By Mackenzie Dunn

Published on January 14, 2018

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Photography by ikea.com

If you’re like us, it’s more than likely you put off organizing your home until you simply can’t take it anymore—after all, the thought of tackling some of our most challenging messes can be daunting. But thanks to Organize Your Home Day (apparently on January 14 every year), there’s a legitimate time for you to focus on getting the clutter out of the way.

But instead of jumping to the first solution you can think of—like dumping your things into unsightly plastic bins—consider these tips from Alessandra Wood, Design History PhD and interior design startup Modsy’s Director of Style. Thanks to these design-friendly solutions, there’s a way to make an organized impression—starting with your decor.

From strategic lighting to double-duty furniture and storage, the task of decluttering may be easier than you think. Even if you’re not the type to color code your closet or intentionally organize every room of the house, you may be able to take guests’ eyes away from the clutter by creating an environment of controlled chaos. Click through for products and tips that make decluttering easy. 

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Photography by SCHLECHTER ANNIE

Brighten your lighting.

Although you might not realize it, your lighting could be playing a huge role in making your space feel extra cramped. “It’s incredible what lighting in a room can do to make a space feel new again,” says Wood. “Rooms that are often the most cluttered have poor lighting to conceal the mess, so evaluate what spaces could be brighter. Introduce a big floor lamp, warm side table lamps, or even oversized candles to make the room more inviting.”

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Photography by URBAN OUTFITTERS

Invest in double-duty furniture.

Dual purpose furniture that has hidden storage is one of the best ways to make your space multi-task, while still remaining stylish. Wood recommends thinking ottomans, coffee tables, benches, and beds that have some sort of storage component. “Even the least organized person can shove a pile of stuff into a bench or coffee table to quickly tidy up when friends are coming over,” she says.

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Photography by Beppe Brancato photography

Bold colors are your friends.

Wood advises that another way to give the appearance of an organized room is to take attention away from potential clutter through statement pieces and dramatic wall colors and wallpaper. Since these are set to be a huge trend in 2018, you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to updating your decor. We love the idea of being bold enough to use a dark color in the bedroom

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Photography by Owens + Davis

Decorative accents should serve a purpose.

Little accents can be purposeful, too. Wood recommends using things like boxes, bowls, or baskets to add flair and help you stay organized. “Designate a spot for your keys, wallet, change, and headphones—the things you stuff in your pocket every day,” advises Wood. “When you get home, put them in your vessel. Or if that’s too much to commit to, when someone is about to come over, scoop them up from the counter and put them in your bowl.”

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Photography by ELLOS

Control the chaos.

Sometimes, you just have to embrace the mess. Whether it’s due to a lack of space or not, things sometimes end up in piles. We love Woods’ idea of creating beauty from your chaos with intentional groupings of products. It can be as simple as putting a lamp or vase atop a stack of books, or staging a set of vases on the floor next to a console.

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Photography by TIVOLI AUDIO

Go wireless whenever possible.

In a world where technology is everything and we’re all trying to keep up with the latest trends, there’s no getting around the sheer number of digital devices we allow into our homes. According to Wood, this usually leads to some very cluttered living and entertainment rooms, filled with lots of bulky tech and tangled wires. To avoid this, she advises you go wireless wherever possible. Some product suggestions? A wireless home assistant, or these chic wireless SPHERA speakers by Tivoli

See more organization hacks:

Ikea Is About to Make Organizing Easier Than Ever