I recently did a deep dive to transform the interior of my refrigerator and pantry from a chaotic free-for-all of produce, leftovers, dry goods and condiments to a well-organized, food-creation engine. For me, spending money on these 44 clever things that'll actually get you effing organized felt like an indulgence. But the end result is that whipping up a quick meal is so simple now that take-out is no longer on the menu. I also stopped wastefully tossing ingredients that spoiled before I had the energy to deal with them. I think it has saved money but it’s also made life much less frustrating.
I discovered that the first thing to do is identify space that wasn’t being used well and harness it with a clever storage solution. Next, I identified where the storage systems I had were frustrating to use and replaced them with smarter ways to store things. Finally, I created systems that make getting at things and putting them away super easy so that meal prep and cleanup is frictionless and efficient. The whole project went so well and is such a source of daily happiness for me that I’m starting on the rest of the house. First up? My chaotic closet.
Here are some ideas to help you get your house in order, too.
1. These clothes hangers that create more closet space
Each one of these vertical hangers can hold nine standard hangers vertically, which makes them a simple way to create space in your closet. You can also use them to organize by putting, say, all your button-downs on one hanger and slacks on another. There are six colors and each hanger can be rotated 360 degrees to fit your space. Plus, the hook moves along the hanger so you can shift from a vertical to horizontal position.
2. A set of clear bins so everything has a place
Get your kitchen in order by putting everything into designated bins. Whether you are storing dry goods in the pantry or fruit in the fridge, you can clearly see when you are running low and nothing gets lost in the back. There are ten bins here — five are 8 inches wide and five are 6 inches wide — to organize the entire kitchen.
3. An ottoman with plenty of secret storage
Whether you set it in front of the couch to store magazine or toys, near the entry to hide shoes, or at the foot of the bed for spare pillows and blankets, this storage ottoman will tidy the place up quickly with storage that’s within easy reach. It has nearly 10,000 reviews, and many people say it solved their storage problem, looks great, and is worthy of five stars.
4. This big bag of cable organizers for all your wires
This collection of stick-on cable organizers can take on your entire desk decluttering project or just deal with one recalcitrant wire. Stick the clip to a handy surface and snap the cord into it to stop it from dangling or getting in the way.
5. A rack that makes all your bakeware easy to reach
Eliminate the chaos in your lower cabinets by putting all the pan, platters, cutting boards, or baking sheets into this vertical storage stand. They will take up less space and be so much easier to find and put away. The steel wire dividers move so you can create the space you need and non-slip feet keep the rack from sliding around.
6. This over-the-door pocket organizer for instant organization
Hang this clever organizer over the bathroom, closet, or pantry door and give yourself some instant, easily accessible organization in seconds. The hooks at the top slide right over the door frame and four pockets — with windows so you can see what’s in them — hold everything from baby supplies to personal care products. There are eight colors to choose from and nearly 20,000 people give it five stars.
7. A memo board that mounts to your monitor
Stick this clear memo board to the side of your monitor to keep all the things you need to see in the same place. There is a phone mount at the bottom — with a pass-through for a charging cable — and a clear surface to stick memos and reminders to. A clip at the top is a great place to stick a reference page as you work.
8. The perfect shelf for under the sink or on a counter
This double-tiered shelf is sized just right to fit under a sink but it looks nice enough to set on top of the counters, too, so it’s super versatile and useful. The shelves are vented so that items on it will dry, and there are two hooks for hanging sponges or brushes.
9. An organizer for all your coffee & tea supplies
Keep everything from the cups to the tea bags to the pods to the snacks in one handy place where you can find it (and guests don’t need your help finding the sugar) by organizing it into this on-counter condiment organizer. It’s designed to hold everything you need in a coffee bar or break room.
10. An organizer for all your storage container lids
The lids for your many storage containers are odd-sized items to store, but this organizer does it right and it holds them vertically so you can find what you need. The moveable slots let you build a system that fits what you have and the whole thing fits neatly on a shelf.
11. An expandable spice rack so you can see all the jars
This spice rack isn’t just pretty, it’s clever. It is actually two shelves — each is 12.6 inches wide — that are designed to fit together so that they will fit into a space that’s anywhere from 13 to 25 inches wide. Just slide them together or apart. Each shelf has three tiers so you can see what’s in the back and a 3-inch deep shelf for spice jars.
12. This folding laptop desk that’s so versatile
This laptop desk folds up small so you can carry it like a tiny suitcase, and it then opens up to be a big work surface, a place to eat in bed, or even a small camping table that’s perfect between two beach chairs. It comes in seven color combinations and weighs less than three pounds.
