People who organize homes for a living say you can declutter so much sh*t with these clever tricks

Genius pro-recommended solutions you probably haven’t considered.

People who organize homes for a living say you can declutter so much sh*t with these clever tricks
ByJenny White
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It feels good to come back to an organized, orderly home at the end of the day. If you’re having a tough time controlling the clutter, read on to discover clever tricks from people who organize homes for a living. From keeping a designated basket in your closet strictly for donations to utilizing a paper recycling bag to stop junk mail from accumulating on your counters, scroll on for genius solutions that you probably haven’t considered yet.


Getting cords in order with a cable management box & accessories

If your electronic cords and cables have gotten out of hand, Leslie Lehr, the organizing expert of Leslie Lehr Living, explains that this cable management box can “bundle cords and power strips to reduce the mess.” The box is roomy enough to accommodate pretty much any power strip with up to 12 outlets and the entry/exit points at either end allow you to direct the cords as needed. Also included are a cable sleeve, cable clips, and cable ties. Choose from three colors in the listing.


Adding stylish storage with floating shelves

Merging style with functionality, these floating shelves come recommended by Lehr as a “chic solution to keep [essentials] organized with a pop of pizzazz.” Each engineered wood shelf (the set includes three) features a sturdy metal bracket to support up to 22 pounds of items. And they also have a protective sealant to prevent warping or other damage. Pick from white, black, or stained wood options in the listing.


Replacing paper & pens with a dry-erase easel

Lehr suggests getting rid of the paper and pens that litter your junk drawer and replacing them with this desktop easel, which is a “[reusable] solution to take notes and manage your grocery list.” Write on the tempered glass dry-erase surface with a marker (there’s a clip at the top to hold one), then wipe it off when finished with the information. Utilize the board in a flat position or propped upright.


Mounting extra storage under desks

If your workspace leaves a little to be desired in the storage department, Lehr explains that this under-desk organizer can “organize desk clutter with ease while adding additional storage.” The organizer mounts via adhesive (or the included screws if preferred) underneath pretty much any desk. The two sliding drawers are well sized for pens, headphones, scissors, your phone, and other smaller office supplies. Consider white or black, as well as a single-drawer pick in the listing.


Powering your electronics neatly with a charging station

“Clear the cord clutter with a charging station organizer docking station for your phones, tablets, laptops and more,” suggests Lehr. This sleek and modern bamboo charging station can conceal power strips (and all of the cords that are plugged into them) that are up to 11 inches long, and there are eight dividers to prop up all your devices as they juice up.


Stashing extra pillows & blankets in a tall basket

“Every hostess with the mostest needs clever solutions to store extra guest pillows and blankets,” notes Lehr. This cotton rope basket is roomy (it’s 15 by 18 inches) and made from handwoven cotton with sturdy handles so you (or guests) can relocate it as needed. When not being used, the basket folds down — stick it in a closet or under a bed for storage. In the listing, you’ll find various neutral colors to vibe well with any aesthetic.


Minimizing paper clutter with a mail organizer

Prevent paper clutter from accumulating on your surfaces with this mail organizer, which Lehr explains has “a classic design with storage for keys, mail, and documents.” It’s made from engineered wood for sturdiness and features various slots, a pull-out drawer, and a three-tiered design to organize everything. Consider brown, gray, pink, and white options in the listing.


Reducing piles of paper with a magnetic dry-erase board

This dry-erase board is multi-functional; Lehr suggests using it to “track your schedule, ‘to dos’, [and] reminders.” Because it’s magnetic, she says it can reduce piles of papers around the house by holding flyers, invitations, and other important papers. The board is 17 by 23 inches in size with a sleek ebony frame and a smaller size can also be found in the listing.


Putting clothing inside easy-access linen storage bins

Sarit Weiss, the founder of Neat & Orderly, is a big proponent of fabric storage bins “to keep your clothing in your closet organized and visible.” Made from linen with a durable metal frame, the two bins stack to save space and the clear front makes it easy to view the items inside. When not in use, the bins collapse down flat. There are various sizes and colors in the listing.


Protecting & organizing shoes with stacking storage

Use these shoe storage bins to organize your collection — they will also protect your kicks from scuffs and damage that could occur from piling them in your closet. Weiss also adds that you should “consider stacking them on top of each other to maximize your vertical space.” The bins are waterproof and they allow for ventilation. This set includes 12 clear boxes with a front-access door and there are a few other colors in the listing, too.


Storing accessories & seasonal items in open bins

Sarah Dunn, the founder of Ready Set Organize, loves placing fabric bins on the top shelf of a closet for smaller accessories like scarves or hats, or seasonal items like swimsuits. “You can just toss them in and it looks super orderly,” she adds. The three roomy bins in this set are made from a beige linen fabric to match most spaces and they feature a flap in front (that secures in place with a Velcro closure) for access.


