A big part of the whole "entering adulthood" thing seems to be getting unnecessarily excited by ordinary — read: boring — things like clean sheets, canceled plans, and organized pantries. It's true; if you've ever been overwhelmingly delighted by any of those things, chances are you're probably also getting emails about your college reunion, aren't you?
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All that said, I'm proud to say that getting organized is something I've fully taken in stride. Organizing my home, and therefore my life, has given me a sense of control over an unpredictable world — and, these days, that's about as much as we can hope for. Below are eight random but simple items that have made my life way more organized.
I decided to buy this pot and pan organizer after my wrists started to actually hurt after playing what was known as "frying pan Jenga." (You know, that delicate game of lifting up four pans with one hand, while trying to free the sauté pan from the bottom of the pile.) Although there are many organization racks for this problem, this particular one caught my eye because it's adjustable and you can use it both vertically and horizontally depending on your cabinet space and needs. I ended up using it vertically like pictured above, which has not only saved my wrists but also made the cabinet so much more organized. I also snagged this pot lid holder for the inside of the cabinet door, which is a brilliant, but easy, fix for another annoying problem.
My bedroom closets are fortunately pretty large, but, after I moved in, my shoes were getting seriously neglected on the floor. I tried to arrange them in organized lines right on the ground, but I couldn't keep it up, so I decided to buy two of these shoe racks, which has seriously changed the game. Simply constructed, these racks are nothing special, but they instantly create three levels of shelving to house all of my shoes efficiently. I put sandals and sneakers on the floor level since they're slimmer, and heels and boots up top, and it's been a serious game-changer for closet clutter.
Did I ever think I'd be so jazzed about a dish drying rack? No, but this one simply warrants praise. Made out of fingerprint-proof stainless steel, this guy looks nice on the counter and comes in two sizes depending on the size of your counter space. The main compartment is relatively straightforward, featuring a wire rack to help organize all types of dishes that need drying. But the additional features are really what sold me on it: There is a wine glass holder that can dry up to four glasses upside down to minimize water spots, a large utensil holder with separate compartments to keep all silverware and reusable straws neat and organized, four side hooks to hold glasses or mugs when the center compartment is full, and a swivel spout to help drain excess water into the sink. If you're sick of having a pile of dishes on a dish towel next to your sink, you need this drying rack.
Ask any of my coworkers, I love a good visual organizing moment — I even used one of those oversize desk calendars when we were in our office as my official control center. What can I say? I love seeing everything laid out and organized. Which is why I love this wall organizer. It includes spaces to hold keys, mail, notes, photos, markers, and pens, and even comes with a chalkboard calendar and mirror for quick lipstick checks before you head out. I don't have kids — which makes my visual organization obsession a little more peculiar — but I think this would be an especially great tool for a busy family to stay organized.
This is not a groundbreaking find by any means, but after adding two of these Lazy Susans into my cabinet for spice organization, I can safely say that it is indeed a game-changer. It cleared up so much cabinet space for extra storage and makes it so much easier for me to find what I need while cooking. I use one for savory spices during cooking and the other for sweeter picks while baking and it's made my culinary exploits much more organized.
Although this product didn't stem from a major organization issue in my kitchen, it certainly has elevated the dishwashing experience. Built with two soap dispensers for both dish soap and hand soap, plus a built-in compartment to house a sponge and scrubbing brush, this item creates a little cleaning station for optimal decluttering. I like that everything has its own little spot when not in use, but that it's compact enough to fit right on the edge of the sink. Mine is white to match my kitchen, but, as shown above, it also comes in black.
As you've probably gathered, my kitchen isn't exactly overflowing with storage space. So, when a colleague mentioned these undershelf baskets, I immediately ordered them. They easily slide on your existing shelf to create another mini shelf for storage and come in three different sizes — small, medium, and large — depending on your needs and existing space. I now have four of them and use them in both my kitchen and bathroom, mostly for storing extra cleaning and beauty products like paper towels, Q-tips, razors, etc. They've also been especially helpful for housing extra food and essentials these past few months, like canned goods, grains, and snacks, without having to sacrifice my precious shelf space.
Have I mentioned that I'm a visual organizer? I'm sure this stems from my elementary school days when a brand new planner and set of colorful pens were all I needed to happily start a new school year. But, to this day, I still feel most organized and successful when I can write out my to-do list and cross out items as I complete them. The Panda Planner is great because it is organized by daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists and has space for all types of goals and intentions from gratitude lists and habit trackers to top priority lists and exercise reminders. In a world of chaos and uncertainty, this planner has helped me stay on track of my responsibilities and goals.
Katie is a Los Angeles-based writer who covers shopping trends, deals, and product reviews for Hunker. She's written for PureWow, Food Network, and Well+Good. When not online shopping, you can find her collecting vintage glassware or rewatching Nancy Meyers' movies for design inspo.