Professional organizers urge against these tidying jobs – here’s what to do instead

Not all organizational trends are worth following – these are the ideas that experts avoid – and alternatives to keep your home tidy

Scandinavian living room with wood floor, white walls and plants
(Image credit: Paul Raeside / Future)

Keeping your home organized shouldn't need to feel like a challenge. However, the art of keeping a space tidy can often feel like an eternal battle – especially in high-activity areas like your living or family room. However, with the right home organizing ideas, you can ensure your space remains tidier for longer – and part of an efficient scheme is knowing which trends and cleaning tips to avoid

When organizing a living room, kitchen, or bedroom, you're likely to come across tidying trends that may seem easy to maintain. Though, not all ideas are worth following entirely. Here's what experts urge against when tidying your home. 

Organizational jobs to avoid – according to professionals

Storage cubes and sorting by color may have shaped organizational habits for years, but their time may be limited. Here's what the professionals avoid when creating a seamless space. 

1. Ditch the folding method

Axel wooden clothes rail by Nordic House

(Image credit: Nordic House Axel wooden clothes rail)

'If you are more messy than meticulous, ditch the folding and hang wherever possible,' say Ingrid Jansen and Lesley Spellman from Declutter Hub. When considering closet organization ideas, the experts urge you to steer away from folding and opt to hang all clothes, as long as you have rails.

'Don’t worry about norms. If you have space to hang your gym wear and it allows your things to be more visible and accessible, go for it.'

2. Avoid plastic wallets

home office decorated with blue subtle wallpaper and decorative items

(Image credit: Future/Spike Powell)

You would be forgiven for using plastic wallets when organizing a home office. This 'essential' has had a place in offices for decades, and, though they seem small, they are impactful. However, Ingrid and Lesley warn that they are influential for all the wrong reasons. 

'If you like to file your paperwork, don’t separate every single sheet into a three-sided plastic wallet,' they say. '[They] create a barrier to getting the job done and means that paperwork will be left unfiled. For systems to be sensible, they need to be simple.'

3. Reconsider decanting 

Grey pantry with white shelves

(Image credit: Future)

Decanting is at the peak of all pantry storage ideas; however, while this act may look aesthetic, the experts warn it is hard to maintain. 

'Think about the effort involved in keeping up the system,' Ingrid and Lesley say. 'To maintain a system like this, you need to be ultra-organized. And all those overflow containers you need when a packet of food just won’t fit leads to food waste and/or an overflow system.'

4. Opt for cube alternatives

grey laundry room cabinetry

(Image credit: Alex James)

'There has been a long trend in putting items away in large cubes, however, this has never been a system I recommend,' says Kirsten Fisher, CPO of Imagine Home Organization. 'This is because most items are out of sight and out of mind.' 

The expert explains that items put in a large cube get lost and buried under more things – not to be seen again. Instead, she recommends using clear containers where you can keep track of what you have. 'Containers should be appropriately sized for single categories so you aren't putting too much in one place making it harder to find and put away.' 

5. Interrupt color coordination 

Books surrounding a window seat

(Image credit: Future / Brent Darby)

While sorting by color has always made sense in your closet, Kirsten warns that it is less effective beyond the bedroom. 'Sorting by color in other areas like the pantry or bookshelf may look nice but isn't very practical,' she says.'When was the last time you looked for a snack because it was in purple packaging?'

So, when it comes to organizing a kitchen, living room, or entryway, it is better to avoid a color-coordinated scheme – to maintain a space that won't look disorganized if one colored item is left out of place. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.