Our Favorite Home Organizing Essentials

Today, we’re sharing our favorite home organizing essentials!

We probably all have a friend or family member that says, “You have GOT to help me get organized this year,” or they announce, “This is the year, I’m going to get organized. I’m serious this time!” with complete conviction every January.

Organizing the pantry

And despite their best intentions, they say it again while spring cleaning, and then again just before school starts and again at the end of the year.

Maybe that’s how you feel sometimes too.

Organizing pots and pans

No matter what time of year it is or what season of life you find yourself in, it is possible to have an organized home.

I know sometimes the thought of being organized can seem totally overwhelming.

Organizing a spice drawer

Especially, if you have a busy and active family life, an intense job, are the parent of littles or teenagers, or trying to organize 2 separate households while living in 2 different cities throughout the week.

But don’t worry, there’s hope.

Organizing cleaning supply cabinet

I truly believe anyone can be organized. You just have to know your priorities, find the right tools, and have a system in place that specifically works for you and your family.

Organizing is not one size fits all!

Once you have those efficient systems in place, gone will be the days you put up with clutter and chaos. It just won’t be an option for you and your anymore.

Organizing your desk drawer

We live a mostly organized life.  I say mostly because we aren’t perfect. There are definitely things we’re working to improve all the time.

Our garage, for example, is a hot mess right now.

It’s taken some effort for the rest of the house to get to this point. But now that we’ve been living an organized life for several years, we can’t imagine living any other way.

Here’s a look at our favorite home organizing essentials and tools that have helped us cut the clutter and organize our home…

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*This post was updated August 2020

Calendar/Planner

In the past, I’ve used the Planner Pad (the funnel down method of time management was really helpful) and the Day Designer both of which I appreciated for different reasons.

Then I needed a way to merge and simplify my home life, business life, and personal life so I switched to a customized planner from Plum Paper and it’s worked out really well too.

If you struggle with feeling like you have “too many things to do and no time to do it,” find a planner and a time management system that helps you organize your priorities.

I batch tasks, block schedule my days, and plan the week out on Sundays and it’s such a time saver!

Planner Pads, File Folders/Boxes & Sticky Notes

I write our weekly meal plan in my planner and on our menu board but I have several friends that use this meal planner pad and love it.

My bestie S uses these tabbed sticky notes, expanding file folders and I love these photo boxes for storing office and craft supplies.

Just a heads up, photo boxes similar to these are much cheaper at places like Michaels!

Erasable Colored Pens & Pencils

I like to be able to find things in my calendar quickly which is why I write specific tasks down in specific colors. I know it’s kind of nerdy but it helps me stay on track throughout the day.

These mechanical colored pencils are easier to use than other erasable colored pencils I’ve tried. I use these erasable gel pens because they do not bleed through my calendar pages.

I’ve also heard good things about these ParKoo Erasable Gel Pens and about these Paper Mate Felt Tip Flair Pens too.

Organizing essentials

Baskets, Bins, Totes & Containers

I could sing the praises of baskets all day long!  They’re great for storing everything from pantry items to sheets in the linen closet.

Baskets, bins, totes, and containers are definitely one of my favorite home organizing essentials because they can be used in almost every room of the house.

You can choose natural baskets, metal baskets, cloth baskets, cubes, or a caddy style container whichever best fits your lifestyle.

Organizing with jars and bins

Jars

We use jars like these in the pantry for storing dry goods and these glass jars the laundry room to store laundry soap.

We also use glass jars similar to these to organize our spices and our cereals are stored in these containers.

If you have littles, mischievous pets, or elderly parents you may want to consider using a plastic or metal alternative.  Most of the time, they will help to keep you as organized as the glass containers but will be a safer option.

Plastics can be kind of tricky so make sure you’ve researched which material is best for your family (i.e. BPA-free) prior to purchasing.

Organizing with labels

Tags, Labels and Label Makers

I’m a huge proponent of labeling everything, even if it seems kind of obvious.  That way everyone in your household and even guests, can find things easier and help to keep things tidy too.

There are so many different kinds of labels to choose from depending on the size, shape, and material of the containers you use. You can purchase chalkboard style labels like these, use ID tags like these or use a label maker tool like this one and this one.

Meal Prep and Lunch Containers

We’ve been using these meal prep and food storage containers and these bento box-style containers to keep meals and leftovers as easy as possible.

