Editors’ Picks: Our 10 Favorite Organizational Tools

Zippered Canvas Storage Bag as part of the Remodelista Storage 75 Series

This year, while working on our latest book, The Organized Home: Simple, Stylish Storage Ideas for All Over the House, we’ve discovered a whole world of artful organizational tools—and will get on our soapbox to extol their virtues to anyone who asks. Here we reveal our very favorite storage goods, from the multi-purpose (think: trays and bins) to the specific (a design-forward key holder, a dispenser for plastic bags). Perfect for yourself, or for a gift:

Cafeteria Trays from Schoolhouse Electric
Above: Since researching The Organized Home, we’re obsessed with using trays for all manners of storage and organization. Says Margot: “I swear by trays as organizing tools on surfaces all over the house: sink-side, for soap and scrub brush; on my desk top, for planting my phone and water bottle; bedside, for keeping a note pad and pen, etc. They add order and a look of completeness: loose items on a counter become a still life.” See In Praise of Trays: 10 Trays in Fiberglass and Enamel for our recent favorites; pictured here are the new Mini Compartment Trays ($10 each) from Schoolhouse Electric.
Wooden Crate from Home Depot
Above: Meredith’s storage go-to started as a happy accident: “I once tossed a bunch of file folders into a wooden crate and learned that 12.5-inch-wide basic wooden crates fit hanging file folders perfectly,” she says. “I keep an 18-inch-deep version at the bottom of my bookcase as a sturdy, good-looking ‘file cabinet.'” She suggests the Crates and Pallet Large Wood Crate, $11.97 from Home Depot.
Black Metal Clips from Walmart
Above: Every day, without fail, I scramble to find my phone and computer chargers and earbuds the second I’m supposed to be leaving for work. Recently I stocked up on a few large clips (in black, of course): when I’m at home, I use them to clip cords to my desk or bedside table, inspired by The Organized Home; when I’m headed elsewhere, I coil the cords and use the clips to secure them before tossing them in my bag. These Metal Paper Clamps are an inexpensive option ($5.75 for four from Walmart), but you can find a similar option at office and stationary goods stores.
Plastic Bag Holder from Fog Linen
Above: Julie recently ordered Fog Linen’s Plastic Bag Holder for her Brooklyn kitchen; it’s an artful and efficient way of keeping grocery bags out of sight (€17, or $20.06).
CatchMe Key Holder
Above: Margot’s pick: the CatchMe Key Holder by Danish designer Anne Steensgaard for Bolia. “I am a firm believer in always keeping your keys in the same place: they should be put away the minute you arrive at home. I love this design because it incorporates key rings—each made with a different type of wood ball. It’s an item that’s at once completely utilitarian and artful.” It’s €45 in-store at Bolia, and will soon be back in stock at Danish site Koperhuis.
Weck Mold Jars from The Organized Home
Above: We’re all converts to decanting (see our 8 Rules for Decanting Dry Goods). Our favorite glass jars are from German brand Weck, available via Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.,  Williams-Sonoma, and on Amazon.
Wooden Drawer from Muji
Above: Meredith also loves the stackable MDF drawers from Muji: “They disappear when placed on a shelf and are perfect for storing miscellany you don’t want on display.” What’s in hers? “Stationary, stamps, mailing tape, and the like.” The one pictured here is currently unavailable, but a set of 6 Stacked MDF Drawers is $39 (or, see the full MDF collection here).
utility closet storage organization shelves by Mimi giboin
Above: Michelle’s genius storage hack for lightbulbs? Ikea’s Raggisar felt baskets. “They’re perfectly sized to hold four-packs of bulbs,” she says, and are $4.99 for set of three. Read more in What’s Inside: The Stealth Utility Closet. Photograph by Mimi Giboin.
Wire Baskets with Handles from The Container Store
Above: Francesca likes the Stackable Wire Storage Baskets with Handles ($9.99-$21.99 from The Container Store), featured in the photo of her closet on page 101 of The Organized Home. “They haven’t left my closet since the shoot,” she reports. “They’re lightweight, you can see what’s in them, and no, they don’t scratch the painted surface of the shelf.”
Zippered Canvas Storage Bag as part of the Remodelista Storage 75 Series
Above: Alexa is a proponent of Muji’s Cotton Linen Clothing Cases ($28 each): “I bought six of them a couple years back and now have them organized under the bed—Tetris-like—storing extra linens and off-season clothing.” They’re indispensable in a small city apartment.

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