DIY Home Organization Tips - Hidden Toy Storage
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8 Organization Mistakes You’re Making (and How to Fix Them Now)

8 Organization Mistakes You’re Making (and How to Fix Them) Post Preview: Tired of coming home to a disorganized house? Check out these DIY organization tips and ideas for the home, and you’ll have an organized home in no time. Ideas such as wire closet racks, cubby storage, wall storage, kids storage and more are discussed.

With my eyes half open, I sluggishly got out of bed. Making my way across the room, I lost my balance on a toy car that wasn’t put away.

After a loud sigh, I scooped it up along with a few other toys and dumped them in the corner. I head to the closet to grab a towel, where I am greeted by a completely disheveled mountain of linens.

Room after room, the story was the same. The closets were overflowing, toys were strewn, nothing seemed to have a place.

Truth is, if I didn’t start using my space wisely, my home “organization” would remain a mess. In order to keep my sanity, I had to figure out what I was doing wrong.

Organize your home with these DIY space-saving solutions

DIY Organization for Your Home

The following home organization tips will help you add some DIY organization to your home.  From using closet space wisely to utilizing wall space, these simple home organization ideas will help you bring more order and less chaos into your home.

Mistake #1 – Not Using Closet Space Wisely

Closet space is gold. I mean, it’s storage space hidden behind closed doors. Because it’s out of sight, it usually becomes embarrassingly sloppy.

In our current home, all of our closets contained only a clothes rod and a top shelf. So as you can imagine, each of these closets became a disaster in a matter of weeks.

In our previous home, we had wall-mounted wire shelving configurations in each closet, so everything was much more organized with wire shelving that already existed.

However, custom shelving configurations for closets can be really expensive.

So to save money, we simply installed a few standalone wire shelving racks for our closet shelving.

Rather than have piles of items shoved into the closet (I had so many of those huge storage bins stacked up), you can neatly slide storage bins, laundry baskets, or other containers on and off the wire shelves.

The wiring shelving was especially helpful in coat closets and kids rooms, where that single clothes rod isn’t always the best use of space.

The closet shelving gave us extra space, and I can easily find everything. Installing some of these standalone wire shelving is definitely one of the best DIY organization ideas for your home.

How to Organize Your Closets with Simple Wire Racks
Save money buying a few wire closet racks rather than a whole closet system

Another home organization idea is to install double top shelves in your closets. Rather than have one shelf running across the top, add another one above it. This is an easy change that doubles your shelving instantly, using more of that high space wisely. If you use wire shelving, it’s easy to install another top shelf.

Speaking of wasted space, I then took a look at our closets to see where else I could utilize otherwise wasted space.

To add more home organization, I hung small racks on side walls and hooks on standalone doors.

These diy home organization ideas for your closet space will have you using every inch wisely, making more space for all of your things.

How to Efficiently Organize Your Home - Use Double Top Shelves in Closets
Install an extra top shelf in your closet and double your space.

Where to Buy Closet Shelving:

Closet shelving sets can be really expensive, so rather than buy a hundred dollar kit, just buy a few wire shelving racks that are right size for your closet and attach them to the wall.

I found a few wire shelves at a flea market for a couple bucks (you could also check out your local Habitat for Humanity Restore).

If you can’t find some cheap wire shelves, home improvement stores have the racks for about $10-$15 plus the hardware, which isn’t too bad for quick, cheap organization.

How to Make Closet Shelving:

If you don’t want to spend but have extra wood laying around, you can install a few wooden shelves instead of the wire shelves. Paint them white and they’ll blend right in, creating a more uniform and organized look for your closet shelving.

Also, look around for anything you can repurpose into closet shelving.

Every time I’m ready to kick something to the curb, the wheels in my husband’s head start turning. His most recent trash-night-intercept was a CD tower that he installed in our pantry as extra side shelving.

By making great use of closet space, you can really up your home organization game. You’ll get more into your closets, which means less laying around the house. With these DIY organization tips, everything in your closet will have a space.

Mistake #2 – Disregarding Empty Wall Space

Closets overstuffed? Attic full? Start using the walls!

