How about some easy organization ideas for the New Year? Nothing gets me in the mood to get organized like a fresh year laid out before me.
Well, nervous energy related to an impending hurricane gives me an urge to organize, too – but that specific situation can’t be guaranteed; January 1st can.
Is there a situation in your home that stresses you out? Does it feel insurmountable? Do you have to interact with it every single day? Then this is the perfect spot to tackle.
I’ve rounded up some of my most straightforward organization ideas below, along with some of my best product recommendations.
You CAN get your home in the order you want, quickly and easily – even if it’s merely one small area of your life. I can help.
FIRST: Make it Work for YOUR Life
Once you’ve determined which area you want to tackle, the very first step is to throw out any notion of right or wrong when it comes to organizing your space.
Everyone lives their life differently. Your entire pantry does not have to be alphabetized. The bookshelves do not have to be in the rainbow order. No one’s socks have to be folded.
A great example: when helping my sister with her enormous pantry over the holidays, we organized it by what they are looking for when they open one of the doors. “I want something salty, or something crunchy”. So those things each went into a separate bin. There were 3 different bins of just chips – but each a different style because that’s how they eat them. My brother-in-law eats a specific chip with a specific dip. So we did a bin with just those two things in them.
Things they only use once a year, like a dehydrator or the canning equipment, got put onto the highest, least accessible shelf. The things you use every day get the best real estate.
If you put your jewelry on in the bathroom in the morning, then it makes sense to find a solution to store it in there. Say your kids only read in the living room, then it makes perfect sense for their books to be stored there. If they like to get their own snacks after school, give them their own cabinet that they can reach themselves. When you feed the pets in the mudroom every day, then that’s where you should store their food.
There are no wrong answers here. If it works for you and it’s easy for you to maintain, then it’s what you should do.
NEXT: Question Everything You Own
I am ABSOLUTELY NOT going to tell you to go full Kondo on your house. Who can live like that? But what I will say, is that if your house is getting overwhelming, you might want to ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you use this stuff all the time (like more than once a week)?
- Is it beautiful?
- Does it have sentimental value?
- If it was lost today, would you have a problem with that?
More than 2 no answers will tell you the direction you need to go – and that direction is to donate it to someone who can get better use from it.
Seriously, don’t hold the item to your chest and ask if it brings you joy – but there are probably some things stacking up that you don’t really need to keep around.
OR, if you need absolutely everything, maybe it’s time to start looking for a bigger place or thinking about a reno.
Disorganization is usually a sign that something larger isn’t working. So figure out if the stuff you have is really needed, or if you need to find a better house for your stuff.
THEN: use the walls
Walls are SO underutilized.
Look up! Look at ALL THAT STORAGE SPACE! Can you get all those pans out of a drawer and up onto a wall? Will hooks double your coat storage? Could you store extra soap on a shelf above the door of your tiny bathroom?
Not every storage problem is going to be solved with the floor space in your home.
LAST: Leave Room for the Future
Any project that you take on is only as good for as long as it lasts. So if you are cleaning out your office, or the kid’s room, or even just your medicine cabinet, make sure that you give yourself a solution that will adapt to your changing needs.
Don’t buy a bookcase that ONLY holds the number of books you own today. Give yourself room to grow, because there will always be more books (or toys, or serums).
I always think I can live with a one-in, one-out situation, but it always makes me too sad. Don’t be sad – buy another bookcase now for next year’s new releases.
Easy Organization Ideas: BOOKCASES
So now that you’ve decided that you want to keep everything, the first thing I would do is determine if a piece of furniture would immediately solve your issue. There’s a 50/50 chance the answer is yes.
So here are some of my favorite case goods to get your stuff organized.
