10 Home Storage Solutions That Combine Flair With Function

Written by Neat Freak

If just piling up your stuff on bookshelves is not your idea of organizing, I hear ya!  It just doesn’t look nice to see all that clutter, even if it is stacked neatly.  I want my organized home to be pretty, don’t you?

Well, we’re in luck!  Any trip to a large outlet or hobby store will have your head spinning with ideas of how to create pretty and practical storage solutions for your home.  There are well designed storage solutions to fit any taste in home decor.  Let’s look at just a few.

1 – Baskets

Baskets in every conceivable size, color, and style are always a popular choice when it comes to decorating with your storage solutions. Natural wood baskets are perfect for a warm, down-home country look, and work very well in the kitchen.  Brightly painted and fabric-lined baskets are an excellent choice for children’s rooms, bathrooms, and the home office.  They give a nice lift to your day, seeing all those nice colors and patterns.  The fabric-lined baskets in particular are good choices for storing smaller items, such as barrettes and jewelry, or even office supplies or makeup.

If you have a serious collection of paperback books, you may not want them to fill your bookshelves. With one or two larger baskets, you could actually stack the paperbacks inside, making room on your bookshelves and cleaning up the appearance at the same time.  As I’ve said, sometimes just putting things neatly in a pile or row doesn’t make the clutter disappear.  Especially when those items are numerous and small.  The eye may still see clutter even if a collection is neatly lined up.

2 – Caddies

Caddies are great for things that may need to travel from room to room. They can be found in all sorts of styles, from nice looking colorful plastic buckets to fabric caddies that have multiple pockets and can be folded and hung on the wall when not needed.  Look in unusual places in the big stores for picnic baskets or silverware caddies and consider giving those items a new purpose.  Silverware caddies are especially nice to store art supplies in, like paint brushes, pencils, and markers.

You can find shower supply caddies, popular with college students living in dorms, in the make-up area of the big stores.  They are sturdy and usually very colorful.  Think about other purposes for these handy caddies, like carrying your craft supplies to your work area.  They are also fantastic for little board game pieces that keep getting lost in the boxes.  Just write what game each section of the caddy is for, and take it along to the game table when you grab the board game.

3 – Decorative Boxes

Covered wooden or cardboard boxes, like hat boxes, are making a real splash these days.  Visit any larger hobby store, and you’ll find acres and acres of beautifully decoupaged, fabric covered, or painted boxes to get you fired up to organize.  These boxes come in all sorts of styles and sizes so you’ll never run out of choices.  Round, square, rectangular, octagonal… you’ll have trouble deciding.  You’ll find styles to use in your office, bedroom, and the kids’ rooms.

The matching covered boxes that come in three or four different sizes serve a couple purposes.  You can store odds and ends inside, then stack the boxes to create height and interest in your bookcases or on your table tops.  If the covered boxes are large enough and sturdy enough, you may even be able to create a side table with the stack.  Now you’re creating storage galore!

4 – Desk Organizers

Desk organizers come in so many varieties and styles it’s hard to choose which one to buy.  You can purchase sets made specifically for items you keep handy on your desktop, or you create unusual storage pieces by selecting an assortment of baskets or decorative boxes.  Don’t forget to get a nice looking trash can, too.  Everything in and around your desk needs an attractive home… even your trash.

You’ll want, at a minimum, a pretty pencil cup, trays for sorting important paperwork, covered storage for odds and ends that aren’t very attractive, and a simple paperclip holder.  A little heads up here… if you have school age children, you may be receiving several of these items for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day – typically covered in glittery gold painted macaroni.  Save room for these special pieces.

5 – Furniture Pieces

Furniture with the bonus of extra storage is very practical and often very attractive.  A simple side table with drawers can really corral clutter while offering another decorative display option on the surface.  When room is limited, you’ll appreciate some of the more inventive furniture pieces like sofas and beds that have drawers built into the bases.  These pieces really offer a tremendous amount of storage for lesser used items like out of season clothes and extra pillows and blankets.

Coffee tables that have large drawers or are built with a hinged top offer the best storage for an active family that likes to have board games, books, magazines, or card games ready and waiting right close by.  Consider for another storage option, a bedroom dresser that is recycled into the living area.  It can serve as a buffet or music center, or even a television stand.  Look at all the storage a simple six drawer dresser could offer in a family room.

