Home organization doesn't have to be complicated as proven by DIY expert Jenni Yolo who knows that hooks and shelving...
Home organization doesn't have to be complicated, as proven by DIY expert Jenni Yolo who knows that hooks and shelving hold ample power.Photo: Courtesy of Jenni Yolo
AD It Yourself

59 Home Organization Ideas for a Tidier Space 

Banish clutter so you can actually show off your beautiful interior designs

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Home organization can be quite a cathartic exercise: putting everything away exactly where it belongs, each individual item in a designated spot that has optimal functionality, no clutter in sight (just don’t open the entryway table drawers or peek under the kitchen cabinets). It’s full-blown ASMR–level tingle-inducing, right? Nope? Just us? Well, even if tidying up isn’t your thing, nothing says I have my life together, pinky promise like an organized space. And before fellow maximalists chime in, organization does not equate minimalism—it can mean quite the contrary, actually. Think of these home organization ideas as (hopefully) helpful hacks in getting the most out of your square footage, no matter how small your space may be. Read on for AD’s favorite home organization tips that ensure all of your prized possessions have a place to call home.

What is the easiest way to organize a house?

Traditionalists in home organizing might tell you that the easiest method is hiding everything away in kitchen cabinets, the linen closet, bins, and baskets. But creating a sparsely populated space is only practical if you can keep up with the storage solutions. That means each item must return to its home every time you’re done with it—even if that means those boots have to go back in their designated box, which happens to be under a pile of hats on the very top shelf of your closet (eek!). 

An alternate approach? Incorporate home organization into your decor for items you use often or enjoy seeing. Expert DIY’er and the host of Magnolia Network’s show Makeover by Monday, Jenni Yolo, created a pegboard that doubles as storage and decoration. “I wanted something above the bench to look like art but also function as additional storage,” she says. “I love that the kids can display their favorite toys and use the pegs to hang things. It allows them to be creative and interactive, while still being something pretty.”

Yolo renovates old homes in Milwaukee where storage is often non-existent. So for her and her clients, an organization project and creativity often go hand in hand, and balance is always key. “Too much on display can look cluttered,” she says. “I like to put the pretty stuff on display, and in this instance, we built storage under the bench seat for the rest.”   

Where do I start to organize my home?

“Start with the area driving you the most insane!” says Sara Losonci, founder of the New York City–based interior organizing service Shelfie. “Typically, those areas are the common rooms in the home like the entryway or the kitchen, especially if you live with multiple people or have children,” she says. However, she notes that where you start might depend on what’s happening in your life that motivated you to want to declutter in the first place. For example, landing a new work-from-home job may call for innovative storage solutions in your bedroom to accommodate a new office nook.

Shara Kay, a certified professional organizer and the founder of SK Organizing in Beverly Hills, also says to start where you’re most frustrated. “Are you spending extra time getting dressed because you can’t find items in your closet or dresser? Do you hesitate to have guests over because living spaces are cluttered, or find it a struggle to cook because your countertops are crowded? Whatever is driving you crazy, start there,” she says.

How do I organize my house with too much stuff?

For certified KonMari organizing consultant Vivien Lee-Mayhue, who is also the founder of Tidy Up Los Angeles, weeding through that stuff comes before the organization project. “As a certified KonMari consultant, I follow Marie Kondo’s method,” she says. “Instead of the usual declutter by room, we declutter by category in this order: clothing; books; paper; komono (a.k.a. miscellaneous) items found in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, home office, art/craft room, playroom, and garage; then sentimental pieces.” Lee-Mayhue appreciates this method for its specific order, which makes starting less overwhelming. After decluttering the entire home, she then organizes so that everything has its defined place.

Whatever organization ideas you choose—letting your frustration be your guide or taking a page from Marie Kondo’s book—keep these 59 home organization hacks in mind as you go. 

1. Employ a home organization routine

“An important part of maintenance is building routines that support the level of organization you desire, such as a weekly routine for processing papers or a seasonal routine for rotating decor or clothing,” Kay says. “Organizing is a lifestyle, not a one-time event.”

