Maddie here! Today we鈥檙e taking on something near and dear to my heart: organization. As a small-space dweller *and* an avid shopper, it鈥檚 kinda key to my sanity to have an organized home, but I find that both my closet and kitchen pantry often resemble a disaster zone. Thankfully, we鈥檙e teaming up with Ziploc庐 and pro organizer Melanie Charlton to share 18 tips to organize these spaces the *right* way, using techniques that will help sustain organized bliss all year long.

Turns out, if you set the right organizational foundation (yeah, that鈥檚 a thing), invest in smart storage tools and adopt some healthy habits, your space can stay organized year-round. According to Melanie, 鈥淚t鈥檚 like a great diet and exercise program: It takes some discipline and training before you see the results, but when you do it, it becomes a way of life. This is how getting yourself organized works!鈥 Scroll on for 18 sanity-saving hacks for your pantry and closet, straight from the pros.

Psst: You can save on Ziploc products at Target with Cartwheel savings! Select items on sale from January 8 through March 11.



1. Move your off-season clothes to storage. Stow away all warm-weather garments in breathable bags. Psst: This is a great hack for those of you with continually teeming closets and too big a love for shopping to live that minimalist lifestyle ;)

2. Go through all of your stuff. Toss anything that鈥檚 broken or never used. While you鈥檙e going through your closet to stow off-season stuff, make a donate and trash pile. Remember the golden rule: If you haven鈥檛 used it in a year, it鈥檚 time to part ways.

3. Use the same types of hangers and storage throughout your closet. 鈥淭he easiest way to give your closet a makeover is to use all the same color and style hanger 鈥 this creates order and allows the eye to find your clothes,鈥 explains Melanie.


4. Use Ziploc bags to organize jewelry. Melanie stores all of her jewelry and accessories in plastic bags to avoid tangling. Pro Tip: Leave the ends of your necklaces outside of the plastic bag, then zip up the mouth around the chains. This will help avoid tangled chains, AKA the time-wasting bane of our existence.

5. Sharing a closet with your partner? Make a game plan before you divvy up the space. 鈥淐ouples and organization is a very tricky subject!鈥 says Melanie. 鈥淚t鈥檚 important for couples to mediate on their edits and learn about each other鈥檚 belongings and *then* come to a decision on who gets what space.鈥 Yep, that means if your main man has way more sweaters than you, maybe he gets that extra drawer. Relationships are all about compromise, right?

6. Vertical space is your best friend. Maximize it! Add shelves to the tippy top of your closet and buy tall and skinny furniture that won鈥檛 take up as much square footage.


7. Try Ziploc庐 Space Bag庐! Compression bags are among the greatest inventions we鈥檝e ever discovered, up there with the blow dryer and, you know, the internet. Instead of wasting precious shelving space with piles of spare bedding, stow 鈥榚m in a Space Bag庐 compression bag. They鈥檙e a cinch to use 鈥 you can suck the air out with a vacuum or roll the air out by hand.

8. Organize your closet by clothing type and color. This will make it easier to find your garments. Plus, color-coordinated things are extremely satisfying to look at, amirite?


9. Try this genius (and cheap!) hanger hack. Attach two to three feet of chain to an S-hook, then fasten to your closet rod. Learn more about the hack here!

10. Invest in furniture that doubles as storage. If your closet is *still* overflowing and you鈥檙e too stubborn to keep purging (we get it), get smart about storage in other spaces of your home. Try a storage ottoman (bonus points if you DIY it!) or living room furniture with drawers.

11. Choose tomorrow鈥檚 outfit the night before. To avoid decision fatigue and the daily AM tornado when deciding on your outfit, figure it out the night before. Make the inevitable discard pile on your bed, so you鈥檒l *have* to clean it up before hitting the hay. Smart, right?


12. Live in an extra-small space? You may need to change the way you shop. 鈥淭iny spaces require the most careful edits,鈥 explains Melanie. 鈥淭hey require the strongest need to live an 鈥榚dited鈥 life, meaning there is *no* room for excess. Your edit will likely require more than the 鈥榦ut with the old and in with the new鈥 mantra: That edit will have to be accompanied with a pared down way of life. Live with less! And keep it that way. In order to do this successfully, you need a plan or style for everything 鈥 how you dress, the way you eat and how you shop. It seems overwhelming at first, but to live without excess as a long-term plan actually has been proven to reduce stress! Some work at the beginning pays off big time in the long term!鈥



13. Streamline your pantry with uniform containers. 鈥淚 keep my sugar, flours and dry goods in Ziploc庐 plastic containers,鈥 explains Melanie. 鈥淚 love using the same containers in every space I organize, as it helps me find what I鈥檓 looking for much easier! It鈥檚 a basic merchandising tip I stole from my professional life prior to starting my own business.鈥

14. Put the everyday-use stuff in the front. This one may be a no-brainer, but it鈥檚 worth reiterating. Stow your most-used foods and condiments in easy-to-reach places to avoid messing up your pantry.

15. Organize the rest by food type. Pantry shelves tend to be deep and short, which maximizes storage but makes it difficult to see the contents. If you organize your food by type (just like grocery stores do), you鈥檒l know if you鈥檙e short on pasta 鈥 even if you don鈥檛 have a clear view of every product.


16. Instead of stocking up on dried spices, keep fresh herbs in plastic bags in the fridge. 鈥淚 use Ziploc庐 bags to organize all my regularly used fresh spices and herbs from my herb garden,鈥 says Melanie. Instead of stocking up on dried herbs and spices 鈥 and then promptly forgetting about them 鈥 use fresh herbs for cooking. Plus, pros say that dried herbs and spices should be replaced every six months! Yet another reason to go for the fresh stuff (bonus points if it鈥檚 homegrown).

17. Schedule a bi-monthly pantry clean-out. Every two months, go through your cabinets and toss what鈥檚 gone bad or stale. Make a donate pile for canned goods you鈥檙e probably not going to use. Chances are you鈥檒l create a ton of new space!

18. Keep your pantry in mind when you hit the supermarket. Do you *really* have room for that jumbo bag of cereal, and are you *really* going to eat it all before it goes stale? Take advice from Melanie: 鈥淥nce you edit what you have, then you make a list of what you need. Next, plan how to organize it, then shop! This order of operations will help you keep your pantry in tip-top shape.鈥

Have any awesome organization hacks to share? We wanna hear 鈥榚m! Tweet us @BritandCo to share your tips.