Spices are essential in a great cook’s kitchen. So if you find yourself having tons of spices clogging up your cabinet space, it may be wise to get an organization system. The good news is that spice racks come in all different styles and all different price ranges, starting at just $5. Most of us probably spend time rummaging through a cupboard looking for that one needed spice. Hence, a spice rack is a significant investment to make cooking easier, more fun, and less time-consuming by neatly displaying all of our spices in the open. Spice racks also make it easier to keep track of what spices you’re running low on and, if you date them (which you really should), which spices are getting old and losing flavor.
Spices don’t love direct sunlight or humidity. Make sure you don’t put your spice rack too close to the stove because of cooking humidity. Likewise, don’t expose it to direct sun in a window. Some spice racks are meant to fit inside shelves, keeping them safe from the elements and making them slightly harder to see. New shelves on the market are magnetic and allow the spices to easily be plucked off a flat surface for use and then stuck back on, which is incredibly fast and convenient. No matter your kitchen setup, there will be a spice rack that suits your cooking needs.
If you like to keep your counters clean, but you still need supplies in your sink to clean your dishes, using a caddy can be a great solution to store your sponges all in one place. These are usually available in stores like Home Goods, Amazon, and more. The sink caddy seen in the photo above is available at Crate and Barrel for $16. Most sink caddies are large enough to hold a dish brush, rag, and sponge, and many have drainage holes to stop sponges and cloths from getting mildew. Some caddies even come with built-in soap dispensers so you can avoid having a full bottle of soap out on your counter.
If you are a dedicated bath taker, sink caddies can be used on the edge of bathtubs to hold your phone, a soda, and more. There are many dedicated bath buddies and trays for that kind of thing, but sink caddies tend to be far less expensive and are smaller and less obtrusive. If you have a laundry sink, consider adding a sink caddy there as well for stain removing bars, a stain brush, and more. These little caddies are such an inexpensive way to declutter your kitchen counters that there’s no reason not to stock up on them!
Where you are trying to store food or clothes, using vacuum storage kits will suck the air out of your stuff to make it easier to put away. For food, the starter kits begin at $40 to $50 on Amazon, and for clothes, starter kits are around $30. If you live in a four-season area like the Midwest of the US, where every season has its own clothing requirements, vacuum storage can be an absolute lifesaver for storage. You can shrink down huge, heavy winter coats and big fluffy bed comforters to a fraction of their original size, making them far easier to tuck away into closets or bed boxes for storage under your bed.
Vacuum storage bags can also help the kitchen for individually sealing items originally bought in bulk, like steak or fish filets. Make sure you use only food-grade plastics and equipment when storing food! Many families wind up with boxes and boxes of children’s grade school art, report cards, and other paper items that they would like to save for sentimental reasons. When stored in boxes, they are subject to mice invasions, dust, mildew, and more. What many people don’t realize is paper goods can be vacuum stored! Simply neatly stack the paper items and seal them away to keep them protected from the elements.
These incredibly convenient shelves start at around $25 and go over $100, depending on the brand, material, and design. EHomeProducts make the shelf that is featured in the photo above on Amazon, and it is sold for $40. If your bathroom doesn’t have built-in storage options, an over-the-toilet rack can be the ultimate space saver and convenience item. They are durable enough to hold toiletries, extra toilet paper, towels, or whatever you need them to within reason. There are metal and wood options to match whatever aesthetic and pre-existing features and fixtures are already in your bathroom.
These shelves are another fantastic item to keep in mind with an open mind since they can be used in creative ways that go far beyond the bathroom. If you have a fish tank and need somewhere to put your aquarium supplies, these shelves are wide and tall enough to go over small fish tanks and can hold your monitoring supplies, chemicals, and fish food in an organized out-of-the-way space. They could go over a printer on a small table to hold ink, paper, and more in an office. With any cheap shelving units, keep an open mind and an eye on your space to see if they could work for you in non-traditional ways!
For some people, putting boxes under the bed for extra storage is a no-brainer. But there are boxes out there that are specially designed to fit under beds- They even come with a handle to help you pull them out! They are usually around $20, and these can be great for storing your off-season clothes or any other item that is necessary but not frequently used. Of course, make sure you talk to your furry friends first since many dogs love sleeping under beds! However, if the space under your bed isn’t at a dog premium, under the bed boxes are a great way to keep many items dust-free, and if you have a lovely sham, the boxes will be invisible.
Seasonal items like gift wrap are ideal for hiding under the bed. There are friendly zip-up bags and boxes specifically for that purpose. Seasonal items like winter clothing or summer sports equipment are also ideal items to tuck away under the bed for later use. If you end up storing a lot of boxes under the bed, make sure you clearly label them on the outside, so you don’t end up spending unnecessary time pulling out box after box looking for one specific item. You could use colorful tape or even luggage tags on the handles to label the boxes’ contents.
