Especially when you live in a small space like an apartment, staying organized is extremely important to keep your home neat and tidy. As I’m writing this, my house is in less than perfect condition as there are random items out the counter, there’s laundry to be folded, and there are work bags and shoes sitting on the floor. But…typically, I try to make an effort to keep things in order.
To do so, I have a few go-to items that are key to helping me keep my space organized. Before I moved into my own apartment, I thought that I would go crazy at The Container Store and Target buying all kinds of products that would help me keep everything in its place. I pinned all the pins on organization, and was excited to stock up on all the tools I thought I would need. But the reality is, you don’t need to spend all of that money on containers and systems in order to have an organized space. In my opinion, having all of that in an apartment will just make it more difficult to keep things tidy. Sometimes, less really is more.
Now that I’ve lived in two different apartments, I think I’m in a good groove of how to keep our stuff in some kind of order. Take a look at my go-to products, room by room, for doing so.
The kitchen is probably the toughest to keep organized, because it requires the most tools and accessories that are most frequently used. The thing I have the most trouble with is our “pantry”…or lack thereof. We don’t have an actual pantry, so our lazy Susan is stocked with most of our food items, and I use one large cabinet for all my bigger items, like flour, sugar, bags of chips and snacks, and so on. To keep that organized, I use these bins (which are actually meant to go in the fridge, but they work perfectly for this purpose). I have them in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they hold all my spices in the lazy Susan and all my baking supplies in the other cabinet. It makes things much easier to find and keep tidy, which makes a world of difference in these spots if you ask me. I bought a bunch of these at HomeGoods and they were very inexpensive.
When you’re short on space, namely cabinet space, it is tough to have and organize a lot of serveware and bakeware. I have a set of nesting bowls that is a lifesaver in this sense, because they’re a range of sizes, so I use them for everything – cooking, baking, putting chips out when people are over, serving dinner in, and so on. But, the best thing is that they don’t take up a lot of room in my cabinets because they are all stored inside one another, which is perfect. I highly recommend getting a set because you will use them all the time.
The last item I wanted to highlight for the kitchen is a plastic bag holder, because in all honesty, if you open the cabinet under my kitchen sink right now…on one side an avalanche of plastic target and grocery bags will probably come falling down. My mom has the best thing in her pantry, which is one of these nifty holders (she’s had it forever), and whenever we need a plastic bag we grab it from one end, and whenever we get home from the store we store the new ones in there (it has a seemingly never-ending capacity). This makes keeping them together so easy, and that way you always have some when you need them. My mom just told me she bought me one, so I’m obviously excited about that. It’s really the little things in life…:)
I don’t have a ton of organizational items in our bedroom, mostly because it’s a pretty tiny space. But I do have a few to note. First, I have one of these awesome scarf hangers (why didn’t I think to invent these?!), which is great because I used to have all my scarves just in a canvas bin and I would always forget to ever wear them. Now, they are hanging up with the rest of my clothes, so I see them all the time and can’t forget about them, but they’re not just in a jumbled mess. I bought mine at HomeGoods.
Next, because I have a lot of clothes and we have small closets, I use these Ziploc space bags to store clothes in during the off season (like during the winter, I put my summer clothes in them). I fold everything up, place it in the bags, and then you seal it and use the vacuum to compress everything to make the bag smaller. It saves a lot of space and you can put the bags under your bed, in a closet, or wherever is convenient for you. They come in different shapes and sizes, and they’re also great for linens and bedding.
Finally, I use a few canvas bins in my bedroom to store my shoes. I have a lot of flats, sneakers, booties, and so on…and they take up a lot of room! I know there are a lot of different ways to store shoes, but this is just the way that works for me because it’s easy and convenient.
Luckily, our bathroom has a huge linen closet in it and it makes it easy to organize and we have ample space to store things. But, I do use a few organization items in the bathroom. Again, I love canvas bins. I have one in our closet to hold random things like spare hand soaps, Wallflowers, and so on. It’s kind of just a catchall. These are also perfect to store cleaning supplies in.
Also in our bathroom, I keep plastic containers under the sink to hold things like medicine, hair products, and cosmetics. I just have a run of the mill one like this that I stand everything up in so it’s there whenever we need it. This keeps it out of the way, but still easily accessible. I also love how it’s clear so we can see inside it so that if we’re not sure where something is, we don’t have to rummage through the bin to see if it’s there. We can just look without even opening the bin.
To keep smaller cosmetics, I love something simple and easily accessible like this. For things like nail polish, hair bands, bobby pins, makeup, and so on, this is a great way to keep things together so that they’re not scattered about in your drawers or medicine cabinet.
The last room I wanted to highlight a few items for is the laundry room. We actually have a decent sized laundry space, and it’s so nice to keep it organized. We have a big oversized hamper (which is really hard to find! We found ours at HomeGoods and it’s GIANT and so durable). We use that for our dirty clothes. Next, we have rolling laundry cart (just got this one, but also love this one to iron on!) to put our clean clothes in when they come out of the dryer and then we bring them to the family room to fold them. It’s a process, but it keeps everything really organized and I like being able to do several loads of laundry in a row and I just pile the clean stuff in and fold it all at once after I’m done.
Finally, this may come as a shock 😉 but I use canvas bins to keep things in the laundry room organized. I use one for things that need to be dry cleaned and another for random things like laundry supplies and belts. Nothing fancy here!
Besides the moral of this story being that I’m obsessed with canvas bins, I hope these affordable and simple organization items help you keep your space neat and tidy!