Marie Kondo, Nate Berkus and More Experts Reveal Their Secret Hacks for a Hyper-Organized Home
Storage hacks and sanity-saving tricks to make tidying up easier
Corral the Yard Tools
The next time you receive a large shipment to your house do not throw away that wooden pallet. They make for great storage for all of your lawn tools. Simply secure the pallet against your garage wall and place your landscaping tools inside for easy access and great organization. To elevate the look, you can stain the pallet your favorite wood tone color.
Leave Room in the Fridge
Expert: Marie Kondo, star of Netflix's Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo
To keep the refrigerator tidy, keep 20 percent of the shelf space empty for unexpected additions like leftovers or takeout containers.
Give Everything a Home
Expert: Nate Berkus, designer and star of The Nate & Jeremiah Home Project, on HGTV this fall
Make sure everything has its place—and that you know where that place is! In my closet I label the top of each drawer and the edge of each shelf with what belongs there.
Note: Berkus uses a label maker, but you can also write on washi tape!
Maximize Open Shelving
Expert: Shea McGee, designer and star of Netflix's Dream Home Makeover
I use clear storage for dry goods that look pretty in canisters, and bins and baskets for hiding away my kids' snacks or other items I don't want on display.
Show Off Special Items
Expert: Taniya Nayak, designer and star of Battle on the Beach, on HGTV this July
I make my hat collection into a decorative display by hanging them on the wall. Choose cute wall hooks that coordinate with the decor in your mudroom or dressing area.
Elevate Workbench Storage
Contain Your Wires
Expert: Ría Safford, creator of Ríorganize
Reuse the plastic fastener from a bread bag to hold together your cables. You can even label the tabs with a Sharpie so you'll remember what device they go with.
Create a Smarter Storage System
Expert: Ryen Toft, owner of Simply Luxe
When stowing seasonal clothing, label the front of a plastic bin "winter" and the back "summer." When you swap the items twice a year, just spin the bin around so the correct label is facing out.
Keep Sheet Sets Together
Round Up Wrapping Paper
Expert: Eryn Donaldson, founder of The Model Home
You don't need to buy a specialty storage product. A standard wastebasket is the perfect size to hold 8 to 10 rolls.
Keep Tall Boots in Shape
Expert: Trish Hodson, founder of Bee Organized SF Bay
Skip the fancy boot hooks! Simply cut cheap foam pool noodles to size and place them in your boots to help them stand up in the closet and prevent creasing.
Stack Your Shoes
Expert: Janelle Cohen, owner of Straighten Up by Janelle
Clear, plastic drop-front boxes are modular and stackable, making them perfect for vertical shoe storage. For a free version, hold on to your original shoeboxes, take a photo (a Polaroid works great!) of the pair inside and stick it on the front so you can find your favorites instantly.
Save Shoe Shelf Space
Expert: Taiece N. Lanier, owner of Closet Editors
Organize your shoes by placing one shoe forward and one shoe backward (we call it the heel-to-toe method). You'll be able to fit more shoes on your shelves and will maximize your space.
Note: It also makes it easy to ID the shoes and check the heel height without taking them out!
Hang Tie-able Items
Expert: Lisa Adams, founder of LA Closet Design
One of our favorite solutions for scarves in a closet is to display them hanging on wall-mounted rods. Similarly, you can tie your scarves, ties and pashminas to a towel bar. It's such a simple repurposing of a standard household item that will add so much functionality to an unused wall in your closet.
Start a Donation Station
Expert: Natalie Ron, founder of Swoon Spaces (formerly Liberate Your Space)
When you bring items into the house, remove stuff at the same pace. Find a space out of the way —behind a door, in the laundry room, etc. — to keep a donation bin at all times.
Perfect Your Pantry
Expert: Christina Haack, designer and star of HGTV's Christina on the Coast
Labeled bins in the pantry help kids know exactly where all their favorite snacks are without tearing through drawers and bags and keeps the chaos to a minimum. All of the snacks for my kids are located at accessible heights, so they're easy for them to grab.
Fold With a Tuck
Expert: Tania Lourenco, creator of Homganize
When putting folded clothing in a drawer, stand items on end, rather than stacked flat so you can see what you have. To get even more advanced, try envelope folding: a trick where you tuck in the ends of each piece so they stay folded no matter what. (See a video how-to here.) This way even if you throw your underwear in the air, they will surely keep form.
Decorate With Extra Family Photos
We love creating gallery photo walls with all of our family photos. Use the same size for your photo canvases and make sure to first map out your pattern design on the floor before hanging them on the walls. To make it super easy — and a great tip if you are renting — is to use peel-and-stick photo hanging adhesives so they don't ruin the wall. We like Command Photo Strips (about $3 package).
Charge in One Place
Experts: Clea Shearer & Joanna Teplin, stars of Netflix's Get Organized with The Home Edit
Use a mail sorter and large USB port to create a docking station where your daily electronics (phone, laptop, iPad, etc.) can be charged at the end of the day.
Always Be Ready for Guests
Expert: Nikki Boyd, founder of At Home With Nikki
Need a guest bedroom but don't have the space? Be ready for those unexpected guests by shopping through your home and creating a guest bedroom in a bag (or bin or basket) which you can store under your bed so that you are always guest ready!
Grab all the essentials— like a towel, toiletries, bottled water, a snack or two and even a bottle of wine — and throw them all in. It'll make guests feel like your blow-up mattress is the Ritz Carlton!
Master Kids' Masterpieces
Expert: Tasha Saavedra, owner of Aspire Organizing
If you're overwhelmed by the volume of artwork your kids make and want an alternative to keeping every piece, try this: Snap a quick picture of each item as it comes into your house, and create a photo album of all the pieces on your phone. You can make the album shareable with other family and friends, add the pictures to a digital picture frame on display in your home or create a photo book at the end of the year using a service like Chatbooks, Mixbook or Snapfish. Or, do all three!
Stick Jars of All Types in Their Place
Customize Your Cabinets
Expert: Tiffany Brooks, designer and star of HGTV's $50K Three Ways
Take a cube storage shelving system and fill it with a variety of cool baskets to store clothes, toys or other miscellaneous items. This is an easy way to make a storage solution appear more customized than a typical, closed cabinet.
Make Making the Bed a Breeze
Expert: Jasmine Roth, designer and star of HGTV's Help! I Wrecked My House
Want to have cute accent pillows on your bed but sick of taking them on and off each day? Use heavy-duty safety pins to connect the backs of the decorative pillows on your bed together so you can take them off in one single piece at night. Then you just pick up the pillow unit and put it back on the bed the next morning!
Reuse Bandage Tins for Mini Travel Cases
Expert: Holly Blakey, owner of Breathing Room Organization
You know those cute tin bandage boxes? Upcycle them by using them as travel toiletry containers (filling them with bobby pins, hair ties, etc.) or for small kids' toys. Now that we're going out more often, these make great little boxes for kids to play with at restaurants!
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