Last week, when I made a case for open storage, I forgot to mention one key point: everything looks better under glass. Ordinary objects and functional items take on a decorative appeal when placed in clear jars or under glass domes.
Ever since I was little I've found myself drawn to the appeal of ordinary things— old hardware versus the finished object it's attached to — and growing up this often translated into the type of packrat collecting sure to drive any parent crazy. I had a special place in my sock drawer for my button collection, another in my desk for my "metal collection" which was made up of old rusty parts I had found, and a little corner of my closet dedicated to rocks and sticks that I found particularly appealing.
As an adult with kids of my own, I've had to become more deliberate about what comes into my home and what deserves storage space. Getting rid of the majority of our closed storage has meant ditching not only the things that used to take up shelf space, but also the tendencies that lead me to fill up shelves and drawers with "someday" objects. However, since I love crafts, and will never be a total minimalist, I've found that the best way to keep collections of everyday objects and craft items in check is to turn them into vignettes. Even functional objects have begun to satisfy what used to drive me to collect junk. Grouping like objects in glass jars on open shelves or as a table display not only keeps collecting in check, but also makes me appreciate the items in them even more. A jar of cotton balls looks infinitely more beautiful than a ripped plastic bag shoved into a cabinet.