Cabinet door organizers

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Cabinet door organizers make it extremely easy to access frequently used items. These “doorganizers” turn kitchen, bathroom and office cabinet doors into space-saving storage solutions.

Over-the-door cabinet organizers are probably the most popular type, but there are also magnetic and door-mounted styles worth considering.  Here are three different kinds of cabinet door organizers that have multiple uses:

  • Over-door towel racks with baskets perform double duty by utilizing both sides of a cabinet door.  The outside section is a towel bar–handy for keeping a dish towel or hand towel at your fingertips; the other Towel Rack with Basket Imageside is a basket where you can store everyday supplies. Items up to 10.25 inches high, such as bottles of mouthwash or cans of shaving cream, will fit in the Towel Rack With Basket (pictured); smaller supplies, such as sponges and scrubbers (up to 5 inches tall), can be stored in the Over Door Towel Rack with Basket.  (If you just want a cabinet door towel holder without storage, there are many different types to choose from here.  Or if you want only an over-door storage basket without a towel bar, those are readily available too.)
  • Magnapods are 1-inch-deep clear plastic containers that magnetically adhere to the inside of steel-framed cabinet doors. Ideal for medicine cabinets, they’re also useful for small office supplies when attached inside or outside metal office cabinet doors, drawers or file cabinets.
  • Wall-mounted spice racks can be mounted inside a cabinet or a cupboard door, and their storage Three-Tier Mounted Spice Rack - Chrome Imageuses aren’t limited to spice jars–they can also hold items such as nail polish bottles, vitamin and pill bottles, and small arts and crafts supplies.The steel wire Three Tier Spice Rack features three shelves, spaced 6 inches apart; as with most wall-mounted spice racks, the top shelf is open allowing for containers of different heights.
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Produce Storage Solutions

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Storing fruits and vegetables isn’t rocket science.  But keeping those fruits and veggies from spoiling is another story. Who hasn’t encountered forgotten fruit or “mystery vegetables” that have morphed into alien life forms?

Of course, different types of produce require different types of storage. While some fruits and vegetables need refrigeration, others should be kept at room temperature. And certain types of produce should never be stored together.  (Yes, it gets complicated.)

This infographic offers specifics for keeping produce fresher longer.  For a quicker fix, here are three effective produce storage solutions that can help you get your unruly fruits and veggies under control:

  • The Hanging Fruit Baskets - Twist ImageThree-Tier Hanging Fruit Basket is a classic–it takes up no counter space, provides plenty of storage, and the open wire design allows good air circulation so fruit ripens evenly.  (Also, for fruit fanatics it’s ideal since the three separate baskets let you easily organize and display your fruit collection.)  This type of fruit storage solution is available in a variety of styles.
  • The OXO Produce Keeper (available in three sizes) is a clear container with an elevated ventilated basket inside that can be removed and used as a colander to rinse off vegetables and fruits. The lid features an air vent that can be adjusted to accommodate different types of produce. Also included is a replaceable carbon filter that absorbs ethylene gas, to prolong the life of stored produce.
  • The Vegetable Storage Container is a ventilated BPA-free clear plastic bin with two removable dividers to keep your produce separated.  It’s stackable to maximize fridge space, and also has an ergonomically designed handle for easy grabbing.  A similar option with different dimensions: the Divided Kitchen Storage Basket.

You can find more types of produce storage solutions here.

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Purse Organizer Inserts

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Is your purse like a black hole that constantly swallows up your wallet, keys, phone, glasses, pens, coupons or whatever else you’re frantically looking for?   An organized purse may seem unattainable, but there’s hope.

Purse organizer inserts not only make sure your purse stays organized, they also make it easy to switch purses. These handy handbag organizers feature interior and exterior compartments sized to neatly hold just about everything you like to carry in your purse. Here are three examples of purse organizer inserts that can create and maintain order inside even the most chaotic purses:

  • Pouchee Purse Organizers feature nine exterior pockets (including one that’s perfect Pouchee Purse Organizer - Pink Cotton Imagefor holding pens), two metal ring handles at the top, and a magnetic snap closure.  The interior has three main divided sections, one zipper pocket inside (ideal for carrying cash), two small interior side pockets and a wide slip pocket sized for receipts or coupons. The Pouchee is available in several styles and a range of colors and materials.
  • Chameleon Handbag Inserts come in six sizes and both a structured and unstructured version, all with 16 pockets; one of the designs even has a removable pocket.
  • The RFID Blocking Purse Organizer provides plenty of pockets inside and out, plus protection from tech-savvy identity thieves with long-distance RFID readers. It features RFID blocking technology that prevents unauthorized access to credit card numbers and other personal information.  The four inside pockets are elasticized at the top; there’s also a large central interior pocket, three open outside pockets and a long zippered outside pocket.

For other purse organization ideas, check out my purse organizing tips and purse storage solutions.

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Answer: Storing framed photos & artwork

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Q. I’m trying to organize an unearthly amount in a basement. We live in a very small home. We are using a basement bedroom for storage. In our previous home I had a very large photo collage wall full of black-framed family adventures. I don’t have plans to put it back up….yet. I also have large frames of artwork that we rotate throughout the house. I have a 5 foot square area all taken up with these frames and stored art. I have no idea how to manage it. Ideas?

A. Your framed photos can be stored in a large multi-drawer chest such as the Iris Wide Three-Drawer Storage Chest.  Be sure to layer them with a piece of cardboard between each framed piece to prevent scratches, and label the drawers to make it easy to identify which photos are inside.Iris Wide Three-Drawer Storage Chest - Black Image

For storage of the large framed artworks, simply stand them upright in a cardboard carton; to protect the frames, sandwich them between cardboard or poster boards that are slightly higher than the frames so you can label them (like file dividers) for easy identification.

 

 

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Pet food storage solutions

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Is pet food storage one of your pet peeves?  Especially for dog and cat owners, keeping the pet pantry both well-stocked and organized can be a challenge.

Here are three highly effective and efficient pet food storage solutions:

  • The Buddeez Bag-In Pet Food Dispenser makes it easy to safely store, transport and dispense large bags of bulk pet food.  Available in two sizes (a 50-qt size for up to 45 lbs of food, and an 80-qt size with a maximum 70-lb capacity), the heavy-duty, air-tight clear plastic container features two rolling casters, comfortable handles and a one-cup scoop that attaches to the lid interior. The unique bag-gripper lid grips the inside of your original pet food bag for neat pouring, and helps keep food fresh while keeping the container clean. Buddeez also makes containers in smaller sizes for bird seed and other types of pet food.
  • For canned pet food, the 5.5 Oz Can Storage Rack stores up to twelve 5.5-ounce cans in a wire frame designed to dispense the cans for easy access.
  • For storage of dog treats on the go, the Dog Training Treat Pouch keeps snacks on hand yet hidden.  It’s constructed of flexible BPA-free silicone material with a plastic belt clip on the back. The pouch has a top opening that allows you to reach in and grab treats as needed; then it automatically closes up so the goodies won’t fall out while you’re working–or romping–with your canine companion.
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Answer: Packing dress-up clothes for a trip

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Q. I’m planning a six-week stay with family in Oregon, but the only luggage I have is a couple of old-timey suitcases and I can’t afford new specialized luggage. Most of my clothes won’t pose a problem but I have to take a fancy lace dress and shoes to wear to a wedding. Can you suggest a way to pack them that won’t (a) wrinkle or crush the dress any more than necessary, and (b) arrange and pack the shoes efficiently so they don’t crowd out other necessities?

A. Since I’m not a packing expert, I did some online research and found these excellent step-by-step instructions for packing dresses wrinkle-free inTravel Shoe Case Image suitcases.                     There’s a recommendation (at the end) that shoes be packed in a separate suitcase, and the explanation makes good sense. But if you need to pack shoes in the same suitcase as your dress, a Travel Shoe Case should solve the problem.

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Answer: Pot lid organizers

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Q. I have such a problem with my pot lids. I have a large cupboard approx. 25″ w x 13″ h and 23″ deep. Any suggestions?  Chrome Roll-Out Lid Organizer Image

A. There are several types of pot lid organizers that could work for your cupboard, but my top recommendations are the Chrome Roll-Out Lid Organizer Lid Maid Cabinet Organizer Imagewhich can accommodate up to 18 pot lids; and the Lid Maid Pull-Out Lid Organizer, with a storage capacity of up to six cookware lids.  Both are also able to hold cookie sheets, trays and cutting boards.

Although pull-out organizers require installation, they make life easier on a daily basis by allowing you to easily access the far reaches of your cabinets.

