How to Organize Your Home: Organizational Expert Alejandra Costello's House Tour
Here’s a house tour on how home organizing expert, Alejandra Costello, organizes her home:
I’m Alejandra and I’m going to give you a tour of my organized home. Let’s start in the kitchen.
How to Organize the Pantry
Let me show you how I organized the pantry. Up at the top is where I keep all the oils and vinegars. And then over here are the condiments. I keep them on Lazy Susans because it makes it really easy to access and grab exactly when you need it.
And then on the shelf below, I used the same concept. I use smaller Lazy Susans to organize all the vitamins, all the spices, and the larger spices that I buy in bulk. Down below the spices is where I keep all my canned goods. Canned goods work really well when they’re stored on tiered shelves so you can see all the labels like even the cans in the back. It’s awesome.
On the next shelf I keep all of my dry goods. Dry goods last a lot longer when they’re stored in airtight containers. Let me show you. So the front of the container has a sticker chalkboard label and I label the contents on the outside and then when content changes, I just erase this and then rewrite the label or the name of whatever I’m storing. And then on the very back is where I cut out the nutritional facts or the recipe from the back or the side of the box and then I just slip it into this business card holder.
And then at the bottom is where I have drawers to organize dinner food, snacks, baking goods, anything that’s really difficult to contain that’s not in a can or a jar. All the snack foods, they get contained into this drawer. So when I get back from the grocery store, I take the granola bars out of the box and I just dump them into this drawer. It makes it really easy to find what you’re looking for and easy to contain.
And then I do the same thing for the beverages. I take all the juice packets out of the box and they just go into a container like the Crystal Light, the hot chocolate, the Apple Cider.
And then the same thing with the tea bags, the tea bags go in this tea bag organizer. There are six different sections so I can sort my tea bags by type.
Organizing Kitchen Cabinets
Let me show you the cabinets. Here’s where I keep all of my dishware. And I love this area for so many different reasons. I love this area because I use these bridges in all three of the shelves. And what they do is they double the amount of the storage space you have so you can use the bottom to store larger plates and then the top to store smaller plates or smaller bowls.
And then on the cabinet doors, I lined them, with sheet metal so I can take all the stuff that was originally on the fridge and stick it inside the cabinet so I don’t have all that fridge clutter hanging out inside the kitchen. (See how I hung sheet metal in my cabinets here.)
You’ve seen the kitchen. Let’s go to the home office.
How to Organize the Office
This is my home office which also serves as my craft space. Let me show you around. Over here is where I have my mail center. I have a compartment for my incoming, outgoing, stuff I’m processing, stuff I’m filing, my work stuff and then my coupons. Everything has its own spot so when it comes in it gets immediately sorted into here until I go to the pile.
And then up here is where I keep all of my craft supplies. I love doing arts and crafts so when designed the space, it was so important that supplies like that had a designated home that was easy to access.
And then in the middle of the desk, I designed and built and pinboard to store some of my ribbon, my scissors and other small tools I use when I wrap gifts or do art projects.
And then over here is where I have my magnetic whiteboard. So I use that to post any invitations, any thank you cards, any special pictures, or any notes that I want to make sure not to forget about. And then I can also use them as whiteboards to write important notes.
Over here, here is where I keep all of my office supplies. So like my pens, my pencils, my markers, paperclips, pushpins, anything I might need to get work done.
Let me show my wrapping paper. I keep my wrapping paper on the wall stored vertically so the ends won’t get ripped or don’t get torn. And then it makes it really easy to grab when it’s time to wrap a gift.
And then over here, I have my filing cart. Now, I love this thing for so many reasons. I color-coded my files so everything was very easy to find when it came time to grab document or to file a paper. Green is all my financial related documents. Light blue is all my tax related documents that I accumulated throughout the year and then I use during tax time. Red is all my important vital documents so stuff that I never want to throw out. And then orange is stuff that I’m constantly updating or pulling out or replacing. Purple is stuff that I constantly go back and reference so like any resource documents or stuff that I want to save and access at a later time. Dark blue is all my tax returns so whenever I get my tax return back from the IRS, it goes in the dark blue section. Everything is color-coded so I know exactly where something goes when it’s filed.
And then on this half of the space, I have the rest of my office supplies. Down here is where I have all of my file folders like for the piling cabinet, interior file folders, filing kits. I have a mini shipping center. They’re stored vertically so I can just pull one out when needed. If you store them horizontally, it’s really difficult to get to the item on the bottom of the pile.
Down here is where I have all my colored paper. So again, I’m really into arts and crafts. So it’s nice to have all your papers sorted by color.
Since I love arts and crafts, I have a lot of stickers. So I organize my stickers in these poly envelopes that I got for The Container Store. They come in two sizes and I use the small size for my smaller stickers and then the large size for my full-sheet stickers. And then I punch a hole in the corner and I put these colored binder rings that I got from Office Depot in the corner and then I just hang them on hooks. And then I labeled the outside with the type of sticker it is. So like these are the food and drink so it says food and drink. And then they all just hang right here on the side of all of my office supplies, which is really the perfect spot for them.
You’ve seen my home office, now I’m going to show you how I organize my closet.
