10 Laundry Room Ideas To Organize Small Spaces

Laundry rooms are hot spots for household improvement these days. Whether your laundry room is in the basement, garage, kitchen, or closet — or you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated laundry room — these 10 laundry room ideas will help create a space that’s organized, up to date and is so beautiful that you’ll look forward to doing laundry. 

Where’s the best place to add a laundry room? Consider convenience first. Set up your laundry close to where dirty laundry collects, or near the bedrooms where clean laundry goes. Other favorite laundry room locations include near the back door, in the mud room, the kitchen, bathroom, closet, or dressing area.

Keep in mind that accidental flooding could happen in your laundry area. Waterproof flooring below the laundry machine is essential, especially if your laundry room is located on the second floor. Good ways to waterproof your floor include adding plastic sheeting over the subfloor, building out a shallow pan for the laundry machines to sit on, or using tile or waterproof vinyl under your washer and dryer. 

Another thing to consider when choosing a laundry room location is the noise from the machine’s vibrations. Laundry machines that are located on the second floor should be fitted with vibration pads that dampen the noise that occurs when the machine is in motion.

Although a few of our inspirational photos in the gallery are large rooms, these ideas work well for small laundry rooms or laundry workspaces in a closet. With a little creativity and planning, a useful, efficient laundry room is possible. 

 Here’s a laundry list of 10 easy laundry room ideas that organize, add value and upgrade your space.

1. Vibrant Laundry Room Paint Color

laundry color 1

Make the laundry room workspace bright and cheerful with a fresh coat of paint. Paint is an easy DIY way to upgrade your laundry room on a budget. Choose a color theme that’s bright and uplifts your mood. Popular paint colors to liven up your laundry area include vibrant citrus tones like lime green, yellow or orange. A crisp, bright white is another clean option that makes the room and your mood feel fresh. Don’t stop with the walls, also consider painting your laundry room cabinets!

2. Extra Laundry Counter Space


Counter space is key in the laundry to make sorting and folding laundry easy work. Create a custom laundry room design by adding a counter over your side-by-side washer and dryer.

If you have the square footage, add an island to your laundry room to increase counter space.

3. Built-In Cabinets

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To create a high-end, custom laundry room, install kitchen cabinets around your washer and dryer. Stay on budget by buying inexpensive cabinets and upgrading them with contrasting, bright wall colors or wallpaper. Remove builder-grade hardware and replace it with custom drawer pulls. A versatile and contemporary drawer pull will uplevel your style and can work as a towel or hanger rack.

If your budget is tight, visit a restaurant supply shop’s used section. Stainless work tables and shelving are a solid modern laundry room idea and easy-to-install alternative to built-in cabinets.

4. Creative Washer and Dryer Mounting

laundry 8 multi desk

If you don’t have enough space to keep your washer and dryer side by side, stack them vertically. This is a great way to work with smaller spaces while still having a functional laundry area.

Another creative way to mount your washer and dryer is to lift them off the floor. Raising your washer and dryer makes it easier on the back by eliminating the need to bend over to load and unload the washer and dryer. Create a storage area in the space below the washer and dryer. This also leaves room to create a storage area in the space below the washer and dryer. Some washer and dryer manufacturers offer the raised storage unit in the matching appliance finish.

5. Extra Laundry Storage Ideas

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Wall cubicles, floating shelves, baskets and clothes bars are all good storage options in a laundry room.

Be sure to add a dirty laundry sorting system to save time when doing laundry. A good rule of thumb is to have a minimum of three dirty laundry bins for white or light clothes, and dark clothing. Don’t forget – asking everyone in the household to sort their own dirty laundry in the proper bin saves time.

6. Upgrade Lighting

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Laundry rooms are often located in dark or windowless spaces, so good lighting is important. Add under-cabinet lighting or a large, overhead fixture to brighten and enlarge the space. Good lighting also helps you find spots and stains on laundry items, so you can pre-treat before washing. Better yet, add a combination of lighting that includes canned ceiling lights, pendants and under cabinet lighting like the image above.

Beautiful lighting fixtures are not only practical, but they enhance the design of a laundry room.

7. Accessories That Hide Laundry

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A wall or cabinet mounted drop-down ironing board is a great way to hide clutter. Most designs not only hide the ironing board away, but have enough room for storing your iron and laundry supplies. 

A wall-mounted drying rack is another smart option for air drying delicates like lingerie or sweaters.

