Storage & Organization
40 Easy Life Hacks for Organizing Your Home
Simplify your life and make finding things effortless with these 40 easy life hacks for organizing your home.
Write Notes on the Washer
Stop shrinking your sweaters! When you put a load of clothes into your washing machine, use a dry-erase marker to note on the lid which items should not go into the dryer. That way, whoever switches the load from the washing machine to the dryer will know which items to leave out for line drying.
The enamel finish on most washing machine lids is similar to a whiteboard, and dry-erase markers can be removed easily with a dry paper towel.
Lazy Fix for a Disorganized Fridge
Digging to the back of your fridge to find a certain ingredient is a pain. Instead, use a Lazy Susan to bring that food to you! Simply place a lazy Susan on a shelf in your fridge and stock it with condiments and other small containers. Nothing could be easier than spinning your ingredients around to find just what you need.
If you’re short on space or just want to add some extra storage, there are some clever kitchen storage solutions you may not have considered. Check out these 30 Ways to Revolutionize Your Kitchen Space.
Remember Your Keys!
You’ll always know where your keys are with this handy hint!
To make Lego keychains:
- Start by drilling a hole into the base of a Lego that is slightly smaller than the screw portion of an eyelet screw.
- Next, wind the eyelet screw into the lego. Thread a split ring through the hole and use it to attach keys.
- Mount the Lego board to a surface using your preferred method. In this case, we mounted our Lego plate to the wall in our mudroom.
- Attach the Lego board to the wall by first marking the desired location for the board and making sure that it is level.
- Drill pilot holes in the four corners of the Lego board and into the wall.
- To finish, drill screws with small enough heads to fit in between the Lego pegs into the board.
You’ll be so excited to put the Lego on the Lego board that you won’t lose your keys (hopefully) ever again!
Plus, check out these 14 super fun DIY projects to do with kids, rain or shine. And don’t worry; these projects won’t break the budget!
Use a Pallet to Store Lawn and Garden Equipment
If you have a yard or a garden, you know that there are a lot of long-handled tools involved. If you don’t have any pallets lying around, they are easy to get for free. This is a quick one-hour project and after you’re done, your tools will be organized and easy to reach.
You could easily attach this pallet to a fence, shed or to the exposed wall studs in your garage. No matter what you choose, you’ll want to make sure that your screws are long enough to go through both your pallet and the wall you are attaching it to. We drilled two screws into the pallet, one into each exposed wall stud. You won’t need a ton of screws or nails because the pallet isn’t all that heavy.
Looking for more ways to work smarter in your workshop? Here are 19 tips from a seasoned woodworker and do-it-yourselfer.
Organize Your Coffee Pods
Coffee pods can be a disaster to keep organized, but this hack uses simple T-molding as an ideal organization system for Keurig, Nespresso or any other type of coffee pod. T-molding is designed for wood floor transitions, and it also makes a perfect storage rack for coffee pods because it has grooves for the pods to slide onto. Prefinished T-molding is available wherever wood flooring is sold. A 4-ft. section costs about $20. To start:
- Measure the diameter of the top of the coffee pod (to figure out the spacing needed between each piece of molding).
- Cut the T-molding to the length of your cabinet.
- Next, predrill screw holes in the racks and screw them to the underside of a cabinet or shelf (ours are 3 in. apart for Keurig pods).
- For a neater look, use brass screws and finish washers.
This T-molding design also works great for a wine glass storage rack. Watch our fun video about how to make your own wine glass storage rack.
Reusable Grocery Bags
Have you ever had a heavy load of groceries that your reusable grocery bag just can’t handle without ripping? Find a scrap piece of plywood lying around your workshop and cut it to the measurements of the base of your reusable grocery bag. Replace the thin plastic insert (so prone to cracking and splitting) with the measured and cut a piece of plywood and place it in the bottom of your reusable grocery bag.
In the mood for more simple plywood projects? Here are 19 surprisingly easy woodworking projects for beginners.