13. A roll-up dish rack that goes over the sink
Unroll this genius dish drying rack over the sink, and let the washed dishes drip into the sink instead of onto your counters. A utensil cup in the side holds flatware and kitchen tools and snaps out when you want to roll up the stainless steel drying rack and store it in a drawer.
14. These adjustable organizers for any drawer
These drawer dividers expand from 11 to 17 inches just by pushing a button and sliding them open or closed. That means you can use them to design any organization system in just about any drawer. This is a six-pack that will take your drawers from mayhem to sorted in seconds.
15. This clever tea bag organizer for your entire collection
Instead of jamming all your teas into a cupboard where you quickly forget what you have, organize and display them in this countertop shelf. There are nine removable containers that sit on the three shelves, and you can see your entire collection and choose a brew by removing the appropriate dish.
16. This storage shelf for holding wine bottles or towels
Mount this clever rack to the wall and turn your rolled towels or wine bottles from something you have to store to something that’s on display. You will always be able to find a towel or a bottle of wine and the rack easily holds six of either one.
17. This cutting board that organizes food production
As you cut your vegetables, just use your knife to slide them into the opening on this clever cutting board and drop them into the container below. When it’s full, slide in another drawer to collect whatever you’re chopping. And the containers stack neatly for the cooking stage or for storage.
18. A big lined basket for fast storage & organization
Anywhere there is a clutter of pillows, toys, shoes, or blankets can be quickly and easily cleaned up with the application of this decorative, linen-lined basket. Instead of dropping towels on the floor, drop them in here. It is large enough for pillows but small enough to set next to a bench for socks and shoes.
19. This pan organizer that’s expandable
Stacking all the pans in a heap makes cooking and cleaning much harder because you can’t find what you need. This organizing rack stacks your pans — or lids, plates, or cutting boards — on their side so you can grab the one you want, and it makes putting them away dead simple.
20. A slender cart on wheels for quick storage anywhere
This slim cart slides easily into small spaces and holds a surprising amount of gear. Casters on the bottom make it easy to slide out of hiding to locate what you need, and those casters lock when you want it to stay still. It comes in three colors, snaps together easily, and has hooks for hanging storage.
21. These wire shelf dividers so your folded piles don’t fall
Snap these dividers right onto your wire shelves to keep stacks of towels, clothing, or bedding from falling over and recreating the chaos you just cleaned up. This is a pack of eight shelves that snap in quickly and easily and will take your closet to order in minutes.
22. A 3-pack of giant storage containers for clothes & linens
When you are storing blankets, pillows, winter coats, or off-season clothing, these three big storage containers will get it done quickly and easily. Zip them open, pack your items in, and zip them closed. You can see what’s inside through the clear window, and they will stay put on a shelf or stack in a corner of the attic or storage unit.
23. This container & dispenser for cotton swabs
Store cotton swabs in this clever container and they will stay clean and accessible. You can grab one from the dispenser on the bottom one-handed and without opening a jar. It holds lots of swabs in a compact space, is easy to fill, and comes in several color options.
24. A genius storage system for mops, brooms, or garden tools
Mount this broom holder to the inside of a closet door or an outdoor wall and transform that unused space into smart storage for anything with a long handle — like a mop, broom, rake, or shovel. It holds five long-handled tools in the snap-in clamps, and the four hooks hold lots more.
25. The clever spoon rest that serves several purposes
Set a spoon on this decorative spoon rest, and it will stand upright so you can use it again. In fact, set two large cooking utensils on it and add the pan lid you just removed while you stir and taste your sauce. It will also hold a tablet or your phone when you want to follow a recipe. Even when it’s empty, it looks nice on the counter, and it then snaps apart for easy cleaning.
26. These floating wall shelves for instant, decorative storage
Turn your collections, bathroom products, spices, or plants into decorations by hanging these three, matching rustic wooden wall shelves on the wall of the bathroom, bedroom, or living room. Turn whatever you have into art and you will save on storage space and make your place look cute. There are three sizes of the same style for a cohesive look, and you can choose from six colors.
27. A big collection of chalkboard labels you can reuse
Label your pantry storage, drawers, or shelf baskets with these erasable chalkboard labels. And when you change your mind about what to store in there, you can erase them and rewrite onto the same label. There are 96 labels in various shapes, and they come with a liquid chalk marker.
28. The wall-mounted mail station for order at the entryway
Mount this entryway organizer near the front door and stop the clutter that drifts into the kitchen every day. There are hooks for keys, a shelf for sundries like your wallet and sunglasses, and a perfect spot to drop the mail until you have time to read it. It looks terrific and is easy to install.
29. This round tray that turns storage into art
Set one of these 8-inch trays down next to the sink, on a side table, or on your vanity, and they will transform your candles, cosmetics, jewelry, or other items into a decorative storage space that’s easy to move when it’s time to dust. It’s made of food-grade stainless steel and painted a decorative gold.