8. Interesting Patterned Walls

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Besides paint, give your laundry room a modern look by adding visual interest to the walls with pattern and texture. Two great ways to achieve this include:

–Wallpaper. Choose a bold, modern pattern in a moisture-resistant, vinyl paper that’s easy to wipe down
–Backsplash. Add a high-end backsplash design to your laundry room. While some of the most beautiful backsplash tile options can be expensive, a smaller laundry room doesn’t require much tile at all

9. Multi-Purpose Laundry Room Functionality

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If you have limited room, make your small laundry area a multi-use space. Multi-function laundry room ideas include:

–Craft room
–Mud room
–Sports equipment storage room
–Household cleaning supplies storage room

10. Converted Closet Laundry Space

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One of the most clever laundry room ideas is to convert a hall, home office or guest room closet into a laundry room.

Be sure to put up plenty of shelving and watch out for door clearances, so you can shut the doors when the laundry room is not in use.

Many of our laundry room ideas are easy DIY projects you can do in a weekend. Take a fresh look at your laundry area and see how you can upgrade yours to organize it better and add value to your home. What are your favorite ideas to try?

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Home Organizers that Add Color to Your Space

If you love bright color, you’re probably always looking for ways to add shots of bold color into your home. An easy way to add color is to keep it in mind while you’re organizing. After all, who says home organizers have to be boring? Many organizational ideas can be easily modified to add color to any room.

These ideas are also so easy, they’ll typically take only one afternoon to implement. Some ideas are as simple as buying colorful cloth home organizers and bins, and others require some paint. So take a look below to find some easy ways to add color while using home organizers.

Home Organizers Cloth Style

A stacked system would add plenty of color. Image: Michael Kraus / Shutterstock

Colorful Cloth Home Organizers

One of the easiest ways to get some color into your space is to go for simple colorful cloth home organizers. You can use a stacked style, like the organizer in the photo above. These do well hanging in corners. Another idea is to place a bright cloth organizer on a shelf for a splash of color.

These also tend to come in any style or color you can imagine, so there’s sure to be a cloth home organizer that fits in with your tastes. For a more funky and artistic style, try one with a bright pattern. A solid bright color can work well in more traditional spaces.

Home Organizers Colorful Shelving

Bright shelving adds a fun accent. Image: Photographee.eu / Shutterstock

Colorful Shelving Displays

Another idea is to select a colorful shelving option, like in the photo above. You can get this look by using cloth box home organizers, as we touched on above. Also, you could consider panting a shelf directly.

You can see in the photo above how well a colorful shelving option goes with the rest of a funky, artistic space. Simply pair a colorful shelving system with wild accents like throw pillows, picture frames or poufs. Your home organizer can easily fit in with the rest of the room that way.

Colorful home organizers also work great as part of an accent color theme. Consider choosing one accent color for your home organizers and using that throughout the room. For instance, your shelving might be a bright cherry red. And then you can place other elements of cherry red around, like an accent chair or a throw blanket.

Home Organizers Painted Boxes

Create your own organization with a bright display using wooden crates. Image: Africa Studio / Shutterstock

Creative Displays Using Paint

Another option is to get creative with paint and some organizational displays, like in the photo above. You can see how easy it would be to simply paint some wooden boxes. Then you stand them on one end and put colorful decorative accents in them. As the photo shows, you can also combine them with colorfully painted chairs and end tables for an eclectic look.

It’s a fun idea for when you need to organize your decorations in a space. This style also shows that home organizers don’t have to be all cloth boxes and traditional shelving. Feel free to get creative.

Home Organizers Bin System

Plastic bins come in many bold colors. Image: Africa Studio / Shutterstock

Colorful Bins

Another mainstay in home organizers is plastic bins. And this option is easy to find in a colorful style. You can see in the photo above how some exposed colorful bins add a playful feel to this children’s room. The bins do a great job of matching the colorful rugs in the space.

This space goes to show how colorful home organizers were made for children’s spaces, too. Children’s spaces can get pretty messy, with all the toys and art supplies about. So you can easily organize the space and add some bright tones using a colorful bin system.

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How to Keep Your Heating and Cooling Vents Clean

Dusty heating and cooling vents aren’t just ugly. They can also restrict the airflow into a room if the dust buildup gets bad enough, and you risk dust and debris getting down into your air ducts. So, to keep your heating and cooling vents free of dust and debris, below we have both some cleaning tips and some preventative ideas.

These tips to keep your heating and cooling vents clean are actually very easy to do and only take a few minutes. They also tend to be low in cost. You’ll need your vacuum cleaner, some soap and water, towels/rags and crevice cleaning supplies to clean the vent.

Some of the preventative measures, on the other hand, could require some items you don’t already have around the home. For instance, an air purifier to capture dust can run around $20 for small devices or all the way up to hundreds of dollars, depending on how many features you want the device to have. Air vent covers often cost around $5.

