Need help getting organized? I'm a designer—and I love these 10 products for whipping a home into shape

Jessica Becker
·10 min read

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For all your pretty things. (Photo: Wayfair)
For all your pretty things. (Photo: Wayfair)

We’re officially into 2021 and if you haven’t chosen a resolution yet, I’ve got one for you — get organized. As an interior designer at Burrow & Nest Design Studio, I focus not only on aesthetics for my clients, but ergonomics. If your space flows efficiently, and items are easy to find, then time is saved rather than squandered digging into the back of your closet for that pair of red pumps. When everything has its place, life is simpler and less stressful.

For most of us, staying tidy is a struggle. That’s where the expertise of an organizational guru comes in— that’s me. I’ve been officially trained by the School of Maternal Grandmothers (aka my grammy), who would come into my bedroom when I was younger and somehow make it feel like a trip to Disneyland when she declared: “Today we’re going to organize your drawers!” I continued her legacy, cleaning up after my messy mother she had spent her life cleaning for, and it gave me the opportunity to hone the skills I have today. “Mom, were you aware that you have 14 tubes of hand lotion betwixt the three disheveled bathroom vanities in this house and you live alone?” (The answer is always, ‘No’.)

Not yet inspired? The following is a list of 10 products that’ll make organization a breeze. All you have to do is take the time to set them up, and stay diligent about putting things back in their place. I know you can do it! What have you got to lose? Besides your keys, your cell phone, that pair of diamond earrings...

Your own personal lady’s maid, for only $190

This jewelry organizer comes in three finishes. (Photo: Wayfair)
This jewelry organizer comes in three finishes. (Photo: Wayfair)

Let’s start with the Queen of organizers. Everyone needs a standing mirror — why not make it work for you as an epic organizer? This jewelry armoire holds 200 pieces, including your rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings, all laid out before you, so you can easily view your baubles and keep them tangle free. Bonus: There are five shelves to hold cosmetics, perfumes, nail polish and other beauty products. Moisturize, spritz and apply your makeup all from this cabinet of wonders—there’s a mirror inside too, so you don’t have to keep closing the armoire’s door to fine tune your lipstick application. Not only that, it swivels to reveal shelves that can hold your accessories to complete your ensemble— shoes, handbag, scarf — whatever you want to lay out at night to speed up your morning ritual.

This cabinet comes in a traditional wood finish, a painted white, and this rustic reclaimed look to suit any decor. One happy reviewer says, “It is so beautiful and well made. I’m amazed.” And you’ll be amazed at the price—$190 at Wayfair, down from $264.

Shop it: Quakertown 360° Rotatable Jewelry Armoire with Mirror, $190 (was $264),

Velvet hangers that’ll change your life — get a few packs

Double your closet space.  (Photo: Amazon)
Double your closet space. (Photo: Amazon)

Let’s stay in the boudoir and move on to your closet. You know how you have to wrestle with your clothes every morning just to release them from the prison of wire dry-cleaner hangers and the ones you kept from the store? They’re all tangled and attached to each other — your corduroy pants clinging to that V-neck sweater for dear life like some sort of Shakespearean love tragedy waiting to happen. When you shop at your favorite boutique everything comes off the rack like a breeze, just floating into your palm and over to the register. That’s because the hangers are all uniform. Do yourself the best favor you can and treat yo’self to matching velvet hangers.

These hangers are super narrow—no more chunky white plastic abominations that hog up your precious closet space. They are coated in a soft flocking that not only feels decadent to the touch, but will keep your silk blouse from sliding to the floor in a dramatic display of ennui. These particular velvet hangers have a central bar for those accompanying ties, belts, and scarves. The hooks swivel so you can hang tomorrow’s ensemble on the back of your door. Just $26 will get you 50 of these beauties, available in a variety of colors, and your closet will no longer be the dreaded great abyss of your sartorial nightmares.

Shop it: Songmics Velvet Hangers, 50 Pack, $26,

Not just for the office

This life hack is clutch. (Photo: The Container Store)
This life hack is clutch. (Photo: The Container Store)

If you think we’ve moved on from your closet, you’re wrong. This file folder organizer makes for an even better organizer for your bags. Clutches, small purses, and wallets all fit beautifully in this file-cum-handbag stand. I use the top shelf of my closet for bags, and this little trick keeps everything neat and tidy. This five star reviewer likes it for its “modern and clean look”. Another used it for organizing children’s books in the shelves when bookends didn’t cut the mustard. I love this brand for its beautiful colors and its sturdy design. Make your closet eye candy by coordinating with your new velvet hangers.

Shop it: Pink Poppin Fin File Sorter, $17,

Freshen your makeup and keep your makeup fresh

This genius bag lets you spread out all your makeup so you can see what you have. (Photo: Amazon)
This genius bag lets you spread out all your makeup so you can see what you have. (Photo: Amazon)

I know—why am I showing you a travel case right now? It’s not to taunt you, I promise. Just to educate you on the handiest little find that you’ll be happy you have when you’re finally able to hop on that plane to Fiji. This pouch is just as great for taking to work and using around the house. The handy little case keeps all of your makeup snug as a bug until you pull the drawstring and, voilà it’s all laid out in front of you on a handy little mat. No more digging for your mascara.

