The secret to kitchen organizing? Every kitchen can benefit from open shelving, says Melissa Michaels, author of The Inspired Room, who blogs at theinspiredroom.net. If your most-used items are hard to reach, simply remove a few cabinet doors or mount floating shelves. Increase efficiency by grouping like objects together so you can easily grab everyday glasses, coffee mugs and serving pieces.
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Total Home Organizing in Only 8 Days
Your complete guide to organizing for a clutter-free home, with tips from our favorite design bloggers. Get ready to streamline with style.
Strategically Reveal—Don't Conceal
Video: How to Declutter the Kitchen
Practice Shelf Love
Never underestimate the organizing power of a bookcase. "Bookshelves look good wherever you keep books, from the bedroom to the family office, the living room or even the kitchen for cookbooks," says Gabrielle Stanley Blair, author of Design Mom, who blogs at designmom.com.
"Think part practical, part beautiful for filling them up—titles organized by size or category, a collection of pottery, framed prints andfresh flowers."
Avoid Typecasting Furniture
Broaden your search for the perfect nightstand to include nontraditional options. "Standard bedside tables are on the smaller side and tend to skimp on storage, so I like using an entry console or even a dresser," says Cassie Freeman of hisugarplumsblog.com. "Both have multiple drawers for personal items and a larger tabletop that can double as a desk if you pull up a chair."
Work Your Walls
Available in countless shapes, finishes and styles, hooks help you take advantage of often overlooked vertical real estate, says designer and Target home style expert Emily Henderson, author of Styled, who blogs at stylebyemilyhenderson.com. Try hanging pots and pans in the kitchen or hats and jewelry in the bedroom. Mount a bunch of hooks in your entryway to keep jackets and bags accessible when leaving the house. "Don't forget the backs of doors or inside closets," says Henderson.
David A. Land
Make the Necessary Arrangements
"Picture ledges are the new gallery walls," says Henderson. For a pulled-together look, stick to a limited color palette or similar types of frames but vary the size, height and orientation of your artwork. Since ledges are essentially shallow shelves, they're great above a sofa or bed and offer a handy solution for kids' books in a playroom, a collection of plates in a kitchen or craft supplies in a workspace.
For total clutter camouflage, nothing beats a roomy storage ottoman. "Kids can snack on, sit on and even crash into these hardworking pieces," say Sherry Petersik and John Petersik, authors of Lovable Livable Home, who blogs at younghouselove.com. "But the big selling factor is that they can live right out in the middle of a room while secretly storing toys, photo albums and games inside."
Been There, Done That
When you're trying to quickly whip a room into shape, decorative boxes and baskets are your best friends. "Families come with all sorts of gear, and those things need to live somewhere," says Blair. Storage cubes make for cute, useful additions in a foyer, tucked under a coffee table or on a shelf for keeping baseball gloves, umbrellas and more out of sight.
Keep It on the Down-Low
"A window seat is a super-efficient use of space since it maximizes the area right up against a wall and provides a hidden storage zone below," says Apartmenttherapy.com founder Maxwell Ryan, who cowrote Apartment Therapy Complete + Happy Home with site executive editor Janel Laban. These built-in benches work especially well in kitchens by holding fancier table linens, holiday or seasonal items, and sporadically used small appliances, which frees up valuable counter and cabinet space.