Do you ever look around your house and think, “Not again”?
It’s too cluttered, and company’s coming over in a few minutes.
You can’t find your keys and you’re running late.
You lost that important receipt, business card, or bill.
The laundry you were sorting on the couch is still there, two days later…and seems to be multiplying. How many people live in this house?!
These “not again” moments don’t just happen in your house – trust me! Every household struggles with keeping things organized, clean, and streamlined at home, much less some sort of cohesive design style that feels like “you”.
Because, of course, a home isn’t just a beautiful, bright space to take pictures of for Instagram.
A home is a place for life; it’s a place where real people (and their pets) live, rest, eat, and have fun.
As an interior designer, home organizer, and mom of twin boys, I am passionate about helping busy families reclaim space and style in their homes. I know first-hand the stress that comes from a home that isn’t optimized for family life – and the joy that comes from improving your home’s design and falling in love with your home all over again in the process.
That’s why in this post I’m going to share with you some of my favorite decorating hacks. These are “hacks” because they’re easy, simple, and cheap; but they’ll go a long way toward making your home life easier and happier.
I’m not saying you’ll never lose your wallet again. But…wouldn’t it be nice to only tear apart the couch cushions every couple of weeks instead?!
Decorating Hacks to Make Home Life Easier
Get rid of things you don’t need
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this one first. Sometimes, the best way to make your home life easier is simply to decrease the number of items you have to pick up and organize every day. It’s not very crafty or Pinterest-worthy, but it works! And just think of the satisfying before-and-after photos you’ll end up with. Decluttering may mean getting rid of things you rarely use, doing a “toy detox” in the playroom, or spending a few hours going through your pantry and kitchen cupboards. But it will be worth it to be able to spend less time cleaning up and more time simply enjoying your home once you’re done. Read this post to learn my approach toward decluttering.
Set up a command center
When you’ve lost an important phone number or piece of paper, it can feel like the last straw. “Time to get organized – NOW!” But where do you even start? A household has so many moving parts – schedules, bills, mail coming in and going out, homework, permission slips, and more. I am a big believer in the power of a command center to bring a lot more organization and simplification to family life. Check out my command center Pinterest board for some examples. One of my favorite ideas is to use a simple dish rack as a command center, putting file folders in the slats to hold different types of papers and using the silverware holder for any other items you’ll need.
Store craft supplies vertically on a pegboard
This would work for art supplies, tools, and many other types of “clutter” you use regularly but don’t want to leave sitting around all the time. As a bonus, storing them vertically means you won’t take up valuable shelf or drawer space.
Use an IKEA bar cart as a rolling storage option
The IKEA bar cart shows up everywhere for a reason. It’s cute, handy, and easy to spray paint and customize to the look you want. One of the challenges with home organizing, especially when you have several people sharing a smaller home, is having a flexible way to store things. For example, what if you sometimes do art projects in the dining room, and sometimes in the kids’ bedroom? What if you have the whole family sharing a bathroom, and someone just needs access to their hair products in the morning? The humble bar cart to the rescue.
I love this example of an “art cart”:
And this rolling “vanity” is the perfect solution for the bathroom-sharing, running-out-of-bathroom-space problem:
Corral important daily items in one place
How many hours do we collectively spend searching for keys, wallets, and sunglasses every year? Too many! Here are some clever and simple solutions that I love:
Place a cute plate or tray somewhere near the door to store items like wallets and keys:
Build a shallow key and wallet cabinet in a kitchen nook:
Use a shallow built-in recessed between studs for keys and wallets:
Hide your laundry baskets
I love this DIY laundry basket “dresser” that allows you to hide laundry somewhat out of sight. Bonus points – it will make it easier to sort laundry and keep it sorted, since you could also label the dresser so everyone knows where their clothing should go.
Use a shower caddy to store clutter vertically
Here are two great uses of the under-valued but super handy shower caddy working wonders and making home life easier and more organized:
Hang spices in a shower caddy on the inside of a cabinet drawer or pantry:
Store cleaners vertically in shower caddy to declutter under-the-sink:
Got a few minutes? Try one of these hacks!
Most of these hacks will only take a couple of minutes to put into action, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how nicely they can solve some of your daily frustrations at home. Give one or two a try, and be sure to let me know how it goes.