We also use these bags instead of sandwich bags and these wide mouth mason jars to organize medium-sized items like fruits, nuts, granola, and salads.

Drawer, Makeup & Shoe Organizers

My friends that have littles swear by these drawer dividers. I haven’t used them yet but they’re on my list to try this year.

I got my baby sister something similar to this makeup organizer to help keep all of her makeup organized. She’s pretty “no fuss” so she likes to keep everything contained and together.

I use an individual shoe container system similar to this one. But my mom uses a shoe cubby system like this one and says really likes the convenience.

We use three drawer organizer systems like this for everything from cleaning sponges to storing jewelry accessories. This stackable organizer is great for organizing earrings and rings.

Tech Gadgets to Keep You Organized 

I’m totally a pen and paper kind of girl. But my bestie S tries to school me on technology all the time.  While I’ve been slow to get on board with some things, I use these tools nearly every day.

We plug our devices into this charging station every night and by morning we’re good to go.  It’s definitely like having a command center for our phones and tablets.

These Amazon Smart Plugs have saved us so many times! Especially, when we’re running late and have forgotten to leave a few lights on for Filbie.  We pair them with lamps and have Alexa turn them on for us.

S turned me on to these extra-long charging cables after staying at Loblolly Manor.  Some of the plugs are in a weird spot because it’s an older home so these extra-long cable cords have come in really handy.

Another purchase inspired by Loblolly! These outlets not only provide surge protection and USB charging capabilities, but you can also plug multiple devices into them at once. There’s even a slot up top to hold your phone or tablet.

Looking back, I have no idea how we survived without an Amazon Echo. We use it for everything from hearing the morning news to traffic reports to playing music to reordering our favorite tea.

This was one of those products I didn’t know I needed until I needed it.  My camera’s SD card always seems to be full.  This Toshiba 1TB External Hard Drive helps to provide extra storage for the business of the blog.

Finally, we use our kitchen timer frequently to help us stay on task.  This one is nice because it has a magnet on the back so you can stick it on the refrigerator and keep your counters clutter-free.

Organizing tips from books

Favorite Home Organizing Essentials Books

Although I’ve always been a fairly organized person, this book really helped me cut the clutter for good.

I read this book every December to prep for yearly organization projects and I appreciate how this book is both pretty and practical.

These authors have a loyal following and I’m excited about their next book too!

We probably all have goals to be more organized in specific areas of our lives.  I know I definitely do!

Keep in mind, small changes each day will make the biggest impact over time. You don’t have to be perfect; you just have to get started.

Make this year the year you not only get organized but you stay organized too.  I’m cheering you on!

Let us know if you have any favorite home organizing essentials. Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

A Few Other Organization Posts You Might Enjoy:

Many blessings,

CoCo

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12 Comments

  1. I’m so glad you like these, Bonnie! Vintage locker baskets have been so hard to find lately so these would be a fabulous alternative. Hugs, CoCo

  2. I appreciate it ladies! Those bottles and baskets are so cool, right? We need a truck load 🙂 Hugs, CoCo

  3. Yes, Jane, you are SO right! Getting organized is one thing and keeping it up is something completely different. Oh my word the Target One Spot gets me every time, right? and I love the products in TJ Maxx/Marshalls/Home Goods too. We are going to be some of the best organized girls on the block this year. Happy New Year to you too, CoCo

  4. I appreciate it Cat! I use colored pencils almost every day and the fact that they’re erasable makes it so much easier than writing in pen on the calendar/planner. Hope you’re having a fun day, CoCo

  5. Your pantry looks like a model home with those adorable baskets… and I loved your jar lid labels. You are certainly motivating me to get a little more organized with all of the fun ideas you shared!

    1. You’re so sweet, Heidi, thank you! With all the craziness that has happened this year, I’m definitely thankful for a pantry and other spaces that can easily be tidied 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week so far! Hugs, CoCo

  6. I’ve often been that person you describe at the beginning of the post. Thankfully, this year I decided enough is enough! I just love seeing everything organized, never mind the fact things are so much easier to find! (IE: my seven pairs of glasses!) Your home is just lovely, CoCo, and every time I see that pantry I just drool! It’s SO organized!!! Thank you for sharing some of your favorite products! I’m going to check out some of those books! Have a blessed rest of your day!

  7. You have so many wonderful ideas, CoCo. Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ’s.

    1. I really appreciate it, Ann! Thanks so much for giving us a fun place to gather each week. Hugs, CoCo

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