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  1. For many of us, it's a fact of life: We have too much stuff and not enough places to tuck it away. But there is a remedy. By integrating stylish storage solutions into your decor, you can organize and stow all the things that accumulate in your living room but still keep them close at hand. Plus, these pieces will spruce up your space. Read on―a happier, more orderly life awaits.
  2. Separate rooms visually while increasing your storage capacity with a freestanding bookcase. Despite the unit's large size, the open construction allows light to flow through so the shelves don't weigh down the room. Choose a style that blends with your furnishings, and remember to add pretty touches, such as vases of flowers.
  3. Integrating a desk into your living room can solve a variety of organizing challenges. Use it as a bill-paying center, a place where the kids can do homework and still feel part of the action, or a general workstation, whether you're planning a vacation or making a grocery list. But whatever you do, don't let it become a catchall, allowing mail and other pieces of paper to pile up on the surface. On this desk (right) cubbyholes are used to sort bills; other papers are kept in decorative storage boxes. Above, floating shelves turn rows of books into an attractive display.
  4.  Think about what you need to store, then look for one piece that will accommodate it all. If you want to keep most of your belongings completely out of sight, a piece of furniture such as a sideboard, console or credenza may be the best solution. Many sideboards have drawers and cabinets, providing a place for a variety of objects.
  5.  When flexibility is of utmost importance, stackable storage units are the answer. They can be configured to suit your needs, then reconfigured when you want to make a change. A set of cubes (far right) is arranged in varying heights and does double duty as an entertainment center. Or stack them evenly in columns of three or four.
  6. Having friends and family over for a Fourth of July cookout? Impress them with fun adornments like lanterns, drink markers and an easy-to-throw-together centerpiece. Keep the kids occupied working on these projects so you can focus on the main event―the food!
  7. Short on time and budget? Opt for bouquets of flags, instead of flowers, as a centerpiece. Anchor the flags in red, white and blue gum balls to add a bit of holiday-themed color to the spread.
  8. Decorate plastic cups with red, white and blue rubber bands, and then have the children write each person's name on the white rubber bands. All your guests will be able to keep track of their drinks. Wrap utensils in a colorful napkin and place a set in each cup.
  9. Stop your paper plates from blowing away by putting them out in a dish rack. A small flower arrangement in the cutlery cup is a nice finishing touch that makes the whole display look pretty and welcoming.