Storage Savvy Farmhouse Design

A self-taught organizer uses simple strategies to stay on top of clutter in her busy household of eight.

Missy Callaghan is the first to admit that she wasn't born with the well-tuned organizational skills she uses today to keep her Tampa household stylish and in order. Smart storage solutions were a must-have for her and husband Phil as their family grew to include six sons, with ages ranging from early elementary to late teens.

Homework Corner

Missy's successful storage strategies revolve around working with daily habits, rather than against them. Missy converted a room just off the mudroom into a homework and project space, so as the children come in from school, they can drop their bags and get started on their nightly to-do lists. She introduced drawer storage and a crafts caddy as a table centerpiece. The divided wooden tote corrals crafts supplies and is easy to carry to other areas.

Wall Color Silvermist, Sherwin-Williams

Bench Color Grizzle Gray, Sherwin-Williams

Supply Storage

Three sets of wide drawers on casters near the homework table are labeled by family member and supply category. Wood shelves store extra toys and supplies that don't fit in the drawers below. Two different wall textures (brick and shiplap) come together seamlessly with wall paint.

Framed Up

Missy framed a large segment of wall in the laundry room with molding to create a jumbo-size bulletin board. Labeled folders act as personal organizers, keeping upcoming event flyers handy.

Now check out these creative DIY bulletin board ideas.

Open Zones

The open living area, including the kitchen, living room and dining room, is broken up into zones with smart furniture and lighting placement. Large metal light fixtures and a natural rug define the dining area. The living room follows the direction of the sofa with layers of color and pattern.

In a Row

An extra-long island features a deep overhang that accommodates seating beneath. It was important to Missy that the whole family could gather and work together in the kitchen. The streamlined stool design maximizes seating—and family togetherness.

Personal Closets

Mudroom lockers provide personalized hanging space, shelves, boxes, drawers, and device-charging spots for each family member. Even the family dogs have a spot for their leashes. Regular upkeep is a crucial component to Missy's recipe for clutter-free living.

Dorm Loft

A spacious dorm-style bedroom optimizes space in the home's renovated attic. The shared sleep space includes a new bathroom and houses three of the six boys, with an extra bed for sleepovers. The beds are on wheels for easy rearranging and deep vaccuuming.

Tucked In

A compact table and chairs tuck into one corner of the attic bedroom, serving as the perfect spot for the boys to gather for games, snacks, or homework. Black and silver give the furniture a streamlined and modern look; a lime green shag rug is both mature and fun.

Nautical Clean

Shiplap walls extend into the shared bath and lend seafaring charm. A ship portal mirror opens to reveal a medicine cabinet. Galvanized metal pegboards host metal toiletry baskets.

Pegboards can keep any room organized!

Home Laundromat

Laundry is a never-ending event at the Callaghan household, so Missy had a long countertop installed above her front-loading washer and dryers. As clothes come out of the dryer, they are folded and placed into piles, so wrinkles never have a chance to set in. A commercial-grade rolling laundry basket stows bulky folded items.

See even more solutions for laundry room storage.

Labeled Everything

Missy likes to label everything so there's no confusion as to which item belongs to which family member or where it belongs. Clear plastic baskets with handles are her go-to holders in the bath and kitchen. Adhesive-back chalkboard tags let her easily revise labels.

Cool Blue

Metal rolling carts flank the headboard in the master bedroom, keeping reading materials within easy reach. A drawer on each cart contains smaller items such as lip balm, hand cream, reading glasses, pens, and notepads. Natural linen textiles bring farmhouse charm to the space.

Built-In Bliss

A combination of hanging rods, drawers, and shelves provides a spot for clothes and shoes in the master closet. A mannequin bust on top of a bureau keeps jewelry tangle-free and in plain sight. Decorative boxes stored up high keep out-of-season items out of the way yet together.


  1. When will Better Homes & Gardens show realistic homes for people that live in the Midwest and have an annual salary of 40,000-50,000 a year. I get tired of seeing rich people houses in these articles.

    1. I agree, these house are out of reach for most American's and Tampa? So a mud room from New England or the upper mid-west where we at times have 14 feet of snow, you want mud wait until our 7 months long winter melts, then you've got some mud. Where do people live with tiny bedside tables, get real, where are the c-paps, bi-paps, nebulizers, etc.

    2. My thoughts exactly. This home is beautiful, but certainly not in an affordable range for the working middle class.

  2. It is absolutely impossible to read the page with the new banner adds that take up half the browser window. It's like trying to look outside with the blinds half closed. I'll boycott every single advertiser until the format is changed. I'm so disappointed.

    1. I also find their lack of balance (content to ads) extremely annoying. I couldn't tell you a single advertiser on the page because I take off ad blocker, enjoy the content, then put it back on. While it's off, I simply don't even look at the ads.

    2. I completely agree. I've written to BHG and been told they will pass it my comment along to their "uppers" Meridith Publications. You'd think that a company that deals with design would have a more user-friendly website. I used to look forward to those emails that brought me to the site; now I delete 90% without opening.

    3. Totally agree!! Sometimes it goes half way down the page!

    4. Yes, I'm considering canceling this site. You can't see a whole picture just have to scroll up and down to try to see the subject matter

    5. I agree it is really annoying, the placement of the ad horrible.

    6. I agree, half the page is taken up. it is very annoying, and FYI, I didn't take the time to read the ad!

  3. I just love the attic room with the game table in the farmhouse. Please tell me where I can purchase the game table. Thank you so very much. Rosemarie

    1. IKEA, many of the items throughout this house are a creative use of things from IKEA

    2. I agree as well. The home is beautiful but I don’t know too many folks who could actually afford something like the one pictured.

  4. I have ad blocker on and I don't have to see these ads. I love these ideas Better Homes and Gardens

All Topics in Home Makeovers

Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.