Organize the bedroom once and for all

“Clean your room!”

Those three words have haunted kids and teenagers almost for as long as there have been kids and teenagers. Even as an adult, I don’t always have time to keep my bedroom neat and tidy. If you’re in the same boat, here are some tips on maintaining a tidy, organized bedroom once and for all.

The power of ten minutes

You can accomplish quite a bit in ten minutes! If you’re like me and busy with kids, work, and family life, something as simple as making your bed regularly falls by the wayside. Here’s how to keep on top of things in just ten minutes.

  1. Understand that this will not be a deep clean, and give yourself permission for that to be okay. We are simply going to tidy up.
  2. Grab a garbage bag, some surface cleaner, a rag, and some window cleaner.
  3. As you do a quick dusting on flat surfaces, move items that are not where they belong.
  4. If there’s no designated place for a certain item, put it in a “homeless items” pile.
  5. Make your bed and clean windows.
  6. Go back and find a home for the “homeless items” you collected earlier.

Making this routine a habit will prevent the pile up of misplaced items — and dust.

Next, I want to discuss furniture arrangement. Most bedrooms are rather small and that determines what can be placed in the bedroom, and how it is arranged. Still, thoughtful planning can result in a more consistently tidy room, particularly by eliminating invitations to clutter.

Be mindful of your laundry area

Dedicate the smallest amount of bedroom real estate to laundry as you can get away with. In my experience, a laundry pile grows to accommodate the space allotted for it. Find a small, unobtrusive area for a compact basket. You could also consider a door-hanging model like the Laundry Hook. Keeping dirty laundry up and out of the way can eliminate the temptation to let a sock or two spill onto the floor.

An industrial coat rack

My wife and I bought two commercial-grade rolling garment racks a few years ago and we love them. They tuck into a closet or corner when not in use, and are easily rolled around when needed.

Hidden storage

When shopping for the bedroom, look for furniture with hidden storage. Under-bed storage is great (as long as you keep it tidy), but also look for something as simple as an ottoman with an internal compartment. It offers double-duty as a seat and an out-of-sight storage unit. It’s a great place to hide extra blankets, off-season clothing, etc. A bedside table with storage can be used to hide slippers or your CPAP machine.

Drawer organization

Use clothing organizers to keep drawers neat and tidy. They are great for your socks and underwear. Non-slip drawer liner placed in the bottom of drawers will help keep loose items from rolling around.

Keep the top of the dresser organized, too. Personally, I don’t put anything on my dresser top, as I know that, for me, one item will become two, then three, then the whole thing is covered. By maintaining a clean surface, I don’t stray from the system I use inside the drawers.

Rotate seasonally

Move off-season items somewhere else. Buy some bins, add labels, and move the summer clothes (or winter, depending on the season) to a long-term storage area such as your basement or guest closet.

Keep shoes elsewhere

I live and die by this rule: no shoes in the bedroom. It might sound a little crazy, but shoes tend to pile up, get strewn about, trip me in the middle of the night, and otherwise make a nuisance of themselves as soon as they leave my feet. Instead, they stay by the door on a boot mat.

There you have some quick tips for maintaining a tidy bedroom all year long. Now, when someone tells you, “Clean your room,” you can answer, “I’m way ahead of you.”

Sunk costs and discontinuing things you’re doing

Don’t cling to a mistake just because you have spent a lot of time making it. — Banksy

I’ve written before that it’s perfectly okay to give up on a book. But there are plenty of other cases where you might want to give up on something — a TV series, a craft project, a hobby, a class, etc. — even if you’ve already put a lot of time (and perhaps money) into that thing. The time and money are already gone. The question is whether you now want to spend any more. As Margie Warrell wrote in Forbes, “Continuing down a path that isn’t taking you where you want to go for no other reason than you’ve already walked a long way … is crazy.”

Arianna Huffington spoke of the benefits she found from discontinuing some projects:

“Did you know that you can complete a project by dropping it?” Huffington told a women’s business audience. … She said that in her case, dropping projects — learning to ski and to speak German, for example — led to feelings of relief, not a sense of failure. And by dropping them, she was free to pursue the things she truly cared about.

How do you know when it’s time to give up on an activity, a project, etc.? In Harvard Business Review, Tony Schwartz suggested a number of questions related to pursuing business opportunities. But one question has broad applicability: “Is there a more enjoyable and productive way I could be investing my time and energy right now?”

