In January, Netflix released the show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, and people everywhere were hooked on the KonMari method. Best-selling author Marie Kondo encourages her followers to de-clutter by category, not by room in the home, only keeping items that speak to the heart and bring joy.

Following the popularity of the show, charities and thrift stores have seen a spike in donations thanks to people following Marie’s method. Goodwill representative Lauren Lawson-Zilai told People Magazine, “We know that a number of our community-based Goodwill organizations have seen a year-over-year spike in donations in January that they attribute to Marie Kondo’s show.” Many American locations reported a 16 to 30 percent increase in January alone.

As people shed items they no longer need, they want to display the items that bring them joy in places they can see them each day. Finding innovative, aesthetically pleasing, and fun ways to arrange items that you don’t necessarily use daily but treasure is key to enjoying them. Whether they’re classic books, knickknacks, family photos, or art work, the location and way these items are showcased is important. Here are some interesting ways to better appreciate these favourite items.

Create a Feature Wall

Most people are familiar with the design concept of a feature wall, where you add a colourful paint or some wallpaper to one wall in a room. This is something that can be done with items you want to display. Pinterest and crafting stores have wonderful ideas and templates for creating a feature wall that shows off favourite photos, knickknacks, and treasures artistically with assorted shelves. When it comes to curating the content for your walls consider maps of places you’ve been on vacation, playbills, concert posters, and other items that you’d like to show off.

Using Non-Traditional Shelving/Displays

There is no rule that treasures need to be stored on traditional shelves. In fact, items you love can be used as shelves themselves. Wooden wine or vintage pop crates can be affixed to walls to store anything from your favourite spirits, to other things you’d like to display. They can also be used to create funky storage you’ll actually want to look at for kids’ toys.

There are many local artisans who can work with you to help you turn that old bike, motor bike, or other item you’d like to use, but don’t know how to, into a display table or other functional piece of furniture to show off.

Consider adding hooks to a vintage door so you can hang your coats by the front door or see your jewelry and scarves in the master bedroom. Got an old shutter? Use it to exhibit postcards, family photos, and more!

Make Your Corners and Otherwise ‘Wasted’ Space Count

Display cabinets don’t need to be housed in the living room or dining room alone. A display or curio cabinet can look fantastic in a bedroom. Corner units allow you to use otherwise ‘wasted’ space to show off something wonderful. If you have radiator heating, consider installing a stylish radiator cover that can double as usable display space.

Shelving and display doesn’t need to be at eye level. There are so many places around your home you can use, just look up. Adding a shelf above a window, the desk in your office, or above your kitchen cabinets can easily add visible storage to any room.

Using Smaller Items for Clever Storage


Use dainty teacups and saucers that are collecting dust in a curio cabinet to store frequently used items like keys and jewelry you take off each day. Functional collectables – think vintage lunchboxes, hatboxes or sentimental jewelry boxes – can be used for display and to store anything from warranties and instruction manuals to electronics and chargers. That trophy you won for high school track can be used for small floral arrangements or to keep your office supplies.

Private Display for Your Eyes Only

Public display of your favourite items is wonderful, but there’s no reason you can’t store items you love in places where only you will see them. Remember – this process is about your joy. Mind body green blogger says, “One of my clients took a large corsage and stuck a rhinestone frog brooch in the center so that the frog’s face poked out. She then put this in a space between her brassieres inside a drawer. I’ll never forget the smile on her face when she told me, ‘It makes me happy just to see his face peeping out whenever I open this drawer.’”

If you have purses, totes, or bags that have seen better days and you no longer use, but still love, consider repurposing them. These items can be used instead of boring boxes and plastic containers to store offseason items like quilts, mittens, hats, or fans, and bring a smile to your face whenever it’s time to switch items from regular rotation into and out of storage.

If you share your home with family members who don’t care for an item you love, don’t worry. You don’t have to part ways with it. Make your home office truly your own retreat by displaying items that mean the most to you. Or consider taking some items to display on your desk at work to enjoy there instead.

Your Book Shelf Doesn’t Need to Be Used for Just Books

Liven up your book shelves by using them to create groupings of collections and to display more than just your classic literature collections. Play with the colours, themes, and placements of books. Use both horizontal and vertical stacks of books to create visual interest and different levels to show off your most treasured tchotchkes. Keep in mind that you need plenty of space around objects to make each item shine. Think of how something classic works in this way, like a single vase in the centre of a table or a teddy bear set on top of a bed to fuel your inspiration. A similar effect can be achieved by stacking books and items on bedside, vanity, or end tables. Use your imagination, and don’t be afraid to play around with it until you get it right.