Q. How to organise the many cell phone/IPad/IPod/computer chargers?
A. Keeping chargers accessible and organized can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are products made to specifically address this challenge–they’re called charging stations. Most are made to charge only one or two devices, but these are designed for more and also provide a place to organize your electronic gadgets while they’re charging:
- The Bamboo Charging Station features four places to charge your devices and a holder in the back for accessories.
- The Ricardo Wooden Charging Station goes beyond charging–in addition to providing three sections where electronics can be plugged in, it offers storage for jewelry, watches, wallets, loose change, etc., making it ideal for keeping your dresser-top organized.
Q. I have a jewelry-making business and I need a good way to store my items for my crafting. I have items as small as the seed beads to large beads, wire, multiple colors, and just imagine with this type of business how difficult it is to store all my items that is also easy to see what I need when I need it?!
A. Depending on the quantities, sizes and how many kinds of supplies you need to keep on hand, there are multiple craft storage options to choose from. The ones that seem most popular with beaders and jewelry-makers are:
Whichever you choose, I recommend using a professional quality label-maker to label drawers and sections so you’ll always know what goes where.
See what other jewelry-makers are using to organize their crafting supplies.
Q. For my job I have a lot of papers that need signatures from various people. I have ADHD and have difficulty keeping track. For example, I will go to someone’s office to get their signature, they aren’t there so I put the document back on my desk and forget about it until I am cleaning up my desk at the end of the week. Frustrating. Any advice?
A. It sounds like you need some type of reminder system to help you remember what actions need to be taken and when. For easily noting reminders, a simple visual system such as a prominently placed large whiteboard can be effective, with a clearly labeled paper tray system nearby to hold the documents that need signatures.
You could also try a web-based reminder system which sends you reminders via e-mail or text message.
Q. What’s the best way to store hangers when not in use? It’s not convenient to store them on the rack.
A. It depends on what type(s) of hangers, how many you want to store and your available storage space. There are two main types of hanger storage products to choose from–stacking and hanging:
Q. What is the best (and most compact) way to store linens? I don’t have a linen closet so I use my master walk-in.
A. Keeping sheets, pillowcases, towels and tablecloths organized can be challenging even with a large linen closet. Here are my solutions for storing and organizing linens as efficiently as possible:
1. Attach a towel bar to the inside of your closet door for hanging sheets, tablecloths & other linens–or use an option that requires no installation such as the Over Door Three-Tier Towel Rack.
2. Hang linens in your closet on heavy-duty hangers–the Comforter & Blanket Hanger is ideal for this purpose.
3. Closet shelf dividers (available in a variety of styles and sizes) can help keep folded linens and rolled towels organized on your closet shelves.
4. Another shelf organizing option: Collapsible Linen Storage bins.
5. If you have more rod space than shelf space, the 6-Shelf Hanging Closet Organizer is great for storing towels.
Hopefully you’re in the habit of bringing your own tote bags when you go shopping. Disposable bags, especially those made of plastic, are a huge contributor to both environmental and household clutter. If you have a backlog of plastic and/or paper bags, you want to keep them organized and accessible so you can put them to good use. Here are some efficient bag recyclers to consider:
- An over-the cabinet-door grocery bag holder is an economical solution for turning plastic grocery bags into disposable containers for garbage or recycling.
- Grocery bag dispensers are containers with two openings, one for stuffing in plastic bags and another that lets you pull out bags for reuse. Most are designed to hang on the inside of a cabinet door, but a counter-top bag dispenser is also an option.
- For neatly storing paper supermarket and department store shopping bags so you can reuse them easily, there’s the aptly named Paper Bag Holder, which mounts inside a cabinet door and has a three-tier design to accommodate bags of different sizes.
Also, for keeping totebags organized and ready to shop, the Tote Buddy is a clever solution.
Q. I keep my hair dryer, flat iron, and other hair styling appliances in a basket in my bathroom vanity, but due to the long cords on each of them, they often get tangled up. What is the best way to keep these appliances separate and organized? Are there any easy-to-install, heat-proof caddies I might place on the wall instead of inside the vanity?
