The Best Organizing Tips

A Mudroom Gets Made Over

Beth Ann Kempf’s 200-year-old house has no downstairs closets, so her entry hall has to work overtime. Real Simple reclaimed the spot to improve the family’s overall exit strategy. Here’s how. 

Roomy storage space with organized, non-bulky cabinetry
Bjorn Wallander
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Dishes stacked on shelves in front of chalkboard wall

Room-by-Room Organizing

Easy-to-steal storage tricks for small spaces (closets and bathrooms) and larger gathering spots (living rooms and kitchens).

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After: Cabinets Shed Their Bulky Doors, Cubbies Grow to Meet the Job

Roomy Storage That Fills the Space and Allows for Expansion
Door-free cabinets provide ideal nooks for bulky ski boots and opaque bins, which hide and unite by category awkwardly shaped contents, like off-season flip-flops, sunscreen, and bug spray. Open shelves can be an invitation for messy stashing; fabric bins that fit snugly (grab the handles to take them down) are more deliberate and discourage dumping. Wide wooden cubbies address a range of challenges. Each person has a labeled chrome bin for rolled-up ski pants (which eat up space when not properly contained), plus assigned locations for hats, gloves, and balls. Pale gray paint on the walls serves as a calm backdrop to this hectic zone.

To buy: Cubeicals fabric drawers in yellow, $7.50 each, closetmaid.com. Fir-wood storage cubbies (two shown), $160 each, plowandhearth.com. Chrome baskets, from $9 each, stacksandstacks.com. Wall paint: Barren Plain 2111-60, from $34 a gallon, benjaminmoore.com.

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