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Even if you're not headed back to school this month, there's something about the end of summer that calls for a fresh start. While you're shifting your focus to fall, why stop with a wardrobe turnover? Everyone could use a little organizational aid, otherwise Martha Stewart wouldn't be a household name and we wouldn't have entire chains dedicated to containing our stuff. Whether your house is in shambles or you just have a few drawers to clear out, we've rounded up 14 resources to help you deal with the overflow, broken down by debris threat level.
MESS LEVEL SEVERE. TOTAL DISASTER ZONE.
Piles of clothing. Boxes of kitchen items. Stacks of papers. At this mess level, serious organizational tools are needed. It's time to lay the groundwork with goods from stores like the five listed below.
Elfa storage. Image via The Container Store.
1. The Container Store: A classic go-to for storage solutions that range from the temporary (bins and boxes) to the permanent (full closet and shelving systems). A great resource for those fabric-covered hangers women's mags are always pushing. Can prove surprisingly pricey. [Site]
2. Bed Bath & Beyond: Unpleasant-but-necessary stop for needs like a good vacuum cleaner, shoe boxes or a knife rack. Come prepared for a full sensory onslaught thanks to their noisy in-store ad system and piped-in air-freshener smell. Where babies go to cry. [Site]
3. Ikea: It's hard to beat Ikea's pricing on key household items like clear glass jars for the kitchen, carpet pads and their ever-popular Billy bookshelves. Caution: If you don't get in a fight with your partner in-store, you surely will while trying to assemble your finds afterward. [Site]
4. Home Depot: Ideal for heavy-duty containers, outdoorsy items and nuts and bolts domain essentials; Home Depot even has a garage-organizing section. If your garage could guest-star on Hoarders, this place will help you stay off the Sanitation Department's radar. [Site]
5. KitchenSource: Contrary to what the name would imply, this shop's vast offerings encompass the laundry room, the bathroom, the garage, the office, the dining room and closets in addition to the kitchen. It's not the most glamorous browsing experience, but look—four categories of shower caddies! [Site]
MESS LEVEL MODERATE
Clothes are hung on hangers, perhaps even organized by season or color. Books have been shelved; papers have been shredded. Yet drift zones remain. Attack and subdue them with these stylish resources.
1. Muji: Domain of perfectly spare, monotone Japanese design, Muji might just make you want to throw everything else out and start anew. Resist these monkish urges and browse their well-crafted basics. Our favorites include these delightfully simple plastic cosmetics bottles and the extensive array of pens and pencils. [Site]
2. Terrain: A sister brand to Anthropologie, Terrain's focus is the garden but they also stock heritage-ish pieces for home including Mason jar soap dispensers and multiple styles of Weck kitchen containers. [Site]
3. Neo-Utility: For those who prefer a more modern aesthetic, there is Neo-Utilty and its globally-sourced, affordably-priced design finds. Products lean towards the decorative, but root around and you'll find few useful items like this shredder and this sleek anodized aluminum desktop envelope stand and paper box. [Site]
4. Paper Source: Specializing in paper goods of all ilks, this e-shop has stationary, planners, envelopes, gift wrap and plain old printer stock. These colorful rubber bands are just adorable. [Site]
A vintage box of paperclips. Image and product via Present&Correct.
MESS LEVEL LOW
Congrats, your place is spotless. You don't have a junk drawer, you posses a model linen closet and pantry and what's that? A dedicated gift-wrapping room? Get right out of town. Forget functional—at this stage in the game, all you need are fun finishing touches.
1. A+R: High-design and bright colors are A+R's hallmarks. The LA-based decor shop has a robust online domain where you can snag cool pieces for your kitchen, office and living room designed by big names out of Europe. [Site]
2. Omoi Zakka: A veritable black hole of notebooks, scrapbooks, pens, tape holders and more, from chic to cutesy. [Site]
3. Pulp: Gorgeous, giftable journals, memo pads and notebooks. [Site]
4. MoMA Store: This extension of the Museum of Modern Art has everything from beautifully-designed furniture to artsy clothing. Their organization section has lots of clever bits and bobs like an Eames coat rack and this futuristic Componibili storage module. [Site]
5. Present&Correct: If Thom Browne turned his attention to office supplies, we imagine the result would look something like this militarily-precise London retailer. It's Type A heaven. [Site]
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