Clutter is an inevitable part of life—or so we always assumed. While Insta-famous professional organizing stars seem to live in a perpetual state of neat-and-tidy, organized-by-color bliss, our own homes look quite a bit different—or at least they did, until we kicked them into gear with a room-by-room organizational overhaul.
Sure, sometimes papers still pile up and we're no stranger to stepping on the odd Lego here and there...but installing systems throughout your home to manage clutter and keep things organized on a day-to-day level can make a huge difference. For instance, giant cleaning sprees aren't as necessary (or frequent) when well-thought-out systems are in place, whether those are catchalls at the front door or hooks for hanging grocery bags in the kitchen. In fact, some of our favorite storage strategies take just seconds (and $10 or less) to achieve—and even the more labor-intensive ones will pay for themselves many times over in the enjoyment you get out of your house. (Specialized kitchen drawers, we're looking at you.)
Here you'll find some of the best tips, tricks, strategies, and buys we've found lately. Who knows—soon, your home might be one of those ultra-organized Instagram spaces, too. Read on to see our favorites.
Give Your Fridge A Fresh Look
There's never been a better time to give your fridge a facelift. While it's a no-brainer that clear plastic bins make it easy to see what to add to your grocery list, we love the idea of using a segmented round container for awkwardly shaped items like bunches of grapes. (Even better if you can find one that's a Lazy Susan—simple give it a spin when it's time to snack.)
Tidy Up Your Totes
Purses can be one of the trickiest items to organize (even Marie Kondo admits to having trouble deciding on a system for them). But the brilliant ladies of The Home Edit found a two-prong strategy for keeping them visible and tidy when working on Mandy Moore's closet. Bags with straps are hung from these sleek tote hangers, while clutches are kept upright with mail or magazine organizers. Finally, closet bliss is achieved.
Corral Your Collections
We all have that one thing we can't stop collecting...and the bigger your stash, the harder it is to store it. The best way, in our experience, is to show it off—this enormous sunglasses collection is proudly displayed in clear acrylic shelving, making it easy to see (and almost doubling as a piece of pop art).
Help Your Plants Stand
Plant moms, this one's for you. If your ever-growing (see what we did there?) collection of greenery is taking over, try using a pegboard system to allow them the space they need without crowding your home. Easily movable shelves can be shifted throughout the seasons as branches expand and require more room, and it's a smart place to corral all your trimming and transplanting tools, too.
Design Around Your Dishes
Storing dishes in a drawer = smart. Storing them in a drawer equipped with a pegboard system to keep them from sliding around during frequent opening and closing of that drawer = brilliant. This is a key tip to protect your favorite pieces (and one that's equally easy to DIY or buy) in modern kitchen designs which have been favorite drawers over cabinets of late.
Do A Standup Job In The Kitchen
Storing cutting boards, cookie sheets, and cooling racks upright makes it easier to find what you're looking for in a flash (and prevents the dreaded landslide of cookie sheets catastrophe). Just flip through like a filing cabinet when you're ready to bake.
Clean Up Your Laundry Room
Decanting items into pretty glass containers is a major trend in the kitchen, but it shouldn't be limited to that space. These jars are more than a pretty face—they make it easy to see how much you have left of essential supplies like pre-treating powder or laundry detergent (and, yes, they look a lot nicer than those big plastic jugs). Add a pump top to your detergent for even easier dispensing, which will help keep your laundry area drip-free, too.
"Freeze" Up Some Space
Staying organized is often a matter of changing your mindset—in particular, from horizontal to vertical. Vertical food storage helps you make the most of your fridge's square footage. Maximize it by freezing things flat and then storing them in bins like a file folder.
Roll With It
Lots of our favorite fridge storage hacks rely on storing things vertically, but there are some exceptions. When it comes to canned beverages, we actually prefer to store them lying down to maximize space. A simple dispenser-style drawer can help keep your favorite fizzy beverages close at hand, or try a silicone mat designed for cans (both inside and outside the fridge) to make the most of your fridge's footprint.
Put Your Wheels On The Walls
Clunky wheeled equipment—from strollers to wagons to bikes—can be the bane of garage organization. But a mounted storage system can keep them off the floor and out of your path—yet still easily accessible for impromptu playtimes.
Get A Daybed That Does Double-Duty
The ultimate multi-functional blast from the past reborn, this modern Murphy bed situation provides seating during the day, then transforms into a Queen-sized bed for guests when needed. The sleek midcentury-inspired cabinetry helps it blend in seamlessly to a home office or multipurpose room when not in use—and you'll feel like a magician revealing it when it's time for guests to stay the night.
Specialize Your Serving
If entertaining is a major priority at your home, it makes sense to keep dishes and utensils for guests close at hand. Whether you use adjustable drawer inserts to DIY a solution or invest in a sleek "bar block" like this one from Henrybuilt to cradle everything from salad forks to condiments, make sure your organizational strategy matches how you really live.