Heating and Cooling Vents Vacuum Attachment

Brush attachments on the vacuum can help clean vents easily. Image: paulbiryukov/Getty Images

Cleaning Tips

Regular cleaning is your best bet in keeping your heating and cooling vents free of dust and debris. That way, nothing has the chance to build up to problematic levels. In order to get your vents clean, follow these tips:

  • Start by turning off the power source to your air conditioner at the breaker. That way, your HVAC system won’t kick on when you’re cleaning it, blowing dust everywhere.
  • Vacuum the vent cover itself, ideally with a crevice or brush attachment.
  • Remove the vent cover by unscrewing it, if it’s screwed in place. Pull the cover straight up from the duct.
  • Soak the vent cover in warm, soapy water if there is any stubborn dirt. Keeping soaking until that dirt loosens.
  • Wipe the cover down with a wet rag.
  • You can clean between the slats of the vent cover with any narrow cleaning tool, like a pipe cleaner, narrow soft brush or even a cotton swab.
  • You should manually dry between the slats with either a thin rag or a hair dryer on the hot setting to prevent water from pooling. If you use a hair dryer, be careful touching the metal after you blow dry it on a hot setting, as the metal can get warm. From there, you can either let heating and cooling vents air dry on a towel or dry them by hand.
  • After they’re dry, put the vent covers back and turn the power source back on.
Heating and Cooling Vents Pet by Vent

Pets seem to be naturally attracted to vents. Image: @jenlpalmer/Twenty20

Preventative Maintenance for Your Heating and Cooling Vents

You can also keep your heating and cooling vents clear of dust and debris with some defensive measures. A popular way to do so is to invest in a magnetic or plastic vent cover. These are usually used to direct airflow in a certain direction or to prevent excess air from coming through a closed vent, so they’re only suitable if you wish to restrict airflow. But they have the added benefit of keeping dust and grime off the vent, too.

Another option is to protect the heating and cooling vents themselves through lifestyle changes. For instance, encourage pets to avoid the heating and cooling vents if they have a habit of laying on or near them. That will keep dirt and pet hair away from the heating and cooling system. Make sure to vacuum the floor regularly so that dirt and debris are not close to the vent. You may also want to invest in an indoor air purifier to remove dust from the home.

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Forget “Sparking Joy”: 8 Decluttering Questions That Actually Work

The wave of Marie Kondo’s popularity has devotees asking themselves if their cheese graters “spark joy” and thanking their college textbooks for their service. Her ruthless brand of decluttering, as depicted on Netflix’s Tidying up with Marie Kondo, centers around only keeping things that bring you joy in your home. When something no longer makes you happy, Kondo encourages homeowners to thank the item and pass it on or throw it out.

Hey, it makes for good TV. This approach is how Kondo gets cluttered spaces into organized havens. But while it works for Netflix, will it work for you? Wanting everything in your home to bring you joy is a noble goal, but it might not be the best approach. After all, some items in your home are simply utilitarian.

If the idea of decluttering with Kondo’s method leaves you feeling emotionally drained, it might be time for a different approach. Joy isn’t the only reason you purchase, use and store stuff in your home. Instead, try asking yourself these questions while decluttering.

Organized closet with baskets

Joy shouldn’t be the only thing you consider when decluttering. Image: Alesia Kan/Shutterstock

Have I used this in the past year?

Some of the stuff in your home is seasonal, but everything should be used at least once a year. Use 12 months as a metric for whether or not something is actually useful. If you forgot you had something and it’s been gathering dust for the last year, it’s probably time to pass it on.

Does this benefit my lifestyle?

This is one of the questions I keep in mind while shopping and decluttering. It ensures I don’t buy something just for the sake of buying it. Asking yourself if an item really, truly benefits your life in some way can help you stop thoughtless purchases and help in the decluttering process. Think objectively: is your life better because you have a certain item? If it isn’t, why are you making space for it?

Well organized office area

Your stuff should blend seamlessly with your lifestyle. Image: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Do I have something else for the job?

It doesn’t matter if something sparks joy or not. If you already have something that does the job, you don’t need to make space in your home for it. From scrapping your double desk calendars to ditching an old food processor, getting rid of spares really frees up space in your home. It also helps you use your stuff more thoughtfully and even come up with different uses for your favorite things.

Would I take it if I moved?

Moving is the great equalizer when it comes to your stuff. When space comes at a premium and moving boxes are limited, you start to ask yourself what you really need at your new place. But you don’t have to wait until moving day to declutter. Ask yourself if you’d keep your stuff if you moved to a new home and you’ll quickly see what’s important and what you should pass on to someone else.

Organized kitchen drawers

Declutter while thinking about why you’re keeping each item. Image: Myvisiuals/Shutterstock

Why am I keeping this?

