Every year starts off in the same way: I look through all of my family’s closets, and a little voice inside my head mutters: “We have too much stuff.” When the time comes for my husband and I to (re)organize, I get overwhelmed and get the urge to pull up my maximalist-but-wannabe-minimalist sleeves and throw all. the. things away. Everything. Clean slate?
We ultimately always manage to pare down, but with a lot of reluctance (I mean, what if I want to re-read that Medical Anthropology book I read in college? And surely, I’ll use that weird LED face mask that scares the crap out of me, right?) and some serious emotional roller-coasting.
Here’s a crazy stat: the average American home contains no less than 300,000 items! Yep, Americans have a clutter problem, letting mountains of stuff weigh them and their morale down.
That’s right — home organization is a major source of stress. According to a survey conducted by the Huffington Post, 84 percent of Americans worry that their homes aren’t clean or organized enough. (My question is: who are those other 16%?)
I don’t know about you, but I feel seen.
In other words, less is more… happiness! And with that in mind, we wanted to give you some tools to help get organized. The items below — from a magnetic key holder to packing cubes to the best refrigerator storage solutions — are some of our team members’ faves, and we hope they provide you with the clarity you need and want… at home and in your mind.
PS: my husband just took a peek at this introduction and said, “WOW! 300,000 items per household? We could do some clearing.” I guess, there’s always room for improvement. 😉
Wardrobe & Accessories
My sock/underwear drawer was a giant moshpit of fabric — and with everything all crumpled together, I could never find what I was searching for. With these organizers, I’m actually excited to open the drawer and see all my undergarments folded and lined up so evenly and nicely. Pure bliss!
Veken Packing Cube Set ~ $26
This packing set makes prepping for travel/outings/day trips a breeze. Each piece has easy-to-use compartments that not only help keep things sorted but also prevent wrinkles. They *really take the stress out of packing. Bonus: they’re also waterproof and recyclable.
Space-Saving Pants Hanger ~ $23 (5-pack)
These are seriously life-changing, friends. Use them for pants, towels, scarves, or blankets — so simple, yet so amazing.
Shoe Storage Solution ~ $74
You can tailor these stackable shoe boxes to work in any space, and they are way more long-lasting and practical than traditional shoe racks. We love that you can use them not only for shoes but also for clothes, toys, or other coming-and-going items (hats, sunglasses, gloves, masks, etc.).
If you have a lot of items and you like to keep things tucked away, these stackable divided trays are just the thing. You can use them in drawers, on their own, or in a cabinet — they’re protective and functional.
Kitchen & Bathroom
Yamazaki Storage Basket ~ $38
These storage baskets from Yamazaki are great to keep loose items in your kitchen or bathroom organized and tidy. We use them to hold root vegetables, snacks and teas. Plus, they’re easy on the eyes and make for a stylish display.
This baby is a multitasker, but it’s especially great for holding things like curling irons, hair straighteners and other hair tools. It can hang onto doors or self-stand, and it has three hooks to keep cords tidy.
The solution for all those annoying Tupperware lids you don’t know what to do with…
Store all of those pesky plastic bags neatly in one single place, where you’ll remember to look for them. This holder hangs over cabinet doors — perfect for under the sink.
Digging through pots and pans is no fun, especially when you also have to search for their matching lids. This little number is a great way to keep all your cookware lids organized.
Wine Bottle Holder ~ $11-$40
For those of us who aren’t lucky enough to have a wine fridge or cellar (ohhhh, can you imagine?! That just might be my loftiest goal!), this one’s for you. Wine bottles tend to take up an inordinate amount of space in my fridge, and when you lay them down they roll all over the place. This stackable wine bottle holder is the perfect solution. Comes in a set of 2, 4, 8 or just 1.
Food Storage Bin Box with Lid ~ $15-$84
These lidded, clear bins with easy-pull handles fit nicely in the fridge or freezer. Perfect for keeping fruits and veggies fresh, I love them because they’re see-through (when you can’t see items in your fridge, it’s easy to forget what’s in there!) and simple to stack and store.
