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16 organization ideas for every room in the house

To say that home storage and organization is having a moment is an understatement—between the collective bingefest that was Get Organized by The Home Edit and the sheer amount of time we’ve all had to settle into our our own four walls and notice all the corners that could be optimized and improved, well, it only makes sense that we’ve all had the urge to organize and improve our living space.

a screen shot of a living room: organization ideas

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organization ideas

And that’s why we’ve pulled together some of the most clever and creative organization ideas for every room in the house. These achievable looks will instantly foster a sense of calmness and zen in your space—even if you’ve never really considered yourself to be all that organized.

Below, we’ve listed out a handful of organization ideas for every room in the house. Whether you’re hoping to add some aesthetically-pleasing order to your closet or fridge á la Clea and Joanna, or you need a bigger overhaul to help clean up your spare bedroom or your garage, the following ideas are super practical and will make your home feel instantly more pulled together.

1. Consider a glass cabinet in an unused corner of the living room

If you’d prefer to showcase your worldly possessions rather than store them away for no one to see or appreciate, a glass cabinet will be a great addition to your space. While it does offer a peak at what you’re storing, it still helps contain and control the amount of stuff you keep in storage.

The only downside is that, since it’s see through, you’ll have to ensure you’re committed to keeping it tidy and organized—no hastily shoving in rogue paperwork or boxes when guests drop in unexpectedly.

2. Downsize your wardrobe—and keep everything visible

Before doing anything drastic in terms of wardrobe storage, take an honest look at what’s hanging in your closet and see if there’s anything you no longer wear and consider donating it if it’s still in good shape. The rule of thumb: If you haven’t worn it in a year, toss it. (Though you may want to take a modified approach to this given that most of us haven’t worn anything other than loungewear and yoga gear in the last 12 months).

From there, try to keep everything hanging and visible so that it’s easy to grab when getting dressed in the morning. Consider taking clothes out of drawers and putting them on hangers or even getting rid of the doors if you have a larger-sized closet.

3. Ditch grocery bags and boxes in favor of clear fridge containers 

It can be overwhelming to look into the fridge and see a sea of produce bags, cardboard boxes, and various other unnecessary containers. Instead, ditch all the extra bags, boxes, and containers and immediately place groceries into clear containers.

Not only will this allow you to fit even more into your fridge and inspire you to get cooking, it’ll also help ensure that nothing gets pushed to the back of the fridge to go bad.

For extra credit, use a label maker to assign a job to each box. 

4. Color code your bookcase

Whether you love your packed, messy bookshelf or you’re longing to find a way to optimize it in order to fit in more books, color-coding your books is one of the easiest ways to make a messy bookshelf look much more put together (even if it’s packed to the gills).

5. Add an interesting shelving unit above the bed

Working with a smaller bedroom? Go vertical! The space above your bed is the perfect spot to install an interesting shelving unit. Not only will it allow you to get various items up and off the ground but it creates an opportunity to turn your clutter into an interesting work of art.

6. Don’t overlook the dead space in the kitchen pantry

A pantry is a true blessing in terms of storing and organizing kitchen items—but it can easily become overrun with spices, over-purchased items, and extra appliances. If you’re struggling to find the space in your pantry to even begin thinking of organizing, look to the pantry door! The vertical space on the door can easily be transformed with an over-the-door storage rack for spices, dry pastas, and other small kitchen essentials.

7. Short on bathroom counter space? Try adding a compact cabinet

A non-existent bathroom counter can be tough to navigate—but a compact cabinet is a great option for storing things like toothpaste, skincare, towels, and even extra toilet paper and shampoo if needed. Alternatively, swapping out a plain mirror for a hanging mirrored cabinet can work for smaller bathrooms.

Gallery: 14 craft ideas to try at home (Real Homes)

8. Make organization part of the fun in the playroom

The playroom can present a whole host of organization issues—you want something that’s easy for kids to grab-and-go and also makes storing and tidying something the kids are inclined to partake in. Aim for something that looks fun and fits into the vibe of the space, like this Giraffe-shaped wicker basket, but also allows for a quick and easy clean up.

