A paper binder clip works great to manage small electrical cords. I use one to keep my long headphone cords neatly wound and tangle-free. — Michael Johnson
Plus: Resolve to Organize Your Home with these 43 Super Simple Hints
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Use Door Space Intelligently
Don't forget the door when counting your closet space! Try an over-the-door shoe organizer on the backside of a closet door to organize scarves, belts and other accessories. Or of course, shoes too! Would you rather have your shoes out where you can see them? Make this easy-to-build shoe rack with modern style!
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.
Use Slim Bins to Store MoreLooking to maximize your shelf space? Look no further. Whether you live in a mansion or studio apartment, keeping dry goods in tall (or flat), skinny containers will help you get more bang for buck. But what about if your kitchen doesn't have a pantry? Check out these 11 No-Pantry Organization Solutions On a Budget.
Divide Your Pantry Into ZonesEvery pantry worth its salt (pun intended) is divvied up into "zones," or various cooking stations based on your day-to-day needs. Once you settle on the categories—such as weeknight dinners or holiday baking—assign an area in your pantry for each zone and label it. Not only will this trick keep your pantry neat and organized, but it also guarantees you'll find what you need in a pinch. Need some inspiration? These are the zones every organized pantry should have. Plus, check out these 11 ideas for organizing your kitchen on a budget.
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.
Tidy File Center
Countertops are a landing pad for paper—mail, news clippings and other assorted notes. Get that mess off your counter with folders and a file holder. The one shown here (from an office supply store) mounts with screws or double-sided foam tape. If you don't have suitable vertical surface, get a file holder that sits on the countertop. It will take up less space (and look neater) than a stack of papers. If you're short on space and could use a home office, read up on how to turn your closet into a makeshift home office!
Turn Your HangersOnce you're gone through your closet and weeded out the unused items, turn all hanging clothing with the hanger facing outward. After wearing an item, return it to the hanging rod with the hanger facing the back of the closet. After one year, all articles of clothing still facing outwards were not worn, and you can consider getting rid of them. Find out how to get rid of anything.
Couch ShelfTry making a shelf that runs between your couch and the wall. That space can be used as a spot to place a lamp or plants and store the remotes, books and candles. Photo: Courtesy of littlehousedesign.com
Three-Ring Tool and Appliance FileStore your appliance and tool manuals in three-ring binders so you can find them when you need them. Insert labeled dividers to organize them for quick reference.
Keep Your Spray Bottles in Line
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. An old rod can come in handy in a number of spots in the house.
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.
Like a lot of other people, my wife and I love large plastic bins. But remembering what's inside each bin is tough, and reading a small label is nearly impossible when your bins are stored high on garage shelves. We solved both problems by labeling our bins with large numbers. Each number corresponds to a page in a binder that lists the contents of each bin. It's simple to change the list, and it's a heck of a lot easier to find what you need by checking the binder than by rummaging through each bin. Gerald Naumann Editor's Note: When it comes to bin I.D. tags, we like adhesive storage pouches that let you slip index cards in and out easily. You can find these at office supply stores or online retailers. Find out another reason why three-ring binders come in handy around the house.
Add CubbiesAdd some cubbies to store toys, books and art supplies. You can add some bins to hide items, such as remotes and cables that you may not want to see displayed. Depending on your space, you can also use the design as a media console. Photo: Courtesy of Ana White
Storing Important Documents
Keep seven years' worth of business-related backup documents to support your tax returns, like final budgets, receipts, and contracts. You can toss nontax related items such as old conference materials, first drafts of final documents, and outdated business cards and brochures. Check out how to get your home office organized to avoid clutter.
Instant Laundry Room Cubbies
If you don't have cabinets or shelves in your tiny laundry room, buy inexpensive plastic crates at a discount store and create your own wall of cubbies for some small room organization. Screw them to the wall studs using a fender washer in the upper corner of each crate for extra strength for DIY laundry room shelves. The crates hold a lot of supplies, and they keep tippy things like your iron from falling over. Here are some more ideas for small space storage solutions.
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 5-in. lengths of 2" PVC pipe to the vanity door to hold the curling irons. Do the same thing with 3-in. pieces of 1-1/2-in.-diameter 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.
Toss Old Clothing
Clothes you haven't touched in two years need to go. The two-year rule accounts for warmer-than-usual winters or unseasonable summers when you may not wear something you'd usually wear. It also accounts for clothes you've been saving for chores like yard work or painting, without letting you hold on to these items indefinitely. If you're not willing to take the time to try something on to confirm that you still love it, then you can let it go. Learn about Swedish Death Cleaning and if you can apply some of the principles. Just be careful what you donate, there are a number of items you should think twice about donating.
Sort Receipts and Manuals for Easy Reference
Use a dollar store coupon file to sort receipts by month for organized budgeting and easy access in case you need to make a return. Buy a second file and organize product manuals with each divider corresponding to a different room in the home and the products in that room.
If you happen to have inherited your grandma's rolling pins, knotty wooden utensils, and/or well-worn cutting boards, you have a design opportunity waiting. Consider storing these beloved kitchen wares out in the open as authentic décor elements by hanging them on available wall space. Just make sure you mount them in such a way that you can easily take them down for use. Plus: See how to work in your favorite workshop staples into your home decor.
HyggeHygge, a Danish word that loosely translates to "coziness," has become one of America's popular lifestyle ideas. Hygge is all about being comfortable, which means getting rid of clutter. To get more hygge in your life, take the time to sort through belongings you no longer need or want and donate or toss them. Keep warm blankets, soft pillows and candles to promote hygge in your home.
RyokanRyokan is a type of Japanese inn in which guests sleep and eat in the same room. The concept shares focus with the tiny home movement in which homeowners minimize their belongings and space to just what they need.