Make Tool Organizers with Gutters
When I needed to find a new tool storage idea for my garage that would also fit in my new truck bed toolboxes, I discovered this tip: I found a perfectly sized tool bag that I was not using in my garage, but it lacked compartments that my larger tool bag has. I like to keep my tools organized in a way that I can see all my tools at once and so I can reach in to get a tool without having to empty the entire bag to get to it.
I looked around my shed to see what I could use to divide the tool bag into sections, and I found a section of PVC gutter downspout that fit the bill perfectly. I carefully cut the downspout into 5-in. lengths using my miter saw. Then I arranged them vertically in a grid pattern inside the tool bag and glued them together. — Bert Jandy
PVC Razor Organizer
Make this simple razor organizer with a small piece of 1-in. PVC pipe.
- Cut the pipe into lengths that are just larger than your razors.
- Then glue them together with hot glue.
That’s it! You can make as many razor slots as your family needs. To be even more organized, color code or write names on each piece of pipe so your family members know which razor is theirs. You could also add a bead of hot glue along the bottom of the assembled piece to secure it to your cabinet or drawer.
Bathroom Drawer Insert from the Kitchen
Cabinets and drawers in the bathroom can become cluttered and disorganized very quickly because of all of the small items that need to be stored there. To keep bathroom drawers neat and organized, look no further than the kitchen! You can use a silverware drawer insert to organize a bathroom drawer, too.
The long compartments in a silverware organizer are the perfect size for storing toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste. Medium-size compartments are great for disposable razors or clippers, and the small compartments work well for corralling lip balm, floss containers, etc.
Cardboard Box Bag Dispenser
Need a way to store all of those plastic bags you get from most stores? Here’s an idea: Straighten them out and stack them into an organized pile. Then place the pile in a small cardboard box. Cut a hole in the box so you can pull out one bag at a time as you need it. This works great at our garage sales when we need to bag items for our customers! — John Mylander
This plastic bag dispenser would also be handy in the basement or wherever you keep your cat’s litter box or near your dog’s leash. Then you’ll have a stash of bags ready when it’s time to clean up after your pet.
A handy way to store small metal items such as nail clippers, tweezers, etc., in a bathroom cabinet is to simply stick a few magnets to the back of the cabinet or inside the cabinet door for holding the items. Then they’ll be organized and in plain sight when you need them.
If your cabinet is not metal, you may need to use a bit of double-sided tape or hot glue to mount the magnets where you want them. Be sure to use the inexpensive gray disc magnets, as the expensive neodymium magnets do not want to let go of your items! — David Farrand
Try stepping it up and adding a cabinet magnet strip to your medicine cabinet with this tip.
Make this simple-yet-useful computer shelf for your desk with a few pieces of scrap wood and a nail gun. We built the one shown with a 1 ft. x 2 ft. piece of plywood and two pieces of a 1×3 board cut to 12 in. lengths. Then we used a brad nailer to attach the plywood to the boards.
You could paint or stain the assembled piece to match your room décor or leave it as is for a purposefully unfinished look. The shelf will raise your computer screen to an ergonomic height, making it easier to see and more comfortable to work at your desk!
Store Bits Where They Belong
In my shop, I use many different sizes and types of screws, and each different screw head requires a different bit. So in order to not waste time searching for the correct bit before each project, I came up with this solution:
Using a bead of hot glue, I simply attach a magnet to the underside of the lid on each fastener container for holding the bit that belongs with the screws inside. That way I always have the right bit at the right time, without the frustrating search. — Jerry Weldon
Organize Cleaning Supplies
It can be difficult to keep spray bottles and other cleaning supplies from falling over and making a mess under your kitchen sink. Thankfully, we have plenty of cabinet organization tips and tricks.
To keep your cleaning supplies upright, hang them from a short tension rod inside your cabinet. Another clever idea is to slide a paper towel roll through the tension rod for easy access. This is also a great place to hang dish-drying towels and rubber cleaning gloves.
