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How to Have an Organized and Stylish Home

Updated on June 18, 2013

You don't have to give up decorator style to be organized

... and you don't have to give up organization to be stylish! In fact, organizing your stuff is one of the best ways to feel more comfortable in your living space and to give yourself the freedom to express your own style. When you're organized, you choose what to leave out on display, what to put away, and your style decisions are not hidden under or behind piles of mess.

How to be organized AND stylish

You may have looked at pictures of organized rooms which look unpleasantly bare, and thought "I don't want to live in a home like that!"

An organized home doesn't have to be like that. Decluttering your home means getting rid of all the stuff that you don't want, don't like and don't need. You keep the stuff you love, use and need. Home organization isn't about form, it's about function: getting organized means being able to more easily find the things you've decided to keep every time you want them. Neither says anything about how your home has to look - so you can make your decluttered and organized home look just as stylish and beautiful as you wish.

More information about decluttering and organization

Take the poll and let us know whether you're more organized or more stylish, then read on for organized and style-friendly storage ideas...

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Storage tips

Storage doesn't have to be in cabinets, although you'll probably want at least some of it to be so. It's a fine idea to mix open and closed storage so that you can contrast a visually calm area of closed storage (hiding the necessary but possibly ugly objects) with a more exciting visual feast of open shelving.

If you're the kind of person who likes to see lots of things displayed to view, that's fine too. Just pay attention to how things look when you buy them, even very everyday objects like food packets. If you can choose, buy things which are decorative and even color-matched as well as functional.

Even the most eclectic mix of ordinary stuff can look organized if you impose order on them by the way you store them. Matching open shelf units which cover a large area, especially if the shelving itself stands out in design and color, can impose an ordered grid on the objects stored in it. The tighter the shelving grid, the more organized it will look. Repeating the shelving style within the same space, or throughout the home, gives a more cohesive look.

One important element is to include display space for things you love to admire. These can be displayed in collections, or singly with space around them so that each individual object stands out as something special. Rotating objects on display makes each one more special, as well: you never get so used to seeing it that you become blind to it.

More information about decluttering and organization

Organized Style books

Christopher Lowell's Seven Layers of Organization: Unclutter Your Home, Unclutter Your Life
Christopher Lowell's Seven Layers of Organization: Unclutter Your Home, Unclutter Your Life

If your closets are bulging and your drawers are about to explode, you’re not alone. The fact is, seven out of ten Americans live in cluttered homes. Our nesting instinct has allowed the stuff to take over. Emmy Award–winning host and design guru Christopher Lowell provides the perfect solution in Seven Layers of Organization. While other books simply show containers and gizmos to get organized, Christopher gets to the bottom of why we just can’t seem to let go—and shows us how we can. As in his smash hit book Christopher Lowell’s Seven Layers of Design, Lowell takes you through the organizing process step by step, breaking down each layer into simple tasks that anyone can make time to do. He shows how to plan ahead for better, faster, longer-lasting results; how to decide what to keep and what to toss; and how to store or show off your possessions. You’ll also see how each layer works in twelve fabulous room makeovers, from a ship-to-shore nautical bedroom to a Hollywood glam hallway to an inviting his-and-hers office space.It is possible to reach organizational nirvana and to stay there! In just seven easy steps, this colorful, no-nonsense guide will teach you how to purge your home mentally, physically, and spiritually so you’ll be clutter-free for life! 1. Assess & Schedule2. Detach & Purge3. Reclaim & Update4. Sort & Contain5. Design & Build6. Arrange & Display7. Cease & Maintain

 
Mission: Organization - Strategies and Solutions to Clear Your Clutter
Mission: Organization - Strategies and Solutions to Clear Your Clutter

Trusted pros show how to bring order to the chaos of real living spaces.Achievable, money-saving strategies for kitchens, bedrooms, baths, basements, garages, and more.Three steps everyone should follow when clearing the clutter, along with specific tips for different areas of the home.Case studies including before-and-after photography.Learn to shop for and personalize the right ready-made storage units.Easy-to-use worksheets help track goals, set budgets, and design well-organized spaces.Tips to store seasonal clothing, quilts and bedding, dishware, holiday decor, and more.

 
Home Staging For Dummies
Home Staging For Dummies

8 full-color pages of before-and-after photos Make your home stand out, sell faster, and bring in more money! Want to have homebuyers knocking down your door? This no-nonsense, practical guide shows you how to make improvements room by room and generate a higher profit in the most cost- and time-effective way. You'll see how — and why — to eliminate clutter, make repairs, arrange furnishings, pave the way for buyers to make an emotional connection to your house, and much more to get top dollar! Discover how to: Make the improvements that buyers want Clear out the clutter Show off your home's best features Woo buyers with curb appeal Depersonalize and neutralize each room Get rooms photo ready

 

Hiding the uglies and checking your progress

While we want to see the items we like, there are other objects we don't want to see and which only make a space look cluttered. Some of the worst offenders here are power and data cables, in their many variations. If you're renovating a space from scratch, try to design in concealment from the start - for example, there are hollow baseboard systems which act as wiring raceways all around the room, along with many other methods which will work. If you're simply rearranging an existing space, take every opportunity to hide cables behind furniture and use cable clamps to corral the spaghetti of cables around so many media systems. Try to keep power and data cables separate, as the fields around power cables can interfere with data.

A good way of checking how you're doing is to take pictures of the room. Our eyes and brains are amazingly good at "editing out" things we don't want to see, but a picture shows the unedited version of how things really look. Keep rearranging and checking with pictures until your house looks the way you want it to - then take a well-earned break and relax in your stylishly organized space!

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