30+ Home Organizing Tricks We ACTUALLY Use
Okay, so moving right along with our theme for January, today we’re looking at a few home organizing tricks that we use to keep this mama’s brain from exploding on a daily basis. Some of them are really just a way of doing things to make life easier; some of them are storage tools that can be picked up at your local Walmart or Amazon. We’ll start by looking at storage and organizing hacks in the workhorse of the house,
1) I think one of the worst storage problems in just about any kitchen is LIDS…lids, lids, lids everywhere! Luckily, I found these lid keepers at Walmart a while ago and they are just perfect! I can’t seem to find them online anymore, but I am fairly certain you can still find them in-store.
2) The other lid problem I’ve had are those that go to pots and pans. I’ve seen all kinds of fancy racks and door-mounted storage things you can use to keep them out of the way, but still accessible, and I was this.close. to buying a set from Home Depot when I realized, why don’t I just put them upside down in the pots? That way, your pots will stack nice and straight (which is a BIG bonus for someone with OCD tendencies like me) and it makes it super easy to pull out both the pot and its matching lid when you need it! How did I never think of this before?
3) And that dreaded utensil drawer! I keep the ones that we use most often in pitchers on the kitchen counter, but these drawer organizers from Madesmart are the perfect storage solution for those less-used tools. They come in all different sizes, so you can customize the layout to fit your drawers. We bought ours at Bed, Bath, & Beyond but you can also find them on Amazon.
4) And finally, the spices. We have so many spices, y’all. What you see pictured here isn’t even all of them…just the ones we use most often. My husband had the bright idea one day to use scrap pieces of wood from the garage to make a tiered platform for them so that they’re easier to see. You can also purchase these storage racks if you don’t happen to have any scrap wood lying around. 😉
Now you’ll probably think I’m a bit crazy for this, but I kind of can’t stand to see all the different colors and sizes of packaging in the pantry. They’re also not the most kid-friendly. So, here’s what we use to nix all that packaging and give a more streamlined appearance and easier access for the kiddos to get their own snacks:
5) For cereal containers, baking staples, and snacks (all of this can be found at Walmart):
6) For sodas (fair warning: if you're ever in our house and reach for one of these, you're probably drinking something purchased in 2016...we haven't bought soda in a LONG time):
7) And we use those same tiered storage racks linked above for our canned goods:
8) What about the plastic grocery store bags? Well, we recycle a huge portion of them and the rest go in one of these, mounted to the wall:
The Laundry/Utility Room:
9) To hide all the necessities, a tension rod with a shower curtain that has been cut the right length (how do you like that wet load of laundry in the washer? #momlife):
10) For items that just shouldn’t go in the dryer, expandable wall-mounted drying racks:
11) To keep those mops and brooms in line, we use one of these (though we never did get around to hanging it in this rental house!):
12) To make cleaning easier, a caddy pre-loaded with the necessities for grab-and-go convenience (I scored mine at HomeGoods):
13) If you’re a parent who’s able to keep the soaps, shampoos, and everything else out in the open and NOT have your kids make a giant mess or attempt to consume them on a regular basis, then I am in AWE of your mad skills. For us though, we keep everything in a basket (which is stored up high in the linen closet) and take it out with the clean towels at bath time.
14) And what about all that medicine you have to keep on hand for the kids? Well, we keep two different tubs for storing everything; one for infant to two years old and one for two years and up. I like to keep each bottle with it’s syringe/dosage cup in a ziplock bag and write the dosing information for each kid on the bag, updating it as necessary. This makes it super easy for babysitters and grandparents (or just really tired parents who weren’t expecting that 2am wake-up call) to always give the proper amount.
16) I like to use drawer organizers to separate items in our linen closet as well (husband’s extra toiletry items in one, mine in another, first aid items in one, etc). It’s not perfect or pretty, but it gives everything its own place and makes it all easy to find.
17) And a basket to corral all the countertop clutter/products we use on a daily basis:
18) Our two older kids are currently sharing a room that is about 10 x 11; which is tight. So, we’ve made full use of the space by removing the closet doors! We then placed an Ikea cubby storage shelf in the bottom of the closet, giving them tons of extra toy storage by making use of the dead space beneath their clothes. Notice the shoes in the bottom right cubbies? Where else are we supposed to put them?! Ha!
