Ten amazing why-didn’t-I-think-of-that organization solutions

Here at Unclutterer, we work hard to think up the best ideas and tips to share with you. Sometimes, though, we come across a brilliant idea from someone else that’s so brilliant, so ingenious, that I smack my forehead and declare, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” Here are 10 such examples, many of which you can implement in no time and realize great benefit.

  • Garbage bags on a paper towel rack. This diddy from Pinterest is fabulous. Why not buy an extra wall-mounted paper towel roll and put the garbage bags on it? Fantastic.
  • DIY containers. The clever folks at Stockpiling Moms have re-purposed Coffee Mate containers to hold pretzels, crackers and other perishable dry goods. I love this idea because my kids always mangle the boxes or bags these types of snacks usually ship in, resulting in stale crackers and worse: an open invitation to ants. Seal them up tightly to avoid both unpleasantries.
  • Refrigerator lazy Susan. How in the world did I not think of this? The next time you must push aside the mustard and the jelly and the mayo just to find the milk, consider placing a small lazy Susan inside of your refrigerator. All you’ve got to do then is give it a spin and find what you like. So clever.
  • One-dollar hat organizer. My wife almost flipped when she saw this one. I’ve collected an obscene number of baseball hats. Not willfully, but they all just show up for one reason or another. =One wooden hanger plus a dollar’s worth of shower curtain rings and presto! Instant baseball hat organizer. I love it.
  • Label office clips. I could have used this when I was a teacher. Just get out your labeler (oh how I love my labeler) and use your clips to easily identify various stacks of paper. As I teacher I could have used “Corrected,” “For Monday” or “Circle.” It’s such a simple but useful idea.

  • Organize under the sink. The cabinet underneath my kitchen sink is a bottomless, disorganized pit. When the kids were born, we shut it off with a childproof lock, as it contains dangerous chemicals. The trouble is I never paid it any more attention. Here’s a super clever solution for under the sink that uses nothing more than a curtain rod and a few plastic baskets. The curtain rod is an especially good idea.
  • Get clever with casserole dishes. When I was young, my mother kept casserole dishes in the oven. That’s a good idea, until you need to use the oven, then it’s a debate about where you’re going to stash that pile of large, bulky, glass dishes. This clever idea uses a pegboard and some dowels to keep everything upright and accessible. Plus, you can re-arrange the pegs as you lose or acquire new dishes.

Image from Houzz

  • Ceiling-mounted sliding storage. This is so inspiring I can’t wait to do it myself. Family Handy Man has all the instructions for getting the storage bins up off the floor and onto the ceiling. By building some custom wooden rails, you can keep you stuff together and out of the way.
  • Rain gutters to keep spray paint. This is another organizing idea for the garage (or basement). A clever soul on Flickr has used household rain gutters to keep cans of spray paint organized and tidy. Very nice indeed.
  • Cabinet door magnet. My daughter’s hobbies include losing bobby pins. As my wife recently remarked, “I think she eats them.” This clever fix is really just a magnetic strip fastened to the inside of a cabinet door. It holds the wayward pins quite nicely.

I love finding little unexpected ideas like this, especially when they work so well. If you have one of your own, I’d love to read about it in the comments.

19 Comments for “Ten amazing why-didn’t-I-think-of-that organization solutions”

  1. posted by Christy King on

    My old refrigerator, which came with a house I lived in, was probably made in the 1950s. It was the coolest fridge ever – the shelves spun! So easy to get to anything.

    I have another tip to add. For years we had the boxes of aluminum foil, plastic wrap, baggies, etc. on a cabinet shelf. We all hated it and talked about buying some organizer doo-dad, but never did anything. Finally, one day it occurred to me that we could put them in a drawer and put what was in the drawer (small saucepans) on the shelf. Duh! I felt really stupid that it took so long to think of. Anyway, the tip is to see if you can simplify your life just by trading where you keep certain things – it’s free!

  2. posted by Dorothy on

    Yes, with regard to the casserole dishes. I store a lot of stuff on-edge rather than stacked on top of one another. For instance, I have one of those racks in my above-counter cabinet where I store trivets, small cutting boards, shallow baking pans and other flat-ish items.

  3. posted by Amy on

    Refrigerator lazy susan changed my life!

