17 Things Professional Organizers Never Buy


Find out what items professional organizers steer clear of!

Effectively organizing your home is excellent for keeping your home tidy and minimizing stress. Ideally, you should know exactly where to look when you want to find something.

And no matter your clutter challenge, you can be sure there’s an organizer out there designed to solve it. You can use many products to help you stay organized, including food containers and clothes hangers. But, there are quite a few items professional organizers never buy.

And just because you can buy something doesn’t mean you should. Some of those allegedly genius solutions don’t work very well, while others can end up wasting you precious space or causing more clutter in the long run.

If that’s the case for you, they’ll end up on this list of things you should throw out in your house. To ensure that doesn’t happen to you, find out which 17 products professional organizers think you should skip and which ones they think you should pick up instead.

Once you simplify your space with these organizing tips, you’ll wish you’d known sooner!

Professional Organizer
Photo by ehrlif at Shutterstock


Most professional organizers loathe these things, and apparently, the inventor agrees! It’s bad enough that they’re very bad for the environment, but it doesn’t stop here. K-cups are all around built-in clutter and mess.

This includes storing them, disposing them, and cleaning the machine. It’s too much work just to get some mediocre coffee. We get it. It can be hard passing up the convenience of a one-minute brew. So what do you do if you simply don’t want to switch to drip coffee?

You can replace the plastic cups with reusable K-Cup pods for the price of a box. It’ll take a few tries to get the correct measurement of ground coffee, but it beats that murky cup of water you’ve been drinking all this time.

And if you REALLY can’t give up the “pod life,” professional organizers recommend you at least try switching to a machine that recycles its pods and chooses to use foil over plastic.

Shoe Organizers That Stay On The Floor

The problem with shoe organizers that are on the floor is that they take a lot, if not all, of your closet’s floor space. Besides this, you’ll also have difficulty seeing certain pairs of shoes because it’s generally dark, and you’ll need to bend down to look for them.

Moreover, some of your hanging clothes can conceal some storage compartments, making it even more challenging to find your favorite shoes. How about a better alternative?

Rather than leaving your shoes on the floor, professional organizers recommend buying a vertical shoe organizer that can solve all those issues. You can hang it from a rod inside your closet, and your shoes will be at eye level, making them easier to spot.

Professional organizers say that doing this will also free up more space on the floor.

Filing Cabinets

Let’s be honest…Papers go into filing cabinets, but most never see the light of day again. This results in your file drawers getting cluttered, making it challenging to find the paper you’re searching for.

So instead of those ineffective, space-hogging file cabinets, why not choose a more practical and decorative option? Professional organizers recommend you buy a few single file boxes, label them by year, and store all your important documents inside them.

Professional organizers recommend reserving another box for your annual tax returns, along with any of their supporting documents. These boxes generally look more decorative, and they’re easy to store away, giving you better overall functionality.

Bottled Water

Most professional organizers are hard-pressed to say anything good about disposable water bottles. We all know they’re bad for the environment. And let’s be honest: most brands are just elevated tap water.

But the real reason experts don’t buy them has less to do with pleasing mother nature and more with getting rid of things that create unnecessary clutter. The convenience of grabbing another bottle frequently means that the one you’re drinking still hasn’t been finished.

You set it down on your nightstand or counter, or you leave it in your car’s cup holder. And every time you throw away that half-empty bottle, you remind yourself of how much water you’re not really drinking. On the other hand, reusable water bottles will save you a ton of money.

And just about every public place has a fountain specifically there for refills. It makes it much easier to finish drinking when you only have one which you’re using for the day. Your options are endless as well.

If you don’t want to use plastic, Amazon has these stainless steel bottles that are incredibly durable. Collapsible water bottles are also great for keeping in your car or bag. We’re not saying you still won’t leave it on the counter or in your car’s cup holder.

But it’s better to spend five minutes looking for the same bottle than throwing ten half-full ones in the trash!