A friend of my family made a beautiful needlepoint picture for my wedding. It was displayed at the wedding and it’s had a place on my wall for nearly 16 years. The problem? I didn’t really love it and it has never matched my decor. My home is decorated in an industrial style and the picture was definitely more vintage country.

When I thought about it, the only reason I was keeping the picture was out of pure guilt. Besides the fact it didn’t match anything, I had pretty negative feelings every time I saw it. Finally, I decided it was time to give it to someone else. I realized that I wasn’t any less grateful to my friend. I still appreciated the work that went into the gift. But I also realized that someone else could really enjoy it.

Think about why you’re keeping certain items in your home. Is it obligation? Guilt? Or because you truly love something and can’t imagine your home or life without it? It’s a question that bears asking and might have some surprising answers.

Would this be useful to someone else?

It’s easy to get attached to things in our homes. They’re often tokens of memories and experiences, even if they don’t really need to take up shelf space. But if you’re not actively using something, are you robbing someone else of the chance? It can be hard to let stuff go, so try being pragmatic. Would someone else use and love it the way you did? It’s easier to give your stuff a new life when you know it’ll be in good hands.

Organized gray master bedroom

Keep your space organized by donating or passing on unused stuff. Image: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Would I buy this again?

As you’re decluttering, ask yourself, “If I saw this item in a store today, would I pay full price for it?” You’ll quickly see which items you’re keeping because you love them, and which items are just there because you haven’t decluttered yet. Your taste, lifestyle and preferences change over the years. If you wouldn’t get excited if you saw that picture frame, throw pillow or vase at the store, it’s probably time to let it go.

Does it make me happy?

Fine, I’ll admit that Kondo was onto something. While “sparking joy” shouldn’t be the only decluttering criteria, it can help you. It’s all too easy to hold onto things out of a sheer habit. It’s also easy to just make a clean sweep in the spirit of minimalism. Somewhere in the middle, however, is the reality: stuff can make you happy. Whether it brings memories, it’s useful or you just like it, if it makes you happy, it’s worth making the space. Just remember to not ascribe too much of your happiness to your stuff.

Decluttering your home can help you stay organized and tidy, reducing stress. But the very act of decluttering can be super stressful. While Marie Kondo is the leader of the anti-clutter movement, expecting your belongings to spark joy might be putting too much pressure on your favorite umbrella or childhood teddy. Think more objectively about the process and you’ll achieve a home that is decluttered, organized and, yes, even joyful.

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Break These Bad Living Room Cleaning Habits & Transform Your Living Space

bad living room cleaning habits

Are bad living room cleaning habits keeping you from your best home? Image: NelleG/Getty Images

Cleaning is a hassle. But you might be making it harder on yourself than is absolutely necessary. Whether you’re tidying up your bedroom, kitchen or bathroom, banishing your bad habits can make it easier to clean — and easier to keep your place clean.

And nowhere will a truly good clean be more apparent than your living room. It’s your space for relaxing and it’s where you entertain guests. It’s where your most statement-making decor will most likely live. So it deserves some TLC. And you can deliver it with a little help.

Break these five bad living room cleaning habits and you can get your space pristinely clean. So clean, in fact, that it might just stay that way for good.

Living with piles

Look around your living room. What’s the state of your stuff? If you’ve got piles, it’s time to reconsider. That stack of magazines and that heap of throw blankets aren’t doing your aesthetic any favors. Plus, do you know what piles invite? Bigger piles.

Now, that’s not to say that your stuff might not benefit from being gathered in groups. But there’s a difference between having your kids’ toys piled loosely in the corner and neatly stored in a bin. If you can’t part with your pile because it makes sense to keep the items gathered that way, invest in a storage system for those items to keep your living room neat. As an added bonus, it can clue your family members or roommates into where that stuff should go when it’s not in use, helping them put stuff away so your living room stays tidy.

bad living room cleaning habits 2

Keep your surfaces streamlined so they’re easy to wipe down. Image: Breadmaker/Shutterstock

Cluttering surfaces

How often do you dust and disinfect all the surfaces in your living room? If it’s not often, you might be facing one of the most common bad living room cleaning habits: too much clutter. You’re never going to wipe down your mantel if you have to move over a dozen items off it to cross that chore off your list.

Streamline what you keep on your surfaces to make it easier to keep everything near looking and sanitized.

Not dusting first

The living room tends to accumulate dust. So when you start by vacuuming without addressing the dust on your surfaces first, you’re just moving the problem around. Instead, start by dusting. And do your highest ledges first, then work your way down. Wait to clean your floors last so you’re catching all of that dust and getting your space truly clean. Bonus: making sure all of the dust is completely gathered throughout the course of your clean will help you space stay cleaner over time.

