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What Is Your Best Easy Organizing Tip?

Real Simple readers share their tricks for keeping everything in order.

Pants hanger used to organize jewelryHector Sanchez
After you pick up your mail, run, don't walk, to the receiving bin. Don't drop it in your bag, don't put it in the front seat of your car or set it down. Go through it on the spot. Get rid of it before it makes itself at home.
Muriel Gluck
Huntington, New York

I wrap my holiday gifts in groups by paper: silver for my sister, gold for my brother, and red for my in-laws. I know exactly what to grab when we’re heading out.
Jacqui Cooley
Maitland, Florida


I bought a shoe holder to store charging cables and the small accessories for my cell phone, MP3 player, digital camera, etc. I hang it over a closet door and simply label each pocket.
Nancy Cunniff
Mansfield, Massachusetts


I use a pant hanger with rubber-covered rungs that swing out to organize my jewelry. I slip rings on the first rung, bracelets on the second, and necklaces on the third. I just swing out a rung to take the item of my choice.
Joy Rasin
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin


Quite by accident, I developed an almost pleasant way to declutter: I learned to putter. I loaded my iPod with songs I like (that’s key) and just walked around picking things up, tidying, humming, and dancing like a fool, but getting things done―and at a faster pace than I had expected. Puttering is productive, it doesn’t seem like work, and it sounds so much better than “cleaning house.”
Patti Palmer
Konawa, Oklahoma


Last Christmas my friend and I decided to forgo the usual gifts and give each other five hours of our time instead. I helped her clean her bedroom closet, and she helped me clean my basement. We had fun, saved money, and made a lot of progress.
Jane Roberts
Southbury, Connecticut


I keep a bag in the trunk of my car, and I slowly fill it with items for charity. When I run across a pair of shoes or a toy my children have outgrown, a shirt I no longer wear, or a paperback I’m ready to pass on, I take it to the car and drop it in the bag. Sometimes it takes a week, sometimes more, but the bag eventually gets filled and dropped off at the nearest donation site. My children are aware of the bag, and I think it has provided them with a valuable lesson in giving and recycling.
Rachel Donihoo
McKinney, Texas


With a family of six, I find a dry-erase calendar essential. Each family member has a different-color marker so we can see at a glance who needs to be where and when.
Janet Ellert
Evansville, Indiana

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