There are certain items in your home that must be there because they serve utilitarian purposes. However, that doesn’t mean that you want them on full display, especially if they look messy or cause clutter. These simple hacks will help you keep the unsightly out of sight.

Use an old book cover to conceal your router.

router book coverPhotos: ApartmentTherapy

Your router is probably the heartbeat of your home, but despite its important role, it detracts from your décor. Placing it inside a book cover conceals it just enough but is thin enough to keep that signal strong and clear.

Or stash it away in a decorative box.

hiding-router-1hiding-router-2Photos: livingwellonthecheap

Another option is to use a decorative box. In fact, a decorative box will house just about anything unseemly- and only you have to know what is inside.

A hinged painting will conveniently cover a fuse box or wall outlet.

hinged-paintingPhotos: onekingslane

There is no way to disguise a fuse box or an outlet, so it is best to tuck it away completely from view, and a hinged painting is a great idea. You need easy access to your fuse box and outlets, and the hinges let you get in and out in a snap.

The same concept can be used to tidy up your entertainment center if you’re handy enough to cut a storage shelf into the wall.

hinged TV wall mountPhoto:

Nothing makes your home look cluttered quite like a clump of power cords or cable boxes. Cut out a cache in the wall and hinge a portion of the wall that holds the T.V. mount, so you can get easy access when you need.

Or you can simply use a hollow wall mount to hide the cords.

hiding TV cordsPhotos: julieblanner

Mounting your TV over the fireplace is trending, but don’t let a maze of cords detract from your favorite show. Use a hollow mount in the mantel to hide them away.

Detailed instructions here.

Use a staple gun to dress your exposed box spring in tasteful fabric.

box spring fabricPhoto: thisoldhouse

Comforter stopping short of covering your bed? Pick fabric that matches your bedding and use a staple gun to affix it right to the box spring. The best part is that you can easily remove and update if you switch out your bedding.

Install a pegboard underneath your computer desk and organize all your cables and boxes.

pegboard computer desk DIYPhotos: Decluttered

Technology invariably requires a ton of components and wires to connect them. Not only does this look a mess, it’s a tripping hazard if these snake across your floors. Use a pegboard under your desk to tuck them up and away.

Or simply use drapes to cover up the mess.

disguising computer cablesPhotos: Pinterest

Drapes are effective too, and slightly more mysterious. What’s behind the magic curtain?

Use the same trick on open storage shelves.

drapes-storagePhotos: imgur

Similarly, drapes are a smart cover-all for your open shelves. Open shelves are great for displaying art and treasures, but are messy when storage is crammed in. Best to keep them out of sight.

Cover your wall-mounted AC unit with an adorable chalkboard cover.

AC unit chalkboardPhotos: decorhacks

While you appreciate that blast of cold air from your AC unit on a hot summer’s day, it doesn’t do much to complement your décor. Installing a chalkboard overtop hides it away and gives you a prominent place to display your to-do list.

Instructions here.

And a simple curtain will do the trick for your window unit.

curtain AC unit cover upPhoto: refinery29

If you’ve got a wall-mounted unit, you can easily throw up some drapes to keep it out of sight. Bonus- they add privacy too.

Turn your grimy balcony into a backyard with astroturf.

Astroturf balconyPhoto: Pinterest

Outdoor space effectively extends the size of your home, but if your balcony is dirty, you are less likely to sit out to enjoy it. Create your own backyard bay-in the sky- with astroturf to hide the stains.

Or go all-out with some blinds, wicker fencing, decking slabs and stones.

balcony reno-1balcony reno-2balcony reno-3Photos: imgur

Or, if you are feeling more ambitious, create an outdoor terrace that will be the envy of your neighbors, complete with decking and fencing.

Step-by-step guide here.

Hide your dog’s crate under a desk and conceal it behind a set of curtains.

dog crate curtainsPhoto: bowwowbeds

Fido needs a place to sleep too, but his crate is big and clunky. Nestling it in a corner behind some drapes is neat and tidy- and drawing them closed also lets him know it is time to go to sleep.

And keep its food and water bowls off the floor by hiding them away in a secret drawer.

drawer dog bowlsPhoto: Pinterest

It’s a lot easier to clean your pet’s food up when it is contained. Making use of a pet-level drawer for feeding time keeps stray kibble off the floor, as well as keeping feeding dishes away when it isn’t dinnertime.

Similarly, disguise your cat’s litter box as a small cupboard or end table.

hidden-litter-boxPhotos: moderncat

It’s a lot easier to clean your pet’s food up when it is contained. Making use of a pet-level drawer for feeding time keeps stray kibble off the floor, as well as keeping feeding dishes away when it isn’t dinnertime.

Install electrical outlets in drawers and charge your devices out of sight.

drawer charging stationPhoto: nutrisespas

Charging your phone is a must, but running cables everywhere is not very decorative. Strategically place a power bar in a centrally located drawer and plug all your devices in one spot, tucked out of sight.

Turn wires into wall art.

cords wall artPhoto: Pinterest

The real way to conquer clutter is not to fight it- but to embrace the vision to turn it into something desirable- like this clever city skyline wall art- made from wires.

Use cutlery trays to declutter your bathroom counters and cabinets.

drawer organizerPhoto: atgstores

Cutlery trays aren’t just for your forks and knives. They are multi-purpose drawer organizers that will keep your makeup organized and out of sight. Not only will you be able to find everything easily, you will free up valuable real estate on the bathroom counter.

Tuck your printer away behind a hinged-drawer.

hidden printerPhotos: pbjstories

Hinged doors and drawer fronts are some of the easiest ways to conceal household items that you don’t want on display in your décor, like your printer for example. Flip out the drawer when you need access, and otherwise out of sight, out of mind.

Click here for the how-to.

Shutout ugly utility meters with shutters.

hidden-utility-meterPhotos: hometalk

However necessary utility meters are, they are not nice to look at- and they are quite big. Transform that space into a pleasant garden corner, with some well-placed planters, garden furniture and pretty painted shutters.

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