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- Two experts told us about their favorite products for home organization, from kitchens to bedrooms.
- They also offer tips on getting started, including decluttering and beginning with a simple project.
Most of us have that one drawer or cupboard that's just a snarl of objects. (Many of us have more than one of these.) It's not just that these don't look nice. We waste a lot of time sorting through them, trying to find that one jar of nutmeg or a matching sock.
If you've been wanting to get more organized, tackling just such a drawer or cupboard is a great place to start.
We asked two experts, Mindy Godding, a decluttering expert and certified professional organizer with Abundance Organizing, and Kenika Williams, the lead organizer and founder of Tidied by K, for some of their favorite organizational products. They provided suggestions, whether you want a cleaner closet or a better way to store everything under the kitchen sink.
Easy-to-clean drawer dividers
iDesign Linus Shallow Drawer Organizers, available at The Container Store, from $5.49
The Linus drawers from iDesign are Godding's favorite option for bathroom drawers. "They're easy to clean, and they're just a nice, basic organization product for anything in a drawer," she said.
mDesign Plastic Stackable Pantry Storage Bin, available at mDesign, from $20.49
Under bathroom sinks, Godding uses clear stackable drawers. "It's really nice because you can just slide those drawers out and reach anything," she said. You can also stack them higher and lower, depending on where your plumbing is.
A way to store just about anything
The Container Store Multi-Purpose Bins, available at The Container Store, from $5.99
A product Williams always keeps on hand is multi-purpose bins from the Container Store. "You can literally put them in any space in your home," she said. She likes how economical and functional they are and uses them for almost everyone she works with. "I swear by those bins," she said.
Matching spice bottles
Aozita Glass Spice Jars with Spice Labels, available at Amazon, $29.99
If you want a uniform look for your spices, Godding suggests this set of 36 jars from Amazon that she uses in her kitchen. "What's nice about using them is now you're set up to just go to the bulk aisle," helping you cut down on single-use plastic or glass jars.
mDesign Two-Tier Plastic Kitchen Storage Spinner, available at mDesign, from $12.00
The Home Edit by iDesign 9-Inch Lazy Susan, available at The Container Store, $15.99
"I believe every pantry, every kitchen needs to have lazy Susans," said Williams, and Godding agrees.
"I don't think I could tell you any pantry I've organized that doesn't have a lazy Susan in it," she said. Godding likes both the options from iDesign and mDesign.
An insert for making a spice drawer
Ikea Uppdatera Spice Rack, available at Ikea, $3.99
Godding gets a lot of questions about organizing spices, and Ikea's in-drawer rack is a simple way to keep them neat if a kitchen doesn't have a ton of pantry space.
Pantry bins and baskets
mDesign Industrial Metal Pantry Storage Baskets (Set of 2), available at mDesign, $66
From bags of rice to chips, Godding likes to put anything that doesn't sit flat in a bin. To get the Instagram-worthy look in your pantry, "the key is repetition," she said, whether you go for metal or acrylic or seagrass.
"I do like to mix the textures," said Williams. "I'll have a wood basket, a wicker-like basket, and then maybe a metal basket," she said, to add some variety while still looking cohesive.
Racks that make use of door space
Elfa Utility Pantry Over-the-Door Rack Solution, available at The Container Store, $136
For people who have overflowing pantry shelves, Williams suggests making use of wasted space. "Getting an Elfa door rack, or just a door rack in general, is going to help you maximize that vertical space," she said, putting more packages in reach instead of lost behind other boxes and cans.
iDesign Affixx Adhesive Organizer Bins, available at The Container Store, from $12.99
An adhesive bin on a cabinet door can also help add order under a sink, said Godding. "It's great for holding sponges, rags, dishwasher pods, anything like that," she said.
Bamboo drawer organizers
Container Store Stackable Bamboo Drawer Organizers, available at The Container Store, from $6.99
Godding said many of her clients want more eco-friendly products, and she likes bamboo organizers for that reason. "Aesthetically, they're really nice," she said, and often match well with cabinetry. While she recommends getting an assortment of sizes, she said the ones she uses the most for kitchens are 3 by 6 inches and 3 by 9 inches.
Williams also likes these types of organizers for kitchens. "A lot of the bamboo options are kind of modular, and they allow for you to stack on top of them to create more vertical space inside the drawer," she said.
