You’re making your home look crappy if you aren’t doing any of these things
Right now, my house is a mess of clutter. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from writing this column, though, it’s that help is available — it just requires a tiny bit of effort and know-how, along with a few handy products. If your home currently looks crappy too, it might be because you’re not doing any of these things.
When it comes to glowing up a space, my strategy for implementation is simple: I pick the area of my house that’s annoying me the most and apply my resources there. Recently, that was my bedroom, because I’m a firm believer that you have to make sure your cup is full before you can pour into anyone else’s cup.
The “squeaky wheel” room in your home may be different, but regardless, this list is packed with suggestions for getting it all fixed up. I’ll get on it if you will — pinky swear.
Charging all your devices in one central location
Hercules Tuff Charging StationAmazon
Stop leaving your phones, tablets, and e-readers scattered all over the house while they’re plugged in, and instead give them an organized-looking home with this charging station. Compatible with all phone and tablet, devices, it comes with short cords (both type-C and micro-USB) that keep it looking tidy. The station provides high-speed charging along with surge protection to ensure that your expensive devices are safe.
Organizing miscellaneous items in storage bags
ZOBER Jumbo Storage Bags (2-Pack)Amazon
It’s true: Even the most organized people still have random stuff left over after they’ve gone through their closets. That’s when it’s time for these jumbo storage bag organizers that provide a home for miscellaneous items, linens, or out-of-season clothes. These bags are sturdy and durable, and feature clear top panels, so you can see exactly what’s inside.
- Available colors: 3
Installing under-cabinet lighting with this stick-on kit
Power Practical Under-Cabinet LED Light KitAmazon
Get that kitchen accent lighting you’ve always wanted but thought was out of reach for your budget with this under-cabinet LED light kit. These stick-on battery-operated lights install quickly and easily, and feature multiple brightness and warmth settings, as well as a motion-sensor mode. You can also use this kit in closets, under stairs, and in the bathroom.
Storing pantry staples in these airtight containers
Simply Gourmet Food Storage Containers (6-Pack)Amazon
Protect yourself against food waste and being brought down by a pantry that’s criminally ugly by storing your staples and dry goods in these food storage containers. BPA-free, they feature lids that create an airtight seal. They come with reusable chalkboard labels, and you can choose from sets of four, six, seven, or 14.
Displaying favorite photos & mementos on these corner shelves
Greenco 5-Tier Corner ShelvesAmazon
When you need a little extra storage space, these corner shelves are a clever solution to get stuff out of the way and to display your favorite personal items, whether that’s framed photos or interesting objects you picked up at the antique store. The corner fit gives them a unique flair and means they’re ideal for small spaces, too. They assemble and mount quickly and easily with the included hardware.
- Available colors: 8
Keeping your cooking tools in a sleek countertop holder
FineDine Stainless Steel Kitchen Utensil HolderAmazon
When you’re making Sunday sauce and your spatula is in one drawer and your slotted spoon is in another, that’s a major pain in the backside, but this utensil holder solves that problem by keeping all your most-used kitchen tools right near the stove where you need them. It has a rotating design, so you have easy access to whatever you need, and the removable dividers keep everything upright.
- Available colors: 6
Using high-grade doormats to trap mud & dirt
HOMWE Front DoormMts (2-Pack)Amazon
Every time you come in the door, you’re tracking in dirt and dust, and when it rains, snows, or otherwise gets wet outside, that mess is compounded by mud. Keep things spic and span with these doormats that feature an ultra-thick, absorbent, and textured surface that catches all the debris from the soles of your shoes. Rubber backing ensures they won’t slip around while you’re using them.
Organizing your refrigerator with these helpful storage bins
Greenco Clear Stackable Storage Bins (8-Pack)Amazon
It’s so easy to let foods in your fridge go bad because you don’t even know what’s in there. Bring order to the chaos with these stackable storage bins that are durable and transparent. Shatterproof and BPA-free, they’re perfect for storing soda, produce, condiments, and much more. Everything stays neat and tidy, so you can see exactly what you have on hand.
Concealing the stuff under your bed with this bed skirt
HC Collection Bed Skirt Amazon
That area under your bed is a great place to store stuff, but if you can still see it, it can be an eyesore. Put an end to that with this bed skirt that conceals everything. Made from durable microfiber, it features tailored box pleats that will make your room look so much more finished. It has a 14-inch drop and machine washes easily.
