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In the age of “sparking joy” through home organization, many find themselves cleaning out their closets and streamlining their storage solutions. Spring cleaning is always a great idea to start fresh and eliminate excess, but there are so many organizational and storage tools out there that defeat the purpose.
Instead of tidying up, the wrong organizational tools can actually just add to the clutter.
So, in an effort to figure out what really are the most essential home organization products to "Marie Kondo" a living space, some professional organizers shared the tools of the trade they use the most in their own lives.
- 1. OXO Expandable Dresser Drawer Dividers (2-pack), $20, Amazon
Laura McHolm, home organization expert and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company loves expandable drawer organizers because they give everything a home, keeping drawers neat and tidy. “Don't just use them for cutlery and makeup: Use them for anything that gets thrown in a drawer. They expand to fit your drawers perfectly and provide more stage space, as some of the products provide layers,” said McHolm.
- 2. Kole Imports Space Saver Hangers, $10, Amazon
“My favorite product — which I have used since I was in college — is space saver hanging hangers," said Heather Turk, owner of Organized Chaos NYC. "College closets are small. This product more than doubles your closet. I recommend them to everyone, and they cemented my love for home organizing."
- 3. InterDesign Linus Turntable, $30, Amazon
Turntables have endless possibilities. “This can hold your nail products: nail polish/ cotton balls/ remover. It can hold art supplies in mason jars. It can hold tea bags and sugar packets. It can have sponges and cleaning sprays for under the sink. I use turntables throughout all the houses I organize,” said Katy Winter, who owns professional organization business Katy's Organized Home.
- 4. Arts & Crafts Storage Cart & Accessories, $118, Container Store
“For families, it’s so important to contain the art supplies. Otherwise they will travel all over the house and inevitably end up on your walls or carpet!” said Winter.
- 5. Org Metal Mesh Expandable Cabinet Shelves, $27, Amazon
Thalia Poulos of Organized Beautifully in Encinitas, California recommends mesh metal cabinet shelves. They're “great for maximizing vertical space in a pantry or cabinet without stacking too much stuff on top of each other," she said. They also provide "easy access to items on top of shelf and underneath."
Poulos uses them in her own home, as well as her clients' homes. "I use mine for teas and the tea accessories in my 12" deep pantry shelving," she noted. "I've been using these for many years to organize clients' kitchens. They work well with glass door cabinets too because they are attractive. They are pretty and practical — my favorite combination!”
- 6. Gold Bin Clip Label Holders, $8, Container Store
“Labels are the best way to keep things organized. Everyone knows where items go and they are easy to identify. These bin clip labels are decorative (can get in different colors) but a great way to identify what is in the container. I have found labels to be the key for kids to get involved and put items away. If they aren’t yet able to read, I put pictures on these labels,” said Kim Jones of L+K Home Organization.
- 7. Water Hyacinth Storage Cubes with Handles, $10, Container Store
“I love these bins for blankets and also toys. Before I had kids, I swore I would never be that mom to have toys all over my house. Well, welcome to reality! My solution to this problem is decorative bins, so it doesn’t scream 'toys' but also allows my kids to have their toys to play with in the main area of the home,” said Jones.
- 8. Kitchen Details Chrome Large Helper Shelves, $13, Amazon
“A helper shelf divides the horizontal space of an area, offering more storage space above and below itself,” said Stacey Agin Murray, a professional organizer based in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. “They come in many different widths and heights — some are even width-adjustable. This is the No. 1 organizing product I use in my home. Before renovating my home back in 2015-16, I counted fifteen helper shelves doubling the space in my pantry, linen closet, countertop, upper kitchen cabinets, and even my freezer. In my honest opinion, whoever invented the helper shelf is an organizing product genius.”
- 9. OXO Good Grips 10-Piece Airtight Food Storage POP Container Value Set, $100, Amazon
“I’ve been using them for five or six years to hold snacks for my kids (and for me and my husband too). When they were younger, I wanted to create a safe and neat way for them to retrieve their own snacks. This was a perfect solution. The OXO POP collection is made of heavy duty plastic and is easy for a young child to open and close (as well as an elderly person with decreased hand strength). They come in many sizes — my largest one holds the contents of a large bag of Tostitos Scoops and my smallest one holds the contents of a small package of Wonderful brand almonds,” said Murray.
- 10. Sterilite Large Clear Shoe Boxes, 6-pack, $23, Amazon
“I use these in several areas in my home. They are obviously great for shoes because they allow you to see inside plus they stack evenly whereas the boxes that shoes come in are different sizes and don't stack evenly. They are also great to store crafts, tools, sewing items, toys, crayons, etc.,” says Robyn Reynolds, owner of Organize2Harmonize.
- 11. Over the Door Hook 4-pack, $10, Amazon
“I've used these hooks for years and I love them," said Katie Corritori, a certified women's health coach and professional organizer. "I keep them on almost all of the doors in my home. They blend right in with my white doors so they aren't an eyesore, and they are so convenient to have there when I need to steam a shirt, when I am packing for a trip, or if I just want to put my outfit out on the inside of my closet door for the next day. I use them daily and recommend them to everyone.”
- 12. Recycled Wood Wine Crates, $40, Amazon
“I have narrow, deep pantry cabinets in my rented apartment kitchen and wanted to utilize the space to the fullest," said Corritori. "Since we are renting and don't plan to live here more than a couple of years, I was hesitant to invest in roll-out cabinet drawers, which could get expensive and are more of a permanent solution that our management company likely wouldn't approve of. I had a couple of wood wine crates and they turned out to be the perfect size. They glide in and out easily making it much simpler to reach the items stored in the back and allowing me to fully utilize the space. Since the crates are on the large side, I use smaller bins or boxes inside to categorize different types of items (vinegars, oils, bread, canned goods, etc.). They work great for a temporary home when you can't install hardware,” Corritori recommended.