Fall Organizing

Fall marks the return of rushed mornings, early dinners, school projects and a full calendar. Pick up the pace effortlessly and make your life a little easier by getting organized. Find inspiration with our room-by-room organization guide.


Make daily comings and goings easy by creating a designated storage space for coats, backpacks, hats and more. Our entry cabinet is ideal for larger spaces, such as a mudroom or back hall. Hang jackets, scarves and leashes up top and store gloves, homework and books below.

Maximize space by adding storage baskets, and assign one to each member of the family. One of our buyers tapes a morning checklist above the baskets as a reminder to her kids to bring lunch box, permission slip, homework and other items with them to school.

If you have a small entryway, hang a shelf with coat hooks. A console near the door is a great place to keep a pretty dish or tray for holding keys, sunglasses and cell phone. Place a boot tray below to keep boots organized and floors clean.


The kitchen is often the busiest room in the house and is essentially the command center that keeps all systems go. Hang an attractive message or magnetic board to keep track of to-do lists, school lunch menus, chores and party invitations. Make weeknight dinners easy by planning ahead — create and display a menu for the entire week. Remember to plan super fast dinners for nights with recitals or school meetings.

A wall organizer is a great way to organize your mail, school announcements and even your grocery bags. Short on wall space? Hang it on the inside of your pantry door. We bet you’ll discover all kinds of uses for it!

Family Room

The family room seems to be the place where things quickly pile up and spill over. The end result is a messy room that stays messy. Contain the clutter by choosing your furnishings wisely. Look for pieces that also offer clever storage solutions.

We love these handsome wood book boxes for concealing remote controls, pencils for an impromptu Sudoku session and coasters for the coffee table. Woven baskets are always an attractive option for holding kindling, magazines and throws.

Our storage bench or one of our storage ottomans both serve double-duty by offering extra seating and ample room to hide games and kids’ toys. Choose a tough, kid-friendly fabric that resists stains for years of use. Of course, a coffee table with shelves is key for maintaining an organized room while keeping often used items at hand.

Everything always seems to end up on the family room floor, from discarded socks and hair clips to iPods. It’s easier to be consistent about cleaning up when you have a designated spot for odds and ends that need to be put away. We love our Rattan Step Basket for just this reason.


If you have more family members than bathrooms, the morning routine can get a little hectic. One of the best ideas we’ve heard around the office is to post a schedule of everyone’s bath time to reduce the amount of squabbling in the morning. And, of course, an organized bathroom can help create efficiency.

If you don’t have drawers, clear the countertop clutter with the use of shelves. Our spice rack is also great for holding toiletries and makeup. Invest in glass canisters to store cotton balls, Q-tips, soaps and other bathroom essentials.

Assign a portable caddy that easily stows away to each member of the family for holding personal toiletries. And for extra space to store linens, blow dryers and other items, consider a small bath cabinet.

If your kids lose track of which towel is theirs, a simple (and brilliant) solution is monogrammed hooks. Plus, you can hang more hooks than towel bars, and we think they’re more attractive!

Kids’ Bedrooms

A well-organized room means a clean room. If kids know where things go, they’re more likely to keep their room neat.

The first step is to take a quick inventory of toys, books and other items in the room. Group toys by size or object (such as musical instruments or puzzles) and place into bins. Place books on a low bookshelf. Put photos, collectible dolls and other keepsakes up top on a wall shelf. Keep pens, markers and other homework or craft supplies handy in a desk organizer.

Struggling with keeping the closet organized? Divide and conquer: hang individual wire baskets for a clear view of socks, underwear and hats. Use a large rack to hold belts and purses. An over-the-door shoe organizer is a great way to store shoes and other accessories, like scarves, headbands and sunglasses.

We hope some of these ideas help in your home as they have in many of ours. Good luck this fall in getting — and staying — organized!

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Jane Sapp

    October 18, 2010

    This has been very helpful. Interestingly, not for my children, but for my grandchildren. My son has been having a problem with his two girls and this sounds like it will just hit the spot. Thanks

  2. Reply


    October 12, 2010

    lots of great ideas–thanks!