Adding a Key-Holed Ruler to Your Bench
You can mount a removable key-holed metal ruler on the front edge of your workbench, for both easy measuring on the workbench and for easy access for measuring and marking projects elsewhere. Simply drill keyholes (a larger hole with an overlapping smaller hole above it) in two locations along the ruler. After drilling the keyholes we sanded them smooth to get rid of the potentially dangerous sharp edges. Next, drill appropriately sized screws (ones that will fit into the smaller sized keyhole) to the front of the workbench and use the keyholes to mount the ruler to the bench with screws.
Also, it is important to note that we placed our screws in a location in which the ruler would lay flush with the edge of the workbench. This makes it extremely easy to use the ruler for quick project measurements because of its convenient location.
Sheet Metal Magnet Board
Sheet metal or strips of galvanized flashing make great magnet boards in the workshop. Be sure to level the material on the wall and use self-tapping sheet metal screws to fasten it to studs.
Then put several magnets on the message board for hanging project plans, supply lists and even small metal tools such as a paint can opener or scissors. Above the workbench is a perfect place for mounting a magnet board. — Bill Jones
File Folders for Kitchen Organization
File folders can be used for more than just organizing papers and magazines in your office. They can also be used for organization in your kitchen.
We filled file folders up with the clutter that normally barricades the cabinet under the kitchen sink. Place all of your kitchen cleaning supplies into file folders, putting the most frequently used items towards the front. This kitchen organization hack is so easy and satisfying!
No-Slip Kitchen Towels
Hanging a dish towel from an oven or dishwasher door makes sense. The towel is in a convenient location, and the oven’s warmth quickly gets rid of dampness. However, the one drawback with hanging your towels here is that they are constantly falling off!
Here’s a way to keep the towel from slipping off:
- Fold your towel into its desired form and attach Velcro strips in two spots, one on the front and one on the back, as shown in the photo.
- Stitch in place, or use fabric iron-on Velcro strips and follow the directions on the packaging.
- Finally, hang your towel from the oven or dishwasher door and match velcro ends together. No more towels on the floor!
Check out these 11 ideas for organizing your kitchen.
Save that Six-Pack!
Do all of your small bottles in the refrigerator door like to tip over after opening or closing the door? Fortunately, the answer to tidying those wayward bottles is just a recycling bin away.
To keep all of your condiments under control use an empty six-pack holder to hold and organize the condiments in your refrigerator door. This organization solution is also great for transporting your condiments for a backyard BBQ or picnic!
Instant Drying Rack
Does your family have a lot of clothes that cannot be put in the drier? Even those collapsible drying racks with several bars for draping wet clothes still aren’t enough for big laundry days. And if you hang wet clothes on top of wet clothes, it lengthens the dry time significantly and can even leave your clothes smelling a little musty.
To fix your air-drying space shortage, grab a 1×2 board from your scrap stash in the garage and trim it to fit across a few joists overhead in your basement laundry room. Tack it in place with a heavy-duty nail in each joist. Then you can air-dry several more pieces of clothing using hangers!
Using a 6-ft. cardboard cement form cut in half, I created two wrapping paper storage containers. I cut the cylinder in half and cut pieces of heavy cardboard for the base of each, attaching them with duct tape. Then I spray painted them to look presentable. — Peter Turner
Plus, the storage possibilities for concrete forms are vast. Think outside the home as well. They can be used to corral wood scraps in the workshop, long-handle yard tools in the shed and more.
Magnet Extra Hand
I attach a magnet to the top of all of my ladders to hold nuts, bolts, nails, screws and other metal fasteners while I work. It’s like having an extra hand!
