Your Top 20 Organizing Questions Answered
What are some simple tips to declutter daily so the mess does not pile up in the long run? --Faye
My family uses the kitchen island as their dumping place. Any ideas on how to help us organize this cluttered space? --Donna
Add bins under the island or near the door where your family can immediately sort mail, homework, and other paperwork they need to keep on hand. Assign each child a basket to leave their hats, keys, and backpacks so everything is easy to find again the next day for a stress-free morning.
Our mudroom is a mess. How can I contain entryway clutter? --Chris
Create an “unloading” station for each family member with a peg rail for coats and accessories and a labeled bin for shoes, backpacks, and other items they would normally trail through the house. A boot tray near the door keeps grime from shoes in its place –- simply fill a metal tray with a few stones (found at garden centers) so wet messes drain to the bottom and your shoes and boots don’t sit in a puddle.
Corral gardening supplies with hanging U-hooks and a labeled pegboard so everything is in its place when you need it.
How do I keep my kitchen drawers better organized? I've tried using utensil holders, but the drawers still become disorganized! --Michelle
Organizing is about creating a system that works and training your family to maintain it. Try using expandable organizers in larger drawers to give everything a place. Combine standard flatware trays and bigger sizes for cooking tools to create a perfect fit. Labeling the compartments can help remind your family to put each tool in the proper spot.
Over the years I've amassed a box full of cords. How can I keep them organized and separated? --Melanie
Keep your extra cords from resembling a pot of spaghetti with a few simple steps. When cords are in use, keep them contained in wire baskets you can hang under desks or entertainment units. When storing them for later, wrap the cords in foam tubing cut in 10-inch sections. Label each tube so you can find what you need when you need it.
I don't know what to do with all the small appliances that I use rarely. Everything is piled up, but it looks messy. What can I do? --Gina
Appliances you use only occasionally should be kept out of sight but still be within reach. Install sliding doors in deep lower cabinets to maximize the space.
We have fish, cats, parrots, and a dog. How can we organize feed, vet products, paper for the cage, litter, carriers, and coats/collars/leashes? --Elaine
Steal Martha’s ideas for organizing a space specifically for pets by creating a storage system for pet food. Martha has three dogs, five cats, and 22 canaries, so it’s important to keep everything tidy. Dry food is kept in the pantry in labeled, stackable airtight plastic containers. Bowls and canned food are stacked nearby in see-through bins. Leashes and accessories are kept neatly coiled in a shallow drawer or basket.
I need some creative ways to organize or store handbags and tote bags. --Tomi
For bags that can be hung, install a pegboard on one unused wall of your closet with hooks for everything from handbags to belts. If you don’t have wall space to dedicate to bags and totes, consider installing a high shelf to keep them all organized and protected.
Our pantry is bursting, and when I go through it, I realize we have multiple bags of some stuff. How can I organize it so I know what we actually have on hand? --Melanie
Create a shelving system where you can instantly see what you have. Consider adding shelves specifically for storing dry goods on a basement wall or in the stairwell, along with a dry-erase board where you can make notes when one item is running low.
I have lots of extra bedding. What is the best way to store bedspreads, quilts, and blankets? --Susan
Bulky comforters, wool blankets, and extra pillows may need 18 inches of shelf space. Stack these linens at the top of the closet, since you probably only reach for them a few times a year. Store blankets and comforters in zipped plastic bags that allow you to remove the excess air for more compact storage. A large plastic bin that you can store is also a good storage solution.
I have 200 or so Martha Stewart punches, and I am having a hard time organizing them. Any ideas? --Adam
Our new Martha Stewart Home Office Wall Managers are perfect for customizing to store your favorite crafting supplies. Create a wall of easy-to-install clickable shelves perfectly sized for displaying all your Martha Stewart Craft punches.
I have lots of specialized serving bowls and platters for serving buffet style. I need help storing them so they are accessible. Any ideas? --Sandy
Consider displaying platters and serving bowls in a china cabinet by storing them upright. Use an expandable tension curtain rod to hold everything in place. Or you can add wire shelving to your cabinets to add an additional layer of storage for bulkier items.
Help! This mom of three boys needs to conquer the chaos of kids’ toys. How do I organize our spare room for peace and harmony? --Gwen
I need tips to organize the "junk drawer" in the kitchen. With so many rarely used items in it, how can I keep the drawer neat? --Sandra
Instead of a one-size-fits-all solution, create customized “junk drawer” storage with a variety of clear plastic bins and metal boxes with lids. Using multiple sizes and color-coded labels will keep everything in its place.
I have a corner cupboard that is so awkward to get into; sometimes I forget what I have in there. What's the best way to conquer this problem? --Linda
Reclaim the darkest corners of your cabinets by installing sliding drawers or a lazy Susan that allows you to see what you’re keeping in the back.