It used to be that you had to travel to the closest Container Store to get the best organizing supplies. For those living in the Napa Valley that meant a trip to either Marin or Walnut Creek. These days most of my tried-and-true favorite supplies can be found very close to home. Here the Top Five Supplies that I rely on.

Plastic file boxes: I love the Iris brand plastic file box with built in rails for hanging files. Although they come in several colors, but clear is my preference. They are a manageable size so that even when full they are not too heavy. This type of plastic file box is available at office supply stores but sometimes with a different brand name. Even if you have some great file cabinets, these boxes are fantastic for overflow such as old tax returns that you might want to keep in a separate storage area. I also love the size–even though they are more expensive than basic tubs, I still use them for a variety of purposes. Most tubs are too large for my shelving and just don’t hold up as well, so I use this particular size to store spray paint, art supplies, extra rags, small gardening tools, etc.

Bamboo utensil trays: I use these in so many areas beyond the silverware drawer. They are great in bathroom drawers to organize basic toiletries and are also great for make-up organizing. I also use them for “junk” drawers, household tool drawers, to organize batteries, etc. Available most reliably at Target but you can get them in more sizes or in sections to “build your own” at the Container Store or online.

Tape measure: This tool is so essential. As they say in carpentry, measure twice, cut once, and in organizing, it always pays to measure your drawers, shelves and other spaces before you go shopping to buy supplies. I like to have some kind of measuring tape in a few areas—the garage, the kitchen, the laundry room and the office for starters. It’s handy to carry one in the car so that if you are out shopping, you can measure things to be sure they will fit when you get home.

Gloves: Outdoor work gloves, reusable rubber gloves and disposable plastic gloves are all essential to me. I spent my youth being very careless and hardworking with my hands and now I have to really baby them or they look like the hands of a 90 year old potato farmer. Without gloves you can ruin an expensive manicure in under five minutes, which is not a well-organized use of salon time and money. Keep gloves where you use them. I have the disposable gloves near my spray paint, my rubber gloves at the sink, and outdoor work gloves in several locations so that I will be sure to slip them on before I get carried away with weeding.

Trash and recycling receptacles: I’m always amazed when clients don’t have adequate places to dispose of garbage and recycling. When there is not an easy way to dispose of something, guess what? It sits around and becomes eventually becomes a pile of undealt with stuff. Small trashcans with lids are essential for the bathroom—I insist on lids because, let’s face it, bathroom trash can be very unappealing to look at. Kitchens need larger trashcans, again with lids unless they are hidden away. It’s nice to have a small one in the laundry room for dryer lint, pocket trash and such. The garage is another place that trash and recycling bins are great—it’s so easy to clean out the car when you’ve got a place to put the trash close at hand.

Use of these simple supplies can’t rightly be called “hacks,” yet the way they make staying organized so much easier, they come close!