug in your devices, close the drawer and everything's out of sight. Some devices produce heat, so don't leave them in too long - most need 2 hours to fully charge.  If that's not an option, use a basket on a shelf and tuck them away! 

2. Mail storage: Whether it's in an office or left in another room, this 'clutter' element is much-needed. Out of sight can often lead to forgetfulness.  Create a permanent space with an attractive letter sorter, decorative box, or even a pretty folder. The simple habit of always placing it in the same location 

3. Keys, wallets and change:  Your partner come home from work, their pocket is full...after unloading keys, change, a money clip and other paraphernalia, there is a pile of stuff in the kitchen, entry...somewhere. Hiding in a drawer is a reasonable idea, but a more practical solution is a small box or flat canister that works with your decor and is easy to access; on the kitchen table, on the counter, in the entry, or by the bedside.
4. Toilet paper:  One of the simplest and aesthetically pleasing storage solutions, for those small baths without room for a cabinet, is a lidded box sitting on the toilet tank. Where possible, a great wall-mounted cabinet will hide many rolls, cleaning supplies and hand towels. If you don't have a tank, add a small glass shelf and then your pretty storage box or basket.

5. Laundry:  Some homes have a laundry room that hides baskets and sorting. If you don't have a dedicated space, try something other than a wicker hamper...how about making an old dresser into a laundry hamper by  joining the drawers together and creating ONE deep one?  Can you hinge it out as well?  This takes a bit of doing, but if you can update and re-purpose that old dresser it can serve as a great hallway piece...add a lamp and art...voila.

6. Toys:  A great idea for toys is a dual function ottoman/storage cube. They are inexpensive ($50-100), come in squares and rectangles, the cover is light enough for most 5 year olds to lift, and they can be used as seating.