Bathrooms and kitchens are easy to make messes in, so why not make it easy to clean them up? Here are some simple yet strategic tips to help you maintain order and cleanliness in these areas:
Keep a roll of paper towels on a handy dispenser near each sink. This will make it easier for anyone in the household to wipe toothpaste spatters off the medicine cabinet mirror or mop up mishaps on kitchen counters.
You’ll also never need to think about putting out guest towels for unexpected visitors. (Just remember to put a wastebasket in an easy-to-access spot. You don’t want a paper towel ending up in the toilet.)
If you prefer not to use paper towels, another option is to install a towel ring for hanging a designated cleanup towel near sinks. Or consider an old-fashioned but still excellent towel-grabber. Even easier,
use an over-the-cabinet-door towel holder requiring no installation.
A container of pre-moistened cleaning wipes is also helpful to have on hand in both kitchen and bathroom. A more economical alternative is Windex Touch-ups.
By taking a few seconds to clean up any areas right after they’ve been splashed or splattered, or at least at the end of each day, the need to ever do a major clean-up job is almost eliminated.
If you’ve got gamers in your household, you’ve probably got video game clutter. The multiple consoles and numerous accessories of PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo and other popular games can create a special type of organizing challenge.
Thankfully there are video game storage solutions called gaming stands expressly designed to accommodate all of these digital diversions and more. Here are three well-designed yet completely different examples:
The Gaming Computer Desk includes a variety of thoughtful features such as a cable management system, a charging station and even a drink holder.
The Game Keeper 4-Tier Wire Gaming Tower has space for up to three consoles, six controllers and 70 games in a compact unit that rolls on locking casters and includes a slide-out shelf.
The X-Cube Gaming Storage Unit is a compact stackable unit with two drawers and handles for portability.
Q. My attic is so jam-packed with stuff. I get frustrated when I want to find things but cannot! Every time I go in there I resolve to clean it up, but the task seems so overwhelming that I never can bring myself to do anything. Any tips for getting started? (Then I’ll move on to the storage shed!) Thanks.
A. Here are five steps for getting started and moving forward:
1) Prepare several spacious boxes or bins pre-labeled for Donate, Sell, Recycle, Relocate (for any items that you decide to remove from the attic for storage elsewhere) and last but not least, Trash–the largest container.
2) Take a few “Before” pictures.
3) Then motivate yourself by creating noticeable results quickly: Begin by decluttering the easiest and most visible clutter area or segment. Decide what is the quickest thing you can do to that area that will have a visible effect: clearing off a surface? cleaning out boxes that are obstructing an area?
4) Set a ticking timer for 15 minutes to give you a sense of urgency and see what you are able to accomplish.
5) When the buzzer sounds, step back to evaluate–then re-set and keep going until you achieve enough results for taking “After” pictures.
“Reduce, reuse, recycle” — this catchy environmental mantra has become familiar to most of us. What’s not as familiar is the variety of space-saving storage solutions designed to make those three R’s easier to integrate into your household routine.
Recycling bins have tended to be unattractive space hogs that belonged outdoors or in the garage. So in many households, recyclable materials are often tossed in the trash simply because it isn’t convenient to recycle them. Fortunately there are several home recycling systems that are refreshingly streamlined and easy to use. Here are some of the most efficient and attractive storage solutions for maintaining a “sustainable” home:
The Stainless Steel Three-Compartment Step Recycle Center features three step-open compartments with removable bins for storing and organizing plastic, glass and other recyclables. Each recycle bin section has a color-coded step pedal for easy identification.
For under-the-sink convenience, these Double Recycle Bins provide an out-of-the-way recycling station in an under-sink cabinet. The roomy removable recycling containers glide out on ball-bearing guided tracks and allow you to keep recyclables easily separated and ready for removal.
Simplehuman has an entire line of attractive and efficient dual-bucket home recycling systems.
Cleaning supplies can create clutter unless you have an effective storage system for them. The trick is to keep your supplies streamlined–so you don’t accumulate more types of products than you actually use–and also instantly portable.
One time-honored technique is to utilize a classic cleaning caddy–the simplest option. But if you need something more comprehensive for keeping your cleaning accessories organized and easily accessible, the Chrome Pull Out Cabinet Organizer is a well-designed solution. It makes the most of your under-sink storage space while providing an efficient carry-all.
You can also use even the most minimal wall space to store housecleaning tools and supplies. The Cleaning Storage System by Casabella® is a sleek two-part system: one part stays on the wall while the other is portable. The wall-mounted section includes four grips for mops and sweepers; three hooks for cloths and brushes; and two separate bag storage compartments. Atop sits the removable caddy for storing and carrying your cleaning necessities.
