Storage Ideas For Clutter: 8 Dynamite Ways to Organize the ‘Must-Keep’ Stuff

Okay, so you’ve used all of my declutter tips and you’ve done an amazing job at getting rid of the ‘main’ clutter from your home. (Yay! You rock!) But now, you’re a little surprised that you still need a few storage ideas for clutter

It’s okay! You’re not alone. Many of the items you use fairly often can seem like clutter — but they’re not really UNLESS you don’t come up with proper storage solutions. Read on for some organizing storage ideas that will help ease your struggle with storing the ‘clutter-y’ items that you actually use.

Text ways to organize your clutter on white background over image of pile of folded jeans on stool against white wall.

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What to do Before You Store Clutter

Now, listen up! Do NOT read this post if you haven’t decluttered you home! (Exclamation marks on purpose, because that’s how serious I am about this.) If you don’t know how to let things go, this post will only give you ‘solutions’ that will actually make your clutter problem worse. Instead, go read my post about how to have a decluttering mindset. It’s the best place to begin.

Okay… still with me? Let’s talk about tips that will make these storage ideas work even better for you.

Ask yourself, ‘Where does clutter build up in my living space?’

Before you go out and buy organizers, or even decide which of the clutter storage ideas presented below work best you, decide where the worst build-up of clutter takes place in your home — kitchen, closets, bathroom or laundry room, pantry or cabinets? Somewhere else?

That’s the area to tackle first!

Good Habits for Maintaining a Clutter Free Home

Before you get moving with throwing everything into storage, start with deciding on a few good habits. They will make a huge difference to prevent the build-up of clutter.

  • Set a reminder for a daily 10-minute tidy at a convenient time for your family. Designate it as a time when you and your family members spend a few minutes to collect discarded items, check the garbage, and move things to their proper places. Do your best to make it a daily habit, not a ‘sometimes’ thing.
  • Try to cut clutter off at the source. A few smart tricks will go a long way. For example, open mail next to your recycling or trash bins, instead of leaving it heaped on tables or countertops. If you buy something that takes up space, try to get rid of something else. Don’t leave outgrown clothes sitting around, figure out a way to make a quick donation dropoff.
  • Read my 12 golden rules for how to live clutter free. They really do work!

8 Areas to Implement Storage Ideas for Clutter

Regardless of whether you live in a small or large space, an apartment or a house, clutter is a part of our existence. I’m not a decorator by any means, but I’ve found that it really helps to keep a few things in mind when storing clutter:

  • Use coordinated containers. A mish-mash confuses the eye and makes things feel chaotic.
  • Keep like items together. It’s easier to find them AND remember where to put them.
  • Store things in a place that makes sense. Putting the ‘useful clutter’ that you actually use in an out-of-the-way place that you never EVER look will result in frustration. For example, keep bathroom supplies under the bathroom sink. Keep office supplies near where you use them, not in a place like the pantry or laundry room.
  • For longer-term storage, use sheer containers so you don’t forget what you have stored. If these types of containers drive you crazy, check out this video by ClutterBug for suggestions on how to make other styles of containers work.

 Here are 8 areas with specific solutions to help you use better storage for clutter:

1 – Make Your Closet Work More Efficiently

Even with a decluttered wardrobe, if you leave your clothes, shoes, and accessories lying around your room ‘because your closet is too messy,’ then it all turns into one huge area of clutter.

Let’s start with multiplying the space available in closets. 

Adding vertical shelf dividers and extra shelves (no drilling required) can do wonders to organize clothes, bags, shoes, etc. These products create ‘levels’ and box-like areas. This allows you to fit more of your things accessibly on shelves without it turning into a jumbled mess. 

Another thing you can do in the closet is to hang things more efficiently. 

Put shower curtain hooks along the bottom of your hangers to hang soft and/or thin items like scarves and belts. Also, use slim hangers and special space-saving hooks that hold multiple hangers and use less rod space. 

What about shoes? You can try a freestanding shoe rack or this spiffy over-the-door shoe rack that is a fantastic space-saving solution and gets your pile of shoes off the floor. I would suggest measuring your door to make sure it will fit and double-checking that you can open your closet door far enough to still access your closet even with a fully-loaded shoe rack on it. Read some of the reviews… several people also have hung it on a wall either with some modifications or by hanging it over a rod mounted on the wall at the proper height.

Finally, if someone in the family has a problem with leaving dirty clothes piled in the bedroom instead of putting them in the laundry room, give them a laundry basket to keep in their closet for dirty clothes.

Even a very tiny closet can look fairly organized. Read more about how I organize my small master closet.

Pile of folded jeans on stool against white wall.

2 – Organize Your Bedroom Dresser Drawers for Maximum Use

Not quite ready for a minimalist bedroom declutter and no dresser? Okay, then let’s talk about how to keep your dresser drawers from becoming inaccessible heaps of clutter.

Consider these smart drawer organizers for socks and underwear. You could even make a DIY version from cardboard shoe boxes or cereal boxes covered with pretty paper. 

You will find that by using organizers within each drawer, your things both go and stay in their place. Not only is the clutter reduced, it’s exponentially easier to find things.

3 – Find Dual Purpose Furniture for Storage

Beds with pull-out drawers underneath are somewhat obvious, but you can also find more furniture that provides useful places to store necessary clutterl.

For example, storage ottomans are very popular and useful in living rooms and family rooms. They are great for storing blankets, toys, games, and more so that it doesn’t turn into permanent mess and clutter.

