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42 Clever Organizing Ideas To Make Your Life So Much Easier

Create your own controlled chaos.

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2. Start folding your tees and clothes so they stack vertically in drawers or bins.

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This is Marie Kondo's version of folding, which you can read more about here and in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. True, it may not look like it makes your life easier, but as someone who does it regularly, I can attest — the time you save looking for just the right piece of clothing in the morning makes a difference.

3. Store your out-of-season and bulky clothing in decorative containers outside of your closet, if your closet is extra small.

ourfifthhouse.com

In this master bedroom, a picnic basket doubles as a side table and out-of-season PJ storage; a vintage trunk sits at the end of the bed and holds wool sweaters, and decorative suitcases sitting on top of the armoire hide swimsuits in the winter and hats and scarves in the summer.

4. Stack your makeup palettes in an easy-to-find row using a dollar store letter organizer.

thepixelodyssey.com

You can keep your most-used palettes on display and easy to grab when you're doing your makeup; if you have more than three, you can store them in a drawer. From here.

5. Clip the hats you wear most to the wall, using removable adhesive strips and clothespins.

abeautifulmess.com

This is a very beautiful, stylized display, but the idea would work well to make a hat rack on the narrow inside wall of a small closet, too. And baseball caps would happily even hook onto the top part of the pins. Read the how-to here.

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8. Duct tape shower curtain rings to a hanger to make an affordable and functional tie organizer.

neatnestorganizing.com

If you use matching duct tape and curtain rings, it will look nice and neat. But you could also use hot glue or E-6000 craft glue. Learn how to make one here.

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11. Hang a tension rod beneath your kitchen sink to store sponges and spray bottles as needed.

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Just make sure it's heavy duty enough that it won't fall with the weight of the bottles; most should be fine. If you're also planning to decant your dishwasher tablets, just make sure your kids are old enough to know they're not candy. Here's the tutorial.

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13. Whip your refrigerator into shape using bins — one for cheese, one for fruits, and so on.

onegoodthingbyjillee.com

And if you're the sort of person who keeps their veggies in the veggie drawer and their fruits in the fruits drawer, then of course you can keep your yogurt in a bin, instead. Opt for taller bins so you can optimize all of the vertical space. You can find inexpensive ones at your local dollar store, or upgrade to these transparent ones that let you see exactly what's inside, $20.86 each. Read more about fridge organizing here.

14. Organize your spices in small mason jars to make them easy to scoop and measure out.

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Then, if you're storing them in a drawer, you can write their names on their lids and keep them in alphabetical order, like in this tutorial. Or, if you're storing them in a cabinet or rack, you can write their names on the sides of the jars.

15. Roll your dish towels or dish rags up and store them in a wine rack on your countertop to make them easy to grab.

ferncreekcottage.com

Keep it next to your sink so a clean towel is always within reach. This is especially helpful if you like to use a dishcloth instead of a sponge for cleaning, because you can get a new one at the beginning of each day and toss the previous day's in the laundry. From here.

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16. Stash lazy Susans in the corners of your pantry in order to make every inch of space easily accessible.

decorchick.com

In this makeover, they moved around supports in the pantry and made the lazy Susans built-ins, but you could just buy a few lazy Susans and put them in the corner to get a similar effect.

17. Ditch the wasted space that you get with most silverware organizers, and use small pieces of wood plus glue to make your own.

kevinandamanda.com

Learn more about how this drawer is the most efficient it could be here. Or try these drawer organizing strips ($17.99/package).

18. Top your toilet with a high-sided basket to use for extra storage — whether it's toilet paper, towels, soap, or something else.

simplybeautifulbyangela.com

High sides let you fit more in the vertical space. See this full transformation here, and learn how to make a basket out of a cardboard box here.

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19. Give everyone who uses the same bathroom an under-sink drawer to stash their stuff.

oisfororganize.blogspot.com

Or if the bathroom cabinet's just yours, use them to sort all of your bottles and soaps. See more of this bathroom here, and get similar drawers for $21.99 here.

20. And don't forget to take advantage of the inside of your cabinet's doors.

polishedhabitat.com

Hang baskets using removable adhesive strips. Of course, you'll want to make sure that you can still close the cabinet doors with whatever else you have sitting *inside* the cabinet. Read more about how this cabinet's organized here.

22. Swap your typical drawer pulls for card-catalog-style labeled drawer pulls.

If each person who uses the bathroom has a drawer, you can put names on them, or if it's the master bathroom, you can label it by what's inside, like in this tutorial. You can order similar ones for $2.50 each here.