Gift-Wrapping Organizers

Gift-wrapping organizers might look great for storing all your rolled-up paper. But they aren’t as good at storing as they’re made out to be. They won’t offer you enough space for the longer rolls. Furthermore, you’ll have to place some rolls over each other.

So, you might cause some of the wrapping paper to wrinkle up or get damaged until you use it next. If arts and crafts are a hobby you enjoy and you need storage for wrapping paper, professional organizers say a nice-looking trash can is your best bet.

Simply make sure you don’t put the lid on the bin. This way, you can fit in your favorite paper rolls no matter the length. And the best part about this? It’s also affordable! So you won’t have to spend too much money on storage.

We recommend you pick out a nice-looking trash can so that it goes with your room’s design. You can also store it in a corner to keep it out of your way.

Bulky Under The Sink Organizers

If you wish to keep the area under your kitchen sink tidy, you might need a bit of help from an organizer. But many professional organizers say that they never recommend anything that’s made out of flimsy white plastic. It simply won’t stand the test of time.

They also recommend staying away from bulky organizers because your cleaning sprays and other tools will get lost in the chaos, and it’ll be hard to see them.

For a better solution to your under the sink area, experts suggest deep labeled bins, which will use the full space of your cabinet while at the same time keeping your items sorted, organized, and, most importantly, visible.

Our favorite ones are the sturdy deep drawer bins you can usually find at The Container Store. Choose the clear ones so everything will be easy to find, and their bins have handles that are convenient for you to pull out!

Tiered Clothes Hangers

Tiered hangers sound great in theory since they would save you space. Butt that’s only until you need to get a piece of clothing from underneath five other pieces, and you pull it out a wrinkled mess.

Professional organizers recommend you skip the hassle and simplify your closet by using slim, non-slip hangers. These types of hangers make it very easy to find what item you want to wear for the day. And they’ll also save you up to 30% of rod space in your closet.

Clothes That Aren’t Exactly In Tip-Top Shape

So many people have closets full of clothes that still have their tags attached to them. We’ve all been there. You see something online or in the stores, and not only is it on sale, but it looks fantastic on the model. But when you get home and try it on, it doesn’t look as good on you.

You love the item so much that you keep it, hoping you can adjust it at some point or you can wear a belt or the right pants with it. You never actually get around to doing anything with it, so it hangs in your closet for an endless amount of time.

At the end of the day, professional organizers say that you shouldn’t buy something if you wouldn’t want to wear it every day of the week.

Mug Trees

Another big organizing method most professional organizers don’t love? Mug trees! Besides the fact that they take up lots of valuable space on your countertop, they also just look and feel completely random. But don’t worry! Professional organizers have a better solution for you.

If you’re a daily tea or coffee drinker, they recommend putting your favorite mugs on an affordable shelf riser in your cabinet or even on your countertop.

Professional Organizer
Photo by New Africa at Shutterstock

Jewelry Boxes

This gem is probably one of the most surprising items professional organizers never buy. But even though it’s a pretty standard household object, it doesn’t offer much worth in terms of storage.

Most jewelry boxes aren’t designed for you to see all the things you have at a single glance. So, you’ll need to keep searching for a piece of jewelry if you can’t remember where you put it last. Furthermore, you might forget you even have something if you can’t easily spot it.

Consider a wall organizer for your jewelry instead. It will allow you to display all your things, and you’ll be able to view all your options at once. This way, you can ensure you wear some jewelry that you don’t often wear because they were just sitting in a box.

An added benefit of a wall organizer is that you’ll be keeping your jewelry tangle-free or if some pieces need cleaning.

Paper Trays

Professional organizers warn that you should never buy paper trays to hold your documents. They’re simply a bunch of piling devices, and you never know what’s in them without looking through each sheet of paper.

They recommend dividing your documents into specific categories and using a desktop incline file. By doing this, you can actually see the papers you need. This would also be a good solution for your mail.

Subscription Boxes

Having a company hand-pick and deliver something to your door seems like peak efficiency, especially when everyone is limited on time in today’s world. Don’t have time to go shopping for this season’s latest trends? No worries.