“Wearing multiple hats” is something that many people claim to do – but how are they
storing all those hats? Different types of headgear require different storage solutions, so here are a few to consider:
For baseball cap collectors, Over-the-door Cap Racks provide a budget-friendly, space-saving way to store up to 16 caps. If that’s not enough to contain your cap collection, consider the Perfect Curve Cap Rack: it can hold up to 36 baseball caps for storage or display over a door, on a wall or even hanging from the ceiling.
Storing ladies’ hats safely in a way that keeps them dust-free is another type of storage challenge. Hatboxes have been
around for centuries but there weren’t any major variations until relatively recently. Now there’s the pyramid-shaped yet uniquely stackable Millinery Vault. This clever contraption (available in clear plastic, and in pink or red cardboard) is designed to protect hats and save space. A coordinated carry-handle makes them easy to transport.
For storage and transport of cowboy hats and other brimmed hats, there’s the hinged Brim Styles Hat Storage Case, which includes a mirror and adjustable hat rest.
Q. I am trying to find storage unit for 12 antique stemware 4 1/8” diam. x 6 1/8” tall. So far everything seems to have smaller diam. sections and a lot taller. Am I missing something? Do you have anything close to my size needs?
A. It’s true that the dimensions of most stemware storage container sections are under 4 inches diameter, but I was able to locate two different chests that could accommodate your antique goblets:
Earrings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches, rings – there are probably more categories of jewelry than any other accessory. But it’s the subcategories that make it tricky to find the best jewelry organizers for your needs. For example, chain necklaces require
special storage to keep them from getting knotted and tangled, and should be kept away from necklaces made of pearls, gems or beads since those need to be stored in a scratch-free environment.
If you have a lot of jewelry but lack space for a full-size jewelry armoire, the Hinge Mounted Mirrored Jewelry Cabinet is a compact compromise. Hidden behind a full-length mirror is a velvet-lined cabinet with multiple hooks for hanging necklaces and bracelets, along with holders for all sizes of rings and earrings, and a keepsake drawer.
If you’ve somehow managed to avoid accumulating mass quantities of jewelry, the Smart
Jewelry Case is a streamlined solution for safely storing a limited quantity of baubles. The travel-ready rubber-coated hard case features a velvet anti-tarnish liner and a two-sided design: One side has a patented soft-peg system that keeps necklaces both untangled and scratch-free; the opposite side includes secure compartments for earrings, pins and other pieces.
Short-handled handbags, long-strapped shoulder bags, tiny clutches and floppy totes –
these extremes in purse physiology can create a storage challenge even if you don’t keep mass quantities of any types of purses.
Hanging strappy bags and totes from conveniently located hooks is an effective and time-honored tradition; likewise, storing evening clutches in drawers and organizing flat-bottomed handbags on shelves may work just fine.
But if those old standbys don’t do the trick, there are now
many different kinds of specialized purse storage options. Here are three worth considering:
The modular Park-A-Purse Organizer, designed for use on wire racks and closet shelving, features 10 compartments with adjustable and removable panels for customizing the spaces so you can keep purses of various sizes upright and neatly separated.
The Over the Door Handbag Organizer utilizes
door space (it can also be mounted on a wall) with nine storage pockets that can be adjusted to accommodate purses of all different sizes.
The Swiveling Handbag Hanger hangs from a closet rod yet doesn’t take up much closet space thanks to the clever swivel design.
If you have an overabundance of office supplies, you’re not alone. Overloading on these products is easy to do since many of them seem inexpensive–pens, highlighters, scissors, paperclips, notepads, Post-it notes, etc. Yet they add up quickly and can take up a lot of space.
Instead of clogging your drawers and cabinets with a buildup of office product inventory, use them to create “mini-offices”—small containers filled with the most frequently used supplies. Then distribute them in convenient places throughout your home, especially any place you tend to sit and read or do paperwork. (The kitchen, dining table, bedroom, bathroom and home office are all popular paper-processing and piling places.) The supplies you choose for your mini-offices should be the ones that you’ve wished were handy but never have been–until now.
If space is at a premium, the clever Under Desk Organizer is a good alternative–it can also be mounted under a counter or table top.
Finally, allocate a limited space such as an out-of-the-way drawer or box for storing back-up supplies. If after this process you still have mass quantities of extra office supplies left, donate them to a nonprofit.