Whether you have a large family or are a family of two, clutter can begin to overwhelm any space—especially if you're not prepared for it. Mail can begin to pile up on the kitchen counters, functional items that you use daily aren't always pleasing to look at, and even rooms that were once sanctuaries somehow end up victim to the mess.
But keeping family clutter at bay is possible. And with some help from professional designers, organization can seamlessly blend into the rest of your home's décor.
Meet the Expert
Leah Alexander is the principal interior designer for Beauty Is Abundant, serving the Los Angeles and Atlanta areas.
Get Cabinets and Drawers in Order
Leah Alexander, principal designer of Beauty Is Abundant, recommends keeping kitchens as organized as possible by utilizing drawers and cabinets. "Utensil storage, concealed trash cans inside cabinets and any other cabinet interior organization from storage container lid caddies to keeping things simple with all-white, hardworking dishware help alleviate kitchen chaos, which is important because most of us spend time in the kitchen before starting our workdays," she says.
Don't Forget the Entryway
Often, the entryway becomes a catch-all for almost everything: keys, shoes, coats, bags, umbrellas, and the shopping bags always seem to end up strewn about if you don't have a good organization system in place. These cupboards and bench, with baskets for shoes and other small items, is a great solution for a cluttered entryway. But if you don't have the space for such a large set-up, a few coat hooks and a small shoe storage bench can go a long way.
Use Storage That Blends Into the Décor
Not all storage has to look like storage, like in this beautiful nursery. "Storage ottomans in nurseries are low-hanging fruit for stylishly concealing all the things," Alexander says. There are many options for stylish furniture that doubles as storage, from beds with under-bed storage to coffee tables with hidden compartments, and much more.
Make Use of Bathroom Cupboards
For families, bathrooms can be one of the most disorganized parts of the house. But they don't have to be, as long as you have the right storage from the get-go. Having ample cupboards below the sink can do wonders for organizing all of the cleaning supplies, various toiletries, and kids' bath toys that can otherwise clutter up the room.
Think Outside the Box
Sometimes, it helps to get creative with the methods you use to organize your everyday items. This kitchen is a great example of thinking outside the box to hide a toaster and other appliances. They're still easily accessible—all you need to do is pull back the cupboard door and voilà.
Make Use of Height
Alexander notes that style can still be a factor when it comes to organizing your kids' room. "With kids' storage go with something beautiful, that can be accessed high and low," she says. But it's also important to make sure kids can access their own things as they need them. "Tall open shelves (in this example, they're sturdily wall-mounted), allow for kids to put their own toys and books away on lower shelves, to include increasingly higher shelves as they grow, and allow for parents to put things they'd like to access like blankets, pillows, diapers and even art higher up. It's also key to use as much height in a room as possible, taking advantage of vertical real estate to max out storage space."
Make Designated Areas
It isn't always possible to completely hide away family clutter; books, homework essentials, and paperwork are a fact of life. But creating designated areas where those items can be contained is a great way to make the rest of your house look less cluttered. This desk area fits neatly into an alcove with plenty of room for book shelves and a tack board for hanging reminders or décor for inspiration.
Create Clutter-Free Zones
No matter how hard we try throughout the house, family clutter remains a regular part of our lives that creeps back in every so often. So it's important to create spaces that are clutter-free zones, like the primary bedroom. Keeping kids' toys and schoolwork, the day's mail, and other daily essentials out of the bedroom completely can help make it a sanctuary. There should always be a place you can go in your home where you can relax, unwind, and disconnect for a few moments.