The Simplest Organization Techniques You Haven't Tried Yet
Storage and organization don't have to be difficult: Put these tried-and-true techniques to use to stay on top of every room's clutter.
Everything In This Slideshow
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Make Your Rooms Work Harder
Whether you have an excess of square footage or are cramped into a too-small space, there are inventive ways to squeeze out useful organization from your home. In a centrally located spot such as a kitchen, a small stretch of wall offers a precious few inches for a family organization spot. Give each person their own slot, or include a message board with important reminders.
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Helping your family stay organized depends on kids and parents being able to use whatever system you have in place. For kids especially, that means ensuring access to all the daily-use items that they can be in charge of, such as clothes and toys. Revamping closets with multi-height rods and storing seasonal clothes within their reach is a great organizational technique. Clothes they’ll grow into or use in different weather can be stashed in up-high, out-of-reach spaces.
Use the Right Container
You'd be surprised how helpful it is to have the right container for the right job. Watch and see what types of containers will help you organize more efficiently.
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Make It Pretty
It’s so much easier to maintain an organization system if it’s one that you love to look at. Invest in pretty clips and hangers; choose a color scheme; and spend time thinking how your organization can and should be part of your decor.
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Clean Up Electronics
Cords, wires, remotes, gadgets: All the technological stuff in our lives can quickly overwhelm a room and your organization systems. Try grouping like items -- all the remotes, for example -- in one bin. Frequently used pieces should be placed in open-top containers. Items with less-frequent use -- a printer, perhaps -- can sometimes be placed in a drawer or behind a closed door to reduce the look of clutter.
The "No Pantry" Pantry
No pantry? No problem. See how you can squeeze more storage into your kitchen.
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Organize by Person or Function
Bins, baskets, hooks, and containers all lend themselves to a simple but underused organization technique: labeling. Handwritten or computer-generated, labels can quickly help you and your family sort, store, and find what you need. Try labels in an entryway, on shelves, and in the kitchen.
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Do a Daily Declutter
One of the best and easiest ways to stay on top of your home’s organization is to spend a few minutes on it each day. That includes both public and private areas, including your oft-used living room and the floor of your closet. Put shoes away, straighten furniture, and clear countertops for a home that looks and feels more organized.
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Clear the Floor
It's amazing the change in the feel and function of a room once the floor is clear: The clutter factor clears, and the visual distractions dissipate. Lots of things can be elevated even a few inches off the floor -- nightstands or shelves, for example -- but the garage is a good place to put this organization technique into place. This system does double duty, holding a collection of bikes while offering closed-top bin storage up high for seasonal items.
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It's a hassle to transport small things, such as cleaning bottles and supplies, from room to room. But grouping them together in a tote has multiple organization advantages. For starters, grouping like items together serves as a visual reminder when you need a re-stock. Second, a portable tote helps to cut down on clutter inside a cabinet. Lastly, keeping items well-organized and together means that moving them where they're needed is an easy job.
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Divide Drawers by Height
Built-in or added-on, drawer dividers that take advantage of existing height are good ways to increase your organization options. The more you divide the drawer, the more you’ll help to reduce clutter by making what’s stashed inside visible and easily accessible.
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Staying organized depends on knowing what you have and where it is; that way, you won’t purchase duplicates or waste time searching for what you need. Putting items on display, such as the narrower shelves filled with shoes, is a great organizational technique to help achieve this goal.
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Everyone has lots of stuff that is odd-sized or not that pretty to look at, but simple organizational tricks can help. For starters, covered boxes are a good way to corral items that shouldn’t or can’t be left loose or those that are awkwardly sized. There’s a decor-friendly way to improve your book storage too: Group titles -- no matter their size -- based on the colors of the covers.
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Zones are often used to refer to work areas, especially in a kitchen. But creating organization zones is a good technique to use, even in smaller spaces such as drawers and doors. Here, one drawer is subdivided as an art zone, with paints and other supplies grouped into smaller containers. Another idea: Add a label to the front of a spot to quickly identify what’s inside.
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Mix Storage Types
Organization options are much more limited if you have just one type of storage -- all drawers or open shelves, for example. The most clean-looking, hardworking spaces have a little bit of everything: baskets and bins to hide less visually pleasing elements, open shelves for easy access, and higher-up storage for things that aren’t used as frequently.
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Even if you have the space, there's no need to cram all your possessions into a designated closet or dresser. For clothes especially, rotate out what you aren't in need of during a particular season. You'll reduce visual clutter and make it easier to stay on top of your organizational system.