Stop clutter in a small space before it starts. This Lindye Galloway Studio project is proof of that.

Photo: Chad Mellon

2. Stagger shelves

This is a solid option if you are not in the market for a DIY built-in project. Staggered shelving units are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they also allow you to play with height, which in turn provides more storage space for taller and more sculptural items. The trio of these CB2 shelves work as visual dividers to keep a small space, like a home office, neat and interesting. 

Antiqued Brass Floating Shelves Set of 3

3. Put shoes away

Shoes take up an unholy amount of space and seem to always be everywhere. Place a stylish entryway shoe rack to ensure the boots and sneakers don’t make their way beyond the foyer. This storage solution will also work wonders in a laundry room, especially if you use it as an entryway from a garage.

4. A catchall for every occasion

It’s no secret that a good catchall dish is vital to an organized home. Stock up on trays and dishes to house your jewelry or random knickknacks. Natural stone dishes, like the honed onyx from CB2, works as an anchor to keeping minor clutter from being strewn about. You can also shop vintage dealers like Wildfang Home for unexpected pieces that start a conversation about storage ideas. 

Toca Onyx Catchall Dish

5. Stack storage

Effectively organize important documents take-out menus or warm weather accessories by using stackable bins that can neatly stack inside a closet or shelving unit. The bins can also be used in kitchen organization as food storage so you don’t have to stare at boxes of granola bars. 

Ribbed storage bin

6. Designate a play space 

Creating a specific playroom for the little ones is a great way to consolidate the inevitable mess of toys in an extra space. Choose a rug with stripes, plaids, or geometric patterns, like these from the new Heritage collection by Patterson Flynn, to center the room or nook.

A comfy rug works like an anchor. 

Photo: NEAT Method Minneapolis

7. Opt for a Murphy bed with built-in storage

Murphy beds are really ahead of the home organization and space-saving curve—especially ones that incorporate shelving and cabinetry. They optimize floor space and are perfect for any home, especially studio apartments.

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8. Jars, jars, and more jars

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Jars are the best organization hack ever. There’s one for every occasion. Check out these multiuse containers from Hay that are perfect for storing cotton swabs, cotton balls, or other bathroom necessities. Just take the jars room by room and see what odds and ends fit.

Glass Container

9. Try a fold-up desk

Just like a Murphy bed, this desk can be hidden away. The small surface will motivate you to stay organized and not let too much work pile up.

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10. Decant everything

There’s nothing like opening up a cabinet to see all of your grains, legumes, spices, and more decluttered in neatly aligned storage containers. Go the extra mile and throw yourself a label-making party.

Kitchen storage organization use plastic case. Placing and sorting food products into pp box. Keeping organizing at modern kitchen interior in Nordic style. General cleaning, tidying up at cuisinePhoto: Kostikova

11. Consider a storage bench

Whether it is built-in or freestanding, a bench with storage at the base could be just what you need. You could probably build one yourself. Think about a built-in bench that opens up for more storage, and top it off with some newly upholstered cushions. Built-in storage benches also make the perfect seating for any breakfast nook.

Ball & Cast Velvet Storage Bench

12. Go all-in on all-purpose bins

“My favorite all-purpose bins for laundry rooms, bathrooms, and inside kitchen cabinets are the Container Store plastic storage bins with handles,” Kay says. A bonus: They come in a variety of sizes and shades, including soft pink and aquamarine.

Medium Plastic Storage Bin

13. Use a bookcase for more than books

A tale as old as time but, hey, it really does work. Add jars and trays to the shelves for maximum organization.

Photo: Jenifer McNeil Baker

14. Store clothing and blankets in the media stand

Is it a media stand, or is it a dresser? Question of the year at my house. For those of us who have a little too much clothing and way too little closet space, this is a great organization hack. No one needs to know your winter sweaters are piled high behind those sliding wood panels.

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15. Invest in multiuse furniture

It’s no secret that dressers and armoires typically come with quite the hefty price tag. We suggest a piece of furniture that does all the things. Choose an armoire-and-dresser combo to ensure you have enough space to hang and fold.