Todd VanDerWerff, writing for the Vox website, had some suggestions on when to give up on a TV show. If you’re uncertain about a show, he provided a number of suggestions about how many episodes to watch before you decide to give up. But his number one rule was this:

You can — and should — ditch a show at any time, for any reason. … Sometimes you’ll realize a show is just rubbing you the wrong way, or you don’t like the lead actor, or whatever. And if that’s the case, turn it off. Find something else.

Sometimes you may just need to change tactics rather than give up on a project. For example, if you’re truly interested in learning another language but find yourself getting frustrated by your lack of progress, you may want to change your learning method and see if that helps. Some people do better with classes and some are fine with self-study, and there are many variations in both methods.

But sometimes you’ll find that the activity that sounded good just doesn’t work for you, even after giving it your best effort for a reasonable time. For example, I’ve discovered I have no aptitude for languages — no matter how much I’d like to become a fluent Spanish speaker it isn’t going to happen. So my time is better spent on other pursuits that are more fruitful and rewarding.

Dish draining racks

Although I have a dishwasher and the majority of my kitchenware is dishwasher-safe, I usually wash a sink-full of dishes by hand every day. Some of these dishes include non-dishwasher-safe items such as chef knives and wine glasses, small plastic containers from school lunches that would get tossed around inside the dishwasher and large, oddly-shaped items that don’t fit in the dishwasher like my ceramic crock-pot insert.

Over the years, I’ve tried a variety of dish racks. One was made of such flimsy plastic that it broke when I placed a heavy pot on it and the tray underneath that was supposed to drain the water back into the sink, warped so the water pooled in the middle of it instead. For a while I was using a drying mat but it was too small for what I needed.

I finally settled on the Rubbermaid Space Saver Dish Drainer (which seems to be available only in Canada). However, there are many other types of dish draining racks available depending on your needs.

People who have double sinks may prefer a dish drainer that fits over one of the sinks so they have more counter space available. This silicone-coated steel rack can be suspended over a sink to let dishes drip dry. It is very easy to clean and rolls up for convenient storage.

A basket-type dish drainer can fit inside a sink or be suspended over a sink using its telescopic handles. It is rust-resistant and the bottom and handles are rubber coated so they won’t slip or scratch sinks and counter tops.

For those that do not have a double sink, there are folding counter top dish drainers. Bamboo dish drying racks are very popular, as are chrome-plated ones. Both can hold a fair number of dishes and when collapsed, they take up very little space. They should be placed on a drying mat. Some people may wish to purchase a utensil-drying rack to hook on to the dish rack as well.

The Full Circle Smart Rack is a drying rack and draining board in one and it folds away neatly. It may not be sturdy enough for a large family with no dishwasher but it would be great for those who only have a few dishes to wash. The OXO Good Grips dish rack can be configured several ways depending on whether you’re larger or smaller dishes. It also folds away to save space.

I’m always very nervous about putting my wine glasses on a dish rack or drying mat. Every holiday season one or two get broken by tipping over or falling off the dish rack. I thought about purchasing a drying rack just for stemware. I quite like the Kohler collapsible wine glass holder. It would allow me to easily carry wine glasses from the sink back to the cupboard plus it folds away for easy storage.

Is there a style of dish drying rack you prefer? Share your experiences with our readers in the comments below.

Storing leftovers

As the holidays approach many of us will be cooking more than we typically do. Some will serve elaborate meals to their families and guests. Much food will be consumed, but not all — and that means leftovers.

We’ve written about leftover storage before, as well as tips for eliminating food waste but today I want to share a product I’ve been using for about a year with great success: the “Brilliance” containers by Rubbermaid.

When my wife first brought these home, I became nostalgic for the great glass containers from Pyrex that my mother used. The Brilliance containers are about the same size in shape, but made of plastic with a tightly-sealing lid. They stack nicely and offer a few great advantages while in the refrigerator.

First, they are completely transparent, so you needn’t play that fun guessing game, “What’s In This One?” A quick glance answers that question. Because they are made of BPA-free plastic, it makes them lighter than glass containers and less likely to break when dropped.

