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Americans are drowning in stuff.
What’s more, we’re clearly sick of it, at least if the social media hype about Netflix’s NFLX, -0.65% show ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’ (where the cleaning guru helps families declutter their lives) is any indication. And while organizational items can go for a pretty penny — Marie Kondo’s set of boxes is $89 — pros say you can spend a fraction of that and still declutter.
MarketWatch asked a handful of professional organizers what inexpensive products they themselves use to organize their own homes. Here are products that retail for around $10 or less that professional organizers say they personally can’t live without.
1. Mini lazy susans — for easy access to medicine, spices and more, says Lauren White, owner of Intentional Edit in Scottsdale. “Lazy susans spin so you can have easy access to every item,” she says, adding that you can find them in multiple sizes, materials and colors.
• This well-reviewed mDesign Lazy Susan retails for about $10 on Amazon and comes in a variety of colors. One verified reviewer writes: “Used this in my spice cabinet and was really happy with how much space it opened up in the cabinet as well as making it MUCH easier to access the spices! Now I am trying to figure out how to use these everywhere in my kitchen.”
2. Command hooks and sticky strips — to hang up almost anything without leaving holes in the wall, says Robyn Reynolds, the owner and CEO of Organize2Harmonize. That might include kitchen utensils, dog leashes, umbrellas, clothing and jewelry.
• A pack of 16 Command hooks and 24 strips retails on Amazon for about $10. One verified user writes that he’s used them to hang everything from baseball hats and potholders to keys, dog leashes and empty bags
3. Clear glass jars — to sort pantry items like pasta, flour and more, says Founder of The Project Neat, Gilat Tunit. “Glass containers allow you to see what you have, and also force you to rethink your food purchases. When you have box after box of pastas lined up, what’s another pasta! But when you contain your pastas to a few glass canisters, you tend to use what you have! It’s efficient and economical.”
4. Shoe boxes — to store your stuff for free, says Amber Ehrlich, who is a professional organizer at The Tidy Bungalow. “The one thing I consistently reach for in my own home and when working with my clients is a good, sturdy shoe box,” she says. She uses shoe boxes in her dresser, pantry and bathroom closet to create smaller spaces on those shelves to store stuff. Don’t have any shoe boxes laying around? “Many stores are willing to give you their extra empty shoe boxes if you just ask,” she says. Put a list of photo of the items in the shoe boxes right on the box so you can easily know what’s in them.
5. Storage bin cubes — to organize messy shelves and hide toys, electronics and more, says Jack Prenter, owner of Chore Bliss. “They are the ideal shape, fit everywhere and make cleaning easier. Many homeowners actually have a lot of unused space in the form of shelving. Instead of stacking and placing items on the shelves, I much prefer to use storage cube which can be filled up with far more and will look neat and tidy with zero effort,” he says.
• This well-reviewed pack of 2 storage bins sell on Amazon for about $10. One verified user simply writes: “For $10.00 bins, they can’t be beat. “
6. Magazine sorters — to store crafts, small appliances, plastic wrap, papers and more, says Darla DeMorrow, a professional organizer at HeartWork Organizing. She notes that IKEA typically has a good, inexpensive selection of these and that you can “cover them in gift wrap or contact paper to complement your own style.”
•IKEA Fylt Magazine Sorters for around $2 for a set of 5.These score particularly well on Ikea’s “value for your money” customer ratings.
7. Drawer organizers, says Amanda Jefferson, owner of Indigo Organizing, who recommends the inexpensive ones from IKEA, which come in a pack of six for less than $7 and can help you get socks, lingerie, and accessories and more in order.
• This IKEA SKUBB drawer organizer retails for about $8. It scores particularly well on Ikea’s “product quality” customer ratings.
Of course, not everyone is a fan of organizing products. Professional organizer Ben Soreff says that “most organizing products don’t work as advertised and some don’t work at all (the dreaded accordion file).”