Smart ideas to handle weirdly-placed wall thermostats, nasty toilet brushes, and other common blights in your home.
Despite our best efforts to make our homes comfortable, put-together, and stylish reflections of ourselves, there are places in our living spaces that are — for lack of a better phrase — downright ugly.
What do you do with a toilet bowl brush when not in use? How about that tangle of cords falling out behind your entertainment console? Or the stark white thermostat that draws your eye away from the carefully-selected artwork you hung on the wall?
Limiting or eliminating visual clutter, whether it’s unsightly or just “too much,” can have a positive impact on your mental health. When your brain isn’t constantly sorting items in your environment, it frees up mental space to feel more relaxed and focused.
Protect your mood by trying one of these ideas, and feel inspired to seek a solution for your home’s unique decor blemishes.
A customizable pegboard for your keys, wallet, watch, coins, etc., hidden inside a wall-mounted cabinet
Regarding organizing small items, Swedish organization specialist Benita Larsson strongly advocates the idea of “Everything in its place.”
Meaning, your keys should have their own place, your coins should have their own place, the receipts you saved should have their own place, and so on.
The best solution? Hide an IKEA SKÅDIS Pegboard inside an IKEA BESTÅ wall-mounted cabinet, and customize the pegboard using SKÅDIS accessories, so the organizational tools are precisely what you need to handle your smaller bits of clutter.
Tip 1: Since these will be “high-traffic, high-touch” pieces of furniture, avoid the darker color options, as the oils from your fingertips will quickly accumulate and become eyesores in themselves. Stick to browns and neutrals, which can handle longer intervals between cleanings.
Tip 2: While open shelving can look beautiful, it requires a lot of organization and cleaning to keep it looking beautiful. Having a cabinet with a door removes the stress of needing to keep the things inside tidy at all times!
Is your mail “out of sight, out of mind”? Or perhaps it’s fully within your sight — lying in a toppled tower on your table. Either way, you’re running the risk of missing important deadlines for bills, RSVPs, and other postal matters.
Instead, invest in some wall-mounted organizers, like these from Etsy that can be customized (I recommend “Action Required,” “File,” and “Shred,” but find a system that works for you), and will look good mounted on your entryway wall.
Tip 1: Keep a shredder and a recycle bin in your entryway, so you can immediately discard unwanted catalogs and other unsolicited mail.
Tip 2: If you can fit a larger recycling bin in your entryway, buy one large enough to fit disassembled cardboard shipping boxes, and keep a boxcutter nearby in your pegboard storage (Remember “Everything in its place”?), so you can mitigate the visual clutter of Amazon boxes crushed into a corner, waiting to be properly recycled.
Plastic pill bottles in different sizes and colors on your counter are visually distracting and space-hogging. Get rid of the mess and create visual zen (and never again wonder if you took your pills today) by upgrading to this 7-day pill container, which boasts a high pill-carrying capacity, a sleek brushed aluminum and wood finish, and glowing Amazon reviews.
Cords from electric toothbrushes can get in the way and become a jumbled mess on your countertop, and sometimes, it’s easier to hide your toothpaste-stained brush altogether!
This 3D-printed mounted wall charger hides excess cord while charging your electric toothbrush. Installation is super fast, and the mount is easy to clean.
Tip: Don’t have an Oral-B toothbrush? Etsy sellers offer 3D-printed options for other brands, too.
This toothbrush holder with a stainless steel finish from OXO can hide up to four non-electric toothbrushes, plus your toothpaste tube. The white plastic inner separator removes easily for thorough cleaning, and the top and bottom of the container are ventilated to better prevent mold and bacteria from forming.
Marble soap dispenser
Swap plastic soap dispensers for glass, ceramic, or stoneware soap dispensers, and instantly elevate your sink’s look. We like this one from CB2 for its attractive pump, and its light color, which will help to better hide the inevitable soap scum buildup.
Speaking of soap scum, an unclean bathroom is an eyesore itself. Committing to cleaning your countertops (and new stoneware soap dispenser) regularly is the obvious antidote, but when cleaning products aren’t at hand, it’s a simple chore that can get continually ignored.
Tip: Make regular cleanings a habit by buying cleaning products for each room that stay in that room. So, your bathroom has its own dedicated cleaning products that stay in the bathroom, your kitchen has its own dedicated cleaning products that stay in the kitchen, and so on. Forget one central “cleaning closet,” and instead keep everything you need, where you’ll need it.
Cleaning product organizer
Great for storing cleaning products under the sinks in the bathroom and kitchen. Store your cleaning sprays on top, some reusable cloths on the bottom, and your cleaning products will remain ever-handy (and out of sight) for those spare moments when you can give your countertops a wipedown.
Toilet bowl brush
This clever workaround tucks the brush discreetly behind your toilet, using an adjustable strap that hangs on the back of the toilet tank, keeping the toilet brush out of sight, while still remaining handy for toilet cleanings.
Hide the thermostat
Unfortunately-placed thermostat an eyesore on your wall? “The problem is the solution,” as they say. Turn the eyesore into a design focal point by installing a shelf ledge, and propping up favorite books, vinyls, or picture frames over the thermostat. Be careful to allow airflow around the thermostat itself, though, or its temperature reading can be diminished.
Big, “fast stash” cleanup baskets
Sometimes, you need to clean up in a hurry, but don’t have time to put things in their proper places. A large basket with a lid can be tucked into a corner of the room, and multiple items can be quickly stored inside and hidden until you’re ready for a full cleaning day. We like this one from Amazon for its neutral dual color, durability, and handles.
Cords in a heap aren’t just ugly, they’re also not functional. Keep your cords and multi-outlets organized and out of sight with cord management boxes, like this attractive cord management box made from bamboo.