15 Editor-Favorite Storage Solutions That Maxed Out Our Spaces This Year

published Dec 21, 2023
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Credit: Dacey Sivewright

Making our homes function efficiently is a dream for many, but doesn’t quite happen as effortlessly as we’d hope. Even when there’s enough space — or we vow to keep a smaller area as tidy as possible — stuff can accumulate in no time. Take it from the editors at Apartment Therapy: Getting and staying organized can be a challenge, and that’s why there’s no such thing in our book as gatekeeping the items that make this goal easier to achieve. 

Over the last year, Apartment Therapy editors have recommended storage solutions that have maxed out nearly every space in our homes, from benches and under-sink compartments, to items for beneath a bed and inside a closet. These picks streamlined possessions into categories, ensuring that they’re easier to locate and use whenever needed. As you look toward to 2024, perhaps it’s time for a resolution: Maybe next year will be the one that your home feels more pulled-together, and these can help. Read on to see our favorite storage solutions for keeping clutter and stress at bay. 

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An entryway of any size can benefit from having a multipurpose furnishing in its midst, and for Editorial Shopping Director Jada Wong, this walnut bench from Article (a winner in our inaugural Organization Awards!) fits the bill. Not only does it have a timeless mid-century modern appearance, but its cushioned top also opens to reveal concealed storage inside. “The bench is split into two sections — there’s the main bench with a large compartment underneath, and then a removable side tray with a smaller storage area underneath,” Wong explains. “The removable tray up top corrals sunglasses, keys, water bottles — all the essentials I grab on my way out the door (or, well, more like all the things I forget to grab and double back for).”

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The corners of lower cabinets in kitchens can be a tricky spot to keep organized, as a lot can go missing or get jammed in there. Staff Writer Patty Catalano had recently updated her kitchen, but felt that the typical solution of a Lazy Susan in this cabinet would only cause issues — especially if she stored pans with handles that could get caught. So she decided to turn this cabinet into an extension of her pantry, and purchased this wedged organizer to maximize functionality. “These clear plastic bins have high sides and fit into the curve of the shelves, thanks to their wedge shape,” she says. “They have a built-in handle that makes it easy to take hold of the container and remove it when I need to search for a specific ingredient. The inevitable spills and drips are contained to a small area, and are easily cleaned with a damp cloth.”

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Maximizing storage under your sink can be straightforward with most organizers, but if your situation resembles that of Cleaning and Organizing Editor Stephanie Nguyen’s, then it’s more complicated than that. She has a water filtration system that takes up a lot of square footage beneath her sink, and wasn’t sure that she could have a calm-and-collected system in the open space that was left. But then she came across this compact organizer, which still has two tiers, and was able to make the most of it. “For someone who has limited storage space under my kitchen sink, this organizer was a game-changer,” she says. “Now, I can actually store things here, like extra cleaning supplies or miscellaneous tools.”

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was $64.99

Safely storing Christmas ornaments for years to come is one of the major to-dos of holiday cleanup, and a lot can go awry if you’re still using the cardboard boxes of yesteryear. Contributor Quincy Bulin was using exactly that for her ornaments — the box was from her childhood, and she inherited it from her mom — and when the whole box essentially broke down, Bulin went searching for a sturdier replacement. She found it in this organizer, which can hold 73 ornaments in safe, stackable tiers. “On either side of the bins is open storage you can organize into compartments with velcro dividers, which is probably my favorite feature — I’m all about versatility,” she says. “I used to have to store all of my decorations separate from my ornaments, but the ability to keep everything together makes my life so much easier.”

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was $19.99

Turning unlikely spots into areas of organization is ideal when it comes to cleaning supplies, as they can easily take over under-sink storage if you have a lot to manage (yes, even with a system in place). Contributor Ashley Abramson moved into a larger home with her family, and stored cleaning supplies in different rooms. The only problem? She kept forgetting where everything was. By putting two Command Under-Sink Caddies on the inside wall of her cabinet and on the backside of the door, she created enough space to keep everything together. “Each caddy also holds 10 pounds, which is more than enough for my most-used cleaning products — an all-purpose cleaner, a scented dish soap I use a lot, a bottle of white vinegar, and a wood floor cleaner,” she says. “I found the caddies were just wide and deep enough to be useful without impeding my ability to fully close the cabinet door or store other tall cleaners beneath the sink.”

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was $218.89

There is always an abundance of things in a living room: blankets, pillows, books, and toys are just some of the items that can cause clutter. One way former Assistant Editor Savannah West corralled it all was by purchasing this TikTok-famous storage bench on Amazon, which features oval-shaped tiers that come in an oft-requested teddy fabric. The top of the bench can provide extra seating, all while storing daily necessities inside. “One TikToker who posted about the bench said that it looks really similar to a brand-name designer piece that retails for $700, and she’s absolutely right,” West says. “For nearly a third of the price, this isn’t a bad alternative at all if you’re trying to achieve a neutral, high-end look at a lower price point. The final verdict is that this bench is absolutely worth the hype.”

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The cabinets within a bathroom vanity can be invaluable when it comes to storing items that you don’t want crowding the countertop. Well, unless your cabinets are filled to the brim with items, and there’s no organization in sight. Commerce SEO Editor Sarah Vazquez was in this predicament, but purchasing this SmartHome Under Sink Organizer changed all that. “Designed to make the most of a small space, this organizer is exactly what I had been looking for,” she says. “Featuring a sleek, minimalist design, this two-tiered piece helps take advantage of vertical space (the cardinal rule of small-space living) and looks good while doing it.” There’s also a pull-out drawer on the lower level, ensuring that you capitalize on every inch.

