The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Don't Waste Your Money may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.
Do you sometimes look around your home and wonder how to control the chaos? Our busy lives (work, getting kids to school or practice, etc.) often mean we rush in and out, dropping our stuff quickly to get the next to-do item crossed off the list.
But, when the crazy settles down a little, we see the clutter scattered everywhere and wish we had a magic wand to make it all disappear. While there may be no magic wand to wave to put all our stuff away, there are ways to make the task of cleaning easier.
Professional organizers and declutterers have a number of tricks up their sleeves to help their clients get their homes and lives in order.
The first step for anyone looking to organize their home is to get control over the stuff in it.
Professional organizer and author of “Being Owned: A Decade in Professional Decluttering” Jasmine Sleigh emphasizes the importance of taking a close look at what we have in our homes and the value we place on those things.
“Someone needs to take the confident step to say ‘we are doing this’ and make a start,” Sleigh told Don’t Waste Your Money. “It does not matter if it is not perfect, but it is important to ask … ‘are you serving my aims and needs?'”
Another professional organizer, Alyssa VanNuys, owner of Relax Home and Business, turned her passion for decluttering and organizing into a thriving career.
Organizing and decluttering can feel overwhelming for do-it-yourselfers, which is why professional organizers encourage patience when first starting.
“Change is gradual,” VanNuys said in our interview. “I encourage my clients to give themselves grace.”
She recommends setting a daily timer for short, structured cleaning time to make getting started easier.
Then, once your stuff is decluttered, it’s a matter of finding the right storage methods for each person and purchasing what’s needed.
In our conversation, VanNuys said buying bins, shelving and other storage containers is “an investment.” However, it’s not necessary to spend a fortune. In fact, both professionals recommended repurposing items in your home to help you get organized, and after that, picking up organizing tools that are affordable or on sale. These 10 organizing essentials priced at $30 or less follow their guiding principles for moving toward a neater home without spending a ton of cash.
A flocked hanger has a soft covering to help prevent clothes from sliding off and falling on the closet floor. Their thin design also saves valuable space.
“You can fit about 1/3 more clothes [in the closet],” Sleigh told us. “And there’s no slippage of blouses and shirts.”
Buy House Day Flocked Felt Hangers – 20 pack at Amazon for $17.99 (was $24.99).
If your drawers are giving you nightmares, the professionals we spoke with recommend finding ways to keep things compartmentalized.
Sleigh said she uses small drawer dividers “to keep our small [stuff] compact and separated, as we access those belongings every day.”
Buy Mainstays Set of 5 Flexible Drawer Storage Organizers at Walmart for $4.96.
Sturdy storage containers are a must-have for any organizing project. But VanNuys emphasized the importance of picking up clear bins with locking lids (like these Sterilite bins that come in two sizes) when storing your stuff. The locks keep things from falling out when moving them around.
She said seeing what’s inside the bins helps keep her clients on top of what is stored inside and how much is there. This gives them easy access to what they need while setting some parameters on the number of items kept.
Buy Sterilite 105-Quart Plastic Latch Storage Box at Walmart for $15.98.
We like that this drawer organizer set follows two of the rules the professionals set out: Use clear bins, and go for compact sizing when it comes to keeping drawers in order. This set is perfect for desks and bathroom vanities where there always seem to be little objects that disappear in drawers.
This set comes with 25 bins for just $16 right now. While the boxes are normally priced at $26.63, they are currently on sale for 25% off, and have an additional 20% coupon that can be applied at checkout.
Buy Vtopmart 25 PCS Clear Plastic Drawer Organizers Set at Amazon for $16 (was $26.63).
Before you know it, summer will end, and you’ll need a place to store those seasonal clothes. These 90-liter bags are sturdy and have a see-through side panel to make identifying what’s inside a cinch.
This set is currently marked down 50%, and there’s a 30% off coupon to clip right now, too.
Buy 6-Pack of Foldable Storage Bags at Amazon for $15.98 (was $44.99).
Keeping the space underneath cabinets organized often gets overlooked. Out of sight, out of mind. But you want to be able to find all of those cleaners, soaps or other items you need to grab at a moment’s notice.
The Container Store’s 2-drawer under cabinet organizer is an easy storage solution.
The organizer’s drawers slide easily to make access simple, and are designed not to slide back and fall out.
Buy 2-Drawer Under Cabinet Organizer at The Container Store for $27.99.
Sometimes, a basic piece of furniture is all you need to get your room in order.
This bookshelf has three shelves to hold bins, books or whatever you’d like, but it is compact enough to tuck into a cozy corner. This could be a great addition to a kids’ bedroom or office.
Buy Mainstays Bookshelf with Adjustable Shelves at Walmart for $24.96.
Tired of the pantry being in shambles whenever someone grabs a snack? This is the perfect solution!
These organizing bins display what’s up for grabs to eat and keep everything contained. You can also use the removable dividers to separate different foods or make bags stand up easier.
Buy ClearSpace Plastic Pantry Organization Bins with Removable Dividers at Amazon for $23.99 (was $29.99).
A 9-cube organizer allows organizers to showcase favorite items, such as books, and hide all of the small objects that can clutter up a room.
Buy Zimtown 9-Cube Organizer at Walmart for $21.99 (was $27.54).
Pick up these six cubes to go in your 9-cube organizer for less than $20!
These fabric cubes have handles for convenient portability if you need to get something off the shelf. They also collapse flat for easy storage.
Choose from eight different colors, although some prices may vary by a few cents.
Buy Amazon Basics Collapsible Fabric Storage Cubes (Set of 6) at Amazon for $19.80.