15 Clever organization solutions to make your life MUCH easier!
One thing you may or may not know about me is that I tend to be somewhat organized. Deep cleaning is NOT my forte (hence my cleaning list) but I reeeeeally like things to be picked up and “in place”
But…that can be hard! Especially since I just had my 3rd kid in 3 years. It's hard to keep things clean around this joint.
Over time I have found a few simple storage solutions that have made my life much, much easier. Today I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you in case it helps you in some way! Enjoy 🙂
1. Use Christmas wreath hooks to organize backpacks, bags, and purses
After Christmas we put the wreaths away and had these ginormous door hangers lying around. My mom gave me this genius idea, actually (nice work, madre!). Use the hooks on the INSIDE of your closet door to hang things you use daily: backpacks, coats, purses, or in my case, dog towels (darn wet winter results in a perpetually dirty dog).
2. Use formula or hot chocolate canisters to store baking goods
As I mentioned in THIS tv segment, I take my empty baby formula containers, carefully wash them out (don't let them soak in water long because they are made of a cardboard-type-ish material), then use them to store my flour, rice, and other baking goods! You can do the same with hot chocolate canisters. I wrapped them in cute paper, and voila. Custom, cute, and it's reusing something you already have.
3. Use shoe trees to organize snacks, seasonings, or cleaning supplies
As I showed you HERE, I have been doing this for a while. I use it to organize snacks for my kids and cleaning supplies in my laundry room, but my SIL uses it to organize her spices (clever!).
4. Use drawers in coat closets to organize shoes, socks, hats, and umbrellas.
When we moved into our new house it constantly bugged me that there was so much wasted space UNDER the hanging coats in our hall closet. We tried shoe racks, but they were messy and ineffective; especially since toddler shoes are so tiny. I bought a bunch of drawers like these from yard sales over time, and now use them in my closets! It's great because the kids each have their own drawers and can grab their own shoes and socks. One draw is for nice shoes, the other is for play shoes. Beyond that, they get to choose however they'd like!
The larger drawers are for mine and my hubby's shoes, as well as dog items (leashes, extra collars, poop bags), outdoor items (umbrellas, gloves, hats – separated by adult vs kid items). So simple, and easy clean-up because you just toss them in, shut the drawer, and go!
5. Use a small laundry basket to store (and drain) tub toys.
As I showed you HERE, my kids LOVE tub toys, but I had trouble finding an effective solution for storing AND draining them. By using this dollar store laundry basket, you can keep all your tub toys stored neatly in the tub. The water drains out the bottom, keeping the toys dry, and your tub clutter-free!
6. Use a drying rack to organize your pot and pan lids.
As I explained HERE, I HATED using up so much of my drawer space to store pot and pan lids. I found a simple solution! I use a drying rack like this one:
…to store and organize my lids by size! It optimizes my drawer space, while making finding the right lid quick and easy. If you don't have deep drawers like mine, you could do the same on a pantry shelf or in a cupboard, or even under your sink.
7. Use a drawer to organize your spices.
As I mentioned HERE, I have a LOT of spices. I was having trouble finding an effective way to keep them all in one place, and still make them easy to grab. I found that in a cupboard it was next to impossible to reach the ones in the back, and I had too many spices to fit in those fancy spice rack thingies. I put them in a large drawer, and BAM! Works like a charm. I even organized them alphabetically so they are easy to find. The BIG spice containers (like my Costco-sized ones) I keep in a small corner cupboard nearby.
8. Use TWO dish scrubbers to wash your dishes.
No, I don't love doing dishes, and no, I can't scrub with both hands at once. The reason to have two scrubbers is a simple one…one is for scraping the food off the dishes, and the other is for washing it clean! There's nothing (well, almost nothing) I hate more than trying to “wash” a dish with a scrub brush that has chunks of day old scrambled eggs and cottage cheese in it (mmm…yummy). The blue one is for scraping, the black is for washing, done, and done. Another tip: Every few days we stick both brushes in the silverware rack and run it through the dishwasher to disinfect them as much as possible. Told you that was simple!