30. A wall-mounted toothbrush station for an orderly bathroom
Get all the clutter and mess that’s spread all over the bathroom vanity into this wall-mounted storage system that holds four toothbrushes and a toothpaste dispenser. It also has a shelf for assorted products, comes with its own drinking cups, and removes easily for cleaning. Your bathroom will be organized like you never imagined.
31. This huge collection of excellent coat hangers
What does it take to get over 3,000 people to take the time to rave in an Amazon review about a coat hanger? A velvet covering that keeps clothes from sliding off, a slim profile that makes it easy to fit more clothes in the closet, and a highly functional chrome hook that rotates 360 degrees? All of that, apparently.
32. This simple over-the-toilet storage shelf
Install this shelving system right where you need it in the bathroom: Over the toilet. It provides three handy shelves for towels, paper products, and toiletries by taking advantage of that wasted vertical space. It’s easy to assemble and comes in three finishes.
33. A cleaner that helps remove fingerprints on stainless steel
Stainless steel appliances can be a bit of a battle to keep clean, but this stainless steel cleaner kit can definitely help. Reviewers say it works quickly, makes appliances shine, and the polishing effect keeps fingerprints from happening for weeks.
34. The covers that make cleaning appliance handles obsolete
If you feel like you spend too much time wiping fingerprints off the handles of your appliances, these covers are here to free you from that chore. They wrap around the handles, are a soft fabric that looks and feels great, and they do not show fingerprints. When they do get dirty, weeks from now, just throw the pair in the wash.
35. A pair of genius magnetic curtain tiebacks
Instead of getting out the drill and mounting a curtain tieback to the window frame, just snap these two tiebacks around the curtain for a modern look that’s simple and easy to implement. The decorative, pearl balls are magnetic so you just touch them together and the woven, fabric rope holds the curtain in place. There are four color options.
36. The solution to your rugs that slide around & curl up
Stick these rug grippers to the underside of your area rugs, then press them onto the floor and that rug will stay put without curling up at the edges, sliding across the floor when the dog takes a corner, or inching down the hall. They are adhesive on both sides and are clearly marked so you know what to do.
37. A set of colorful mats for a cleaner fridge
Line the shelves in your fridge with these colorful, easy-to-clean mats and simultaneously color-code, beautify, and clean the fridge. The squishy surface gives produce a soft landing and the mats remove easily for cleaning. And not only will the colors look nice when you open the fridge, they let also you create a color-coded system for food storage.
38. A stainless steel bar that removes stubborn odors
Rubbing this stainless steel bar in your hands as if it were a bar of soap works remarkably well for removing all kinds of strong odors. Sulfur molecules bond to stainless steel and depart your hands — or wherever you rub it — when you rinse them. Each of these two bars come with a cute stand for storing it near the sink.
39. A heavy-duty shower curtain that’s — finally — quite awesome
So many shower curtains are subpar, but this one is a heavy-duty fabric that keeps water in the shower. It uses clear stones to weigh it down instead of useless magnets, has grommets so the shower hooks don’t tear through it, and it stays free of mildew. Reviewers love it and give it over 48,000 five-star reviews.
40. A water-resistant table cloth that repels stains
When you spill something on this table cloth, the water pools and is rejected by the fabric so you can wipe it up without leaving a stain or wet patch. It also washes well, irons well, has a substantial feel, and comes in 24 colors.
41. The splash guard that keeps your shirt from getting wet
This clever silicone splash guard installs between you and the sink so that when you do dishes the water spray doesn’t leave you with a wet stomach. It suctions onto the counter in front of the sink so you can install it to wash or leave it on all the time, as you prefer. It comes in three colors.
42. These gloves that protect your hands while you clean
Don these protective gloves before you get out the harsh cleaning products or dip your hands into soapy dishwater to protect your skin from chemicals and the drying effects of hot, soapy water. The longer length keeps drips from getting inside, and the materials is odorless and resists oil, grease, and solvents.
43. This couch cover that’s so stretchy it goes right on
Just slip this cover right over your couch and protect it from pets or spills. It’s also a great way to get another year or two out of a couch that’s starting to look tired. The fabric looks like corduroy — and comes in 37 colors — but is super flexible and soft. The positions are labeled so it’s easy to put on and foam inserts keep the cover snugly in place.
44. The hands-free phone holder that gives you more comfort
The bendy arms of this phone holder are long enough to loop around your neck and hold the phone where you can see it while your hands are free. It will stand on a table or floor, act as a desk stand, or even work as a car mount. Just bend the arms into the shape you want and snap the phone into the mount. Almost 9,000 people give it five stars.
This article was originally published on