  4. posted by MeMom on

    I’ve used a lazy Susan in my fridge for decades. One of the best ideas I’ve ever had!

    I don’t understand the under sink uncluttering with a curtain rod and plastic bins — what do you do with them? Under my bathroom sink in the vanity is like a black hole; I could really use some help there!

  5. posted by Pauline Clark on

    Tissue boxes are so pretty and decorative now…use an empty one to store your plastic bags from the grocery store. You won’t believe how many bags will fit in one tissue box! (I know, I know…we try to use the reusable bags but somehow these plastics manage to slip in!)

  6. posted by Bharti on

    Very creative. Will try couple of ideas and see if I could save myself some space at home 🙂

  7. posted by Nan on

    @MeMom – if you click on the link, you’ll see pictures of the organized under-sink area. Basically, she put a curtain rod spanning the space under the sink, and hung all her spray bottles off it. The smaller stuff got categorized and put in small bins for easy access. The blogger who wrote the article has more spray bottles under her kitchen sink than I have in my whole house– including duplicate Windex in the bathrooms!

  8. posted by Anna on

    More DIY containers: coffee canisters, Crystal Light containers (especially good because you can see what’s inside).

  9. posted by Genia on

    @Anna — yes! Crystal Light containers! I use those as pen holders. They’re the perfect size. I work off-site sometimes and can stash a few pens and highlighters in one of those AND put the cap on to take it with me. No more pens all over the bottom of my tote bag!

  10. posted by Her from There on

    You could do the hat thing with bras too, since the shower clips have an open edge. If you did the all bras on the same strap side they’d probably fit together at the cup area like the hats do. Just a thought.

  11. posted by Liz on

    We bought an upright file folder holder and use it in a cabinet to store cutting boards upright – used to be on the counter, which was really handy and kept them uncluttered.

  12. posted by Fred Kandel on

    There is a better solution than hanging trash bags on the wall. Take a look at harmonyxbags.com these bags come in a self-dispensing space saving tube. The bags are also as revolutionary as the packaging as they are strong, made from 50% recycled material, and have Microban to battle bacteria and odors. The best of all worlds

  13. posted by Leslie on

    I was all excited about the hat thing until I saw that it’s only for baseball hats. Only about a quarter of my hats (currently residing in a box on the floor) are baseball hats – the rest are other types that don’t have holes to put the hooks through. Great idea for the baseball caps though. And I love the idea of a lazy Susan in the fridge. May try out some of these other things as well.

  14. posted by vicky on

    I love the “Get clever with casserole dishes” section, that is something I need to do in my kitchen, good idea. The only problem I may have that the cabinets in my kitchen are not tall enough. I’ll give it a try. Thanks.

  15. posted by CanadianKate on

    Leslie: how about using paper clamps (the clips pictured in the label your clips suggestion) to hold the hat and loop those onto the shower curtain ring.

    For my hats, I use a multi-skirt hanger (the kind with several levels of clips so you can hang 5 skirts off one hanger.) But that only holds 4 or 5 (mine are big, sun hats like something Audrey Hepburn would wear.)

  16. posted by [email protected] on

    Agreed. Those are some great tips. I especially like putting the garbage bags on a paper towel and the refrigerator lazy susan. Thanks for sharing.

  17. posted by WilliamB on

    The pegboard is neat but the uprights take up too much space for my preference. I store my uprights – baking sheets, broiler pans, muffin tins, etc – in a cabinet above the wall-mounted oven. To keep them upright I installed these:

  18. posted by ccherry on

    I find lazy Susans to be inefficient. I use small plastic baskets from the dollar store that hold categories of items ie. sandwich supplies, jellies, ice cream toppings etc. The rectangular baskets fill in the shelf from side to side and front to back making the most of the space available. It also makes sure I don’t forget the pickles when it’s sandwich time.

  19. posted by Cassandra on

    Loved the label office clips and get clever with casserole dishes idea!!! As a teacher it is difficult to keep everything organized with the amount of paperwork I have as an English teacher. The label clips will help tremendously because I use them on all paperwork. At my house we have casserole dishes galore and we keep them in the oven as well. Pegboards is such a creative and organized way to keep them. These are such amazing ideas that are so simple to use. Thanks!!

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