Tips for Hiding Your Clutter in Plain Sight

May 02, 2016

How I organize our clutter inside pretty spaces. 

Unless you're a true minimalist, we all have clutter. It's normal and it's OK. :) 

But there are plenty of ways to hide the not-so-pretty stuff in a beautiful and functional way. I actually quite enjoy figuring out how to do just that! 

I'm sharing some of my favorite organizational tips and how I've simplified our home to celebrate the release of my friend Melissa's new book:
Make Room for What You Love
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Her book, called Make Room for What You Love, is a quick but helpful read. Isn't that the sweetest book cover? Melissa blogs at The Inspired Room and we've known each other for years!

I've been looking at decluttering, and therefore organizing, differently over the past few years. I've realized the joy in only filling your home with what you love and need

That's why this book spoke to me -- I have very little tolerance for random stuff we don't need anymore. I find the more I go through and the closer I get to "done" I feel like I'm on the edge of something really really amazing for our family. 

Do you ever feel like you're so close to getting your act together? ;)

When our kids were little I never even felt close, but lately it's just…right there. So close I can taste it. 

I keep telling myself I just need one more week to get through the last bit of clutter! Without any responsibilities. Or plans. Or naps. THEN, I'll get there. 

Honestly I don't think I'll ever completely have my act together (it keeps life interesting) but I do feel like our home is a much happier and relaxing place because I've been able to purge so much and streamline what we use. 

Now here's the thing though -- we do still have stuff. I like stuff. But what we have we LOVE. We just love a lot of things. :) 

But I do like those things to be put away where I don't see them all the time. And every once and awhile, I like a few empty shelves where those items live. Not to add more stuff -- but for room to breathe. 

I call my favorite storage in the house "hiding in plain sight." Spots that are nice to look at but they pack an organizational punch. 

I know I talk about these DIY library built ins a lot but I have to tell you, they're not only pretty, but they hold a TON of stuff!: 
DIY built ins using cabinets

My Dad and I built these bookcases and we used basic kitchen cabinets as bases. They are only 12 inches deep but you can see how much I keep in those cabinets. It's fabulous. 

Another one of my favorite spots for hidden storage and organization is my dream come true -- the window seat in our kitchen
Window seat with storage

There was no way I could just close up all of that open space -- I knew it had to be functional somehow. The seat lifts up and hides our larger (and rarely used) appliances and serving dishes. This seat is dreamy for more than one reason! ;) 

I have quite a few dressers and consoles in our home -- all were found on Craigslist over the years. And most of the dressers in our house do not hold clothes: 
Using dressers around the house for organization

One dresser holds craft supplies, one is dedicated to office supplies and this blue dresser holds most of my tools and paint supplies. I love that you'd never know they all hold such practical items and look good doing it. :) 

If you've been around these parts for awhile you know my love of organized spaces has grown over the years, but my loathing of cords has run deep for some time now. I hate cords. Bleh. When we built a new fireplace for our family room years ago I used more kitchen cabinets to hide all the stuff I didn't want to see: 
DIY built ins by fireplace

These cabinets were reworked to be a little deeper so we could fit our TV electronics inside. I added the metal mesh to the doors so they could breathe without seeing every little thing inside. 

Not only do they hide the electronics, but they hold a bunch of other stuff too. I think adding these to either side of the fireplace was one of the best decisions we've made in our home: 
Hiding electronics by TV

There you go -- just a few of the ways I hide all the stuff. :) It's pretty from the outside but easily accessible and super functional. 

I love when form and function work well together -- it doesn't need to be either or! Do you have any favorite ways to hide the necessary stuff in your house? 

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  1. I love your built-ins and the way you incorporated dressers into rooms for storage. The 12" upper cabinets are really a good idea and you've given me some things to think about as I work on the design for my new art studio. Thank you.

  2. Sarah, I know exactly what you mean. I feel like I was getting closer to "that point" before I moved. It felt wonderful to be "almost there" where everything had a spot and there wasn't too much in it! It was a relaxing feeling to be settled. But with moving in a way I feel like I started over, except this time I GET IT. Finally I understand what I want and don't want and am getting better at making that happen. But it is still a process no matter where we live! Thanks for sharing your home to inspire us, I'm so glad you are a part of the tour. Thank you, friend!

  3. Your home is so pretty! You are so talented to make those built ins! They look great and I love all your craigslist dressers. Ps. I hate cords too! ;)

  4. Love the blue dresser you use for storage! Can you tell my what color you used?


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!