Organizing drawers in the kitchen & bathroom with waterproof bins

Clear out the unnecessary items in your drawers, then use these acrylic bins that Dunn refers to as “the perfect solution” to organize what remains. The set includes 25 bins in four sizes, plus silicone pads that you can place on the bottoms to prevent them from sliding around as you open and close the drawers. Because they’re waterproof, they’re particularly useful in kitchen and bathroom drawers.


Streamlining bookshelves with baskets to hide clutter

These wicker baskets would make “great additions to bookshelves [since they] are both aesthetically pleasing and [functional],” suggests Dunn. They can hold pretty much anything, but Dunn specifically calls out their usefulness for items that you don’t want out in the open (like electronics, cords/cables, and more). The bins feature a sturdy iron frame for durability. Pick from various colors in the listing.


Using hooks in the entryway & bathroom to keep items off the floor

In areas like your bathroom or entryway where you want to avoid items from ending up in a mess on the ground, Reem Elkady of Zen Organize Me recommends that you have at least one wall hook per household member. This wall-mounted rack comes in either three-, five-, or eight-hook options and the retractable hooks fold away when not in use. Check out the listing for all of the color options.


Using a mail organizer as a clever cookware storage solution

Christina Giaquinto, a professional organizer and brand ambassador of Modular Closets, say this mail organizers is “one of [her] favorite tools to organize and store dishes, because they have a built-in slot system which easily allows you to organize many different items!” She mentions they’re also ideal for cutting boards, serving dishes, baking tins, and platters. Made from metal, the organizer has three separate compartments to ensure nothing breaks.


Adding a set of stackable shelves to your kitchen cabinets

If you feel like you don’t have enough space in your kitchen cabinets for all of your must-haves, Giaquinto suggests adding shelf risers like these to maximize space. They can hold dishes, coffee mugs, spices, and more. Made from steel with a coated finish to prevent damage to delicate items, the two racks can be used side by side or stacked on top of each other.


Placing extendable racks in cabinets for your spices

Giaquinto favors these expandable spice racks to organize a seasoning collection because you can adjust the width to make it fit wherever you want. She says because “there are 3 different tiers, [...] you can store 3 times as many items in the same space, keeping everything neat, organized and visible.” The textured surface and rimmed edges prevent anything from sliding off.


Ditching traditional drying racks for a compact roll-up version

In terms of a drying rack for your kitchen, Giaquinto prioritizes two features — it should take up minimal space on the counters and be easy to store. Her suggestion is to choose a roll-up drying rack, which checks both of these boxes. It’s meant to be used over your kitchen sink (so the water drips right into it) and since it’s made from heat-resistant silicone, it can also serve as a trivet or rinsing spot for fruits and veggies.


Customizing your pantry with sturdy adjustable shelves

“Adjustable shelves really allow you to make your pantry your own,” says Giaquinto. And this expandable shelf can be tweaked in both height and length to work with nearly any setup. It’s made from sturdy metal with a powder-coated finish that make it extra strong for use in the pantry — it can hold 50 pounds. You can even purchase two of them and stack them on top of one another for extra storage.


Putting snacks in your pantry in a turntable

Heather Aiello, the founder of The Organized You, says to purge unnecessary boxes and other packaging and use a rotating turntable instead to “quickly declutter and organize your pantry.” This clear plastic turntable has five divided sections plus a center cup to hold various items — think granola bars, tea bags, microwavable popcorn, and more — and the raised sides prevent everything from falling out.


Moving single-serving snacks into storage baskets

Another pantry recommendation from Aiello: “For chip snack bags I suggest taking them out of the outer bag they come in.” She suggests transferring the single-serving bags to these wicker storage baskets that are aesthetically appealing and easier to access. Made from water hyacinth, the square baskets have built-in handles. Included in the set are both a medium and large basket.


Keeping bathroom countertop clutter in check with stackable organizers

If your bathroom counters are cluttered, Aiello recommends seeing if you can move anything to a different location (like in a drawer or cabinet). Then for what’s left, she recommends this stackable organizer set “to keep things neat and tidy.” The set includes two pieces — one organizer has two drawers and the other features various tall compartments that are ideal for makeup brushes, toothbrushes, toiletries, and other similar items. The two organizers stack or can be placed side by side.


Corraling stray items in your bathroom with a tray

Additionally, Aiello suggests that you use an acrylic tray on your bathroom counters “to corral items and keep things looking neat and organized.” This tray offers a sleek, modern touch with its see-through design and clean lines. This is the medium option (it’s about 9.7 by 5.9 by 0.9 inches), though in the listing you’ll also come across small and large as well.


