Wonder no longer: we have asked them for their list of must-have storage ideas.  First, they tell us, we must declutter. That done, it’s time to invest in storage, and, they say, certain products make the home organizing habit much easier to maintain. So what’s worth spending money on and, on the flipside, what are the things professional organizers never buy?

1. Lazy Susan

Though it’s not loved by every professional organizer, others we spoke to swear by it. The Lazy Susan is a classic for a reason, and as long as you’ve checked your measurements, this simple revolving storage solution can maximize everything from kitchen and bathroom cabinets to your dressing table.

2. The three-tiered rolling cart

‘It may not be the most chic option out there, but a three-tier rolling cart is incredibly useful for those moments when you just want to quickly clear clutter away,’ says Jo Bailey, Homes & Gardens’ Deputy Editor and interior stylist. ‘They’re a tidier alternative to the doom pile, easy to move around, and can be neatly stowed away in a closet when guests come over.’ You could use it as a general ‘sort out later’ living room storage idea, or a way to stop your kids’ playroom from looking like a mini Legoland. You could also dedicate it to art supplies, bathroom storage, use it as a plant stand, or as extra pantry organization ideas. The RASKOG utility cart is just $39.99 at IKEA (opens in new tab) or there’s a similar one for the same price at Wayfair (opens in new tab) available in soft green and pink shades.

3. Clear acrylic bins measured to fit your space

Clear plastic containers are another classic, and they’re not just for the refrigerator. As Juliana Meidl of Serenity At Home Detroit (opens in new tab) explains, they make deep shelves much more practical. ‘We love using clear acrylic bins for many spaces, including kitchens, bathrooms, and closets,’ she says. ‘They come in many sizes allowing for maximum storage, for example, long clear bins are great for those pantries and closets with deep shelves. ‘Organizing deep pantry shelves is difficult as items tend to get pushed back and lost over time. Keeping like items together in bins not only keeps them from getting lost but allows for easy access.’

4. Expansion rod to create hanging space

Expansion rods are a useful addition to homes, allowing you to invent hanging space where there isn’t any (they’re also a great way to hang curtains without drilling).  ‘This system only works in showers with three solid walls, not glass enclosures,’ she explains. ‘The rod extends in a similar way to a shower curtain rail, and you can hang plastics mesh baskets on it. It can be put at a height that allows all family members to reach the products or toys that they need.’

5. Repurposed shoe boxes

Sorting your life out doesn’t need to be a burden on your wallet.  ‘Lots of sorting and organizing in drawers and closets can be accomplished with old shoe boxes, ice cream tubs, and takeout containers,’ says Suzanne Roynon.  ‘The client I worked with this weekend created a complete spice drawer solution using the lids of a particular product. The drawer looks great and will work just as well as a molded drawer insert. Best of all, it cost her nothing.’ Shoe boxes can be incredibly versatile – use them for everything from photos (as above) to receipts to dry foods.

6. Expandable drawer dividers

‘Dividers keep items corralled, like with like, and in place, making meal prep quick and more efficient. Many different styles are available, I like the bamboo expandable versions,’ says Brenda Scott. ‘They’re easy to clean and easy to fit into different depth drawers.’

7. Stackable storage totes

Organizing a garage or attic? Or putting away out of season clothes? Plastic, lidded, stackable crates are a must. ‘Plastic crates which don’t click shut tightly are a waste of money,’ says Suzanne Roynon. ‘For me, it’s important that a utilitarian storage option that might be used in a garage, attic or child-accessible cupboard will stack securely without wobbling. Choosing identical plastic crates does make storage easier and more visually rewarding.’

8. Modular drawer dividers

These organizing containers from Walmart are stackable and transparent. They have a durable lid and secure latching buckles. Handy for winter clothes storage or for seasonal decor. ‘Because they are modular, they can be used in any size drawer. I have heard many clients squeal with glee when opening one that I have organized!’

9. Wooden peg boards

Pegboards are perfect, whether you are organizing a laundry room or organizing a craft room. We like metal ones, like the Skadis range from Ikea, but wooden pegboards look very attractive in more public areas of your home. ‘This modular wooden pegboard (opens in new tab) is where form and function come together,’ says Melissa Gugni. ‘So many folks are overwhelmed by their entryways/landing areas, and hanging one of these by the door for hanging bags, keys and other essentials can be a life changer. They come in two different colors, and I find that one works seamlessly with most home decor styles.’

10. Label makers

‘Regardless of what products you use, labeling is the key finishing touch,’ says Juliana Meidl.  Keep entryways orderly with a wall-mounted pegboard and spend less time looking for your keys. As well as being soothing for type A personalities, labeled containers mean you can quickly identify their contents. Whether you choose a handheld label printer or a more modern option that links to your smartphone, like this one at Walmart (opens in new tab), labels are the final flourish.

What does a professional home organizer do?

A professional home organizer will help you put any aspect of your home into shape. This can range from a whole house organization, to the organization of a single space, right down to the organization of your digital spaces, such as digital photos. 

What do professional organizers charge per hour?

Professional organizers’ fees vary from location to location and from job to job, but the average hourly rate is reckoned to be around $55. However, you will find organizers who charge much less, and much more.

 10 storage products professional organizers can t live without    - 82 10 storage products professional organizers can t live without    - 48 10 storage products professional organizers can t live without    - 8