When it comes to our favorite part of beautifying a home, storage and organization rarely rank high. And rightly so; we often consider cleaning a chore, brushing it aside as an annoyance or time-zapping task to deal with later. But here's the thing: Science suggests that your messy home is more than just an eyesore. Researchers from UCLA's Center on Everyday Lives and Families found that women who live in a cluttered home have higher levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone. In other words, those strewn dirty clothes could take a serious toll on your health, as well as the look of your home.
Convinced that it's time to tidy up? We've gathered four spotless interiors that showcase smart styling solutions to show you that organizing your home needn't be a chore. Follow these timeless storage hacks to update your home—and bid stress bye-bye.
Use paint to unify clutter. If you have open shelving in your kitchen, paint your walls the same color as your pottery. Your dishes and glassware will stand out less, making the shelving look organized.
Invest in matching canisters. Storing all of your dry goods in glass jars or other canisters is a beautiful way to organize your pantry, and it instantly makes your shelves look cleaner. Be sure to stick to one jar style to master the look.
Make use of low storage. Keep your favorite cookbooks or your go-to appliances on a shelf just below your counters, rather than on the benchtop—they'll be much more pleasing below eye level, but still easily accessible.
Arrange storage bins strategically. Place bookshelves and bins at ground level in playrooms, where they'll be in little arms' reach. It'll encourage children to help tidy as they go, so you don't have to.
Display nostalgic items. Transform children's books, toys, and dolls into works of art by installing floating shelves on the walls to showcase them. Be sure to display the covers of your children's nighttime books, rather than the spines.
Introduce rugs. Looking for a commitment-free way to introduce color and pattern into a kids' room? Rugs are a great way to create a play area that's easy to remove and clean.
Choose a color theme. Purchase magazine files and desktop accessories in a single color. Having a cohesive shade can alleviate some of the visual dissonance that inevitably comes with a desk full of paperwork, books, and other odds and ends.
Disguise cables with artwork. Erin Swift, style director at One Kings Lane, says framed artwork can be a great way to cover unsightly computer cords in a workspace. Swift layers artwork against a wall to cover electricity outlets and beautify an otherwise banal space.
Create a digital filing system. Sometimes hard copies are necessary, but the vast majority of loose paperwork can be kept in digital form on an external hard drive. Set aside a few hours to scan documents, and recycle the strewn papers when you're done.
Create a closet code. Follow the organization-obsessed Khloé Kardashian and arrange every item in your closet by color and type.
Invest in one hanger style. Ditch the dry cleaner's wire hangers and opt for wooden or felt "huggable" hangers, which not only prevent snags and tears but are also more visually pleasing.
Alter shelves to fit shoes and accessories. Tyra Banks worked with Lisa Adams, CEO of L.A. Closet Design, to create a bespoke wardrobe the perfectly spaced shelves to fit her shoes and accessories. If your closet shelves are adjustable, update their positions so that shoes and boxes fit snugly.