How To Organize Your Home (And Life)


All photos taken by: @jess.n.eugene and edited by me.

Hi Loves,

Moving into a new space can cause organizational nightmares. Everything that had a place in your previous apartment is now homeless at the new one. I honestly need organization to survive… it’s built into my DNA. When my apartment is a mess, my life seems to be too. Covid-19 gave me the time to purge and reorganize my cabinets, my closets, and my drawers, making it easier to put clutter away. The saying, ”Tidy room tidy mind” rings true for my mental health. It erases feeling of being overwhelmed and anxious or even moody. If you are experiencing these feelings, start with your home. Break it down to one cabinet or drawer at a time. Getting started is the hardest part.

Today I’m sharing some of my organizational tips and tricks. Apartment or small space living can be challenging with lack of storage space. Here’s how I made the most of mine.

Our kitchen pantry was not aesthetically beautiful like the Pinterest ones I pinned. The slots on the wired shelves made it extremely difficult to place anything on them. Small bags would get caught between the shelves and the glass jars didn’t sit evenly, so they were potential hazards every time you moved anything. We tossed our dry goods in the cabinet with the theory “out of sight, out of mind.” Did I mention the food pantry closet has no light? So it was dark and messy. Good luck scavenging for snacks.

In an attempt to make our pantry a little more “user-friendly,” we used flooring tiles from the hardware store to create a solid flat surface on which to set items. At my previous job, I used these tiles for flat lays, but they now serve a new purpose. So if you are battling wire shelves anywhere in your space, consider long tiles to solve your problem. I have noticed this type of shelving in laundry rooms and closets.

Since college, I have loved using glass jars from Ikea for food storage of items I regularly buy or always keep in stock like Banza pasta, maca powder, chia seeds, and oatmeal. I love the jars because I can see exactly what’s in them without a label. They come in a variety of sizes and are very inexpensive. The jars have a rubber piece causing the lid to seal tight, thus keeping your food fresh and critter free. Aesthetically they are beautiful, not to mention they take up less space than boxes and bags.

Pro Tip:

Place canned goods or peanut butter on tiered shelving. I bought the clear plastic shelves at Home Goods in college for my deodorant, hair spray, and perfume. Tiered shelving is affordable at Home Goods, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Amazon. Look for it in the kitchen section but consider using it in the bathroom if you have a lot of products you use every day.

Baskets from The Dollar Store or plastic bins work great for snack storage. Place salty snacks in one and sweet snacks in the other. Consider storage bins for baking items. It makes it so easy to have most of your ingredients like flour, salt, baking soda, sugar, baking powder in one convenient basket. Searching for items can waste valuable time.

The pasta container, rice holder, and cereal catchall are from the thrift store. You can put storage items in the dishwasher to disinfect them. Consider looking for storage pieces at any thrift store. Make sure the seals are tight on plastic containers and the rubber piece is still in place on canisters or jars.

I’ve never had luck with storing spices until Bryce purchased this door mount for us. Most of my spices are visible and in reach. I have tried to keep all of my spices on the tier organizer like my canned goods, but I always seemed to knocked one down when I went to grab it. This is just easy. Some day I hope to purchase acrylic shelves from Amazon like the beauty gurus use for sunglasses and matching jars with labels to build the ultimate spice rack. For now this is functional.

If I could add anything to this pantry, it would be a light. It’s in my future plans.

Apartment living is all about making good use of your space. Although Bryce and I have a very spacious place, we were struggling in the kitchen. It had less cabinets and drawers making storage like a Jenga game.

We had to maximize any storage we had. Our biggest storage spot in the kitchen was under the sink. Most people just toss everything under the sink with no method to their madness. If you have a deep and odd shaped under-sink area, I suggest using bins and building storage vertically.

My saving grace was the clear storage drawers from The Container Store. They are individual drawers that can stack on top of one to create the best storage for your space. The metal drawer is from Amazon and it holds dishtowels. If they are slightly damp from being right out of the dryer, the wire basket allows them to finish drying. The bucket for cleaning supplies spins like a Lazy Susan. It was purchased from Target back in my college days and has been great for under the sink cleaning supply organization.

Giving every item its own space or home eliminates drawers not opening and time wasted trying to find ingredients for meals. It is the best gift you can give yourself. Invest in a few organization pieces to make every day tasks more efficient.

