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HomeU.SHow to organize your life for less stress and clutter

How to organize your life for less stress and clutter


At CNN Underscored, our goal is to guide you to the everyday products and services that help you live a smarter, simpler and more fulfilling life, and we believe that organizing is a critical part of that mission. There are many benefits of organizing. At its most basic, the use of organizational systems can help to reduce stress. Being organized will also save you time and money, and free up valuable storage space in your home or workplace.

To guide you in organizing the physical and digital spaces in your life — a closet, the kitchen, your home office — our expert, Jolie Kerr, has sought out professional organizers, homemakers and time management experts to find the best products for organizing any type of space or thing, and to bring you their best tips and tricks for living an organized life.

Evelots Slide Under-Shelf Basket

If oddly placed outlets mean that you have to leave your phone on the floor while it charges, an outlet shelf will give you a perfect spot to store smaller items while they’re plugged in.

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The Container Store

The trick to making divided storage solutions work is to look for ones that are adjustable so that you can tailor the organizer to fit your specific needs. This organizer will keep food storage lids tidy, and its five adjustable dividers can hold round, rectangular and square container lids up to 9 inches in length or diameter.

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Can organizers allow you to organize all your favorite canned sodas, soups, fruit and vegetables compactly and conveniently. You can use them in both the fridge and pantry.

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This clear plastic turntable is small enough to grab from the fridge and place right on the table at dinnertime, so your family can easily choose their favorite condiments.

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iStock

Vertical wall space is also a great spot for a wall-mounted hair dryer holder. This inexpensive holster-style caddy uses 3M’s Command adhesive strips to secure the unit to the wall, so no hardware is required for installation and it won’t damage the walls.

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iStock

The fabric organizer has six pockets that can hold tablets, planners, remotes, eyeglasses, chargers and more, keeping them tucked away but still within arm’s reach.

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iStock

If you’re a person who tends to have a big stack of books on your bedside table — where they take up valuable real estate that’s needed for a box of tissues, eyeglasses, remotes, etc. — a wall-mounted floating bookshelf will be a life- and space-saver for you.

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The Container Store

Monitor stands, too, can create extra vertical space on the desk itself; models that have built-in cubbyholes or drawers offer more storage than simple shelf-style designs.

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iStock

This clip-on headset and headphone holder attaches to the side of a desk, keeping headphones out of the way but still right there when you need them.

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iStock

This multi-use unit takes advantage of unused wall space to create storage space for mats, rollers and towels, and has hooks that can be used to hold resistance bands, jump ropes or even extra hair ties.

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iStock

These zippered storage boxes help store off-season clothing or extra bedding, plus they’re soft-sided, making them more flexible than hard plastic bins, but they zip fully shut to keep dirt, dust and hair out.

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iStock

Typically, dorm beds don’t come with a bedside table, and most rooms aren’t set up to accommodate one. This caddy helps solve that problem.

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iStock

Both the hook and the shoulders of slim hangers are slimmer than standard hangers’, so they truly do maximize closet space. And, unlike plastic hangers, most slim hangers are covered in a non-slip velvet so delicate items like silk blouses stay put rather than sliding off the hanger and getting rumpled — or worse, ending up on the closet floor with your shoes.

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Amazon

This three-tier shoe rack will give you a lot of room for storing shoes in a way that keeps them easily accessible.

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Amazon

This hanging purse organizer borrows from those hanging shoe organizers that are so ubiquitous. We like this style because it doesn’t have any plastic detailing, so it’s more breathable than other similar fabrications.

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Amazon

This wallet is roomy enough for not only a passport but also boarding passes and other travel documents, and it comes in a ton of colors.

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iStock

This product works with economy-size liquid laundry detergent to keep drips and spills from making a huge mess.

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iStock

The attic is prime real estate for storing holiday decorations during the off season. There are loads of holiday ornament storage options available, but the small footprint of this cube-style zippered ornament organizer — which can hold up to 64 ornaments — means it won’t take up a ton of space.

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Amazon

Many bags designed for storing artificial trees can also pull double duty as protective storage options for inflatables.

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iStock

This tool organizer can hold long-handled items like mops, brooms, rakes and grabbers in the spring-loaded gripper clamps, and the four small hooks can be used to store smaller items like scrub brushes and dustpans.

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iStock

This golf bag storage rack has cubbies for stashing two golf bags, plus four open shelves to hold golf shoes, towels or a bucket of balls.

Portland Design Works Hooptie Hook Bike Hanger with Tray

Amazon

If display is an important part of selecting a bike storage option, there’s the Delta Michelangelo, a vertically oriented floor model that leans against the wall and can accommodate two bikes. This is a fantastic choice for apartment dwellers because of its small footprint and easy setup.

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Amazon

One of the most effective things you can do is establish a place for trash to go, so that it doesn’t go on the floor. This hanging trash can that’s designed to fit on a car’s center console does just that.



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