Organized at Home

I was analyzing all the ways I organize around the house and as I looked in each room I noticed they all have one thing in common – there’s always a basket that is storing something from blankets to pillows to smaller necessities. Talk about versatile, baskets in all their shapes and varieties are our best friends when it comes to organizing all those things we treasure.

Baskets are made with plant materials, often woven from grasses, and because of it are one of the many ways to add texture to your home. Here’s a look at a few of the smart ways to use them in the rooms all around your house.

Mudrooms and entries are drops zones and one of the best places to use baskets to store flip flops, extra shoes, or pet leashes. Consider assigning one to every family member for easy sorting.

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In a reading nook or corner, baskets corral your favorite magazines for that moment when you finally sit down to savor your favorite publications. 

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Using baskets in a playroom or kid space makes perfect sense. Store toys, games, and books, or get creative and assign a letter to a series suspended on a wall for a reminder where to keep those extra special things.

playroom basket storage bhg

 

When styling bookshelves, baskets fill empty spaces in between your favorite pieces on display and also hide the less than pretty things you want to keep for future use.

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In the bathroom a series of dark baskets adds stylish contrast to all white shelving and collects everyday necessities such as washcloths, soaps, lotions, and toiletries.

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In the home office or craft room, a basket will hold just about anything from supplies to mementos to materials for correspondence.

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Grab extra storage space in the bedroom by keeping off-season linens in woven baskets under the bed.

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Pantries are perfect perches for a collection of baskets, house apples or onions or potatoes, napkins and paper plates too!

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In the kitchen, use a woven tray to corral culinary essentials in an attractive collection.

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I’ve shopped for affordable baskets at several retailers including Pier One Imports, World Market, Target, Wal-Mart, and Michaels craft stores. Crate + Barrel, Pottery Barn, and The Container Store are also excellent sources for a wide variety of stylish storage solutions.

Where do you shop for baskets for your home, and in what ways do you use them around the house?

 

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With two children in elementary school, having a space for homework is essential to organization in our home. Often times the kitchen table will suffice for a quick spelling review or a few pages of math, but it’s nice to have a zone specifically designed for homework where school supplies, calendars, books, and reminders can be stored. 

There are plenty of creative ways to carve out a space for homework, the trick is to create a zone that works best for a family’s lifestyle. A desk and chair are the basics of course but where you place them is up to you. One way to mix form and function is to inject a dose of color, like this cheerful orange chair tucked under a white desk in a child’s room.

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For some families, the preference is to have children do homework out in the open in community spaces. Turning two narrow tables into a long workspace is one way to keep an eye on kids who have questions about their studies or are surfing online.  

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Any spare wall can be converted into study central with a clever table and bookcase retrofit like this one providing two workspaces with privacy and storage.

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Nooks and alcoves are often the perfect place to station a homework zone, especially where hours of concentration are necessary and a quieter place is appreciated.

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A major movement in modern homes is to convert the formal dining room into work stations for both parents and adults.

dining room desk space

 

Turning a sunny breakfast nook or loft into a kid friendly homework and creativity zone is another way to make a space serve your family’s needs.

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Built in desks are ideal if you have a spare wall and overhead storage is always a bonus to help store supplies and conquer clutter.

built in desk bhg

 

In our home, we turned a spare room into a kid friendly study zone, complete with DIY window seat and a table we built in a custom size to fit the space. 

study cg

 

Bright colors and patterns inspire creativity in a room dedicated to both work and play where both artists and thinkers can thrive.

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Parents, where have you carved out a homework zone in your home?  Share your creative ideas!

 

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With all the excess food, decorating, and gifting that occurs in December, many share the common desire is to pare down and get organized in January with the turning of the calendar to a new year.  One of the key components of successful organization is having a place for everything, and thankfully there are smart strategies that exist for keeping all the stuff organized.  Here are several ideas to consider for maximizing storage in your home in the New Year.

Invest in a storage bench, readily available at many online retailers.  Use baskets below for toys or books and top it with a cushion in a fabric of choice for style and storage in one!

 bench under window bhg

 

Many closet companies offer custom storage units but you can achieve a similar look by installing assemble ready kits from home improvement centers or specialty storage stores in a bedroom or hall closet.  

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If short on cabinet space, a bench with a pull out drawer provides room for toiletries in a bathroom and is a place to sit to dress and undress with a cushion covered in terrycloth.

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Square footage is of prime value in apartments, townhouses, and smaller homes and those who dwell within always seek to maximize every square inch of space.  Thankfully there are clever affordable solutions for those who reside in spaces where storage is limited.  Here are ten savvy small space solutions to inspire a weekend makeover in your condo or casa. 

1. Purchase a small console that fits on an entry wall, and remember a lower shelf is an added bonus!  Use the top as a desk and baskets below for a centralized solution designed to hold everyday necessities for grab and go convenience.  

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2.  Avoid clutter taking over your countertops by installing a charging station inside a drawer.  Drill a hole in the back of a dresser or desk to accommodate the cord of a hidden power strip.  

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3.  Transform an armoire into a pantry or dish and linen storage center perfect for a small space kitchen or dining zone. 

 

4.  Turn a stock cabinet into a rolling kitchen island that offers both a prep surface and valuable storage below.  If designed with casters, it can roll out of the way when the countertop is not in use.  

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5.  Install a recessed medicine cabinet between the wall studs for bathroom toiletries and necessities.

recessed bathroom cabinet bhg

 

6.  Maximize vertical wall space by hanging a pegboard above a desk to store craft or office supplies. Paint it a cheery hue for a punch of color!

 

7.   Two bookcases plus a wood countertop multitask in any space by providing storage and a writing desk for catching up on email, paying bills, or for hobbies such as scrapbooking or crafting.

bookcases to desk bhg

  

8.  Inexpensive wood crates painted in bright colors bring fresh style to a bathroom.  Multiply the number of crates to create affordable and unique bookshelves in an office or as media storage in a living room. 

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9.   Stack two shipping pallets and top them with a solid surface to give yourself a coffee table with storage for reading material inside.

 

10.  Create your own room divider between entry and living space by combining three ready-to-assemble cabinets and positioning them next to each other to divide the singular space.  You’ll create an instant entryway and multiply your storage as well.  Here are the details on how to make a room divider with cabinets.  

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Wherever you reside and whatever your living situation, there are always creative ways to conquer clutter and store your stuff!  Stay tuned for even more articles on the topic coming in January with a focus on getting organized and maximizing storage! 

 

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When given the choice between open or hidden storage, most people choose the latter.  The rationale behind closed door storage is that mass amounts of material can be hidden from view, and closed storage certainly is a premium for the non attractive things we need from day to day or require as the seasons change. 

However when it comes to your keepsakes and memorabilia, displaying your favorites out in the open allows you to appreciate them on a daily basis, and also communicates to visitors your personal taste and sense of style.  Here are five great strategies for displaying your personal things out in the open.  

A Curated Collection.   Open shelves are the perfect opportunity to place your passionate pursuit on display.  Avoid the temptation to scatter your collection around the house and instead gather your objects together on one unit, displaying them at different heights and angles for all to appreciate.   

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Subtle Shapes.  Geometry is your best friend when layering similar objects out in the open.  Notice how the individual pieces of coral on these shelves are placed in a diamond shape, and how the silver objects form an invisible triangle.   By making shapes up and down the shelving, you lay a foundation for order within your display.      

built in shelving dining room bhg

    

Group and Gather.   If closet or pantry space is limited, you can organize kitchen or other home goods effectively when you gather like objects closely together and in larger quantities, such as the bottles, dishes, and utensils cleverly grouped on this open metal shelf unit. 

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Symmetrical Stacks.   When arranging books, consider laying them one way.  The purposeful placement of books stacked symmetrically creates a calming backdrop on a large freestanding shelf unit.  

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Palette Precision.  Sticking to one medley of colors (pick only two or three) allows you to mix and mingle objects freely.  It doesn’t matter if they’re organizational or decorative if all of the objects on display wear hues from the same color family.  

blue and green palette bhg

 

How do you artfully organize and arrange your collections and memorabilia in open view?

 

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We installed a built-in window seat in our home a few months ago and we’re loving the comfort it brings, plus the bonus of additional storage below.  Built-in benches have a way of communicating to everyone “it’s time to sit and stay awhile” and they always make a home feel more welcoming. 

There are plenty of places to squeeze in a built-in bench, whether it’s one you install yourself or hire out with the service of a professional.  Either way, the end result is a cozy place to sit and get comfortable.   Here are seven different spaces to consider for including a built-in bench in your own home.  

The entry is a perfect place for a built-in – squeeze it in underneath the stairs as a place to store outerwear or as a perch for removing shoes.

bench under stairs bhg

 

A perfect way to start your day is curled up in a cozy bench that is built into a breakfast nook.  Pull up a table and a few chairs and the space becomes an instant gathering spot for breakfast or brunch.   

built in dining nook bench bhg

 

Bathrooms are another place to wedge a small built in bench for the purpose of daily grooming.

 

built in bathroom bench bhg

 

I’ve mentioned before the benefits of a multitasking mudroom.  Large or small, a built in bench is a natural fit in a space designed for transitioning from indoors to out.  

 

mud rom build in bench bhg

 

A nook with a window seat in a bedroom is desirable to most.   If space permits, consider adding a built in bench to a niche to encourage lounging and daydreaming in a bedroom retreat.

 

built in window seat bhg

 

A main living space will certainly benefit from a window seat bench where you can add decorative pillows and store reading material nearby. 

 

living area built in bench bhg

 

Last but never least, don’t forget the great outdoors!  Something as simple as stacked cinderblock can become a perch for lounging on lazy summer afternoons. 

 

cement block bench bhg

 

Do you have the good fortune of a built-in bench in your home?  Where is it and how much do you love it?

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