Marcus Home

How To Use Practicality To Design Your Home

An organized home shows respect for your guests, your family, and your possessions. My 3-Ps design process can help you make the most out of your space.

by Marcus Lemonis
Marcus & Bobbi Lemonis working with team to on mood board to design home

I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to organization, I’m a bit obsessed. I like my home to be easy to navigate. I enjoy knowing exactly where things are when I need them. And, I enjoy a clean space. Practical home design makes sense to me because it’s all about function and respect for my things. If you work really hard to buy a fancy kitchen gadget or nice clothing, I think it would be weird to have your gadgets crammed into a drawer or your elegant clothes piled on the ground next to your bed. With that in mind, here’s my guide on how to organize your home using the three Ps of design: Practical, purposeful, and profitable.

How The Three Ps Apply To Organization


I think the definition of practical home design is not to be wasteful. That means not being wasteful with your time, your money, or your experiences. When you think practically, you’re thinking profitably (more on this later).

Image of Modern Home Design with Dark Brown Kitchen


When you want to organize your home, every move should have a reason behind doing it. It’s not enough for something to look good. Everything has to operate well in its location.


Practical home design is profitable by nature. People want to buy homes that are organized and make sense. It’s hard to please everybody, but some design and organization tips work well for most people.

Infographic of 3P’s of home design
Infographic of 3P’s of home design

Four Tips For The DIYer Looking For Practical and Purposeful Home Design

Image of Modern Kitchen with black appliances

Don’t Be Wasteful

If you want to organize your home, take a page from the business world and focus on streamlining. Maybe there’s an arrangement of your living room furniture that could eliminate the need for an extra lamp.

Perhaps there’s an underutilized cabinet in the kitchen that would be used more often if it held something else. Think about subtracting or reworking before adding more things.

Don’t Be Elaborate

When it comes to practical home design, the goal isn’t to have a complicated system of organization, just simple, intuitive order. I’ve seen people with closets broken down into 30 or 40 different zones. That doesn’t work for most people. Pare things down until you’re comfortable with how well it works for you.

Image of retro wood foyer table with floral wallpaper in background

Don’t Be Too Flashy

When you organize your home, it’s not the time to be flamboyant. Save that for adding an exciting feature wall with great wallpaper or for when you’re choosing a chaise lounge for your outdoor space.

Buy With Functionality In Mind

Before you break out your credit card for a big, fancy closet separator or a new wall of cabinets for your kitchen, ask yourself these questions. “Will my family use this, and is this my best option?” Practical home design is about functionality, and things don’t function well if nobody is using them!

Infographic of DIY Home design tips
Infographic of DIY Home design tips

The #1 Thing I Always Recommend to DIYers

I love, love, love built-ins. They can make a space feel double the size through storage and visibility tricks. Are the kids’ toys cluttered all over the floor? Well, suddenly, your living room is going to look tiny because your eyes only see the small areas that you can walk through. If you organize your home and have a built-in, say, a bench seat with storage along the wall where you can store those dolls and monster trucks away from everyone’s view, it’s going to open up all of that space again. Out of sight, out of mind. Plus, it gives you more seating options for parties. It’s a win-win.

Image of white contemporary bookcase with books

Built-ins don’t have to be expensive or take up much room. And, you can put them almost anywhere. It’s my ace in the hole, and a contractor can create built-ins with a few sheets of plywood and a few coats of paint. More-functional spaces happen when practical configurations and storage are set as priorities. Whether it’s in bathrooms, kitchens, family rooms, or even garages, a built-in can instantly create order and make rooms more functional.

Why Is Organization So Critical? It’s All About Profitability

For most people, our homes are the most significant purchases we’ll make in our lifetimes. And, one day, the time may come when we will sell our investment. An organized home is a place where buyers will walk through and say to themselves, “Yeah, I can picture myself living here. I get it.” Your space has to work for you, but organization is also a tool to gain profitability.

Image of father and son cooking pancakes in white kitchen

Homes Sell Based On Three Things:

  1. Configuration. Can a buyer see themselves utilizing the space easily in its current layout? Can they envision cooking pancakes on Sunday morning for their family at the center island stove? Is the distance from the fridge to the sink easy and intuitive? Can mom or dad see the kids playing outdoors while folding laundry in the family room?
  1. Fit. Can a buyer see their lives working in your house? Suppose you have a two-bedroom home in a family-oriented neighborhood across the street from a school. In that case, it may not make sense to convert that one extra bedroom into a painting studio. That space would be better utilized as a kid’s room. Make sure your house works for your intended buyer.
Image of outdoor living room and wicker furniture
  1. Function. Make inspired choices that create envious buyers. Organize your home in a functional manner that inspires people to want to live that way, too. Practical home design is an opportunity to build value that others want to purchase.
Infographic of what sells homes
Infographic of what sells homes

Practical Organization Should Be Everywhere

Practical home design relies on organization, but it’s an area that a lot of people forget about. They imagine the glitzy, glamorous home renovations that add square footage to their closets. But, if you organize your home and use your space more wisely, maybe by adding a few built-ins and reassessing how your family uses your areas, then you can create more room without the hassle and expense of hiring a construction crew. When you organize your home in a way that works for your family, you’ll be showing that you respect your possessions, your time, and your money.