You don't have to be a neatnik to appreciate the simple power of a well-organized home. After all, when everything has a designated place, it often seems like life just runs a little more smoothly. However, while some organization products certainly help corral various items and cut back the clutter, there are those that are far less helpful than you even realize.
Jill Pollack is a professional organizer who has seen products that help her clients reach organizational nirvana and products that tend to fall flat -- or worse, run the risk of making things even messier. Here are five items she suggests skipping next time you get the urge to get organized.
1. The Desktop Organizer
These compartmentalized holders may seem supremely helpful, but Pollack says they can do more harm than good.
"They're like black holes," she says. "You put something in there and if it's not tall enough, it's gone forever. Then, where are your stamps? You don't know."
A better solution, Pollack adds, is a drawer organizer. She believes that this flat, tucked-away product offers a much more elegant way to store those stamps, pens, pencils and whatever else you typically keep at your desk. "You can see [everything]," she says. "It becomes like an office buffet."
2. Stacking Hangers
If you've been looking for a way to keep similar clothing items together, chances are you've considered investing in stacking hangers to organize skirts with skirts, shirts with shirts, and the like. Pollack isn't a fan, pointing out that it requires extra effort to remove one piece of clothing from the bunch.
"You have to take the whole hanger off, hang it [back] up, it becomes a whole mess," she says. "And guess what? [Your clothes] end up on the bed."
Instead, Pollack suggests hanging each item of clothing on its own. "That way, you can browse things and look at what you'd like to wear," she says.
3. Plastic Shoe Boxes
While Pollack recognizes the organization benefits of shoe boxes, she takes issue with the idea of using plastic shoe boxes to store footwear that needs to be easily accessible.
"A plastic shoe box is perfect for those special-item shoes... the ones you don't want to get dusty," she says. "But for your everyday, regular shoes? Don't put them in a shoe box."
4. The Necklace Hanger
Fans of fashion jewelry often turn to a freestanding necklace hanger to house their many baubles, but before you know it, the hanger can become overrun and cluttered.
"One, two, three becomes 10, and you can't reach the bottom one, and [the hanger] falls over," Pollack says. "That's not a good organizational solution. The point is to see what you have and to use it."
A more organized option is to replace that hanger with hooks. "Put your necklaces on hooks. Put it in your closet, put it on your wall," Pollack suggests. "If it's your daily necklace, put it in a tray."
5. Plastic Drawer Towers
Often a staple in home offices, play rooms, craft spaces and dorms, plastic drawer towers certainly seem useful. Not only do they have different compartments for different items, but they're typically also on wheels and can be moved around as needed. So, what's the real problem?
"People overstuff those [and] you don't see what's in the back," Pollack says. "Either edit your stuff or find a better place to put them, because those plastic drawers are just black holes."
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