6 – Media Storage

Video and audio storage that is as attractive as it is useful is becoming a more and more popular option. Gone are the ugly wire contraptions that get bent and look bad in a short amount of time.  Now you can find wonderfully crafted pieces intended to look nice as well as store your collections of music and videos.  There are full-blown media centers for the home, or you can find stand-alone pieces that mix and match well with any decor.  There are even some storage solutions designed to look like antique pieces of furniture.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on audio and video storage. Use your imagination and creative talents to put old furniture to use in new ways.  Visit your second-hand furniture stores and you will find a variety of mismatched furniture pieces that can be re-created into new storage pieces.  Sometimes, re-creating old furniture pieces to create a new storage piece is the perfect solution for odd sized elements like video and audio collections.  Attach narrow shelves to the inside of drawers discarded from cabinets, paint them up nice, attach them to a wall, and you have a storage solution that’s perfect for your pile of cds.  Look at the possibilities when you start searching through available pieces of cast-off furniture.

7 – Carts

Carts with wheels are not just for kitchen use any more.  You’ll find many uses for these handy storage solutions.  They now come in so many styles that you’ll be looking for places to use them all over your home.  From the simplest metal cart, to the larger more decorative wooden or stainless steel carts, you’ll be able to find one that fits anywhere you need one in your house.  If you don’t need to get at your cart all the time, they can be rolled into a closet, pantry or corner.  The extra work space is perfect for the kitchen, but may also be the best solution to your hobby space, as well.

As for your outdoor living area, a rolling cart is the perfect solution for hauling food and drinks outside, serving, and gathering up the dishes from your patio to take them back inside.  You may also find a cart the perfect solution for your yard work.  There are specially designed weather-resistant carts made for hauling your tools around the yard, then rolling them all back into hiding when you’re done for the day.  This is also a great idea for moving the kids’ toys in and out of view.  Consider using a cart for your gardening and planting projects, too.  Now you see it, now you don’t!

8 – Closet Organizers

Closet organizers are becoming big business, with many companies dedicated to helping you design the perfect closet organizer for your home.  You can hire a professional designer or draw up your own closet organization plan.  The big stores make it easy to choose from a variety of systems available, most quite easy to install yourself.  They can be as simple as plastic or metal adjustable shelves, or as complicated as custom-fit wood cabinets just for your closet.  The idea is to make them so user-friendly that you’ll never see a wayward piece of clothing cluttering up your pretty house again!

Along with your closet organizing system, shoe storage is something no family should be without.  Who doesn’t get tired of tripping over shoes or not being able to find a shoe’s mate as you are getting ready to head out the door?  There are many styles available, from shoe racks that are built into your closet organizing system, to simple back-of-the door bags.  Either way, a shoe organizer helps clear that clutter we all hate to see, or stumble over.

9 – Hall Trees

Clothes trees or hall trees can add an old-fashioned flair to your entry way or bedroom.  You can choose a traditional wooden style with the big, brass hooks, or you may want a more stylized, modern version.  There are big mirrored hall trees with hooks and built-in storage underneath a hinged seat.  There are styles with cubbies for baskets to hold all that discarded outdoor gear like mittens and scarfs.  There are some with nice umbrella stands attached, as well.

Hall trees are most often thought of as a way to gather up over-coats and hats in an entryway, but consider some other uses, too.  In the bedrooms they make a great way for kids to keep their pajamas and robes attractively draped on hooks instead of ending up unattractively crumpled on the floor in the morning.  Also, don’t discount the decorative value of a little hall tree in a room displaying old straw hats or pretty purses.  Either way, a nice hall tree can be practical as well as decorative.

10 – Jewelry Boxes

Jewelry boxes have long been the most desirable way to store your precious pieces of jewelry.  You don’t want an unsightly, and sadly tangled, pile of jewelry on top of your dresser.  There are many beautiful jewelry boxes to be found.  You can find jewelry boxes that are almost as beautiful to look at as your jewelry, some that are hand-carved and some with detailed wood inlay.  Or, you may opt for a more modern look.  You’ll find glass jewelry boxes to display your collection, as well as art deco fashioned boxes, or leather-embossed ones that make a statement while sitting there doing their job on top of your dresser.

Displaying some of your jewelry pieces from a wall-hung jewelry board is one way to keep the tangle at a minimum, while keeping your jewelry attractively displayed.  You can easily build this method for storing your jewelry with just a pretty piece of decorative wood and some small cup hooks.  No matter what you make, it will be prettier than letting your jewelry get shoved to a corner of your dresser drawer, becoming forever entangled.

No matter where your taste lies when it comes to decorating your home, it’s easy to find great storage solution ideas that not only add to your home’s flair, but also to its function!

As you try to declutter your home while keeping your rooms attractively decorated, come back and visit again for even more ideas to help you along the way.  We want to be your support while you declutter your home and life!

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