Q. I have 3 rolling pins that I use often and I would like to store them on the kitchen counter top for easy access. The rolling pins do not come with a rolling pin stand or storage. Do you have any suggestions?
A. An open-ended bookend wine bottle rack designed to hold three bottles can be used to store rolling pins on a kitchen counter. If you have very limited counter space, an upright three-bottle wine rack is a space-saver.
Depending on the size of your rolling pins, an upright utensil holder could also work.
Smartphones, tablets, e-readers, laptops…do you love them but hate the clutter they cause? Actually, the main chaos culprits are the messy cords and wires needed to charge all these supposedly wireless devices.
But you don’t have to suffer from cord clutter, thanks to a relatively new category of organizing solutions known as charging stations. Designed to hold a variety of electronic devices while hiding their associated cords, charging stations are now available in a variety of styles. Here are three attractive and effective versions of these streamlined electronic device organizers:
- The clear Acrylic Charging Station features a back compartment sized to accommodate a large tablet, e-reader or iPad, plus three smaller compartments in front for storing and charging phones and other electronic devices (or for keeping supplies handy). Notches on the sides let you run power cords through so you can charge your devices as they rest in the stand.
The Bamboo Charging Station
allows you to charge up to four devices, and also includes a spacious section in back for storing accessories.
- The Charging Station for Electronics is a sleek black rectangle with three slots at the top to allow you to keep cords organized as they power your electronic devices. The top lifts off to reveal a hidden compartment that provides storage for a power strip/surge protector, with a side slot for the cord.
Other types of electronic device organizers can be found here.
Like to bike–but hate to put it away? Storing your bicycle inside shouldn’t be a hassle. Whether you have one bike or four, there are a number of bicycle storage solutions to choose from. Gravity stands, wall-mounted racks and ceiling-mounted hoist systems are among the most popular.
Here are three examples of efficient and easy-to-use indoor bike storage systems:
- If you only need to store one bicycle, the wall-mounted Bike Rack and Basket is a good choice–it lets you hang up a bike of any size while also providing storage for your bike accessories. The unit consists of two hooks for holding one bicycle; a steel basket for stashing your helmet, shoes and water bottle; and two accessory hooks for hanging additional biking necessities.
- For the two-bike household, the Gravity Double Standing Bike Rack takes up only 19 inches of space from the wall and requires no installation (ideal for apartment dwellers). Braced on the floor with a coated pedestal foot, the rack leans against the wall and safely suspends two bikes (one above the other) with vinyl-coated arms that are independently adjustable to accommodate any size or style of bike frame.
- Storing four bikes is a cinch with the ceiling-mounted 4 Hook Bike Storage System–you just press a button to lower or raise the 60-inch loading bar that can hold up to 125 pounds on four sliding hooks. This motorized hoist system lets you easily lift your bikes overhead and out of the way to free up floor space. (Ceiling needs to be a minimum of 8 feet high, maximum 15 feet high.)
More bicycle storage solutions can be found here.
Q. What is the best way to store tie clips to keep them organized and looking good?
A. Jewelry trays work well for keeping tie clips organized & protected. They are available in different sizes with a variety of compartments; some are stackable and have clear plastic removable lids. Choosing an organizer that works well for you will depend on how many tie clips you have & whether you prefer to keep them in a drawer or on a counter-top.
Board games are such fun…right up until it’s time to put them away. Corralling all those pesky little game pieces and cards–not to mention the boards themselves–can take the fun out of game night.
Whether your game collection consists of crumbling cardboard containers housing your heirloom Monopoly, Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit games, or you’ve got mainly display-worthy game boxes, there are several simple solutions for keeping your board games in order. Here are three types of handy and helpful board game organizers:
- When it’s time to replace those old cardboard game boxes, sturdy plastic Game Savers storage containers are a good choice. Specifically designed to hold board games such as Monopoly, Life and games of similar size and contents, these organizers feature dividers to keep the game pieces organized, pre-printed game labels, and a snap lid (especially useful when traveling or camping). They fit game boards up to 15.75 x 10.5 x .5 inches, the size of a single folded rectangular board.
- You can “file” smaller game boxes by storing them upright in a cabinet, using a wire bakeware rack to keep them neatly separated and easy to access.
- If you prefer to stack your games, the Black A-Frame Shelf features three shelves sized for storing and displaying many types of boxed board games (each shelf is 30 x 15 inches). You can stack up to five game boxes on each shelf.
Whether you have a tiny patio or a large backyard, outdoor dining requires special storage solutions. (Unless, of course, you don’t mind making extra trips back inside to retrieve plates, napkins, utensils, condiments, etc.)
To simplify outdoor meal preparation, choose mobile or portable organizers constructed of weather-resistant materials. Here are three efficient patio dining and BBQ storage solutions for organizing your al fresco meal supplies:
- The Mobile Serving Station Patio Cabinet provides two handy cabinets topped by an expandable surface for preparing and serving food (two drop-leaf sections extend the surface to 40 inches of counter space). A divided serving tray is included, designed to fit inside the upper cabinet. The cabinets offer ample storage for grilling implements and accessories, napkins, condiments and more, and the entire unit rolls smoothly on heavy-duty casters (two locking and two non-locking) for easy portability.
