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Clearing clutter can be made easier with a few items in plain sight

May. 19, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- So you have gone through the spring-cleaning thing, cleared out all your clutter and straightened all your drawers. Now what do you do with all the leftovers you want to keep?

Some see it as a challenge and work at storing their gear in plain sight.

One of the first rules of storage in plain sight is to always purchase side tables and other furnishings with drawers. That lovely table at the end of the sofa could be a great place to store games, cards and puzzles. Another often-used trick is use vintage luggage stacked as an end table or on a bookshelf as a conversation piece. While you and your friends are discussing its merits in another life, it could be holding your file of pre-digital photos. Think in terms of furnishings that can serve two purposes such as a bench that opens up to hold blankets or boots.

Get a little eclectic and artistic in storing such mundane items as hats and coffee cups. Why not hang the kids' colorful baseball hats on a series of wall pegs next to the back door? Again two purposes are served, first you have created interesting wall art and second given the children a place to hang their hats. The same could happen for your mug collection only located near the coffee pot.

Who was it that said bookshelves were just for books? They are perhaps the most versatile storage unit around. For example, in a bedroom they could offer great storage for shoes and purses. Add a few square baskets and they can organize the best of a cluttered closet. Jewelry is always a challenge but with a bookshelf one can create some art with stacked bracelets, a tree of earrings or hooks of necklaces. All dressing needs could be handy and in plain sight ready to be used but be attractive as well.

The dining room is an excellent place to create visible storage plus exhibit usable collectibles and satisfy discerning tastes. That lovely crystal that you have collected over the years should be showcased either in a china cabinet or on a sideboard. Put it on a tray ready to use. The after dinner liqueurs that you often serve in your favorite glassware could be exhibited on a handsome tray as well along with a basket of your best linen napkins. Add a bit of flair to your grouping with a vase of antique silver serving pieces.

The cooking shows that dominate the airways these days have showcased some interesting storage ideas as well. They have shown us its time to give up that kitchen drawer that holds utensils and knives. On their counters are baskets or crocks that hold their spatulas, slotted spoons and spaghetti tongs. Next to that could be a magnetized strip on the wall to attach the chef's favorite knives within ready reaching space. Hanging overhead are the most used pots and pans just an arm's length away.

Finally, when looking to store things in plain sight check out the newest gadgets on the market. In the office area there are multiple new offerings to control the computer cables. In the laundry room are the raised washers and dryers with drawers to hold laundry supplies or a ball caddy to corral all those footballs, baseballs and basketballs. In the kitchen check out the new nesting features in mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons all in one small colorful piece.

All in all you don't need to whittle down your good stuff, you just need to be neat, creative and eclectic in the storing of it in plain sight.