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8 Little Items That Organize Your Home

These practical clutter-control tools will create order in your house.

By Valerie Rains

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Lazy Susan Stainless Steel
Bryan McCay
Bryan McCay
Bryan McCay
Bryan McCay
Bryan McCay
Bryan McCay
Bryan McCay
Bryan McCay
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1. Lazy Susan

A turntable holds items upright and in one place for easier viewing. "Plus it allows you to access hard-to-reach corners in the back of cabinets," says Aby Garvey, of simplify101.com.

—Put similar items—olive oil, vinegar and other condiments—together so you know what you have on hand and what's missing.

—A lazy Susan under a bathroom sink puts like products—shampoos or cleaning supplies—within reach.

—In the utility room or garage use a turntable for emergency items such as flashlights, batteries and candles.

—Stock cleaners on a multitiered carousel in the laundry room.

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2. File Boxes

"Every home needs a dedicated place for papers—clippings, mail, bills," says Jennifer Ford Berry, author of the Organize Now! series. Try a vertical file that you can flip through easily.

—Tame grocery coupons and recipes by sorting them in labeled boxes.

—A file in the utility room or office keeps warranties, instruction manuals and appliance receipts orderly.

—Prioritize bills, invites and school permission slips—anything that needs a timely response—in a file box categorized by level of urgency.

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3. Ball Bin

"It's geared for footballs, basketballs and soccer balls, but a wire basket can pinch hit for lots of other things too," says John Trosko, of OrganizingLA.

—In the garage, place bats, baseball gloves and unwieldy objects like yoga mats or long-handled tools in a wire bin.

—The sturdy steel cage allows air to circulate—perfect as a holding station for damp towels in the laundry room.

—In the office or craft room, the basket accommodates rolls of wrapping and craft paper.

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4. Storage Ottoman

Shop for furniture that does double duty. "A bench without storage capacity wastes potential space," says Berry.

—Hide magazines, remotes and chargers inside a stool with a lift-off lid. Use as extra seating by the TV—or top with a tray for an instant side table.

—Park a stool with a removable cover in front of a vanity or dressing table and stow scarves, evening bags and other small personal accessories inside.

—A lidded ottoman in the entryway is a perfect perch for pulling on shoes and boots—and for storing out-of-season hats and gloves.

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5. Lidded Bins

"When you're trying to tidy up a room fast, nothing's better than decorative storage cubes tucked under a coffee table or on a shelf," says Jessica Dolan, founder of Room to Breathe Home Organizing & Staging.

—A column stacked on the bathroom floor or counter efficiently contains spare towels, soaps and toilet paper rolls.

—Use fabric containers as toy bins or to hold sneakers, folded T-shirts and other clothes.

—Reduce clutter in the family room by gathering DVDs, video games and CDs in a bin.

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6. Wall Hooks

With no end to the many different shapes, styles and sizes available, there's a hook for every purpose and room, says Jill Pollack, host of HGTV Canada's Consumed.

—Mount a series of hooks in the entryway to hold coats, keys, backpacks and the dog's leash.

—In the garage, bring order to rakes, shovels, coiled extension cords and loops of holiday lights.

—Outfit the wall by a dresser with decorative hooks to display jewelry and scarves.

—A foolproof recipe for a tidier kitchen—one hook for aprons, another for pot holders and a third for dish towels.

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7. Glass Jars

"Stackable jars look neater on a shelf than assorted food bags and boxes," says Emily Wilska, author of Knack Organizing Your Home. Repurposed jam and marinara jars are an inexpensive option.

—Bulk pantry items such as grains, pasta and flour will stay fresh longer in airtight jars.

—Clear vessels are ideal for office supplies such as paper clips. Larger sizes keep pencils handy.

—Store makeup brushes, eyeliners and lip pencils in tall containers (with lids removed) and seal cotton swabs in shorter ones.

—Sort spools of thread, safety pins, buttons and trims into a set in the laundry room.

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8. Hanging Organizer

An over-the-door shoe holder is a real space saver and versatile catchall, says Hellen Buttigieg, of We Organize U. Choose a transparent style for seeing what's inside or a fabric version to conceal contents.

—Maximize vertical space in the bathroom by stashing hair products, makeup and facial wipes in pouches.

—In a kid's room, corral art supplies, games and toys.

—Stock extra spices and easy-to-misplace kitchen gadgets inside the pantry door.

—Streamline your desk by relocating tape refills, extra greeting cards and gift wrap bows to shoe sleeves.

Originally published in the May 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine.

This piece was accurate at publication time, but all prices, offerings and styles are subject to change.

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Organizing Your Home

Watch our video series for organizing and creating storage in your bathroom, hall closet, kitchen or kids` room.

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