- Available sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King, California King
- Available colors: 12
Removing pet hair from furniture with this fan-favorite roller
ChomChom Pet Hair Remover Amazon
I totally agree that dogs are humanity’s best friend, but it sure is aggravating when your BFF leaves their fur all over the place. This pet hair remover gives you a quick and easy way to get that fur off your clothing and your furniture with just a few swipes. The velveteen roller traps hair, and the catch chamber makes it easy to dump it all in the trash. Boasting a 4.6-star overall rating after 118,000 reviews, it works like a charm.
Storing Kosher & sea salt in this chic bamboo container
Estilo Bamboo Salt BowlAmazon
If you cook a lot, you probably leave your big, bulky box of salt out on the counter — it doesn’t look the best. Instead, use this salt bowl that’s crafted from sustainably harvested bamboo. The sleek box has a magnetic rotating lid for one-handed operation while cooking.
Decluttering your shower floor by using wall-mounted shelves
MOFOROCO Shower Caddy Shelves (2-Pack), Amazon
Suitable for use either inside the shower or on the bathroom wall, these shower caddy shelves mount quickly and easily to any smooth, flat surface with the included adhesive. Made from sturdy stainless steel that has a corrosion-proof powder coating, they’re stylish-looking, and each one can hold up to 40 pounds — sturdy enough for your economy-size shampoo bottles.
Conditioning your butcher block & cutting boards with mineral oil
Thirteen Chefs Mineral Oil (12 Fl. Oz.)Amazon
Wooden cutting boards and butcher blocks are beautiful, but they do require upkeep, as they’re prone to drying out and cracking. If you’re not moisturizing yours with a good mineral oil, now’s the time to start. The flavorless oil meets all food safety standards, and this 12-ounce bottle will last you a long time.
Adding some green to your space for a natural vibe
Coitak Potted Artificial Succulent Plants (5-Pack)Amazon
So you don’t have a green thumb — that’s no excuse to leave a little green out of your decorating scheme. Try these artificial succulent plants that feature simple, realistic-looking designs in rustic containers. Use them together in a large display for maximum impact or scatter them throughout your house to pump up the natural vibes.
Dusting high shelves & ceiling fans
Estilo Ceiling & Fan Duster Amazon
A dirty ceiling fan can seriously degrade the look of a space, but whenever I have to stand on a chair or a ladder to clean, I might as well be taking my life in my hands — that’s how clumsy I am. Thank goodness for this ceiling fan duster that’s also perfect for ceiling corners and high bookshelves. The pole telescopes from 27 to 47 inches, and the fluffy, dust-trapping head is machine-washable.
Using shelf dividers to keep clothes & linens neatly stacked
CY Craft Acrylic Shelf Dividers (4-Pack)Amazon
My linen closet is tiny, and has towels shoved inside every which way, and there’s enough extra toilet paper for a sorority house. There is a way to make it look orderly, and that’s with these sturdy acrylic shelf dividers that simply clip onto the edges of the shelves. You’ll find they’re also perfect for everything from your home office to your sweater shelf.
Keeping your electronics cables neat with these cord clips
INCHOR Cord Cable Clips (2-Pack)Amazon
If you have cables snaking around all over your home office or home entertainment setup, it’s not only an eyesore, but a tripping hazard as well. Get those cords organized with these cable clips that feature flexible slots to hold everything secure. They’re flexible and adhere to any smooth surface with ultra-strong 3M adhesive.
- Available colors: 3
Adding accent lighting to your TV setup
Luminoodle LED USB Lighting StripAmazon
Add accent lighting and enjoy TV marathons even more with this LED lighting strip. Designed to be applied to the back of your TV with the included 3M adhesive, it has inline controls that allow you to adjust the brightness to your liking. This set is versatile and also great for use on bookcases, in china cabinets, and under kitchen cabinets.
- Available sizes: 5
Storing makeup in a dedicated cosmetics organizer
Masirs Clear Cosmetic Storage OrganizerAmazon
Turn your bathroom counter into a pro setup with this cosmetic storage organizer that has room for everything you need. This two-piece organizer is made from shatterproof acrylic, and can be used separately or stacked to save counter space. The bottom piece is composed of four drawers that easily slide out and are great for storing powder, eyeshadow, and other compacts, while the top unit has special areas for lipsticks, eye pencils, brushes, and more.
Hanging sheer linen curtains that let in lots of light
NICETOWN Semi-Sheer Linen Curtains Amazon
Give those windows and French doors a finished look with these semi-sheer linen curtains that still let in lots of natural light. Adding an airy look to any room, the curtains wash easily and can be tumble dried, too — just some light ironing will restore them to their fresh-from-the-package look.
