Category: organizing tips  /  Created: 10/19/2017 13:57:38

I’m sure that, like me,  many professional organizers love to shop for organizing supplies. For me, the Container Store and Ikea can be dangerous places! It’s easy to understand why we love to shop: many clutter problems benefit from storage solutions with well-chosen containers. And there’s nothing like the glory of the beautifully tidy and organized displays at The Container Store!

But more often than not, attractive containers and other “solutions” don’t solve the problem, they hide it. Putting clutter in boxes doesn’t make the clutter go away. Getting to the root of any clutter situation requires time and energy – and it is well worth it! Releasing things that no longer serve you creates space and flow in your life, both physically and mentally.

When we work with folks in their homes and offices, we first use what they already have and rarely need to purchase anything in order to create more ease and flow in the space. If you are going it alone, declutter first, re-purposing whatever shoe boxes or bags you have on hand, and then you will have a better idea of what type and size product to splurge on!

Sometimes storage solutions are worth the investment

There are definitely times when containers and other methods are helpful in using space efficiently and keeping things organized. We encourage our clients to reuse what is available: the baskets, folders, boxes, and shelves that are already in your home may be put to clever use to solve your storage problems. But when that is not enough, never fear! Below are a few of our favorite organizing products. All have been used either in my home, my clients’ homes, or both.

10 Favorite Organizing Products

  1. Post-it Super Sticky Notes
    Let’s start with the basics. I rarely go anywhere without a pack of super sticky notes and a sharpie. Great for labeling, tacking a quick note by the front door or making colorful file folder labels. They come in many sizes: use the 3×3 variety for file folder labels. See me wax poetic about super stickies in my recent television interview on channel 5!
  2. Bankers Boxes
    Another staple of professional organizers. I keep these in my car and if my clients need boxes, I frequently recommend these. The handles make them easy to move, they stack, and the lids come right off which makes it easy to access the contents. Plus, they are made from recycled materials! Tip: label them using your super sticky notes rather than writing directly on the box. This makes the boxes easier to reuse again and again.
  3. DecoBros Expandable Stackable Shelf Organizer
    These shelf expanders are incredibly versatile and strong and can make the most of your shelf space. I prefer these to the white wire ones commonly used as they are more stable and things don’t slip through the cracks. See some of their many uses here!
  4. Gullwing Drying Rack
    This drying rack is a great way to hang clothes to dry – no hangers will crowd your shower rod or rafters, and the rack folds into a slim flat shape for easy storage. It’s heavy-duty enough to dry jeans and thick sweaters – even shoes! Plus you can save on energy bills (and help Mother Earth by air drying your clothes).
  5. MOS Magnetic Cable Organizer
    This attractive magnetic pad makes it easy to keep those unruly electronic cables in one place and untangled. It comes in aluminum, white and black and additional cable ties can also be ordered in several colors (it ships with blue cord clips). No more tripping over cords or cords being nibbled by hungry pets.  P.S. These also make great gifts!
  6. Awesome File Cabinet by Poppin
    I love the sleek look of this file cabinet. This attractive treasure allows you to use every bit of the file storage space due to its excellent design. And it comes in orange, blue, black, white and gray. It offers the perfect amount of space for storing paper after that paper has been decluttered! For more about what to keep, see our free PDF resource How Long Should I Keep Papers?
  7. OXO Good Grips Expandable Wall-Mounted Organizer
    This wall mount is a great way to keep brooms and cleaning supplies off the floor and organized. It’s versatile and easy to tuck into a closet. Watch the video to see how easy it is!
  8. Storage Ottomans 
    One of my clients is an artist who lives with his wife in a small condo. The picture at the top of this post shows how we used a storage ottoman from Crate & Barrelto keep his art supplies well organized but out of sight (which has the even more important benefit of making his wife very happy!). This particular ottoman is very impressive as it quietly glides open and shut and all of the interior space is actually available as the lid does not intrude into the storage area. If you don’t currently have the budget for the Crate & Barrel ottoman featured here, there are many options at Amazon, Ikea, and Target.
  9. Marius stool
    This stool can be used indoors and out and at $4.99 you can’t beat the price! I have used it as an extra place for folks to sit on our deck and also as a plant stand. It is available in white or black.
  10. Plastic Drawer Units
    I have used a variety of plastic drawer units in my own home and with clients. I like the ones that have shallow and deep drawers. I commonly use them for paper storage, but they can be used for many other purposes. One that resides in a closet in our attic holds gifts, gift bags, and ribbons. I often put them in closets as they are not the most visually appealing solutions. Some are freestanding and come with wheels and others can be used on a desktop or other surface. Note: though we strongly prefer promoting eco-friendly products, my search for eco-friendly products in this category did not yield any meaningful results.

Bonus product: Plant Nannys
I love these! Though not strictly an “organizing” product, they make such a difference to my peace of mind. I don’t have to remember to water every day, and I don’t have to think about my plans when I go out of town. These were a gift from my son and his girlfriend, and I am delighted with them. They also make great no-clutter gifts.

No purchases required!

Remember, you don’t have to buy anything to be organized. The more clutter you release from your space, the more room you will have – without making any purchases. But when a particular product can make you smile and take a space from “good” to “great,” the money is well spent. The goal is for you to feel more productive and joyful, whether it’s in a room with no shelves or a room full of shelves with expanders.

Note: I love recommending the products that my clients and I have tried. If you purchase any of these products on Amazon, we receive a small percentage of the sales price as a member of their affiliate program.

Does one of these products seem perfect for you? Please share in the comments!