Getting Organized in 2013

Organized Dressing Area

Start the new year off with a bang. Tackle the hot spots in your home that seem to attract clutter no matter how neat you are. Use our simple three-step solutions to organize and hide everyday items.

This year I vow to…Get my closet and dressing area in tip-top shape

You say you have nothing to wear, yet your dressing area is brimming with clothes, shoes, and accessories. It’s time to clean out and clean up so you can get dressed in a snap.

  • Judiciously edit your clothes and accessories. If you never wear it, it doesn’t fit you or you simply don’t feel your best when you wear it, don’t keep it. The same goes for hand bags, shoes and jewelry. Hanging onto something just in case that trend comes around again is a bad idea, too.
  • Sort your wardrobe so you can see what’s ready to wear at a glimpse. Hang clothes by type (jackets, pants, etc.), and by color, from light to dark. Store out-of-season clothes on a higher shelf or in protective storage under a bed.
  • Display accessories in plain site so you can see all your options at once. Hang hooks for belts, scarves and long necklaces. Organize jewelry by type in protective velvet trays on a dresser top or in an accessible drawer. Use dividers to shelve hats, bags and shoes. Grab it and go.

Storage Basket

Control the clutter that is taking over my family’s common spaces

You can bear it no longer. The items that end up on the floor, heaped on shelves or scattered across tables is never ending. It’s time to find the right kind of storage that works for you and your family.

  • Establish consistent storage stations for larger like items. In the entry, use hooks and cubbies to corral jackets, shoes and umbrellas. Designate a tray for technology items, such as handheld games, phones and tablets. Store media, such as DVDs, games and remotes in labeled lidded photo boxes for storage on a shelf or in a cabinet. Corraltoys, blankets and magazines in large, open fabric bins, baskets or buckets that can easily fit on a shelf or under a console or coffee table.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. Subdivide drawers with trays to keep miscellany—pens, paperclips, note pads, batteries—organized and out of sight. Or, set up a desktop organizer and use small dishes for keys and sunglasses. The key is to create a place where you can quickly stash those pesky odds and ends that crop up and create clutter.
  • Spend a few minutes every day clearing minor messes and maintaining your newly organized spaces—and encourage your family to do the same.

Eiffel Tower Tray

Bring order to the stacks of mail, bills, magazines and more

Quelling the paper riot is a constant battle. Figure out a system for dealing with and storing the different types of information stacking up in your in-box and stick to it.

  • Go through all incoming mail daily. Dispose of junk mail immediately, place catalogs and magazines in a basket or tray and the rest (bills, school flyers, letters) in an in-box.
  • Every couple of days go through and clean out your trays. Move bills and invitations into a “Pending Action” file or take care of it immediately and file away. If you like to hang onto your magazines, store them neatly in standing files. Or, tear out the articles, recipes or photos that interest you and save in a labeled accordion file or themed binders. If you’re a visual person, create a bulletin board to post RSVPs, tears and other reminders.
  • Want to cut the clutter even more? Go paperless. Sign up for online bill pay to eliminate physical bills and cancel catalogs that don’t interest you. Join online communities for inspiration, like and, and save rooms, recipes and ideas you find online.

Sarah Storage Tower

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.


  1. Reply

    lorrie fabrizio

    August 28, 2013

    I was wondering if you could help me. I purchased your Grand Tour Etergere for my hall bath (no tub or shower) can you tell me what to put on it for decor

    • Reply


      August 28, 2013

      Lorrie: We suggest anything that you could imagine in a luxury hotel bath … both the practical and beautiful! A stack of rolled up hand towels, a bottle of luxurious hand cream, an apothecary jar full of breath mints or a pretty box of tissues. In a bathroom, one could never forget a posh candle. The possibilities are limitless!! Style Studio Team