19) In the nursery, I’ve always used a long dresser with changing pad for a changing table (I tried an actual changing table once and hated it because it was outgrown so fast. With a dresser, their legs just hang off the end of the pad rather than over the railing of the changing table). The pad is anchored to the back of the dresser and the dresser is anchored to the wall. To make things work here, we hang a shelf above the dresser for storing diapers, overnight diapers, diaper cream, diaper wash, powder, hand sanitizer, a few extra pacifiers, medicine that’s taken daily, and a few toys to make diaper changes easier.
20) We also use hooks over the laundry basket (this one is from Target), so we have a place to put wet items, clothes or pj’s that are still basically clean and can be worn again, sleep sacks when not in use, etc.:
What about the closet? There are several things in here that make this space work and we’ve done it the same way with all three kids (creatures of habit, I guess!):
21) Divider tabs so you can sort the hanging clothes by size:
22) Clothes pins to clip the pants/jeans to the tops that they go with (see photo above).
23) And a storage bin at the bottom of the closet for outgrown clothes (I won't link to this because you can find them cheaper in-store at Walmart). Once this is full, we label it with the sizes it contains and up to the attic it goes!
Let’s start in the closet because that’s where most of the organizing needs are in the master bedroom, right?
24) These wall-mounted racks are great for storing belts and scarves:
25) My husband uses plain old nails to hang up his hats, so they don’t get squished but I don't have a photo because he never did it in this house! This is similar, but done with DIY jute balls (you can find the tutorial from The DIY Village by clicking the photo below!).
26) I LOVE using a scarf hanger for my tank tops and undershirts:
27) And I keep my boots in good shape by using these boot organizers:
28) As for our actual bedroom, I’d say the most impactful storage hack we use are the full-sized 3-drawer dressers that double as nightstands to save on space. Of course, there are drawer organizers inside to keep everything in its place:
The Living Room:
29) Our biggest problem in the living room has always been toy storage. So, now we use a cute little four-basket cubby to store those toys in. We also usually have a floor basket or two that’s used for toys but they’re currently in our storage unit along with the other half of our things (is it February yet??)
30) We are a throw-blanket-lovin’ family (seriously no one in this house except my husband will sit on the couch to watch tv without one) so we use a basket to keep those in as well. Normally it’s a nice wicker basket, but you guessed it…that’s in storage. So, for now, we’re using the woven basket from my daughter’s room. Aqua matches anything, right? Aqua is the new black! 😉
31) Remotes…oh, how I wish I could tell you I have some genius hack for storing remotes so that they never ever get lost between the couch cushions but, I don’t. The best solution we can come up with is to have a dedicated spot for them to “live”. The kids know that this is where they belong. They can use them, but they must be put back as soon as they’re done pushing buttons. There’s no hoarding of remotes on the couch allowed. Does it always work? Nope. But I’d say we probably only search for lost remotes 25% of the time, which is a win in my book!
32) DVD Storage: we used to keep all of our DVD’s neatly in rows inside the shelves of our entertainment center, sorted by genre. Then we had kids. Now we use CD storage cases for them instead (and store the plastic ones in the attic). We have one case dedicated to kids’ movies, which is much more kid-friendly and awesome because they know they can pick anything they want from their case:
33) We don’t have a whole lot of space in our entryway for a big hall tree, bench, etc. so we made the best of the space we do have by using these wall hooks from Target. We hung one down low so that the kids can reach their things and placed one up high for the adults. I actually love how much functionality you get out of such a small space by doing this and think I might do something similar in our new house!
So, there we have it; 33 ways we keep our home somewhat organized and functional for daily living. Is it magazine-pretty? Nope, but it works for real life. And does it always stay organized? HECK NO. I’m going to be real here and say that writing this post was an amazing motivational tool for getting my butt in gear to re-organize everything again. We’ve been in this house for about 8 months and everything that was so neatly organized when we moved in, was all kinds of out of whack!
Do you have any amazing organizing tips/hacks that you’d like to share? Any ideas for taming the paper clutter or keeping the car from looking like a disaster zone? I’d love to hear them! Thank you for sharing and HAPPY ORGANIZING TO YOU!
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