shelf styling tips - don't always center objects

Shelf styling tips from an actual expert (as opposed to someone who just spent too much time browsing Pinterest. ūüėČ )

“Wait, what if I move this right here?” I tap my chin, unsatisfied with the newly decorated shelf that stares back at me. The house is empty, but I’m counting on the universe to answer my shelving questions. No matter what I do, it doesn’t look right.

Whenever I try my hand at shelf styling, it looks like I’m trying too hard. I become obsessive about spacing and symmetry and making everything just so, completely forgetting that I¬†like things that are imperfect. They’re so much more interesting and a million times more real.

In the end, I usually throw my hands in the air and spend the next six hours browsing Pinterest for help (which sometimes results in shelf decorating ideas posts).

All of this is ridiculous considering the fact that my sister is an interior designer. She’s really, really good at this stuff. Yet here I am, talking to my shelf.

I decided to pick my sister’s brain a little to get some of her top shelf decorating tips and tricks so that next time¬†maybe¬†I won’t struggle so much. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for a free printable shelf styling checklist.

how to style your shelves like an interior designer (with a free printable checklist) - shelf decor - shelf ideas - shelf decorating - shelf styling - shelfie

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Savor - a family keepsake system that gets your memories out of big bins in the basement

I received a Savor Keepsake Box for review, but all opinions are my own.

My husband loves it when I leave piles of paper on the dining room table.

OK. That’s a lie. I can actually see every muscle in his body tense up when he notices my (super organized) piles. In my defense, kids produce a¬†lot of paperwork. There are all of the forms and important reminders that come from school (that’s one pile). There are the worksheets (another pile) and then all of the artwork and the little notes and all of the cards and mementos from special occasions (like that time they made those really cute tickets for the dance performance they never got around to staging).

I don’t save all of them. There are some things that I quietly slide into the recycling bin (only to act completely bewildered when they’re fished out and presented to me by an insulted-looking child).¬†Can you¬†imagine if you saved every single piece of paper your kid doodled on? You would be buried in that shit. Still, I’m a totally sentimental mush and I save a lot.

The problem? I don’t exactly have a system for saving my kids’ keepsakes—unless waiting until my piles are so big that even I’m sick of them and/or my husband loses his shit over them so I dump them into a big Rubbermaid bin in the basement¬†is a system. I mean, at least I have a large bin labeled for each kid, right?

But when we went to the New York Baby Show a few months ago, I met one of the owners of Savor, a keepsake storage system that makes it a million times easier (and prettier!) to organize childhood memories.

Savor - a family keepsake system that gets your memories out of big bins in the basement

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free printable checklist of 7 must-have items for a hotel stay with kids - family travel

“I’m boooooored,” she whines, while suffering through a few minutes of downtime on a vacation your wallet will be recovering from for months. Sound at all familiar? Not to be a terrible human, but I really hope so.

I’m convinced my kids would find a way to be bored at Disney World. A few minutes of rest and relaxation—which, lets be honest, parents¬†really need while vacationing with kids—and they seem to develop amnesia. They no longer remember all of the fun that has been packed into the day.

After a mini vacations with our girls, I’ve perfected a small list of absolutely must-have items that we couldn’t survive a hotel stay without. Sometimes we don’t need every last item, but the fact that they’re there is like a parental security blanket. I know I can pull them out if I need them and I’m a much less crazy-eyed mom because of it.

free printable checklist of 7 must-have items for a hotel stay with kids - family travel

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kids playspace | the cutest kids tent from Teepee Joy

My kids love making blanket forts. The bigger, more elaborate, and more difficult to live your life around, the better. Once they start building one, you can bet that all chairs, stools, tables and blankets that aren’t nailed down will be used. They always build these fortresses in high traffic areas, of course. And they have also taken to duct taping the pieces together to make them near impossible to disassemble.

While I’m all for wild feats of engineering, sometimes it’s a huge pain in the ass. Like if I need to leave the room. Or if we don’t have three hours to take the whole thing down and get everything put away. Or if I really want to sit down.

To give the girls the magic of a secret hideout without the necessity of tearing the whole house apart every time, I had been considering one of those incredibly cute little teepees that are popping up everywhere. I always drool over them on Pinterest, but then wonder how logical they would be in my house. Namely: where the hell would I fit one?

When Teepee Joy offered to send us one to try out, I jumped at the chance.

kids playspace | the cutest kids tent from Teepee Joy

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simple kids reading nook #kidsdecor #kidsroom

The plight of the second child, man. My little one has spent most her life living around her big sister’s whims. From being dragged¬†to each and every occasion her sister has participated in since her birth (and being expected to nap nicely and cooperate while doing so) to the layout and decor of their shared bedroom, Ellie has always been expected to sort of go with the flow. And, don’t get me wrong—she’s good at it. But once in awhile, you have to throw a girl a bone.

As she gets closer to the end of her kindergarten year, Ellie has started standing her ground a little more. She’ll still tear up and play the baby card any chance she gets, but she’s starting to show signs of liking things a certain way (like the three separate piles of¬†Fancy Nancy books lying in the middle of the floor in their room)—and she’ll fight to keep them that way.

To give her a little space of her own in the midst of their big-sister-dominated shared stuff, I teamed up with The Baby Cubby to create a small, simple kids reading nook where she can practice her brand-new reading skills.

simple kids reading nook #kidsdecor #kidsroom

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