It’s best to use a round base magnet or one that is made with a hole in the center for easy attachment to your ladder. Then all you need to do is drill a hole and use a bolt and nut to hold the magnet securely in place. These magnets are also strong enough to hold small metal tools such as a handheld screwdriver. — Mark Ammons
Hair Tie Carabiner
I always have trouble keeping my hair ties together. Somehow they are always missing when I want them but are all over the place when I don’t. The solution to this mess was to attach them to a carabiner. It keeps them all in one place, provided I remember to use it! — Rachel Douglas
Wrapping Paper Sleeve
One roll of wrapping paper can usually last a long time. Many people just stick a piece of tape on the loose edge to keep it from unwinding while it’s stowed away. But when you try to remove the tape the next time you need to wrap a present, the paper rips and you have to cut a new clean edge.
Cut an empty toilet paper tube lengthwise and wrap it around the roll of wrapping paper. Cinch up the tube as tight as possible and secure it in place with a piece of tape. Then when you need to use the wrapping paper again, just remove the toilet paper tube. You may rip the tube, but your wrapping paper will remain intact!
Wine Box Shoe Storage
Why pay for a fancy compartment-style shoe storage container when you can just pick one up for free at almost any store that sells wine? Designed to protect fragile glass bottles, a wine box is perfect for storing footwear because it comes equipped with cardboard dividers—a place for each shoe! In addition, the exterior cardboard is very sturdy, again to keep wine bottles from breaking, but also great for protecting your kicks in storage!
You could get fancy, too, and paint or cover the exterior of the wine box with decorative wrapping paper if you plan to keep it in your closet or entryway.
Organize Small Cords
In today’s high-tech homes, keeping track of small cords can be challenging. Almost every electronic device has a cord that goes with it: cameras, smartphones, computers and the list goes on. Rather than tossing them in various drawers throughout your house, where they can get tangled or forgotten, try this simple and inexpensive solution.
Find a small box (a shoe box works perfectly) and fill it with as many empty toilet paper rolls that will fit vertically. Then place a single cord in each toilet paper roll. Next time you need one of your small cords, you’ll know where to find it, and it’ll be free of tangles!
Move Clothes Masterfully
When it comes time to move, this tip is especially useful for packing—and unpacking—your closet!
There’s no need to take your clothes off of hangers, fold them and stack them in boxes. Just grab a handful of your hanging clothes and wrap the tops of the hangers together using bendable electrical wire or a zip tie. Drape a garbage bag over the clothes, pulling the tops of the hangers through a hole in the bottom of the bag. Then cinch up the garbage bag handles and tie them together.
Color-Code Padlocks and Keys
I have several padlocked sheds on my property. To keep track of which key goes with which lock, I bought two identical sets of key ID rings, the kind that stretch around the edge of the key head.
I put a ring on the key and the matching ring on the padlock that goes with it. Now I don’t have to test all of my keys in each padlock before finding the one that fits! — Michal Jacot
Rather than take up space in a drawer or cabinet for storing rolls of tape, mount an old paper towel dispenser to your wall or pegboard. It can hold several rolls of duct tape, painter’s tape, etc., within easy reach. And unlike stashing tape in a dark cabinet or cramped drawer, the paper towel holder makes it really easy to find the specific tape needed for different jobs.
Store and Label Fasteners with Foam
When disassembling a piece of furniture that needs to be repaired or moved, thread the screws and nails into a piece of rigid foam. Group similar fasteners together or arrange them however it will be most helpful when piecing the furniture back together. You can also write on the foam with a pen or marker to label the fasteners or to make notes that will be helpful when reassembling the piece at a later time.
Use old prescription bottles to hold nuts and bolts, screws, nails, etc., on a shelf by your workbench. Remove the original label, so you can easily see the contents inside.
You can also make a simple customized shelf for your fastener storage bottles by using a 2-in. hole saw (or one that is just larger than the diameter of your bottles yet just smaller than the lids) to drill a few holes in a shelf. Then the bottles will fit through the holes, keeping the bottles and your fasteners easily visible and organized. — Mike Yavorski
Identify Your Keys at a Glance
“It seems the older I get, the more keys I carry around. Between the car, house, shed and garage, I have a whole pocket full of keys. To make it easier to quickly find my most used keys, I paint both sides of the key head with brightly colored nail polish. I use a different color for each key. The nail polish is extremely durable and you’ll be surprised how much longer it lasts than spray paint.” —Joseph Grayson
Check out these other 14 Secret Tool Tips for DIYers from the Pros.
