First of all, I can’t thank all of my regular (or not regular) readers enough for all the love and support so many of you have sent our way since our our big announcement a few days ago. There are exciting times ahead for sure and I’ll be sharing as much as I can along the way. That being said, I’m in total nesting mode and especially with it being the first of the year, I’m dying to get back into some organization projects. We’ve already had a dumpster and a donation truck and now I’m ready to get some new systems set. Whenever I organize a space, I try to cater it to our specific needs as a family and consider how we use the space. I love something pretty but like we always talk about, it has to actually work, be manageable and sustainable. When I declutter and implement a new plan, I usually don’t know right away how it will work in the long run. Even with the best intentions, sometimes, things just don’t pan out how you thought they would. And, that’s ok! When you realize something isn’t working, it helps you better determine what you do need. Today, I’m sharing my favorite clever home organization solutions (that are all super simple to implement) that actually work and for our family, have stood the test of time. I’m also sharing some spaces that didn’t work out exactly as I’d hoped that need some adjusting and TLC.
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Tried, True, & Proven Organization Solutions
While I’m talking about the specific solution within each space, you can link over to the full organized space/project below each photo. Here are some of the organization solutions throughout our home that have been easily managed and have enhanced our storage.
Honestly, I consider my entire spice and baking cabinet a success because even though it’s one of our most used/accessed spaces, it still looks almost identical to how it did when I first organized it almost two years ago. But, along with a small expandable spice riser shelf, and utilizing a turntable and separating grill-exclusive seasonings, having dedicated POP canisters for baking ingredients has been one of my favorite solutions. It makes fitting things in the cabinet and identifying what you need a breeze, on top of making it extra simple to stay fresh, tidy, and organized.
See the Full Spice Cabinet Post HERE
I used all kinds of solutions in our pantry and because I was realistic with our daily habits, it’s another space that still looks the same a year later. Downsizing on the bin capacity (going with more but smaller sizes) has helped and has also cut down on waste. But if I had to choose one gotta-have-it necessity, it would be these expandable shelf can risers that we used for our canned goods. This has been a proven solution for us for the better part of the last decade.
See the Full Pantry Post HERE
DECKS OF PLAYING CARDS
I knocked out our cluttered game cabinet in under 30 minutes and used what I had on had to group and store like items and small parts. My favorite of the entire cabinet – which has saved us from purchasing any additional card decks – is discovering that a recipe box holds playing cards perfectly.
See the Full Game Cabinet HERE
BULKY BEDDING (COMFORTERS, QUILTS, DUVETS)
We have a few linen closets but our hall closet that stores extra bedding is probably my favorite. There are a few organization hacks but and more unique solutions but my favorite (and a reader favorite) was the simple process of rolling bulky bedding, tying it off, and storing it vertically. It’s been so easy to maintain without wrecking folded linens and utilizes so much of that wasted space beyond the door frame.
See the Full Linen Closet Post HERE
I chose a couple solutions from our massive kitchen organization overhaul that have worked perfectly over the past year. The most improved situation was likely our cutting board storage. Lining them vertically with an inexpensive free-standing rack has made locating them and storing them a breeze, without using much space. Before, I had them laying flat; not only was there a ton of wasted space but it was totally unwieldy finding the correct size and pulling it out each night.
See the Full Kitchen Cabinet Post HERE
Adding an easily installed roll-out drawer for our food storage was also huge. More than the solution itself though is how much of an improvement it’s been having all uniform food storage containers. Having containers that fit together and store nicely is half the battle!
See the Full Kitchen Cabinet Post HERE
Our kitchen drawers were a major area of contention and I wasn’t happy with a single one. I changed that about a year ago and now, my favorite would probably be our towel drawer. I actually Marie Kondo’d it a few years ago (like many of our bedroom dresser drawers), but after my past clean-out, it has stayed almost as tidy as you see here.
See the Full Kitchen Drawer Post HERE
Jar Sauces & Condiments
There are a lot of game-changing fridge solutions that I made about two years ago but the biggest improvement was adding a small turntable for certain sauces (hot sauces & salsas) in the upper corner. If you are looking for a project that will make you feel good but won’t take up hours of your time, this is a good place to start 😉 And if you’ve never used a lazy susan in the fridge, you have no idea what you’ve been missing!
