Home Accessories

Storage Accessories 101

Storage Accessories 101

In the last couple of decades, storage has become sexy. Sophisticated closet systems, retailers like The Container Store, and affordable and colorful accent furniture are just a few of the trends that have contributed to the desire to not only organize everything, but to do it with style. Nevertheless, you still may resort to throwing things in the ubiquitous junk drawer from time to time (you know you have one!), and you may find that piles tend to accumulate when you get busy, despite your best intentions.

To help you become--and stay--more organized, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Pick storage pieces that fit the way you live, not the other way around. For instance, if you're too busy or tired to sort things into compartmentalized containers, maybe baskets and bins are the way to go for you. Be realistic about how organized you can really be.
  • Assess your storage needs before buying anything. It's easy to be swayed by all of the fun options out there, but if you don't measure your closet space, or take stock of how much you have to put away, for instance, you may end up with a bunch of accessories that don't fit your space, which will in turn just add to your clutter.
  • With that in mind, pick organizing accessories that will look nice out in the open and coordinate with your decor. You'll be much more inspired to put things away if you love the look of your storage pieces.

In the end, sometimes all it takes to get organized is to see some of the stylish storage pieces available and to imagine how they can be used in your home. These six basic organizational accessories can be used in a multitude of creative ways throughout your home to keep you clutter-free once and for all.

1. Decorative Boxes

Small, decorative boxes are great because they look like stylish accessories, but can hide any manner of sins. Stack them on a coffee table or in a bookcase to secretly stow things you want to keep handy like:

  • Remote controls
  • Earbuds
  • Manicure supplies
  • Homework or office supplies
  • Loose photos
  • Stationery and stamps
  • Take-out menus
  • Batteries

2. Trays

I can't say enough about trays. They somehow manage to corral various and sundry items and make everything look attractive and intentional at the same time.

Read about how to use trays in every room of your house, then consider getting one or two for things like:

  • Coffee supplies
  • Makeup and makeup brushes
  • Books
  • Cooking supplies
  • Barware
  • Guest room amenities

3. Paper Organizers

Keeping up with the amount of paper that comes into your home every day--especially if you have school age children--can sometimes feel like a Herculean task. From receipts and coupons, to permission slips and artwork, to bills and catalogs...it all adds up in a hurry. First, recycle any junk mail you receive immediately, then find a paper organization system that fits the way you live and install it where you'll use it. A hanging wire rack like this one, a set of stacking trays, or just a few colorful magazine file boxes can be used to:

  • Sort incoming mail into piles such as "pay" or "sign and reply"
  • Keep family members' paperwork separate
  • Organize catalogs and magazines by title

4. Large Baskets

Large baskets with handles add great texture to a room, as well as lots of possibilities for storage. If your home is short on closet space, large baskets can really help by keeping things tidy right in plain sight. Look for handled baskets so you can carry them around easily while tidying up. Use baskets like these for:

  • Laundry
  • Firewood
  • Newspapers that need recycled
  • Storing kids' toys
  • Extra throw blankets and toss pillows

5. Small Baskets

On the other hand, small baskets may be necessary, too. These can be used in bathrooms, and tucked into bookcases or under coffee tables and nightstands for things like:

  • Books and magazines
  • Library materials
  • Pet toys
  • Children's toys
  • Extra toilet paper
  • Shoes by the back door
  • Gloves, hats and scarves

6. Accent Furniture

While the above examples prove that you can hide some "stuff" in plain sight, there are certainly times when you want things tucked away. Fun and colorful accent furniture is easy to find and very affordable thanks to stores such as HomeGoods, World Market, and Target. When shopping for an ottoman, side table or nightstand, look for pieces with storage capabilities such as a drawer or shelf.

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