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Last month, I stumbled upon my best friend’s abode and saw a quirky signage in their kitchen. It says, “Please excuse the mess but we live here.” Yes, it’s true – real, living homes look anything but the ones featured in lifestyle magazines. It’s never easy to make your space look Pinterest-worthy 24/7 when dwellers are always frantic. Also, not all of us have housekeepers to declutter and keep everything in place on our behalf. That being the case, every nook and cranny turn into a storage room, and all the unsightly stuff are in sight.

However, it’s still possible to have your rooms tidied up and prettified– or at least create an illusion that they are (for everyone’s sanity). Ahead are some ways to keep the chaos, from unorganized paper reams to nasty wires to overwhelming travel souvenirs, under the wraps.

1. Mask the mess with curtains, shades, and desk skirts

When bookcases are still spacious, it’s tempting to stock ’em up with more books or other objects that have nothing to do with reading. Random knick-knacks including outdated magazines, toys, craft materials, travel souvenirs, and even electric bill notices create a messy, unpleasant scenery. Same goes with open kitchen shelves. If you still have no time to declutter, then hang a couple of curtain panels to close off the space (and just slide it open when it isn’t a mess anymore).

Aside from clutter, you can also use curtains, shades, and blinds, and desk skirts to conceal unsightly interior details like chipped wall paint or wallpaper, vandalized walls, exposed pipes under the bathroom sink, rusty washing machine, and odd-looking windows.

2. Cover eyesores with paintings, photos, and wall art

Hide small wall eyesores like vandals, nail marks, breaker box, and the power outlet with a catchy painting or a self/family portrait – and no one would even know that these unsightly details exist.

3. Stock up on storage baskets and boxes

No, not the plastic, transparent storage cases that give a hint of the dusty knick-knacks inside. We’re referring to decorative boxes you can display, from eco-chic wicker storage boxes and baskets to vibrant and graphic gift boxes.

If you have a smaller space, you can invest in a durable yet stylish ottoman which functions both as a chair and a storage box.

4. Make the most of your nook window seat

Blessed with a flawsome nook? A window seat plus a built-in storage are a match made in heaven. Here, you can create a drawer or a shelf and safely store old magazines, documents, and decors that you don’t want to display.

5. Install sliding doors next to filth-prone areas

We love our homes but there are two rooms we’d prefer not to flaunt – the dirty kitchen and the messy laundry room or nook. You can install a sliding door to cover them while adding visual interest to your space.

6. Invest in hidden compartments (pull out and tuck in furniture)

Not only they are genius storage pieces– they are space-savers too. Think about pull out trash bins, drawers that reveal your pet’s dining bowls, and a multi-functional liquor storage cabinets that double as tables when the door is pulled out.

7. Turn your vintage suitcase into a multi-purpose side table

Do you have a suitcase that is too worn out and old-fashioned to use for travels but is too beautiful to throw? Let it do its sole purpose – to declutter and store things. Revamping your old suitcases into a side table can add quirky personality and visual appeal to your home.

8. Resolve your ugly cable situation with thoughtful organization

Who have seen fussy black cables in interior design catalogs? No one. As much as we love electronics, we hate these cluster of gadget cables which just refuses to untangle.So here are some ways to organize and declutter them.

  • Place adhesive hooks on the side of the table and table leg to organize cables and keep them out of sight.
  • Use a decorative box for storing your power strip with holes for the chords.
  • Use toilet paper rolls to organize and store chords.
  • Hide an eyesore Internet router behind a thick book cover (with all the pages removed)
  • If you’re sick of hiding them, why not just flaunt them and integrate them into your design? Turn them into a wall art by organizing them neatly and forming shapes out of them.

9. Consider installing a versatile pegboard

Using a pegboard won’t necessarily hide your clutter – it’ll display your clutter but in a very organized manner.

A pegboard offers peace of mind to busy individuals like designers, writers, artists, and crafting enthusiasts whose minds are too occupied to declutter but aren’t happy with storing their tools inside a box. The board with holes can be used for vertically storing your tools, inspiration images, crafting materials, etc to keep your working area neat while keeping your favorite items within reach.

Carmina is a resident writer for Wincrest Home Builders, one of NSW’s most experienced and well-renowned home builders aiming at building and designing modern family homes in Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast, and the Hunter.