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16. Hang what you can

Though we typically see hanging pots and pans in kitchens, organizing your more visually appealing cutting boards on your wall is another great way to clear up coveted countertop space.

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17. Use wider shelves

Place larger objects like a record player or sculptural vase on wider shelves, or even add a chair and use a low-hanging shelf as a desk.

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18. Organize with large trays

Place a bigger tray atop a coffee table or console table to house a variety of home goods. Take a cue from interior designer Joshua Smith and use trays to corral vases and plants.

Designer Joshua Smith curates vases in a tray.

Photo: Tim Lenz

19. Invest in cord organizers

“My favorite cord organizer, especially under desks, is a Cable Management Box that hides power strips and excess cord length,” Kay says. For those who work from home but occasionally head out to a coffee shop, a tech pouch by Peak Design guarantees organization, and it won’t have you searching for cords as you rush out the door. 

20. Take stock of the linen closet

Still have a souvenir beach towel from spring break ’96 floating around in the depths of your linen closet? It may be time to bid that terrycloth goodbye. “Keep only towels and towel mats that you love to use,” Lee-Mayhue says. “Donate the excess to animal shelters.” 

Rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t display it, ditch it. Hang up only the best, like in this uncluttered bathroom by Lindye Galloway Studio.

Photo: Chad Mellon

21. Designate a daily drawer

“Use the most easily accessible top drawer of the vanity for your daily essentials—items like your hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant,” Losonci says. That way, you can keep your bathroom counter clear and won’t have to dig through your medicine cabinet or makeup bag each day.

If you know where things go, you’re more likely to put them away.

Photo: brizmaker

22. Give caffeine a home

Removing all the bulky packaging from tea and placing individual tea bags in a container with compartments is very joyful, Lee-Mayhue says. Amazon sells stackable tea bag cases as well as containers for coffee pods.

mDesign Store Stackable Organizers for Coffee Pods

23. Ditch plastic water bottles

If you’re still buying dozens of plastic water bottles, it’s time to invest in a personal glass water bottle. Skipping plastic is, of course, better for the environment. It’s also extra appeasing for organization—no more crowding your counters with bulk water cases or your recycling bin with all those empty bottles.

Borosilicate Glass Water Bottle with Bamboo Lid

24. Stick with dark-colored hand towels

It makes sense that in one of the most-used spots in your house, organization goes hand in hand with cleanliness. Stick with dirt-disguising dark hand towels and change them out frequently.

Darker towels mean fewer visible stains.

Photo: Cavan Images

25. Take over the mantel space

Mantels provide great ledges for leaning art, larger mirrors, and your ever-expanding collection of candles.

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26. Look for a stylish magazine rack

Magazine racks don’t have to be reminiscent of nail salons and doctor’s offices—they can be a funky gold or something more DIY like a boho macramé. Store magazines, and even smaller books, in a made-to-be-seen holder.

Macrame Magazine Rack

27. Use risers under sinks

“Use a riser or stacking bins to take advantage of the vertical space under sinks,” Kay says. “Then, group tall items together in bins organized by category, for example, hair, body, skin, first aid, etc.” 

SpaceKeeper 2-Tier Under Sink Storage Organizer

28. Tack on a sideboard

For some reason and no matter how big, kitchens can always use extra storage for organization. Roll-away sideboards are a useful way to add countertop space as well as house bowls and plates.

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29. Make a gallery wall

Have extra frames lying around? Organize these bad boys in a fun pattern by creating a gallery wall. The beauty of this is you don’t have to commit to one large piece of art—you can swap frames whenever you pick up something new.

Choose a theme for a cohesive look.

Photo: FollowTheFlow

30. Take advantage of hard-to-reach spots

Line sturdy door frames with antique bottles or decorative objects for a whimsical and unexpected vibe. Decorate all the way to the top but be sure to add a ladder for practicality…and Old World charm!

Put a ladder on it, as seen in this Brad Ramsey Interiors project.

Photo: Paige Rumore

31. Make use of windowsills

Windowsills are an often overlooked organization-approved surface. However, they make the perfect countertop for all of those trinket dishes we were talking about earlier.