Bathroom under the sink storage can also be a little overwhelming if there is no organization. Let’s face it … we have a lot of necessary products.

My method is to create vertical shelving and sort items into categories. I have bins for my skincare products, hair accessories, nail polish, and even one for washcloths. The wired shelving unit is from Target. It helped me create vertical shelving so I had more space under my bathroom sink. It was made for bathroom sinks and allows for the pipes. It also expands for longer cabinets or retracts for small bathroom sinks. The cool thing about the metal shelves is how the baskets sit on them … they roll off. Unlike a regular wooden shelf, these allow easy movement. This piece was more expensive at $29.99 but very versatile. I can’t imagine digging for toothpaste every morning. There’s a saying, “Time is money, but money can’t buy time.” Maybe in this instance it can.

Pro Tip: Buy white washcloths so you can bleach them if they become stained.

Let’s talk drawers…

I first bought the cube fabric drawer organizers in a multi pack from Ikea. They were a start to getting control over my collection of clothing. What truly changed the game for me was watching Whitney Simmon’s gym organization video. She shared how every item had a spot. I loved how she demonstrated how to fold items like leggings and sports bras. Let’s face it, she has a massive collection. The piece that made the most sense to me was the drawer dividers. She picked up drawer separators from Target. They were too pricey for me but I found a similar option on Amazon. Once I had the dividers and knew how to fold my clothes, my organization went from drawers that would not open to drawers I’m not embarrassed to share on Instagram.

Pro Tip: Take the time to watch folding videos on Youtube. I learned so much about folding denim to t-shirts. When you have a small space, how you fold clothing matters. For me, I will never fold little things such as underwear, so a basket or bin works. However, items like bralette’s, bike shorts, and sports bras I can fold. Folding is something we should have been taught in school but I suppose everyone has their own method.

I didn’t have a lot of space to hold my tchotchkes in our new place. This Ikea bookcase was a perfect solution. The shelves became home to my records, books, sunglasses, extra cords, and writing utensils. Otherwise they would have been piled in our guest bedroom. My mind will focus on the piles instead of what I need to accomplish, so this particular furniture piece was a catchall for things I love but didn’t know where to put in our new place. The Ikea bookshelf not only helped with the clutter but made it so I don’t have to dust all the little decorative items every week. The drawer organizer (home of sunglasses, electronic cords, and desk items) came from Home Goods. It has been part of my bedroom since I was a freshman in college. Good storage pieces last. They work for years in all kind of environments and are worth the investment in my opinion.

I’m here to tell you that I used to be the girl with over 100 inexpensive necklaces. I purged and got rid of 80% of them because guess what? Space is precious and if I haven’t worn that necklace in over three years, then it is not worth keeping. I am working on doing this with my clothes too. I’m sentimental so it’s hard for me to let go of items. I think in my mind I might wear it again. It’s a curse I’m working on.

This aesthetically pleasing necklace stand is from Amazon and was very inexpensive. It keeps my pieces from tangling. The display reminds me to wear them. I like the tray to hold bracelets or rings that I frequently wear. The necklace holder comes in more colors, so if you aren’t a gold girl, they have silver.

This swimsuit hack may just make your summer. It goes back to using your vertical storage areas. The back of the guest room door is where I store my swimsuits. I have too many — yes I know. My problem is I shop at Half of Half and come home with $5 suits.

I used to keep my suits in bins and dig for sets. This is a shoe organizer. I chose the clear pockets on purpose so I could see what is in each one. I also have a rule that if I’m out of spots in the organizer, then I either have to purge or not purchase another $5 suit. I use this same hack in my closet to store my belts. Each belt is rolled in a pocket of the shoe organizer and hung on the inside of my closet door. I have noticed others using the shoe organizer for snacks in the kitchen. It is such a versatile piece and can be used anywhere to create extra vertical storage.

Thank you for taking the time to explore all the different storage hacks I use for apartment living. I’m currently working on improving and downsizing my closet. Please wish me luck because it’s an overwhelming task. Cleaning and organizing is something none of us enjoys doing but the end result may help with your mental state.

“If a home doesn’t make sense, nothing does” -Henrietta Ripperger.

Until next time, Spread Kindness.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *