7 Organizing Trends That Never Last, According to Pro Organizers

published Dec 11, 2023
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

When it comes to organizing your home, the best strategies are the ones you can sustain — because they’ll actually help keep your space feeling tidy and serene for the long haul. All those organizing trends you see in magazines or discover on TikTok, while they may look good or seem interesting, may not always be the easiest to sustain over time (which kind of defeats the purpose). 

So as you plan out your next organizing project, keep in mind these short-lived trends — and their alternatives — before getting started. 

Using solid-colored storage bins

Solid color bins might look nice, but they aren’t always practical. “Since they look identical to one another, without any label, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of each bin’s contents,” says Caroline Solomon, a New York-based professional organizer. Instead, opt for a clear bin made of acrylic or consider labeling each opaque bin if you’re not the “out of sight, out of mind” type.

Over-labeling categories

Conversely, Solomon says having too many categories for your items or creating categories that are too specific will eventually backfire. Sometimes, it’s more helpful to have broad buckets of categories for your bathroom products like “First Aid” and “Medicine” instead of “Cold Medicines” for instance. “This really comes into play when you’re putting items back and restocking products,” says Solomon. “You might be more inclined to swiftly deposit cold medicine in the ‘medicine bucket’ instead of searching for ‘Cold Medicine’ in an encyclopedic collection of bins.”

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Using fancy labels 

Labels are a great way to keep things organized, but trendy labels might not always be the most practical ones, says professional organizer Sara Bereika of Sara Jane Organizing. For example, chalkboard labels were popular for a while, but Bereika says the chalk pen ink rubs off easily and can look messy or difficult to read. “The good old basic label made by a label maker remains the standard and is always in style,” she says. “Label makers are user-friendly and don’t require any special skills, and the label can be easily replaced and they don’t rub off.”

Decanting laundry products

Decanting your laundry pods and detergent might look aesthetically pleasing, but in the long run, this can be a chore most people aren’t here for. Beyond this extra (unnecessary) step, Solomon says it can be a safety hazard for pets and children to remove laundry pods from their original containers, which contain safety locks.

Relying too heavily on products to solve space problems

It’s very easy to get charmed online by space-saving products — thanks, TikTok — but sometimes the best solution to tiny spaces is simply to own less. That’s why Solomon always recommends decluttering before first splurging on a bunch of nifty-looking gadgets to compensate for a lack of space.

Credit: Minette Hand

Meticulously folding underwear and socks 

Unless folding your underwear and socks into delicately shaped origami really *sparks joy,* it’s not sustainable. “Instead, you’re much better off using drawer organizers for each category to keep all items contained,” says Solomon. This way, it’s infinitely easier to deposit underwear and socks in their own containers after doing the laundry and just as easy to swiftly grab underwear and socks in a pinch.

Organizing in rainbow colors

It might look cheery, but organizing solely by color is not rooted in functionality, nor is it easy to maintain. When you’re in a rush to put clothes away, you probably won’t want to rifle through your closet to find the lavender section. “Eventually, this system falls flat,” says professional organizer Ashley La Fond, who owns Of Space + Mind. “It’s best to pick a system that’s easy to maintain and works for your lifestyle and home.”