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32. Go for a kitchen island with storage

Islands have long since been a kitchen-storage classic. If they have hidden shelf space, then all the better! You can stash away larger pots, pans, juicers, and even extra cookbooks.

A neat kitchen in the home of interior designer Joshua Smith.

Photo: Lisa Romerein

33. Display stacked books

Make use of small decorative side chairs that your guests probably won’t want to sit on anyway (it’s not about comfort, it’s about style) by adding a neat stack of books. Top it off with a vase filled with fresh peonies, and you’ve got a new favorite (and organized) corner.

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34. Don’t be (too) afraid of the radiator

Even though safety most definitely comes first, you can add a thin tray on top of the radiator to house candles, vases, and even a potted plant or two during the hotter months when your radiator is turned off.

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35. Build shelves into the wall

By setting shelving units into the wall, you’re not only saving space, but you’re also creating the opportunity for more organization. It’s a win-win.

Lindye Galloway Studio uses the arched built-in to bring interest to home organization.

Photo: Chad Mellon

36. Add a pegboard

A pegboard wall is an interesting way to organize anything from cooking tools to gym equipment. Put a smaller one in a closet to help store home improvement tools.

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37. Color-coordinate books

Organizing books by color is a great exercise in decluttering and remembering what books you actually have in your collection.

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38. Clear storage

Acrylic containers—especially ones with built-in dividers—are just right for organizing makeup and any other items that you want to have on display but not haphazardly piled up.

Acrylic 4-Section Purse Storage Organizer

39. Mount hooks in the entryway

Coat closets are a great idea in theory, but in our daily hustle-bustle, jackets often pile up on chairs or, even worse, the floor. “Our home is short on coat closets, so we have hooks wherever there is space for them,” Yolo says. “Every season we bring out the jackets we use most, and the hooks make them easy to grab when rushing out the door. Plus, they look beautiful.” 

Magnolia Network DIY expert Jenni Yolo shows that adding hooks to an entryway is an easy weekend home-organizing idea.

Photo: Courtesy of Jenni Yolo

40. Be selective with utensils

If the countertop utensil jar is out of control, making it difficult to shove in each spatula when it comes out of the dishwasher, reassess what you actually need. “Feel confident that you don’t need to keep all of the wooden spoons that came in a set if you only ever use the one,” Lee-Mayhue says.

Only keep your favorite spatulas.

Photo: Michael Kaal / EyeEm

41. Say yes to Swedish dishcloths

Not only are washable and reusable Swedish dishcloths better for the environment (one cloth can replace 15 paper towel rolls!), but they’re also much easier to store than a behemoth 24-pack of paper towels. Rather than taking up a countertop or the area above your fridge, simply place these durable dishcloths in a kitchen drawer. Plus, they come in fun prints and colors. 

Cloud Paper Reusable Dish Cloth-3 Pack

42. Stash knives

Consider an in-drawer knife organizer to keep your counters clear. Your blades will still be protected, and you’ll free up space from bulky blocks.

Bamboo In-Drawer Knife Block

43. Score a tiered spice rack

Like stadium seating for your spices, a tiered spice rack means every bottle has visibility. Plus, you can hide the whole rack away in a cabinet. Kay’s favorite is the RoyalHouse Bamboo Expandable Spice Rack Organizer.

45. Donate rarely-used kitchen appliances

Small kitchen appliances are tempting (a machine just for making breakfast burritos?!). But Lee-Mayhue says to keep only the items you love using and that support your current lifestyle. “Donate that pasta maker and bread machine if you never ever use them because your food choices don’t currently include sugar or flour,” she says.

Downsize on appliances to maximize counter space, like in this Lindye Galloway Studio–designed kitchen.

Photo: Leslie Brown

46. Grab a cookware rack 

Pans are the bane of any kitchen organizer’s existence. That’s why Losonci recommends using a YouCopia StoreMore Cookware Rack, so each fryer and lid has a place to go. The rack is expandable and tucks away nicely in a cabinet.