Wall space is one of the best space-saving secrets and my absolute favorite of the DIY home organization ideas.

My husband recently mounted a huge shelf to the wall behind my desk. What once was an empty wall is now housing all of my desk and craft supplies!

Corner wall space is the perfect spot to put up some floating shelves or even cubby shelves. You can fill the shelves with baskets and bins of anything – craft supplies, shoes, extra towels, toiletries, accessories, bows, kids clothes, etc.

Putting up a few extra shelves and utilizing empty wall space can easily thin out your otherwise packed closets, making your closets and yourself more organized. πŸ™‚

Using Your Wall Space More Wisely - DIY Home Organization Ideas
Use otherwise overlooked wall space to add tons and tons of wall storage

If you have a little extra floor space – maybe in a basement or garage, you could use it for a vertical storage tower. We did this in our garage with a space about 6 feet wide and 3 feet deep, and gained tons of storage space. The storage tower holds all of our Christmas decorations (and I have 3 trees!), Ash’s oversized tools, and more.

Ash and I are little storage-obsessed… I mean, half of our DIY projects are about storage organization. Ash goes around tapping on walls looking for hollow space, and I am always oogling at empty wall space πŸ™‚

So, take it from us – look for areas that you could turn into a little extra wall storage and you will be thrilled with the DIY organization that space provides.

Where to Buy:

There are tons of great shelves that can easily be mounted to your walls for vertical storage. This iron pipe shelf holds a ton of items and looks amazing. I also just adore farmhouse floating shelves. Aren’t they charming?! I love the finish on these shelves, and farmhouse style shelving looks amazing in any home.

How to Make:

If you make your own shelves, you can choose your exact measurements, which is beneficial because then you can customize them to fit exactly what you need.

We built two basic shelves for my office and made the measurements to fit four fabric storage bins on each shelf. With two shelves, that’s 8 storage bins that are organized and filled. And instead of taking of space elsewhere, they are on the wall!

The shelves were simple to make and mount, and we have free plans available.

Using wall space is definitely one of the best DIY organization tips I can give you. It has created so much space, where we thought we had none. When thinking about ideas for organization, don’t forget to look on your walls.

Mistake #3 – Not Using Cubby Storage

Cubby storage is an organizational gem. The individual cubbies keep items super organized and in plain sight. You don’t have to dig through drawers, toy bins, or storage bins to find what you are looking for. Everything is compartmentalized in neat little spaces using cubby shelves.

Cubby shelves also make for for the perfect bookshelf (no more books sliding around). Cubby storage is an excellent use of corner or closet space and is perfect for organizing toys, crafts, or office supplies.

8 Organization Mistakes You're Making and How to Fix Them Now
Cubby shelves are inexpensive and make for the perfect bookshelf.

Yet one of the best parts about cubby shelving is that you can stack your items in the cubbies, or you can also use storage bins in some or all of the cubbies.

Cubby storage is also very versatile, as you can arrange them in many ways – vertically, horizontally, stacked, or even hang them on your wall.

Where to Buy Cubby Storage:

We love these cubby shelves from Amazon – they have quite a few finishes and are really nice. We use cubby storage in our kids’ rooms for bookshelves along with the playroom for toy storage and organization.

As far as storage bins, the dollar store is carrying storage bins now as well as lots of other useful containers. You can’t beat that for cheap storage.

You can also get some good deals on storage during back-to-school sales. If you don’t feel like running to the store, Amazon has lots of cute storage bins too.

How to Make Cubby Storage:

Although buying cubby shelves is probably cheaper than making them, Ash made me customized cubby storage for organizing all my craft supplies.

But here’s the best part – he mounted the cubby shelves to the wall, which frees up ground space AND uses otherwise lost wall space.

I was able to empty my entire desk out with cubby storage!

No more digging through my desk or my filing cabinet or those huge storage containers that were in my closet.

Each little cubby holds something different, and I just need to spin my desk chair around to find what I’m looking for.

As far as storage bins, you can also make your own. I made several DIY storage bins for our changing table and coat closets (holding mittens, hats, scarves, etc) from cardboard boxes, contact paper, and knobs.

