Friday, March 25, 2011

Tip 2: Think outside the box

{This is part of the series "Top Ten Tips for Decorating on a Budget"}

In my last post in this series, I talked about controlling the clutter. We all have it, we all hate it, we all want solutions! For me, the two biggest needs in controlling clutter are discipline and creativity. As discussed last time, discipline simply involves having a plan and then following the plan. And discipline alone can get you some great results… just ask the military! But who wants a home that looks like an army barracks? Not me! Just a little creativity can take your clutter control up a notch.

In the last post, I showed you the Decorative Card and Photo Display – and mentioned that it could also be used to organize (and display!) your jewelry. And remember the Eclipse Serving Platter? It serves up my mail just fine and keeps my countertop clutter-free! Each of these items were used for something beyond what they were originally designed for… beyond what they were even named for. Getting the most from these items just involves a little thinking outside the box!

Here’s a fun exercise we do at many of my design workshops. I pull out my beautiful, heavy-duty Morningside Caddy and simply say, “This could be used in any room of your home. What would you use it for?”

Just to get them started, I tell them that my friend uses it for her silverware – a pretty standard use for entertaining. But she bumps it up a notch by having her kids unload the silverware from the dishwasher straight into the caddy. The children can also easily set the dinner table – inside or out – by carrying the caddy to the table with them. This makes Ann Marie’s life infinitely easier!

Sometimes, it takes a few minutes – and a few hints – to get the creative juices flowing. But then, the ladies always amaze themselves with how many practical uses they can come up with! Here are a few:

¨      Living room: caddy for remotes, reading glasses, pens, reading materials, hand cream (keeps it all corralled and is easy to move for dusting)
¨      Any room: portable home office for bills, checkbook, calculator, pens, etc. so that you can work anywhere
¨      Bedroom: use on nightstand for glasses, lotions, water bottle, reading materials, remotes
¨      Bathroom counter or shelves: great for organizing all those toiletry items, plus insert a small jar or juice glass in one compartment and add fresh flowers!
¨      Garden tub area: create a mini-spa by storing spa products and washcloths next to the tub
¨      Guest bath: Great way to welcome your guests by proving mini toiletries and fresh linens, along with fresh flowers
¨      Guest room: create a hospitality kit with snacks, candles, reading materials, and flowers
¨      Nursery: Create a portable diaper changing kit by placing diapers and small wipes container in large compartment, and ointment, powder, and small toys in the smaller containment. Great shower gift – mom can keep baby's things handy anywhere in the house, and later convert it to any of these other uses

See how easy it is, once you get rolling? All of these ideas help keep things corralled and organized beautifully.

Think about that Eclipse Serving Platter again. Wouldn’t it look amazing on your husband’s dresser, corralling his keys, change, wallet, business cards… all those things that just add clutter? And as  bonus, you have a great piece to
borrow for entertaining or decorating as needed – because it looks even better serving bread, fruit, or even barbequed brisket, and it makes an amazing statement on your coffee table or in your entry way with candles placed atop stones or sea glass.

As women, we pride ourselves as being multi-taskers. By thinking outside the box, we can make our stuff multi-task, as well!

For more great ideas on thinking outside the box, stop by This is a new online community where you can see real ideas from real women like you, and even share your own ideas! Come and join the conversation! For starters, check out Melanie Grant’s ideas for adding style to everyday tasks

Note: Have a girls' night in with your friends and think outside the box together! With a  Willow House Design Workshop, you can help fuel one another's creativity. And, as host, you can earn free and discounted products to help carry out your organizational plan. If you’d like to know more, contact me.

I linked this on:

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating  

© Suzanne Jackson 2011.
{I'd love for you to share this post with friends, but please share the full link. Common courtesy dictates that you do not copy the post into your own blog without proper attribution. Thanks!}


Suzanne said...

For more great ways to stay organized with daily maintenance, check out!

my name is s├ęcia. said...

This is great! Love it.

Suzanne said...

Thanks for stopping by. I'll hope you'll come by often, and check out my Willow House facebook page, too!

Leanne said...

Thanks for all these great ideas and for linking to We're Organized Wednesday.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...