1. Ideas & Uses for Floating Shelves

    Named for their ability to mount seamlessly to the wall and look like they’re, well, floating, floating shelves have been a staple in home decoration for decades.

    Different from standard wall shelves thanks to their lighter profile and range of materials, floating shelves can make a big difference in home organization and storage when used properly.

    Have you been thinking about some floating shelves but just aren’t sure where they will go? Or are you just looking to see how other people use them to see if you want to try them out yourself? Check out a few of these ideas we’ve found and see what one works best for your home or apartment:


    DIY nightstands: Some floating shelves, such as floating ledge shelves are dense enough to be installed low near the bed and used as nightstands! These shelves take up way less space than your average end table and are great for low-profile storage of things like glasses and lamps in areas where there’s not enough room for a whole end table or nightstand.


    Filling in corners: With both standard floating shelves and floating corner shelves, these shelves are a great way to utilize corners for storage needs. Line up two floating shelves in an L-shape to bridge any corner gaps and keep things neatly arranged where you can get to them.


    Open vertical storage: Of course, the goal of any shelf is to let you store things better, and in smaller apartments or homes that lack in closets or shelving, floating shelves are a great low-profile way to add storage space. Particularly in rooms where you need easy access to a lot of small things, like the laundry room, the home office, or even that corner of the basement where your toolboxes all wind up, floating shelves can provide unobstructed access to whatever you need to declutter.


    Opening up the kitchen: Speaking of which, a lot of kitchens are moving towards a more open, ‘door-less’ design using floating shelves to store things like dishes and cooking utensils without the claustrophobic look that cabinets can sometimes provide. Floating shelves can easily replace cabinets, particularly over the oven or the sink, and provide a more dynamic look while keeping everything even easier to reach.


    Converting tight spaces: Small spaces like removed cabinets, gaps in the walls, or even disused medicine cabinets in bathrooms and bedrooms can be easily filled in with floating shelves to provide extra storage in areas that might not have been too useful before. Take some time to find those hard, out-of-the-way spots in your house and put them to work with shelves.

    Do you have floating shelves in your home? Let us know how you use them in a comment below!

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  2. Can a Clean Bedroom Improve Your Kids' Grades?

    Some of you parents may have recently had A Talk with their kids about either their grades, their messy rooms, or both, and are probably experiencing a little anxiety at the very idea of combining them.

    But before you start reaching for that parenting handbook, hear us out! There’s actually a lot of evidence that links a nice, clean, decluttered space to better performance in school (and a better quality of life overall), and it may be just the thing your kids need to better focus on their studies.

    A recent study by Princeton University has shown that having too much visual stimulation (from clutter, a TV on in the background, etc) can cause all the different sources of stimulation to ‘compete’ for space in the brain, and make it much harder to concentrate on things. 


    Makes sense, right? How many times have you been trying to work at your desk or get something done at home and gotten distracted by some little knick knack on your desk, or noticed a pile of magazines on the table you’ve been meaning to throw out? It stands to reason that if you’re affected by this issue your kids may be too, and it can start to affect their ability to get studying done at home.

    Have you noticed your kids beginning to have difficulty getting their homework done, or getting a lot of wrong answers on the assignments they finish? A cluttered room could very well be a contributing factor. And luckily, the solution isn’t as difficult as you may think!


    The next time your kid sits down to do homework, take a look at the space they use. Are they at the kitchen table where they’re surrounded by distractions and clutter? Do they have a desk of their own, trapped behind the usual mess of child’s room? Take a look and see if there’s anything you can do to help clean up the mess and provide more focus.

    If they do their work at the kitchen table, get some kitchen organizers to reduce some of the clutter on the table and help them focus on the task at hand. Bedroom cleaning will probably be a bigger adventure, but it’s nothing you can’t handle with some extra shelves and some plastic bins for all the toys.

    Make sure to focus on the area they do their studying—if they do have their own desk, make sure they don’t keep any toys or any other potential distractions on it. Get some desk organizers so they always have things like paper and pencil right where they need it, and don’t let them keep the TV or the computer on while they’re working unless they absolutely have to—and even then, keep a close eye on what they’re doing so their eye doesn’t wander towards cartoons or Minecraft.


    A clean room and quiet study space should help your kids stay productive (and might even help them sleep better), building good study habits for the future. You might not be able to make sure they keep their rooms clean in college, but you can help them get there!

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  3. More Than a Seat: Uses for Bedroom Benches

    Organizing your bedroom can feel like a constant push and pull at times, can’t it?

    You need to make sure you have enough room for your clothes, while also providing the sort of furniture you’d expect from a bedroom (at least a bed, maybe somewhere to sit down) and it can all start to take up a lot of room!

    That’s where bedroom benches come in. Bedroom benches can provide the benefits of comfortable furniture along with some new ways to organize or decorate your bedroom, and in ways you may not have expected.

