Who here loves clutter? Nobody, that’s who! And yet we all seem to suffer from it, at least to a certain extent. There are those extreme minimalist among us for whom even a book out on a table would be considered too much clutter for their happy home. Then there are those of us who see triumph in being able to squeeze one car into a two-car garage. Nobody’s right and nobody’s wrong in those examples and there are a wide range of in-between states. There are even people more extreme on both ends!
But whether you’re living in a tiny home or a McMansion, whether you can count your possessions on one hand or need NASA to help calculate just how much stuff you have, everybody can be a little happier by controlling that clutter. We’re not talking about decreasing it here. These are simply some helpful hints, tips, tricks and inspiration for dealing with the amount of junk you have, not the amount of junk you want. Although, many of these ideas do make use of stuff you might already have lying around.
Starting with a perfect picnic helper, this egg carton and some plastic Easter eggs become a fun, neat way to bring healthy snacks with you just about anywhere.
Those neat woven wicker magazine bins they sell at many stores can easily become a handy, attractive linen “closet” if your home doesn’t already feature one.
Milk jugs make simply amazing storage containers, with a few snips and some velcro. If you have a punch for adding plastic snaps to clothing, you can make that closure even more secure!
Sometimes this is an antique store find, but if you live in a rural area or are a wine aficionado, you might have some wooden crates like these sitting in the garage, basement or attic, waiting for a fresh coat of paint and a new life as cool mudroom shelves.
Those of use in older homes might even have an old sash or casement from a window long-replaced, and all it takes to turn that into a shabby-chic jewelry organizer is a staple gun and some wire mesh from the hardware store.
Old ladders have all kinds of uses, but a really perfect one is as a space-saving, multi-layered drying station. With the cross bars you can hang up so much more in a tight space than a clothes line or rod.
Shoe organizers have become such a popular item for organizing anything but shoes that they even sell specialized versions with smaller pockets. But admit it, you’ve still got one from five Christmases ago, tucked away in a closet. Make it work!
Here’s a novel, creative idea. We all know this classic craft project is great for catching dreams, but it can also catch your earrings!
Moving away from the stylish and artistic, let’s jump into something purely practical. Ziploc bags are inexpensive, durable, and these days even come with a built in label for writing on. From electronics to toiletries, these handy little baggies can get you sorted like a boss.
Those of us without large vanity sinks know the agony of trying to find a decent place to keep your toothbrush. How about in your medicine cabinet, with notches cut into the shelf to allow the brushes to hang freely and dry easily? We’re kicking ourselves that we didn’t think of this one.
More jug recycling! Actually, our favorite in this collage is for you quilters out there who know the pain of setting to work and finding that, well, you can’t find that one piece. Or maybe a whole set of pieces you just cut two days ago! A plastic cookie tray to the rescue? Absolutely genius.
We’ve shown off curtain rods in other handy spots. This one will sort and straighten even the craziest bathroom or utility sink undercabinet. Those cleaning products won’t be the messiest part of your house anymore.
Be careful with this one. We prefer cans with the pull tab lids for projects like this. The lip is less likely to have any super sharp edges and the smooth ring is easily covered with contact paper for fun, simple, DIY small-item storage.
Who knew empty toilet paper tubes had any use beyond children’s craft projects? Well, those of us who have discovered how perfect they are for wrangling all those cords we have from our electronics-soaked lifestyles. The best part? A Sharpie makes clearly labelling each cord a breeze. Don’t like that brown cardboard look? Dress it up with washi tape!
How many of you have found yourself with one of these and wondered, “what am I going to do with this ugly, beat-up, heavy steel monstrosity?” Rather than kick it to the curb, yank those drawers, give it a fresh coat of durable outdoor paint or epoxy finish, and set it on its side as an awesome yard tool organizer, of course.
Spice racks are for spices, right? Well yes, of course, but kick a cute one out of the kitchen and into your bedroom or bathroom and it becomes a startlingly effective organizer for nail polish and other cosmetics.
Right? Never wonder where you can find JUST ONE of these little guys ever again. All those days scrambling to find that one you know you just saw so you can leave the house are gone for good.
The CD rack. Most thrift stores have a Manhattan-sized stockpile of these tiny, slotted towers. But why? Well, because nobody realized how perfect they are for children’s books. Whoa. Not all are compatible like this, so if you’re buying one, double check.
Pots and pans take up a ton of room if you store them in a cupboard or on a shelf. Hang them from a wall and all that space is free again. Some chalkboard paint and chalk will let you know just where each one fits, for those days where you’re really cooking.