Using Cubby Shelves to Organize Your Home
Attach cubby shelves to the wall – and gain space and organization

When thinking about how to have more home organization, think about where you could add cubby storage. They don’t take up too much, aren’t too expensive, and they add a lot of DIY organization.

Mistake #4 – Leaving out items that could be hidden

You know that feeling you get at the end of the day when your house is nice and organized – there aren’t toys everywhere, the pillows are back where they belong, and everything is in its place. It just looks so perfect.

Unfortunately, this usually isn’t the case.

However, if you create a spot for everything, you can hide some of those eyesores, keeping your home always looking organized.

My favorite trick, especially for toy storage, is to use pretty boxes to hide otherwise ugly things.

Our toddler has toys in every single room (literally every room except the master bathroom). The biggest problem area was our family room. I mean, blocks everywhere, tools scattered across the room, puzzle pieces wedged between couch cushions.

I was attempting to organize the toy mess with those clear storage bins – the ones that are a little bigger than a shoe box. However, I just didn’t like the way these tacky storage bins looked in our family room. They certainly didn’t complement the Pottery Barn pillows that I spent way too much on. πŸ˜‰

So, I started buying cute baskets and boxes that were on sale at craft stores. Rather than have tacky storage boxes, I have trendy bins and baskets all around the house.

The great thing is that you can’t see the contents of what’s in the bins. So, you would never know that the boxs and bins contain toy storage.

Even if your home isn’t filled with toys, take a look around and see what you can hide. Cleaning up some of these things and creating a space for them definitely makes for a more organized home.

DIY Home Organization - Hidden Toy Storage Ideas
Decorative boxes make for great hidden toy storage
DIY Home Organization Tips #5 Use Pretty Boxes to Hide Things
You’d never know this box houses the entire Mr. Potato Family πŸ™‚ How’s that for toy storage?!

Where to Buy:

You can get baskets and boxes super cheap at Michael’s when they have end of season sales. I have purchased many of these boxes for just a few dollars at 70% off. Pick things you like to hide those toys or other storage items.

I would definitely recommend checking there periodically because I have gotten so many bargains on end-of-season bins and boxes.

As far as baskets, AC Moore and Michaels have a great selection and you can either use one of their coupons or catch one of their frequent 40% off sales. These craft stores offer so much as far as diy home organization ideas.

How to Make:

To make boxes, you could reuse any box and cover it with contact paper to make it look nice. I have a tutorial on how I DIYed these storage bins. You can usually find decent contact paper at the dollar stores too πŸ™‚

As far as home organizing ideas go, finding a space for everything definitely works wonders. And using pretty boxes to store some of the things that need to be organized is a great home organizing technique.

Mistake #5 – Ignoring Messy Drawers

Who doesn’t have a junk drawer in their home… or like five or six of them? I think every drawer in our house became a junk drawer at some point.

There’s little I despise more than wasting precious time looking for something. Rather than succumb to disorganized drawers, think what solutions will work for your items.

I eliminated my entire desk of office and craft supplies by using cubby shelves and pegboard. At first, I wasn’t sure I would put things back on the pegboard after I used them. Yet, there’s nowhere else for it go, since I ditched my old desk.

I am loving the pegboard organization – I can clearly see everything I have, and it looks really cool.

DIY Home Organization Ideas - Using Pegboard Instead of Desk Drawers
Mount a pegboard to the wall and empty a few drawers

If you don’t have a huge space for a pegboard, it’s no problem. You can use small pieces of pegboard in creative spots, such as on the back of kitchen cabinet doors to hang measuring cups or special utensils.

You’ll be surprised just how many messy drawers you can empty with this DIY organization trick.

Another idea is to use drawer dividers to separate things. I put these in our kids’ bedroom drawers to separate socks, bibs, accessories, and more. I also organized our kitchen junk drawer with bins.

And, as another home organization tip, don’t forget to give your drawers a good ole clean-out, especially those kitchen junk drawers.

You don’t need to keep take-out menus because everything is online. Those extra ketchup and soy sauce packets never get used either.