- The multipurpose Grill Station features separate trays for raw and cooked foods and includes a separate caddy for keeping seasonings, tongs and a beverage handy.
- Charcoal storage containers are a necessity for those who prefer barbecues to gas grills. The Charcoal Storage Bin (12-lb capacity) has an innovative lid designed to fit inside the original bag of charcoal: you simply cut the top off the bag and insert the lid to provide a tight seal that protects against moisture. The lid also has a flip top that lets you neatly dispense charcoal, and the large carrying handle on the side makes the bin easy to transport. If you need a larger capacity bin, the Charcoal Storage Container holds up to 24 lbs.
Q. My cabinet is only 4″ wide and 28″ tall. Do you have an organizer that would hold a box of foil and a box of plastic wrap and that would fit on the cabinet door?
A. Although there don’t seem to be any food wrap organizers that would fit within your 4-inch-wide door, I have an idea that could work: There are individual food wrap holders that can be vertically mounted inside your cabinet door with heavy-duty Velcro strips, so you could either use the food wrap holders attached to the door (since they dispense the plastic wrap and foil) or remove them for use.
If only we could travel without having to pack. Packing is probably the least fun chore of trip preparation, which is why so many people put it off until the last minute.
Whether or not you’re one of them, it’s helpful to have some time-saving travel organizers on hand to speed up and simplify the packing process. Here are three that can make it easier for you to pack like a pro:
- The Pack This! Checklist Notepad is a comprehensive categorized checklist that provides a thorough inventory of what to pack–everything from specific items of clothing and toiletries to travel aid and documents–so you won’t have to worry about forgetting anything you might need while you’re traveling. The 6 x 9-inch pad of 60 pre-printed sheets is the ultimate reminder list for travelers–it even has slots at the top for Destination, Days, Special Events and Local Weather, and includes ideas for necessities you probably wouldn’t have thought of.
- See-through Zippered Pouches and Mesh Packing Envelopes let you easily pack and organize all types of small items, from toiletries to papers. The sets include a variety of sizes and all are moisture-resistant. These transparent organizers also make it simple to keep receipts and other papers organized during your travels.
- The Hanging Toiletries Organizer features 10 clear vinyl zippered pockets that let you quickly view and access the contents; a hook at the top so you can hang the organizer from a door, hook or shower rod, and also inside a garment bag; and a Velcro strap closure for easy packing. The pockets are four different sizes and shapes, pleated on both sides to accommodate various types of toiletries; and the entire unit is water-proof and designed to contain spills or leakage.
Towels, toilet paper, toiletries, cleaning supplies…there never seems to be enough bathroom cabinet space for storing these necessities. But installing another cabinet may seem like more trouble and expense than it’s worth.
The solution: free-standing bathroom cabinets. These cleverly crafted units offer easily accessible shelves and compartments in a variety of different styles. Here are three types of space-saving bathroom cabinet storage solutions, none of which require installation:
- One often-overlooked area is the wall space over the toilet tank. Luckily there are quite a few excellent over-the-toilet shelving options. Also known as etageres, some feature towel racks for hanging towels, while others–such as the Over-Toilet Space Saver–provide cabinet storage plus an open shelf.
- Bathroom tower cabinets offer slim, stand-alone storage that utilizes vertical space, with a combination of open and enclosed shelving.
- Alongside the commode there’s usually a sliver of space that seems too narrow for a useful storage solution–but the Toilet Paper Storage Cabinet is designed especially for that space. And the slender unit (6.25 inches wide) can hold more than toilet paper: while the main cabinet has enough room for up to 12 rolls of tissue, you can also use it for storing cleaning supplies. Plus there’s a top drawer and a flip-top compartment for keeping personal items discreetly hidden yet handy.
“Where’s the remote?!” Almost everyone has either uttered or heard that universal cry of frustration. It’s funny how something called a remote control can make us feel so out of control.
If misplaced remotes are a common source of annoyance in your household, it’s time to tackle your clicker clutter. The simplest solution is to obtain a holder designed to keep your remotes organized and handy. Here are four very different styles of remote control organizers, each with its own special twist:
- The Spinning Remote Control Caddy features five compartments on a five-inch turntable that spins to allow easy access to all your remotes. Four of the compartments are sized to accommodate most clickers, while the large center section can hold DVD or Blu-Ray cases, a video game box or TV channel listings.
- The Acrylic Clicker Caddy is a sleek storage option that can hold even the largest universal remotes. The clear design lets you quickly see all of your remote controls, and the center divider has a handle that makes the holder easy to carry.
- The Armchair Remote Caddy is a space-saver that lets you neatly store up to four remotes on the arm of your recliner or sofa. Constructed of heavy-duty nylon material, with a weighted end and a retainer rod that tucks into the armchair to keep the caddy in place, the unit has four pockets sized to hold remotes or reading glasses, plus a large elastic band for storing a newspaper or magazines.
- For sports fans, the Clickball Remote Control Caddy is a unique football-shaped remote control organizer that’s hard to lose.