Clever Organizing Tricks and Storage Ideas

Real Simple

Combat clutter with ordinary household items used in unexpected ways.




Use Jewelry Boxes



Those little boxes are so sturdy and trim that you hate to throw them out. So don't. Instead, clip them together to create tidy divided storage for pens and pencils, lipsticks, plastic flatware, whatever it is that clutters your drawer (maybe jewelry?). (For more junk drawer tips, see Make Over Your Junk Drawer.)



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Use Glass Jars


"Grandpa's wood-shop solution of attaching glass jars underneath a table or a shelf is tried-and-true," says Ted McCann, a Brooklyn-based custom woodworker. This trick works in the garage, the basement, and the craft room (or even possibly the home office, if you have an appropriate area): Nail or superglue the lids to the underside of a surface near where you store your tools, then twist the jars into place. Put like-size nuts and bolts in one jar, wood screws in another, nails in another. Also attach an empty jar so that when you're working on a project, you can gather the necessary hardware and stow it there.



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Use Shower Curtain Hooks



If space allows, place hooks on a closet bar and hang purses from them to keep your carryalls at eye level. Say good-bye to a mess of accessories on your closet floor.



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Use a Tissue Box



Dispense plastic grocery bags with ease by stuffing empties into an old tissue box stored under the sink; simply pull out one when you need it. For a slimmer solution, try a cardboard paper-towel tube.











Use a Paper Towel Holder



Marathon gift wrapping? For easy access to ribbon, slide spools onto a paper towel stand's post. Stack them from largest to smallest, bottom to top. When done, tape the ribbon ends to their spools to keep them neat.









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