5 Organizing Trends That Are Past Their Prime, According to a Pro

published Jul 17, 2022
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Whether I’m spiffing up my boyfriend’s junk drawer or trying TikTok tricks for displaying aluminum foil, I’m highly susceptible to organizing trends. If it promises to make my home look brighter, prettier, and less cluttered, I’m all in. 

Of course, this can feel restrictive when taken too far. I realized this when, recently, my boyfriend asked if I had any extra storage bins “tucked inside three different storage bins.” Okay, point taken: We can let this whole “organized home” thing get out of hand. In an attempt at moderation and sanity, I reached out to a professional organizer to talk some sense into me (and perhaps you, too?). 

Caroline Solomon, a pro organizer with a refreshingly low-maintenance outlook (and a bingeable podcast), had some helpful tips for scaling back. These five organizing trends are so past their prime, you won’t have to feel guilty for giving them up.

1. Using water hyacinth baskets to store *everything.*

I think these baskets peaked five years ago, but today they feel a bit dated and overdone,” says Solomon. This is a huge relief, because I’ve discovered another reason they should be on their way out: They’re difficult to clean, especially if you use them to store snacks (ugh, crumbs). What to replace these baskets with? “I’m loving these steel baskets instead for the pantry, and these cane bins for the closet,” explains Solomon.

Credit: Carina Finn

2. Labeling everything under the sun.

Labeling can get out of hand, especially in the kitchen. I know this because I used a permanent marker to write on all of my Mason jar lids, and since then I’ve always had sunflower seeds in the oatmeal jar, or other similar mislabeling. So where to draw the line? Solomon advises to use common sense and save the labeling for toiletries, tools, and office files. “But labeling everything, including the kitchen sink, can be a little overwhelming and proscriptive,” she says. Especially if you share that space!

3. Overly staged closets and pantries.

Social media has pretty much poisoned our brains when it comes to realistic working kitchens. “A perfectly organized kitchen pantry is satisfying to look at for a few seconds on Instagram, but in real life, things never look as polished,” admits Solomon. In fact, the very word “staged” indicates that it’s not a living, breathing, working space. Says Solomon, “It’s more exciting to see a space that uses creative solutions featuring items you already have.”

Credit: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock

4. Using unnecessary storage solutions.

Do you ever feel like you could always buy more stuff to organize your stuff? That’s a sign you might need to take a step back. If storage racks for every last item work for you, keep on keeping on. But does a cabinet full of organizers and storage “solutions” really make your life easier and more efficient? Sometimes, Solomon explains, “the best storage solution is no storage solution at all.”

5. Meticulously folded towels and dish cloths.

A little order is helpful when it comes to clothing drawers, says Solomon, but she stops at excessive folding, especially for undergarments like socks. I’m taking this tip to the kitchen, too. No longer will I fold my reusable napkins, towels, or dish cloths. That’s what bins and hooks are for!

Do you agree? Tell us which organizing trends are past their prime in your book.