The only thing more satisfying than an ultra-tidy closet, pantry, or laundry room is seeing what it looked like before it was super organized. And it does’t need to be spring for us to get overly excited about a good clean-up and organization project. If you need a little inspiration to start your own, these transformations are the perfect motivation to tidy up. (The before and after shots will make your day.)
In a tiny bedroom with a tiny closet, clutter tends to accumulate very quickly. Bulky dressers were used to keep clothing hidden and to provide a surface for other items, like makeup, lamps, and accessories.
In order to keep those surfaces clean—and to free up that precious floor space—IKEA designers decided to take advantage of the walls by installing floating shelves. With bins on the shelves to keep knick knacks hidden, there was more space on the ground for useable furniture instead of another clunky dresser. And a well-organized shelf is better than staring at a blank wall.
What you’ll need: Floating shelf, $29, IKEA.com
Having built-in shelves and cabinets is a blessing. There’s so much more storage space to work with, whether you need it for essentials or as a way to display decor. The loose papers and random artwork in this sitting area aren’t helping the bookshelves live up to their full potential.
Wow. Now this is how you decorate open shelves. Covered in a fresh coat of paint to blend in with the surrounding walls, the whole room feels more open and spacious. Interior designer Shaun Smith put some antique books on display and also created visual intrigue by hanging artwork over the wall between the shelves.
What you’ll need: White paint, $26, Amazon.com
Spaces like garages, basements, and attics hold much potential. Seriously, having that much extra room for storage is going to come in handy. But since they’re also not always high-traffic parts of the home (especially for guests), they can easily become rundown and messy.
Now here’s a garage that knows how to clean up nicely. Interior designer Annie Selke worked with Gladiator Garage to add work stations, wall storage, shelves, and lockers.
What you’ll need: bike hook, $22, Gladiatiorgarageworks.com
Because of brutal Michigan winters, this blogger used her garage shelves as a catchall so she didn’t have to spend more time in the cold than necessary. As a result, it became piled with odds and ends quickly.
Decorative baskets, galvanized buckets that match her nearby trash cans, and spray-painted containers created a cohesive vibe that wasn’t too formal (or precious) for this working space.
See more at Just a Girl »
What you’ll need: wicker baskets, $25 for a 2-pack, wayfair.com
Nothing about this living room screams disorganized, but should the homeowners accumulate more items throughout the years, there isn’t really anywhere here to store them.
Interior designer Erik Kirk swapped out the old coffee table with one that includes a bottom shelf for more space to display decor and store collected items. Then, he added two shelving units against the back wall, which makes the room feel more complete while also giving them a place to stack all their books and keepsakes.
What you’ll need: Wall shelving unit, $143, Wayfair.com
While this kitchen is already pretty clean and tidy, there are a few ways it can improve to look more up to date and elevated. The best news is that it only takes a few small updates to make a big difference.
Designer Kevin Isbell completely revamped this antique fishing shack to make it feel fresh and clean while still keeping it approachable and grounded. For a similar feel in your kitchen, swap out a paper towel wall dispenser with a wall hook for a prettier hand towel. Then tuck your trashcan under the sink instead of keeping in plain sight.
What you’ll need: Wall hook, $10, CB2.com
The design enthusiast behind Old Brand New wanted to give his mom, sister, and a niece a bedroom makeover. Because they all share one room, it can quickly become crowded and disorganized. Since it accumulates three times as much stuff, it could also use more clever, hidden storage solutions.
This after shot is truly unrecognizable. The new layout optimizes the space so much more. The two twin beds are separated by a desk, which provides more surface space for books, and nighttime essentials (the sconces fastened to the wall also free up more surface room) while the dressers against the wall keep everything tucked away and out of plain sight.
With too much stuff and not enough cabinets for storage, this kitchen was stuck with an eyesore of a shelf smack dab in the middle of it.
The biggest challenge for this homeowner was getting rid of all the non-essentials in her kitchen, then she took advantage of wasted surface space — like the side of her cabinets — to store bulky pots and pans.
See more at Good Housekeeping »
What you’ll need: Command hooks, $7, amazon.com
When this blogger moved into hew new home, she knew her laundry room needed a serious storage solution and a flooring fix (because, yuck).
To stay within her $100 budget, she opted for yard sale cabinets with built-in open shelving on the sides. She then used wicker baskets and glass containers to pretty-up the items that couldn’t stay concealed.
See more at View Along the Way »
What you’ll need: wallpaper, $2 per square foot, wayfair.com
Even though this kitchen closet offered plenty of space, it was a place that the homeowner avoided at all costs due to its sheer blandness.
Mint-colored wall decals gave this room a fresh and clean look instantly. This blogger also added clear food containers to make it easier for her to eyeball items she’s running low on before heading out to the store.
See more at Classy Clutter »
What you’ll need: wallpaper, $6 per square foot, wayfair.com
While it’s handy that this cabinet housed all morning beverage accessories, mugs were strewn on every shelf, and random items made it hard to find the most important things, like the coffee beans!
It’s amazing what a difference some dark paint makes when trying to find items. Plus, hooks attached to the bottom of a shelf allows mugs to hang, while dividers create shorter shelves for even more coffee cups.
See more at I Heart Organizing »
What you’ll need: shelf riser, $10 for a 2-pack, amazon.com
The disorganization and lack of style in this space made it the last place that drew inspiration for this blogger.
But a fresh coat of white paint and cute organizers, like coordinating boxes and glass jars, turned it into a place where she can get serious work done.
See more at Cleverly Inspired »
What you’ll need: white paint, $4, amazon.com
Even though these two closets weren’t in terrible shape before, they definitely lacked structure.
By adding vertical organizers smack dab in the middle of each closet, every category of clothing got its own dedicated space — including shirts, dresses, and even bags. Genius.
See more at Organizing Home Life »
What you’ll need: closet system, $128, wayfair.com
With no pantry, this blogger was forced to use her largest cabinet for food storage. As a result, things often got forgotten at the top.
The solution: She used the doors for storage (hello, adorable spice rack) to free up shelf space and make room for containers with labels for things like snacks, baking supplies, and teas.
See more at Jenna Burger Design »
What you’ll need: storage bins, $18 for a 6-pack, amazon.com
We get it: The entire family used this closet that’s basically a small room, so of course clothes were stuffed tightly into the space.
But shelving units that take up nearly all of the wall space create dedicated areas for each family member. Meanwhile, wicker baskets on the bottom row of the cubbies create concealed storage for items you might not want on full display.
See more at The Handmade Home »
What you’ll need: bookshelves, $65, amazon.com