What really sets these apart from their vintage counterparts is the tight locking lid. There is a strip of sealant that runs along the inside of the lid, which has two strong clips, one on each side. To secure the lid, simply push it into place and click down the two clips. Voilà, it’s closed. In the year that we’ve been using these, we’ve never had a leak, even when I used one to bring soup to work in a lunch box that got jostled around. When not in use the nest for easy storage.

However, I have observed that after a year of use the formerly crystal-clear plastic has gotten a bit cloudy. I’m sure the many passes through the dishwasher had something to do with that. Not overly cloudy — you can still see the contents easily — but they’re not as brilliant as they once were. Of course, that does not affect functionality in the slightest. I really love these containers and I expect to use them for many years.

Now my question to you: how do you store leftovers? Have a favorite container or routine for avoiding the “science experiments” that happen when leftovers sit around to long? Please share in the comments below.

How best to be sick: stop worrying about being productive

Over the last few months, I’ve been dealing with the sick leave of one employee after another in my day job. It was, of course, just a matter of time before I fell ill as well.

Fortunately, I’m not bed-bound nor will I have to miss work, but I am moving more slowly, have no energy, and find it hard to concentrate. As a consequence, I’m not able to get nearly as much done as I would like, I have to postpone a bunch of holiday-related projects, and I can’t tackle anything that requires much brain power.

I could be very cranky. I could push myself and end up having to redo the same work later. Or I could take a break and let this cold pass.

Being a naturally lazy person (my main motivation in doing things efficiently), the latter option appeals most to me. However, I can’t be completely unproductive. It’s just not in me. If I can’t tick things off my various lists, I get anxious.

I used to be quite good at completely disconnecting. Over 20 years ago, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia (which actually turned out to be intolerance to certain foods), and spent nine years in constant but variable pain. There were days that I could do nothing but stare at the ceiling and hope the next day would be better. It’s when I learned to be a minimalist, both in possessions and actions. I learned the hard way how not to feel guilty about not getting anything done. I wish, however, I’d had the book Say No to Guilt!: The 21 Day Plan for Accepting Your Chronic Illness and Finding Inner Peace and Happiness by Kristi Patrice Carter.

I’m lucky in that I no longer have the chronic pain, but I do need to remember the skills I built up in that period of my life when things like colds hit me. The main trick is to let it happen.

Instead of fighting with myself and making the week even worse, I let myself be sick. I enjoy the day in bed or sprawled on the sofa with mindless TV programs, instead of whining about every moment that I wasn’t sticking to my schedule.

At work, I also treat myself with care. No projects, no meetings, nothing that requires either deep thought or delicate communication skills. I stick to strictly administrative tasks that can be done even while my head floats about in a medication-induced haze.

In the end, even though I don’t complete a lot of tasks, I still accomplish the minimum, and a pamper myself enough to get back to full strength quickly. It is much better to allow the house to become a disaster for a few days, or for work tasks to pile up, so that I don’t experience any sort of setback. By scheduling in plenty of relaxation time I give myself wiggle room to catch up after feeling better. If you don’t give yourself that sort of space, then when you do fall behind, you just keep moving backwards struggling every moment.

So be kind to yourself and stop struggling – plan your time well and give yourself the best chance to achieve success, creatively.

And if you don’t get it all done, don’t worry!

Reusable shopping bags

Reader Danielle sent us a suggestion for collapsible, reusable bags, and totes. These bags fold into handy carrying cases when not in use. Their small size makes storing them simple, and the bags keep you from collecting a seemingly endless supply of paper/plastic bags from the grocery store. And, since they’re reusable, they help the environment. There are a number of brands on the market, but these two look pretty nifty:

Both brands are made from rip-stop fabric and can hold a significant quantity of groceries. The bags are also machine-washable so it’s easy to clean up spills and leaks. They fold up into an attached pouch and, once folded, can fit inside a purse or pocket.

Thanks Danielle for your suggestion!

 

This post has been updated since its original publication in 2007.

What we can learn from potato mashers

We keep a potato masher in a drawer because sometimes it’s fun to not be able to open that drawer. — Simon Holland

When I saw this on Twitter, I grinned. How many of us have struggled with potato mashers at some point? I know I have.

But the possible ways to work around this problem extend beyond this one object. There are a number of questions you might ask yourself about the potato masher that would be equally relevant to other items.

Do I even need to own this thing?