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23. Nail four pieces of wood together to make an above-toilet storage ladder that doubles as storage and another towel bar.

blog.jennasuedesign.com

You can stain it so it looks rustic like the photo above, or you can simply sand it and paint it white or an accent color or whatever you'd like. Here's the tutorial.

24. Hang a lingerie bag from a removable adhesive hook to let bath toys drip dry.

twotwentyone.net

This also makes it easy to 1) collect the toys at the end of the bath (it's like fishing!) and 2) stash the bag of toys under the sink when you want to have your own bath. Read more about it here.

25. Sort your medicines and first aid supplies into easy-to-find labeled containers.

simplykierste.com

You don't want to spend time digging for something when you really need it! Get a checklist for what should be in your home first aid kit here.

26. Fold your sheets and towels and store them in baskets in your linen closet to keep things neat.

firsthomelovelife.com

Baskets also work to store extra soaps, those first-aid supplies and medicines, and everything else you need in your bathroom. Keeping things in baskets makes it easy to pull out exactly what you need without having to dig through piles of linens. See more of this closet here.

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27. Convert an inexpensive 5x7-inch photo album into a neat and portable coupon organizer.

simplify101.com

Extreme couponers will probably need something more intense, but this is easy and accessible if you aren't couponing and want to start. Get the tutorial here.

28. Go through the piles of papers that you have stored and sort them according to Marie Kondo's method.

teacherbytrademotherbynature.com

The system has you sort into two main categories: things you need frequently, and things you need less frequently. And then, you don't sort the papers any further. Read about one person's experience with it here.

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29. Or try a three-bin "command center" for sorting mail and other papers.

domesticimperfection.com

You can go for a more detailed filing box system, but a simpler system like this one is easier to use and harder to ignore. You could even simplify it to two boxes: outbox, and needs attention. Read more about it here.

30. Put together a filing bin to store all of your kiddo's best and most important school papers and artwork.

simplykierste.com

You won't be able to keep everything, of course, but at the end of each year you can pick out some of the best and most important pieces to keep in the bin. Then...put it all out at their high school graduation party. :) Read more about the system here.

31. Keep a small accordion folder in your car's glove box to make all of those essential papers easy to find when you need them.

tiffkeetch.blogspot.com

These files are inexpensive — you can find one for $5.71 here — and will save you time and stress next time you need to dig out your registration. Read more about the system here.

32. Scan receipts into your phone and organize them with Evernote, so you can stop keeping them in the bottom of your purse.

simplifydays.com

Evernote is a super useful app that makes it easy to take notes, photos, and to write on your notes. Read the full system here.

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33. Never forget a birthday or important event ever again by setting up this "Dates to Remember" system.

itsoverflowing.com

The first of each month, sit down and send out the cards you need to send for the month. Learn more about how it works here.

35. Flip an old stool over, screw in a few casters, and use it as a portable gift wrap station.

sadieseasongoods.com

It will make holiday wrapping so much easier, but when you're in between holidays, you can use it to store birthday paper and other papers (plus supplies like tape, scissors, and bows) so they're easy to access when you need them. Get the full how-to here.

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36. Instead of trying to hit Inbox Zero all the time (although it's great for you if you can), sort your emails into three simple folders: follow up, archive, and reference.

strategysarah.com

This is sort of similar to the way you can organize your paper mail and letters, except it's for EMAIL. Read more about why this system works here.

37. Mute big email threads so you don't get distracted by random messages.

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Depending on your work culture, you may be included on a big email that you really don't need to be a part of. Instead of trying to delete it each time someone emails the thread, "mute" it. On Gmail, it's under the "More" tab. On Outlook it's a little more complicated, but here's how.

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40. Schedule limited blocks of time to deal with necessary tasks that you hate having to do.

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It can help you focus better during that time, and won't make the task feel like it's endless. Get more work organizing tips here.

41. Find a to-do list system that works for you.

Bullet journals are pretty cool — learn how to start one of your own with this helpful guide. Or, use the to-do list on your phone, or a sticky note, more traditional paper planners (I like this one and this customizable one) or whatever.

42. If tiny to-dos don't work for you, try setting a goal to accomplish one thing each day.

abowlfulloflemons.net

You can write it on a chalkboard, or just on a piece of paper that you tape to your bathroom mirror. See more of this organized office here.