If you have a lot of small items, projects or papers to store, and an eye that is pained by visual busyness, I recommend a strategy used by designer Laura Handler and Andy Warhol: use plain, unadorned, uniform cardboard boxes to hold your stuff. Because they are all the same size, with an unadorned exterior, they create a pleasing uniformity, unlike different size or patterned boxes which can look messy and haphazard.
Handler likes white ones she buys at Ikea. She stacked them in her office to hold her many supplies and project materials…
She labels them as minimally as possible in her own handwriting:
Andy Warhol like plain brown cardboard boxes available at any moving supply company and Uline. Over the course of thirty years, he filled over 600 cardboard boxes with objects from his daily life, from photographs and newspaper clippings to artworks and telephone messages. He called them Time Capsules, and wrote the date and contents on the outside.
If you really want color, check out these from Target. (To minimize busy visuals, buy a bunch of sets and group them by color. Stack each color together, one to a room or closet.)
First and second photos: Margot Hartford Photography. Check out her feature on Laura Handler’s apartment on Houzz.