Unexpected Items HGTV's Joanna Gaines Uses To Organize And Store Clutter

Joanna Gaines is known for her signature rustic-meets-modern style on HGTV and the Magnolia Network, where she can often be found sharing how to emphasize homes' original pieces. Part of her success lies in knowing the balance between accents that provide texture and dimension in a room and the things that may just clock as unruly clutter. If you are looking for ways to achieve this effortless balance all on your own, whatever your decor style, Gaines has an important piece of wisdom and go-to styling tip she shares when it comes to combatting clutter. The key is finding pieces that double as beautiful decor accents and furniture while also fulfilling necessary storage needs. 

Gaines recently shared with Architectural Digest her tip for putting these pieces to work: "A great way to stay organized is to create intentional spaces for toys, craft supplies, and odds and ends. I think storage is the most undervalued part of a home. Adequate storage can make every room feel more peaceful and beautiful simply by removing clutter and freeing up visual space. I like to purchase unique pieces that offer a lot of practical organizational space. For example, I bought an old wood chicken feeder at an antique store that I love. It's the perfect 'built-in' organizational area."

Storage pieces that also catch the eye

Much of Joanna Gaines' plan of attack depends on being intentional in buying pieces for your space, particularly when shopping at antique fairs, flea markets, thrift stores, and other venues. Look for pieces that are large enough to create an impact and offer storage, but not so large as to overwhelm the room. A few key vintage or antique pieces in the home can be just enough. This can mean opting for a vintage trunk over a conventional coffee table to store toys or throw blankets. Alternatively, a set of old lockers in an industrial space or kids' room can store clothing or sporting equipment. Instead of a conventional media cabinet, opt for an old bureau with deep and expansive drawers. Large armoires can provide a beautiful focal point in any room and serve as anything from a media console to a fold-out desk.

The type of accent that works best will be determined by your design aesthetic. For farmhouse and cottage-style rooms, look for pieces that grant storage but evoke a rustic feel like Gaines' chicken feeder or the stunning bookshelf and apothecary cabinet she also harbors in her home. Industrial-style spaces are a great chance to use metal things like industrial screw bins and old tool cabinets in the home. For more modern and contemporary spaces, look for streamlined midcentury modern pieces like sideboards, buffets, and record cabinets that will fit with the decor and offer lots of room inside. 

Small storage basics

Joanna Gaines' suggestions can be also be put to use for smaller means of storage as well. Gaines tells Architectural Digest, "If you don't have room for a piece of furniture, use unique baskets, bins, and crates that help organize the mess. Look for practical pieces that tell a story and fit your style. These may take longer to find, but they'll be worth the wait." If you're looking for a way to catch all those pesky things like phone chargers, keys, and remotes in one place, consider using stylish means to store them like small fruit crates, old pottery, mini-steel file boxes, old cigar boxes, and wood wine crates. Vintage suitcases or trunks of any size are also a stylish and efficient way to store things like books and off-season clothing out of sight.

Even tiny vintage or antique pieces are a lovely way to organize small bits of clutter on bathroom vanities, dressers, and nightstands. Use some pretty vintage bowls or old apothecary jars to store small items like cotton swabs and balls in the bathroom. Use a tiny distinctive saucer as a place to keep jewelry out where you can see it. Gaines suggests using old breadboards and wood trays for kitchen countertop styling to pull together cooking essentials like oil bottles and shakers in one spot to keep near the stove. By combining form and function, you will fill your home with storage pieces that you actually want guests to see.