BEST FOR TOYS:
WHITE NANTUCKET STACKABLE STORAGE BIN – $99.99 EACH – THE CONTAINER STORE
STURDY, STACKABLE & DEEP ENOUGH TO HIDE MOST OF THE MESS
BEST FOR BOOKS:
ASPECT WALNUT MODULAR OPEN BOOKCASE – $499.00 EACH – CRATE AND BARREL
THICK SHELVES THAT WON’T SAG OVER TIME, ADJUSTABLE SHELVES TO HOLD A TALL BOOK & WITH FLAT SIDES SO YOU CAN LINE THESE CASES UP IN A ROW FOR A LIBRARY
MID-CENTURY CONSOLE IN ACORN – $399.00 – WEST ELM
NOT ACTUALLY A BOOKCASE, BUT IT HAS A SHELF FOR PACKAGES AND BACKPACKS AND TWO DRAWERS TO HIDE THE JUNK
BEST FOR DISPLAY:
FOSHAY BOOKCASE IN NATURAL STEEL, 36W 15D 72H – $649.00 – ROOM & BOARD
OPEN TO SHOW OFF YOUR TREASURES FROM ALL SIDES, THIS LETS THEM SHINE WHILE STILL BEING INTERESTING ITSELF
Easy Organization Ideas: Wall Hooks
This is the EASIEST trick in this entire post. If you have a need for even one hook anywhere in your home, don’t do just one hook. Do at least 3, and 6 is better. Towels, clothes, bags, coats, bins with toys, dress-up clothes, folding chairs, cleaning baskets, tools, anything. A neat, level line of hooks is the easiest way to clean up your space.
Always check your measurements before you order – the photos online never give the real story when it comes to scaling. Some of these hooks are big, some are small. All are functional as hell.
Don’t let your walls go to waste!
01 – MIA RATTAN HOOK IN BLACK MOTIF – $22.00 EACH – ANTHROPOLOGIE
02 – THREE BY THREE HOB KNOB SOLID WOOD WALL PEGS – $21.99 / SET OF 5 – THE CONTAINER STORE
03 – STAINLESS LARGE SYMPHONY SINGLE WALL HOOK – $17.99 EACH – THE CONTAINER STORE
04 – LIBERTY 2-1/32IN. SOFT IRON SINGLE POST WALL HOOK – $3.99 EACH – THE HOME DEPOT
05 – WHITEWASHED BAMBOO COAT HOOK – $7.99 EACH – THE CONTAINER STORE
06 – SILVER FORGED METAL WALL HOOK – $5.99 EACH – HOBBY LOBBY
07 – LIBERTY 2-1/3IN. BRUSHED BRASS AND BLACK DUAL TONE COAT HOOK – $5.28 EACH – THE HOME DEPOT
08 – DULUTH HOOK IN POLISHED NICKEL – $31.00 EACH – RESTORATION HARDWARE
Easy Organization Ideas: STORAGE JARS
Jars aren’t just for the kitchen. I love these in the bathroom for bath bombs & scrubs, in the bedroom for earplugs and hair ties, and in the kid’s rooms for the craft supplies. Even the garage for screws and drill bits. Everywhere!
There are lots of basic, clear glass options out there. In my tiny, pantry-less kitchen, I’ve found that 24oz Pint & a Half Wide-Mouth Ball Jars are a great tool that fits just about everywhere I want to put it. It’s how I store all my pasta, grains and baking needs.
Here though, I’ve rounded up some more interesting options that you don’t see every day: spice jars with unusual finishes, square shelf jars that maximize space and have air-tight lids, and counter jars that add a bit of style.
And no plastic, because it never lasts and can’t be recycled!