Also, don’t forget about the items that aren’t easy to knock free of dust, like throw pillows and blankets. Launder them regularly to catch those dust mites.

bad living room cleaning habits 3A sparkling living room requires clean tools used on a regular basis. Image: FollowTheFlow/Getty Images

Using dirty tools

Cleaning your living room takes some elbow grease. Don’t waste it. One of the most common bad living room cleaning habits is starting with tools that aren’t clean themselves.

If you haven’t cleaned your vacuum filter in a while, this is the time. The same goes for your cleaning rags, sponges or whatever else you use to disinfect and dust.

And speaking of disinfecting, don’t forget this part. It’s easy to give your coffee table a quick wipedown, but don’t forget to get those frequently touched items like remotes and light switches.

Not having a place for everything (and everything in its place)

Where is that remote supposed to go? What about that throw pillow? How about that board game? If you’re not sure, odds are no one else in your house knows either. And that’s why you end up with stuff just floating around, creating visual clutter and making it hard to keep your place looking clean. It also leads to the problem of piles we discussed above.

Because living rooms are generally spaces for relaxing, it’s easy to get relaxed about how they’re maintained. But that can lead to junk accumulating. And not only does that leave your place looking messy, but it also makes your to-do list that much longer when it comes time to clean.

Collect all the stuff in your living room that doesn’t have a place. Then, find a place for it. Then, keep it in its place. Easy-peasy.

Do any of these bad living room cleaning tips sound familiar? If so, it’s time to reconfigure your space so it can better serve you. Break these habits and you can enjoy a cleaner space for longer!

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10 Must-Have Konmari-Inspired Home Organization Products

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TechCrunch recently reported that organization goddess Marie Kondo is looking for investors to expand her empire. Rumor has it that part of the expansion includes a possible home organization line. While we wait, how can we declutter and organize the minimalist-chic Konmari way? Yamazaki, a Japanese home organization brand, is the answer.

We love their understated, multi-purpose home organization products like an easy-to-move shoe rack or their genius folding dish rack. Their collection is available on Amazon, making it quick and easy to stylishly create a space for everything. Here are 10 must-have Konmari-inspired home organization products by Yamazaki:

1. Tower Over-The-Sink Folding Drying Rack

yamizaki home organization for marie kondo komari method

If your counter space is limited or you don’t want to keep an unattractive dish rack next to the sink, this folding dish rack can be put away when you’re done. All images courtesy of Yamazaki.

2. Tower Side Table

small side table ideas

Stylish steel and wood are not only versatile enough to work with any room’s decor, but they also add a sturdy feel to this small-scale side table.

3. Tower Shoe Rack

yamazaki japanese konmari-inspired products

This vertical shoe rack is perfect for small spaces and designed to be moved around easily.

4. Tosca Under-Shelf Storage Rack

small kitchen organization

Clear your valuable counter space by hanging this organizer from a floating ledge or open cabinet.

5. 7672 Tower Coat Hanger

small space organization ideas

Available in black or white, this coat rack can also work as a closet alternative.

6. Compact Tower Side Table

yamazaki home organization products

Modern and multipurpose, this side table can hold a lamp or work as a free-standing tray or laptop station.

7. Rin Toilet Organizer

small bathroom organizers

Bathroom organizers can be beautiful and Yamazaki proves it. This simple design hides everything you need while providing easy access to the items.

8. Tower Book End

home organization ideas featuring Marie Komodo inspired products

Never lose your glasses again with these bookends featuring a small pocket for items like pens, bookmarks and glasses.

9. Tower Free Standing Shower Caddy

small space home organization ideas

The smart design of this bath caddy keeps your bottles angled for easy access and is available in black or white to go with your decor.

10. Tosca Dish Riser

small space organization ideas

Make use of vertical space stylishly by stacking items using a shelf like this one.

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6 Living Room Storage Tricks from Top Interior Design Pros

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If you’ve ever wondered how to make the most of your living room storage, you’re not alone. Nearly every homeowner is on the hunt for ways to keep their most-used room functional while still keeping it aesthetically appealing. In light of that, we decided to ask the experts for their advice. We asked six interior design pros to share their best living room storage tricks.

Here’s what they had to say:

living room storage

An ottoman can be a great option for storing odds and ends. Image: Breadmaker/Shutterstock

Invest in a storage ottoman

“Storage ottomans are a great solution for living rooms because they serve a dual purpose. In addition to having a lovely place to rest your feet, they provide a good-sized space to tuck away items you don’t want all over the living room. This could be a good place for blankets or extra pillows, maybe even sheets if you have a pull-out sofa bed. Storage ottomans can tuck away DVDs and games, remote controls and those magazines that pile up in the living room. This functional piece of furniture is the perfect place to stash items before guests arrive.”