9. Use a basket to catch missing socks.
Does anyone else have a monster in their dryer that eats ONE of each pair of socks? Or is it just me? One day I nearly threw a fit when folding the laundry because I couldn't match a SINGLE PAIR of socks. I finally wised up and scrounged my house for an unused basket (it just so happened to be a cute one…). I now keep it in a cupboard above my dryer. Every time I see a lonely sock on the floor, or in a load of laundry (after the monster ate its poor mate), I toss it in this basket. Then, about 1x per week I'll take it down, dump it out, and sort through it. Wouldn't you know…sometimes the monster decides to throw up the missing mate back into this basket! It's AMAZING to me how many pairs I'm able to make by doing this. I've learned that many times socks get “lost” because they end up in two different loads of laundry, or one gets temporarily lost under the couch or in the play room. Rather than tossing out the lonely sock, I save it and eventually find it's mate.
Most of the time, anyway.
10. Create a “Catch-all” basket in your closet to keep clothes off the floor.
In preparation for TLC to film at my house, I had my friend Melissa, a professional organizer, come help us overhaul our closets. My bedroom closet (as you can see in this tour) is somewhat organized in general. But I've always had a hard time keeping it CLEAN. I try on 3 or 4 (…or 5 or 6 or 7…) outfits before going somewhere. In a hurried rush I would toss the clothes on the floor with the plan of “I'll hang those back up later”. Illogical, I know. Rather than try to squash my 27 year bad habit, she made it WORK for me! She encouraged me to get a catch-all basket. I found this one for $12 at TJ-MAXX. I toss my clothes/belts/hats/whatever else in this basket when I'm in a rush. When the basket gets full, I empty it! Works like a charm, and keeps my closet floor clean.
And since I'm already talking about the closet…
11. Use bins in your closet to organize underwear, hats, bras, and belts.
I got those cardboard bins at Walmart, 2 for $5! Cheap as can be. They serve just as my “catch-all” does; I can toss my underwear, bras, hats, socks, and whatever else in these bins, rather than having to have them perfectly organized, folded, and stuffed in a drawer.
12. Pack individual snack bags for kids when leaving the house.
My three kiddos are young (my oldest is only 3.5!), so I have to bring snacks with me pretty much everywhere I go. I used to bring “a bag of raisins”…”a container of gold fish”…”a pack of ___” whatever. It lead to the kids fighting over the bag, or complaining that I didn't bring the snack they wanted. I started packing them individual, idential bags of snacks. I hand it to them at the beginning of the outing and say, “here are your snacks! Eat them whenever you'd like. When they're gone, they're gone, and this is what you have to choose from.” It has COMPLETELY eliminated any complaining or fighting!
And since I'm on the whole snack thing…
13. Keep a well-stocked “snack bag” in your car.
The individual baggies mentioned above work GREAT for organized outings. However, there are plenty of times when I'm simply in the car running errands, driving to or from preschool, or what have you, and I hear “mommy! I'm hungry!” or thirsty or whatever it is! Too many times my errands take longer than expected and I'm ill-equipped, and end up caving and going through the nearest drive-through. To prevent that from happening I always keep a stocked “snack bag” in my car. This picture is of a bin I used to use, but now I prefer a small tote that zips on the top to keep the snacks from tumbling out. I always have it stocked with drinks and snacks so my kids (and even me!) can have something to snack on in a crunch.
It also comes in handy when going out to eat. It takes a while for the food to come and if the kids are hungry, they start to melt down. We run to the car and grab the snack bag to tide them over until our food is ready!
14. Keep a bin of “car-only” toys.
Now, my kids are young, but this concept could work for any age…including ADULTS! This picture is from an old post about a road trip I took because I don't have a good picture of our current toy bin. But we just keep a very small square bin of toys in the car. It has small books and activities for everyone, and even a sudoku book and a novel for me! If we get held up somewhere, have to wait in the car for something (oil change, line at the car wash, waiting for someone, stuck in traffic…), or if we are on a long trip, there are small things handy. They are are CAR-ONLY toys, so they never leave the car…which prevents the kids from getting bored of them. This toy bin also comes in handy when going to people's houses who might not have toys for kids our age.
15. Keep your tupperware bases and lids in separate drawers.
This is, hands down, my FAVORITE things about my kitchen…my tupperware drawers! I used to have them in cupboards, but drawers are really a dream. I keep my bases in one drawer, the lids in another, and it's so much easier to find what I need that way! I also keep my big BIG tupperware and serving bowls in the last drawer, to help further organize the containers by size.
So there you go! Those are some of the simple organization tricks I use around my house that SAVE ME. Check out this other great list of clever tips and tricks…you'll love them, I promise 🙂
What do YOU DO at your house? Leave a comment and share! Post a picture of it on Instagram and use the hashtag #FCForganization to share!