01 – amber spice preserving jars, set of 4 – $9.99 each set of 4 – crate & barrel
02 – 6.5oz commercial square glass jar – $2.95 each – the container store
03 – Fido Jars with Clamp Lids – SM $5.95, MED $6.95 or LG $9.95 – Crate & Barrel
04 – Anchor Hocking Glass Cracker Jars with Aluminum Lids – SM – $3.99, MED $4.99, LG $5.99 – The Container Store
05 – Clair Blue 3 Piece Kitchen Canister Set by Darby Home Co – $75.00 for set of 3 – wayfair
06 – Clark Matte Black Canisters – SM $24.95, MED $29.95, LG $39.95 – crate & barrel
Easy Organization Ideas: PANTRY BINS
I have never lived in a house with a pantry. But my sister does – a big old western one with deep shelves that could probably double as a 4th bedroom. At the very least a dog hotel.
Big pantries like that have a dirty secret: they’re simply TOO big. Things get messy easily, you can never see what you have, and food gets pushed to the back of the shelves and expires unused.
But you know what solves this? A whole bunch of matching pantry bins, all lined up in a row, filled with whatever you think goes together. The key is that they have straight sides to sit close to one another on the shelf, and have handles or openings to carry to the counter easily.
So here are my favorites…and these all also work great in under-sink cabinets, in cabinets without doors, or open shelves anywhere.
01 – Translucent Multi-Purpose Bins – $3.99-$6.99 each – the container store
02 – Grey Rattan Storage Bins with Handles – $19.99-29.99 each – the container store
03 – Knagglig Box 18x12x9.75″ – $9.99 each – IKEA (can be shipped) – Smaller version HERE
04 – Urban Stacking Wire Baskets – $11.99-$27.99 each – the container store
Easy Organization Ideas: CLOTHES CLOSETS
While adding wall hooks might be the most effective tip I give you, matching hangers is the most satisfying. It makes it feel like you actually have your shit together somehow. And with the right hanger, you can double or triple the number of clothes you can fit in your existing closet.
So do yourself a favor and go ahead and order the fancy matching hangers. Live your best life.
01 – Amazon Basics Velvet Suit Clothes Hangers, 100-Pack, Ivory/Beige – $39.99 / 100 – Amazon
these come in a million color and metal combos and can double the number of clothes that will fit in your closet
02 – house day wooden hangers, 20 pack, color: walnut – $25.99 / 20 – Amazon
for heavier jackets or the coat closet by your front door
03 – amber home 10-pack shiny gold 12″ metal slacks pant and skirt hanger – $19.99 / 10 – Amazon
so fancy! and great for skirts or jeans that need to be hung to dry
04 – finnhomy non-slip clothes hanger for baby and kids 30-pack with 10 finger clips, beige – $17.99 / 30 – amazon
a low rail in their closet is a great intro to taking care of their own things – and velvet makes it easy to do
05 – large coffee oxford wardrobe – $9.99 – amazon
this wardrobe simply fits over the existing rail with hangers right next to your everyday clothes to keep everything dust-free and out of sight; I use one of these for winter clothes and one for ‘archive’ clothes that I keep for sentimental value
06 – Misslo cotton breathable dust-proof drawstring pouch, 3 pack large – $13.99 – amazon
if you’re going to spend that much on a handbag, or a pair of shoes, you can spend this much on a bag to protect them. these are also great for storing toys or books that only come out when the nieces and nephew come over.
Easy Organization Ideas: LABELS
So these are the cherry on top of a well-organized home. Totally not necessary, but so, so helpful. These are my favorite tools:
01 – Talented Kitchen Round Spice Labels – 126 Chalkboard Spice Labels – $6.95 – Amazon
listen, these labels are fantastic but the real revelation was putting them ON THE TOP of the jars – it’s so much easier!!
02 – Bin Clip Label Holders, Set of 3 – $9.99 / package – the container store
I love these clips! They work great on any of the bins I suggested above and add a nice little sparkle to any organized space
03 – Blank Closet Rod Divider – 99¢ each – the container store
these are so great for babies and toddlers – sort by month/size and you’ll be ready as they grow
04 – 3M scotch chalkboard label tape – $7.99 / roll – the container store
And that’s it my friends! Happy Organizing!
You can do this! You can have a house that works FOR you and isn’t annoying!