21 Tips for Organizing Your Stuff
should always be the first priority when getting your home in order, there comes a time when you need solutions for what to do with the stuff that’s left. When your home is organized well, finding what you need is quick and easy, supplies and tools are stored where you use them, and each member of the household knows just where his or her stuff goes. In other words, life
is easier. Here are 21 ideas for organizing all around the house.
1. Chalkboard cupboard doors. Instead of rifling around to find what you need, a quick glance at chalkboard-painted cupboard doors will tell you just where to reach. They are helpful for houseguests too, and you can change them up at will.
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2. Below-bench baskets. If you need to find a little extra storage space, try looking down — a row of baskets can easily fit beneath most benches (and even some sofas). To keep the baskets looking neat, choose a matched set and don’t let them overflow with stuff.
3. Coded entryway bins and buckets. Avoid the entryway pileup of scarves, baseball hats and random papers by giving each member of the household (including the dog) one or more bins, buckets or baskets labeled with a number (or letter or color). Even if folks aren’t perfect about stashing their stuff, at least you will know where to toss it when doing a quick tidy-up.
4. Postcard rack organizer. Have a lot of little papers to organize? Using a retail-style postcard rack is a handy way to keep business cards, party invites, photos and stationery neat and orderly.
5. Wire pantry baskets. Removing the outer packaging from favorite snacks saves space and makes it easier to grab and go. Stash your snacks in a wire basket, and you’ll be able to see what you want easily.
6. Labeled jars for pantry staples. Always seem to end up with a half dozen linguine boxes with just a few strands of pasta in each? It may be time to upgrade to airtight glass containers with labels. Note cooking times on the label for easy reference.
7. Labeled lids. Stop the search for spices by storing containers in a drawer with labels on the lids. All you need to do is glance down to find the ingredients you’re after — bonus points if you keep them in alphabetical order!
8. Countertop condiment basket. Keep your go-to cooking oils and condiments close at hand without letting them take over the counter. A wire basket keeps items corralled while still letting you see what’s inside; a tray with a lip would also work well.
9. Wall-mounted lid rack. Always find yourself fishing around in the cupboard for a lid? A wall-mounted lid rack positioned near the stove will keep lids right where you need them.
10. Kitchen wall hooks. Keep market bags, aprons and tea towels handy with a few wall hooks in the kitchen. Putting some up is incredibly simple — and so convenient, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.
11. Top-of-cupboard storage baskets. Fill wasted space above upper kitchen cabinets with attractive woven storage baskets. Since this spot is usually accessible only by ladder, it’s a good place to keep less frequently used items — think holiday dishes and fondue pots.
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12. Back-of-the-door organizer. Using an adjustable organizer on the back of the door is a good way for kids to learn to put away their own things. Keep a hook for a backpack, a rack for shoes and a basket for library books.
13. Above-the-desk shelf. Keep the work surface clean and clutter free by installing a slim floating shelf on the wall just above a desk. Use the shelf to hold pencil cups, stacks of paper and other frequently used supplies.
14. Craft closet. A small closet fitted with shelving and labeled bins makes the perfect home for craft supplies and in-progress projects. Use the top shelf to hold a row of mason jars filled with smaller supplies that could otherwise easily get mixed up.
Browse storage bins
15. Art-supply buckets. Free up more room for making art by storing frequently used supplies (crayons, washable markers, chalk) in small buckets hanging from a utility rail. Position it low to make it easy for kids to find what they need — and put things back when they’re done.
16. Labeled grab-and-go buckets. When warmer weather beckons kids outdoors, it’s inevitable that plenty of stuff will make its way out, too. Be proactive and dedicate a few shelves near the door to hold buckets of favorite outdoor play items — bubble bottles, balls, digging tools. Buckets are even better than baskets, because little ones can carry them outside by the handle, making cleanup easier.
17. Pullout supply drawers. Make your utility or broom closet work harder for you by installing a few sliding baskets to hold supplies. If you have room for more than one drawer, keep supplies organized by task — laundry, dusting, general cleaning.
18. Laundry room pin board. A small bulletin board is a handy addition to the laundry room. Use it to keep stain removal charts where they can be easily referenced, and pin up a clear plastic envelope to hold random things found in the wash.
19. Wheeled laundry baskets. Especially useful if your laundry area is on the same floor as the bedrooms, wheeled laundry baskets make it easy to roll heavy loads to the washer and back — and make it more fun for kids to “help.”
20. Open bins for loose parts. Make like a hardware store and keep your nails, screws and other small, loose parts in neatly labeled bins. It will be easy to see just what you need, and bins stay neater than shelves.
21. Chalkboard-labeled storage chest. Any chest of drawers can be transformed into a useful storage spot with the addition of chalkboard labels (buy them or paint your own using chalkboard paint). Use a chest to hold gardening supplies and tools in the shed, or craft supplies indoors.