Lotion, nail polish, and make-up all get old after a while.

So, definitely clean up your drawers a bit as you are organizing, and you will easily gain some coveted space.

Where to Buy:

The Dollar Tree and Big Lots are my favorite places to find storage and organization bins, especially around back-to-school time. You’ll find lots of neat little bins and baskets.

If you like your storage bins to match, buy a few more than you need because it’s hard to find the same bins and baskets again. But overall these stores are great for frugal diy home organization ideas.

If you would rather shop online, these interlocking bins are awesome. There’s eight of them, and you can use them individually or interlock them. Did you know they make adjustable drawer organizers too?! I love anything that can be easily customized.

Last, here’s a great drawer organizing kit for dressers.

How to Make:

Look around your house, or your recycling bin, for things you could use as drawer dividers.

You could use empty plastic or cardboard bins or boxes, such as shoe boxes or cereal boxes. Cut them to size or reshape with some masking tape, and you’ll have yourself free organization.

You could even make dividers from cardboard – and spiffy them up with some cute contact paper.

This DIY home organization tip shouldn’t be overlooked. Handling those messy drawers will make for a much neater and more organized home.

Mistake #6 – Not using doors and walls for hooks and racks

Every time I came home with the kids, I would always drop the diaper bag on the ground. Sometimes it would make its way over to the closet and embarrassingly, sometimes it remained on the ground for a few days.

I don’t know why it took me so long to realize the solution was to buy a $2 hook for the mudroom.

I can now easily grab the diaper bag when I’m on my way out the door, and it doesn’t drive me crazy on the floor for days. If you always have school bags on the floor, add hooks in your mudroom or entryway for kids to hang their bag up.

If your kids are always leaving their hoodies around, put some hooks up for them in a hidden spot.

Simply find the problem areas, and then think about how you can create a spot for it. Don’t disregard your doors and little spaces on the walls, where you can easily add a hook or a rack.

DIY Home Organization Tips
Don’t overlook the organization that hooks provide – they are also an easy DIY project

The back of the closet door is perfect for holding towels – rather than throwing them over a door, having kids leave wet towels on the floor, or cramming them all on the same towel rack.

Closet doors are also perfect for little containers, such as spice racks, to hold toiletries. Pantry doors are perfect to add basket storage too.

Look around your home and identify what is driving you nuts and then create spots for these things.

Where to Buy:

You can buy command hooks to attach easily to walls (no tools involved and easy removal). These provide a solution in just minutes. You could also go for a more classic hook. These hooks are very inexpensive and add classy organization.

I love this hook rack with a cute shelf. It’s so modern-looking, and I love the way three of them look on the wall – it’s like a gallery of home organization. πŸ™‚

If you are trying to maximize closet door organization, this organization rack is huge and can hold so much! You can even attach it to your door (or wall) with command hooks. It doesn’t get easier than that!

How to Make:

You can easily DIY a hook rack with a wooden board and a few hooks from the store. Or instead of hooks, get a little creative and use washers or screws, as long as they have enough length to hold your items.

To DIY racks to attach to doors, use dollar store bins and a few screws to get the same effect. If you have any spice racks that aren’t being utilized in the kitchen or garage, you can attach them to closet doors to hold toiletries.

How to Organize Your Home For Good
Attach spice racks (or other containers) to closet doors of panties or linen closets for easy DIY organization

Adding hooks and containers to doors and walls is a great DIY home organization tip that definitely keeps your home neater.

Mistake # 7 – Missing out on furniture storage

Furniture takes up most of the space in our rooms, so why not capitalize on it?!

If you are looking for a new piece of furniture, think about  furniture with built-in storage. We were in the market for a couch that converted to a bed, and we found one that had a massive amount of storage under the cushion.

Stools, ottomans, and end-of-the-bed tables all usually have storage space built in too. If you are looking for a kids bed, lots of them have drawers built-in underneath the bed.

You can also buy under-the-bed storage containers to slide under beds. These are great for holding things like kids artwork collections, craft supplies, pillows, out-of-season clothes. Depending on the size of your bed, you can get quite a few bins underneath.

