John Trosko, a Los Angeles–based organizer and blogger at organizingla.com, recommends his go-to items.
Gray Felt File Box
“A serious upgrade from the cardboard banker’s box, this file holder is worth the price—it looks nice enough to stay out in the open wherever you spend the most time, like in the living room. When you can file while watching Modern Family, the stack of papers on the kitchen table disappears just like that.”
“Use these stackable bins to store Post-it Notes, flash drives, and small electronics that you need near—but not on—your desk. I would buy 10 in two sizes, since they’re also great for ponytail holders in the bathroom and nails and screws in the garage. They’re translucent, so you can spy what you need without looking at the whole mess clear as day.”
To buy: Six half-size boxes (3¼ by 6 by 8¾ inches; shown), $5.50 each; and four full-size boxes (6½ by 6 by 8¾ inches), $8 each: muji.us for info.
3 of 7Anna Williams
Reusable Poly Envelopes
“To combat paper clutter, I give all my clients a dozen or two of these plastic envelopes. They’re the easiest way to keep receipts, theater tickets, coupons, and gift cards orderly. Store them in a top desk drawer and add new items as they come in.”
To buy: 24 coupon-size envelopes (7½ by 5½ inches), $1 each, Better Office, 800-631-7673.
4 of 7Anna Williams
Viola Drawer Organizers
“Big drawers always turn into chaos, so I would buy 14 separators in various sizes for drawers anywhere from the dining room to the garage. Reinforced corners make these durable. The small size—about 9 by 4½ by 3 inches—fits in buffet drawers. I keep napkin rings in those and table linens in the large ones.”
To buy: Four small organizers, $4 each; six medium organizers, $5 each; and four large organizers, $8 each: containerstore.com.
5 of 7Anna Williams
Archival-Storage File Boxes
“Sentimental items kept in the attic, like photos and kids’ art, can age if they’re not taken care of, so it’s worth the time to transfer them to the right storage containers. These acid-free boxes from a shipping company are my go-to for safely preserving memorabilia. You’ll want at least 10.”
To buy: Two sets of five boxes, $16 each, uline.com.
6 of 7Anna Williams
“Instead of filling up your pantry with food in bulky packaging, decant your tea bags, granola bars, and other wrapped items into five of these stackable bins. Huge space-saver! And the handles make it a cinch to move them around.”
To buy: Two small bins, $11 each; two medium bins, $15 each; and one large bin, $20: bedbathandbeyond.com.
7 of 7Anna Williams
InterMetro Toy Storage
“This easy-to-assemble shelving is good for kids’ play areas, but it’s also ideal for a hall closet with underutilized space. Load it up with sponges, cleaning solutions, and other household supplies. You can customize the shelves’ height and width, so it works well in a basement or garage, too.”