Pinned Down: Don’t Let Your Boards Become Catch-alls For Clutter

I guess I should just go ahead and say it: Pin boards, bulletin boards, inspiration boards, whatever you want to call them, they make me nervous.

I had a pin board when I was much younger, and it very quickly became just a paper scrap graveyard- bunches of things torn out of here and there and layered on top of each other into a framed mish-mash. Not effective. Not inspiring. I would later banish the board for good. However, with the popularity of pin boards so omni-present lately, the issue has cropped up again.

You see, I recently saw pin boards done so very right in someone’s space, that they threatened to dismantle my board banishment. The gentleman had pinned up various quotes, pictures, truly inspiring messages that, well, inspired! Even me. And I got to thinking about how it is so very nice to have the sentiments or visuals that are currently providing you with inspiration staring you in the face. From the wall.

Yet some lingering hesitations about the board remained, and led me on a quest for boards that have been done right. Here, a few:

The Well-Placed Board

These boards win in the placement department. Why, you ask? Because they are all easy to get to. In order to avoid your boards becoming cluttered, it’s crucial that you place them in an easily accessible spot. The less you have obstructing your boards, the easier it will be to continually curate them. Chances are, if it’s hard to get to your boards…you’ll end up with a mess.

Image credits: Apartment Therapy, Martha Stewart, Apartment Therapy, Made by Girl, The Decorista

The Well-Maintained Board

* * *

I love how both of these ladies maintain and update their boards. Rather than simply pinning and forgetting, they constantly change their boards depending on what is currently inspiring them. This, I think, is what would be considered a “best practice of pin boards,” if such a thing existed.

You can see that over time, their boards are completely transformed. This is a great model to use with your own boards. Let them carry the status of “currently,” as in, what is currently inspiring/fueling/energizing you. What project are you working on right now that you need inspiration for? etc. As your projects shift, so, therefore, should your pins. You should be constantly engaged in a process of unpinning as much as you pin. This way your board always reflects what’s inspiring you in the present moment.

Image credits: Brynalexandra x2, Miss Vu x2

The Alternative Pinning Method Boards

How you actually affix your materials onto your board is just a matter of preference, but these boards go to show that you don’t have to be limited to the thumb tack.

Image credits: Tove Mauritzson, Eddie Ross, Joel Bray

The Less Is More Board

While boards that appear more as large-scale collages can be visually stimulating, boards that aren’t overcrowded can actually serve to inspire you more. By not over-pinning, and therefore overwhelming your senses, you allow yourself the ability to focus on individually pinned items.

Image credits: Dayka Robinson Designs, Jeltje Fotografie, BHG, BHG, Elle Decor

I would love to know: do you have any boards in your own space? What strategies do you use to fill them?



  1. I have a board, but I worry that I’ll pin all kinds of stuff to it just because it’s there. So right now I only have ONE piece of paper on the board, where I write down important stuff. What I need to get under control though is my fridge door. I have no kids but you’d think I did with all the stuff on there. I think it depends on what you pin to your board, but this is why I love pinterest for pinning ideas electronically. I also use tumblr to “pin” my aha! moments whether they’re quotes, articles, etc that inspire me.

  2. I do have a board in my office. I’ve actually had one forever no matter where I’ve worked. Mine’s pretty organized and I change it often. I think it’s because of my job. I’ve always pulled swipe and quotes and other inspiring things because I need to be inspired to develop. I can see how some can become a dumping ground though. These are all pretty fabulous ones.

    Have a great Memorial Day weekend, Annie! xoxo

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