Room-by-Room Organization Tips

Follow these tips to bring order to every room in your home.

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Everything In This Slideshow

  • 1 of 42

    In the Kitchen

    Create Zones

    Group items in your kitchen by their function. In this kitchen, a stand mixer tucks in the corner by the refrigerator and shelves above house mixing bowls and baking necessities. On the opposite side of the refrigerator, a breakfast prep zone has all morning must-haves: shelves with bowls and glasses, coffee mugs, and canisters of cereal.

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    In the Kitchen

    Squeeze In a Pantry

    Anywhere. Really, almost anywhere. Watch and see how it's done.

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    In the Kitchen

    Swing-Out Storage

    A clever option for those cavernous corner shelves, swing-out shelves make storage easy. Rails on the shelves keep items from falling off, and the tiers of shelves accommodate a pantry's worth of dry goods. Plus, the swing-out function brings every item front and center.

  • 4 of 42

    In the Kitchen

    Rethink Drawers

    Typically kitchen drawers are shallow and narrow, ideal for utensils and linens. But larger drawers can be a clever addition to a kitchen's storage plan, and work well in spaces with open shelves or limited upper cabinet storage. These dresserlike drawers can house stacks of dishes or bulky pots and pans. Because they pull out, all of the contents are easily accessible, and the drawers limit overhead reaching. A peg board and tall, sturdy pegs keep items in place and can be reconfigured to accommodate different sized and shaped items.

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    In the Kitchen

    Pantry Storage

    Learn what essentials you need to keep your pantry in tip-top order.

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    In the Kitchen

    Wraparound Shelving

    Make the most of kitchen corners with L-shape shelves, which provide a continuous stretch of storage. Be sure the shelves are reinforced in the corners so that they can bear the weight of heavy objects, such as serving bowls, placed in the corners.

  • 7 of 42

    In the Kitchen

    Wall of Storage

    Turn an open wall into storage central. In this kitchen, custom built-ins along a wall in the breakfast area store kitchen items that aren't used every day, such as special cookware and cookbooks. A buffet in the center functions as a bar or serving station. If built-ins aren't in your budget, but you still have a blank wall to fill, consider freestanding options that will achieve the same function.

  • 8 of 42

    In the Bathroom

    Build Up Storage

    If more storage is a priority over expansive counter space in your bathroom, consider a storage tower. The unit makes use of vertical space between the sinks of a double vanity and provides easy-to-reach storage for both sink areas. For extra savvy functionality, include an outlet in the cabinet for razors, hair dryers, and more.

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  • bathroom storage, green bathroom, green and white bathroom 9 of 42

    In the Bathroom

    Vertical Storage, Take Two

    For smaller vanities, employ the same vertical storage principal, but execute it on a stretch of wall instead. Here, a tall wall-mount shelving unit above the toilet adds much needed storage to the petite space. A mirrored door on the cabinet conceals storage and prevents items from tumbling into the toilet.

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    In the Bathroom

    Clever and Compact

    For bathrooms that are a tight squeeze, consider a flip-down shelf with hidden storage behind it. The shelf in this tiny bathroom folds out from the wall to be within reach of the vanity. In the wall niche, a makeup mirror turns the shelf into a full-fledged vanity, creating a bathroom that can now accommodate two. As a bonus, the shelf is topped with quartz, a heat-resistant and easy-to-clean surface.

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    In the Bathroom

    Be Aggressive

    The secret to organizing a bathroom is to be diligent and ruthless about getting rid of what you don't need. "The bathroom is probably the key place where we rummage through stuff that we hardly or never use to get to the stuff that we use every day," says Christopher Lowell, author of Christopher Lowell's Seven Layers of Organization.

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    In the Bathroom

    Maximize Vanity Space

    Watch how to turn your vanity into a well-organized hub for grooming and storage.

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    In the Bathroom

    Enlist New Storage

    If your bath lacks a closet, repurpose a cabinet or dresser to keep extra linens and supplies on hand. Bath oils and bulk items, such as cotton swabs, look pretty in glass jars -- plus it's easy to know when to restock.

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    In the Mudroom

    Improvise It

    See how to use a bookcase to create a clever mudroom organizer.

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    In the Mudroom

    A Place for Everything

    Whether it's a dedicated room or a stretch of wall inside the door, the key is to have a place for all the things you bring in that don't need to go any farther into the house. Make a list of those items -- coats, boots, mail, and keys -- and create an easy-access storage spot for each one right by the door.

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  • 16 of 42

    In the Mudroom

    Hang It Up

    Hooks are a simple and inexpensive storage solution. Install enough for everyone's coats, umbrellas, purses, backpacks, and briefcases.

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    In the Mudroom

    Create Shoe Storage

    Shoes collect at the entryway, so find a way to contain them. "It can be as simple as a big basket. It's quick, and it's easy," says Donna Smallin, author of The One-Minute Organizer.

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    In the Mudroom

    Make It Welcoming

    Use shelves or cubbies with fun labeled bins or cloth-lined baskets to add storage while creating a smooth and attractive transition into the house.

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    In the Living Room

    Develop Zones

    Creating a sense of togetherness is effortless when you choose integrated storage. The first step is to be realistic about how everyone uses the room so you can give each activity some space of its own. Such agreed-upon zones keep activities enjoyable while containing clutter.

  • sofa table, storage, living room 20 of 42

    In the Living Room

    Task-It Baskets

    Unlike a kitchen or mudroom, living rooms -- designated for relaxing and conversing -- often encompass more form than function. But even these livable spaces are required to have a little storage. Utilize large baskets or decorative bins to conceal blankets, toys, or media. If your front door opens directly into the living room, set up a console table with baskets tucked beneath for storing outerwear accessories, umbrellas, dog leashes, and more.