Your daily makeup can be tucked in your bathroom vanity drawer and pulled out when needed. And you won’t feel like you’re laying out your touchup makeup in the who-knows-what’s-in-that-puddle on the bathroom counter at the office. It’s a safety measure, I tell you. This little wonder even has a zipper pocket for jewelry, pills or unmentionables. Says one thrilled user, “Easy to use. Holds quite a bit....can quickly open and close the pouch which saves time in the morning! High-quality fabric that is very pretty!”

Shop it: Lay-n-Go Drawstring Makeup Bag, $25 (was $35),

You store your food in a ziplock, why not your clothes?

These bags are here to serve and protect...your sweaters. (Photo: Walmart)
These bags are here to serve and protect...your sweaters. (Photo: Walmart)

Again with the travel? Not so! I use these bags to store my delicate wool sweaters to keep them from the evil uninvited guests we call moths. In the off season, these bags are a must. Put a couple of wool sweaters in the bag, zip it and roll — no vacuum required to get the air out. Just roll and press — I found it helps to kneel on them a bit, until you hear the sweet release of air and your clothes shrink down into a nice flat package that’s perfect for gaining more room in your drawers and shelves. These bags do double duty by protecting your clothes and saving space. For less than $9 you can gain a whole drawer — that’s magic to me.

Shop it: MagicBag Travel Instant Space Saver Storage Large Double Zipper 5 Pack, $9,

Don’t air your dirty laundry

Three bins for easy sorting. (Photo: Wayfair)
Three bins for easy sorting. (Photo: Wayfair)

No one loves doing laundry, but a good laundry basket can make it more pleasant. First, start off with something attractive that blends with your decor and doesn’t scream ‘dirty socks.’ “Good quality and looks nice in a room,” says one five-star reviewer. This simple basketweave provides an earthy texture that compliments most aesthetics, without advertising that there are dirty unmentionables inside. Next, make it efficient — this basket is sorted for three different cycles. Lights, darks, delicates, heavy duty— whatever your laundry needs, sort as you go, which will save time and energy on laundry day. This pretty wicker style is on sale for over $20 off right now, at Wayfair.

Shop it: Wicker 3 Bag Sorter Hamper, $139 (was $160),

Why hang yourself out to dry when you can save so much space?

Make laundry day better. (Photo: Home Depot)
Make laundry day better. (Photo: Home Depot)

Short on floor space? Think vertically. This wall-hanging shelf unit from Home Depot is not only a space saver, it’s stylish, with its beadboard back and white painted finish. A touch of vintage, country, coastal charm will make doing laundry more attractive, as well as save your floor space and storage areas from a bulky folding drying rack. Just pull out the accordion hanger when you need it, and tuck it back in when you don’t. Additional hooks line the bottom and a hefty shelf will hold detergents or display accessories.

“Very functional design. Easy to install. Looks nice mounted on the wall in my laundry room,” says one purchaser, and there are plenty of others in the 100 percent recommended reviews touting how easy it is to install.

Shop it: 36 in. White Wall Retractable Accordion Drying Rack, $131,

Compartmentalize to stay organized

The ultimate storage coffee table. (Photo: Wayfair)
The ultimate storage coffee table. (Photo: Wayfair)

Storage, storage, storage. This attractive coffee table will fit into a variety of decorating styles from rustic farmhouse to boho chic. This five-star reviewer has the skinny on how great this piece is: “I love the look, the color, and the three lids...I use [one] tray for remotes, pens, paper, etc, which removes clutter. There is plenty of room for sheets and blankets for the sleeper sofa, as well as throw [blankets]. Did I say I love, love, love this table chest?”

Stylish and convenient— that’s what we all need to stay organized. The three separate compartments are great for kid toys when you need to quickly tuck everything away. It even has wheels, so you can push it back for floor space when the urge for some meditative yoga hits.

Shop it: Mikesell Lift Top Coffee Table, $510,

Store it in style

Tuck it away in something pretty. (Photo: Wayfair)
Tuck it away in something pretty. (Photo: Wayfair)

Need even more places to stash your stuff? These handy little storage stools are a must for every room in the house — the den, living room, bedroom... Fill them with blankets, games, toys, you name it. “I hide my kids’ toys in the front room in these! They were much bigger and sturdier than I expected,” says one pleased mom. Park it in front of your favorite chair, tuck it into that empty corner, or buy a pair to use in lieu of a coffee table. Now that you’ve cleaned up, you can sit back and put your feet up.

Shop it: Kianna Storage Ottoman, $93,

No junk in the trunk

Reduce the junk in your trunk. (Photo: Wayfair)
Reduce the junk in your trunk. (Photo: Wayfair)

They call this a picnic basket, I call it a car organizer. Between the gloves, masks, reusable shopping bags and whatever else tends to collect in the back of my SUV, I need an organizer. This funky little contraption folds into a convenient tote for when you need room to fit that coffee table in the back of your car (or is that just me?). The cooler is a great addition for when you grab groceries on your way home, or want to keep your beverages cool on a long car ride. It’s removable, providing an extra storage compartment and a spare folding cooler you can take with you. Now that bag of apples or can of tennis balls can’t get far when they burst open because you took that speed bump too fast. Everything is contained — it even has side pockets for those things we used to call maps.

Shop it: Original Folding Picnic Basket with Cooler, $57 (was $60),

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