How many times have you used your potato masher recently? Do you have one you got years ago, before you changed your eating style to move away from potatoes (and other mashed vegetables)? If you just make mashed potatoes twice a year at the holidays, could you just borrow a potato masher from someone?

Alternatively, do you already have other tools that would do the job as well or better, such as a ricer or a food mill?

Should I replace my thing with one that would serve me better?

Assuming you feel you do indeed want to own a potato masher, is this the right one? William Morris said you should have nothing in your house that isn’t useful or beautiful, in your estimation. Marie Kondo suggested that everything we own should bring us joy. No matter which way you approach the topic, a potato masher that continually gets stuck in a drawer isn’t as useful as it could be and certainly isn’t bringing you joy.

One way to resolve this would be to get another potato masher that would bring you joy — or at least not make you annoyed. Two options are the folding potato mashers from Prepara and Joseph Joseph. And then remember to donate your old potato masher!

Could I just store the current thing better?

Potato mashers don’t need to be stored in a drawer. If your potato masher is the kind with a stick handle (rather than the kind with a horizontal handle), a utensil holder might be the easy answer. If you don’t already have one and don’t want to buy one, you may have something sitting around your home that would serve that purpose. My utensil holder is a tall ceramic mug. A wall rack for utensils is another option.

You might also be able to store the masher in another drawer that’s deeper, even if that separates it from the other utensils. Of course, then you’ll need to remember where you stashed it, if it’s not obvious.

Sometimes, though, the answer might be to unclutter the drawer that holds the masher and then organize the remaining contents. My potato masher lives in a drawer, but it’s always lying flat, within one section of a drawer organizer. If your masher is in a drawer that’s a jumble of various kitchen utensils, it’s more likely to get positioned in a way that causes the drawer to jam.

Holiday gifts of charitable giving

Etiquette experts may cringe at the idea of donating to a good cause in honor of someone rather than getting that someone a tangible gift. And some people on your holiday shopping list might not like that idea, either.

But some organizations that provide “gift catalogs” of donations are thriving, so enough people must like the idea — and it certainly avoids any clutter issues. Two popular charities with these catalogs are Heifer International and Seva. With Heifer you might choose to send someone in need a water buffalo, a llama, honeybees, etc. — even a heifer. There are also gifts to send a girl to school, provide irrigation pumps, and otherwise help those in need. Seva’s gift catalog focuses on “gifts of sight” where you might decide to fund someone’s cataract surgery, give glasses to a person in need, help sponsor an eye clinic, etc. Both of these organizations will provide a greeting card for your gift recipient.

Another interesting option is Outreach International, a highly rated charity with a diverse gift catalog. As the organization states, “From animals to wells to school supplies to startup loans for businesses, our catalog offers all the things for all the people in all the places where Outreach works every day to help break the cycle of chronic poverty.” That image at the top illustrates one of the many gifts available.

There’s a slightly different gift option available at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where you can foster an orphan elephant as a holiday gift. In this case you aren’t choosing the type of gift — you’re choosing your elephant. There are numerous other programs that work in a similar fashion.

Yet another possible approach is to get your gifts through Changing the Present, which has collected gifts from numerous good causes. You might adopt a polar bear through Defenders of Wildlife, adopt an acre through The Nature Conservancy, provide a patient with a chemo comfort kit, and much more. This group charges for its greeting cards, but you get to select a photo and provide a personal message. Changing the Present also allows you to set up a “gift registry” if you want to encourage people to give you this kind of gift rather than more stuff.

Providing a specific gift (a heifer, some eyeglasses, etc.) can make the donation feel more gift-like than if you just made a normal “in honor of” donation to a charity. Also, many organizations with these gift catalogs allow you to buy a gift card where your gift recipient chooses the specific gifts, which some recipients will appreciate.

However, if you really care that the money is going for the specific item you purchased, you’ll want to check the organization’s policy. For example, Heifer International explains:

As a donor, you are given the opportunity to designate gifts to specific country programs or for specific animals. Gifts are deposited into various animal accounts, such as “llama/alpaca,” “tree seedlings” or “bees.” We have different accounts for every type of Heifer International animal. When any animal fund becomes depleted and there is still a need, monies from any other animal fund can be used where needed most. Meeting the needs of hungry families always comes first, but we do our best to accommodate your wishes, too.

