Before the kids head back to school and your nights are filled with homework, dance classes, and football practices, you need to make sure everything's organized.
Your Clutter Problems, Our De-clutter Solutions
Problem No. 1: The bottomless junk drawer.
Solution: Move your junk drawer instead to the back of the door by tacking up a pegboard. It allows for easier access to items and better all-around organization.
Pegboard: 2' x 4' sheet, $6.72 each; homedepot.com
Wood trim: $.68 per foot; homedepot.com
Paint: Benjamin Moore's "At Sea", $18.43 per quart; myperfectcolor.com
Problem No. 2: A pantry full of miscellaneous boxes or bags.
Solution: Instead of bags and boxes, which don't maximize space or allow you to see how much food you have left, use glass canisters. To make them even more functional, attach chalkboard paint labels. This allows you to write the name of whatever you're storing in them (e.g. flour, pasta, sugar), and to re-use and re-label them for different foods.
Glass jars: $12.95 for set of three; walmart.com
Chalkboard stickers: $8 for set of 6 small and six large; shopterrain.com
Chalk: $.89 for box of 10; officedepot.com
More Simple Organizational Solutions
Problem No. 3: Getting kids organized for back to school.
Solution: Create personalized, erasable clipboards in different colors for each child to put to-do lists on each day. Hang clipboards on the wall for easy access. It will help you get out the door faster each morning.
Wooden clipboards: $2.29; staples.com
Dry erase markers: $13.99 for pack of 10; officedepot.com
Problem No. 4: Hamper chaos; many of us have only one hamper and end up mixing darks, lights, and dry clean only all together. You may sort it before washing, but may accidentally throw some stuff in the wrong load.
Solution: To avoid any mishaps, get an industrial hamper with wheels and different compartments, and simply stencil on "Whites," "Darks," and "Dry Clean Only" etc.
Heavy-Duty 3-Bin Laundry Sorter, $59; thecontainerstore.com
Black paint pen: Elmer's Opaque Paint Marker, $2.56; amazon.com
Problem No. 5: Jumbled up jewelry. When you put it all in one place, your earrings get tangled up with your necklaces, if not lost completely.
Solution: Turn your jewelry into wall art using shadow boxes, jewelry racks and blank canvases. It will accesorize your wall as well as your outfit.
Shadow Boxes: S: $84; M: $96; L: $136; areohome.com
Pottery Barn canvas: S: $99; L: $149; potterybarn.com
Web Exclusive Organizational Tools from Country Living Magazine
Problem: Plastic bottles, aluminum cans, glass, and trash get all mixed up.
Solution: Stick simple magnets on colorful trash bins. Just pop the magnets on the bins before sorting your trash.
Bins: Large, $24.99, small, $14.99; ikea.com for stores
Recycling Magnets: $5.99 for set of 6; simplehuman.com
Problem: Invitations, bills, and magazines/catalogs need organization.
Solution: Remove the handles from black wire shower caddies, and use pretty gift tags and twine to create homemade labels for each one (We labeled our set of three: "In" for incoming mail, "Out" for outgoing mail, and "Magazines/Catalogs"). Hang keys from the bottom of a basket(s) with hooks, then hang the set of caddies along a wall.
Wire Caddy: $18; urbanoutfitters.com
Labels: $12 for 6; katespaperie.com
To-Do List Organization
Problem: Mail gets lost/mixed-up.
Solution: Use hot glue to affix adorable day-of-the-week clothespins to a piece of wood, then use a hammer and nails to hang the wood on the wall.
Day of the Week clips: $9 for set of 7; seejanework.com