See the Full Refrigerator Post HERE
Admittedly, while there are some storage solutions in this cabinet that need a little work, using a slanted POP canister for dishwashing tabs has been awesome. I do think it’s important to use this exact canister; it isn’t just about putting the tabs in a prettier container, it’s about the ease and functionality. Usually when you are reaching for a tablet, your hands are wet and it can be unwieldy to pull out a bag/canister, pry it open/zip it/etc., getting everything wet in the process. This slanted canister is the perfect angle for a lower cabinet and the simple, large button makes it a simple, one-handed process to grab a tablet and pop the lid back on. *Note: this should go without saying but it’s up to you to determine what storage and protection is appropriate in your own home with kids.
See the Below the Kitchen Sink Post HERE
I wish I could Elfa every closet, but to do everything at once would require a big budget and a lot of planning. Focusing on one to two spaces per year though (during the annual 30% off Elfa sale which is going on now), is more manageable. It’s about customizing storage spaces to your exact measurements and your family’s exact needs. While our master closet was quite an expense, we pulled off this easy-to-install solution for under $200. If you arne’t familiar with Elfa, you screw in one bar horizontally up top and the vertical bars just hang off of it. Seriously, you will be addicted.
See the Full Entry Closet Post HERE
Speaking of Elfa solutions, if you’ve never had an Elfa system or drilling/measuring is a little much to think about, I have Elfa door solutions for the backs of doors throughout the house (including the pantry and office closet). It only requires the bar than spans the length of the door, a pair of clamps, and you customize the baskets/boards that you want depending on its purpose. No drilling/permanent commitment necessary. I have labeled bins for bags, boxes, extra large ribbon and tissue paper but this back-of-the-door solution for the bulk necessities was especially fantastic over the holidays and I love that I was able to use an otherwise wasted space!
See the Full Office Closet Post HERE
PLUNGER & TOILET BRUSH
In our master bathroom toilet room (water closet) area, I wanted a flat surface but also a place for toilet tools. I brought in a durable, inexpensive flat-topped hamper that was the perfect height to keep the plunger and toilet brush out of sight. Extra points for not having to upgrade to nicer finishes on the tools since they are stashed away!
See the Toilet Room Post HERE
Organization Solutions that Need a Little Help
While none of these projects are bad, for one reason or another, they just didn’t work out for our family/need some improvements to be a viable, long-term solution for us.
I am not a fan of my vanity in our master bathroom. Honestly, I would do away with the open portion for a vanity seat if I could add more drawers. A couple years ago, I decided to toss all the makeup I didn’t use/was expired, consolidate, and get all the cosmetics I use to fit into the single slim drawer. I accomplished the task and am actually still using the same system today except… there is zero room to spare and my overflow is all kinds of disorganized. After accepting that I just have too many things that I actually use to effectively use this drawer for makeup, I will be looking for an alternative soon. For some who don’t use quite as much, the system itself may still work perfectly.
See the Full Makeup Drawer Post HERE
The idea was there but when space is at a premium, especially in the kitchen, this drawer just ended up not working out. What I really needed were some entertaining drawers. I didn’t want to waste small bowls/ramekins and while they work perfectly fine containing items, they also contribute to a lot of wasted space since they don’t fit together.
See the Full Junk Drawer Post HERE
Here is a sample of more efficient drawers, using the same contents, I’ve organized since.
See the Full Organized Butler’s Pantry HERE
Greeting Card Box
I absolutely love the concept behind this but the truth is, I am still terrible at cards and am never checking birthdays far enough in advance. So, it isn’t that the system is necessarily flawed, but maybe more that I am flawed.
See the full ‘three things to organize while watching tv’ Post HERE
This is another solution I love but it also isn’t a system that just manages itself. I am constantly switching pillows but I am also constantly too lazy/not making the time to put them back into their proper places. I currently have inserts strewn all over the inside of my closet. This is just one of those places that needs my attention to get it back into “good” standing.
See the Full Office Closet Post HERE
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