By Stephanie Graham Special to Published Mar 01, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Editor's note: The following sponsored content was provided by Steinhafels.

Spring is SLOWLY creeping in. The days are a little longer, the air a little fresher and the sun a little warmer. Even though spring is taking its time to get here, it doesn’t mean you can’t start spring cleaning your home.

One aspect of cleaning that often gets ignored is organization. Instead of throwing all your extra stuff in bags and plastic totes, why not incorporate organization into your interior design?

Not only will stylish organization make your home look great, but more importantly you will FEEL better than you do living amongst clutter. We want our homes to be our refuge, and a cluttered home can make relaxation very difficult.

The famous English novelist Jane Austen once wrote, "Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort." Let us help you make your home that necessary haven for comfort and relaxation.

Patti Stindt is an interior designer with Decorating Solutions at Steinhafels on High Crossing Boulevard on Madison’s east side. She is passionate about organization. She says, "It is nice to have a place for everything and have no clutter in your space. Makes more pleasant surroundings and a soothing atmosphere."

Stindt has some simple organizing tips for us. She says the number one thing she sees her clients do wrong is use furniture and organizational tools incorrectly. Stindt says matter of factly, "Do not use cheap, plastic pieces from the department store. Make it pretty as well as practical."

Now we get it – some of your larger, more awkward items need to be hidden away in plastic bins and bags in your closets, far from human eyes! But the rest of your items that you use regularly can be hidden in plain site – in a fashionable way.

Take this Taru Chest of Drawers. It’s made to look repurposed, and can work in several rooms as a storage and decorative piece. Patti explains, "I feel like this could be a great space in a bathroom, or just outside a bathroom, to hide all these little pieces we have, and all the stuff we don’t want to see, but it’s still stylish and provides a lot of storage."

Ottomans are another great piece of functional fashion! As Patti points out, they can be used for storage, and also as a footrest, a table and even a perching spot for our pets. "Yeah, it’s Wisconsin, so ottomans are especially useful here! Extra pillows, extra blankets … they can also be used as a coffee table to put your feet up, put a tray on it or use directly as a table. Very multifunctional."

Our final example is this Bayside Egg Blue 2 Door Cabinet. The key with a piece like this is to use it for storage, by placing necessary items inside and outside in a stylish way. Patti adds, "Absolutely, things we need. Think of other spaces in the home – like a foyer, the bathroom, or even a mudroom. Places we can use storage furniture, but it still looks really pretty. Someplace to drop keys when you come in, or turn a light on when you get home."

Of course another tip: If you haven’t used something in a few years, pitch it! These stylish storage pieces only hold so much. We know that organizing isn’t fun, but we guarantee you will be much more content and relaxed in a home that’s organized. Also, don’t beat yourself up if you still have a "junk closet." We all have one – just be sure to keep that closet door closed!