When you find yourself with unexpected time on your hands at home, there are some easy options — bingeing a favorite series or finding a new one, attacking your reading list, finally beating that really tough "boss" at the end of the maze — or some practical options, like using the time to refresh and reorganize your home. It's not the most entertaining option, but ultimately it may be the most satisfying.
1. That Closet
Closets are one of the most challenging places to organize in the entire home, just because they get used so much and hold such a variety of items. There's a whole industry built around organizing and optimizing your closet space, but professional help gets expensive pretty quickly. These 10 surprisingly efficient closet hacks go the opposite direction, relying on dollar-store items and ingenuity to get the most out of your closet space.
2. Under Your Kitchen Sink
Keeping your cleaning products under the kitchen sink is perfectly natural and efficient — that's where they'll often be used, after all, and it's a central location — but keeping them organized and accessible can be a challenge. Turning this chaotic under-sink disaster area into an organized, efficient space actually requires just a few inexpensive dollar-store items and some creative storage ideas. For a surprisingly low cost in time and money, you can have an under-counter space you'll be proud of.
3. The Kitchen Cabinets
It's terribly frustrating to be in the middle of making a meal and get sidetracked looking for an ingredient that's MIA in your cupboards. It's not just frustrating, it's costly: You may find yourself buying multiples of the same item because one gets lost or forgotten; and some overlooked foods might spoil or go stale before they get used. It takes just a few low-effort, low-cost ideas to transform your kitchen cupboards into an organized, efficient space where everything has a place.
4. Your Car
People choose their cars for a whole lot of reasons, and one of them is to make a statement of how you see yourself. Unfortunately the interior often sends a different message, one of clutter and disorganization, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are all kinds of easy car organization hacks you can use to tame the clutter, keep the things you need at your fingertips, and even help the kids stay happy and entertained in the back seat.
5. Those Drawers
Piling miscellaneous clutter on flat surfaces is a bad habit that's disconcertingly easy to fall into. Shoveling the same clutter into drawers is marginally better, because you can't see it, but it's no more practical when you actually need to find something. There are plenty of commercial products to help you organize your drawer space, but where's the fun in that? It's both cheaper and more satisfying to create your own, custom-fit DIY drawer organizers from cardboard boxes. The price tag is just pennies, and — unlike commercial products — the end result will be a perfect match for your drawers and your needs.
6. Your Refrigerator
In a way, your fridge is rather like your monthly budget: You'd like to think it won't hold any surprises, but in practice it often does. That's because organizing your fridge for maximum efficiency is actually more complicated than you might think, involving not just physical spaces but considerations of food safety and temperature, as well. A few simple fridge organizing tips can go a long way, making it easier to see and reach all of your foods all of the time. Not only is it less frustrating, it also cuts down on waste (and your grocery bill!).
7. The Home Office
As a lot of people learn the hard way, keeping a home-office workspace neat and organized isn't as straightforward as it is in a traditional office setting. You won't (usually) have a purchasing staff to keep you topped up on office supplies, for one thing, and a corner of your living room or spare bedroom won't usually give you as much storage space as a full-sized, office-worthy desk and credenza. Still, whatever amount of space you have to work with, a few simple office DIY ideas can help keep you organized and productive.
8. The Bedroom
In an ideal world, your bedroom would be your sanctum and your refuge, a zen-like space where you can retreat to decompress after the pressures of the day. In reality, all too often it's the place where things are simply brought and dropped to get them out of the public areas of your home. Creative people have come up with multiple DIYs to organize and declutter your bedroom, which don't just add practical storage but do it with style and flair.
9. DIY Electronics Charging Station
One of the best things about modern life is the vast number of smart, convenient wireless devices we have at our fingertips. One of the worst things about modern life is trying to keep all of those wireless devices and their chargers from cluttering up our living space. This DIY electronics charging station tucks the chargers away in one neat, centralized location, and provides a visually appealing way to conceal your devices while they charge. Anything that both takes away clutter and adds visual appeal to the room is clearly a win-win!
10. Your Grill Tools
Backyard grilling is one of the best things about summer. It gets you out of your hot kitchen into the sunshine and fresh air, and it's much more social than holing up in front of the stove. It does present some challenges, though, because your outdoor grilling area won't usually have a kitchen's full range of storage options. Your grill tools are also much longer than their kitchen equivalents, to keep your hands further away from the flames, which makes them tougher to store neatly. There are some interesting DIY options for bringing tool storage to your grill itself and the surrounding areas. They'll help you work more efficiently, and keep your back yard neater-looking and less cluttered.