12 Storage Tips to Ban Clutter and Feel More Organized

A professional organizer reveals simple ways to organize your entryway, car trunk, laundry room, desk drawer and other cluttered areas of your home.

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Silicone brush and wooden spatulas with tongs on the kitchen table. Eye level shooting. Close-up. Selective focus.
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In your kitchen drawer

No locking clasp on tong handles? Simply slide the tongs into the cardboard tube from your empty roll of paper towels to prevent them from popping open inside a drawer.

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Paprika powder on a white plate on black stone background
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In your spice rack

Keep red spices in the fridge to extend their life. Paprika, chili powder and other spices in the red pepper family will remain fresher longer when stored in the refrigerator. Here are some other smart storage solutions for your kitchen.

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Plastic food containers on a wooden table
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In your desk drawer

Odd-size plastic containers or those with missing lids from your kitchen can work well as drawer organizers. Use them in your desk as well as in junk or vanity drawers. These are the best storage containers to get you home in order.

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On your takeout menus

Staple or paper-clip any coupons (here are some ways to efficiently use coupons) for a restaurant directly to their takeout menu so you’re more likely to remember to use them next time you place an order.

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Boy Leaving Home For School With Mother
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In the entryway

Stash tote bags for every activity you or your kids regularly participate in. (For instance, have one bag for soccer practice and one for band rehearsals). That way you can simply grab the bag and go, with all the essentials inside. Depending on your needs, here are three other totes you might want to consider

Car travel/restaurant: Filled with travel-friendly toys, quiet games or projects the kids can do while waiting for dinner in a restaurant.

Dry cleaning: For clothes that need to be taken to the cleaners (here’s how to tell if you really need to dry clean your clothes).

Library: For books and your library card.

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Family Unloading Shopping Bags From Car
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In your car trunk

Keep three foldable totes clipped together for any unexpected needs. You can also keep a foldable bag or two inside your luggage for separating dirty laundry or for toting home souvenirs. On the flip side, here’s why you shouldn’t leave a water bottle in the car.

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Close blue Umbrella folding with grey car in rainy
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In your car

Keep one umbrella in your car for unexpected downpours. Do not keep it in the trunk, because you’d have to get out of the car and get wet to grab it.

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Untidy closet
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In your closet

If you need more room, consider slim, space-saving hangers, which are just one-third the size of standard hangers but are just as durable. Also: suits take up a lot of space. If you don’t wear them on a regular basis, store them in another closet such as a guest room. (Here are 6 ways you can organize with shoe bags.)

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Arms and hands of a male folding towels onto a dryer and washer in a laundry room..
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In your laundry room

Stop wasting time folding cleaning rags. Hang a reusable shopping tote bag from a hook and toss them inside after laundering.

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High angle view of summer clothes, slippers, sun hat, sun glasses, beach towel, and other accessories arranged in a suitcase.
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In your suitcase

If you don’t travel very often, consider storing out-of-season clothing in your luggage. If you take a trip, you can just leave the clothes on your bed until you return.

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Shot of a young mother and her son playing video games together at home

In your kids’ rooms

Put games and crafts that require adult supervision, like beading or race-car kits, in a closet or shelf away from little fingers. When you hear your child utter the dreaded phrase, “I’m bored,” just pull one out to play together.

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An old mailbox stands crooked and agape in a tussle of overgrown flowers.
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In your garden

Inside or near your garden, hang a mailbox or stake it in the ground for on-the-spot storage. This is the perfect place to stash smaller items you reach for all the time, like clippers. No more running back and forth to the garage.

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Keep This Toss That: Unclutter Your Life to Save Time, Money, Space, and Sanity
via amazon.com

What to Keep, What to Toss

In her new book, Keep This, Toss That, professional organizer Jamie Novak reveals thousands of secrets, tips and tricks to unclutter your life and save time, money, space, and sanity. Learn more and buy the book here.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest