Simple Tips To Help You Keep These Mess-Prone Areas Clean and Organized

Let’s face it — there are some rooms in the home that tend to gather more clutter than others. Generally, the smaller the room, the more cluttered and disorganized it becomes. That means keeping your closets and pantry tidy can be downright difficult.

Here are some tricks to help keep the smallest rooms in your home organized and clutter-free.

  • Fill Mason Jars — Clear, glass jars with flip-top lids (or clear, airtight plastic containers) are perfect for stashing kitchen ingredients. No more digging through Ziploc bags when you need to find the chocolate chips or chopped pecans. Store these items in a jar where they’ll stay fresh and you can easily spot them when you need them.
  • Organize with Magnetic Spice Jars — All those tiny bottles of spices are easy to knock over and can make quite a mess in your pantry. Plus, they take up valuable shelf space because they don’t stack neatly. Keep your herbs and spices organized with magnetic spice jars. Hang the jars on the side of your fridge or conceal them on the back of the pantry door with the help of magnetic paint.
  • Get in the Zone — Divide your pantry into zones, grouping similar items together, such as canned goods, baking items, cereal, weekday lunch items, etc. Designate an area of your pantry for each category and then label each zone to help keep you organized. Place stair-step shelves in your pantry to keep back rows of canned goods and other food items clearly in view.
  • Break Out the Baskets — Keep your meal planning nice and simple. Plan and shop for multiple meals at once, then store all non-perishable foods for each meal in individual bins or baskets. Label each basket by day or meal and place them in a prominent spot in your pantry for easy access. When it’s time to cook, everything you need for that meal is ready to go in one place.
  • Stash Quick Breakfasts — If mornings are the most hectic part of your day, keeping quick breakfast foods in an easy-to-access spot in the pantry can help minimize your morning stress. Place loaves of bread in an undershelf basket, and stash cereals and breakfast bars where you can quickly grab and go.
  • Hang Kitchen Tools — Don’t let kitchen tools take up valuable shelf-space. Install hooks on the wall or on the back of your pantry door to hang seldom-used utensils, like your grill tools.
  • Group Like Items — Organize similar items together to make things easy to find and keep tabs on what you have. For example, organize clothes by groups such as: work shirts, casual shirts, dresses, slacks, shoes, long-sleeved shirts, short-sleeved shirts, etc.
  • One-In-Three-Out — This is the secret to decluttering your home. When you bring in anything new (clothes, shoes, accessories, toys, etc.) donate, recycle or sell three items of the same category.
  • Hang Bags on Hooks — Keep your accessories neat and organized in your closet with durable hooks (like shower curtain hooks). Simply latch the hook over the clothes rod in your closet then hang your purses, belts and other accessories.
  • Make Things Visible — Use see-through or mesh storage bins to help you identify what’s stored inside. This is especially helpful if you’re organizing a child’s closet. Toys, shoes and clothes should be organized in such a way that they are easily seen, or a child will have a hard time putting things back in the right places.
  • Color-Code Your Closet — Arrange the garments in your closets by color. Not only will it keep your closet organized, it will also help you keep track of what clothing you have. It’s not so easy to end up with an over-abundance of navy shirts when you keep your closet organized by color and know exactly what you have.
  • Rotate Every Season — Why occupy real estate in your closet storing clothes you won’t wear for three to six months? Invest in storage tubs or vacuum-pack storage bags to pack away any clothes and shoes that aren’t currently in season. Doing so can help you trim down at least 50 percent of the items stored in your closet. Keep the tubs/bags well organized in your storage room or attic where they are easily accessible when the seasons change.
  • Use Hanging Shelves and Shelf Dividers — No built-in shelving? No problem. Capitalize on every inch in your small closet with hanging bins and shelves to store folded garments or shoes. Utilizing shelf dividers on your upper shelves can help keep leaning towers of folded clothes in line.
  • Dump the Boxes — Unless you plan on returning an item, there’s no reason to hang onto its original box and packaging. A dozen shoe boxes in your closet take up far more space than 12 pairs of shoes that are well organized on a shelf or in an over-the-door shoe organizer. If you prefer to keep your shoes in boxes, invest in slim, clear plastic shoe boxes that stack compactly.
  • Work the Walls — When it comes to small spaces, think up. Stack storage bins on the top shelves of your closet or install up-to-the-ceiling cabinets to maximize storage space. And keep a small folding step stool close at hand so you can easily reach things at the top of your closet.


Staying organized takes both strategy and creativity. If you think outside the box, you can keep any space neat and tidy, no matter how small.

Is it time to move to a home with more storage space? Contact a PrimeLending home loan expert to get prequalified for a home loan.


from the PrimeLending blog by Mandy Jordan