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was $34.99

Finding the correct lid for a reusable container can be a real headache without an organizational system, and contributor Heather Bien was tired of the frustration. She wanted to have a tidier kitchen cabinet, and that’s a goal any grownup can relate to. “I just wanted a neatly organized cabinet that looked like it belonged to an adult — you know, like something off one of those organization TikToks,” she writes.” She purchased this storage shelf after ensuring that it was the right dimension for her space, and now the task of creating leftovers has far fewer hurdles. “These incredibly versatile shelf racks could also be used for glassware and mug organization, or a cabinet with cumbersome skillets and pans,” Bien adds.

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When you live in a small home, every inch should be used to its full potential — and that means under the bed, too. Commerce Managing Editor Tamara Kraus lives in a studio, and seasonal clothing was taking up far too much space in her everyday life. So she purchased these under-bed rolling storage bins, and stuck all of those off-season clothes inside. The best part? The fabric bag's zipper closed completely, keeping everything dry inside. “The two under-bed bins come with 360-degree wheels, so you can easily slide them in and out of the bed area quickly,” Kraus says. “They took just a few minutes to assemble and didn’t require any tools to put together, which is always a win in my book.”

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Yamazaki Home

A designated storage spot for house keys is a must in any household. Former Deputy Lifestyle Director Madeline Bilis needed such a place for her keys after arriving home with groceries, and found it in this minimalist magnetic key holder. The strip can be applied to a refrigerator — an ideal spot for a post-grocery run — but also has the capacity to be applied to a regular ol’ wall. And as an added feature, there’s a small shelf above the row of hooks. “I enjoy the impermanence of the magnetic holder; the freedom to move it around the front of the fridge as I see fit,” Bilis says. “I switch up the magnet and photo display on my fridge every so often, so being able to move the key holder around, too, is a nice bonus.”

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was $14.99

Kitchens that have narrow drawers for cutlery always pose a problem: It seems that a jumble of utensils is inevitable. This fate didn’t suit former Executive Lifestyle Director Lisa Freedman, though, because she was eager to find a storage solution that kept her utensil drawer from becoming a mess (comes with her day job of writing stories about organization!). She found a fix in this sleek drawer organizer, which holds utensils in tiers. “At less than five inches wide, I knew it would fit in my drawer,” she writes. “I was worried, however, that my flatware handles would stick up too much and get in the way during the opening and closing of the drawer. I’m happy to report that the handles do not get in the way! And the system is basically perfection. It somehow holds all of my butter knives, small and big forks, and small and big spoons. Eight of each!”

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You may be the type of person who has storage bags for their things, but they're just not the right size for the space you’re living in — and because of that, the storage mostly sticks out rather than blends in. Senior Commerce Editor Alicia Kort was working with a bed frame that was low to the ground, and was looking for an under-bed storage box that could fit that tight arrangement with ease. The StorageWorks Underbed Storage Boxes come in a set of two, and they have a low profile, handles, and zippers. In other words, these boxes have it all. “I tend to overpack every organizer I come into contact with, just based on the fact that I live in an apartment with not a lot of storage space, and these bins held up despite me overfilling them,” Kort says. “I used the other one for boots and high heels that I don’t normally wear.”

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The standard kitchen drawer that holds foil and plastic wrap often goes without an organizational system, but seeing as Contributor Mary Cornetta streamlines stuff professionally, she didn’t like leaving these items as is. “The way I had my boxes laid out in the drawer worked OK, but they would slide around quite a bit,” she writes. “Let’s not forget to mention that it doesn’t look all that great, which isn’t that important especially since the boxes are hidden away in a drawer most of the time. But I’m all about function and aesthetics, because I think when an organizing system works well and looks nice, I’m much more likely to maintain it.” She spotted this bamboo organizer on Amazon, which places foil, plastic wrap, and wax in one collective compartment, and then clearly labels all three. It’s one way to make these items look and feel elevated.

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Storing batteries can be serious business, as when Contributor Meg Asby discovered her friends’ home burned down on account of two batteries short-circuiting unexpectedly. “The fire started in my friend’s Ridwell recycling bin, when a spent 9-volt battery came in contact with a spent AAA battery, creating a short circuit and ultimately catching their garage on fire,” she writes. “As she learned, simply taping the terminals of the batteries would have saved my friend and her family the loss of their possessions, the headache of fighting with insurance over every reimbursement, and displacement from their home for the next nine months.” For peace of mind, Asby recommends this battery organizer, which stores them upright and keeps their chargers from hitting one another. It helps to eliminate the possibility of batteries becoming a fire hazard.

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Sometimes, it’s best to be honest about the type of closet you have. By doing so, you can make it more efficient for how you live. Contributor Meg Asby and her husband are admittedly not minimalists, so their walk-in closet was stuffed. But by purchasing these S-shaped connector hooks, they’ve freed up much-needed room. “With these little clips, I can double our closet space without donating a single item, because each hanger can now hold two items instead of one,” she says. “In theory, you could add hangers all the way down, and some reviewers did that. I was satisfied with merely doubling my storage space, and I didn’t want the hassle of removing multiple hangers to get to the item I wanted.” Consider this an option for storing out-of-season clothing in the back of your closet, too.