Answer: Organizing Tupperware

Q. ​How should I organize Tupperware? All my cabinets are filled with kids cups, bowls, etc.  I have a big kitchen with lots of cabinets & drawers but they all seem full.

A. Your first step is to weed out any pieces that you don’t use. If you need a goal, resolve to fill at least one large shopping bag with giveaways and another bag with discards. Then designate one area (a shelf, cabinet or drawer) near your food prep station for storing your Tupperware. Sort your containers by size. To save space you can nest them and keep the lids in a separate section–store them vertically in a lid rack.

Double Wire Shelf ImageIf you have enough cabinet space for stacking, it saves time to store the containers with their lids on; use shelf doublers to maximize space and to keep the stacks manageable.

Answer: Yarn storage

Q. ​I have boxes and boxes of yarn that I would like to organize so I know what I have and can access easily. I cannot spend a lot of money, but need to get
it organized. Can you help?

A. You can use stackable containers, containers that hang from closet rods, portable containers and/or wall-mounted containers–it just depends on the type of space you have.

Six Drawer Office Storage Chest - White Image

I also recommend the clear plastic rolling drawer units by Iris –they come in a variety of drawer sizes and configurations, they make it easy to see what you’re storing, you can roll them anywhere, and they’re fairly economical.

For other helpful yarn organization tips, check out this yarn blog.

Kitchen wrap organizers

The trick to storing frequently used supplies is to keep them as accessible as possible, yet out of the way when not in use. Easier said than done, of course.  Kitchen wrap storage can present a special challenge since there are so many different types and sizes of food wraps involved.

Plastic wrap, foil, wax paper, parchment and baggies all come in a variety of options, and more variations seem to be offered each time you check the supermarket shelves. Limit yourself to the kitchen wraps that work best for your household and store them in a way that works well for how you use them.  Here are a few examples:

  • If you have a shallow drawer directly under a counter area where you frequently prepare foods that require wraps, why not use it for storing those wraps?  Even if you don’t have a spare drawer, you can easily add an Under Shelf Storage Drawer underneath a counter or shelf. Under Shelf Storage Drawer Image
  •  For economical, effective and simple storage in almost any cabinet space, it’s hard to beat the  basic Kitchen Wrap Organizer–it sits on a shelf (or counter) and can fit up to nine different boxed wraps.
  • If you prefer to use wall space, the Silver Mesh Mounted Kitchen Wrap Organizer is attractive and compact yet roomy enough to hold your most frequently accessed food wraps; it also works well mounted inside a cabinet door.
  • If you want to store your wraps inside a cabinet door without having to drill holes or use adhesive, Over Door Organizer - Tall Imageconsider an over-door organizer. They’re available in a variety of sizes and styles.

Organized outdoor dining

‘Tis the season of barbecues, picnics and patio parties. Outdoor dining is delightful, but it does require specialized storage solutions for your picnicking paraphernalia and other al fresco accessories.

Here are some of the best products designed to keep you organized so you can relax and enjoy all your outdoor meals:

  • The Collapsible Cooler Basket is an insulated space-saving alternative to the classic picnic basket–it folds flat for storage and has Collapsible Cooler Basket by Picnic at Ascot Imagea leak-proof food-safe lining, a zippered lid and a front pocket for wet wipes, condiment packets, baggies and other picnic supplies. 
  • The Table Caddy is a vertical organizer with compartments sized for napkins, ketchup and mustard packets, salt & pepper, hot sauce and more; and it stays in place even on slippery table surfaces with a Slip Stop grip.
  • The clamp-on BBQ / Campsite Organizer keeps grill supplies and other necessities organized and easily accessible–it mounts to any grill or table and features four double-sided hooks for barbecue utensils; a paper towel holder; and a shelf for spices, etc.
  • The Trunk Organizer and Cooler does Trunk Organizer and Cooler Imagedouble duty as both a car trunk organizer and a picnic helper.  It has two roomy side compartments plus a central zip-top insulated section for keeping items cold or hot.  Two handles make it easy to transport, and it folds flat for compact storage.


Bathroom towel storage

Bath towels, hand towels, face towels, washcloths–is it any wonder that there never seems to be enough towel bars for hanging them all up?

Getting family members to hang up their towels is an ongoing battle in many households, yet when space is limited it can be a challenge to find places for each person’s set. Fortunately there are now a number of bathroom towel storage solutions designed to make the most of even the smallest spaces.

Here are three especially efficient hanging towel space-savers that require no drilling:

  • The Clutter Buster Door Towel Rack Valet Plus hangs from the existing pins on the hinges of any door and provides Clutter Buster Door Towel Rack Valet Plus - White Imageapproximately four-and-a-half feet of hanging space on four “arms”; the top arm also features a double hook, handy for hanging a robe.
  • The York Over Door Three-Tier Towel Rack hangs over the bathroom door and features lower towel bars that protrude out further than those above, which facilitates drying.
  • The Leaning Towel Ladder leans against your bathroom wall (rubber bumpers hold it in place)Leaning Towel Ladder - Chrome Image and offers four towel bars in the space where you would normally have just one.  It can also be hung over a door, but the York Over Door is probably a better choice for that option.



