May 12, 2016

Written by

Chris Gonzales


Kevin Utting

Let’s face it, some of us are a hot mess when it comes to keeping our lives (and our belongings) in order. We don’t profess to have the fix for every bit of disorganization you’ve got going on, but with the items in our guide below, you might just get on the right track — at least when it comes to the small stuff.

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Umbra's Toto tall storage caddy. ($30)

Umbra’s Toto tall storage caddy. ($30)

Umbra Toto Tall Storage Caddy »

Umbra’s Toto tall storage caddy is a nice-looking alternative to boring desk organizers.

It’s made from eco-friendly rubberwood for the most part, plus a metal handle and drawer. With its large deep compartment, two smaller compartments, and the drawer at the bottom, it’s great for keeping your workspace tidy and clutter-free. (You could also use it to organize personal hygiene products in your bathroom, but the wood should not be exposed to too much moisture or it will warp and rot.)

Block's large pegboard with wooden pegs. ($60–$95, depending on color)

Block’s large pegboard with wooden pegs. ($60–$95, depending on color)

Block’s Large Pegboard with Wooden Pegs »

Doing a little organizing this weekend? Or live in a small space where organization is always somewhat of an issue? Check out Block’s large pegboard with wooden pegs. This wall organizer gives you a place to hang your garage tools, the kids’ toys, you or your significant other’s style accessories, your coffee mugs…whatever you like.

Here are a few examples of it in use:

Grey version.

Grey version.

Orange version.

Orange version.

White version.

White version.

It includes 12 large wooden pegs and 6 small ones, and its dimensions are about 24″ x 32″ (610mm x 813mm). Standard wall fixtures and fitting are also included. It’s available in “natural” (brown), grey, light blue (temporarily out of stock), orange, and yellow.

The Mag-Blok magnetic knife strip. ($35–$48, depending on length)Photo: Daniel Rutter

The Mag-Blok magnetic knife strip. ($35–$48, depending on length)

Photo: Daniel Rutter

Mag-Blok »

Spend much time in a kitchen or workshop, and you’ll know how important it is to keep your tools easily accessible. A magnetic strip can get the job done, but why not get one that also spruces up the place a little? We’re talking about the Mag-Blok, of course.

What looks like a simple-yet-attractive block of wood on the wall actually (and nigh-seamlessly) houses surprisingly powerful rare-earth magnets, which can comfortably hold large cleavers just as well as smaller knives. Hammers, pliers, wrenches, pocket knives, multitools, keys, small metallic flashlights, and other such items also work perfectly. Just don’t put anything on it you wouldn’t want getting magnetized.

The nice thing about it being a solid block of wood—aside from its looks—is that it won’t dull knife edges or collect bacterial gunk in slots the way a normal knife block tends to. You can even attach a damp knife without fear of it rusting, since the surface is free to air-dry.

Mag-Bloks are available in maple, walnut, or cherry, in either 12″ length ($35) or 18″ length ($48). The wood arrives unfinished, but each Mag-Blok comes with a chapstick-like tube of what they call “Blok Butter” that you can apply a thin layer of. It keeps the wood sealed and looking new, and is totally food-safe so you can use it in the kitchen.

(Be sure to check the bottom of their FAQ for more info on wall-mounting and whatnot.)

Eagle Creek's Pack-It Cubes. (Prices vary, but the standard [3-piece set]( is $26–$28 depending on color)

Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Cubes. (Prices vary, but the standard 3-piece set is $26–$28 depending on color)

Eagle Creek Pack-It Cubes »

Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Cubes are perfect for organization nerds, especially those of us who travel a lot. They help break down the contents of a luggage bag into their respective categories and compress them into a smaller space, making the packing process way easier and keeping everything from getting mixed up. They’re water- and odor-resistant, totally washable, and their see-through mesh tops eliminate any guesswork about what’s inside.

We recommend starting with the standard 3-piece set.

The Cocoon Grid-It organizer. (Prices vary based on size and style, but the [12" x 8" version]( pictured above is $18)

The Cocoon Grid-It organizer. (Prices vary based on size and style, but the 12″ x 8″ version pictured above is $18)

Cocoon Grid-It Organizer »

The Grid-It organizer is a board of elastic belts that can securely hold a number of smaller items in place, and in pretty much any configuration you want. The zipper pocket on the back is great for Field Notes notebooks.

The Stayhold trunk organizer. ($13–$26)

The Stayhold trunk organizer. ($13–$26)

Stayhold Trunk Organizer »

The Stayhold is an ingenious divider that can keep things in your car trunk from falling down or rolling all over the place. It works great for groceries, tool sets, paint cans, and a lot more. You can reposition it as needed, but it grips the carpet wherever you place it so it won’t slide around as you drive.

You can get a single gray Stayhold for $13, but we recommend getting a twin-pack, which comes in: