Calling All Packrats! How To Turn "Stuff" Into Style!
by Pamela Cole Harris

If you are like me, you are always finding some treasure in a thrift shop or garage sale. A frame, a postcard, a pillow, a quilt, or some other knick-knack that catches your eye or touches your heart. But no matter how much you like the objects you find, they can become an all-consuming avalanche of “stuff!” 

But there are ways to use those objects to add style to your home without overwhelming your space! Here’s how:

  1. Bring together seemingly unrelated objects by finding ways to connect them by theme, shape, color or vintage. Group the connected items on the walls, in a special cabinet, on a shelf, or on a coffee or side table.
  2. Group glass objects of differing colors and shapes together on a glass shelf, in a display cabinet or in front of a window. Find ways to have light shining through the collection. You can use candles, clear small Christmas lights, larger bulbs or lamps.
  3. Find ways to display collections in unusual or unused space:
    1. Collections of teapots can be displayed on a wooden shelf installed high on a wall.
    2. Picture collections can be displayed in halls or mount three smaller ones on the front of closet doors (be sure to secure them well!).
    3. Hats can be displayed around the walls of a room just below the ceiling (more original than wallpaper border!)
    4. Collections of bowls can be used to hold collections of other smaller objects like buttons, door pulls, or small bottles.
  4. Find unusual ways to make the objects relate. If there are objects of small size, but irregular shape, try mounting them in frames of the same size or color. If all of the objects are the same shape, try frames of different shapes and colors.
  5. An old cabinet or medicine chest with the door removed can be made into a coffee table with recycled legs. Put small objects in the spaces made by the shelves. Have glass cut to cover the objects and to act as the table surface.

As you can see, there are many ways to organize and display the objects you love. But the secret is – you have to be able to find the objects you need to organize! Just look in the Yellow Pages under Cleaning Services…or Bulldozers!

Pamela Cole Harris is an editor and writer with 35 years experience. Visit her website,, for a free newsletter with remodeling, home improvement and decorating ideas for the financially challenged and creatively deficient. Or for unique content for your website written especially for your keywords and audience, visit

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