I have a few favorite things when it comes to organizing. Today I’m going to share five of them with you. If you have ever worked with me you can probably name a few because you’re probably using them in your house. It will also come as no surprise to my friends and clients that you can find everything I suggest at Target. That’s not to say that you can’t buy these things at other stores…I just may or may not have a bit of an obsession with Target. In fact, I think I should really be consulted when they are making purchasing decisions. But back to the organizing gear…
I love containers and organizing gear. I love things that help make our spaces more beautiful and more functional. That being said, you don’t HAVE to buy all new stuff in order to get organized. You can certainly salvage things from inside your home and make them work. But, one of the things that really does help things to LOOK more organized and intentional are similar containers. That doesn’t mean they have to be identical. If we can find an element that unifies them that will make things look even better. So, on a shelf if we can use containers of all the same color or texture…they will appear more like one large unit instead of lots of little things.
So let’s take a virtual walk around Target and I’ll show you my favorite things to use while organizing.
1. CLEAR STORAGE BINS
I love using clear bins for storage. I like being able to see what is inside without even having to open the bin. This is of course more ideal if you’re storing something in a closet or behind a cabinet door. If you’re trying to hide things on a shelf you’re going to want to choose something opaque or textured. I particularly love these bins because they are sturdy and cheap. Target sells the set of 5 smaller bins for $4.99 and the set of 2 larger bins for $5.99. They are versatile and can be used for so many things. They always have them and they change the colors of the lids from season to season. If I come to your house to help you organize it’s likely you’ll find these hanging out in my trunk. I have used them in closets, cabinets, pantries, drawers, cars, toy shelves…and I’m sure the list goes on.
2. WALL HOOKS
One of the most underused surfaces I find in people’s homes are their vertical surfaces. We can maximize the use of these surfaces by putting things on the wall with hooks. I love having a place to hang something up quickly so that it’s not laying on the floor but I also don’t have to go actually hang it up where it belongs every time. I use these all over my house! I have tiny hooks by the door for our keys. I have two racks of hooks for coats in the kitchen by our carport door and another hook up higher for my own coat. I have hooks in the hallway for all my scarves. I have hooks in all the kids’ rooms for their coats, dress up clothing, backpacks, hats and purses. I have small hooks in the girls’ rooms for their necklaces. In my own bedroom I have hooks for my own necklaces and another interesting hook by my closet for those things I only wore a short time and plan to wear again before washing. There are so many uses! You probably have even more in your own home.
3. WALL POCKETS AND SHELVES
Like I mentioned before, vertical surfaces are often underused. Not only can we put hooks on the wall but we can also try to find ways to make storage areas on our walls. There are so many great wall pockets and file containers that fit on the wall. I saw this one at Target and thought it was both beautiful and functional…one of my favorite combinations. This has two small shelves that would be great for a jar full of pens, checkbooks, keys and sunglasses, a pad of paper, dog leashes…and the list goes on. It has one large file bin that would be great for incoming mail, kids papers or bills that need to be filed. And look…more hooks!
4. CLEAR DRAWER UNITS
These are really one of the bests of all time. Clear drawer units can be used all over your home. They are great because they are clear (remember…see what is inside), inexpensive and so versatile. I love that the drawers come out which means the contents can be taken with you if you need to use them and then easily put back. I have one in my laundry room holding special cleaners and all the change that I find in my children’s pockets. I have some in my hall closet containing all our first aid items, extra toothbrushes and small hotel shampoos and toothpastes. I have some in another hall closet that I turned into our home office storage. I would need a whole blog post to tell you what is in that closet. I also have two sets that contain all my everyday tools, nails and screws that I need for quick chores around the house. I have two extra large drawer units that hold all of our arts and crafts materials. We often pull a whole drawer out and bring it to the table for easy use and clean up. And my daughter has one in her closet that holds all her American Girl doll accessories. So many creative uses.
Here is another one of my favorite beautiful and functional items. Trays are an organizational tool that is often overlooked. Why? Because they look too simple. How in the world can another flat surface be helpful for organizing my life? What you don’t realize about trays is that they help you by giving you a physical boundary to keep your junk contained so you don’t spread out all over the place. We have a tray for the kids’ electronics. A place for them to rest at night and also to get charged. The kids know where to put them if they don’t want to lose them and clean up in a quick minute. We have trays on each of our coffee tables to contain remotes, magazines, books and coasters. I love that we can clear a coffee table surface in a second to play a family game by picking up the tray and returning it when we are done. We have trays on all of our dressers. This helps our dressers look tidier by visually defining the drop zone. It also helps to protect the surfaces from sweaty cups, lotion bottles or any other interesting things my son keeps in his room. Trays are usally flat but consider how you might use a shallow bowl or pot in the same way. We use them for coffee kcups on our counter and salt and pepper shakers on my dining room table. Consider how you can define a space easily by just adding a beautiful tray underneath all your stuff.