Published on December 17, 2019

Let’s get one thing straight: Getting organized and getting rid of stuff are very different resolutions. Sure, if you’re all about living with less, these two strategies can coexist. But what we sometimes forget is that you can get joy from being surrounded by things—and still have a perfectly neat home. Surprise, maximalists like to tidy up, too!

“As much as I can appreciate the beauty of minimalism, I’ve never been able to achieve it because I love thrifting treasures and have such a passion for art,” says Katie Zamprioli, who runs the popular Instagram account @candycoloredhome. In fact, organizing is a totally different ball game when you simply love stuff. To learn more about how to make an eclectic room look curated—not cluttered—we asked four maximalists to share their tricks for artful arranging. Turns out, if you use color, scale, and storage thoughtfully, you don’t have to toss a thing. 

Go Monochrome 

pink mural in a hallway with a mid century chestPin It
Photography by Katie Zamprioli

The most challenging thing about Zamprioli’s Los Angeles home is the open floor plan. To keep things feeling cohesive between the living room, office, and dining room (all of which are in one big space), she narrowed down her palette to a few soothing pastels. “I’m a color lover through and through, but I stay within the same tones in each room to avoid it looking messy,” she says. 

Think in Threes 

white retro sofa with glass coffee table with a lot of vasesPin It
Photography by Gladys Tay

Grouping three objects that are similar in style, silhouette, or material is a classic styling rule for a reason. “It keeps things looking neat and organized,” says Gladys Tay, who collects vintage decor and sells it through her Chairish shop. Once she’s established a unifying trend for her trinkets, she plays with height and size. For example, a cluster of vases should include one that’s tall, one that’s short and wider, and one that’s somewhere in between. 

Strike a Balance Between Open and Closed Storage

red sofa with built in bookshelvesPin It
Photography by Justina Blakeney

Psst: You’re still going to need a few places to hide things. “As maximalists, we like to display the things we love, but there are plenty of items that don’t need to be out all the time,” says Justina Blakeney, founder of The Jungalow, a blog and shop dedicated to all things bohemian decor. But just because something is tucked away in a cabinet, it doesn’t have to stay there forever. Blakeney is diligent about rotating her items every few weeks in her 1,100-square-foot home. For example, when holiday decorations come out, her regular pottery collection takes a back seat. 

Take Shelves to New Heights

velvet red bar stoolsPin It
Photography by Kate Pearce

Vintage lover and blogger Kate Pearce’s 1919 farmhouse doesn’t have ground-floor closets. But instead of trying to squeeze a bulky armoire somewhere, she chose to embrace open shelving in every single room, including her newly renovated kitchen, which has no upper cabinets. “These decisions allowed us to curate our spaces with the things we love, yet Marie Kondo our home maximalist-style,” says Pearce. 

Treat Accessories Like Art 

jewelry and necklaces hanging on wall hooksPin It
Photography by AMY NEUNSINGER; Design by Rebecca De Ravenel

Blakeney used to store her jewelry in a pocket organizer in her closet, but when she realized she wasn’t wearing any of her favorite pieces because they were too hard to get to (and therefore easy to forget about), she switched over to a new method. Now she hangs her necklaces and earrings from hooks and pushpins on the wall. Items are roughly grouped by style, color, and length. “When stuff is accessible, it takes away the chaos of the day-to-day,” she explains. And she never has to edit down her collection—it’s beautiful chaos, after all.

See more stories like this: 
6 Decluttering Strategies Minimalists Swear By
13 Ways to Declutter Your Home This Month
This $20 Shoe Rack Has Changed My Room and, Dare I Say, My Life

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