KonMariHere's a question to ask yourself when you're looking for organizing ideas for your home and life: Does it spark joy? That's the concept behind KonMari. The answer to the question "Does it spark joy?" is a determining factor for what you choose to keep and what you choose to toss or give away.
Feng ShuiFeng Shui is a concept from China that aims to create a flow of space. As an organizing idea, Feng Shui advocates keeping clutter at bay and relying on organization as every item has its "right place."
Install a Kitchen Cabinet Rollout
A shortage of storage space in kitchen cabinets would sour anyone in need of maximum stowaway room. Kitchen cabinet rollouts give additional capacity to cabinets and make it easier to find items so you can smile while you snack. Learn how to build your own rollouts for your kitchen here with the help of the Family Handyman’s DIY University.
Better in a Basket
You come home from the grocery store with an armful of fresh fruit, but lo and behold—there's no spare fridge or counter space available. A stylish solution for this storage problem is to hang a single or tiered wire basket from the ceiling. You can store your apples, bananas, and oranges as well as potatoes, onions, and garlic here. Plus, a hanging basket adds visual interest to your kitchen.
Get Produce Off the CounterSometimes all that's needed to spruce up a space is organization. This creative way to store fruits and vegetables is inexpensive and attractive. It's also a bonus that this project will free up valuable counter space.
Don't Let the Junk Drawer OverflowIt goes without saying that a junk drawer goes from being a place for miscellaneous items, to an overflowing space that has more non-essential items in it than ones you actually want to get easy access to. Go through your junk drawer quarterly, making sure anything that's in there is something you truly need. The rest you can toss, like extra rubber bands, plastic bags, chopsticks, business cards, and more.
Baskets, bins and boxes are all excellent storage tools in an organized mudroom. You can separate items by bin, such as shoes and hats, or assign a bin to each member of the family. No matter how you organize it, you'll never regret using these handy pieces.
Declutter Your Medicine Cabinet
Keep only these must-have medical supplies for kids:
- Child-safe insect repellent
- Child-safe sunscreen
- Infant and/or child thermometers (both digital and ear or rectal)
- Rehydration fluids for children with tummy trouble
- Children's and/or infants' acetaminophen and ibuprofen, as recommended by your doctor, to relieve fever and mild pain
- Phone numbers for your pediatrician or emergency contacts
- The American Association of Poison Control Centers' national emergency hotline: (800) 222-1222
Serve Up School Supplies in a Silverware Tray
Move over flatware, because the school supplies are taking over! Reuse any silverware tray as a craft and school supply organizer that easily fits into a drawer or cabinet. Photo: Jaime Costiglio
Pegboard and BinIn just two hours you can Install pegboard on a garage wall to create versatile up-and-out-of-the-way storage. Add a bin underneath and you'll have a spot for all the odds and ends that make organizing your garage a chore.
Overhead StorageMost of your garage floor space is taken up with your vehicle(s), so look up! There's a lot of unused storage space overhead. Our collection of overhead garage storage solutions includes this kayak sling and 13 other great products. Another useful option is this overhead storage system for plastic tubs.
A Laundry Workbench
This sturdy workbench is not just for carpentry - it's also perfect as a potting bench or laundry room table. If you want a surface that's easy to clean and protects against spills, apply two coats of polyurethane varnish to the top and the shelves. We used a water-based finish that dried quickly and was hard as nails by the next day.
Organize by Usefulness
As a general rule, put items that you frequently use on the lowest shelves (dishes and bowls, olive oil, glasses, etc.), and items you rarely use on the highest shelves. It's a bit of common-sense organizing that goes a long way when it comes to open shelves, and it will help you keep everything easily accessible and looking great. Just remember to group like with like: Have at least a few cups in a row rather than alternating dishes all over the place.
Shelf Sections for Specific Purposes
Let's say that you do have some clutter on your open kitchen shelves, but you can't really get rid of any of it. A potential solution is separating your shelving out into sections. Keep one section for all your cookbooks, for example, while using another section to store coffee supplies and so on. When done correctly, this can turn clutter into a casual-chic look ideal for smaller kitchens.
Add LevelsDon't think everything must be at the same level. Add some shelves and drawers among the hanging clothes. This will help break up the space and allow you to fold items such as jeans and sweaters so they don't take up space on hangers.
Soda Tab HangersPull off those soda tabs and put them to work in your closet. Just slip them around the hook of a hanger and it will allow you to drop a second hanger in the tab so you can hang more clothes in the same space. Photo: Courtesy of Get Organized Wizard
Wine DividersDon't throw those cardboard wine dividers in the recycling bin just yet! If you struggle to keep shoes organized in your child's closet, try inserting those dividers into a basket or tub and use it as a clever DIY shoe storage solution. Photo: Courtesy of Heartwork Organizing
Vizual Vortex Studio/Shutterstock
Above the Sink RackConsider installing a rack over the kitchen sink. The rack can work as storage for everything from soap and sponges to small plates and utensils.
Adopt the One In/One Out PhilosophyWhenever you buy a new item, consider getting rid of an old one. This philosophy will help you keep clutter out of your closet, off counters and even your child's toy room. Build a low-cost custom closet to stay organized.
Give Everything a PlaceThis year, make a resolution to give everything a place in your home. It's simple—make sure you have a space to store all those clothes. Use bins to hold remotes, chargers and small electronics. Have a designated spot for winter gear in the mudroom or entryway. Conquer clutter with these 50 organizing tips you'll wish you already knew.
Take 10 Minutes Each DayIf you take 10 minutes each day to tidy up a room, that's more than an hour a week to clear clutter throughout your home. While some rooms such as the kitchen and living room may take a little more time, rooms such as the bathroom and guest room may take even less. Try these clutter-busting strategies for every room.