Jessica Abels

CTW Features

Whether you've exhausted all your closet space, or never had any to begin with, it's worth your time (and space) to consider open storage. By housing things in plain view, you save space in drawers and cabinets, and place your belongings in visually accessible spots. From dishes to sneakers, a variety of everyday items are ready for their chance in the spotlight. And clutter-haters, don't fret: Open storage doesn't have to mean chaos. Here's how to open your home without sacrificing its organization.

The brain game

Depending on which side of your brain is most dominant, open storage may actually be necessary to your peace of mind, says Kim Cosentino, owner of Westmont, Ill.-based De-Clutter Box. Right-brained people are more creative, and tend to have "flat-surface disease," she says. "They keep everything out so they can see it. I had a lady whose whole laundry room floor was covered with everything she needed, so we took the cupboard doors off." If you're the crafty, artsy type, Cosentino says it's natural for you to need everything within sight, so consider her trick of removing cabinet doors.

Boxes and baskets and bins, oh my!

Reign in clothing, toys, accessories and even shoes by purchasing relatively inexpensive baskets or bins. The Container Store even has a Four Drawer Shoe Cabinet for those who don't have the closet space to house footwear, says Olescia Hanson, a store spokeswoman. She says it's best to opt for bins and boxes with label areas on the front, so you can find what you're looking for faster. Many baskets come in a variety of colors, patterns and design styles, so don't be afraid to mix and match to complement the décor of a room.

Go vertical

"What if all the books in a library were lying flat?" Cosentino asks. "That would take up a lot of space." She says it's crucial to think vertically and not horizontally, particularly in the home office. Try using file folders vertically with label tabs, instead of lying them flat in drawers. You'll save space and be able to quickly find that random receipt or letter you're after.

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