Every gift to Heifer International represents a gift to our total mission. … Again, gifts designated for a particular project or animal are used as requested until that need is fully met. Any remaining money is put to use where it is needed most.

This all makes perfect sense in helping a charitable organization fulfill its purpose, so the chance that your money may not be used exactly as you expected may not matter to you. But one group that promises that the money really will go to the specific purpose you designated is Good Gifts, based in the U.K. It has a wide range of possible gifts, so you could help vaccinate 12 dogs against rabies, buy solar lamps for villagers in Africa, provide a family with five chickens and a cockerel, etc.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, so if you’d like to share another charity with a gift catalog, please add a comment!

What does it mean to ‘honor’ mementos?

beastieWe talk a great deal about “honoring” the mementos you chose to keep in your home. This exact word we picked up from Peter Walsh, but it’s a concept most everyone in the organization business has understood for years. In short, when we say that you should “honor” your mementos, we mean that if you’re going to the trouble of keeping something in your home, you should at least treat that item with respect. Being shoved in a messy closet, typically, is not honoring an object.

How you chose to honor something is a personal choice and full of seemingly endless possibilities. I thought that I would discuss one of my collections to give you an idea of how you could choose to honor something in your home. My example is concert posters.

When I was in journalism school working on my undergraduate degree, I was convinced I was going to be the next Cameron Crowe. I interviewed every band that came through town (Everclear, Jackopierce, mid-1990s groups) and every legend who set foot on campus (Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Patty Smith, Debbie Harry). When I wasn’t in class, I worked as a disc jockey for the local commercial station and had an internship with the company that booked all of the shows at the region’s concert amphitheater. In my mind, there was nothing standing between me and being the next Editor-in-Chief of Rolling Stone.

I was exactly like most people in their early twenties. I was trying to figure out who I was and who I wanted to grow to become. I still love music, though, and it will always be a part of me. Plus, if I hadn’t gone through my Cameron Crowe-obsession stage in college, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

So, how do I respect those memories? I frame them. I put concert posters in ridiculously ornate frames and hang them in my hallway. They’re fun. They make me smile. And, most importantly, they’re treated with respect and honored in a way appropriate to their memory.

I don’t have concert posters from every show I’ve attended. I only have kept those that are the most important to me. The one in the photograph above is from a secret concert the Beastie Boys performed a number of years ago in DC. Bad weather delayed the band so they bought pizza for everyone who stuck around to hear them play. By the time they went on stage, only a hundred or so people were still at the venue. I saw the show with one of my closest friends and it felt like we were watching the band at a small house party. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I framed the poster from the show and hung it on my hallway wall in tribute to that night.

 

This post has been updated since its original publication in 2007.

Book review: IKEAHACKERS.NET 25 Biggest and Best Projects

201712_ikeahackers_bookI quite enjoy the website IKEAHACKERS.NET. If you’re not familiar with it, the site shows modifications on and re-purposing (“hacks”) of IKEA products. Innovative and skilled people from around the world submit their ideas, designs, and creations to IKEAHACKERS.NET. Photos and instructions are published to inspire and motivate the rest of us.

The modifications may be as simple as painting a piece or parts thereof, or adding embellishments with a glue gun. Some modifications require disassembling the furniture and using your skills with power tools. Many of the IKEA products are rebuilt to serve a new purpose.

Their new book, IKEAHACKERS.NET 25 Biggest and Best Projects presents some of the most creative and popular and contributions to their website since they started in 2006. There are gorgeous photos of the projects which makes it a lovely coffee table book but, there are also detailed instructions that appear much more detailed and easy to follow than original IKEA instructions!

This book has a bit of everything. There’s a half-wall lamp with a little shelf that would be ideal for small spaces, a window bench with storage that makes excellent use of otherwise wasted space, and a disguised laundry hamper that keeps visual clutter to a minimum.

The skill level of the projects varies. The Double Murphy Bed is a bit complicated for a new do-it-yourself-er, but the String Sided Cabinet would make a great project for a family with school-aged children.

If you’re looking for some projects to occupy your time and you’ve got some unused or underemployed IKEA furniture sitting around, grab, IKEAHACKERS.NET 25 Biggest and Best Projects get your creative energy flowing!

