I think what’s especially funny about this whole ‘living small’ thing is that I haven’t always been the most organized. It wasn’t until I moved into my loft and actually felt like I had more of a home (even as a renter), that I realized I had to get organized. Now that my actual home is even smaller than the loft I rented, we have to stay tidy and organized. There are a few storage tools that I’ve come to rely on… in fact, I’d probably be a hot mess without these!
8 Must-Have Storage Tools, No Matter the Size of Your Home
1. The entire Elfa closet system
During the bedroom renovation, I went deeeeep into researching the best closet system to use. I almost went the IKEA route, but wanted to have a bit more flexibility. Ultimately I chose the Elfa closet system and, two years later, I am happy to report that it’s still the best. You can see more of our closet here to see how we laid out the components. We’ve made a few changes since then, but the overall layout is the same. And any time we’ve wanted to make a change, it’s been super easy to shop for new storage tools to fit in. The whole system is modular, so it’s ridiculously easy to update.
I mean… we love Elfa so much that we’re using it in the new closet we added to the kitchen! More on that to come.
2. Coordinating storage bins with handles
What I love the most about our Elfa closet is that most of the storage bins at The Container Store are the perfect size to fit it. I’ve used these flax storage bins countless times and in countless ways. And I know that every time I order more, they will perfectly fit in our closet! I use these bins to store anything from magazines to throws to accessories to dog stuff. They are truly indispensable.
Here are a few more storage bins and baskets that I love using throughout our home:
3. Drawer dividers
I think the day I realized that I needed more drawer dividers was the day I realized just how organized I’d become. You guys… this is one storage tool that I will never be able to go without again! After you’ve embraced the KonMari method and folded your clothing properly, you’ll need these to hold everything in place. Nothing helps to keep your hard work in place more than a good ole drawer dividers. I prefer the clear ones for a more streamlined look.
4. A collapsible laundry basket
There’s something about laundry that really gets me going… have you been able to tell? I’ve posted about my laundry essentials and stylish laundry baskets in the past, but I’m here today to tell you that if you buy ONE laundry tool that I suggest, please please please make it this collapsible laundry basket. If I was into poetry, I’d probably write a love poem to this one item. I just really love how light it is and how you can shove it into any nook and cranny to make it disappear when not in use. I’m obsessed.
p.s. if your household needs a larger version, don’t worry, there is one!
5. Glass food storage jars
From leftovers to sauces to quick pickles, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve used these jars! My personal fave is a mix of traditional, wide mouth Ball jars and Le Parfait clasp jars. If I had to pick an absolutely indispensable size and shape, it would have to be this 32 oz terrine jar. Once our kitchen is finally finished, I am so excited to have all of my dry goods decanted into glass jars and easily perusable when cooking.
Here are a few more glass food storage containers that we use a lot:
Again, another storage tool I had noooo idea I needed… until I got it! I always hated that I couldn’t see any of our pantry items in the back. Every time I tried to cook, I’d have to remove a layer or two of items to see what I had. It was really unwieldy and just annoying. The addition of this simple riser helps me see everything we have on hand.
7. Expandable cabinet shelves
On a similar note, I also love using these cabinet shelves to get more storage out of my cabinets. This is an especially awesome tool for renters if you’re not able to add more shelves to existing cabinetry. I use mine to group like items, so for example my dinner plates are on the bottom and the smaller salad plates are on top.
8. A lazy susan turntable
I learned this trick from The Faux Martha and I’m officially obsessed. To keep anything tall (like bottles) easily accessible use a lazy susan turntable! You can use this within a cabinet or pantry or on the countertop. I plan to use one on the counter next to our cooktop so I can keep my oils, spices, and salt cellar easily accessible.
Did I miss any storage tools?? I’d love to know what you swear by!