9. Make the most of every nook and cranny in the hallway and entrance

Whether your entryway is big or small, optimizing its nooks and crannies (especially the vertical space), will allow you to grab everything you need before heading out the door—and dropping everything at the door once back home. A cabinet that offers open shelving and closed storage makes it easy to prioritize what you use on a daily basis versus what you only pull out every now and then.

10. Short on cabinet space? Tuck a buffet into the dining room

A small kitchen usually isn’t the end of the world—but a lack of kitchen cabinets can present a real problem if you’re trying to find a spot to store your various appliances, dishes, or all those novelty mugs we seem to amass.

Rather than stressing about finding the space in your kitchen or pantry, consider adding a buffet in the dining room. A long buffet offers heaps of space for storing and organizing kitchenware and also adds a touch of elegance to the dining space.

11. Create individual grab-and-go stations in the mud room

Struggling with keeping the kids’ gear organized in the mud room? Create individual grab-and-go stations! Think of these as locker for each member of the family; the schoolhouse-inspired allotted space will make it easy for kids (and adults!) to store their gear upon entering the house so nothing gets lost in the mix. Hall trees are the perfect solution if you don’t have a mudroom with built-in space for storage. 

12. Optimize the spare bedroom with subtle storage

Whether you have guests stay the night frequently or your spare bedroom rarely sees a visitor, there are super easy ways to optimize the space in the guest bed to create subtle storage solutions (that your guests won’t even notice!). Consider adding a bench with storage at the end of the bed—or better yet, opt for a bed that has built-in storage space.

13. Add see-through drawers to maximize laundry room space

The laundry room can easily become a clutter drop zone if you’re not careful—but adding see-through drawers will ensure you keep everything you need clearly visible. The downside is that you’ll need to make sure everything stays tidy… but you’ll be grateful for the pared down storage when you go looking for the fabric softener.

14. Add storage that doubles as patio seating

Whether you’re big into patio gardening or you prefer getting your grill on during the summer months, organizing your patio gear is as easy as adding inventive storage that doubles as seating. The subtle solution will save you space and hide your gear when not in use—but also saves you from having to run inside when you need a barbecue brush or watering can.

15. Reclaim vertical space in the garage

The goal here is to get organized—but also save space for you to actually park your car in the garage. Using vertical space like bike racks and storage cubes is surprisingly effective, easy to see and grab what you need when you need it, and actually looks quite cool.

16. Use the space under the bed

No more room in the closet? Make use of the space under the bed by storing out of season clothes there, neatly packed in boxes or bins. Changing the clothes in your closet each season also gives you a chance to go through your wardrobe to decide what you wear and what you don’t, and purge accordingly. 

Home organization tips

Before going on a shopping binge at The Container Store, it’s vital to really consider exactly what your household really needs. Think about the types of items you need to store: what sizes are you dealing with? How frequently do you use each item—are they pulled out on a seasonal basis or do you need them more frequently? Do you want to have everything on display, or would you prefer subtle organization solutions that get stored away?

After taking an honest inventory of exactly what areas of your home could benefit from organization and potentially even doing a quick purge of unwanted or unused items, you’ll have a clearer idea of what you really need and what will work for your household in real life.

Once that’s done, here are a few tips to help you get the organization process started.

Focus on one room at a time

Trying to organize your entire home at one time is a recipe for overwhelm. 

Instead, smart small. Identify a room in the house to organize, and begin by choosing one project in that room to focus on at a time. For example, if it’s your kitchen that needs help, start by creating an organized spice drawer, perhaps with a matching set of labeled spice containers. Then, move on to the pantry, then tackle the fridge. 

Use matching containers

If you’re going to spend time organizing, you don’t want to create visual chaos in the process. Decide on a type of storage container for each space in your home. All the containers in your refrigerator should match, for example. as should the baskets in your closet and pantry. Many stores offer matching storage sets in various sizes so you can accommodate various items.  

Don’t forget the label maker. 

Part of getting organized is creating systems that help you stay organized. Creating a place for everything and putting everything in its place only works if you remember where that place is. Once you identify a basket, a bin, a container or a shelf for a group of items, label it. This will also help family members and guests figure out where to put things.