A. There are several types of wall-mounted organizers designed specifically for keeping hair-styling appliances organized. Your budget, your wall space and the number of devices you have will dictate which would work best for your needs. Here are a few good options to choose from:
You can find more hair care organizers here.
Nowadays there are multiple types of car organizers available for each area of your auto: glove compartment, seats, dashboard, visor, floor, doors, and trunk. Some have a specific purpose (such as sunglasses holders that clip onto windshield visors and notepad-and-pen systems that attach to the dashboard), while others are more versatile, such as:
- The Trunk Organizer with Cooler has three roomy compartments for typical trunk stuff plus a removable cooler that can be used separately–great for groceries, picnics or travel.
- The Automobile Catch-All Organizer makes it easy to store and access all the usual front-seat clutter culprits. It has a roomy storage section with a movable divider on the inside and mesh pockets on the outside.
To help prevent your vehicle from filling up with discardable debris, I recommend keeping easy-to-use car trash containers handy in both the front- and backseat areas. Trash receptacles come in two styles: stay-open and closable. Which type you choose depends on the types of trash you create — and in which area. For example, let’s say food-related discards regularly create compost in the backseat. A sealable container that attaches to the back of a front seat (facing the backseat) may be a good solution. If papers or other trash pile up in the front seat, an open-topped minibin that sits between the seats or on the floor may be the best bet.
But no matter how wonderful your trash-stashers are, they’ll quickly become useless if you’re not in the habit of dumping out their contents frequently. So establish a regular ritual: Each time you stop to get gas, take a moment to empty the trash.
The best way to maintain an organized, clutter-free car is to move stuff out of it. To lighten your load, adopt this simple strategy: At least once a week, remove everything that doesn’t belong in your vehicle.
Just make sure all that stuff doesn’t end up in your garage.
Q. We get two newspapers delivered every day, four weekly and three monthly magazines, plus mail. We get all online and can read on our iPads, but we tend to prefer to read hard copies. What is the best way to keep things from piling up?
A. To prevent publications & snail-mail from piling up, you need easy-to-access storage systems and a regular routine for maintaining order. An effective routine includes daily sorting & reading plus weekly (or more frequent) weeding. A few tips for making the process more manageable:
- Put a container designated for recycling near where you do your reading and mail sorting–this can make it easier to get rid of newspapers and other recyclable papers. One recycling container that’s attractive enough to keep by your favorite reading chair is this mahogany Newspaper Bin.
(But if you prefer to keep your newspapers for awhile before getting rid of them, there’s a chrome newspaper holder that can house a tidy-looking stack.)
- A wall-mounted magazine rack will free up counter space and allow you to easily see which publications you’re keeping.
- To help you organize your incoming mail, set up a basic paper-flow system with a few stacking trays labeled according to the typical categories of mail you receive (such as To Pay, To File, To Do). Remember, since the trays are not self-cleaning you’ll need to set aside time on at least a weekly basis to deal with what you stash in them.
- Finally, be sure to have a good-size wastebasket near where you process your mail. As I’ve often said, it’s wise to treat your wastebaskets like babies: Keep them in close reach at all times, feed them frequently and change them often.
Some ideas to get your backyard, patio or other outdoor spaces organized for your staycation…
Like indoor rooms, outdoor rooms require storage solutions for keeping things in order. The trick is to choose containers that do triple-duty: They should work as both storage units and furnishings, while also enhancing the decor. For example, deck boxes are seating options that include storage space for seat cushions, patio furniture covers and pool supplies.
If you’re planning to cook and/or dine outdoors, you’ll want to have at least one trash receptacle that is easily accessible for humans (but not animals), easy to empty and decor-friendly. For large-capacity loads (30-to 33-gallon), the molded resin Outdoor Trash Receptacle provides convenient access and looks like a stylish storage unit.
A hose is an ever-present part of outdoor living, but all too often it’s a disorderly and even hazardous presence – hard to put away and easy to trip over. Fortunately there is now a wide range of products designed to corral unruly garden hoses. Just watch out for devices that are more clever than useful. Anything that requires you to unspool the entire hose in order to use it could be more trouble than it’s worth.