Simple Steps to Organize Storage Spaces

Follow these easy tips to declutter your kitchen pantry, linen closet and mudroom.

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Free up cluttered kitchen cupboards by creating a storage area in a nearby hall closet with adjustable shelves.

  • Transfer foods like rice, flour and sugar from bags or boxes into see-through canisters that won't leak or be knocked over easily.
  • End needless hunting by grouping together ingredients like dried pasta and tomato sauce or teas and honey.
  • Decant nuts and snacks into airtight containers that stack to maximize space.
  • Canvas bins on the floor keep bulk purchases handy.
  • Move fancy serving pieces (and anything else that you don't use frequently) to the topmost shelves.
  • Pour pet food from oversize bags, which are prone to spills, into supersize bins.

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Linen Closet


A small cabinet with doors and drawers can suffice for bed and bathroom needs if you pare down.

  • Store two sets of sheets per bed and two sets of towels per family member. The rest can go in a box under the corresponding bed.
  • Arrange toiletries in a deep, sturdy tray that you can access as needed.
  • Avoid messy piles by dividing towels in stacks according to size. Store rolled-up washcloths and hand towels in small bins.
  • Stash items like quilts, extra pillows and bedspreads up high.
  • Use drawers for holding extras like cans of shaving cream and special-occasion makeup.

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If your entry is heaped with hoodies and backpacks, make a mudroom by the back door says Kathryn Bechen, author of Small Space Organizing (Revell).

  • Put up hooks for everyday items — make sure some are low enough for kids to reach. Relocate out-of-season clothes to bedroom closets. For a personal touch, you might add nameplates.
  • A bench with cubbies is a place to take off shoes and a convenient drop-off point for grocery bags or books. Toss sneakers and flip-flops in drawers or in baskets underneath.
  • Set a boot tray on the floor to collect drips and dirt from wet shoes.
  • Use baskets or bins to hold what you can't hang (gloves, dog toys, balls).
  • A sisal or indoor-outdoor rug works best in a high-traffic area and is simple to keep clean.

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Organizing Your Home

How to Add Bathroom Storage

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