- Available sizes: 13
- Available colors: 23
Keeping a good stain remover on hand
Emergency Stain Rescue Stain RemoverAmazon
Formulated to remove even the toughest stains like chocolate, red wine, blood, and spaghetti sauce, this stain remover is what you need to keep your carpets, upholstery, and clothing looking like new. Completely biodegradable, it’s free from stuff like sulphates, parabens, chlorine, and phosphates, and safe for use around kids and pets. It’s great for travel, too.
Hiding clutter in these foldable storage cubes
Greenco Foldable Storage Cubes (6-Pack)Amazon
Ideal for everything from kids’ toys to off-season clothing and extra towels and blankets, these foldable storage cubes are a quick and easy way to hide away whatever clutter is keeping your home from looking neat and tidy. Sturdy yet lightweight, you can use these cubes on shelves or on their own, and they fold down flat when not in use.
- Available colors: 10
Storing your coffee pods on this handy carousel
Everie Coffee Pod Storage Carousel Amazon
You might love your single-serving coffee maker, but you probably don’t love juggling the mess of coffee pods. Designed to store up to 40 K-cups, this coffee pod storage carousel is a genius solution to that problem, giving you plenty of space of accommodate everything from your basic French roast to chai tea and hot cocoa. It rotates smoothly through a full 360 degrees, so you can see everything you have.
- Available styles: 3
Protecting your furniture from claws with cat scratch shields
Stelucca Amazing Shields Cat Scratch Deterrent (6-Pack)Amazon
Pets become members of our families, but bad behavior like scratching up furniture is a real pain. Protect your sofa and easy chair with these cat scratch shields that adhere to your furniture. These clear sheets can easily be cut to size and are both thick and flexible, so they can be molded around corners.
Serving up appetizers on this gorgeous cheese board
Thirteen Chefs Villa Acacia Wooden Cheese BoardAmazon
Crafted from gorgeous acacia wood, this cheese board makes appetizers and even afternoon snacks so much more aesthetically pleasing. Plus, at this budget-friendly price, it’s a bargain you can’t afford to pass up, whether you give it as a gift or keep it for yourself.
Making sense of your underwear drawer with dividers
Bambüsi Adjustable Bamboo Drawer Dividers (4-Pack)Amazon
My underwear drawer used to be just one tangled mess of nylon and cotton, but then I got these bamboo drawer dividers, and now it’s a pleasure to just to look at the orderly rows. The dividers are made from renewable bamboo, and extend from just over 12 inches to just over 17 inches to fit almost any drawer. They’re padded on the ends to prevent damage. Use them to organize kitchen drawers, too.
- Available sizes: 2
- Available colors: 3
Tying your room together with a well-placed rug
Signature Loom Fluffy Shaggy Area Rug 3×5 – Soft Fuzzy Velvet Rugs for Girls Bedroom – Shaggy Carpet for Kids Room with Non-Slip Bottom – Soft Fluffy Throw Rug Indoor Living Room Carpet, WhiteAmazon
Hardwood floors are lovely, but nothing sets them off more than a well-placed rug. This fluffy shag area rug is so plush, with a high-density inner layer that’s soft underfoot. Available in nine colors and six sizes, it has a high pile that’s so luxurious, you just might be tempted to curl up on it for a nap.
- Available sizes: 6
- Available colors: 9
Hanging brooms & rakes on a dedicated rack
LETMY Tool Organizer Holder Amazon
Get your garage or your utility closet organized with this cleaning tool holder that mounts to the wall. With a capacity of 40 pounds, it features spaces for five handled tools, like brooms, mops and rakes. Additionally, it has six hooks that can hold anything from your baseball cap to cleaning rags and gardening gloves.
Using matching stainless steel mixing bowls
FineDine Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls (Set of 6)Amazon
Crafted from lightweight stainless steel with rolled rims, these mixing bowls will add a chic, understated touch to any kitchen. In fact, they look so good, they can be used as serving bowls. Dishwasher-safe and fingerprint-proof, the nesting bowls feature flat bottoms for easy mixing.
- Available colors: 5
Updating your bedding with muted tones
Dreaming Wapiti Duvet Cover (3 Pieces)Amazon
Take a look at your bedding: Is it looking a bit worn? This is one area where a quick update can add so much to the overall look of your home, and it’s easy and inexpensive to do it, too, with this duvet cover set. Available in muted shades like pink mocha and hazy blue, the three-piece set is crafted from washed microfiber and includes a duvet cover with corner ties and two pillow covers with envelope closures.