—  Erika Bodine, Decorator, Interior Planner and Sales Manager, LuxeDecor

wall hooks

Create your own entryway with a few wall hooks. Image: New Africa/Shutterstock

Don’t overlook wall hooks

“Installing a couple of wall hooks is an effortless way to organize hats, coats and purses without cluttering drawers and counters. It’s important to find balance and spacing that works for the item you are hanging, as it will create visual appeal and also naturally function as wall decor.”

— Emilie Baltorinic, Interior Designer, Living Spaces

closed storage

Use closed storage to your advantage. Image: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Hide clutter in closed storage

“Some items, like books, can store really beautifully, while other items, like papers, children’s toys or small electronics, can be an eyesore.  For these more difficult items, consider closed storage like a fabric cube or wicker basket. This strategy still makes all items accessible but makes it easier to also design a functional space with storage in mind!”

— Kayla Hein, Creative Director, Modern Castle

wall storage unit

Go vertical with a wall storage unit. Image: Vadym Andrushchenko/Shutterstock

Think about using a wall storage unit

“Symmetry creates order out of dissimilar items. Storage wall units like the IKEA Kallax create a wall of squares that get items up and off the floor and other horizontal surfaces. They can also be used to create these little feature cubes where you can play with color, theme and texture.”

— Darla DeMorrow, Certified Professional Organizer and Owner, HeartWork Organizing

sofa table

Use a sofa table to add storage that won’t take up much space. Image: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Add a sofa table

“My favorite tip for increasing the storage space [in a living room] is to add a sofa table. In most cases, there is a little bit of space left between the couch and the wall. Take advantage of this space by placing a narrow table behind the couch. Pick a table with complementing color that’s the same length as the sofa. You can use it to store magazines, books, remotes, frames, decor or lamps. You can even install an outlet in the table to create a phone charging station.”

— Eva Bowker, Home Improvement Coordinator, Fantastic Handyman

under stair storage

Store larger items in the space under the stairs. Image: Jo Ann Snove/Shutterstock

Utilize the space under the stairs

“The space under the stairs can be used as a closet space with pull-out shelves or racks. A remodeling contractor can create this extra storage safely while maintaining the structural integrity of the stairs. This storage space can be used for many purposes like shoes, coats or a mini library.”

— Amira Johnson, Interior Designer, Emerald Doors

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These 4 Decluttering Tips Will Help You Through Your Next Spring Cleaning Project

It’s officially time to start spring cleaning. For many of us, that means that decluttering is at the top of the to-do list. With that in mind, we decided to bring you four easy decluttering tips that will help you make the most of your next spring cleaning project. Read them over to get a sense of how you can tackle this task from start to finish.

decluttering tips

Start by breaking down your spring cleaning project into manageable goals. Image: Tiko Aramyan/Shutterstock

Set manageable goals

Believe it or not, the first step to most successful decluttering projects doesn’t have anything to do with sorting through knickknacks. Instead of just diving right in, home organization experts agree that it’s best to write out a set of goals for your project. Create a to-do list of sorts that breaks the decluttering process down into a series of small, manageable steps.

As you write out your to-do list, keep in mind that you can make the steps to this process as general or complex as you need them to be. For example, rather than trying to clean out the whole house in one day, you could decide to tackle the kitchen one day and your living room the next. You can also break down each step into subtasks like “put away laundry” or “pick up stray toys.”


Sort your clutter into three boxes: keep, donate and throw away. Image: Photo Melon/Shutterstock

Use the “three box method”

Once you know what your goals are for this project, it’s time to start decluttering. It’s best to have a method in mind for how you’re going to sort your clutter before you officially get started. In this case, we recommend the “three box method.” It works like this: you simply sort your belongings into one of the three following boxes.

  • Keep: These are all the items that you still use on a regular basis. You don’t need to worry about putting any of these items away just yet. Just put them in the box for now and leave the organization for later.
  • Donate: This box will hold items that you don’t want or use any longer. However, they’re still in good enough shape to be used by someone else. They can be donated or sold.
  • Throw away: Sometimes an item is just at the end of its lifespan. In that case, it goes in this box to get thrown away.

Sort the items you’re keeping before you buy new storage tools. Image: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Reorganize first, then buy

After you have all your items sorted, it’s time to focus on reorganization. We know that, at this point, it can be tempting to run out and buy lots of those fancy, coordinated storage containers that you see on Instagram. However, we’d advise against going out and spending money until you have a clearer idea of what exactly it is that you need.

To do this, start by focusing on the items in your “keep” box. The goal here is to make sure that every item in the box has a defined place to be kept in the room. Start by putting away the items that already have a set place and leave the rest until the end. Once you’re left with only the odds-and-ends that don’t yet have a home, go shopping for storage solutions. This way, you’ll have a much clearer picture of what tools you need to stay organized.


