No matter how often you sort through your bedroom closet or declutter your makeup drawer, there are some spots in the house that no amount of organizing seems to help. These clutter magnets—entryways, craft rooms, and pantries are prime culprits—call for some professional help. So we consulted a couple organizing pros, The Home Edit team and Rachel and Company, to get their secrets for maintaining these tricky areas. As it turns out, sorting and paring down is half the battle, but you don’t need to do all of the work yourself. Investing in a couple pro-approved organizers may make the process easier than you thought possible. The right products—a clear cosmetic organizer that gives a slot to every last lipstick or an under-shelf basket that utilizes closet space you didn’t even know you had, for example—can make all the difference. Armed with expert advice and a few foolproof solutions, the odds of conquering clutter have never been better.
Scrolling through the Instagram account of Nashville-based home organizing company The Home Edit has us dreaming of neatly organized kitchen drawers and color-coded toy bins. So when we wanted expert advice on tackling the messiest areas around the house, we knew The Home Edit founders, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, would have some stylish solutions up their sleeves.
The first clutter zone to conquer: the entryway. As the entrance to your home, it’s a drop zone for mail and shoes, but since this area is also the first spot visitors see, it should make a good impression. To corral the chaos, The Home Edit team reaches for baskets. “If you have the space, give each family member their own basket. Alternatively, a divided basket helps store everyone’s items while separating them at the same time,” Shearer says. Tucked beneath a bench or console, they contain the mess while keeping up appearances.
Pro Supplies: The Best Baskets
Seagrass Extra Large Storage Basket
The Home Edit team loves this large seagrass basket for stashing everything from toys to throw blankets. Buy a few and task each one with storing a different entryway essential.
To buy: $40; target.com.
Savannah Recycling Bin
The divided sections in this rolling seagrass bin were designed to sort glass, paper, and plastic, but they work just as well separating shoes, scarves, and umbrellas in the foyer.
To buy: $99; potterybarn.com.
Aubrey Woven Lidded Basket
If you’d prefer to store your clutter out of sight, these lidded baskets will keep it concealed.
To buy: From $69; potterybarn.com.
The Craft Room
Creative spaces are notoriously messy, so it’s no wonder craft rooms seem impossible to keep tidy.The Home Edit’s trick for organizing this space? Divide and conquer. “Keeping the categories divided and contained is the only way to prevent craft chaos,” Shearer says. “We like to use clear storage such as shoe boxes and turntables so that you can easily spot the items you’re looking to use,” she explains. With everything in view, colorful supplies, like paints and markers, double as decor. Use paint markers to label each bin, and you’ll never waste time searching for a pair of scissors again.
Pro Supplies: See-Through Storage
Our Shoe Box
When looking for transparent bins, nothing beats The Container Store’s stackable clear plastic shoe boxes and accessories boxes. When they’re not busy corralling crayons, these bins can get in on the fun by holding dye baths or the latest slime recipe (here’s our favorite!).
To buy: $2 each; containerstore.com.
Clear Linus Divided Lazy Susan
Don’t let the name fool you—this lazy Susan is incredibly hard-working. An expert multitasker, this revolving catchall is ideal for storing markers, glue sticks, and small paint tubes.
To buy: From $17; containerstore.com.
The Bedroom Closet
When it finally comes time for you to tackle closet clutter and you’re staring down a mountain of clothing, it can be hard to know where to begin. The Home Edit’s approach is to focus on the small details that make a difference. “Good hangers make the closet! They create a streamlined look and allow you to maximize your hanging space,” Shearer says. For many, clothing hangers are an afterthought (those wire ones from the dry cleaner are fine, right?), but an affordable buy that keeps your clothing wrinkle-free and makes every morning go a little more smoothly is worth the small investment.
The thin silhouette of these hangers lets you squeeze even more shirts and dresses into an already-crammed closet. A no-slip surface means you can hang up camisoles without them winding up on the floor.
To buy: $9; target.com.
Short Storage Cube
The Home Edit turns to fabric bins when they have pieces they not only want to organize, but also protect from damage. This short (just 6 inches tall) container is sized for holding handbags or clutches.
To buy: $6; target.com.
This drawer unit has pretty color-coding built right in. The grid at the top of each unit lets you stack several.
To buy: $40; containerstore.com.
The smartest way to maximize space in your office closet: Hook on an under-shelf basket. Let each one catch the overflow of papers and file folders from the bin above. Your closet is hiding more space than you thought.
To buy: From $7; containerstore.com.
Desktop Storage Unit
To collect desk essentials, nothing beats a coordinated set of trays, bins, and cups. The combination of wood and white containers lends your desk a clean, minimalist look that says you’ve got it all together.
To buy: $15; target.com
See the rest of the organizational tips on RealSimple.com