Plastic shelves are easy to assemble, and they hold a surprising amount of weight. They are perfect for keeping things off of the floor in your garage, basement, or attic. Prices vary anywhere from $20 to $40, depending on where you buy them. They are always available in Lowes and Home Depot, and larger Staples stores. While they certainly don’t look the best, and you wouldn’t want them in a feature room of your home, they are incredibly versatile and easy to clean and are a fantastic way to keep items up off the ground, damp basements, or dusty garages. Always check the weight limits on your specific model!
Plastic shelving is also an ideal solution for cleaning closets and laundry rooms or anywhere you’re storing things that could potentially spill. It’s much simpler and easier to clean up than on metal, or wood shelving liquids could damage. Plastic shelving is also an excellent choice for children’s play areas due to the lightweight and resiliency of the material for children who might want to draw on or otherwise tamper with the shelves. Plastic shelves can also work nicely for items of odd sizes, thanks to the open sides that are tough to replicate in wood shelving and are much cheaper than metal shelving.
Sometimes, there is simply not enough room for all of your stuff. Floating shelves are a great solution because you are creating storage space out of thin air. Since it’s out in the open, it also encourages you to keep it neat and tidy. Prices will vary depending on the style you choose and where you buy your shelving, but the entire project should always be under $50. Check out stores like Lowes and Home Depot for simple and affordable DIY floating shelf kits containing all of the materials you need and installation instructions to make the whole process painless and simple.
Floating shelves are a terrific option for house plants, thanks to their airy open design that allows maximum sunlight and airflow around your tropical treasures. If you’re finding yourself running out of space for house plants, find a sunny wall in your room and try adding floating shelves for small plants. Floating shelves with a mixture of plants and decor are also quite stunning and can add a ton of visual interest to an otherwise dull wall. Try placing an interesting geode or crystal on a shelf with a couple of plants and enjoy the pop of color of energy that it brings to your room.
If papers end up piling up on your desk, it’s probably time to get yourself some letter holders. The great thing about these is that you can buy as many as you want since they stack. You can divide up your paperwork by category as it comes in throughout the week. They are available in most office supply stores like Staples. The set of two-letter holders in the photo above is $18 on Amazon.com. Stores like TJ Maxx tend to be filled to the brim with stackable organizers like these in various colors and materials, including acrylic and pretty metallic. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding a set to match your aesthetic.
Stackable trays can be useful not only for business but also for hobbies. If you’re an artist, you can stack paintings or ink drawings to let them dry and rotate easily between in-progress pieces since they’re all visible and organized. You can also put various devices like drawing tablets or sketchbooks in them to have them at arm’s reach to make it easier to dive into your hobbies. For those who need help getting organized, stackable trays are a great way to keep everything visible, so there’s no issue of “out of sight, out of mind” for items like bills or correspondence.
There are many different magazine racks out there, but they can be used for so much more. As you can see in the photo above, this rack is being used for notebooks, journals, and an iPad. This way, you can keep all of your reading materials in one spot on your desk, which will prevent them from getting scratched. The acrylic rack pictured above is $22 on Amazon. There are many fashionable new racks available online and in stores like TJ Maxx that are the perfect size for modern devices like tablets and even smartphones. You can organize your desk or bedside table and keep books in good shape while keeping screens scratch-free.
If vintage items are more your taste, there is a massive variety of vintage magazine racks dating back to the turn of the century that are relatively easy to find and typically quite inexpensive due to their larger size. Magazines used to be quite large, and many magazine racks were meant to sit on the floor next to a chair or sofa. This magazine rack size can be ideal for holding larger sketchbooks for artists, large tablets or laptops, and many other crafting or hobby items to keep them safe and off the floor or from taking up valuable table space.
There are all kinds of wrapping paper containers you can buy. Some wrapping paper boxes are made of clear plastic and can sit in your closet, while others, like the one pictured above, can lay flat and slide under the bed. Prices will vary, but for the most part, these containers are anywhere between $15 to $30. Some options include special little compartments for ribbon, tags, and pens so that you can have your entire gift-wrapping collection all in one convenient air-tight, dust-free place for when the holidays roll around. Saving the time you’d typically spend hunting down gift tags can be a holiday lifesaver!
The unique size of wrapping paper containers can also make them ideal for storing plenty of other odd-sized items in your home or garage. If you have kids into racquet sports or baseball, the flat zip-up models are the perfect size for keeping sports equipment clean and out of the way during the off-season. Rolled-up posters or pieces of art you’re saving for later display can also fit nicely since they’re so similar in size to gift wrap tubes. With any storage piece meant for a single specific item, you’ll likely find myriad uses if you keep an open mind. Keep an eye open for after-Christmas clearance sales to get yourself organized!