Getting Organized Can Mean a Prettier Space

A lot of people look at “getting organized” as this huge boring chore.

But really, it’s an opportunity to not only streamline and ease your daily life, but make it beautiful to look at and fun to you.

We are so lucky now to have gorgeous – and affordable – storage items to choose from.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

The Home Office:

Everything from your stapler, scissors, paper clips and laptop can be pretty AND functional.  Sure you can go to organizing and office supply stores, but think outside the box too – you can use your grandmother’s teacup to store paperclips in and a woven basket for your pencils.

First of all, clear the clutter out of your office and look at what’s left.  Think about how you can store the things you have so that they always have a home.

I stopped using manila folders long ago – who wants their space to look like a doctor’s office?  I have striped, floral and vividly graphic file folders of every colour.  Trust me when I say that paying the bills using pretty folders actually does make it a little easier.

And I’ve used this principal on everything in my office:

I use a sticker on my laptop to make it look good, as well as on my cellphone.  My stickit notepad has cherry blossoms all around the edge, so even that’s visually appealing.  I have a faux leather letter holder that collects all the little bits an office tends to attract and on my write on/wipe off board  (it keeps me on top of everything, as well as alerts my fella to my whereabouts) I have a photo of a friend and I, sticker decals, a Hawaiian flower tucked behind and a magnet of Michelle Obama that a dear friend gave me after I saw it on her fridge new year’s eve.

My planner is multi-coloured with a binder that looks like a clutch.  It’s so much more fun to use than those office supply ones.  It’s actually so much fun that I find myself planning and working towards my goals more than the one I was using previously.  You know the kind – boring, black-and-white and not at all inspiring.

The Kitchen:

This is an easy place to use colour and fun design.

Organize your spices once and for all (Are you still using the bags that you got them in from the bulk store? Sigh.) by putting them in uniform containers with legible labels.  They don’t have to be spice bottles – little woven baskets or boxes bought on the cheap in Chinatown are fun and practical.  Magnet spice holders keep things at the ready and always look sharp and modern.  Plus you look oh-so-gourmand!

Buy your appliances in bright colours (no need to stick with black or white anymore).    Gather condiments in the fridge in pretty box lids and organizing drawers.  Put a decal on your fridge like we did (people always think we’ve painted our fridge!).

Attack that cupboard beneath the sink by putting cleaners in colourful caddies, separating the bathroom cleaners from the kitchen, etc.  Get big drawer baskets and fill them with your pantry items, so that you can slide everything out when you’re gathering your ingredients.

Create a curtained bottom for your microwave oven stand (making yet another place in which to stash pantry items, big pots and other necessary equipment).

Finally, declutter your cutlery drawer.  Get a good lookin’ knife holder and find baskets or trays that will fit what you need to have on hand.  There’s nothing worse than having to root around in that mess.

The Rest of the House:

Tackle the rest of the house in this fashion.  Use a beautiful hanging fabric shoe holder to hold your bills and paperwork in the hallway, refashion an entertainment center piece into a sideboard (read: place to put things!) in the living room, use your hope chest as a horizontal filing cabinet.

The possibilities are endless.

Stephanie Dickison is the author of the recent book, The 30-Second Commute: A Non-Fiction Comedy About Writing & Working From Home, which covers her career as book, music and restaurant critic.  She has been a journalist for over a decade and now spends much of her time writing about travel, food, beauty, style and celebrities for various publications and websites.

When she’s not writing, she’s eating, cooking, organizing, filing, making lists in sumptuous notebooks (you must use your beautiful journals) and colour-coding her ever evolving calendar.

She is one of the few writers still using technology AND paper.  But at least her paper is organized into pretty file folders…