I love mixing new pieces with old, and that includes getting organized for the new year. Take this medicine cabinet I did for a shoot a while back. Vintage pieces from the flea market like apothecary jars and shot glasses, together with more conventional items, like clear plastic bottles, make for a stylish, organized mix.
But when it comes to the new stuff, there are so many tips, tools, and gadgets out there that sometimes the task that's supposed to make life easier—getting organized—is just too hard to begin with. So, how do you know the difference between what really works and what just requires more work for you to do? What items provide instant organization without a great deal of organizing on your part? Here's my list of tried-and-true favorites:
Expand-A-Shelf Cabinet Shelf
I don't know who comes up with this stuff, but I sure do appreciate them! Thanks to this handy shelf (which expands to fit the size of your cabinet), I no longer have to stack (and unstack) cans and jars on top of each other. They're great too under a sink for holding cleaning products or in a linen closet for cosmetics and shampoos. It saves space and my sanity!
If you have minimum closet space like we do, these clear, super-sturdy underbed boxes are a must. With wheels and a lid that opens at both ends, I can easily pull this out from either side of the bed. But if your bed sits low and these won't fit, you can always try bed lifts, which elevate it and allow for more storage space underneath.
I love this chic little box for charging my phone and iPod. Not only does it hide unsightly cords, but it can be integrated seamlessly into any decor (unlike so many other bulky docking stations). It's available in lacquered blue or (my favorite!) white from Pottery Barn. Oh, and it's on sale right!
Instead of worrying about getting rid of the junk drawer altogether, why not just organize it a bit? This drawer organizer expands from 12 to 20 inches (so it can fit almost any drawer!) and comes with six movable dividers so you can determine the width of each section. I've used it at various times in the junk drawer, for silverware, and even in my desk drawer for all my pens, pencils and and craft supplies.
This one probably looks pretty familiar, but instead of using it for all those apples, oranges, and bananas, why not use it in the closet for socks, scarves, and such? Just like all of those vintage finds from the flea market, even though something may have originally been used one way doesn't mean you can't find a new and better way altogether!
This little gem from The Container Store costs only $8.99 and frees up an entire drawer that would otherwise be devoted to Ziploc bags, Reynolds Wrap, etc. You can also stuff plastic grocery bags here if need be.
Though I was skeptical at first, I've come to love this handy device. You simply press the handles of your broom, mop, Swiffer, etc. between the loops and they hang flush against the wall, off the floor and out of the way!
Finally, never underestimate the power of a basket to bring order to your life! I use this chic market tote for magazines, newspapers, towels, fabric samples and everything in between. Or keep it in the back of the car for going to the pool, beach, even antiquing at the flea market!
These are just a few of my favorites for getting organized around the house. What are some of yours?