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Shoe Organizers

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Shoe organizers now come in almost as many varieties and styles as shoes do.  There are so many different kinds of shoe racks, shoe cubbies, underbed shoe chests, stackable shoe drawers, hanging shoe shelves, acrylic shoe boxes….the options can almost make your head spin.

To save you time (and space), I’ve narrowed the list down to focus on only the most space-efficient types of shoe organizers:

  • Over-the-door shoe racks are designed to hang on hinged closet or bedroom doors, and feature shelves or compartments sized to hold multiple pairs of shoes. They’re great for keeping shoes off the floor and making footwear easy to see at a glanceOver the Door Shoe Rack - 36 Pair - White Image (and also easy to access). This type of shoe storage system comes in a wide variety of configurations and materials.  For example, the steel and plastic 36-Pair Over the Door Shoe Rack has 12 tiers that are each able to hold up to three pairs of shoes; its two over-the-door hanging hooks make it simple to hang the rack on any door measuring a maximum of 1-1/2 inches thick. If you have fewer than 36 pairs of shoes, there are other racks that hold anywhere from 18 to 30 pairs.
  • Revolving shoe racks are freestanding yet have a small footprint (no puns intended)–they only take up about one square foot of floor space.  Each of the tiers rotate individually and can be adjusted up or down the pole to accommodate different sizes of shoes.
  • Under-bed shoe storage is best for shoes that aren’t used frequently, since they’re not Under Bed Shoe Organizer Imageas easily accessible as shoe racks. But this type of shoe storage lets you utilize your under-bed area while keeping dust bunnies out.  One good choice is the Under Bed Shoe Organizer–it features a dust-defying clear zippered lid, 16 compartments (for storing up to 16 pairs of shoes) and a handle on one end so you can pull it out like a drawer.  A smaller but more deluxe version with cedar inserts is also available.
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Answer: Organizing medications & supplements

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Q. I take many supplements and medications throughout the day. Because I have such a terrible memory now, I leave them all out on the counter, pull them away from the wall in the morning and push them back against the wall after taking the total number of times needed. That way, I know if it is against the wall, I have taken it. If it is still away from the wall, I have not. I’d like to find something that I could use to better organize these so that my counter doesn’t look so cluttered. I have not been able to figure anything out and would greatly appreciate any advice!!

A.  I think the Revolving Medicine Center might work for your needs.  It’s a two-tier medicine organizer that revolves 360 degrees for easy access to all types of pill bottles. Revolving Medicine Center ImageThe top portion has a recessed area for holding supplement containers and medicine bottles; the bottom tier features 31 removable pill holders (each with four compartments) stored in slots around the base, numbered on the outer edge for each day of the month.

If you like the space-saving idea of the two-tier turntable but don’t think you’d use the pill holders, you can set up your own system with a two-tier Lazy Susan.

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Kitchen knife storage space-savers

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Storing kitchen knives safely yet accessibly can be a challenge.  And knife holders, whether stowed inside a drawer or on a counter, often take up more space than the knives themselves.

Luckily there are several innovative ways to efficiently store your blades. If you’re ready to sharpen up your knife storage system, here are the best space-savers:

  • Under-cabinet knife storage lets you keep knives hidden away yet handy without sacrificing counter or drawer space. Under Cabinet Knife Block - Cherry ImageThere are two types: the drop-down knife drawer that pulls down and angles towards you, with magnetic strips to keep knives in place; and the swing-out knife block with a 360-degree swivel (great for kitchen islands with overhead storage) and magnetized knife slots to hold knives securely.  One crucial difference is that a swing-out block is visible whereas a drop-down knife drawer is hidden, designed to rest flush with the bottom of a cabinet.  
  • The Bodum Bistro Universal Knife Block is a space-saving alternative to the typical counter-hogging knife block. Instead of slots, it uses densely packed plastic rods inside a slender container (only 2.5 inches thick) to keep a variety of blades safely in place.
  • Magnetic knife holders are steel-framed magnetic strips that can be mounted inside a cabinet door or on a wall.
  • The Wall Mounted Knife Holder is a plastic knife rack that can also be mounted inside a cabinet door or on any smooth wood or metal surface.  It features raised edges that ensure protection from sharp edges and points. Wall Mounted Knife Holder Image

 

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