Skip links

Main navigation

Best of IKEA: Home Organization Products

best of ikea
In the last ten years, we’ve moved around a lot. Each time we pack up and go, a process of elimination ensues: this means that only the best things survive. Here’s a collection of ten IKEA home organizational products, most of which we’ve been using for over 10 years!
slom jar ikea
1 SLOM Jars
If you were vegan in the nineties in the mid-west, you bought stuff in bulk from weird stores with hippy-names, or oriental markets with labels written in Chinese. When you brought it all home it would pile up in baggies like sand-bag barricades, that would occasionally tumble all out of the cupboard and explode—sending mung beans everywhere. And if you were eco-mentalists like us, you worried about mixing out of the probably food safe bags into probably toxic plastic canisters.
Ikea rescued us with these glass, lever actioned SLOM jars (~$2-$5) Available in a range of sizes from a couple of cups to a couple of litres (quarts), they’re the perfect solution to storing in glass on the cheap. We hate is that their mouths are rather narrow, and that they do not stack—still, they’re machine washable, strong (I don’t think we’ve broken any, and we can break anything that’s glass), and practical. A friend of ours has worked out a brilliant system with a wine rack which we one day hope to copy. For now, we have them from big to small. They’re at their best on narrow ledges or in shallow cupboards.
omar ikea
2 OMAR Shelf
We bought one of these shelves for our studio back when they came on wheels—perfect for heavy and awkward items on in an attractive way, he looked great in our loft. When we moved into an apartment near to the university without a dishwasher, it made the perfect cart for our portable, and now he’s in the kitchen hosting our convection oven and espresso machine.. We love the OMAR shelves (~$50, this model) because they’re sturdy, modular, and easily reconfigurable. A bit of whacking with a mallet and you can disassemble it to move with, or shuffle shelves around.
luns blackboard
3 LUNS Blackboard
Perfect beside the door in the mudroom, we picked up one of these when we moved into a Vancouver loft. It worked perfect as a message board for two in-and-out-of-the-house students, while we were amazed by how much we could cram on the hooks and in the little trays inset into the main frame of Luns ($25).
antonius wire shelf ikea
4 ANTONIUS Closet Organizer
Wire baskets on a metal rack—Antonius  (~$28) doesn’t look like much—but it’s probably the one IKEA product we couldn’t live without. The drawers are sturdy, and the fact that it’s metal on metal means that even if they’re fairly loaded up, they slide well. In design projects, we’ve used them in clients closets for their intended purpose—clothes . In our own homes, we’ve gone crazy, using them to organize shoes in front-hall closets, store art supplies, and even to put drawers in kitchen cabinets. They slot perfectly into many spaces, and their low price means all that that practicality can be inserted anywhere.
5 RATIONELL Garbage and Recycling System
Blame it on the fact that I worked with non-profit environmental organizations for many years—I’m fanatic about recycling. Mild mannered and easy-going, I know that if I’m the one that cares about the mess, I’m the one most likely to clean up after my room-mates. I can deal with them leaving dishes on the side of the tub, like my brother always used to, or pots and pans all over the counter. But you’d better watch out if you don’t rinse that can and keep it out of the trash!
Anyway, given my fixation, it’s no surprise that I’m an enormous fan of the Rationell series (From $32). I’ve never found something cheaper that works better—crikey, if it didn’t work, the whole system is recyclable in many municipalities. The slide out base is on sturdy metal rails, and the bins come in multiple sizes, so whether you’re a couple with a bit of space under the sink, or a family with a whole cupboard for your trash, Rationell slots in anywhere.
best of ikea home organization
6 Bjarnum Folding Hooks
Shelves, closets, and cabinets are great. But sometimes a hook is all you need. We’ve used these fold-up Bjarnum (~$14/3) hooks in a few applications, including to create a hanging strip for Tazim’s purse collection. We often put them near the front door, mounted with two screws, they’re sturdy enough to hang your grocery bags on, and fold up to almost nothing when not in use.
best of ikea home organization
7 VARDE  Shelf/ GRUNDTAL Rails
I praise IKEA every time I walk into someone’s kitchen and see a rail system above the counters. It’s a killer way to make your kitchen tidier, more ergonomic, and more practical—as long as you don’t get carried away and hang up everything under the sun. Of all their rail systems, we prefer Grundtal in most settings. It’s sturdy stainless steel commercial look actually fits in in both contemporary and conservative kitchens. It’s also indestructible.
Matching Grundtal shelves extend that practicality, and we’ve installed them in almost all our own kitchens. For clients however, we’ve been more likely to turn to this Varde shelf (~$40). With beech wood shelves up top, that are just wide enough to be useful without taking up head-space in your kitchen, and a sturdy rail underneath, it’s probably the cheapest and most aesthetically pleasing way to add storage to any kitchen on Earth—where there’s a wall, or a wall nearby anyway.
best of ikea home organization
8 HELMER Drawer Unit
I think everyone we’ve known, ourselves included has at one point or another stuck cheap milk-plastic and ugly matt blue drawers into their studio or craft room. The problem: they tend to be narrow and deep, flimsy and scratch attracting, and worst of all—to fall apart. After trying to move one from one side of the room to the other, and loosing ten thousand beads all over the place, we finally upgraded to something a little more sturdy by picking up one of these metal Helmer units from IKEA (~$40).
Not only is it built like a tank, it’s also more organized. The shallow wide drawers work better for our purposes, and the fronts have a spot to tuck a label, meaning that you can still keep a tab on what’s inside without having to stare at it constantly, and let’s face it, your art supply drawers look like junk drawers to those who aren’t in the know. Best to keep them out of sight.
bjorken ikea
9 BJORKEN Wall Cabinet
Where else can you pick up a solid beech cabinet with good hinges for $40?
We once stumbled across a pile of these in As-is, just a customer return, marked down for no other reason than the boxes had been opened. We bought three, and have installed them in every home we’ve had for the last decade. They’re perfect in the washroom as his/hers & kids/guests cabinets, but also work great in the studio, craft room, or mud-room.
We love them as an organizational product because they’re a perfect place to tuck away small stuff.
10 KASSETT Boxes and Magazine Files
It’s true—you can buy cardboard boxes almost anywhere, and magazine files too. But who can resist the walls of storage and the variety at IKEA? We go crazy for the metal grommets and label holders on their Kassett series, and use them to store magazines, as well as to sort out cables. We have one for gaming stuff, audio stuff, computer stuff, camera stuff, and video stuff—and the system works pretty well for us.The fact that they are all the same size means that they stack and stick together easily—our advice is to pick one uniform size and stick with it.
What are your favourite organization products from IKEA?

Reader Interactions