How to store hats, gloves, and boots

Unsure of how to store hats, gloves, scarves, and boots for a clutter-free winter? It’s challenging to find the perfect solution as it needs to accommodates wet and muddy items, and items in the process of drying out. It also has to be accessible and preferably not an eyesore. Jackets and boots are bulky, while loose hats, mittens, and scarves are always getting lost. My kids typically lose a mitten or a glove, which magically returns only after I’ve purchased a replacement pair. If you’re struggling with storage of winter outerwear, check out this handy three-step solution.

Sort and purge

The sort stage features several steps. First, separate items by owner. Last week I opened up the bench that serves as our off-season, out-of-sight storage for these items, and sorted everything into four piles: one per person. With that done, everyone examined their pile and identified what they wanted to keep. What didn’t fit was donated and items that were worn out were turned into rags or tossed.

It’s helpful to keep a running list of what’s needed. I like to have two of everything so if, for example, one hat is too wet to wear, there is a dry one waiting. Make a list of who needs new gear while you sort.

Next, sort by type. That is, gloves together, hats together, etc. Now when I need my work gloves vs. my snow-shoveling gloves, I can get right to them. The same applies to all family members.

Find a storage area

Once the keepers have been sorted, the unwanted has been trashed or donated, and any outstanding purchases have been made, it’s time to find a place for it all to live. This isn’t as simple as buying a few labeled bins. Like I said, many of these items will spend time dirty and/or wet. So carefully consider your storage system.

First, find a spot as close to the door as possible. You don’t want snow-covered kids trotting halfway across the house before disrobing. This prevents a large, snowy mess as well as the likelihood that something will get lost.

Next, get a boot tray(s) to keep wet boots together and off of the floor. You can even use these for wet gloves/mittens and hats. Just lay them flat to dry. Here’s a trick: buy a pool noodle, cut it in half and place it inside tall boots to keep them upright.

If you’ve got floor space a mitten-boot dryer is a helpful addition to an entryway. An over-the-door towel bar can also provide a place for wet items to dry without taking up floor space. These hanger clips makes it easy to pin mittens and hats to the towel bar.

It’s also nice to have a place to sit, as that makes it easier to remove bulky items. A folding stool is handy as it can easily slide inside a closet when not being used.

Set rules and stick to them

It takes time to form a new habit. If your family is used to plopping winter outerwear wherever, don’t expect them to adhere to the new system right away. Instead, label storage areas for a gentle but persistent reminder, and have people get into the habit of removing those items in the designated spot.

It’s getting cold outside but winter hasn’t officially arrived yet. Take this weekend to get your winter storage strategy in place and by the time the snow starts to fall, you’ll be ready.

Craft storage without the visual clutter

When I was organizing full-time, I regularly worked with craftspeople. Scrapbooking, textile arts, or traditional visual arts are three fields that use many bits and bobs. And all too often, the creative mind veers towards chaos, meaning an artist’s studio or scrapbookers craft room becomes a pile of pieces of projects and remainders of previous projects that can deter the artist or crafter from moving forward.

Quite often, North American houses have basements or a space over the garage for a studio or craft room, sometimes up to hundreds of square feet to spread out in and organize materials in a meaningful and logical way. But what if you don’t have all that extra space? Or what if you’re like me and you don’t want everything visible creating visual clutter?

Folding furniture might be a solution for you. As long as you have floor space to unfold and use the piece of furniture, and as long as you take the time to tidy up and fold the cabinet or desk back away again, it could be a great way to have your artist studio or craft room in the middle of your regular living space and not have to worry about visual or physical clutter.

Recently I came across what is probably a crafter’s dream storage solution: The Original Scrapbox WorkBox 3.0. When folded up, it uses less than 3 sq ft of floor space, but when opened up, it offers 9 linear feet of shelves, cubbyholes and hanging storage along with a decent sized work space.

When I first saw the video, my heart leapt in my throat and I actually said out loud “I want that!” After posting something to that effect on my Facebook wall, however, one artist friend said it looked wonderful, but with so many storage options, he knew it would devolve into chaos in five minutes. And he’s right. I’m an organized person because I’m a minimalist, and too many options create clutter for me.

If you are a detail-loving person The Original Scrapbox furniture might be a good option for you, but for the rest of us, there are less overwhelming options that can still have the same result: organized craft space with no visual clutter.

Here are just a few of them. If you have a personal favorite that isn’t on the list, tell us about it in the comments.