Jiakai Honeycomb Drawer Organizer, available at Amazon, $6.99
Dresser drawers are often pits of mismatched items. To contain the clutter, Williams uses honeycomb dividers for socks, underwear, and baby onesies. "They're my go-to product for anything clothes-related," she said.
Durable bins for kids' rooms
The Container Store Our Tidy Box, available at The Container Store, $3.99
Poppin Storage Bin, available at The Container Store, $9.99
Whether you prefer acrylic or cloth, you'll want bins that can stand up to kids using them in imaginative ways. But as a former teacher, Williams also likes to encourage children to help with the cleanup. She suggests putting both a picture and the word of whatever belongs in the bin. "It just makes it easier for them to recognize what it is and put things back," she said, "but it's also educational for them as well."
An ottoman that doubles as storage
Article Maribo Storage Ottoman, available at Article, $229
Williams loves finding multi-purpose furniture, especially for kids' rooms, like an ottoman you can fill with stuffed animals. "Make it accessible for the kids when they are accessing things but then easy for them to put things away as well," she said.
Bins pretty enough to display
Brentwood Bins, available at The Container Store, from $14.99
Godding recommends The Container Store's wooden bins in both the whitewashed and feathergrain colors. "Those have been really popular in pantries, but they're so pretty we put them on bookcases," she said. "We'll use them in living rooms, craft rooms."
A shoe organizer for anything but shoes
The Container Store 24-Pocket PEVA Over-the-Door Shoe Bag, available at The Container Store, $19.99
People often overlook or forgo organization in an entryway closet, said Godding. An over-the-door shoe organizer is one way she likes to find a place for everything. "I love this product for everything except shoes," she said. But it works well for smaller items, including hats, gloves, scarves, sunscreen, pool goggles, dog leashes, and so on.
Baskets made from natural materials
The Container Store Water Hyacinth Bin, available at The Container Store, from $11.99
mDesign Natural Woven Seagrass Storage Baskets with Lid (Set of 3), available at mDesign, $44.99
Godding said she's seeing many manufacturers make bins and baskets in more natural fibers like straw, seagrass, and wood bamboo. "I suspect that that will be a trend that will continue to grow," she said, because they're both functional and beautiful.
Stackable shoe shelves
Costway 31-Inch Stackable Shoe Rack, available at Overstock, $83.69
It can be difficult to find a reliable shoe-storage option, Godding said, because so many of them are rickety or tilt so that shoes fall off. "What I recommend is just a simple shoe shelf that you can stack," she said.
A laundry sorter
Honey-Can-Do Easy Load Triple Sorter, available at Target, $90.99
Whitmor Easy-Lift 3-Bag Triple Laundry Sorter, available at Target, $44.99
Both Godding and Williams like three-compartment laundry sorters. "I recommend spending a little bit more and getting one with a nice, sturdy metal frame and casters," said Godding.
Williams likes the versatility because you can separate by type of laundry, colors, or person. "That kind of helps you to keep an organized laundry room, even for the dirty clothes, until you're ready to do your laundry," she said.
Organization tips from the pros
Godding and Williams both said to start small with a junk drawer, medicine cabinet, or under the bathroom sink.
"Sometimes we get really energized when we start a project, and then once it gets troublesome, that's when we start to panic," said Godding. She said pick a place with boundaries, like a single drawer or closet.
Williams says to look for a manageable project that "you feel like you can get the quick win out of."
Don't forget to downsize
"The first thing I'll always tell people is to try to get rid of as much stuff as you can do comfortably," said Williams. That includes your pantry, where she suggests donating unopened and non-expired food that you know you won't eat.
"It's okay to part ways with things, even if you spent money on it," she said. Once you start decluttering, "your home is going to feel more like your sanctuary and more functional and organized."
Use what you have
If you don't want to collect more "stuff," you likely have items around the house that can help you get organized, Williams said, from plastic bags to old iPhone boxes. "Everybody, for whatever reason, decides that they wanna keep the boxes, so repurpose those," she said.
Look for multi-purpose options
"I'm a big fan of trying to find products that you could ultimately use in several different spaces throughout the house," Godding said. Consider them an investment that you can take with you when you move or if you start using a room in a new way.
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