Storing bulk food in clear containers in your pantry

Ashley Stewart, a professional organizer and the owner of O.C.D, says that the fastest way to declutter a pantry is to categorize and contain items. “By grouping like items together, and storing them in products such as bins, baskets and containers, it will clear up shelf space, and also create a dedicated area for each category,” she explains. These storage containers are roomy enough for bulk amounts of food (each one holds 5.2 liters) and the side-locking lids have a silicone ring to create an airtight seal. Peruse the listing for all of the size and set options.


Putting larger items in the pantry in matching bins

Stewart also advocates for using clear bins in your pantry when possible “so you can see how much you have, which helps keep you organized and does not overwhelm you.” Not only are these roomy organizer bins clear, but they’re also shatter resistant, easy to grab (thanks to the built-in handles), and square in shape for space efficiency. These are the large bins, but small and medium options can be found in the listing.


Utilizing lidded bins in the garage rather than leaving items loose on shelves

One area you may have forgotten about? The garage. For this space, Stewart says “the key is to categorize, consolidate, and contain! Use bins to store items, so they are not free, floating on shelves.” This plastic bin set comes with six 19-quart bins plus lids that latch to keep dust, debris, and pests out. Stack them on top of one another to maximize space. There are many sizes and sets to consider in the listing.


Gathering & storing donation items in this chic basket

Lauren Saltman, a professional organizer and the owner of Living. Simplified. LLC, has a smart use for this woven storage basket. Keep it in a closet, then have everyone in your household “put items into it that they no longer need [and] don't fit” or items that are no longer being used. When it’s full, you can donate the items and start the process all over again — it’s a mess-free process to get unneeded items out of your home. There are various sizes to pick from in the listing, so the basket can fit wherever you have space.


Cleaning up the space under your sinks with cabinet organizers

The area underneath the sinks in your bathroom and kitchen is often underutilized because of the plumbing. That’s why Saltman favors this under-sink organizer to maximize storage. “By using a drawer system with multiple levels, you'll be able to take advantage of the vertical space available on either side of the plumbing pipes,” she adds. The organizer is made from metal with nonslip pads on the bottom to hold it in place, even as you open and close the drawers.


Labelling shelves, bins & more

According to Saltman, one of the keys to cutting down on mess is to get a label maker. “Label shelves, bins, and anything else that will help you [...] stay organized,” she explains. This will ensure everything has a designated area to be put away at the end of the day. The label maker has a QWERTY-style keyboard for quicker typing, and it prints high-quality labels straight from the machine. There are also various styles and symbols to utilize as well.


Adding drawer dividers to keep everything in place

“Whenever you have a large drawer with no organization system, every time you open and close the drawer the items will shift around,” explains Saltman. One of the ways to prevent this is utilizing these bamboo dividers to section off your drawers. They expand in length from 14 to 19 inches and can be placed either horizontally or vertically. Each divider (the set includes six) has a built-in spring to hold it securely in place.


Storing items grouped by type with drawer storage bins

Another smart drawer organization system recommended by Saltman is these six bamboo storage boxes that can be used to “group like items together in each section to keep the items organized.” Each one is 6.5 by 4 by 2.5 inches in size (though there are various others to consider in the listing) to accommodate smaller items like measuring cups or bag clips in the kitchen, extra supplies in the office, and more.


Placing cutlery in an expandable drawer organizer

Another item Saltman suggests using to keep drawers organized is this bamboo drawer organizer that has six to eight compartments — it expands in width, hence why there is a range of potential storage spots — to separate your knives, forks, spoons, and more. While it’s designed for the kitchen, reviewers utilize it in other areas like the bathroom or office as well.


Maximizing space in deep drawers with stackable bins

Deep drawers can be a waste of space if you don’t need to store larger items in them. This two-tier organizer “will give you a second level in your drawer and will allow you to stack your utensils in an organized way,” notes Saltman. Plus, she also likes the fact that it’s made from clear acrylic since it “not only allows you to see what you have but [it’s] easy to clean.” There are three sizes to pick from in the listing.


Keeping water bottles organized so they don’t roll around

Saltman suggests using this water bottle organizer to “keep them from rolling around in your cabinet.” It features four rows (that can be stacked together or used separately) that’ll hold a total of 16 water bottles that hold 32 ounces or less. It takes seconds to assemble the organizer; no tools are required.


Recycling junk mail & other paper clutter immediately

There are many ways to cut down on the paper clutter that shows up in your mailbox — unsubscribe from mailing lists, get your bills virtually, and more. For the paper mail you receive beyond that, Saltman’s idea is to “keep a paper recycling bin in the place where you collect and review your mail” so you can get rid of the unnecessary junk immediately. This recycling bag can hold nearly eight gallons. It’s made from a linen and cotton blend, but the interior is laminated to wipe it clean if needed.