January 11, 2011

Hidden vs. open storage

Yesterday I shared how we organize our master bedroom closet, but we actually don't have space to store all of our clothes and shoes in that one closet.  The truth is that I have things stashed elsewhere in the house too: a plastic Rubbermaid bin of purses in the basement, a closet full of winter coats in the guest room, and baskets of t-shirts and workout clothes in our room.  Some of these are hidden storage, while others are very much open to view.  Ideally, your home should have a mix of both types of storage, depending on factors such as the product stored, the frequency of use, and your own personal aesthetic preferences.  Here are a few examples of each organizational strategy:

Hidden Storage
Some people prefer hidden storage for pretty much everything they own.  This is ideal if you don't want to keep everything super neat all the time (which applies to almost everyone...can you think of many people who would want a glass-door refrigerator and all glass-front cabinets in the kitchen?  Last night's leftovers look much better behind a stainless steel door, I think!).

{Not reality for most people!}

Hidden storage is also great for seasonal items or products you don't use often.  It's fine to keep the extra guest bedroom blankets in a storage bag under the bed, or to move your winter coats down to the basement at the end of the season.

And hidden storage is a necessity for certain items.  Spices, for example, begin to lose their potency when stored in sunlight or near a heat source.  So as pretty as that countertop spice holder looks sitting beside your stove, it's actually best if you store spices in a cool, dark place.

{The little spice closet inset into the wall of our old kitchen looked cute, but it was not ideal for storing spices}

{Our current pantry has plenty of room for lining up spice bottles behind closed doors -- much better!}

Of course, the great thing about hidden storage is that all you have to do is close a door and the room looks clean again!

{This mudroom uses hidden storage so it always looks neat}

Open Storage
When I say "open storage," what I mean is storage that is not hidden in a closet or behind cabinet doors.  You can still hide some clutter in totes and baskets, but open storage is much more accessible and visible than hidden storage.

The great thing--and the worst thing--about open storage is that it has to look good at all times.  If your dreams involve a shopping spree at the Container Store, this may be for you.  Keep in mind that, from a budget standpoint, open storage is usually going to be more expensive than hidden storage.  It's much cheaper to buy a bunch of large plastic bins for the garage or basement than it is to buy a set of small baskets.  Nonetheless, open storage is great for things you use often (towels and toiletries in the bathroom, toys for the kids, or books and magazines you are reading now).

Here are a few places where we use open storage in our home:

{Seagrass media bins hold DVDs on open shelves}

{A floating shelf in the bathroom is a handy ledge for towels and lotion}

{Shelves under the kitchen island hold baskets of dishtowels, mixing bowls, and metal and glass canisters filled with baking ingredients}

{More open shelves hold cookbooks and serving pieces}

A couple more examples of how open storage can be both functional and good looking:

{A clever idea: use magazine holders to store clutches and as bookends to support your larger handbags}

{Lots of matching storage canisters help this bathroom look uncluttered}

So, are you more of a hidden or open storage type of person?

Photo credits: mudroom (Jennifer Worts design), white bathroom (Livingetc)

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...