Organizing With Style

Tips on how to create order without losing your home's decor

Being organized means different things to many people. To some, it's about being able to find your keys at a moment's notice, having a labeled spice rack, or a wardrobe setup for the current season. For others, it's having an easy to use color-coded filing system for one's office. Whatever the purpose maybe, the underlying key to organization; is function. Systems of organization must perform a specified action of activity in order for them to work successfully and satisfy a person's needs. However, just as cut and dry as that sounds, often times, that is exactly what is seen: something that is functional, but far from fashionable. To avoid this pitfall of organization, try some of the following design tips.

Choose materials that match your space

- Be selective about the organizational materials you choose. If possible, purchase containers to be on display, in the same color scheme as your current furnishings or accent hardware. Such as matching dark containers to dark wood furniture, or silver organizers to silver desk knobs. If a more modern look is desired, try clear acrylic containers, for neutrality and easy content viewing.

Color-coordinate when possible

- When organizing a closet, functionality should always come first. Set up categories, such as shorts, pants, short sleeve shirts, long sleeve shirts, dresses, etc.; then consider categorizing by color within each subcategory. Since the majority of our memory is triggered by visual cues, a colorized closet system aids photographic memory, ultimately saving time when it comes to picking out the clothes you want, and knowing just where to put them back.

Less is more

- When it comes to being organized, the less "stuff" you see, the better. Rather than "hiding" unwanted clutter in multiple closets, try storing items in the rooms that they are related to. If space is of concern, use discrete containers that serve as storage and decoration. For example, use attractive stacking boxes on an entryway console table to house incoming mail, or place extra blankets and pillows for guests in a living room ottoman that flips up for added storage.

Add character and storage

- In a kitchen, remove counter clutter by looking up, rather than in your over stuffed cabinets. Place fruit in hanging metal baskets, and pots and pans from ceiling racks. Not only does this add character to your kitchen, but more importantly, it adds more cooking area to your counters.

Decorate every room

- Proper attention should be given to every room in your home. Whether its a guest house or your laundry room, neglected spaces create negative energy. By adding a little TLC, spaces can be transformed from tired to trendy. House everyday items, such as razors, q-tips, and toilet paper, in stylish canisters with lids, while reading material can be organized in natural woven baskets.