Maximize Your Landing Pad
We're well-documented fans of the entryway landing pad—i.e. space to store, drop and grab daily essentials so they don't wind up cluttering your kitchen table (or misplaced under a couch cushion). This one is a masterclass in everything a landing pad should be, and it's easy to DIY, too—just use pegboard to arrange a grid of hooks and containers for the things you need on your way out the door. (We might add hand sanitizer or some disinfectant wipes to this setup, for good measure.)
Streamline Your Home Salon
The hot-tools solution we've seen in our dreams: extra-deep drawers are fitted with spaces (lined with heat-safe material) for curling irons, straighteners, and blowdryers, and plug in conveniently at a built-in power strip. No more dancing with cords during our AM routine.
Give It A Spin
If you're not using lazy susans (or turntables) throughout your home, you're seriously sleeping on one of the best organizational tools ever created. Not only are they MVPs in the pantry, but they can serve as great space-savers in linen closets and even under the bathroom sink. Just imagine being able to see all your cleaning products with a whirl.
Do It Your "Shelf"
If your under-the-sink area is lacking in a shelf, it's easy to DIY one by placing a piece of wood or other sturdy material across two drawer inserts. Boom—space doubled.
Cut To The Chase
If you're considering a kitchen remodel or re-configuration, this is one of those "why didn't we think of that?"-level ideas to bookmark. A pull-out cutting board is situated over pull-out trashcans, making cleanup a snap.
Use What You Have
We love any excuse to head to the Container Store for new organizational goodies, but this well-organized fridge proves that there's no need to rush out and buy more stuff in order to streamline what you already own. Simple jars and canisters (and even counter-style candy jars) can work in the fridge just as easily as they can on your countertop or in the pantry.
If you're worried about humidity, just add a moisture-reducing pouch or miniature dehumidifier designed for the fridge and be sure to not overcrowd your shelves to allow for proper circulation of air.
Take A Cue From Kindergarten
Remember those canvas shoe storage systems from childhood? This clever organizational tool uses the same logic but looks distinctly grown-up. We love the idea of putting it on the door to the garage to store your favorite grab-and-go must-haves or replacing the dreaded "junk drawer" altogether with it in the kitchen.
Get The Hookup
Sometimes the best organizational ideas are also the simplest. Though utensil crocks are common in most kitchens, they take up valuable counter space and can sometimes look disorderly. A small hanging pot rack or utensil rack keeps those same reached-for items nearby without using up prep space.
Wind Down Your Wine Collection
It's wine-o-clock somewhere—under the kitchen island. This under-utilized area is a smart space to store red wine, since it's not taking up prime space but is still easily accessible when guests come over.
Clear Your Countertops
In a small bathroom, counter space is key—so any item (no matter how small) that you can remove from the counter is a win. Use chic mounting brackets to secure your hand soap and any other daily needs, like lotion, to the wall. Bonus—it makes wiping down the sink even quicker.
Keep Your Silver Shining
Any home organizer will tell you that segmenting drawers into purposefully sized spaces is key when it comes to staying organized and keeping things neat. But this brilliant hack takes that a step further, lining each nook with felt to protect and preserve the treasured family silver.
Rework Your Recycling Setup
Is it just us, or does every home's recycling area seem to be a recipe for disaster and disorganization? Whether you live in a city that does single-stream or you have to separate things out, thinking through your home recycling setup will make it easier to be eco-friendly. These snap-together bags are great for divvying up paper and plastic, and they can be easily labeled (and re-labeled) with chalk. Plus, we think they have a subtly sophisticated, farmhouse-like feel.
Think Outside The Closet
Just because your kitchen doesn't come pre-equipped with a palatial walk-in pantry, doesn't mean you have to give up on your dreams of a perfectly stocked larder. Consider retrofitting a wardrobe or other cabinet with shelves (or opting for a custom solution like the one seen here) to create a DIY pantry that's every bit as beautiful as a built-in one.
We're calling it right now: clear-front drawers are the next big thing (especially when it comes to storing linens). How many times have you had to rifle through drawer after drawer trying to find those seasonal tablecloths or the matching napkins? Clear-front drawers take the guesswork out, instantly.
Make Space On Your Nightstand
Here's a secret: those impossibly uncluttered nightstands you see on Instagram just aren't practical for most people. Use a clever bedside solution like this one to keep your tabletops clear (and ready for their close-up, anytime).
Net A Win
Without a doubt, the easiest storage solution you'll ever encounter: storing produce in fishnet bags. Not only does this mean they can go straight from the market to your kitchen hooks (because you're already using reusable produce bags instead of plastic ones...right?), but the added air circulation helps prevent premature rotting. Plus, bagging them up gets them up off the counter and frees up your prep area. It's a win-win.
Wrap Up Your Workout Gear
Tripping over resistance bands and jump ropes is *not* the ideal way to start your workout. A simple shelf and rack combo like this DIY option makes it easy to begin your reps on the right foot.