There are two types of people in this world - those who are organized, and those who aren't. There's no doubt that our individual personalities determine which one you're most naturally inclined towards, but even the most disorganized among us can have an organized home - it all starts by investing in a few pieces of furniture that will be conducive to that end.
To help you organize your home, we spoke with some professional organizers who know a thing or two about how to make the most efficient, streamlined space possible that still looks visually beautiful. We figured the best advice would involve taking a leaf out of their book, so we asked them which items you'll find in their home - and every other organized person's you know - that they swear by for a more efficient space. Here are five suggestions to introduce to your home today.
1. A shoe rack
It might sound like a relatively rudimentary idea in the world of home organization, but you'll without a doubt find a shoe rack within the homes of your most organized acquaintances. The fact that it's such a common downfall for the rest of us shows exactly why. Just imagine a world where you weren't running around in the morning in a desperate attempt to find your second shoe...
'A simple shoe rack bench works well in an entryway or mudroom,' advises Ben Soreff, professional organizer at H2H Organizing. 'Shoes need to be reviewed and only those you wear frequently and in season should be kept in the everyday shoe rack. With kids in the mix the shoe area gets cluttered fast, so a giant shoe rack isn't going to solve your problem.'
This means you'll need a secondary space to store those shoes you don't wear regularly. Designate a spot in your closet if you have one, or try under-bed storage containers like these ones from Amazon if you're limited in space. We also love this $3 shoe rack from IKEA for keeping shoes in pairs.
2. Uniform clothes hangers
Uniform hangers might not be top of your priority list, but you're guaranteed to find them in every organized person's closet. 'One item I always recommend to my clients is matching velvet hangers,' recommends Aaron Traub, owner of Professional Organizer New Orleans. 'Thanks to the velvet texture, their sleek design maximizes closet space and keeps clothing securely in place and off the ground. I use them in my home and highly recommend them to many clients.' His team share many a closet transformation over on their Instagram, and matching velvet hangers always feature.
If you want to take your closet organization to the next level, the simple act of ensuring you have matching hangers will make the interior look oh-so-satisfying. To ensure functionality as well as aesthetic appeal, try these space-saving hangers from Amazon which come with a beautiful wood-effect rod.
3. Trash dividers
In a bit of a running theme, some of the biggest signs of an organized home are actually hidden behind closed doors. Trash can dividers are yet another example of ultra levels of organization. Those of us who are on top of things in life aren't running out to the outdoor recycling bin every time they're faced with an empty milk carton. Instead, they organize their garbage with a sectionalized trash can in the kitchen, or with separate trash cans entirely.
'An error most people make is having small recycle bins or trash cans,' says Ben. 'These days most items can be recycled and when you factor in water bottles, recycle bins tend to fill up fast. Huge toter bins are great for the outside and if you can't find a large recycle bin for indoors you can use a trash can for recycling instead. We want this whole process to be easy without overflowing messy bins.' It's also worth looking at ways to integrate your bin into your kitchen cabinets so that they hidden out of site.
4. Food storage containers
Pantry organization is a hallmark of an organized home, but to step things up a level, decanting your dry foods into storage containers really can make all the difference. Pantries aren't about adopting an 'out of sight, out of mind' approach to your food storage, they should be equally beautiful on the inside to inspire all your delicious culinary creations.
'I swear by the OXO Airtight Storage Bins (available on Amazon) for the pantry,' notes Aaron. 'They keep dry goods fresh, and their clear design makes it easy to see what's inside at a glance. Besides, they have a sleek look that elevates the pantry's appearance, making it both practical and pleasing to the eye.' If you want to go one step further, why not add your own labels for ultimate levels of satisfaction.
5. Built-in shelving
Ask any professional organizer and they'll tell you the same thing - bespoke storage is always best. Built-in shelving or storage units don't only make for a seamless-looking space, but they help maximize every inch available in your home. One thing you'll notice within abodes of the most organized is integrated shelving that's neatly organized with a beautiful display, be that books, cookware, or just decorative objet.
Of course, bespoke furniture fittings aren't always an option. If you're renting, or the budget doesn't yet permit for your own customized shelf storage, go a beautiful set of free-standing shelves that marry style and function. 'I really enjoy using large metal standing shelves like these ones from the Home Depot,' says Aaron. 'Surprisingly, metal standing shelving can be used in many areas of the home such as garages, kitchens, pantries, laundry rooms, and more. Many homes lack storage space and these work as a great way to increase it in any area. They're also relatively easy to assemble, and I love their look!'
There's no need to hire a professional organizer to make your space more efficient. Take a leaf out of their book with these genius ideas for a more seamless and cohesive space that works to your needs. You won't regret it.
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Lilith Hudson is the News Editor at Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.
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