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It isn’t enough to simply wipe away the dirt, vacuum up the dust bunnies, and toss the clutter. Now it’s time for the fun stuff. It’s time to organize.
Popular Science and Working Mother are researching the surefire ways to maintain and keep order in your habitat. Now that your digs are freshly cleaned, take a look below for products that’ll help you keep track of everything you need. No more minutes wasted tracking down that essential toy or utensil. Nobody’s got time for that.
One of the scariest places in your home is probably behind your computer desk. If you don’t manage your wires from the moment devices come out of the box—and doggedly maintain that law and order as you add new products to your workstation—your cords will be a tangled mass within a few short months. That’s where these sewn neoprene cable organizers come in. They’re five feet long and 4.5-inches wide. You can cut slots into the fabric to accommodate wires coming from other areas of your desk. And they’re only $9.
This organizer will keep your craft supplies, fishing tackle, or enamel pin collection color-coded, size sorted, and in plain sight. The polystyrene frames are made of recycled material, and can be mounted on a wall or stacked on top of another. There are 44 clear drawers, which means your googly eyes, batteries, and screws will be easy to find. $28.
The goal of a kit like this is to alleviate stress by making sure you always remember to bring the items you need to get through the day. It works like this: each smart tag connects to up to three taglets. For example, you can place a smart tag on your bookbag and then a taglet on your phone, iPad, and notebook. When you’re leaving your house, tap the smart tag. If the light turns green, you have your three items with you and can leave. If it doesn’t turn green, you can open the app to see what’s missing. The Bluetooth-enabled organization system is weather-resistant and each smart tag holds a charge for up to two months. Taglets hold a charge for up to two years, but need to be replaced once they die. $120.
Hiding TV cables dangling down your wall instantly makes your room look tidier. D-lines like these cover multiple power cords, HDMI cables, and speaker wires. The back of the pvc plastic concealer also has an adhesive, so it’ll stick to your wall. It comes in five colors—beige, white, black, grey, and oak—but can also be painted. The 3.25-foot plastic is also easy to cut if you need to make it shorter. $15.
A shiny chrome hook on hinges offers a perfect place to drop your favorite hat, scarf, and coat at the end of a cold day. This option takes up the same amount of space as a single hook, but actually has three separate places to hang things. Combined, the hook can hold up to 35 pounds. That’s a lot of scarves. $8.
Vacuum-sealed bags will save you even more room, especially when storing poofy things like winter jackets and comforters. Slide your items into these and use any vacuum to suck the air out, turning your pile of fluffy blankets and pillows into a giant plastic wafer. These also work to save some space in a suitcase while traveling and come with a hand travel pump. This box comes with 10 bags. $40.
There really is no better place to store your belongings than in the unusable space under your bed. Grab some sealed storage containers and move your winter clothing, extra sheets, and commemorative T-shirts out of your closet. The vessels in this AmazonBasics two-pack have a clear vinyl top, handles on the side to slide them from underneath the bed, and use a zipper to keep out dirt and dust. Each container is 18 x 42 x 6-inches. $13.
These chrome Lynk shelf dividers—there are two per set—help keep vertical stacks of sweaters and towels upright and separate in your closet. By storing your clothes like books (a.k.a. Konmari style), you don’t risk upending the whole stack to get to on shirt. The 2.1 x 8.4 x 9.4-inch dividers slide over your shelf and lock into place. $14.
If you’ve got a tall closet, grab one of these ClosetMaid double-hang closet rods. The height- and width-adjustable nickel bar has hooks that clutch onto an existing bar, doubling your space for shirts and sweaters. $13.
If you need something to help organize your thoughts, the Knock Knock “This Week Pad” has 60 sheets to keep you on point for just over a year. Not everybody is cut out for bullet journaling, after all. $7.
If you’ve got a garage or workstation, a tidy tool display can make your work less stressful and your mind clear. The more time you spend rummaging around your hectic toolbox, the more disorganized flustered you’ll feel. This kit comes with two steel pegboards that attach to your wall, as well as three plastic bins with hangers, a screwdriver holder, a hammer holder, and an assortment of 15 hooks and brackets. The holes accommodate standard quarter-inch pegs. $84.
Take advantage of all the room in your fridge. Don’t let leftovers get lost as they are pushed to the back. The Zip N Lock attaches to the top of one of your shelves and extends outwards, allowing an easier view of zip-locked baggies. There are 19 slots that hold gallon- and quart-sized bags. Note: You need at least 16.8 inches of depth in your fridge to install this thing. $40.
