How To Eliminate The Most Chaotic Piles In Your Home

By Venus Wong

Here’s a scenario we’re all too familiar with: You look at your pile of clean laundry and think to yourself, “Meh — I’ll deal with this later.” The next thing you know, most of your bed has been compromised by the growing heap of clothing. Your makeup collection and incoming mail have also somehow multiplied themselves and taken over every open surface in your apartment.

When unattended, these seemingly innocuous household piles can easily fester into full-blown messes that will take you ages to clean up. To avoid having your home descend into total chaos, Target’s newly minted home organizing experts, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, are here for the rescue. The organization pros — and founder of The Home Edit — counts the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Rachel Zoe as their clients, so they certainly know what they’re talking about.

We’ve asked them to pick out the top storage tools you need to eradicate the four most common piles with the highest danger of developing into disorderly bundles: Beauty products, mail, laundry, and shoes and coats.

Makeup and Skincare

The best way to organize your makeup and daily skin care is to use drawer inserts. Everything stays divided by product type, instead of having a jumbled graveyard of products.

InterDesign Clarity Large Divided Cosmetic Bin, $10.79, available at Target

If you have more stuff than a drawer can comfortably hold, use stackable inserts to keep your most-used items accessible, and keep the excess items on the bottom level.

InterDesign Stacking Drawer Organizers, $11.89, available at Target

If you don’t have drawers in your bathroom, use a countertop organizer to create additional storage. Acrylic units with built-in drawers work best if you have a lot of products to accommodate.

Target Acrylic Cosmetic Organizer with Stackable Drawer, $39.99, available at Target


To avoid piles of clean laundry accumulating, make sure each person in your household has a dedicated laundry basket. As soon as the laundry is done, everything can be sorted and folded directly into its individual baskets and distributed to the person’s room.

Threshold Gray Rectangular Laundry Basket, $19.99, available at Target


Whether you live by yourself, have roommates, or have a family, every household needs a mail sorting system. Think about how you want to divide mail as it comes in (bills, invitations, urgent items, by family member, etc), and then use a divided organizer to hold the different categories.

Nate Berkus Hammered Letter Sorter, $12.99, available at Target

Make sure to include a section for outgoing mail, and a section large enough for magazines and large envelopes!

Threshold Desktop Storage Unit, $12.99, available at Target

If you’re out of tabletop space, try a wall hanging organizer instead.

Project 62 Decorative Gold Envelope, $12.99, available at Target

Shoes and Coats

Even without a mudroom or a proper entryway, you can create an area to avoid piles of shoes near the door or a mountain of jackets thrown on a chair. A simple solution that takes up little space is to set up a bench with an adjacent basket for your shoes.

Project 62 Loring Storage Cube, $79.99, available at Target

This wall hook have is great for keeping your coats, handbags, and keys in order.

Threshold Wire Basket with Hooks, $23.74, available at Target

If the size of your home permits, it’s also helpful to have a console table in the entryway. That way, you can prevent everything from piling up on the kitchen counter.

Project 62 Glasgow Console Table, $69.99, available at Target

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