These cube-shaped rattan storage ottomans are nice because they are smaller and come in two sizes… very handy and space-efficient. 

And, oh my, this pretty cream-and-blue/turquoise floral fabric storage ottoman just went on my ‘must buy’ list for a future room redo.

Look for nightstands, end tables, and console tables with drawers or a shelf for a basket.

4 – Go Vertical in Your Kitchen, Pantry, and Bathroom

Use magnetic spice shelves to store spices alongside your fridge. But these nice-size shelves don’t only have to hold spices… I’m sure you can think of other items to store on them that will look much better than scattered across your countertop.

Hmmm… these magnetic shelves would also work great on the side of a clothes dryer to hold lightweight laundry supplies.

Also, try a magnetic strip on the wall to hang knives, instead of a knife block. It’s sleeker and less clutter-y.

Use vertical 3-tier wire shelf or 4-tier spa tower organizers to efficiently store handy items in a cramped bathroom. These have a small footprint and would work especially well on a counter.

5 – Organize Office Clutter and Paperwork

Office clutter can multiply so quickly! And paperwork? It seems to come in almost faster than you can take care of it, right?

If you frequently use a magnet board or a magnetic whiteboard, try these magnetic mesh pencil holders to keep your markers and writing utensils handy.

I’m also a fan of these woven baskets to corral the things I need near me all the time at my desk — like my phone, lotion, three types of glasses (for real), lip balm, sticky notes, and a few other things. 😉 I don’t have drawers at my daily workspace, so keeping this mess looking neat-ish is a challenge!

Since paperwork is a beast all on its own, I have some posts with suggestions and the exact products that can help you get a handle everything from the incoming piles to final file storage:

How to Create a School Memory Box {Easily Organize Papers and Memorabilia}

The Best Way to Organize Paper Files: 4 Tips for Organizing Files at Home

Paper Organizing Tools + Recommendations

6 – Create a Storage Area for Items Not Used Regularly

Turn an open section of wall in an unused room or utility area into organized storage.

I use one of these heavy duty storage shelf units on casters. Each shelf will hold three of these bins, which are perfect storage for things like hanging files and other ‘clutter’ that you MUST keep.

It looks a little industrial, but it’s coordinated, simple, and easy to access. For me, this is the best way to organize clutter since I don’t have a basement or an extra room.

7 – Use Bins and Baskets Wisely

Plants and wicker baskets for storing clutter on wood shelves.

Create zones and locations for bins or baskets with specific uses.

For example, designate bins for trash and recycling — and set up convenient areas to store them.

Likewise, create a ‘donation station’ with a box or basket that is emptied and dropped off at least once per week.

Another idea is to give each family member a basket or bin to contain the small items they need to ‘drop’ when they get home each day.

Bins and trendy baskets can be placed away from view or tastefully tucked under open tables. They can hold items such as pens, and markers, notepads, and more – things that you need from time to time but should not be left lying around.

8 – Get Geeky With Your Craft Supplies

Is that weird? LOL, sorry! What I mean is that most people are able to be MORE creative when they aren’t surrounded by a mess. When you can walk into your craft area and get right to doing what you love instead of having to clean up craft clutter for 20 minutes, the whole process is a LOT more fun. 😉 So… what can you do?

Probably the best overall solution is a self-contained DreamBox. If that’s not an option for you, try some of these ideas: 

For in-progress projects, keep supplies handy on this 3-tier utility rolling cart that has some useful accessories. Like to work on more than one type of project at a time? Use 2 or 3 carts so you can keep everything handy but separate. Line them up against a wall when you’re not using them and they will look neat and tidy.

Need portable solutions for carrying around the house or on road trips? Try a craft organizer tote bag or a collapsible rolling craft case — either one is a better choice than plastic grocery bags that you fill up and end up leaving lying all over the house for days or weeks.

My friend Cristi has more craft room organization ideas on a budget.

More Inspiration to Get Organized

How to Organize a Cluttered Garage

15 Smart Corner Space Ideas For Every Room Of Your Home

8 Strategies To Use When Your Partner Refuses to Declutter

How to Organize a Cluttered House in 4 Essential Steps 

17 Easy And Ultra Cheap Ways To Organize Your Home

Motivational Quotes For Cleaning: 20 Positive Clean Home Sayings

Will These Clutter Storage Ideas Work?

Of course, the first thing you have to do is prevent the clutter from returning. Doing that will go a LONG way toward making these organizing storage ideas work for the clutter-y things you have left.

If you can focus on creating and maintaining storage places without cluttering the floor areas, that’s a great start. Along with that, follow the rules you’ve created for yourself and your family members – these will be your version of the good habits mentioned earlier.

I absolutely believe these storage ideas for clutter will work for anyone to give your home a cleaner, more organized look. You can then work to keep it that way. 

For even more organizing tips, check out my collection of over 175 quick ideas for organizing every space in your home.

You’ve got this!

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2 thoughts on “Storage Ideas For Clutter: 8 Dynamite Ways to Organize the ‘Must-Keep’ Stuff”

  1. Hiya, long time. We are slowly but surely getting through another round of decluttering. This time we are doing clothes. It’s a ‘painful’ process to get rid of things we’ve loved for so long but it’s also therapeutic and we feel lighter for it.
    Thanks as always for your usual useful tips.

  2. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing on Happiness is Homemade. My readers would love for you to share on my two other link parties, You’re the Star Blog Hop and Traffic Jam Weekend at!

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