Having an organized home is very different from merely having a clean home. Yes, they're both vital to maintaining a happy, comfortable living space, but it takes a bit of creativity and smarts to implement easy ways to keep all your (and your kids'!) belongings in their rightful place — and not all over the floor.
Ahead, we've gathered 34 genius ways to maximize every inch of your home, from your kitchen and living room to your bathroom and bedrooms (including your closets). You might even spot a few DIY projects you wished you thought of first.
In the living room…
1. Have a "household information center" — like a stackable file cart — to prevent papers, magazines and books from accumulating on flat surfaces of the living room.
2. Have a multifunctional coffee table, like one with extra drawers or shelves, or an ottoman with hidden storage to store remotes, books, blankets, etc.
3. Get your cords under control. Joto has a cable-management sleeve ($14.97 at Amazon) that'll wrap up all those pesky cords and keep them out of sight.
4. Toss toys and games in an unused corner of the room so they don't overcrowd bookshelves and the floor.
5. You may not see wastebaskets in living rooms, but if you notice trash tends to accumulate in that space, grab one that matches the decor and the aesthetic of your living room so it doesn't look totally out of place.
6. Have too many small picture frames scattered throughout the room? Rethink how you display them so you can declutter. One idea is hanging them up on the wall instead.
7. Use a letter tray to organize your board games.
8. If you have a ridiculous number of DVDs, it might be time to finally buy a DVD tower or a DVD case. Use the freed-up bookshelf space to display other decor or slide in a storage cube to store toys and other nonessential items.
In the kitchen…
9. If you don't have a lazy Susan, get a lazy Susan already. You won't find a better way to organize all those spices.
10. Sports bottles are the worst, right? They come in so many different sizes, and you never really know where to put them — not to mention they fall over all the time. One idea is to use a magazine holder and store the bottles on their sides or simply get a stackable water bottle storage rack ($19.99 at Amazon).
11. Use Mason jars to organize your spatulas, tongs and whisks for easy access.
12. Hang your pots, pans and mugs. This will clear up cabinet space.
13. Invest in a lid rack ($8.87 at Amazon) to keep all those pot and pan lids organized.
14. Have a snack stack! Place a tiered basket on your counter and toss healthy snacks in it for easy access.
15. Dedicate one of the drawers as a charging drawer to keep phone, laptop and tablet chargers tucked away and out of sight.
16. Risers ($14.99 at Amazon) are a lifesaver. They'll give cabinets twice as much space.
17. Purchase a few reusable bags/totes to cut down on the number of plastic bags accumulating in your kitchen.
18. Add a bonus pantry. Slide a slim storage cart ($41.97 at Amazon) between the fridge and the wall (if you have the space).
19. Hit up the dollar store and buy containers to keep rice, cereal, flour, sugar, etc. Then label the containers so you know what's what. Not only will it reduce clutter, it'll look cohesive and chic too.
In the bedroom…
20. Cube storage is your best friend — especially in kids rooms where the toys can take over, making it nearly impossible to walk through.
21. Hang the closet rod even higher — doing so will actually free up more space below the clothes you've hung up, allowing you to add a dresser or two.
22. Have throw pillows? Toss ‘em in a basket placed in a corner of the room or next to your bed.
23. Use the space under your bed wisely. Add storage bins or add a storage-friendly platform.
24. Hang scarves, belts and any other accessories on a towel bar affixed to unused wall space in your closet. You'll free up rod space by doing so.
25. Use a hanging shoe organizer to store bulky clothing, like sweaters. Roll them up and slide right in.
26. We all know how much of a pain in the ass it is having many pairs of boots — because where the heck do you put them? Get a boot rack ($69.99 at Amazon), and hang ‘em up instead.
27. In your sock and underwear drawer, use honeycomb-style organizers ($10 at Amazon) to keep them from becoming a jumbled mess.
In the bathroom…
28. Get a small shelf, hang it up, and use it to store all your creams and daily-use beauty products. No digging, no searching and easy access.
29. Keep all your hair accessories in a bin under the sink or on a shelf in the bathroom.
30. Use magnetic strips to hang up items in your medicine cabinet.
31. Use an over-the-toilet shelving unit ($39.99 at Amazon). This is a great way to store or display beauty products, blow-dryers, toilet paper — anything you may not already have enough counter or cabinet space for.
32. On the flip side, use under-the-sink cabinet drawers ($22.99 at Amazon) to keep your beauty products organized.
33. Make the most out of your drawers by adding containers and/or dividers in them.
34. Spice racks aren't just for the kitchen. Hang them up on the wall as bathroom storage.