7 Rules for Shopping at Target, According to Pro Organizers

published Jul 14, 2023
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Target retail store located in the Hamilton Crossings shopping center in Lower Macungie Township, Pennsylvania on September 11, 2016
Credit: Sean Wandzilak/Shutterstock

I can shamelessly admit right here and right now that I’m obsessed with shopping at Target. I love wandering the aisles and coming across items I never knew I needed in the super-affordable “Bullseye” section (like a pizza slicer shaped like a cassette tape), projects I never knew I should tackle (one day I’ll make those bracelets for easy holiday gifting), or outfits that I “style” right there in the store, down to the shoes and accessories. 

Another obsession partly born out of my love for Target is my need to constantly organize every area of my home — yes, the many items I purchase at Target need a home, but Target also has an amazing selection of home organization and storage products. It’s a dream for a perpetual organizer, declutter, and Target shopper such as myself — but it can also be quite overwhelming. So I turned to the experts for their best tips, tricks, and recommendations on shopping for organizational products at Target, their favorite brands and items, and how to make effective purchases to really help your needs.  

1. Determine your “zones.”

Before you even head into the store, Nicole Gabai, founder of B. Organized and author of The Art of Organization, says it’s smart to plan ahead. “For example, it’s never a good idea to buy, say, a bookcase first and then try to retrofit all the books into it,” she explains. “People often say, ‘I bought all these great organizing and storage containers. I don’t know why I can’t get organized!’ Well, the problem with this approach is that no matter how attractive or functional your storage containers are, they won’t help you get organized unless they’re the right containers for your specific needs.”

To save time and money before heading to Target, Gabai suggests surveying the room you want to organize and dividing it into sections. Decide which activities you want to do in the room, then designate one section for each activity. “Next, establish zones in the room. Zones are a way of prioritizing the stuff you have within each section of a room and deciding what to keep and where to put it,” Gabai explains. 

Creating zones helps to avoid making the mistake of assigning equal importance to all objects in a room. It’s important to give top priority to the objects that you use often — they should be in the most convenient place, which is zone one. Objects that you use less often should be in zone two or three. “Once you’ve established your sections and zones, then it’s time to buy any additional storage pieces you need,” says Gabai. “Measure your available storage space and the items you need to store.”

2. Make seasonality your friend.

As the seasons change, so does Target’s inventory. They offer a variety of seasonal storage solutions that not only keep your belongings organized, but also reflect the spirit of the season. Keep an eye out for their seasonal bins, holiday-themed boxes, and storage baskets that embrace the colors and motifs of the time of the year — whether it’s Halloween, summer, or Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa. Plus, Target frequently runs promotions and discounts on various storage items, especially during major shopping events or holidays.

3. Sign up for Target Circle.

The Target Circle Rewards program — which you can find in their app — is the best place for receiving exclusive offers, personalized deals, and early access to sales. Plus, the Target app provides you with the ability to create shopping lists based on the store layout. (P.S.: It’s currently Circle Week from July 9 to 15, which boasts the biggest sale of the year for Target Circle members.)

4. Shop clearance aisles and end caps.

Target often has clearance sections with discounted items, typically after a season or holiday has ended, but there’s no reason not to take advantage of the deal. Additionally, the store end caps — the shelves at the end of each aisle — often have discounted or clearance items, too. 

5. Utilize Target’s price matching policy.

Target has a really user-friendly Price Match Guarantee policy. If you find a lower price for an item at a competitor store, they will honor and match it. Keep this in mind while shopping and be sure to inquire at the customer service desk if you come across a better deal on the same item elsewhere.

6. Pair practicality with elegance.

One Target brand that Jakob Miller, cook, pro organizer, and founder of Barbecue Pals, adores is Room Essentials, because it offers a wide range of affordable, stylish storage solutions that are perfect for creating a clutter-free space. But that’s not all! “If you’re looking to add a touch of elegance to your organization game, Target’s Project 62 collection is worth exploring,” says Miller. “Their sleek and modern designs can transform any mundane storage area into a chic display.” Miller also loves Opalhouse for its vibrant and eclectic storage options. According to Miller, “They’re perfect for adding a pop of personality to your space.”

7. Keep it simple with multi-use staples.

Sarah Schier, owner of Beautiful Life Creative Organizing, says Brightroom is her favorite line at Target for organizing because “It’s like The Container Store’s cool cousin, offering comparable quality without breaking the bank.” While Schier admits she could write a never-ending list of product recommendations, here are three staples that are must-haves for her clients to get their homes in order.

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“They are simply phenomenal when it comes to decluttering and organizing spaces,” Schier says. The biggest draw is they’re spacious and sturdy; they offer a generous amount of space to accommodate various items. “From clothing and accessories to toys and household supplies, these bins have got you covered,” she explains. Other highlights include the versatility of where you can use them: bedrooms, playrooms, living rooms, or even in the garage, as they’re stackable, space-saving, and, best of all, clear. “As professional organizers, our goal is to create clarity and order. These storage bins help achieve just that,” says Schier. “Their transparent sides allow you to see the contents at a glance, eliminating the need to rummage through multiple containers. It saves time, reduces frustration, and helps maintain the tidy environment we strive for.”

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Schier says the Brightroom food storage containers are absolute game-changers for keeping your pantry tidy and your food fresh. “These containers are specifically designed to maximize space utilization in your pantry. With their stackable and modular design, they fit seamlessly on shelves, making the most of every inch of storage space,” she says. “By eliminating bulky packaging and using uniform containers, you can create a clean and streamlined look in your pantry.” They also feature airtight lids that lock in freshness and protect your food from moisture and pests, which helps to extend the shelf life of your pantry items and ensure they stay fresh and flavorful for longer periods. And best of all? These containers offer ample space for adding labels or using adhesive chalkboard labels. “By clearly labeling each container, you create a system that makes it easy to find and access your pantry essentials,” she says.

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These storage baskets are both practical and incredibly stylish, with their coiled rope design and multiple color options to add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any room. “From blankets, pillows, and throws in the living room to towels and toiletries in the bathroom, or even toys and accessories in a nursery or playroom, these baskets can handle it all, and their spacious interior provides ample room to keep your belongings neatly organized,” says Schier. You can display them on open shelves, place them under a console table, or use them as statement pieces in any corner of your home to add personality and warmth.