Picture Frame Message Board
I’m all for dry-erase message boards, but they’re usually pretty unattractive. So I make message boards using nice picture frames. To make these message boards, grab a picture frame and some paper. Cut the paper to fit the frame and set it in behind the glass. The glass makes an excellent dry erase surface! — Jessie Dawson
These 25 why-didn’t-I-think-of-that Handy Hints for the Home Cook will help you save time, get organized and work more efficiently in your kitchen.
Easy Drawer Organizer
My kitchen drawers used to be an absolute wreck; pans and dishes crammed in however they’d fit. And nearly every time I needed something, it was always at the bottom of the drawer. My solution was to cut a piece of 1/8-in. pegboard to the size of the drawer bottom and attach dowels using screws from underneath. Now my pans are organized and easy to access. The 10 minutes it took to build was easily made up for with how much frustration it has saved me.
Moving is always a pain, but using plastic containers that don’t stay closed adds even more frustration. Zip-ties to the rescue! After putting on a container lid, drill a small hole through the lid and handles. Run a zip-tie through the holes and you’re on the road. Check out these other clever household storage hacks.
Pool Noodle Inside a Drawer
I have always hated the way drawer organizers move around when you open and close a drawer. I measured the distance from the back of the drawer organizer to the back of the drawer and used a utility knife to cut the noodle to size. The pool noodle fits snuggly in place, so the drawer organizer doesn’t move around anymore. You could also cut the pool noodle in half lengthwise to reduce the amount of space that it takes up. — Roy Allison
Keep Your Car Clean and Organized!
Keeping your car clean can be difficult. There are dirt roads, messy trees, pet hair, food crumbs and wrappers. And there’s likely trash on the car’s floor, under the seats and in the seat cracks. Toss out any wrappers, bottles and other objects in sturdy car trash can! Line a plastic cereal container with a grocery bag and use it as an in-car trash can. To keep the container upright, apply a strip of self-adhesive hook and loop fastener to the bottom of the container, so it’ll stick to your car’s carpet.
Get your vehicle looking like new with these 36 simple interior and exterior car detailing tips that you can do yourself.
Use an Rx Bottle for Earplug Storage
I received a storage tube with a pack of earplugs that I purchased years back. After I lost that tube, I started to think about what kind of container I could use to store my earplugs. Then it came to me: an empty medicine bottle! The small container not only keeps the earplugs clean, but it’s also small enough that I can keep it in my pocket at all times. Now when I need hearing protection, I have it on hand! — Mike Yalch
All Your Condiments in One Place
The next time you host a barbecue or a patio party, pull out a muffin tin. Rather than using it to bake muffins (although you can do this later too), fill the cups with various condiments and barbecue toppings. This way your condiments are easy to access and your buffet lines will move along quickly. You will also dramatically increase your table space, and cut down on the separate serving bowls to clean up afterward.
For a truly impressive backyard barbecue, you need the right tools and a great plan for a successful day out in your yard. That’s why we’ve collected 12 of the best tips to make sure your grill-out is fun, easy and delicious.
Bread Tabs for Labeling Cords
Not sure which cord goes with which electronic device plugged into your power strip? Save yourself the hassle of following the cord from the plugin to the device for each item you need to move by labeling them.
Plastic bread tabs are perfect for labeling cords that are plugged into a power strip because they’re sturdy, have enough room to write on and can easily clip around the plugin end of a cord. Plus, they often come in different colors. You can also use bread tabs to label identical toothbrushes in the bathroom, silverware at a party and even wine glasses at happy hour. So save those tabs when you buy a loaf of bread!