The 10 Most Surprising Organizing Tips We Learned This Year

updated Dec 21, 2020
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“If I could just get organized,” said everyone … at some point in life. Well, it’s time, and it’s going to be so much easier than you ever thought. This year might not have had much going for it, but hey, lots of us got did get organized. Here at Kitchn, we learned to corral food container lids and stop fighting with the blasted aluminum foil box, and those are wins worth celebrating. (It’s been a terrible year, so we’ll take what we can get!)

Here are the best organizing tips we learned in 2020.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

1. There’s a right way to store kitchen towels.

Turns out you don’t have to pile your kitchen towels in a scraggly heap. Marie Kondo has the answer (and you’ll wonder why you haven’t done this all along!).

Read more: Marie Kondo’s Method for Storing Kitchen Towels Is the Only Way to Store Kitchen Towels

Credit: Sarah Crowley

2. There are lots of smart ways to get drawers and cabinets organized.

If you’ve vowed 2021 is the year to finally organize your kitchen storage, start here: We’ve got all the clever ideas for actually getting your kitchen organized once and for all. 

Read more: 30 of the Most Brilliant Cabinet and Drawer Organizing Ideas of All Time

3. There are 11 things we can all get rid of right now.

Should it stay or should it go now? Maybe you’ve acknowledged you’ll never use those random ingredients hiding in the cabinet or you’re convinced you’ll find the missing lid to that stray container, so you can’t quite let go. Now’s the time, and a professional organizer is giving you permission to clear the clutter.

Read more: 11 Things You Should Get Rid of Right Now, According to Professional Organizers

Credit: Joe Lingeman

4. Our aluminum foil boxes are smarter than we even knew.

Mind. Blown. Never fight with a box of aluminum foil again with this how-did-I-not-know-this tip. That’s all we’ll say for now!

Read more: The First Thing You Should Do with a New Box of Aluminum Foil

Credit: Kitchn

5. Every fridge should have a shower caddy.

Yay, the bit and bobs in your refrigerator can have a home to call their own! All you have to do is raid your shower. 

Read more: The $8 Bath Accessory That You Should Be Using in Your Fridge

Credit: Joe Lingeman

6. A tension rod is the key to a more organized spice cabinet.

Nobody wants to go on a frantic hunt for smoked paprika at the moment they need it. We have the cleverest solutions for organizing spices — including this brilliant use of a tension rod!

Read more: 10 Better Ways to Store All Your Spices

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Prop Stylist: Stephanie Yeh

7. The 10/30 Rule is a good rule to live by.

This simple concept can change everything once you start applying it. We fell hard for this rule and even found five ways it really made a difference.

Read more: The 10/30 Rule Gave Me a Cleaner Kitchen and Healthier Budget, and Made My House More Efficient

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

8. There are some really smart ways to store pots and pans.

The time has come (hasn’t it?) to stop cramming your pots and pans all willy-nilly and ready to topple at the slightest provocation in a cabinet. But where do they go? We have so many ideas, from pegboards to the beloved IKEA rolling cart.

Read more: 10 Better Ways to Store Your Pots and Pans

9. Condiment shelves really need to be labeled.

Filed under: Why haven’t we all been doing this all along? Labeling your condiment shelves means you’ll never lose your soy sauce again.

Read more: The Super-Simple Tip That Changed How I Organize My Condiments

Credit: Sarah Crowley

10. A mail organizer can corral food container lids.

Where has this been all our lives? Finally, a super-simple, and cheap, way to deal with all those lids once and for all. 

Read more: This $10 Mail Organizer Is the Key to Organizing Your Kitchen’s Messiest Problem

What’s the best organizing tip you learned in 2020?