One thing is for sure during this pandemic time…we’re being forced to live life in a more contained space. And with that, comes a renewed appreciation for organization. So whether you’re trying to keep your sanity as the kitchen table becomes a makeshift office, trying to avoid being swallowed by the toy abyss, or wanting to use some of your new at home time to tackle projects you always wanted to do, I’ve put together some tips and products to help you get those jobs done.
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I recently hosted a segment on TODAY with Hoda and Jenna about organizing your refrigerator. One of the biggest A-HA’s for many people was the suggestion to use CLEAR storage containers. They allow you to see what is inside so you know how much is leftover and what needs to be used.
I also think it’s easier to process what you need for your shopping list when you can open up the refrigerator door and everything looks clear and clean. And, if you’re like me, you probably have a hodgepodge of storageware in your cabinets. If you’re in cleanout mode, this is a great place to start.
Under the sink…
All those plastic bags…we use reusuable shoppers as much as possible, but sometimes a quick stop here or there results in a stockpile of these bags. We use them for doggie duty (or doody, as the case may be) but there’s never a great place to store these bags. Instead of a cumbersome mound under the kitchen sink, I think this holder is a great idea. And if you don’t want to mount, since it has a flat back, I think it would be fine up against the inside cabinet wall.
This organizer is perfect for under your kitchen sink. It’s a great way to corral all of your cleaning supplies. I really like the drawer that I can pull out so that I don’t get sucked into the back of the cabinet trying to find things!
Inside your cabinets…
I like to make sure I have at least one matching set of good mixing/multipurpose bowls. They nest inside each other, so it takes up less space, they look nice enough for serving, and if I’m cooking ahead, I like them to have lids. These really fit the bill for me.
The dreaded drawers
Step one…do a thorough inventory of what you’re really using and what you haven’t used in years. If you have to ask yourself, “what do I use this for?” then it’s probably ok to toss it. Drawer organizers are great…but make sure you buy various versions that accomodate different sized utensils. If you have a lot of long spatulas and spoons, then a drawer divider with small sections won’t do you any good. I usually have 2 drawers for my kitchen gadgets…one for the small/medium sized utensils and one that accomodates the larger sizes. The last image below is actually expandable to really give you a custom fit! BTW, cutlery trays are also great to organize bathroom and junk drawers too!
Do you have a sock drawer that looks like this?
That’s why I love a drawer organizer that makes my drawers (and my kids’ drawers) look like this:
The Bathroom…where there’s never enough space!
The bathroom seems to be the place that puts every organizer to the test. Here’s one of my favorite ways to instantly give yourself more shelf and storage space…
The area over the toilet is usually the most unused space in the bathroom. A simple rack like this gives you a place to store extras. I like to use baskets to hold things like my hairstyling tools, extra toilet paper, etc. The baskets kind of “hide” the items and make the room look more organized.
And then there’s your makeup! This is a really good time to clean out your makeup and skincare products. Most usually have a shelf life of up to 2 years. But items like mascara should be dumped after 3 months, so do a thorough inventory. And even if something is newer, but has a funny smell or a changed consistency, don’t take a chance…time to dump. What you have leftover can easily be organized with one of these countertop or under the sink designs.
My closet has been one of the hardest areas of my home to keep neat and organized for as long as I can remember. I love clothes and have a hard time clearing out items I spent good money(especially if the clothes still look good. Ok, I haven’t worn it 3 years, but STILL!!) But let’s be honest here…Marie Kondo moment…if we haven’t worn it, it’s not giving us joy, and it’s time to move on. I’ve eased the heartache of this by sorting my clothes into donate and consignment piles. Consignment sites like Thread Up and The Real Real are two of my favorites.
My point is that before we organize your closet, we have to make sure we’re really working with what you wear and what you need to store each season. Once you’ve t taken care of the hard part, here are some of my favorite ways to organize what remains.
Hang in there 🙂
Hangers are EVERYTHING! If you really want to maximize space, make sure you’re using the slimmest design you can find. I also like to make sure they are flocked (like velvet) because this keeps shirts and straps from slipping. People differ on how to hang their pants. You can fold the pants over the hanger bar at the bottom, but for me, I prefer a hanger with clips so that the pants aren’t creased when I go to wear them.
Shoes, shoes, shoes!
Shoes can take up a lot of space and when they’re not organized by style and pairs. That can make your closet seem so much more cluttered. Here are a few things I’ve found that work great to organize your shoe collection.
You’ll need to carve out some floor space for this, but if you have tall boots, and don’t want them to end up crunched up in the off season, this is the perfect solution. You could also use this in a coat closet to store away for spring/summer if that gives you more room.
I’m always looking for the best way to store my nicer dress shoes. I’m not about to put in individual boxes with photos on the outside of each style. That’s too much work for me. But I do love these shoe risers that work great on shelves. They basically double my space! You can use them on shoe racks and on the floor too (but if your closet is carpeted, they may not stand up as well.) These were a great find for me!
Never discount how handy one of these over the rod hanging organizers can be. If you don’t have a lot of shoes, perfect. If you want to hang this at the end of your closet, it’s great for storing your off season shoes. Wanting to pick the shoes off of the floor in your son or daughter’s closets? Done. And if not for shoes, use this as a place to stash scarves, smaller handbags, belts, camisoles, or gloves and mittens. It earns its real estate in your closet.
When it’s summer, I don’t have heavy jackets and sweaters taking up visible space in my closet. And when it’s winter, you won’t find breezy dresses or tanks hanging either. I like to see what I can wear now, not what I will wear in a different time of year. That’s why I really believe in moving your out of season clothing into a bin. Put them away clean, and you’ll be glad to see them again when the weather is right.
I love finding things that work. I hope some of these tips and ideas can work for you. I’ve learned (the hard way!) that the key to getting organized is to tackle one task at a time. Don’t look at the WHOLE closet…just decide you’ll start with cleaning out your tops. Then do pants the next day, and shoes after that. A little at a time will add up to a tidy and neat result. Do you have any tips that really help keep you organized? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
From my home to yours,