Finish each task completely before moving on to the next one. Image: LightField Studios/Shutterstock

Complete each task, completely

This is often the hardest step. Before you can move on to the next task on your list of goals, you need to make sure that you’ve finished your current task completely. This means finding a place for all those odds-and-ends, bringing any donations to their proper place and lugging any throw-away items to the trash.

We know that it’s easy to just leave those items for later, but that’s how they end up being forgotten. If you can, it’s best to deal with items right away. Get them out of the way and you can bask in the satisfaction of a job well done.

The post These 4 Decluttering Tips Will Help You Through Your Next Spring Cleaning Project appeared first on Freshome.com.

Caring for Windows: 5 Tips for People in Glass Houses

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They say that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, but 13 years in a window-heavy home has taught me even more. The entire front of my home is made up of 12 windows and, while they’re visually interesting, I’ll be honest with you: they can be a major pain to keep clean. But as homes trend toward the more modern, windows and glass are only becoming more popular. Sure, that’s great news for the window-washing company I use, but it also means a lot of homeowner upkeep, too. Caring for windows is more than just a spritz of blue glass cleaner. Here are some of the best tips I’ve learned through life in my own glass house.

Home with large windows in grassy landscape

Windows add plenty of architectural interest to your home. Image: breadmaker/Shutterstock

1. Go commercial

Regular window cleaner is okay for quick shine-ups, but your glass will need more. Homes that feature a lot of glass — especially in place of exterior walls — will accumulate buildup from weather, dust, animals and more. And sometimes, you can’t even really see how dirty your glass is until the sun shines directly through. In any case, it’s best to go for commercial window cleaning solutions. One of the best methods is to simply use soap and water to remove the grime. Then, use a commercial-strength window cleaner (it usually comes in foam, not spray) to shine up.

Modern home with large picture windows

Avoid your hose to make your glass shine. Image: alexandre zveiger/Shutterstock

2. Wash and dry, but skip the hose

When I first moved into my glass house, I figured a quick spray with the hose outside would be enough to get rid of dirt and grime. But my window care contractor told me that I was probably just making it worse. Hose water is usually pretty hard and, what’s more, mineral deposits can be absorbed by the porous surface of the glass. Caring for windows properly meant filling a bucket with water from inside my home, washing and then making sure to dry the glass before finishing. Never wash your windows in direct sunlight, either, since that’s the time windows are most porous.

Modern home with large windows

Make sure your landscape maintenance doesn’t damage your windows. Image: artazum/Shutterstock

3. Check your sprinklers

Automatic sprinklers are super convenient, but they’re really hard on windows. Having a sprinkler system that splashes up against the glass in your home means wave after wave of hard water and scale buildup over time. I definitely fell victim to this issue the first year in my home; the sprinklers had to be reconfigured. Limescale and hard water buildup are notoriously hard to get off of glass, so it’s best to avoid them altogether. Make sure your sprinklers are pointed away from your windows and water areas close to your home by hand instead.

Living room with floor-to-ceiling windows

Yearly maintenance can ensure more energy efficient windows. Image: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

4. Reseal annually

Having a home that is heavy on the glass can be stunning, but it’s not always the most energy efficient feature. Caring for windows can make your home more efficient and help keep energy bills low. Seals around windows and glass can shrink and warp over time, letting out precious heat in the winter and letting it in through the summer months. It’s best to do an annual checkup of your window seals to make sure they’re tight and still pliable. The good news? It’s an easy fix. A tube of caulk can make all the difference in keeping your glass house comfortable all year long.

Large modern home

Call in the professionals a couple of times per year. Image: rawmn/Shutterstock

5. Call in the pros

I do my best to keep our glass home in good shape but I’m not an expert. That’s why I have professional window maintenance come twice yearly to clean windows, clear debris, check seals and otherwise keep my windows in good shape. When your home features a lot of windows, having them look grimy or in disrepair makes a huge difference in the look and feel of the house. It’s usually $150 to $300, but it’s money well spent in keeping my house efficient. While I’m sure we’ll have to replace our windows eventually, it’s a huge cost. Taking care of your windows will extend their life and keep them looking great, so a professional opinion is definitely a worthy investment.

Caring for windows is a major part of homeownership. It’s even more important when glass is one of your home’s major features.

The post Caring for Windows: 5 Tips for People in Glass Houses appeared first on Freshome.com.

Life Hacks: 5 Things Busy People Need to Simplify their Lives

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Do you ever feel like life gets busier year after year? Us too. The digital age was supposed to make things easier for us, but it’s just made us have to do more in less time. Fortunately, there are some things we can do to regain our sanity. We polled our Freshome team to find out what life hacks they think busy people need to simplify their lives. Here are our top five life hacks.

