Often, the key to a beautiful home lies not solely in its architectural details or fine-tuned design, but also in its ability to maintain beauty. It’s important to keep tidy, and having a set organizational plan can help you achieve that—take it from praised designer and stylist Emily Henderson.
Meet the Expert
Emily Henderson is a stylist, interior designer, TV host, and founder of Emily Henderson Design. She is also the author of STYLED, a New York Times bestselling book, and an avid DIYer.
"Sometimes, your home feels like a reflection of what is going on inside you," Henderson says. "If you open up your closet or a pantry and everything is in total disarray, you may feel embarrassment, guilt, or just not on top of your game. There is a confidence boost that you get from organizing, and you should take pride in an organized home."
There is a confidence boost that you get from organizing, and you should take pride in an organized home.
To help you harness your own organizational prowess, we tapped Henderson for her tips on keeping a lovely, organized home. Read on for her expert advice.
Enlist the Help of Kids and Family
A key to successful organizing is never going at it alone. If possible, bring in some backup. Consider teaching your kids how to keep the home neat and tidy, or inviting friends over for a tidying-up party.
Henderson notes that demonstrating good behavior encourages your kids to do the same—especially when it comes to organization. “My kids saw me organizing last week, and so I showed them what I was doing and walked them through it,” she says. “The key is just consistency and modeling good behavior, and so that's what I did.”
Success comes in good teaching and modeling—but your home doesn't need to look perfect at all times. Henderson mentions that her pantries tend to be in disarray throughout the week, but now that her kids are learning to keep clean, the state of the pantry has greatly improved.
“My kids are using a little bit more independence and thinking to themselves, 'Oh this is my shelf, and this is where my snacks go,'” Henderson says. “It may not be perfect all the time, but they’re learning organizational skills early.”
Don’t Neglect Your Linen Closet
Linens can easily fall into disarray, according to Henderson, so she suggests investing in baskets, bins, and labeling systems when it comes to the linen closet.
The idea is to see the organization in front of me—and that way, I feel accomplished.
"For the linen closet, I have these two hanging canvas shelves and inside the cubbies are sheets and towels," Henderson explains. "If I was just putting them in bins, I wouldn’t be able to see them and it would be just as messy as it was before. The idea is to see the organization in front of me—and that way, I feel accomplished.”
In order to minimize clutter in her linen closet, Henderson invented a clever hack when it comes to sheets. Since her home hosts several sized beds from queen to king, she suggests replacing all bedding with king-sized sheets so you never mistakenly put the too-small sheets on the larger bed.
“Now, I don't have to try and figure out which set is which,” Henderson shares. “You can surely size up and use a king set of sheets on a queen. It made it so much easier and led to a lot less confusion. Take it upon yourself to sort out your linen closet and have a place for each sheet of each size if you need it.”
Make Storage Look Stylish
“For toys, we use a lot of cubbies versus bins or baskets with tops because if the kids can't see the toys, they forget about them” Henderson explains. “Not having baskets or closed storage for the kids actually is more helpful. It also looks clean, and it can go well with your playroom storage design.”
This is a common theme for Henderson in her home. Although closed-off storage can look chic, there are so many options that stylishly hold all your forgotten items.
“For me, I need to see what I'm organizing, and while I love bins for certain things, they can become very unorganized,” Henderson explains. “You have these beautiful bins but are left wondering what’s inside them."