Soda Can Storage Dispenser ~ $14-$37
This is one of my most favorite items in my fridge. Before using this bin for cans, I used to stack rows and rows of bubbly water in my fridge, taking up tons of valuable space. This bin can hold up to 9 standard-sized beverage cans. You can also use it for cans of soup, beans, etc. in the pantry.
Egg Holder ~ $12-$19
Just the other day I had a brand new carton of eggs in my fridge, and when I went to grab the milk, I knocked the carton over, breaking all my precious eggs. Argh! This sturdy egg storage solution — which fits a dozen eggs — will keep your eggs safe, fresh and secure. Comes in a 1 or 2-pack.
When I open my fridge and see food strewn all over the place… it gives me anxiety. These versatile, vented food storage bins can hold virtually anything and keep all your food nice and organized (plus keep it fresher, longer!). We love that these are clear so you can actually SEE what you have, as opposed to when food just gets thrown in at random and you have no idea what’s lurking back there… (like the 3-week-old sliced turkey I just found. Ew…).
This key and mail holder has been a game changer for our family. Keys are no longer going missing, which makes the transitions in and out of our apartment a lot smoother. It’s also a great spot to keep other on-the-go things like wallets, etc. and “to-do” documents.
This shoe rack is a perfect landing place for all your outings essentials: shoes, bags, sunglasses, phones — you name it. You can opt for either flat or slanted shelves, and the lipped edges keep any of your contents from slipping away.
Umbra Umbrella Stand ~ $63
An umbrella stand is a must-have if you want to keep your floors dry and clean on a rainy day.
Wall Hooks ~ $varies
You need them everywhere… like, literally. Throw them in every room and watch in amazement as the floor, every shelf and surface area, and chair backs no longer have to moonlight as holding spots for aprons, towels, sweaters, jackets, etc.
Cable/Cord Organizers ~ $45, 3-pack
Whether you need these in your office, living room, or wherever, these little boxes are perfect for concealing and organizing cords (including power strips). We love this set of three, which has a simple and neutral aesthetic. (It’s also handy for child-proofing purposes…)
IKEA Kallax Shelf ~ $84
The classic “cube shelf” from IKEA, this baby is ubiquitous… it’s economical, looks halfway decent, and extremely versatile. We’ve had all of ours for more than a decade, and they’ve moved from living room to office to playroom and bedroom and back again.
Gift Wrap Cart ~ $259
This handy little station is the best solution for all the random gift accoutrements you have stashed who-knows-where (keeps everything in one place), but we also love it for other categories, such as kids’ art supplies, crafting gear, or holiday decorations.
Lifestyle and Inspiration Resources
Jenni Lee lends her creativity and fluid fashion intuitiveness to empower women and help them use fashion as a portal to self-confidence and self-love. From closet editing to helping you find your boldest, truest style — Jenni Lee offers a vast range of services. Check out her Instagram page for daily styling and organizing tips (and even some fashion BTS). Because getting closet clarity can also give you clarity on who you are.
If you want tips on how to fold jeans, sweaters, underwear and… all the things, Effective Spaces is the Instagram account you’ve been waiting for. We also love the gift wrapping videos — not that we are capable of replicating, but they’re kind of meditative.🧘♀️
When it comes to minimalism, nothing compares to real-life advice and tips from real-life people. This is what you’ll get in this private Facebook group: tricks and tips, along with support as you enter the realm of #thatminimalistlife.
Speaking of minimalism, check out the cover feature for the March 2022 edition of The Atlantic: “How Wanting Less Leads to Satisfaction.” It leans philosophical, but it’s super interesting. As author Arthur Brooks’s daughter joked, “all we need to do is go against several million years of evolutionary biology, plus the entirety of modern culture, and [we’ll] be all set.”
When You’re Triggered by Mess, Good Inside
In her her latest Good Inside episode, Dr. Becky helps parents understand why mess can bring up so many big feelings of anxiety. She offers tangible solutions to implement right away to help eradicate some of the emotional triggers tied to mess. It’s definitely worth a listen, and if nothing else, it’s nice to know you’re not the only one who feels this way.
What are your favorite organizing products and tips? Tell us in the comments below.
Have fun getting things together!