As far as DIY home organization ideas go, using furniture as storage is really underutilized and can offer so much additional storage.

Where to Buy:

Amazon has lots of options for under-the-bed storage – from the plastic containers to carts to clothes storage bags. I am loving the clothes storage bags. I purchased a few of them to store comforters, blankets, and extra throw pillows in and was able to clear out two shelves in our hall closet!

Think about all that storage you will gain by using the space under your bed more wisely.

How to Make:

There are tons of awesome tutorials out there that have storage built-in furniture. You can make a platform bed frame that has tons of storage underneath. I’ve also seen cubby bookshelves built into beds. There also are coffee tables you could make, where the top opens and provides hidden storage.

And, if you are feeling really ambitious, you could make a couch or chaise lounge with storage entirely underneath. We haven’t tackled any of these projects yet. If we do, we will be sure to post them πŸ™‚

Thinking about furniture storage is a great DIY home organization idea that really creates extra space.

Mistake #8 – Lack of using labels

If you have ever felt the frustration of pulling down bin after bin looking for something, then you know the importance of labels. I’ve pulled down many closet bins looking for scarves – only to find shoes, hats, and everything in between.

When you label items not only do you save yourself time when you go to use those things, but you keep yourself and your items more organized. You get used to seeing the labels, so you know where everything is. And, you know exactly where to put things back.

Labels are great for kids too, giving them the tools they need to put their own things away. For younger kids, include a picture of the item, so they can clean up on their own. (The picture label then becomes a learning activity – as kids see the picture along with the word and learn the word.) This will easily help you with toy bins and toy storage. 

Additionally, labels are great for husbands too. πŸ™‚ You’ll notice things get put back in the right spot much more easily.

Using Labels for Easy Home Organization
Using labels with pictures encourage kids (and husbands) to put toys away

How to Make: 

For extra home organization, labels are really easy to make. Just use masking tape or paper, but I do love the idea of adding pictures for kids to help clean up.

Simply google the item, grab a picture, and paste it into a printable document. I was definitely surprised at how much cleaner my toddler’s toys were when he knew where everything went.

Where to Buy:

As easy as masking tape and paper are for labels, I love my label maker. It makes everything look much more neat, organized, and consistent.

I LOVE this label maker– and it is a dream come true! It has tons of fonts and decorative options, making for very cute labels and of course, easy organization.

You can also find cute labels at the craft stores. I found a bunch of mini chalk boards attached to a clothes pin and used these to label my fabric storage bins. The dollar section at Michaels never lets me down as far as DIY home organization ideas πŸ™‚

Taking Action

Picture a completely organized home. You can walk to the bathroom without tripping on toys. You can reach into your linen closet and easily find a pillow case. You can find a pen in the junk drawer with one swift reach.

Everything has a place. It’s perfection.

By choosing a few of the above DIY home organization tips and ideas and seeing them through, you will start to regain your sanity. Start small – with just one or two items, and you’ll start to see a great change.

You’ll make more space in your home. You’ll create places for things to be put away. And, you’ll use the space you have more wisely.

Above all, you will no longer be stressed out by a disorganized house. Instead, your organized home will be your place of zen.

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111 Comments

  1. You covered all the bases, Eileen! I love that cubby storage idea – always wanted to buy those cute cube shelves but wasn’t sure if they were worth it. You certainly put them to good use!

    1. Thanks, Zaleina! Yes, we love the cubby shelves. They are my favorite type of bookshelf – and I am loving them for craft supplies too.

  2. Great organization ideas! I really need to tackle my closet because it doesn’t meet my needs. And I love hiding stuff in pretty boxes and in the drawers on our end tables.

