This Is the Versatile Organizing Product That I’ve Kept with Me After 3 Moves Last Year

published Sep 18, 2022
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As a professional organizer, there is a complaint that I often hear as I help my clients unpack their things in a new home, and that is how the containers they already owned don’t quite fit in the new space. Sometimes they’re referring to it from an aesthetic perspective, other times it’s the actual measurements. Either way, I do my best to express the importance of considering how well an organizing product will transfer from place to place — especially if you’re a frequent mover such as myself.

Last year included three moves for me (the second being to a temporary living space and the third to a city about 1,000 miles away), so I’d say I’ve gotten pretty good at taking my own advice and only purchasing supplies that are versatile. I also like to think outside the box so if something doesn’t work in one area, it can be used elsewhere. For example, a set of open-front bins that I once used in my coat closet now keep the cabinet under my guest bathroom sink tidy. 

There’s one product in particular that I have and will rave about to anyone who will listen (hint: you, right now, reading this) — and that’s the Elfa Over the Door Rack from The Container Store. The home organization uses are endless and the components are completely customizable. A variety of baskets, pegboards, hooks, and even shoe racks seamlessly attach and detach depending on your needs. My uses for it, and its location, changed with each move in 2021.

Credit: Mary Cornetta

In the first place, I hung it on the inside of the coat closet for dog supplies and outdoor products such as sunscreen and bug spray. The second spot had virtually no bathroom storage so it held my skincare and beauty products. And finally, for the place (pictured above) where I currently reside, it’s hanging on the inside of my laundry closet door with some cleaning supplies. (Plus all of the pup’s stuff since I’m currently sans a coat closet.)

The Elfa rack is one of the best organizing systems for renters because you don’t actually have to make any holes in the door. Instead, you can simply secure it using adjustable hooks. Attaching it via a screw will make it more secure and I have done that for many clients, specifically when they have small children. If you have the space, the metal rack can lay flush against a wall instead but you’ll need to use a drill in that case.

There are two options for rack length, as well as two options for hook width. Taller or wider doors require the commercial size while most will be the right fit for the residential style. I had to purchase commercial hooks for space number two because the door was too wide but at only $11 for the set, it wasn’t a blow to my budget.

In addition to the examples of how I’ve used the Elfa rack, I’ve installed ones for clients in their pantries, baby bedrooms, craft rooms, and home offices. I can’t express enough how handy it can come in when you need just a little bit of extra storage space and also want to make sure your investment lasts for any move in the foreseeable future.

What has been the most adaptable, useful organizing product in your home? Share it with us in the comments.