31 clever home and kitchen organization tools that don't look like they belong in a dorm room

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material fundamentals setMaterial

  • In theory, organizational tools should make your home more comfortable and your life more efficient.
  • When those tools are plastic bins typically found in dorms and container stores, they can pit functionality against style and create contradictory stress.
  • Below are 31 ways to organize your home effectively without compromising on looks.

If you want to live inside of an organized home, the options can be a bit sterile and uninspired; a classic interior design nightmare played out between form and function.

But you can get aesthetically pleasing organizational tools. They might cost a bit more upfront, but I'd wager that they're more than worth the extra cost. You only buy them once, and you don't have to live around soulless plastic bins that remind you of time spent in a dorm or quarantine rather than enjoying the fact that you always know where your college T-shirts are. Organization should make your life easier and your home more comfortable and efficient, not the other way around.

If you're looking for some stylish options that can help organize your life and place, check out 30 below for some inspiration. Otherwise, a good general rule is that you can find some pretty great options at stores like Food52, West Elm, Nordstrom, and even Urban Outfitters and the newly elevated Amazon Home Basics.

Below are 31 stylish purchases to organize your place:

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A stainless steel sponge caddy

A stainless steel sponge caddy
Joseph Joseph Stainless Steel Surface Sink Caddy, available on Amazon, $16.40

The Joseph Joseph stainless steel sink caddy will keep your soapy sponge and dishwashing tools within reach but out of the way. Plus, the steel is fingerprint-proof.

A modular countertop set

A modular countertop set
Modular Ceramic Countertop Set, available on Food52, $99

This set of modular countertop helpers is made from durable ceramic and topped with wooden lids, including a slotted option to store utensils at the ready.

Wicker storage baskets

Wicker storage baskets
Trademark Innovations Foldable Hyacinth Storage Baskets, Set of 4, available on Amazon, $69.89

This set of four wicker storage baskets can be used anywhere and for anything. They take the place of those collapsible fabric ones we all had at some point in college.

An upgrade to the over-door hanger

 An upgrade to the over-door hanger
Smart Overdoor Hanger, available on West Elm, $12 [Take 20% off and free shipping with the code "WINTER" at checkout]

Here's your sleek and basic solution to ugly plastic contraptions.

Woven under-bed storage

Woven under-bed storage
Metallic Woven Underbed Storage, available on West Elm, $34 [Take 20% off and free shipping with the code "WINTER" at checkout]

If you'd rather have under-bed storage that lends some style points to your room (especially if your bed skirt doesn't touch the ground, and they'll be in view) this woven version from West Elm is a good option for everything from magazines and keepsakes to clothes and shoes.

Matching colorful storage containers

Matching colorful storage containers
Joseph Joseph Food Storage Container, 16-Piece, available on Amazon, $32.33

Get rid of the mismatched takeout containers and standardize organization with this colorful set.

Magnetic spice tins

Magnetic spice tins
Magnetic Spice Tins, Set of 16, available on Amazon, $25.99

Cut down on the countertop or cabinet space with this set of 16 magnetic spice tins. They'll add some colorful, sleek points of interest in the kitchen, and you'll always know which spices you've got on hand without digging through a deep cupboard.

Nesting bowls you can microwave

Nesting bowls you can microwave
Microwavable Nested Storage Bowls, available at Food52, from $60

These good-looking nested storage bowls are microwave-safe, so you can reheat prepped food whenever convenient (sans-lids). Use them in the fridge or the freezer. They're also 100% airtight and leak-proof.

All the essentials

All the essentials
The Fundamentals, Set of 7, available on Material, $175

Material's "The Fundamentals" is seven pieces of kitchenware you'll use every day — six tools and one well-designed container.

A shelf for smart tech that minimizes cords

A shelf for smart tech that minimizes cords
WALI Wall Outlet Shelf, available on Amazon, $5.99

Minimize cords and put your speakers in a prime location for listening to music or answering your daily calls for recipe clarifications. Get it in white or black to match your decor.

A vertical bathroom shelf

A vertical bathroom shelf
RiverRidge Amery Collection Spacesaver, available on Overstock, $79.99

If the storage under your sink isn't covering it, this Spacesaver creates space vertically out of the dead air typically monopolized by your bathroom's toilet.

Multipurpose stoneware canisters

Multipurpose stoneware canisters
Mason Cash Forest Kitchen Canisters, available on Food52, from $40

These Mason Cash stoneware canisters are perfect for kitchen storage. They have a subtle woodland design that harkens back to folktales from the mid-19th century. Keep your coffee, flour, grains, and more cool and dry with its airtight seal.

A portable pseudo-cedar closet

A portable pseudo-cedar closet
CedarStow Long Hanging Garment Wardrobe, available on Nordstrom, $220.99

This hanging wardrobe is a chemical-free protectant against moths, mildew, and musty scents — and it's made with aromatic red cedar harvested from renewable forests.

A bag hanger

A bag hanger
Joint Bag Hanger, available on West Elm, $20 [Take 20% off and free shipping with the code "WINTER" at checkout]

If you'd rather not fill your closet with ugly plastic contraptions, the joint bag hanger is a bit more stylish. Get it in white or black.

Thin, foldable, front-facing storage cubes

Thin, foldable, front-facing storage cubes
Stax Storage Cube, available on Nordstrom, $30

If you'd rather be able to see what's inside a storage unit in your closet, open-face containers are a solid option. These aren't exactly adding to an overall aesthetic, but they're thin enough that you shouldn't see much of them if you're standing facing them — just make sure whatever is inside is folded, or that it's something you want on view. They fold down to just about nothing when not in use.

A magnetic knife bar

A magnetic knife bar
Modern Innovations 16-Inch Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Bar, available on Amazon, $16.99

If countertop space is at a premium, negate any need for a standing knife set holder with a stainless steel magnetic bar. We're fans of this one.

Mason jars with lids

Mason jars with lids
Jarden Mason Jar with Lids, Set of 12, available on Amazon, $16.70

Store kitchen goods in mason jars with lids if they're going to be on view and you'd like to avoid the sterility of plastic bins.

Herb storage containers that fit in refrigerator doors

Herb storage containers that fit in refrigerator doors
Fresh Herb Storage, Set of 2, available on Food52, $40

Fill these contraptions with just an inch or two of water and wilty, sad herbs will perk up. It should also fit inside your refrigerator door without complaint.

Weave storage bins

Weave storage bins
Modern Weave Storage Bin, available on West Elm, $39

Use these weave bins for pretty much anything — clothes, books, office supplies, or entertainment tech.

A hanging pot rack

A hanging pot rack
Cuisinart Chef's Classic Rectangular Wall-Mount Bookshelf Rack, available on Amazon, from $101.72

The Cuisinart Wall-Mount Bookshelf Rack keeps pots and pans within reach and out of the way in cupboards that are too deep and horizontal to be of much convenience for storage.

A well-built dish rack with wood handles

A well-built dish rack with wood handles
Wood-Handled Dish Rack, available on Food52, $65

A good-looking dish rack isn't an easy thing to come by. This minimalist, Japanese design comes in white or grey, and the plastic utensil container has lots of holes in the bottom for drainage. It’s also removable for scrubbing away soapy buildup. The high-sided, plastic drainage tray keeps water from puddling all over your countertops.

Stainless steel glass canisters

Stainless steel glass canisters
Estilo Brushed Stainless Steel Glass Canisters with Windows, 4-Piece, available on Amazon, $21.99

Keep your ingredients fresh and uniform in stainless steel containers so you don't have mismatched and half-full boxes vying for order in your pantry.

Standard oil and vinegar containers

Standard oil and vinegar containers
Royal Oil and Vinegar Bottle Set with Stainless Steel Rack and Removable Cork, available on Amazon, $16.97

Keep your vinegars and oils in a set of uniform containers with removable corks — they'll look a little more purposeful than whatever container your favorite brand comes inside.

A utensils holder

A utensils holder
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Rotating Utensils Holder, available on Amazon, $19.50

A utensils holder is a nice way to keep the usual suspects within arms reach while you're cooking. This one rotates for access all around.

Apple crates

Apple crates
Apple Crates, available on West Elm, $49

Few things are as incontrovertibly rustic-chic as furnishing your home with natural apple crates. They're great for housing books and records.

Magnetic hooks that can hold up to 40 pounds

Magnetic hooks that can hold up to 40 pounds
Netany Heavy Duty Magnetic Hooks, available on Amazon, $10.99

These industrial-grade magnetic hooks can hold 40 pounds of weight when used horizontally, and they don't require much more setup or space than sticking them onto a magnetic surface.

A magnetic refrigerator rack

A magnetic refrigerator rack
Steel & Wood Magnetic Refrigerator Rack, available at Food52, $48

Especially great for small kitchens, this steel and wood refrigerator rack can attach to your fridge magnetically or be installed on any convenient wall.

Versatile enamel kitchen canisters

Versatile enamel kitchen canisters
White & Grey Enamel Kitchen Canisters, Set of 4, available on Food52, $54

If you're going to store pantry essentials in plain sight, it's worth investing in canisters you won't hate seeing every day of your life. Enamelware is lightweight, stackable, dishwasher-safe, and can be used on the stovetop, in the oven, or on the grill. These white, grey-trimmed canisters fuse modern and vintage nicely, and the set comes with 1-quart, 2-quart, 2.5-quart, and 3-quart canisters.

Acrylic trays

Acrylic trays
Acrylic Trays, available on West Elm, from $34

Repurpose an acrylic tray to store everything from spices to condiments. It's transparent, and it won't make whatever room or cabinet it's stored in look smaller or more cluttered.

record storage crates

record storage crates
Crosley Radio Record Storage Crate, available on Nordstrom, $29.95

Perfect for avoiding plastic milk crates for your well-loved records.

Wire mesh storage hanging shelves

Wire mesh storage hanging shelves
Wire Mesh Storage Hanging Double Shelf, available on West Elm, $99 [Take 20% off and free shipping with the code "WINTER" at checkout]

Throw your bathroom essentials into this double shelf that's made from durable, rust-proof stainless steel.

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