Martha's Advice for Organizing These 10 Spaces in Your Home
When the vibe of your home is equal parts stylish and shipshape, life is good. Dive into our founder's newest book, Martha Stewart's Organizing: The Manual for Bringing Order to Your Life, Home & Routine ($20.49, amazon.com), to find the smart storage ideas, sharp cleaning tips, and clutter-busting strategies that will refine every daily routine. (No corner of the house is left uncovered.) Trust us, you'll never fold towels the same way again.
Get on the Grid
Optimize Your Fridge
- Eggs: Leave them in the carton to block them from absorbing odors, and place it on a shelf, not in the door, where the temperature tends to fluctuate.
- Dairy: Store milk, yogurt, and the like on a top shelf—preferably toward the rear, where it's colder.
- Leftovers: They're most visible—and likely to get eaten—on a middle shelf. Pack them in clear containers (look for glass or BPA‐ free plastic) to keep tabs on what's inside.
- Fruits and Vegetables: They can speed up each others' ripening— and spoiling—if stored in close quarters. Put them in separate drawers. If possible, group leafy greens together in one drawer, and set it to high humidity to prevent wilting.
- Meat: Park it at the bottom—one of the fridge's colder spots—in a dedicated drawer, if you have one.
- Drinks and Condiments: They have longer shelf lives, so it's fine to show them the door.
Win the Lunch Game
Corral containers in a single drawer to enable healthy (and eco) habits. Stock up on stackable designs to conserve space. Sort the lids, and stand them up in a cabinet divider or office file sorter. If there's room, store water bottles and reusable wraps here, too, and you'll be set to sail out the door.
Stop Dirt in Its Tracks
The secret? Do a double doormat: Put one outside for brushing off shoes, and another just inside to catch any remaining detritus. For outdoors, pick a rugged natural fiber, like coir, that you can easily shake out. Indoors, lay down an absorbent, machine-washable woven cloth, so cleaning it will be a cinch.
Conquer That Cavern Under the Kitchen Sink
Install a pullout shelf or lazy Susan on the cabinet bottom for frequent-use supplies, like dishwasher detergent and counter wipes.
Mount a sturdy tension rod across the top, and hang spray bottles on it by their triggers.
Stick adhesive hooks inside the door to hold wet cleaning gloves and brushes.
Cue the Concierge
A cool, collected command center anticipates your needs and quietly fulfills them. To turn your entryway into a VIP check‐in, paint a store‐bought corkboard to blend seamlessly into the wall. Add a ledge, and mount a brass curtain rod a few inches above it to display unopened mail attractively. Then screw in cup hooks to hold keys retro‐hotel‐style, and pin up invites and notices so your "guests" can see all the fun on the horizon.
Your towels, that is. For agita-soothing stacks in your linen closet or on an open shelf, do it this way: Hold one vertically and fold it in thirds, then in thirds the other way, making a compact rectangle.
Switch to Matching Hangers
The cohesiveness gives your closet, and your mood, an in ant lift. For an extra upgrade, choose wooden ones in the same hue as your floor.
Turn the Page on Dust
Dog-ear a few hours one weekend to deep-clean your bookshelves: Empty contents onto a drop cloth or old sheet on the floor, and wipe each level and corner with a damp cloth or dry paintbrush. Gently fan out books' pages to release any dust inside, setting aside a stack to donate. Then vacuum shelves with the brush tool, and restock—and restyle—your library.
Nix Stains on the Spot
Assemble this triage kit, and you can spring into action the next time tomato sauce spills or pen ink strikes. Decant the essentials on our checklist—acetone, isopropyl alcohol, mineral oil, diluted dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, enzyme detergent, and white vinegar—into clear, labeled travel‐size bottles. Then tuck in cotton swabs for dabbing and a copy of our chart (download it at marthastewart.com/stainchart) to tell you the exact formula to use.
Text and photos excerpted from Martha Stewart's Organizing: The Manual for Bringing Order to Your Life, Home & Routines, © 2020 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Reproduced with permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.