November 30, 2023


Interior spice

A designer picks the 10 best products for getting organized

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Change your messy ways... (Photo: Walmart)

Change your messy ways… (Photo: Walmart)

We’re officially into 2022 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’.)

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! (Unlike mom.) What have you got to lose? Besides your keys, your cell phone, that pair of diamond earrings…

A multipurpose masterpiece. (Photo: Walmart)

A multipurpose masterpiece. (Photo: Walmart)

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 close to 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 fresh painted white finish to suit any decor. You’ll be amazed at the sale price —$190, down from $260.

$190 $260 at Walmart

Turn your closet into a fancy boutique. (Photo: Walmart)

Turn your closet into a fancy boutique. (Photo: Walmart)

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. Just $36 will get you 50 of these beauties, and your closet will no longer be the dreaded great abyss of your sartorial nightmares.

$36 at Walmart

This life hack is clutch. (Photo: Walmart)

This life hack is clutch. (Photo: Walmart)

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 says: “This file folder rack is perfect — it’s sturdy (comes with little rubber pads on the bottom to help hold it in place, plus two extra pads were included)… roomier than I had even hoped for, and each item is visible because the fronts of each section are tiered.” 

Other ideas: Use it for organizing children’s books in the shelves when bookends don’t cut the mustard, or for storing and propping open your cookbook. This clear acrylic blends into any aesthetic, like a magical organizing wizard. 

$24 at Walmart

Stay organized, on the go. (Photo: Walmart)

Stay organized, on the go. (Photo: Walmart)

And now I need to educate you on the handiest little find that you’ll be happy you have when you hop on that plane to Fiji…or Florida…or wherever. This pouch is just as great for taking to work and using around the house. The adorable 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 resting your touch-up 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 is waterproof and washable. 

Says one thrilled user, “I was tired of fumbling around in my cosmetic case and saw this. I was skeptical, but…WOW! On my recent two-week trip to Europe, with constant laying out and packing up, this item was wonderful. I could find what I wanted quickly… Packing up was just a matter of pulling the drawstring. At first I wasn’t sure about changing to this bag, but now I could not do without it.”

Prices vary depending on style, but this cute little unicorn pattern is only $14.

$14 at Walmart

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 $10 you can gain a whole drawer — that’s magic to me. Great for packing too! 

$10 at Walmart

This laundry bag is totes adorable. (Photo: Walmart)

This laundry bag is totes adorable. (Photo: Walmart)

No one loves doing laundry, but a good hamper can make it more pleasant. First, start off with something attractive that blends with your decor and doesn’t scream ‘dirty socks.’ 

Says a fan: “This laundry hamper is so cute! I love the look of burlap! It makes laundry day easier instead of having to dig through all the clothes to separate them. This does that for you! Easy to carry and has a nice padding on the handles for lifting! It is nice and sturdy too! Overall, great product!” 

This simple linen-like weave provides an earthy texture that’s attractive, as well as practical. Next, make it efficient — this basket is sorted for two 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 cute, versatile tote is on sale for just $12 right now at Walmart.

$12 $40 at Walmart

Perfect for bath or laundry room. (Photo: Walmart)

Perfect for bath or laundry room. (Photo: Walmart)

Short on floor space? Think vertically. This wall-hanging shelf unit is not only a space saver, it’s stylish, with its 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. The shelf will hold extra towels or display accessories.

Says one purchaser: “I spent a good while looking for a rack to use in my small powder room. I have several dogs and particularly on rainy days need space to dry their towels. This rack is great — I extend it when I need it and fold it back the rest of the time. I can still hang a towel when it is folded back. I am impressed by its capacity, and the shelf is large enough to be useful.” 

Plus, it’s 50 percent off — score!

$75 $150 at Walmart

A coffee table with a few tricks up its sleeve. (Photo: Walmart)

A coffee table with a few tricks up its sleeve. (Photo: Walmart)

Storage, storage, storage. This attractive coffee table will fit into a variety of decorating styles from rustic farmhouse to boho chic. Stylish and convenient — that’s what we all need to stay organized. The top lifts up into a tray table, so you can eat that TV dinner right from the sofa, no unsteady folding TV tables from the 80s needed. 

Inside leaves room for games, remotes, laptops, and it’s great for toys when you need to quickly tuck everything away. Divided shelves beneath provide even more storage, so you can stack those book club books you’re too lazy to get to, or that decorative bowl you didn’t have a place for. Anything too unsightly can be stashed in some storage baskets instead. 

This table’s got it all and it’s on sale for $99, saving you $80. 

$99 $179 at Walmart

Put your feet up, and your stuff in. (Photo: Walmart)

Put your feet up, and your stuff in. (Photo: Walmart)

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 or toys or take a cue from this smart shopper: “This fit the small space next to our piano perfectly. We use it to store the sheet music and as an extra seat for the grandchildren. It is very sturdy.” 

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. Buy now and save nearly 50 bucks.

$171 $220 at Walmart

Your car's must have. (Photo: Walmart)

Your car’s must have. (Photo: Walmart)

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 storable imprint for when you need room to fit that coffee table in the back of your car (or is that just me?). The waterproof insulation is a great addition for when you grab groceries on your way home, or want to keep your beverages cool and worry free from spills. 

Sizing is versatile for the trunk or the passenger seat and bonus: it straps in, so no sliding around on the seat. 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. 

“Exactly what I was looking for!” says one put-together driver. “Keeps my trunk organized. I bought it because it has straps that keep it from moving all over my trunk. It’s a good size organizer.” 

For $25 you’ll wonder why you didn’t buy one sooner. 

$25 at Walmart

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