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The Best Organizing Tips

9 Craft Room Makeover Ideas

The work space/craft room of Pennsylvania newlywed Jess Mauras (shown here with husband Joe) was a pile of stress and ribbons, devoid of inspiration—and, for that matter, shelving. Real Simple transformed it into three tidy zones that foster calm and creativity.

Clean, organized desk
Jonny Valiant
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Dishes stacked on shelves in front of chalkboard wall

Room-by-Room Organizing

Easy-to-steal storage tricks for small spaces (closets and bathrooms) and larger gathering spots (living rooms and kitchens).

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A Dedicated Desk (With a View): After

Exciting Bulletin Board
A dreamlike “abstract landscape” makes sitting down to work energizing. The fabric board is perfect for posting sketches and to-dos and is easy to make. (Buy a piece of Homasote at a hardware store; stretch fabric around it, making hospital corners; and staple in back.)

Cute and Contained Desk
A scaled-down model with deep drawers does everything Jess needs without taking up a lot of floor space. The striking chair to the left relates to the color scheme of the board while adding a complementary pattern. It’s a nice spot for visitors (or Aubrey, the family cat).

Small and Large Files
Giving every paper and accessory a home keeps the focus on work (no more wasted time scrounging around for a paper clip). A six-door desktop organizer ensures push-pins and the like stay visible but corralled. The bottom cabinet allows Jess to categorize paid bills, receipts, and household papers.

To buy:  Bedford small desk, $468, potterybarn.com. Logan Pharmacy table lamp, $210, circalighting.com. Modular flip-out bins (white), $14, containerstore.com. Drafting chair, $288, schoolhouseelectric.com. Fabric for bulletin board: Edo Linen by Groundworks Kelly Wearstler Collection, $196 a yard, leejofa.com for info. Reupholstered midcentury vintage chair, $650, chairloom.com for similar styles. Fabric for chair: China Seas Aga Reverse New Navy, $200 a yard, Design Professionals, 212-759-5408 (ext. 204).

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