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10 Under-$20 Ways to Get Your Home Cleaner and Tidier for Cheap

Real Simple logo Real Simple 11/9/2020 Katie Holdefehr
a kitchen with a stove and a sink: Getty Images © Provided by Real Simple Getty Images

Sometimes achieving an organized home requires a big investment, like splurging on a beautiful custom closet. And, well, sometimes it doesn't. A couple months ago, I had an organizing epiphany. After dealing with a messy jumble of cords in my living room for over a year (yes, organization procrastination is real), I finally decided to invest 20 bucks on a cord box. Once it arrived and the cords were all neatly concealed under the sofa, I had one of those Why didn't I do this sooner? moments. We tend to think of organizing (thanks in part to the fabulous but time-consuming KonMari method) as a labor-intensive process, but it can also be these small moments and tiny investments made along the way. Here are 10 low-cost, low-effort mini moves to get your home cleaner and neater.

RELATED: 8 Clever Storage Ideas to Steal from the Real Simple Home

Hide the Cords

Whether the cords are cluttering up your at-home office, the living room, or your kids' gaming zone, this sleek cable box is the solution. It corrals the cords, so you don't have to worry about tripping over Xbox cables when you're vacuuming. 

$20, a close up of a box: White Cable Box Storage © Provided by Real Simple White Cable Box Storage

Clip On a Shower Caddy

If you currently have your shampoo, conditioner, and soap precariously perched on the ledge of your bathtub, upgrade to a stylish caddy that clips onto the shower head. It even has slots for stashing razors and pegs for hanging loofahs. 

$20, a close up of a sink: Gray Umbra Shower Caddy © Provided by Real Simple Gray Umbra Shower Caddy

Refresh the Walls (and Your Shower Curtain)

Want to make your home look cleaner by spending just 30 minutes and $10? Order a pack of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. Use one cleaning pad to buff away any marks or scuffs on the walls and furniture around your home. Once you get started, you'll soon notice just how many scuff marks are on the molding and baseboards. 

Grab another eraser and use it to wipe away soap scum and mildew on your shower curtain. Ta-da! You don't have to buy a new shower curtain liner after all. 

$9 for 9, graphical user interface: Mr. Clean Magic Erasers © Provided by Real Simple Mr. Clean Magic Erasers

Invest in a Good Drain Cover

It's safe to say that cleaning the shower drain is no one's idea of a good time. To tackle this chore less often, order an effective shower drain cover that will help stop hair and soap scum from creating clogs. This cute, starfish-shaped drain cover is top-rated, comes in two colors, and costs less than 10 bucks. 

$8, Teal Starfish Drain Cover © Provided by Real Simple Teal Starfish Drain Cover

De-Fur the Furniture

If you have a pet, the battle against the fur is never-ending. Instead of tearing off sheet after sheet from a traditional lint roller, order this clever tool designed to de-fur your sofa or side chair. Did we mention it's self-cleaning and reusable? 

$20, a hand holding a cell phone: OXO Fur Lifter Brush for Furniture © Provided by Real Simple OXO Fur Lifter Brush for Furniture

Restore Grout Lines

Discolored grout lines have the power to make even a just-cleaned bathroom look dingy. After cleaning the tile in your bathroom, try using a grout pen to restore your grout to a bright white. This process is simple but time-consuming, so set aside an afternoon to color in the lines while listening to a podcast. 

$7 for 2, a close up of a piece of paper: White Grout Pens © Provided by Real Simple White Grout Pens

Clear Counter Clutter

To keep kitchen counters from devolving into chaos, we generally try to keep out only the essentials, all stored on a tray or turntable. Opt for a stylish turntable, like this marble one, so this organizing hack doubles as decor. 

$17, a close up of a plate: Marble Lazy Susan © Provided by Real Simple Marble Lazy Susan

Add Extra Storage to Your Closet

Without carefully chosen organizers, it's easy for even the most spacious closet to become cluttered. One trick that made my own closet more functional: Adding hanging storage for t-shirts and sweaters. This helps keep everyday pieces more accessible, rather than placing them on a shelf that's difficult to reach. 

$20, Hanging Closet Organizer in Blue © Provided by Real Simple Hanging Closet Organizer in Blue

Maximize Under-the-Sink Storage

In your kitchen or bathroom, make the under-the-sink cabinet work harder with this over-the-door organizer. The wire basket hides dish detergent, sponges, or hand soap inside the cabinet, while the bar in the front keeps a hand towel within reach. 

RELATED: 4 Things You Should Never Store Under Your Kitchen Sink—And 5 You Should 

$18, a close up of a sink: Wire Grid Over-the-Door Basket © Provided by Real Simple Wire Grid Over-the-Door Basket

Let Baskets Hide Essentials

In the bathroom, keep essentials like toilet paper and spare towels within reach but concealed by using stylish woven baskets. If your bathroom doesn't have a ton of cabinet space, this will help you avoid having to go to the storage cabinet or basement every time you run out of TP.

$15, a close up of a basket: World Market Woven Baskets © Provided by Real Simple World Market Woven Baskets
a kitchen with a stove and a sink: We call this low-investment, big-results home organizing. © Getty Images We call this low-investment, big-results home organizing.

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