Shoe Storage Solutions

“I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty.” – Imelda Marcos

Whether the size of your shoe collection rivals Imelda’s or you have a more minimalist approach to accumulating footwear, there are storage options for almost every space, budget and type of shoe. Shoe organizers come in many styles, including racks, cubbies, underbed chests, stackable drawers, hanging pockets, and boxes made of clear acrylic.

Here are three of my favorite storage solutions for footwear of all kinds:

  • The Shoe and Boot Storage Rack is a free-standing organizer that accommodates shoes and boots of almost any height.  It features four tall rectangle compartments for storing tall boots upright and eight square compartments for everything from sneakers to high heels.  Plus it’s attractive enough to keep out of the closet.
  • The Over the Door Shoe Storage system can hold up to 18 pairs of shoes of all sizes, in or out of shoe boxes. The shoe rack is designed to slide over a household door of any thickness or it can be permanently mounted to a door or wall.
  • The Floor to Ceiling Shoe Tree is a tall revolving shoe carousel featuring a tension pole designed to fit in spaces with ceilings up to 9 feet tall.  It has six tiers with room Floor to Ceiling Shoe Tree Imagefor up to 36 pairs of footwear, plus a rotating mesh storage basket at the bottom for storing socks and other accessories.  The height of each tier (including the mesh basket) is adjustable to accommodate shoes of all sizes.




Space Day Space-savers

Today is International Space Day–the perfect day to take stock of your living space, your work space and, of course, your outer space. If you’ve ever wished you had more room in any of those spaces, here’s how to make the most of what you have.

  • Declutter.  Less stuff = more space. Although getting rid of clutter doesn’t technically give you more space, removing excess stuff invariably makes a place look and feel more spacious.
  • Doorganize.  Most doors–including cabinet doors–
    can be put to use for maximizing space.  Fortunately there are now many types of organizers specifically designed to utilize doors. A good example: The Freedomrail Over the Door Organizer which allows you to create a customized adjustable storage system for your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, laundry or any room.

  • Double-duty furnishings.  The best space-savers always serve at least two purposes, such as this well-designed bench that provides both seating and storage for shoes and accessories.Shoe Storage Shelf - Bench Image Likewise, there’s a storage ottoman that converts to a small coffee table with a serving tray and also stores a matching footstool.  The key is to choose space-saving furnishings that fill multiple needs and that work well.  Resist the impulse to get space savers that are more clever than useful.

Sports Equipment Organizers

Collecting sporting gear seemingly has become as much of a hobby as the recreational activities themselves. There are dozens of sports and each has its own type of equipment and accessories. But without an organized system for storing all your paraphernalia, you can end up spending more time playing hide-and-seek with misplaced gear than you do playing your preferred sport. Luckily there are some excellent space-saving sports equipment organizers available to help you stay on top of your game — or games, as the case may be. Here are three of the best:Wall-Mount Sports Gear Rack Image

  • The Wall-Mount Sports Gear Rack features three racks sized to hold everything from basketballs and soccer balls to helmets. Specialty hooks on the side are designed to hold baseball bats and tennis rackets, while six adjustable hooks on the bottom section are ideal for hanging caps, jackets and small accessories.
  • The Sports Bench Organizer does double duty as a ventilated sports storage container that’s also a comfortable bench with handrails.
  • Sports Equipment Organizer ImageThe free-standing Sports Equipment Organizer helps you easily organize all sizes of balls, skates, sticks, bats and other gear by utilizing a grid design that lets you move nine hooks around so you can configure the rack to fit your sporting storage needs. It also includes a basket sized to corral smaller items such as tennis balls.

Bathroom Tissue Storage Solutions

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could simply flush away all the clutter in our bathrooms? Too bad our commodes generally are not well-suited to this task.Toilet Caddy Image

One common problem is that the typical home bathroom tends to lack sufficient space for storing reasonable quantities of the most frequently used supplies.  Toilet paper, for example.  How do you keep enough rolls handy without displacing other necessities?

Here are three clever bathroom storage solutions for toilet tissue, all designed to make the most of limited space:

  • If your restroom doubles as a reading room, consider the Toilet Caddy which actually does triple duty: It’s a toilet paper dispenser that also provides storage for three extra rolls of bathroom tissue plus magazines.
  • The wall-mountable four-roll Toilet Paper Holder can also be installed inside a cabinet door.
  • The Over Tank Toilet Tissue Holder is ideal for tiny bathrooms lacking floor space, cabinets and wall space–it hangs off the toilet tank edge and holds up to three rolls..



Belt and Tie Organizers

Accumulating accessories isn’t just a female preoccupation. Guys can be guilty of it too.  OK, maybe most men don’t collect an infinite number of ties and/or belts, but there are those who have far more of these items than they’d care to admit.

Keeping such long and skinny accessories untangled and organized requires unique storage solutions: namely, belt and tie organizers.  Fortunately most of the options for storing ties and belts are not only effective but surprisingly economical.  Here are three space saving solutions worth trying:

  • The 16-hook Spinning Tie Hanger is desigBelt Hanger with Rings Imagened to spin in either direction and holds up to 16 ties or belts on independently pivoting hooks.
  • The Round-A-Belt allows you to store up to 40 belts in only 3 inches of hanging space.
  • For the obsessively organized tie collector, the Electronic Closet Tie Rack holds up to 70 ties plus four belts on a sleek unit that attaches to a closet rod.