Usually the solution to a clutter problem is to get rid of the clutter in the first place, not to buy something that claims to be able to help you corral the mess. That said, most professional organizers have a short list of products they turn to again and again. We interviewed two experts to get their picks for the few products that really are worth the money — and will actually help make a difference in the mess.
Here's what got nominated.
1. Brother Ptouch Labelmaker, $25
"What good is all your organizing work if it doesn't get maintained? That's why I love my P-touch labelmaker. This way, everyone knows what goes where, and that's half the battle." — Kate Varness, of Green Light Organizing & Coaching
2. Sterilite Medium Stacking Baskets, $25 for six
3. VARIERA Plastic Bag Dispenser, $2 at IKEA
"The VARIERA plastic bag dispenser is just ridiculously useful in American households. You might not think much of it, but there is so much real estate lost to the space under kitchen sinks that have been taken over by plastic bags." — Darla DeMorrow, HeartWork Organizing
4. Command Timeless Hook, $6 each
"All the Command hooks are amazing. My favorites are the brushed nickel ones because I like how they look. When you think you have run out of space that's available to help you get organized, I guarantee there's always a little spot on a wall or on the back of a door where you can use these." — DeMorrow
5. Coghlan's Pop-Up Trash Can, from $11
"So often when you're doing a big cleanout, you hang your trash bag on a doorknob or something, and it's hard to use, but a pop-up utility bag is perfect to hold open a lawn and leaf garbage bag to chuck trash into when you're doing a big organizing job." — Marrero
6. Your Smartphone
"One of my favorite organizing products is probably in your hand right now. It's my smartphone camera. What ingredients do I need for a new recipe when I go to the grocery store? Snap a photo. Did I correctly input my kid's practice schedule in my digital calendar? Check the photo I took of it. It's so easy because I'm guaranteed to have my phone with me." — Varness
What organizing tools do you swear by?