This is my organized closet. Let me show you around. Over here is where I keep my jewelry. I keep my bulky bracelets at the very top and then I keep all my long necklaces on hooks below. And then the other half of my jewelry is in this pullout jewelry organizer. This is probably my favorite thing in the closet just because it slides so nicely and it just has compartments for everything that I need.
But over here, I have my rings, my small bracelets, I have earrings. Over here, I have all my long dresses. The same thing over here, I have all my sleeveless. On this side, I have my long-sleeve, my short-sleeve, my sleeveless dresses.
Down here, I have all of my pants like my jeans, my black pants, my jackets are here, my long skirts are here. And then on this side, I have all of my drawers which I use for like pajamas, workout clothes, t-shirts. And then at the very top, I have all of my boots. And then up here, I have all of the heels that I don’t wear very often. Most of the time, I wear flat shoes like flip flops, tennis shoes, or just casual ballet shoes.
Over here is where I have all of my scarves. I re-use the tower rack from the bathroom to hang all the scarves. All my hangers are color-coded so all my long-sleeve shirts, they have these purple hanger snaps at the very top. The dresses get yellow. The pants get red.
So you’ve seen the closet. Now, let me show you my bathroom.
Organizing the Bathroom
Getting ready in the morning is difficult enough so you want to make the getting ready process as streamlined as possible. I keep all my brushes, my concealers, bronzers, blushes, eye shadows, eyeliners, mascaras, ponytail holders, claws, headbands, bobby pins, separated into over the door shoe pockets. So I just find exactly what I’m looking for. I grab it and then I just throw it back in this pocket. Getting ready is so simple. (Watch my Makeup Organizing Video here.)
One of my other favorite things about the bathroom is the shower curtain liner. Let me show you. I have this shower curtain liner that has storage comparments. It’s so cool. It has seven different pockets so you can store hairbrushes, combs, extra soaps so you don’t have to get out of the shower when you run out.
Let me show you the medicine cabinet. I lined the door of the medicine cabinet with this adhesive contact paper and then I got magnetic organizers to stick on the door for Q-tips, cotton balls, my scissors, my nail clippers, my tweezers. And then I put magnetic picture frames on the door so I could put a few of my favorite photos to look at while I’m getting ready in the morning.
How to Organize the Bathroom Closet
So this next space is my favorite space in the house and I’ll tell you why in a second. I love this space for two reasons. The first one is I wallpapered the back of the closet with this very pretty green and white flower print and then I created matching shelf labels with the same wallpaper and then label them. So up here, I have cleaning supplies. Then I store them on Lazy Susans, kind of like what do in the pantry. Again, it just makes it really easy to grab and find exactly what you’re looking for.
And then over here, I have all of my beach and travel stuff so like my sunscreen, my travel size products. Down here, I have medications so like cold relievers, prescriptions, pain relievers, first-aid kits, ointments. The same thing down here, I have all my home care stuff, my plug-ins, my shoe care, my linen sprays, my cotton, my dental care, my cleaning rags.
The second reason why I love this space is the labels. I created – let me show you, I created these picture labels kind of like what I did for my arts supplies in my home office. It has the name of the contents on the very top and it has a photo of what’s inside. So it just makes it fun to find what you’re looking for. It’s great if you have children.
How to Organize the Garage/Storage Area
Now, let me show you the last part of the house, which is the balcony but we kind of use it for the garage. So it’s kind of like our mini garage. We’re here in the balcony which also serves as our mini garage. So let me show you around. I keep all my batteries in a tackle box and I sort them by battery size like all the different batteries have a different compartment. And then they’re labeled.
Up here is where I have all my tools. So I love creating labels all around my house. So this is one of my official labeling kits. So in here, I have all of my shelf labels, my closet labels, there are like eight or nine different types of labels that you’ll see throughout the house that I could easily recreate by coming to this label kit. So this is the first one.
And then the second one looks like this and this is like the label and accessories. So if there is not a shelf where a label is going to clip on, I use a close pin that I paint or these zip ties that come in four different colors or binder rings like this like where you saw the stickers. And then there are ten other ways to clip a label to a shelf, a basket, or a bin.
Over here, I have hooks, bungee tape. And what I love about this space is I love these labels. So I have extra paint scratches from the hardware store. And what I did was instead of throwing them out or recycling them, I use them to label the box. I just tape it to the box with painter’s tape and then I used my sticker letters to label the contents of what’s inside. It’s really cute.
And then here, this is my favorite part about the garage. I use bungee cord to contain all the sports gear like the bouncy balls, the baseball mitt. And what I did was I just tied the bungee cord from the top shelf to the bottom shelf. And then you just instantly grab what you’re looking for and then you can put it back when you’re done. It’s so fun. And I used fun colored bungee cord to kind of brighten up or spurs up that space instead of just using black or white which you typically see in hardware stores.
Up here is where we have all the alcohol, the paints, the board games are here. Board games, I store them vertically. So again, you don’t have to take the whole stuff down to get to what’s in the bottom. Instead, you just slide everything else. Again, it’s all about making things easier.
You’ve seen most of the spaces in my house. And these are just some of the ways that I like to organize my spaces.