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A planner can change that way you live your daily life. Image: Pra Chid/Shutterstock

A calendar or planner

There’s nothing quite as terrible as realizing you’ve forgotten something important. That’s why our top life hack is to create a system that works for you and to stick with it. Using a calendar or planner to keep your life organized is a game changer.

If you want to start with personal life organization, here’s a pretty Watercolors Monthly Planner from Target to get you started. Or, if you want to go bigger, you can mount a large-scale master calendar somewhere everyone in your family will see it to keep everyone a little more on top of their game. Put this Yoobi Magnetic Notepad from Target right next to it and have your family add grocery needs so your next trip to the store can be that much more effective.

Even if you prefer to keep your master calendar digitally, a hard-copy calendar can still be a boon. Start using a birthday calendar, like this one from Etsy. Borrowed from the Dutch, these calendars are a perfect reminder of important dates like birthdays and anniversaries. Each page of the calendar lists the days in a numbered format but doesn’t list the days of the week, so it can be used year after year. Add to yours every time you learn a birthday, put it in a place you’ll see every day and you’ll never forget an important date again!

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Foolproof your organization and your family might actually put things back where they belong. Image: Myvisuals/Shutterstock

Kitchen, closet & bathroom organizers

This isn’t the first time you’ve heard that our Freshome team loves closet organizes (like this beautiful Luxury Closet Starter Kit from The Container Store), and it won’t be the last. Why are we so hooked? Keeping your closet organized is a snap when the organization is literally built in. And, sure, you could shell out big bucks for a closet renovation. But you could also turn to baskets, bins and other organizers to give yourself the structure you need to keep things tidy.

This principle extends well past the closet, too. Add bins to your pantry, kitchen cabinets and bathroom to keep your house in order. These are especially powerful if you live with people who are, ahem, less concerned about organization than you. If your family members have a tendency to just throw things down, try them with providing a basket or bin. Label your organizers clearly and you’ll be amazed how much easier it is to get your family on board with putting things back where they go.

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Creating a place to stash mail and keys prevents both from getting lost. Image: Lucia Coppola/Shutterstock

A place for collecting mail and keys

Junk builds up. It’s an ongoing problem that every person has to manage. That’s why one of our top Freshome life hacks is putting a system in place for this exact issue. Specifically, add a small basket wherever your mail seems to accumulate and wherever you drop your keys. Just implementing organization for these two things – one that can be hard to keep under control and one that always seems to go missing – can make life simpler. No more missed bills, no more missing keys, just like that!

We love the Water Hyacinth Storage Baskets from The Container Store. They come in four sizes so you can find what you need. Keep your storage matching throughout your house by using the extra small for corraling the aforementioned mail and keys. Then, use the middle sizes for toys and remotes and turn to the large for bulkier items like blankets. Boom! Your home looks that much more organized in a snap.

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What would your ideal relaxation space contain? Image: Christian Cabarrocas/Twenty20

Time and space to daydream, plan and de-stress

One of the best life hacks we can offer is to practice self-care. We know, easier said than done. But carving out space in your day and space in your home where you can relax and just be is critical. Pick a place in your home, any place, and fill it with things you love. Ideally, this will be an area where you can minimize distractions (hint: right next to the kids’ playroom might not be the best location) and easily find moments of calm. Then, add whatever is going to best serve you. That could be some pretty candles, a cozy throw, a yoga mat, a bookshelf – whatever is going to spark your creativity and help you find balance.

Seriously, in order to be your most productive self, you need to allow yourself to recharge. Creating space in your home dedicated to doing exactly that makes it much more likely that you’ll actually make yourself a priority when you’re feeling run down.

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A smart home can make your life easier. Who couldn’t use an assistant? Image: Johnna Lafaith/Twenty20

Some help

No, really. When we asked our Freshome team, which is full of busy people, for life hacks, most of us said one of the things we most need is a little help. Some of us find that help in the form of a meal delivery service (we love Blue Apron) or a housekeeper. Others turn to more digital supports, like the Google Home (available at Target), an automated coffee maker to make the mornings just a little bit easier or a keyless lock, like the Honeywell Electronic Lock from Target. Remember what we said earlier about keeping an eye on keys? Electronic locks can eliminate that issue for you.

Whatever help you need to manage your life and feel less stressed, don’t be afraid to ask for it. It can make all the difference in the world.

What are your favorite life hacks? We would love your tips and tricks to help us all manage our busy schedules.

The post Life Hacks: 5 Things Busy People Need to Simplify their Lives appeared first on Freshome.com.