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Organizing Tools We Don’t Love

Last fall, we shared some of our go-to organizing tools with Good Housekeeping. This month, they wanted to know about some of our least favorite tools, and we thought of a few extra to share with you! Check out their post to see how we feel about stacking desktop organizers and label makers, and enjoy our extra tidbits below!

Cork Boards

Cork boards and magnet boards used to be all the rage, but in this age of digital media we’ve found that people are quick to put things up on cork or magnet boards, then never reference them again. There was a time when a paper notice was our primary reminder of an event, or thing to do, but not anymore! These days, most of our information is processed electronically. If you have a cork or magnet board, we recommend pulling everything down, and sorting through, with a careful eye to what is old or expired, then placing things back on the board only if you feel inspired by it, or if it is a reminder of something lovely in your life, like an event you want to remember, or photos of family and friends. Used this way, a cork board or magnet board is great for storing art, or as an inspiration board. As for your daily lists, try storing shopping lists, to-do’s, and important go-to information on your smartphone instead. It might take getting used to, but you’ll soon find that it’s a great solution, as you can update in real-time, and you’ll always have what you need, when you need it!

Scented Satchels

The intention behind scented clothing satchels is great, to add a fresh smell, like lavender or pine, to your clothing drawers or closet as a whole. But we find that the scent runs out far too soon, and people are left with tiny bags of “scent” littering the back and bottom of their clothing closets and drawers. If clothing odors are getting you down, try replacing scented satchels with a simple fabric or air spray, in a pump or spray bottle. Or make your own with a bit of water and lemon juice. Give a quick spritz when odors get strong, and keep your drawers clutter free. Your drawers (and clothes!) will thank you!

File Cabinets

Those of us who came of age before computers often have a hard time imagining a home office without a filing cabinet. It just feels wrong. But with more and more of our lives turning digital and paperless, the need for hard copies of anything is getting increasingly small. With few exceptions, like legal documents and memorabilia, there is little left in life that needs to be a hard paper copy. We recommend taking time to sort through your papers, paying special attention to what must be kept, and what you can digitize, or let go. Most of our clients, when focused on the task, are able to reduce paperwork by 80%, with the remaining 20% fitting nicely in a single expanding file folder, or a desktop magazine box, or a small hanging file box. You can then eliminate your filing cabinet, or repurpose it, using only one drawer for files, and the rest for storage. I went paperless a few years back, but still have a few paper files I need to hang on to, so I store them in a small hanging file box that lives in my office closet. I can grab-and-go as needed, and no longer have a large filing cabinet taking up valuable real estate in my home.

Do you have a go-to organization tool you no longer use? Sound off in the comments below!

Maeve Richmond is the founder and head coach of Maeve's Method, a home organization system based in New York City. She specializes in parents & kids, couples, small space solutions, space planning and decorative elements for the home. Contact her at or @MaeveRichmond.

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