How To Organize Your Most Cluttered Spaces

Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
If your place looks exceedingly orderly, but a peek inside a drawer or behind a door reveals a hot mess, you're not alone. We investigated ways to create an organized foundation inside pieces.
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Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
Inside The Closet…

Motivate Yourself with Matching Hangers
No, having matching hangers in your closet won't magically make it more organized, but don't underestimate the perceived impact of a matched set. Besides, swapping out the old hangers is the perfect excuse to rehang pieces in their proper place. And, it makes it more difficult to ignore those wire hangers from the dry cleaners that have been there for months.

Visually Merchandise At Home
Make your hanging strategy to put like with like (for instance, having all your dresses in one place), but then take it one step further and implement an organizing system by color from light to dark, just as a retail store would. Also, hanging pants folded in half could potentially open up some space below for a second closet bar.

Protect Your Shoe Investments
If you don't have built-in shoe storage, clear shoebox-size plastic bins will save your shoe splurges from collecting dust and from the wear and tear of piling, while allowing you to stack them and take advantage of vertical space. Consider loading an under-bed bin with off-season or less frequently worn pairs. Rediscovering them after a time will provide clarity about which pairs you missed and which you can live without.
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Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
Inside Dresser Drawers…

Divide The Space
Unless your dresser has drawers of varying sizes, in which case you're ahead of the game, it's important to compartmentalize drawer space when storing small items such as socks, jewelry, and underwear. Dividers are your first line of defense, ranging in sizes to match the job.

Store Items Used Often Higher
When designating drawer space, think about how often certain items are used. Undies should be on top, while seasonal items like bulky sweaters can be kept in the lower drawers.

Avoid Overstuffing
If your dresser drawers require a certain amount of cramming to close, it's time for an audit and edit. The key to staying organized is to make things easy to access and then put away. Having to remove four sweaters to get to the one on the bottom will only result in more mess to deal with.
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Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
Inside The Linen Closet…

Assign Areas
Having sheets interspersed with towels is only going to drive you nuts when you know just what sheets you want for your out-of-town friends. Instead, divide the space using shelf dividers with bedding in one distinct stack, towels in another, and table linens in a third.

Keep Sets Together
Tuck your folded flat and fitted sheets inside the matching pillowcases before storing, and tie up towel sets, stacked largest to smallest, with a bit of ribbon. These small steps take almost no extra time but will certainly pay off in time saved down the road.

Out With The Old
Cycle ratty towels and threadbare sheets out of your linen closet periodically. If you don't use them and you wouldn't use them for guests, get rid of them and feel great about the cost per use.
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Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
Inside The Medicine Cabinet…

Store Things Upright
Cups and containers that fit on those shallow shelves are game-changers when organizing a medicine cabinet. They save space, are great for corralling makeup brushes, toothbrushes, and nail clippers, and keep small items like hair ties from magically disappearing.

Keep Only What You Use
Chances are that any products you're using on the regular will run out well before the expiration date, so if something has been hanging around for more than a year, it's likely it won't get used. Toss it! If you're a serial product swapper, set a cap at storing, say, only three of any one type of product at any given time.

Embrace Pouches
Just as pouches help you maintain order in your bag, they are perfect for keeping your makeup in order and easy to grab and go if needed. Task-specific pouches, like one with all your nail-care tools, eliminate the need for foraging in multiple places.
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Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
Inside The Kitchen Pantry…

Decant (Almost) Everything
Opened boxes of food such as cereal and pasta always seem to look messy, and those items are best stored in airtight containers anyway. Decant these items into clear containers whenever possible. Items such as teas and grains should be kept in tightly covered jars to maximize shelf life.

Try Using Trays
One easy technique for organizing pantry shelves is to use trays to corral items used together, such as baking supplies, or extra oils and vinegars that aren't used every day. This way you can pull the tray out entirely or just inch it out a bit to grab something from the back.

Keep Components Together
The odds that you'll give that delicious-looking recipe a go are far lower if you end up spending 30 minutes hunting down small appliance parts. Keep items such as mixers and spinners together with their various parts and somewhere accessible, even if it's high up.
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