Try as we might, there are hoards of us out there that will never be organized. For those people, the beauty of spaces like closets, linen cupboards, and kitchen cabinets is that you can hide your disorganized stuff behind closed doors so that you (and your guests) don't have to face it. As beneficial as that may be aesthetic-wise it doesn't solve your organization, but what if there was a trick that adopted a similar approach while actually helping you sort out your stuff?
Well, we've found exactly that. The tidy toss trick is a must-have hack for anyone looking for a quick and easy solution to help organize a home, and closets in particular. If you want a put-together space that doesn't take tonnes of energy and time to maintain this idea is so convenient, and it sets the most realistic standard for organizing that we've ever seen. For the busy (and lazy) among us, it's a total lifesaver, and even professional organizers swear by it. Here's what you know about applying it to your space.
What is the 'tidy toss' trick?
As the name suggests, the tidy toss trick is all about tossing a category of stuff into some kind of repository. While we usually associate such haphazard throwing with untidiness, this trick does the total opposite. Created by organizer Holly Blakey who first shared the closet organization idea via her Instagram, it's all about finding a convenient place to quickly deposit a certain thing that's typically awkward or fiddly to fold or arrange.
According to organizing expert Di Ter Avest, owner of Di is Organized, this latter part is key. 'Please do not mistake it by putting all the miscellaneous, "homeless" things you come across in your home in these baskets,' she says. 'You would be just collecting junk to deal with later if you do that.' Instead, it's all about creating categories for the likes of shoes, hats, and belts but, instead of trying to neatly arrange them, you just toss them into a basket or box.
Even if you haven't given the idea a label, I can guarantee you've probably used the tidy toss before. And, while it might go against many of their teachings, professional organizers are also pretty big fans, too.
'I use it all of the time with my clients and in my own home,' says California-based organizer, Melissa Gugni. 'It reminds me of the saying "perfection is the enemy of good". Yes, it would be amazing if we could all have a perfect system where everything was always hung and folded uniformly but without a ton of time (or full-time help like Mr. Beckham) it isn't realistic and can easily lead to a clutter slide where it all seems so overwhelming, we just stop dealing with it altogether.'
In our modern world full of chaotic schedules, realistic organizing tricks like this one are really worth their weight in gold. For busy workers, stressed moms, and lazy teens, this idea is the ultimate solution to disorganized closets, linen cupboards, and other forms of storage. As Melissa notes: 'The best organizing system is the one that you will actually use and for that, I think the tidy toss gets high marks for useability!'
Where should you apply the 'tidy toss' trick?
So far, we've mainly been discussing closets since that's where this organization trick has its roots. It's an excellent solution for those more awkward accessories like belts, hats, and gloves, but there's no reason you can't apply the idea to other categories or places within the home.
'The best way to use the tidy toss method is going to be very personal to each person,' says Melissa. 'One example is underwear. Yes, you can neatly fold it all (and I will admit I do because I'm weird!) but for most folks, tossing it into a designated underwear drawer is a perfectly good system.'
Another place where the tidy toss comes in especially handy is with kids' closets. 'When my now 9-year-old son was a baby, I would painstakingly fold his clothes into perfect little squares,' Melissa explains. 'As he got older and I wanted him to learn to put his own clothes away, I realized that it wasn't realistic for him to do the same. Now he has to divide his clothes into the right drawers, but what he does with them from there is his own tidy toss. His clothes mostly don't wrinkle and even if they do, it's worth it to me to be able to give him a chore and to take one thing off my plate.'
Di has also been using this system in kids' closets for years. 'When working with clients, I always have a basket on the top shelf for the clothes kids outgrow. Once it's full, you can take it to donation or put it away for younger siblings.' Like Melissa, she also recommends the principle for the likes of PJs, socks, and underwear. 'It's an excellent way to keep those items contained,' she adds.
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Of course, there's no reason why the same idea can't be applied to other areas of the home, too. A catchall in an entryway essentially encourages a tidy toss, or you could add a basket to your kitchen cabinet for the likes of napkins and other table-dressing accessories. 'Another place where tidy tossing is very helpful is in the mudroom or entryway closet,' says Di. 'You can have separate baskets for winter gear, shoes, kids' jackets, summer items, and outdoor toys.'
For larger items like these, you'll want to choose a larger basket, but typically a smaller container will work. As Di notes: 'The ideal basket for this project depends on personal style, location, and purpose.'
Ready to incorporate the tidy toss into your routine? It's so accessible that anyone can do it, so there's really no excuse!
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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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