    1. My closets were horrendous too! It’s amazing how much storage you can really get out of them when everything is organized. Yes, me too – on the pretty boxes πŸ™‚ That one is my favorite

    1. Thanks, Michele! The tips have really made our home much more organized πŸ™‚ My favorite is hiding all my kids’ toys in pretty containers πŸ™‚

  3. Lots of fabulous storage ideas. πŸ™‚ I suspect I could solve a lot of mine by simply throwing things away… Must schedule another clearout session soon! You’re a great motivator. πŸ™‚ #MMBC x

  4. Some great ideas here. I especially like how you have utilized your craft space.Using spice racks inside wardrobe doors is also a great idea to store those little things that tend to get left lying around. #mmbc

  5. Eileen, great tips. I’m often heard to say, “People don’t need more storage, they just need less stuff.” That said, we just put together a 48″Wx18″D72″H chrome wire shelving unit in our garage today and improved the look and function of the garage almost instantly.

    1. Haha Ash and I can never have too much storage! Tower shelving in the garage is the best πŸ™‚ We built one with sliding shelves and it holds so much!

  6. 6 messy kids and a messy husband is my biggest mistake. they need to use the storage we have instead of the floor! That said I love your white wall shelving. #TwinklyTuesday

  7. PINNED THIS!!! Totally need help with organization! I am making many of those mistakes:)ha. Thanks so much for your post! Saw it at the Tues. twist link party!

  8. Great ideas, we are definitely not using storage the way we should be! We have recently put all of my 4yr olds toys upstairs in her room as they were taking up the whole living room and we have a baby on the way! We used cubbie shelving as it looks lovely in her room but could do will using the walls a bit more!

    #brillblogposts

  9. These are some fab tips. I am a big fan of storing ugly things in pretty boxes – it’s a win win! Thanks for joining us at #TriumphantTales, hope to see you again next week. X

  10. some good tips there but i think if i need that much storage i’d be having a major sort out before purchasing storage to attach to my walls especially if my attic was full although it would depend on whether there was 4 of us in a 2 bed or 2 of us in a 4 bed #triumphanttales

  11. These are all great tips! I definitely agree that closets can quickly get out of hand. And if you ever want to make use of those tacky plastic shoe box bins, I have a great tutorial for making a dip-dyed look for them that makes the boxes both pretty and functional! Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

  12. Have tried labels, but it just didn’t work! I defo could make use of empty wall space and I can also think of one or two drawers that need a sort out. Great suggestions. #thatfridaylinky

  13. Great tips, I really need to implement a few of these, especially in what concerns my kids’ toys…Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned!

  14. Vertical shelving has been a lifesaver for us! Especially in our under the stairs cupboard – before we would just pile everything in and as it was our only real storage space, it was crazy! Now we have little cubbys, and lots of vertical shelves which give us so many options. Your peg board idea is great too – I’m totally stealing that for all our craft bits! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  15. Some great ideas here. I really need to overhaul my house! I’ll be pinning this.
    #thatfridaylinky

  16. This is so great! Thank you for linking up at Mommy Moment Link Up last week! This was the top viewed link last week and will be featured in the link up tomorrow. Congrats!

  17. Wow! What an engaged community. Congratulations! You won the Inspire Me Monday Linky Party and you’ll be featured on my site tomorrow.
    Janice, Your hostess

  18. This reminds me how much I need to get more organized. Ugh. Great post though! Thanks for adding this to the To Grandma’s House We Go link party! Remember to follow all of us, and we hope to see you again this Wednesday!

  19. These are all really great points. I find I incorporate lots of them and try to stay organized with various containers. But every once in awhile I lose it and just donate away a truck load or two. Having room to breath and organize like you said is priceless.

    Great post,.

    1. Thanks so much Leanna! I’m with you on the big donation every once in a while – I go through times like that too πŸ™‚

  20. Love all these ideas – thanks for the storage container recommendations. It gives me ideas for my small spaces.
    And thank you for sharing last week at our Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop!

  21. Great ideas here! A little organization goes a long way in preserving your sanity, doesn’t it?

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!

  22. I recently moved into a small apartment and I have found myself short on storage space for my personal items. I really like the suggestion to not ignore empty wall space, I also had a lot of space above my desk and I was able to install racks above my desks to hold my things. I am very pleased with how much more room I have in my apartment thanks to my new racks!

    1. Yes wall space is a gem! It’s amazing how much you do with it, especially in small spaces. The racks above your desk sound great!

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