19 Organizing Tips You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

Updated: May 20, 2024

Conquer clutter once and for all with these brilliant organizing tricks every homeowner should know.

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Kitchen Storage Rail

Kitchen Storage Rail

Make space in your kitchen by installing a stainless steel rail from which you can hang kitchen utensils, coffee mugs, pots, pans, and more. This is a great storage solution if you have unclaimed wall real estate. It doubles as a great place to arrange and/or dry dishtowels and oven mitts.
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Spice Storage Drawer
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Spice Storage Drawer

If your spices are jammed into a drawer with only the tops visible, this nifty rack that slips neatly into the drawer will solve the problem. And it only takes an hour to build. Make it with scraps of 1/4-in. and 1/2-in. plywood. Or build a two-tier drawer spice rack into your kitchen drawer.
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Cabinet Door Cutting Board Storage
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Cabinet Door Cutting Board Storage

To store cutting boards, mount a rack on a cabinet door. Use a sheet of 1/4-in.-thick acrylic plastic; plywood would also work. You can cut acrylic with a table saw or circular saw as long as you cut slowly. Knock off the sharp edges with sandpaper. Round the lower corners with a belt sander. For spacers, use No. 14-8 crimp sleeves (in the electrical aisle at home centers), or any type of tube or even blocks of wood would work.
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Cabinet Door Measuring Cup Storage Rack

Cabinet Door Measuring Cup Storage Rack

Free up pantry storage space by hanging measuring cups inside a kitchen cabinet. Position and mount a wood strip so that the cups will hang between the shelves and allow the door to close completely. Mount a second strip for your measuring spoons, then screw in cup hooks on both strips.
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Plastic Bag Holder
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Plastic Bag Holder

An empty rectangular tissue box makes a convenient holder for small garbage bags, plastic grocery bags and small rags. Simply thumbtack it to the inside of a cabinet door. It's one of our favorite kitchen storage ideas.
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Divide Deep Drawers
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Divide Deep Drawers

Deep drawers often contain a jumbled pile of interlocking utensils. Our solution is a sliding tray that creates two shallower spaces. Make it 1/8-in. narrower than the drawer box, about half the length and any depth you want (ours is 1-3/4-in. deep). When you position the holes for the adjustable shelf supports, don't rely on measurements and arithmetic. Instead, position the tray inside the drawer box at least 1/8-in. lower than the cabinet opening and make a mark on the tray. Our shelf supports fit tightly into the holes, but yours may require a little super glue. This simple drawer rests on shelf supports.
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Hang Spray Bottles Under the Sink
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Hang Spray Bottles Under the Sink

Hang spray bottles from a rod to keep them upright. It can be hard to keep spray bottles from falling over and making a mess under your bathroom and kitchen sink. To keep them upright, hang them from a short tension rod (about $12 at discount stores) in your cabinet.
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Skinny Laundry Room Cart
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Skinny Laundry Room Cart

A lot of laundry rooms have a narrow wasted space either next to or between the washing machine and dryer, and it's usually a hideout for socks and lint. To take advantage of this space and organize your laundry room, build a simple plywood laundry room cart on fixed casters to hold detergents and other laundry supplies.
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DIY Tiered Hangers for More Closet Storage
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DIY Tiered Hangers for More Closet Storage

Short on closet space? Use a lightweight piece of chain to stagger hanging clothing in tall closets to maximize space. Just loop the first link of the chain over the first hanger, and hang subsequent hangers on every other links after. Hang up to six shirts for the rod space of one. If you're up for a bigger project, you can build your own melamine closet storage system.
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Monkey Bars Wall Unit

When you need storage above your wall unit, Monkey Bars has the solution. Engineered of steel for durability, the system offers custom solutions to get tools and materials off the garage floor and out of your way—but still within reach. You can modify the hook-and-bar system to fit changing garage storage needs in the future.

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Put a Lazy Susan in Your Fridge
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Put a Lazy Susan in Your Fridge

A lazy Susan in your fridge keeps small items close at hand. If your refrigerator door shelves are filled with salad dressing and mustard and the rest of the condiments get lost behind leftovers on the top shelf. Keep everything in plain view by storing overflow condiments on a lazy Susan on one of your fridge shelves. One spin and that small jar of capers will be a cinch to spot.

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Decorative Backsplash Rack
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Decorative Backsplash Rack

Backsplash racks offer easy access and stylish storage. Most versions take just a few minutes to install. Backsplash racks have a few disadvantages, though. All your kitchen utensils have to look good, since they’re on display. And if you ever decide to remove the rack, you’ll be left with screw holes in the backsplash; not a big problem with drywall, but ugly and unfixable in tile.

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Under-Cabinet Knife Storage Racks
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Under-Cabinet Knife Storage Racks

Pull-down racks give you instant access to kitchen essentials without the clutter of spice racks or knife holders. When the cooking is done, the rack swings up against the underside of the cabinet. Buy an acrylic knife rack like the one shown here, or build an under-cabinet drawer to hold knives, spices or other small items that take up counter space.

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Joist Space Storage
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Joist Space Storage

Don't waste all that space between joists in a basement or garage. Screw wire shelving to the underside of the joists. An 8-ft. x 16-in. length of wire shelving and a pack of plastic clips (sold separately) costs about 20 bucks. Don't forget that wire shelving also shines on walls. Learn the best practices for installing wire shelving here.
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Closet Nook Shelves

Closet Nook Shelves

Salvage the hidden space at the recessed ends of your closets by adding a set of wire shelves. Wire shelves are available in a variety of widths. Measure the width and depth of the space. Then choose the correct shelving and ask the salesperson to cut the shelves to length for you. Subtract 3/8-in. from the actual width to determine the shelf length. Buy a pair of end mounting brackets and a pair of plastic clips for each shelf. Want more tips on organizing your closet? Check out these 11 clothes storage ideas.
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PVC Curling Iron Holsters
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PVC Curling Iron Holsters

Hate the messy look of curling irons lying on the vanity or the toilet tank? Here's a tip for you. Use hook-and-loop tape to attach five-inch lengths of 2-in. PVC pipe to the vanity door to hold the curling irons. Do the same thing with three-inch pieces of 1-1/2-in.-dia. pipe to hold the cords. Just measure your curling irons to see how long your "holsters" need to be. Let your curling irons cool before you stow them away.
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Storage above windows and doors

The empty wall space above doors and windows is organizational gold! Hang a shelf there and use it for bathroom towels, toiletries, books, files, tablecloths—the list is endless.

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Storage Tips for Bulky Items
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Storage Tips for Bulky Items

Extra-large Ziploc bags (about $2 each at home centers and online) are great for storing camping gear, patio cushions and out-of-season clothes. Here's a slick trick for getting all the air out of the bag before you seal it. Put your items inside and push out all the air you can by hand. Then seal the bag but leave an opening large enough to fit a drinking straw. Use the straw to suck out the remaining air and then finish sealing the bag.
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Under-Sink Storage Bins
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Under-Sink Storage Bins

What's hiding under your kitchen sink? If the space under your sink is anything like ours, it's an overcrowded jumble of cleaning supplies, sponges and plastic bags. Here's a great way to store these items right on the door of the sink cabinet. Cut a plastic storage tub in half with a utility knife and screw it to the inside of the cabinet door through the plastic lip at the top of the tub. Just make sure you position it so you can shut the cabinet door when all your bags and other supplies are in the bin.