5 Home Organization Ideas That Are Also Gorgeous (Bye-Bye, Storage Bins)

Home organization is essential to, well, being able to find stuff … but is it beautiful? Not so much. If you’re tired of being told to stash your possessions in clunky storage bins, then you’ll definitely want to check out a new book out this week, titled “Remodelista: The Organized Home.”

Remodelista, a home decor site launched 10 years ago by Julie Carlson(and now part of the realtor.com corporate family) has attracted a devoted fan base with its minimalist, classic approach to remodeling and home design. This book (the third, in addition to “Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home” and “Gardenista: The Definitive Guide to Stylish Outdoor Spaces“), hones in on organizing the home in an aesthetically pleasing way. Yes, it can be done!

“Amid all the advice about paring down to the essentials, no one was addressing how to arrange your things in a way that’s not only practical but beautiful,” Carlson says.

Best of all, these ideas are easy to put into practice—and they will come in particularly handy now that the holidays are right around the corner. In the interest of achieving serenity in your home before the madness of the holidays ensues, here are five organizational tips the team at Remodelista swears by.

1. Group kitchen sink essentials on a tray

 

The smartest organizational solutions are often the simplest, as evidenced by this genius tip: Corral stove-side essentials like a bottle of olive oil, wooden spoons, and spice dispensers on a tray, to make your counter look more pulled together. “We think trays are the basic building blocks for order in the house,” says Carlson, who uses them everywhere: whether on the kitchen counter or in the bedroom, bathroom, or entryway. Aside from their ability to bring “visual order” in any cluttered area, they’re also portable and easy to clean.

2. Keep pot lids in place with a tension rod from the hardware store

 

Tired of hearing the clang of metal cookware every time you’re trying to find a lid for your saucepan? Secure a tension rod at the front of your drawer to keep those lids from rolling around. “We love the idea of using spring-loaded tension curtain rods inside cabinets,” Carlson says. If you keep your pots and pans in a cabinet instead of a drawer, the book also recommends putting Japanese metal towel rods on the door for the same purpose.

3. Be ready to throw a cocktail party at a moment’s notice

When friends ask “Your place or mine?” you can now feel confident inviting them over for an impromptu cocktail party by having everything you’ll need (save for a good bottle of wine) in place, ready to go. Reserve one drawer in your kitchen or side table for entertaining essentials like flatware, pre-rolled cloth napkins, a corkscrew, candles, and matches. That way, the only challenge you’ll have to tackle with guests is “Red or white?”

4. Be smart when organizing your closet

Investing in matching nonwire hangers will pay off in the long run—we promise. According to the book, matching hangers will allow you to fit more items in and make your closet look much tidier. On that note, you should also resist the urge to cram the hangers together. Your clothes will hang better (aka wrinkle less) if you leave a gap of about three fingers between each garment.

The book also advises grouping clothes according to type, color, and length, so you can scan your wardrobe with ease. This will be especially handy when you’re running late because you hit the snooze button one too many times. Another time-saving trick? Make a section for empty hangers, so you’ll always know where to look when you have to hang something up.

5. Organize your fridge for maximum efficiency

Store like items together and keep them in designated areas. For example, keep meat and produce near the bottom (the coldest part of the fridge), beverages on the top shelf, condiments in the door shelves, and leftovers at eye height, so you’ll be less inclined to forget them.

Another smart solution is practicing the “Last in, first out” rule. It’s a tactic used at grocery stores that ensures that the items that need to be used up first—like milk or leftovers that tend to expire quickly—are easily accessible.

And if you can, try to commit to cleaning out your fridge once a week, which is bound to inspire a kitchen-sink meal or two, from a frittata to a big salad.

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