YouCopia StoreMore Cookware Rack

47. Get deep drawers

“If remodeling, I highly recommend installing large drawers, so you can see in one glance exactly what’s stored inside,” Lee-Mayhue says. “Otherwise, use containers that utilize the full depth of the drawer or cabinet so nothing gets lost in the back.” For premium clothing storage find a variety of drawer organizers on Amazon to keep T-shirts or socks from getting shoved to the back of your dresser.

A deep pull-out shelf can store ample dishes and glassware.

Photo: Henadzi Pechan

48. Go label crazy

“Once you’ve assigned a place for everything, label,” Kay says. “Label the bin and the drawer or shelf where it belongs. The more people who use the space, the more essential labeling is to maintaining the system.” Her favorite label maker? The Brother P-touch Cube Plus

Utility Stoneware Kitchen Canisters, Set of 6

49. Try turntables with dividers

Lee-Mayhue loves turntables with dividers to utilize awkward spaces. They’re especially handy for storing condiment bottles in a pantry or cleaning supplies in a cabinet. And because of their swivel-ability, you’ll always know what supplies you have and can avoid buying yet another bottle of soy sauce when you already have two.

iDesign Clear Turntable

50. Keep a decorative box near your nightstand

Treat yourself to a pretty box to hold earplugs, sleeping masks, lip balm, and hand cream next to your bed. That way you won’t have to go to bed and wake up to a chaotic tabletop. 

Peaceful nights come from uncluttered days.

Photo: Chad Mellon

51. Stash cleaning products

“For cleaning products, my favorite organizers are translucent multi-purpose bins in medium from the Container Store,” Kay says. They’re deep enough to handle tall bottles.

Group cleaning products by category.

Photo: Martin Vecchio/NEAT Method

52. Buy a broom organizer

It seems especially ironic when cleaning supplies create a mess, and unwieldy brooms, dustpans, and mops are regular offenders. Give them a proper place to hang by mounting a broom holder with room for multiple items.

A pile of cleaning tools is a no-no.

Photo: Melinda Black

53. Get grown-up toy storage

Losonci points out that many parents complain about their main living space being covered in kid toys. But then they make the mistake of buying kiddie baskets for stashing all the games and gear, which still makes their presence known even when the room is clean. “Instead, use durable and easy-to-clean adult furniture to store kid toys,” she says. That way, your space looks nice and adult-approved when everything’s put away.

You can’t go wrong with woven baskets.

Photo: Martin Vecchio/NEAT Method

54. Make your bed daily

Maybe your mom’s been giving you this advice since you were a kid, but it’s true! A bed that’s made helps the entire bedroom feel more organized. 

Wake up and go to bed in an organized house.

Photo: Tony Anderson

55. Curate pillows and throws

“Don’t overcrowd the couch with throw pillows and blankets,” Losonci says. “Instead, keep your selection to one to four throw pillows, depending on the size of your couch, and one throw. More than this creates a cluttered feeling, plus makes it tough to actually find room to sit!” 

Line up pillows by size.

Photo: Chad Mellon/Lindye Galloway Design

56. Place a wastebasket in the entryway

Has junk mail overtaken your entryway? Put a pleasing mini wastebasket in your foyer, or wherever you toss your mail, so that you can quickly recycle unsolicited circulars the moment they enter your home.  

Chelsea Cement Waste Can

57. Arrange dresser tops with trays

“SortJoy bins are washable, durable, and eco-friendly,” Losonci says. “They’re modern, chic, and come in a bunch of sizes. I use these all over my clients’ homes.” We’re especially taken by the brand’s trays, which have satisfying compartments for organizing sunglasses, jewelry, and odds and ends on dresser tops.

58. Add storage racks to your doors

Don’t sleep on door backs for extra storage space. “Add a door rack to literally every door in your home,” says Losonci. Okay, so maybe skip the rack in your entryway, but the laundry room, the bathroom, and the bedroom doors are all fair game.

6-Tier Organizer

59. Purge the medicine cabinet 

If every time you open your medicine cabinet a bottle or two tumble out, it might be time to assess what’s in there. Go through medications, prescriptions, and other products every six months, tossing anything that’s expired. 

Get rid of expired meds. Tylenol doesn’t last forever.

Photo: William Andrew