    Check out a few fun uses for bedroom benches below, and see if you get inspired to bring some new seating into your bedroom:


    Shoe Storage: One of the most obvious benefits of bedroom benches is that it gives you the opportunity to store your shoes somewhere a little more convenient. Many benches come with a shelf underneath to store shoes (or smaller things like purses), and even without an extra shelf these benches are a great way to keep your shoes aside where they can be easily accessed—and out of the way so nobody trips on them).

    Window Seats: A common decorative touch in homes these days is large bay windows inside a bedroom, and bedroom benches offer a great place to sit down and enjoy the view. Line your longer windows with a bedroom bench for a more aesthetically pleasing place to sit down while you get ready for work or change into your pajamas after a long day. And if you have pets, they’ll love the chance to get a better view of the outdoors.

    Landing Strip: Whether it’s in the bedroom itself or right outside, a bedroom bench provides a great ‘landing strip’ for things to end up on at the end of the day. Even if nobody sits on it, leave a bedroom bench close at hand to keep things like wallets, watches, or other items you’ll need to remember in the morning.

    Camouflage: Got an unsightly vent that you want to cover up? Benches are a great way to conceal the less pleasant but still needed parts of a bedroom, like grates or heaters. (Just make sure you’re not causing a fire hazard with your placement!)


    Got any other fun ideas for sprucing up your bedroom with a new bench? Drop a comment below!

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  4. Declutter Your House and De-Stress Your Life

    Do you ever look around your house and feel...anxious?

    It happens to all of us sometimes. You take a look at the mess and clutter of your house and just feel anxiety and stress creeping in as the mess begins to feel insurmountable.

    There’s some truth to the way you’re feeling - studies have actually shown that a cluttered house can impede sleep and increase feelings of stress and anxiety due to the increased visual stimulation your brain is getting. If it looks like there’s too much stuff in your house, you can start to feel like your life is going out of control in front of your very eyes.

    It might sound a little dramatic, but that’s just the way your brain handles these sort of situations, and it can really start to make your day-to-day life more difficult.

    Never fear! We’ve got some decluttering tips that specifically focus on the areas of your home (and life) that can cause you the most stress if left uncleaned. Take a look at this list and feel the tension already starting to fade:

    Focus on the rooms you’re in most

    Most stress and anxiety caused by messy, unorganized rooms is due to visual stimulus affecting the brain. Take time to review the rooms you spend the most time in and go from there. Do you find yourself relaxing in the living room a lot after work? Maybe try re-organizing your living room furniture and finding a new home for all the wayward phone chargers, shoes, and magazines that have made their way in there. Is your home office getting a little out of control? Try purging some of your paperwork, clean off your desk a little, and set up some home office organization to keep it from getting messy again. Whatever room you spend most of your day in, focus on that first to prevent stress from affecting you later.

    Provide a good sleeping area

    Above and beyond the room (or rooms) you tackled in the previous step, decluttering is also crucial for getting a good night’s sleep - and getting a good night’s sleep is a big help in reducing anxiety overall. When your brain is surrounded by clutter it can start to interpret that hodgepodge as a task that needs completing, and that can keep you up at night with feelings of anxiety or being unaccomplished. Make sure your bedroom is free of as much visual stimulus and clutter as it can be; keep things in the closet or your bedroom dressers to avoid feeling like work needed to be done. Remember, “out of sight, out of mind” is a perfectly fine strategy when it comes to decluttering for stress reduction.

    Think about why you hang onto clutter

    A lot of decluttering can be accomplished pretty easily by analyzing why your home was so cluttered in the first place. Why do you have all this stuff anyway? Have you just not gotten around to getting rid of it or do you have some bigger emotional connection? Are all those ingredients in your kitchen there because you’re planning on some grandiose meal with them, or do you just not want to throw out a half-full spice container? Are you keeping that jacket around because you want to wear it again after working out? These things can really start to pile up after a while, and you need to start being honest with yourself about why it’s there in the first place - after that you can start letting go of things much more easily.

    Finish any of your unfinished projects

    A big cause of clutter, and an increased cause of stress above and beyond what you’re encountering already, can be the sight of an unfinished project around the house. Try to make time to finish these projects, or at least reduce your visual reminders of them - finish that painting, complete your bedroom redecorating, send out those thank-you cards from your anniversary party, so on and so forth. Committing to a task that’s been hanging over your head for a while can be a huge, immediate, and long-term reducer of stress in your life.

    If it’s broken - toss it

    Finally, a common source of clutter and the related stress/guilt that it brings is that junk drawer full of broken stuff you mean to fix one day. Phones you haven’t used in two years, headphones with one ear not working, scissors that aren’t quite as sharp as they used to be, etc. Much like the previous step, the knowledge of these unfinished projects hanging over your head can cause a lot of stress when you’re reminded of it, and in a lot of cases it’s going to be a lot easier and more productive to simply throw them out and replace them instead of trying to fix it.

    Hopefully after these tips you’ll be in a much better place when it comes to stress at home - and you’ll love how much tidier your house is!

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