9 of My Best Organization Tips + My Favorite Products
I’ve enjoyed organizing and decluttering spaces for as long as I can remember, even as a kid! Over the years, I’ve learned best practices that I now use to help every client create spaces they can love. Today, I’m giving you the inside scoop on my best organization tips and go-to products. Take these and use them for your next organizing project!
My Best Organization Tips
1. Don’t Buy What You Don’t Need
Before you head out to purchase products and tools to help you organize spaces in your home or workplace, stop to determine what you actually need. If you skip this step, you’ll ultimately just acquire more stuff – which might be the reason things aren’t organized to start with! If you’re ready to really get organized, you have to take stock first.
Start by purging and decluttering your space. Go through what you need and want to keep and what can be donated or thrown away. Then, if you still need products, you can purchase exactly what you know you’ll use and you can buy with a plan. Lastly, label your organization and storage products so that you know what is kept where. This will help you keep things organized and maintain the better system (?) you’ve created!
2. If It Doesn’t Serve a Purpose, Purge It
To truly purge and declutter any space, you have to start by completely clearing it out. Whether it’s your closet, pantry, garage, or another spot that needs attention, organizing it always starts the exact same way: by pulling absolutely everything out, first.
Be very intentional about what you put back into your space. Review every item and ask yourself these three questions:
Do you use this item?
Is this item serving a purpose for you currently?
Do you love it?
If you don’t use or love your things and they don’t serve a purpose, they don’t belong in your space! Plan for how you can remove them, whether you donate them or throw them out. If you’re working with me, I’m happy to help you with that.
3. Consider What Maintenance is Required
There are all sorts of beautiful-looking storage solutions out there. One search on Pinterest and you can get tons of inspiration! But keep in mind that different storage solutions call for different types of maintenance. So, before you invest something, be sure to understand what it will require.
For example, decanting (such as pouring cereal into a clear storage container vs. its box) looks great. Do you want to spend time decanting your cereal, or pasta, etc., every time you come home from the grocery store? If so, a set of clear storage containers might work perfectly for you. If not, you may reconsider purchasing them.
4. Stay Organized With a Designated Donation Box
Setting up a donation box (or bin) somewhere visible and easy to access in your home will help you regularly get rid of things you don’t want or need. This is one of my best organization tips because it will help you purge items throughout the year.
If you come across one or two items you want to donate, it can be hard to prioritize making a trip to donate them. Then what happens? They probably go right back to where they had been, sitting and taking up space.
Consider instead placing items you don’t want in a designated box as you come across them. Then, when you have a full box of items you want to donate, it is easier to load it up and get them out!
5. You Are Not Required to Keep Gifts
Gift guilt is real! It’s common to feel like you should keep items that you received as gifts. However, you do not have to keep things just because someone gave them to you. It’s okay to let gifts go. I repeat: you can let the gifts go!
Gifts are possessions that you didn’t ask for (usually). Even if you did, ask yourself the questions I included in #2 above. If you don’t use the gift, you don’t love it, and it doesn't serve a purpose, don’t keep it. Our needs, circumstances, and preferences in life change over time. Don’t hesitate to donate, regift, or get rid of gifts.
6. Make Your Bed Every Day
Have you heard the saying that making the bed sets the tone for your day? I think it’s true. Making a point to tidy up your bed at the beginning of each day will set you up for success, and that’s why it’s one of the best organization tips I’ve learned.
First of all, it’s something you can immediately “check off” on your to-do list. Plus, starting the day with a made bed can motivate you to take on your next project, whether it’s cleaning off the counter or deep cleaning the whole kitchen!
7. Start With Small Organizing Projects
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about starting an organization project or needing some motivation (after you made your bed!), just start small. Complete one small task, like purging and decluttering your medicine cabinet. Finishing it might encourage you to jump into a bigger project, such as your dresser’s contents.
Progress through bigger and bigger projects, gaining confidence as you go. You won’t believe how much you can accomplish!
8. Use Labels to Stay Organized
Labeling bins and baskets doesn’t just look nice, it helps you know where to put things when you’re done using them. Labeling isn’t limited to words and text, either. If you have children who aren’t reading yet, you can use symbols and pictures for their toys and belongings so they can still be involved in keeping things neat and tidy.
9. Turn Hangers The Same Way
This trick will help you keep tabs on which clothes you wear throughout the year, and it’s one of the best organization tips I share with clients!
When you’re organizing your closet, once you’ve purged everything you don’t want, make sure all the hangers are turned the same way when you put everything back. Then, once you’ve worn something, turn the hanger the other way.
This strategy will make it easy to assess what you actually wear and what you don’t when you revisit your wardrobe (after a season, after six months, or after a year; whatever timeframe you’ve set for yourself). That way, you can donate any items on hangers that you didn’t turn around.
My Favorite Organization Products
Now that you know my best organization tips and have a clear idea of what you already have (see #1), you can get products to help you with your projects.
I’ve tried various products as a professional organizer. These are my tried and true favorites for organizing and storing items in homes and offices. If you try any of them, let me know what you think!
Turntables and Lazy Susans
These are great for storing all sorts of items in different spaces. Plus, they’re fun to spin! I use turntables and lazy susans for:
storing oils in narrow and deep cabinets
pantries, so you can easily access your items without having to reach
keeping cleaning products under your sinks
Storage Latch Boxes
Storage latch boxes are very versatile and inexpensive solutions you can use anywhere in your home or office. They’re available in different sizes and various capacities so that you can use them in junk drawers, bathroom drawers, on shelves, in closets, etc. Also, because they snap closed, you know everything will stay put.
YouCopia Tea Stand
This tea stand is a tea lover’s space-saving dream! Plus, it makes it easy to see what tea you have available.
Water Hyacinth Bins
Open bins let you quickly access their contents, and these bins look great in many areas of your house. They’re also easy to clip labels onto.
YouCopia Spice Liner
Have a spice drawer? Use inexpensive liners to keep all your spices organized and easy to find. You can cut these liners to fit your drawer and hold spices of different jar sizes. They’re also easy to wipe down in the event of a spill!
If you keep your spices in a cabinet, spice racks are the perfect solution to maximize space and stay organized. Spice racks let you see all your spices and keep them in order, whether you prefer to alphabetize them, arrange them according to which ones you use most often, etc.
Adding an expandable spice organizer to a cabinet shelf is another great way to store and see your spices.
Expand a Shelf
Like the expandable spice organizer above, expandable shelves are an excellent tool for storing pantry items and seeing everything from front to back in your pantry. This one, in particular, has grips to keep things from sliding or falling off.
Over the Door Shopping Bag Holder
Do you stash plastic grocery bags away in a drawer or under the sink? An over-the-door shopping bag holder lets you keep grocery bags in a convenient, space-saving spot where you can quickly grab one anytime. The holder prevents you from collecting too many!
Ready to dive into your next home or office organizing project? Let these tips and product recommendations help you along the way! Tag me in your social media images of the finished job (@TheBrittishWay on Instagram and @BrittishWay on Facebook), so I can celebrate with you!