Of course, rather than being purely about aesthetics, organizing our homes should also be about function. A well-organized home makes our daily lives easier – because we can find the backup tube of toothpaste or the tape measure at the drop of a hat.
Professionals will tell you that, above all, home organizing should free up mental space and reduce day-to-day frustrations, giving us more time and energy to focus on our hobbies, our friends and family, and our own well-being.
However, anyone whose happy place is decanting oats and pasta into Kilner jars knows that if it looks great, we're much more likely to keep up our organizing efforts long term.
Aesthetically pleasing organizing tricks
As H&G's Solved section editor, I see lots of great organizing and storage solutions that keep clutter at bay and let our home decor shine: here are the most aesthetically pleasing organization tricks I've come across lately.
1. Always creating vignettes
Closed storage is the secret to maintaining a clutter-free living space, but if absolutely everything is hidden away, there's nowhere to express your style or personality. I certainly like to have some home decor on display. Open shelving does take some upkeep, otherwise, it’ll soon look messy with random mail, loose change, and other miscellany piling up on the surfaces.
I always follow maximalist interior designer Abigail Ahern’s advice by arranging items in a loose pyramid shape or 'vignette' while mixing textures and patterns. So I’ll put one tall item, a medium-sized item, and a smaller item together in a little triangle, and all of a sudden, it actually looks curated and cute rather than cluttered.
I love rearranging the shelves now and then as it actually makes the living room look really different, the whole wall feels refreshed and new again.
2. Decorative trays and pedestals
Grouping a few items together on a tray is the oldest trick in the book but it never fails. This is because of a visual trick it creates: the eye reads multiple items as one object if they’re all gathered together on a stand, be it on the kitchen counter, nightstand on coffee table. It also simply makes a space look more intentional, sure, your nightstand has lots of items on it, but if they're arranged on a tray it looks like you have done it on purpose.
A circular wooden stand, available at Target adds some rustic charm, warm brown wood tones and gives odds and ends a home. Layer a ceramic bowl or leather catchall on top for smaller trinkets or things like keys, headphones and receipts.
This limestone tray from Net A Porter is a great, minimalist option for coffee tables.
3. A larger basket for pillows and blankets in the bedroom
I'm not usually one to recommend buying baskets and bins because we tend to have plenty already, however, I do recommend a larger basket for pillows and blankets in the bedroom. Anything that you don't want on your bed at night can go in a beautiful woven basket. This keeps things up off the floor and generally makes for a more organized bedroom conducive to a good night's sleep.
4. Cable organizers
Keep your bedroom or living room organized with a cable organizer – these small and inexpensive devices banish the visual clutter created by a tangle of wires around the TV or WiFi router. If you don't currently have one, I thoroughly recommend it for organizing your cables easily.
Gently thread the cords through either side of the cable organizer and the space will instantly look so much better. There are various options available, and the best option is to find one that blends in with the color of the wall or flooring so the eye doesn't even register it's there.
Store unattractive extension cords and power strips in these boxes with bamboo lids to keep electronics organized and prevent them from ruining your living rooms aesthetics.
5. Coffee tables with a lower shelf
When investing in new pieces of furniture, look for pieces that will work that bit harder for you and help you to keep your space tidy. One of my favorite, aesthetically pleasing organizing tricks is to use a coffee table with a shelf underneath. This extra shelf is ideal for storing books stylishly and creating more room on your shelves.
If you like this, an ottoman or footstool with hidden storage is another great choice, or a longer, lidded ottoman at the end of the bed.
How do I make my room look clean and organized?
It may be that you need to do a thorough clean and clear-out first, which will be the hardest part. Then, it's best to do cleaning and organizing little and often. Maintain a clean and tidy bedroom by spending 10 minutes tidying it up each day.
This might involve making the bed, putting items back where they belong, clearing clutter on windowsills or surfaces, straightening blankets and vacuuming and dusting.
Having some useful home organizing products that are more behind the scenes will also make it much easier to keep your home looking neat. My favorites are Ikea's Skubb range for breaking up drawers into categories.
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Millie Hurst is the Solved Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. She has six years of experience in digital journalism, having previously worked as Senior SEO Editor at News UK in London and New York. She then gained experience writing for women's magazines before joining Future PLC in January 2021. Millie has written for an array of homes brands including Livingetc and Real Homes and was formerly Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home before taking on the position of Section Editor with Homes & Gardens. She has written and edited countless features on home organization, decluttering and interior design and always hopes to inspire readers with new ways to enjoy their homes. She lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and loves to weave nature-inspired decor and nods to time spent in Italy into her own home.
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