They’ll send one for your kids too, the clothes from last year don’t fit anymore anyway. No time for grocery shopping? They’ll pack a meal and include a simple recipe to follow, all in one box!

These days, there seems to be a subscription box for just about everything from clothes, books, toiletries, crafts for kids, wine, bath bombs, coffee, meals..the list can go on and on. Subscription boxes are explicitly marketed to simplify your everyday life.

But in the process, they actually just add to your already overwhelming, not to mention neverending, to-do list. It’s more stuff you have to sort, unpack, process, and eventually forget to use.

The boxes quickly begin to stack up, and ultimately, you’re in this neverending cycle of trying to remember to use the 15 kids’ crafts hidden in your closet and forgetting to cancel that pesky subscription every time a new one arrives.

It’s like paying a company to deliver clutter and stress monthly to your home. The best way to ensure you don’t let them go to waste is not to let them in your home in the first place, according to professional organizers.

Hanging Pot Racks

We don’t know about you but cooking meals underneath a bunch of heavy pots and pans that are suspended mid-air would defintely make us feel pretty uneasy. And most professional organizers agree with us.

Everything is out in the open, which might work if you have a beautiful set of pans. But for those who cook regularly, it might be an eyesore. As a better solution, you should consider placing your pots and pans in a cabinet that’s lined with a cookware rack.

Toy Boxes

If you have children or grandchildren, you already know that keeping their toys organized can be a tough process. A large toy box simply doesn’t make that job easier for you. That’s because all the toys are dumped willy-nilly all over each other.

You’re constantly digging through the box or taking some toys out to find a specific one you’re looking for. In most cases, the child will dump out the entire box to look for a toy, leaving you to clean up the mess.

So, in the end, you’re always spending a lot of time searching for a toy and making a big mess. Besides that, you might also risk breaking some toys by placing them on top of each other. It makes sense why professional organizers stay away from these mess makers!

What they use instead are cubbies and bins to keep toys organized. There are compartments for different categories of toys. Resulting in keeping toys safe and making them a lot easier to find.

Also, you could make it easier for your kids to stay organized by labeling each compartment with a picture and explaining to them which class of toy should be kept where.

Suction Cup Organizers For Your Shower

Space always seems to be limited in your shower. And if you’re a person who likes having a variety of lotions, bath salts, and soaps, you’re likely frustrated and searching for a solution. Suction-cup organizers seem like a great idea in theory.

Until they begin sliding down your wall under the weight of a bottle of body gel. Professional organizers opt for a more secure alternative, like a 3M Command shower organizer that stays in place and it has water-resistant adhesive strips.

So forget about your bottles and everything else you have in your shower sitting on the windowsill or on the corners of your tub.

Professional Organizer
Photo by New Africa at Shutterstock

Spice Racks For Countertops

Just like the mugs, having spice racks on your countertop can sound like a nifty organizing solution. But they won’t be worth it if you have limited space on your countertop.

That’s because you’ll also be keeping spices you rarely use there, ultimately just gathering dust and giving you one added task to clean. What professional organizers recommend you do instead is you can organize all your spices in a kitchen drawer.

Also, you can go the extra mile by putting in a plastic expandable spice rack that can fit inside. In addition to saving space, the added benefit is that you’ll be keeping your containers dust-free and away from food splatters.

Opaque Storage Containers

All the professional organizers we spoke with for this item agree on one thing… Clear plastic bins are the most suitable if you’re looking for long-term storage.

They’ll protect your food from humidity and water, allow you to see what’s inside without opening each one, and stack easily. Most recommend investing in the 50 or 66-quart sizes. One more note when you’re choosing between containers?

Professional organizers say you should also avoid bins that have recessed interiors because so much space is unusable if you go that route.

Be sure to leave us a comment to let us know how these tips from professional organizers have worked for you. And in the meantime, we also recommend reading: 9 Cleaning Mistakes That Are Costing You Time And Money

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