  • 21 of 42

    In the Living Room

    Control the Extras

    Keep only movies, games, music, and books that you use and that realistically fit on your shelves. Labeled photo boxes are stylish and the perfect size for stashing on shelves in an entertainment center.

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    In the Living Room

    Room for Everyone

    Since every family member spends time in this room, it can become a jumble of activities and items. Create storage for each activity, whether it's reading, playing games, watching TV, paying bills, or playing with a pet.

  • 23 of 42

    In the Bedroom

    DIY "Built-In" Storage

    Create a bed alcove filled with storage that mimics the look of a built-in. Here's how:
    -- Assemble the bookcases according to instructions.
    -- Arrange the bookcases on the floor with one on top, shelves facing out, and the other two at either end of the top unit, with the shelves facing each other and solid sides facing out.
    -- Connect the bookcases using metal mending plates on the top corners and back where the pieces meet. Attach the finished unit to the wall using the manufacturer's brackets that come with the bookcases.
    -- Mount the sconces by drilling holes in the solid side panels of the bookcases. Thread the wiring through the holes and attach the sconces as directed.

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  • 24 of 42

    In the Bedroom

    Maximize Space

    Watch and learn how to make the most of every inch, even in the smallest of bedrooms.

  • 25 of 42

    In the Bedroom

    Use the Foot of the Bed

    When space is at a premium, foot-of-the-bed storage is a quick fix for full closets and dresser drawers. A storage-friendly bench, trunk, or bookshelf is a perfect solution for stashing extra linens or out-of-season items.

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    In the Bedroom

    Multipurpose Storage

    Employ storage pieces that can serve more than one function. Here, a small dresser with valuable drawers also serves as a nightstand.

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    In the Bedroom

    Go Vertical

    Rest easy knowing your bedside belongings are free from chaotic clutter. Put blank walls to work with a few shelves within reach of the bed.

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    In Kid's Rooms

    Get Creative

    Kid's gear often requires a little bit of creativity to keep it organized. Use these ideas to achieve clutter-free kid's rooms.

  • 29 of 42

    In the Bedroom

    Contain Dirty Clothes

    Have a designated spot to put laundry at the end of each day. Invest in a hamper to prevent clothes pileups on the floor or inside the closet. A dresser with a built-in laundry basket keeps dirty clothes contained in a stylish, out-of-sight location.

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    In Kid's Rooms

    Simple Toy Storage

    Pockets on over-the-door shoe organizers are just the right size for storing small toys. Label each pocket for specific dolls or action figures and for accessories.

  • 31 of 42

    In Kid's Rooms

    Special Spot

    Make it easy for kids to keep their rooms tidy by creating special, clearly marked spots for absolutely everything they own. Choose small baskets, crates, and pails that are portable and light enough for little ones to tote.

  • pink bedroom with window-seat storage 32 of 42

    In Kid's Rooms

    Scale Down

    Kids shouldn't have to ask for help to reach their belongings. Make playthings more accessible by installing shelves, cubbies, and hooks at a child's height. Open storage allows kids to display their favorite things, while trunks are perfect for bulky or seldom-used items.

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    In Kid's Rooms

    Make Room for Hobbies

    Always find room for your child's interests, whether that means bins for sports equipment, a flat surface for drawing, or a special hook for dance outfits.

  • 34 of 42

    In the Garage

    Combine Efforts

    Use a variety of readily-available storage solutions, plus garage-specific product to create the ultimate organzied garage. See how this garage did it.

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    In the Garage

    Enlist Wall Space

    Because shelves tend to collect clutter, opt for solutions that mount to the wall or ceiling. They take up less space and require you to designate specific spots for each item. A wall-hung storage system organizes a mountain of sports gear in a slim space, keeping the floor clear of clutter and allowing a car to park nearby.

  • 36 of 42

    In the Garage

    Think Modular

    Modular cabinets combine to form a station for gardening and garage work. A floor rack keeps large tools in check, while smaller tools hang from sliding clips on a slatted wall panel. Short cubbies and drawers provide storage for gardening supplies and form a countertop for potting.

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    In the Garage

    Keep It Convenient

    Encourage the whole family to recycle by designating an easy-to-reach zone for cans, papers, and plastics. A trio of stackable bins forms a compact recycling station that is conveniently located near the door to the house. Plastic containers offer clean, moistureproof storage, while clear labels help keep things in order. Reusable grocery bags are stored nearby for trips to the store.

  • 38 of 42

    In the Home Office

    Ditch the Desk?

    Watch and see how one home office ditched the desk in favor of a better storage system and you may just be sold on this innovative alternative. 

  • 39 of 42

    In the Home Office

    Now vs. Later

    Keep your priorities straight with two corkboards: one designated for things to do now and one for things that can be handled later. Mount the boards from a rod above a desk by drilling two holes, one in each top corner of the board, and hanging from hooks on the rod.

  • 40 of 42

    In the Home Office

    Get the Memo

    A memo board, that is. Even in the digital age, corkboards have a place and are valuable for posting papers, a household calender, and reminders everyone can see. Use decorative tape or pretty ribbon to section off a large bulletin board to create sections for specific tasks, such as permission slips to sign.

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    In the Home Office

    In Plain Sight

    Fill wall-mount pockets near your workstation with bills, items to file, and correspondence so these documents are always in plain sight. Place project- and person-specific materials that aren't time-sensitive in labeled document boxes or expandable files; that way you can transport relevant documents quickly.

  • Next Slideshow Declutter Your Bedroom

    Declutter Your Bedroom

    Tired of tripping over shoes and searching through stuffed shelves and drawers? Try these time-friendly storage and organization ideas to declutter your bedroom.
    Begin Slideshow »

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