7 Tips for Organizing Your Home Decor
I remember our first “real” house. We had two extra bedrooms and I turned one of the closets into my own little store. I bought shelving where I could display all of my “pretties” and easily switch out my décor on a whim. When it started getting too full, I’d have a yard sale and then the following Saturday, hit up my favorite yard sale spots to start filling it back up again!
Then we became a family of 3, with one extra bedroom and only one extra closet. My “spillover” space was gone, but I still enjoyed my big décor closet! When we became a family of 4, things really changed. I still loved to decorate but now my décor started getting scattered all over the house. Every room had spots to house “extra décor” and it become a chore to enjoy my hobby. I remember really struggling with that and while I loved my babies, I found myself frustrated and floundering at how to organize.
Two houses later and one more child later, I was still struggling. Things would end up in totes in the attic, I couldn’t remember what I had, I would end up purchasing something else just to save myself the stress of trying to find things. I remember telling my husband about a year ago, exactly, that I just desperately wanted a place where I could line up my décor and shop my house. We started working together to figure out how we could accomplish that.
At the time, I did have one, small closet with shelves, which I was thankful for and is still a key part of my organization. But, at the time, it was still overflowing and more of a nuisance than a help. Lots of small things stacked on shelves is just incredibly impractical, as it turns out!
Here’s what we did to really make a difference:
We invested in two vintage pieces that we love. They add to the aesthetic of our home while providing the RIGHT kind of storage for our home décor. I took out every single piece of home décor, fought the feelings of being overwhelmed, and got to work!
Here are the tips that I am finding very helpful:
1. Regularly Sort, Clean, and Reorganize
I clean it out every season! That doesn’t mean I literally take everything out, but I scan through and if there is something that I know I won’t be using, etc., I immediately put it in either a donation bin or a bin for our yearly yard sale. By doing this several times a year, it never gets too overwhelming. I have been doing this regularly for several years and it makes a huge difference. It is often a 20 minute or less job! I’ll talk later in this post about how to go about getting rid of home décor items, specifically.
2. Keep Like Items Together
Drawers are incredible storage for smaller items. This is where the big apothecary cabinet made all the difference for me. All of my brass candlesticks are in two of these drawers, for example. I keep a drawer just for small architectural salvage items, taper candles, brass figures, napkin rings, place cards, etc.
Larger items, such as lanterns, tall candlesticks or vases, and heavy wood items are lined up neatly on shelves in a closet. We had three closets built into our playroom. One is for the kids toys and art supplies, one is for décor, and the third is our “mudroom” closet.
Wall décor, such as wooden signs and vintage metal signs, are stored between two rafters in the attic. Storing them upright makes it a little easier to find what I’m looking for and also keeps them in better condition.
3. Seasonal Décor
Season specific decor is stored in bins in the attic: Christmas, Fall, Easter, Thanksgiving. When I pull out these bins, I decorate and then get rid of anything that I know I’m not going to use. At the end of the season, I again make a small pile for our yard sale or donation of items that I no longer want. I also discard anything that is broken or messed up.
4. Store Décor in Plain Sight!
I keep as much of my decor in rotation as possible. If you comb through my feed, you’ll see a lot of the same decor used over and over and over! Just a little switch of greenery or seasonal touches make it feel fresh and new again!
A stack of cutting boards or wooden bowls, for example, is a great European farmhouse aesthetic and is also a great way to keep your favorites on display! I keep my mortar and pestle collection in one of my cubby cabinets. They look nice and are easily accessible when I want to use one in a vignette or to hold a plant.
5. Throw Pillows
I don’t actually change my throw pillows very often. When I do, it is to add a touch of texture or a seasonal style. I also try to buy throw pillows that have removable covers. These covers are taken off, folded neatly in one of the drawers, and the pillow itself is reused. I do have some pillows that do not have removable covers. I keep them in totes in the attic, grouped by color, and labeled as such. Season-specific throw pillows are stored in my seasonal bins.
You can also store throw pillows and throw blankets in plain sight! Added to a vintage basket underneath the coffee table, they add texture, character, and a curated-over-time look!
(My husband still thinks I have too many, but hey….we won’t talk about his CD collection that takes up the entire apothecary cabinet under the TV! Ha!)
I have a lot less faux greenery than I used to, but I still love mixing it with my real plants. Seasonal greenery is stored in the seasonal bins. Greenery that could be used year round is kept in a deep drawer. Storing it this way keeps it looking nice and it doesn’t get smashed by other décor. If this drawer starts getting full, I know it’s time to clean out. There really is only so much faux greenery you can use, right?!
I have a small group of faux, potted plants that are lined up on one of the shelves. Again, they won’t get smashed by other décor this way. I can also quickly access them and switch them around. I find myself buying a lot less faux greenery because I can easily see what I already have
7. Choosing the Right Storage Pieces
Over on my IG this week, I’ll be sharing a cabinet that I’ve been hunting for a few months! A good piece is always worth the wait! Thrift stores, vintage markets, and antique stores are my favorite places to look for furniture! While I personally prefer vintage, there are a lot of great cabinets and dressers out there with a beautiful aesthetic, won’t break the bank, and have great function. I’m linking a few in this post that would coordinate beautifully with a vintage style!
You’ve seen me write a lot in this post about donating, discarding, and adding to my yard sale stash. Most of my décor comes from flea markets, vintage markets, thrift stores, and clearance aisles. Shopping in this way allows me freedom to get rid of items without feeling wasteful. That’s not to say that I haven’t splurged or saved up for really unique pieces; I definitely love doing that. But I try to be careful about only investing in those pieces that I know are one-of-a-kind and will both function and suit our home for years to come.
I do not get overly sentimental about most décor and enjoy the process of changing things around. I know that about myself, so I try to shop accordingly. I have left behind fabulous pieces that I loved…because I knew it wouldn’t be a long-term piece and it was too expensive to purge in a year. My husband and I give considerable thought to the pieces that we invest in.
Over this past year, we’ve had a lot more time at home (who hasn’t?!?!) and have spent considerable time assessing how we want to use the different spaces in our home. That has allowed us to feel ready to invest in vintage pieces that we know really fit our home…both in function and in style.
How to Get Rid of Décor Items
The main things I do when purging home décor items is to sort into three categories:
- Discard: These are items that are in irreparable condition and can no longer be enjoyed by anyone. Off to the trash they go!
- Yard Sale: These are items that have good life left in them and also items that I think I can get a little money out of. If I know it’s going to only get 25 cents at a yard sale, it isn’t worth my storage real estate!
- Donate: These are items that can still be used but either aren’t worth saving for a yard sale OR I know I won’t have time to get them priced for a yard sale. Mental clutter is a real thing and I try to purge that too!
If you have nice items that are in excellent condition, Facebook Marketplace is a great place to both buy and sell. If you have good vintage items, consider finding someone who is a vendor at vintage markets or has a booth at an antique mall. They may be delighted to give you a fair, bundle price and get a load off of your hands at the same time!
A Good Reminder
You should own your home décor; it should not own you. Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you enjoy decorating and likely have your fair share of décor items in storage too. It is worth every bit of your time to have them organized and stored in a way that sparks creativity. It just isn’t fun to open up that décor drawer or cabinet to a mess…I’ve been there. You’ll save yourself time, money, and mental stress to consider how you can better organize and store your décor. Even more importantly, you’ll enjoy it again! You may be surprised at all the new ways you find to use your décor!
I hope these lessons that I’ve learned and ideas I use will help you! Maybe even give you a little inspiration or idea of how you can start loving your home décor again!