7 Brilliant Ideas to Steal from the Most Organized House Tour We’ve Ever Seen on Apartment Therapy

updated Jan 16, 2021
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

The House Tours over on Apartment Therapy (our sister site!) are never short on design ideas, from vibrant accent walls to imaginative DIY projects. And guess what? They can be sources for functional advice, too — especially if we’re talking about Vaishali Sahni’s stylish Toronto condo. The teacher and professional organizer, who lives with her partner and three children in a two-bedroom apartment, offers organizing inspiration around seemingly every corner (and behind cabinet doors, and in the fridge , and — well, you get the picture).

A standout even among Apartment Therapy’s treasure trove of well-kept homes, Sahni’s approachable take on minimalism struck a chord, with plenty of affordable tips sure to simplify daily routines in homes of every size. Here, we pulled out seven ideas from Sahni’s home that we can’t wait to implement in our own kitchens.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

1. Use clothespins to tame your freezer. 

This brilliant method tags frozen food with labeled clothespins, each clipped to the top of a vertically-filed freezer bag. It’s an especially valuable idea for anyone who already freezes things flat, but can be an affordable and straightforward solution for any freezer. Want to go a step further? Grab some reusable storage bags to keep things colorful and eco-friendly.

Buy: JABINCO Wooden Clothespins, $5.99 for 50

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

2. Store pot lids on the back of your cabinet doors. 

Strategically placed hooks on the backs of cabinet doors can keep lids accessible at all times — and eliminate the noisy, cumbersome chaos of trying to stack them with their corresponding pots or pans. Customize each set of hooks for your specific needs, and don’t be afraid to try a few formats to see what works: The paint-friendly adhesive on Command hooks is easy to rearrange or remove if you replace your cooking set.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

3. Opt for clear storage containers.

Sahni recommends using clear storage containers as often as possible; she particularly likes Mason jars and OXO containers in the kitchen. Transparent packaging allows you to clearly see what’s in each container, and helps you spot staples that are running low before you run out of them completely.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

4. Label, label, label — yes, even in your fridge. 

When everything has a place that is clearly marked, it’s easier to find what you need quickly. And it also empowers any household member (or a helpful visitor) to return leftovers to their proper home or lend a hand unloading groceries. Start by labeling baskets and bins in your pantry, then move on to your fridge and freezer. Sahni uses customizable decals on her refrigerator drawers — a great way to keep healthy snacks visible for the whole family.

Buy: Fridge Drawer Decals, from $6 at Etsy

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

5. Pour condiments into uniform (and mess-free) squeeze bottles. 

Condiments can get unwieldy, with different brands and bottles crammed together in ways that make it hard to grab anything without tipping something else over. Sahni standardizes her condiment shelf with restaurant-quality squeeze bottles. The affordable vessels make great homes for staples like ketchup, but can be perfect for homemade sauces and dressings, too. The bonus? You’ll never again wonder how much mustard is left in that opaque yellow bottle.

Buy: Plastic Condiment Squeeze Bottles, $12.99 for seven

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

6. Maximize over-the-door storage. 

Pantries, hall closets, laundry rooms: If you’re not using the backs of these doors to store your stuff efficiently, you’re missing out on major opportunities to keep everyday items organized and within reach. Sahni uses an over-the-door organizer for stray cords and chargers, but you could easily steal this tip to wrangle spices, reusable water bottles, or small kitchen gadgets.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

7. Display your meal plan. 

“What’s for dinner?” Regardless of who’s asking, keep the answer handy by posting your weekly menu in plain view, whether it’s on a laminated sheet like Sahni’s, which she tucks away in the pantry, or a larger chalkboard on the kitchen wall. Displaying your plan throughout the week will help you stick with it, but it will also keep your needs top-of-mind in case you run low on an ingredient or need to to adjust for schedule changes.