From messy linen closets to cluttered kitchen pantries, we’ve seen the wonders professional organizers can work when you hand them a label maker and a willing client. But as easy as they make it all look, tidying takes practice and what better place to use as testing ground than their own homes?
While we’re open to any and all suggestions (after all, ’tis the season for spring-cleaning), we want to know what organization essentials the experts personally recommend. So we asked them: What’s the best item you bought for your home?
Clean house like the pros with these seven no-fail products.
A Do-It-All Closet
No walk-in closet? Elevate what little space you have to house your wardrobe with a custom unit that lets you easily see and grab items on-the-go. Tracey Bowers of Organize Simply installed a version of The Container Store’s Elfa Closet system in her home.
“As a professional organizer, I like to make sure I love a product before I go out and convince my clients to purchase the same thing,” says Bowers. “Each category of clothing has a zone. For example, I have one rod with all my Organize Simply work shirts. I make sure that I only keep as many work shirts that will fit on that rod comfortably. The same thing applies for my shoes. If a new pair comes in, an older pair gets donated.”
Sleek and cohesive hangers are the ultimate secret when you want your closet to look as good as your wardrobe. If Cindy Huzenman, founder of Cindyology, had to choose just one product from her home to save in a fire, it’d be her felt hangers. “They have changed my life, as well as the lives of most of my clients,” she shares.
Aside from creating a sense of uniformity and preventing her clothes from hitting the floor, Huzenman loves that the hangers actually maximize her room for storage.
“I’m a big fan of hanging as much clothing as you can, and with the thin felt hangers, you can fit double the amount of clothes in one rod,” she continues. “They’re perfect for almost every piece of clothes except suits and heavy coats. But what they do for a closet is almost like what a chef can do for a meal.”
An Entryway Catchall
If you’re constantly losing track of your everyday belongings, this expert-approved find will change your daily routine for the better—at least that’s the case for Jamie Hord’s husband. The small jute container doubles as a cozy and eye-catching spot for keys, sunglasses, business cards, receipts, and anything else that might follow him into the house.
“One of my favorite organizing products I’ve brought into our home is this medium basket from The Container Store that I keep at the entryway for his items to land,” says the pro organizer and founder of Horderly. “We leave the lid off to avoid that extra step, but the best part is when we have guests over, we can simply throw the lid on.”
A Space-Savvy Key Holder
For small space dwellers who lack a proper entryway, you’ll be surprised by how much space you’ll gain with a tiny magnetic key holder. Beatrice Copeland—who you might know as the creator and host of Bea Organized—credits this genius Umbra find for making life a total breeze.
“Simply put, I have never lost my keys in my house. Ever,” says Copeland. “Having a designated home for the daily essentials like keys and mail is the only way to avoid misplacing them. It doesn’t hold a lot of mail, which in my opinion, is a plus. It forces me to read and sort my mail the moment I get home, which means no piles of mail cluttering my apartment.”
Maximized Under-the-Sink Storage
“I’d have to say one of my favorite products are these clear stacking drawers. I use them under kitchen and bathroom sinks because you can [fit] them around the piping,” suggests Pregenzer, noting they also work wonders in bathroom and linen closets to contain different categories of products.
“They come in a few different sizes and typically fit in those awkward spaces,” adds Roberts. “I really like that they’re easy to clean and instantly create a home for my skincare and beauty products.”
Tip: You can also snag inserts to subdivide the interior of the drawer if you’re working with smaller items of various categories.
A Fragrant Garbage Day Fix
Copeland’s second favorite small-space life-saver might not be glamorous, but it sure does make cooking and entertaining at home a whole lot easier and less stinky.
“A trash bin can take up valuable physical and visual space in a small apartment or house,” she says. “This product does the trick by keeping the trash and smells out of sight and out of mind. It’s not large, but if you’re living in a small household (or living a low-waste lifestyle) you may find that you have trouble filling a large trash bin before the garbage gets so smelly that you need to take it out.”
Extended Shelf Life
One peek inside a professional organizer’s home and you’ll quickly realize: Shoe boxes are not just for shoes. “There are lots of reasons to love this product,” says Katrina Teeple, founder of Operation Organization.
For odds and ends that can be safely stowed away (and out of sight), a shoe box is a space-saving lifesaver. “These classy-looking containers fit in most cabinets, on most shelves, can be put under the sink to store extra products, or used without their lid to categorize taller cleaning supplies,” adds Teeple.
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