Some of us are that rare breed that’s “always ready” for company… but even if you’re not prepared for unannounced visits, and you’ve got a bunch projects in progress around the house, follow these tips to pick up the clutter and have your place company ready in no time.
1. Magazines: Have a few picture worthy ones on the coffee table, but put the rest in a pretty box on a bookcase to read later. Tip: if you don’t find yourself reaching for that box in 6 months, you can recycle the contents. Follow the rule of new issue in, old issue out.
2. Books: Edit your bookshelves so that they feel just a little bit empty. Stack books in interesting patterns and accessorize lightly. If you’ve got extra books, put them in a box or basket and relocate to a different part of the house. Tip: Make a list of the books in the box. If you’re not looking for them over the next year, it’s time to donate them.
3. Enlist storage baskets: Everything from your multiple remote controls to out-of-season table linens can be stored in one kind of basket or another. Stacked baskets or vintage suitcases, under a coffee table or in an unused fireplace is a decorator touch. Covered baskets or decorative boxes in the foyer holds mail, and in the bathroom are a decorative place to stow extra toiletries or rolls of toilet paper.
4. Look for furniture that does double duty: If you’re in the market for extra seating or a new coffee or side table, consider furniture that does double duty: a padded storage bench for the entry way, or put a pair together to make a window seat. Same goes for a coffee table with a drawer or baskets below the top, and side tables. All will give you seating and extra surfaces, but you can quickly stow away what’s cramping your style.
5. Cord storage: Cords from TVs, computers, gaming systems and the like seem to tie most people up in knots. You can use something as simple as a paper towel roll to group the cords together, to hooking plastic tags from bread wrappers to the cords and labeling them, to, what many organizers prefer: Clip the cords together with a binder clip, and then hang them on the screws of the back of furniture.
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