- Available sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King, California King
- Available colors: 14
Repairing dinged-up wooden furniture with this kit
DAIXISM Furniture Repair Kit Amazon
If you have beloved hand-me-down wooden furniture in your home like I do, chances are it has picked up some nicks and scratches along the way. You don’t have to take it to a professional for expensive repairs — just get this furniture repair kit that will get your cherished pieces back in shape in no time. The kit includes colors in various wood shades; use the crayons to fill in gaps, then color over them using the markers for a perfect finish.
Hanging cookware on a wall-mounted rail
Greenco Pot & Pan RailAmazon
When you need a way to get your cookware overflow under control so that your kitchen doesn’t look like a cluttered mess, this pot and pan rail hanger is a terrific help. Made from hand-welded iron, it mounts to the wall and comes with 15 hooks for hanging pots, pans, and utensils. This is the easiest way to feel like a pro chef in no time.
Scrubbing your bathroom with these power drill attachments
Hiware Drill Brush Attachments (3-Pack)Amazon
There’s nothing that says squeaky clean like bathroom grout that is bright white. If your grout is dingy, save yourself the time and the elbow grease and get these brush attachments that screw onto your power drill. You’ll be able to clean not just your grout, but your whole bathroom, kitchen, outdoor grill, car wheels, and more.
Cleaning off the splatter in your microwave
GB Quality Volcano Microwave Oven CleanerAmazon
Rewarming foods like spaghetti can leave your microwave a saucy mess, but cleaning it doesn’t have to be a labor-intensive chore. This volcano microwave oven cleaner practically turns it into a hands-free job; simply fill it with water and vinegar, then microwave for seven minutes. The steam from the “eruption” will loosen even the most baked-on stains. Just wipe down and you’re done.
Cluttering your kitchen sink area with dishwashing supplies
Roleader Kitchen Sink Caddy Sponge HolderAmazon
This good-looking sink caddy sponge holder is a huge upgrade from the scattering of dish soap, sponges, and scrub brushes on your kitchen counter. Made from stainless steel, it’s ultra-durable and rustproof, and has room for all your dish-cleaning essentials — there’s even a rack for a dishcloth. The open design allows air to circulate, while a detachable drip tray keeps your counter dry.
- Available colors: 2
Storing guest towels so they’re easy to access
Soduku Wall-Mounted Towel RackAmazon
Don’t strand yourself — or worse, a guest — without a towel; this attractive towel rack has room for six full-size towels, so no one ever has to go without. Made from sturdy metal, it has a rustproof coating so it’s right at home in the steamy environment of the bathroom, and it installs quickly to the wall or the back of the door with the included hardware.
- Available colors: 5
Letting your water bottles clutter up your counter or cupboard
mDesign Stackable Bottle Storage Holder (2-Pack)Amazon
I feel like I have a thousand water bottles these days; they can be awkward and difficult to store in cabinets, and I actually have had one of my double-walled stainless steel versions fall out and hit me in the head. This stackable bottle storage holder eliminates that hazard by providing a specific place for your water bottles on the counter or in the fridge. It’s also great for baby bottles and wine.
- Available sizes: 6
Junking up your entrance with mail, keys & more
Koroda Magnetic Key HolderAmazon
Don’t let the stuff you bring in the door with you at the end of the day junk up your entryway. Instead, get this magnetic key holder that provides a shelf for your mail, change, and sunglasses, as well as hooks for your keys, lanyard, and more. Crafted with strong magnetic adhesive, it’s designed to mount to your wall or any metal surface.
- Available colors: 2
Storing toiletry items in upgraded containers
AOZITA Apothecary Storage Jars (4-Pack)Amazon
You could leave your cotton swabs and makeup remover rounds in their original packaging, but a better option is to use these apothecary storage jars. The jars are made from thick, transparent plastic, and the set comes with both preprinted and blank labels. The sleek, understated design means you can leave everything easily accessible on the counter.
Organizing your food storage lids
YouCopia StoraLid Food Container Lid OrganizerAmazon
Doing food prep and putting away leftovers can both be a real drag, and never more so than when you can’t find the right lid to match the container you’ve selected. This food container lid organizer makes it easy to locate what you’re looking for, so meal cleanup is quick and easy. The unit comes with five dividers that are adjustable according to your needs.