Chaos need not reign with your cooking utensils. This bamboo organizer has seven (seven!) compartments to keep your kitchen area tidy. Store napkins, hot sauces, spoons, whatever. It’s not groundbreaking, but it sure is satisfying. $22.
Have a ventilated and shady storage area for onions, shallots, and garlic. If there isn’t enough air circulation, onions will spoil faster. The shade will also keep the vegetables from starting to taste bitter. A 10-inch bamboo steamer is about right. Also good for cooking vegetables and rice, or serving dim sum. $25.
You don’t need to keep everything in their original packaging. In fact, you probably shouldn’t. Airtight acrylic canisters are the way to go. Without air, foods stay fresher longer, plus keeps bugs away. They look nice, too. $40 for a set of 12.
Instead of having to pull out every box or smell every jar to inspect what is inside, get some reusable chalkboard labels to smack onto some easily stackable, airtight canisters or jars. Writing can be cleared with a damp wash cloth. $8.
This Mind Reader laptop or monitor stand will keep all your desk supplies organized within reach. There are three drawers with a combined ten separate compartments to keep your rubber bands from tangling with your paper clips. By default, the drawers also raise your screen two inches, which can alleviate neck pain if you spend a lot of time in front of the screen. There are also removable legs that can add an extra 1.5 inches of height. $16.
Closet and cabinet space is precious. But so are your cleaning supplies. A hanging shoe organizer can be hung on the inside of a closet or pantry door and makes for optimal storage for things like Windex, wipes, and oven cleaners. $7.
If you’re a fan of the Konmari method, then you’re already an evangelist about storing things vertically. The Rev-A-Shelf 2-tier cabinet cookware organizer lets you prop up your pots and pans so you don’t have to make a huge clatter trying to get to the pancake griddle at the bottom of the stack. It’s 21 inches deep and has a full-extension slide system that can accommodate 100 pounds. The chrome-plated wire frame mounts on the bottom, side and rear, making it sturdy. The two tiers operate independently and the dividers adjust so you can store cookware of all shapes and sizes. $148.
If you don’t have enough room in your kitchen or pantry, make some more for yourself. This 18-inch-wide by 77-inch-tall over-the-door or wall-mounted rack will fit on most doors, offering eight additional shelves for 2-liter bottles of soda or boxes of laundry detergent. $35.
Don’t shrink your clothing, and save cash on your electric bill. Air-dry your delicates and shrinkables on a lightweight steel drying rack that collapses for easy storage. $25.
Have a place to store extra blankets, pillows or board games. This storage bench has got a frame that holds over 400 pounds, so don’t worry about sitting on it. $40.
Remember that the whole point of organizing your stuff is so that you don’t lose track of your important things. To that end, a Bluetooth tracker will make sure your absolute essentials (phone, keys, wallet) are never lost to the chaos. $22.
Don’t forget the garage. The Rubbermaid Deluxe Tool Tower will keep your rakes and shovels upright and where they belong. It accommodates up to 40 tools and has got two locking wheels for easy transport. It is made out of plastic, so don’t worry about rusting or rotting. $36.
A three-tiered shoe rack is a major life and space saver. The stand is made of iron and each shelf—made of a composite resin wood—holds up to 30 pounds. $30.
Large enough for a power strip, this wire organizer will keep unsightly messes out of view. It’ll help avoid tangled wires and prevent plugs from being pulled out, too. $35.
One of the messiest—and frustrating—areas of my kitchen is where we keep the spices. This cherry-stained wooden spice rack comes with 60 glass jars, 154 pre-printed waterproof labels, and both large and small shaker tops. It is 16.5 inches tall, so do some measuring before you buy. $199.
This might not be on the top of your spring cleaning organizing lists, but a tie organizer will make a difference in your closet and your appearance. This one holds 24 ties and has a polished chrome swivel hook. You’ll save space and have all your ties at your fingertips. $15.
This toy rack comes with 12 plastic bins and can be made in a variety of wood finishes. There are more stylish versions out there, but the big, colorful bins are designed to make it very easy for your kid to clean up toys for themselves. $52.
Don’t let peoples first impressions of your home be soured by a messy hallway. Keep your umbrellas in check with a compact umbrella stand. It works even for skinny hallways. $25.
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