Dear Clutter: Quit Cramping My Style

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How does the old saying go? "You don't know what you have until it's gone?" While this expression is traditionally tied to past loves or simpler days, it has arguably become the bane of my existence, hopping from one Grand Rapids rental property to the next.

Where are the closets? Did people really lead such simple lives when Heritage Hill homes were constructed that some shelving and a few extra drawers were that superfluous? Extra space is a beautiful thing. And as most women do, I've accumulated too much stuff over the years—stuff that, while left remotely unused by me, still deserves its rightful place in my home.

Left without the drawers, shelves, and hall closet my soul is crying out for, I took to the second bane of my existence—Pinterest—for some easy, inexpensive space-saving solutions. Apparently, "easy" and "inexpensive" weren't the best adjectives to tie to my search, as I'm now left with a useless curtain rod and a mess of a kitchen that is no more organized or spacious. Instead of challenging you to squeeze, pull, and hammer your way to a few extra square feet of freedom, the Friends of Five Star Real Estate have a few easy and practical ways to save space in your home.

If you need a jewelry hanger, a place to store office supplies, crafting supplies, and tools, or a spot to hang frames and purses, work with a pegboard. Pegboards are the magic chameleon of home decor: They can do anything you want them to and work nicely with any design aesthetic. With a few coats of paint and a frame from a craft store, a pegboard will easily fit in with the rest of your wall pieces.

While you're out and about, head to the nearest hardware store for a few hooks and grasps you would like to use. The Everbilt Pegboard Organizer kit is a great option for this project. Its hooks can also hold up a small shelf, serving as a great display area. There is no difficult or crafty labor involved in this project, and your wall will not be riddled with holes at the end. Throw on the hooks, hang the pegboard, and it will be ready to support anything you need to hang or collect. Click here for more ideas and tutorials.

Stackable Bins for Flour and Sugar
Whoever decided flour and sugar belong in bulky boxes or easily ripped bags deserves a stern talking to. These items often take over much-needed space in the pantry and get tipped over way too easily. Nobody has the time or patience to clean up a ten-pound bag of flour from every surface in the smallest space of your home. We have the perfect simple solution: stackable containers. These can be found at most stores with a "home" section in sets, some even coming in various sizes. By repackaging these ingredients, you will maximize the space available and give your pantry the appearance of organized chaos (instead of uncontrollable chaos), which is always good for the soul.

Magnetic Strips for Knives ... and Anything Else Metallic
Using the power of magnetism solely on your refrigerator is so June Cleaver. That being said, we introduce the easiest storage solution for metal objects since ever: Stick it to a magnet. These magnetic strips are great for holding knives in the kitchen. But wait! Move it to your bathroom and it will hold tweezers, bobby pins, eyelash curlers, and whatever else you find in that drawer you've been avoiding since last spring. No more losing items. No more messy counters.

Shoe Hanger as a Bathroom Product Organizer
Over-the-door organizers are usually dedicated to storing shoes, but they can also play an essential role in the bathroom. When you have a smaller bathroom with precious little storage or counter space, it's essential to have somewhere neat, clean, and within reach to keep your bathroom products. Hang one of these over your door and fill it up with hair products, hair tools, and anything else you need.

Storing Matching Sheets in Pillow Cases
To keep your linen closet (if you're blessed with one) organized and a bit more compact, fill a pillowcase with its matching set of sheets. This way, there will be less clutter and sets will stay together—no more missing pillowcases or battling to refold fitted sheets.

Organization and space-saving solutions shouldn't be a headache. Avoid faulty DIY projects, stress, and spending extra money by utilizing these inexpensive, practical, easy options in your home. Even organized chaos brings its own sense of calm—and just in time for spring!

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West Michigan Woman thanks the Friends of Five Star Real Estate for their contribution.


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