“WHERE are my KEYS?!” The answer is, of course, “right where you left them”–possibly hidden under whatever you dropped on top of them while looking for something else. (Tip: Never–even for a moment–put a bigger thing, such as a newspaper or a jacket, on top of a smaller thing, such as keys or a cell phone.)
If you’re tired of misplacing your keys and /or forgetting to take certain items with you when you leave your home, consider getting a wall-mounted organizer for your entryway. Here are several well-designed wall organizers that can help keep keys and other necessities from getting misplaced:
- The Magnetic Stainless Steel Entry Organizer features two key hooks; three magnets for holding notes, lists or photos to the magnetic surface; and three separate slots thoughtfully sized to stash mail, a cell phone and a pen or marker. The magnetic front is also a dry erase surface, handy for jotting reminders.
- If you need a wall organizer with more key hooks and more room for mail, etc., the
Wall Mail Organizer and Key Holder and the Scroll Mail Organizer and Key Rack each offer five hooks and three tiers of storage.
- Hanging up key-rings on hooks is just too much trouble for some folks. The Wrought Iron Calendar Frame is a good option for those who prefer to throw their keys into a horizontal holder yet want the space-saving benefits of a wall organizer. It consists of a metal mesh basket attached to a decorative calendar holder which gives you a highly visible way to note scheduled appointments. The basket also has room for mail and other by-the-door essentials such as cell phones, sunglasses, pen and pad of sticky notes.
More types of key organizers and wall organizers with key hooks and additional features can be found here.
Q. I am trying to find the proper rod and brackets for my armoire for the purpose of hanging clothes. What are your recommendations for the type of brackets used in an armoire? I don’t want to use screws or hardware that will come through to the outside of the armoire. Yet, I want the rod and brackets to be strong enough to hold a fair amount of clothes. Any advice will be appreciated. The inside dimension of the armoire is right at 36″ across. At the very top of the inside walls there’s (2) small wooden running bars (both sides) that’s probably 12″ long and less than an inch in diameter (3/4 inch). I would imagine this is for the bracing of the armoire. At the back there’s also a bracing type wooden strip that is 36″ length x 2.75″ wide and about one-half inches depth.
A. Here are the two products you need:
Cabinet corners have a tendency to accumulate clutter since they’re often difficult to access easily. That’s why corner organizers are a necessity for maximizing hard-to-reach cabinet space. Corner shelf systems also create handy storage options for corner areas of walls and counters.
Here are three types of corner organizers that offer new angles of organization:
- Many cabinet Lazy Susans are specifically designed for base cabinet corner “caves”. The Pivot and Glide system is a good example. It features a pair of half-moon polymer shelves that pull out and pivot independently; the bottom shelf also glides out like a drawer, and both shelves have an extra-deep 1 1/2-inch rim height to prevent stored items from tipping over.
- The Instant Corner Shelf features an invisible mounting system that requires no tools for installation and holds up to 25 pounds. At 18 inches wide and 12 inches deep, it can hold a variety of supplies or decorative objects.
- The Cabinet Corner Storage Shelf is actually a two-shelf unit that helps utilize vertical space inside cabinets. The stand-alone design is also useful on kitchen and bathroom counters, and even on desk corners. The Stainless Steel and Clear Plastic Corner Shelf is a sleeker option but only provides one shelf.
Q. Many of my clothing items indicate “lay flat to dry” but I am running out of surface room to dry them! I don’t want to hang them and stretch the fabric. What do you recommend?
A. The Mesh Stacking Clothes Drying Rack is a spacesaver that I think would be ideal for your needs. You can stack several in your bathtub or on whatever available surface you have. The breathable mesh enables quicker drying, and to speed up drying you can put a fan on nearby. The racks fold away easily for storage and are simple to set up.
There are many things to dislike about the process of doing laundry. Having a convenient yet out-of-the-way system for laundry storage between loads can make the chore a little more pleasant.
Laundry hampers used to always be space hogs, bulky and obtrusive and awkward to empty. Many households still have those classic hampers, but luckily now there are better options designed to fit in spaces you hadn’t thought of using. Here are three of my favorite laundry storage solutions:
- The Over the Door Laundry Bag is a versatile, space-saving hanging hamper that offers two ways to hang it–an over-door bracket lets you use the back of a door, and a removable steel hanger with a swiveling hook works with a closet rod or wall hook. Another useful feature is the zippered bottom that lets you empty the hamper without removing it from the hook.
- Also utilizing door space but in a different way is the Door Knob Hamper, designed to hang–you guessed it–from a door knob. It features a steel frame that holds the hamper open yet is only six inches deep, so you can still open the door when the hamper is in place; and a canvas bag with a full-length zipper that makes it simple to remove laundry.
- The Roll-Out Cabinet Hamper hides away in a base cabinet and glides out for easy access. It features steel roller glides that allow the hamper to slide effortlessly in and out of the cabinet. The hamper is removable from the glides, with integrated handles for comfortable carrying.
It’s that time of year when it seems like half the country is moving into dorms and the other half is helping them–or at least advising them on how to organize the often less-than-spacious accommodations.
In most dorm rooms the only over-sized furnishing is the bed. Dorm beds are usually 80 inches long, about six inches longer than a standard twin. You can put that extra half-foot to work by using these dorm-friendly storage solutions:
- The Storage Pod Bed Riser Set maximizes under-bed storage space via two separate functions, utilizing four bed risers and a multi-compartment storage pod. The bed risers raise a bed six inches so you can store more stuff underneath, while the pod, which attaches to any of the risers, has a large compartment for notebooks, books and papers as well as smaller compartments with slits to accommodate chargers and cables. The pod is cleverly designed to spin 360 degrees for easy access to whatever you put in it–keys, remotes, cell phones, snacks, magazines, etc.
- Under-bed storage drawers are another way to make the most of the space down under while also keeping stored items dust-free. The Iris Stackable Under Bed Storage Drawer features a low 6-1/2 inch high frame enclosing a clear removable drawer; if you use bed risers you may be able to stack two drawers and create a mini dresser under your bed.
- The Bed Caddy is like a condensed nightstand that hangs from the side of your bed, with a tissue holder and six pockets in various sizes for storing almost anything you like to keep close at hand. Dorm beds are long enough to allow you to comfortably fit more than one bed caddy along the bedside.
Storing toothbrushes efficiently yet hygienically is a challenge, especially if your household has multiple toothbrushes. And since there are now so many different toothbrush types and sizes, finding a toothbrush holder that works for everyone in your home may seem like an impossible task.
Luckily there are three innovative toothbrush organizers designed to keep your toothbrushes both handy and hygienic:
- The sleek OXO Stainless Steel Toothbrush Holder provides hidden storage on your bathroom counter for up to four oversized or regular toothbrushes and a full tube of toothpaste. With a flip-top lid, this vented container features an interior divider with flexible plastic fins that separate the contents. The interior is also removable for easy cleaning.
- Each MagnaPods Magnetic Toothbrush Holder can accommodate a toothbrush of almost any shape and size, and neatly stores it inside your medicine cabinet. Backed with a strong magnet, it attaches securely to the inside of any steel-framed cabinet or other metal surface.
- The Clear Vanity Organizer is a free-standing acrylic holder consisting of seven tube compartments of varying sizes–it’s useful for storing a wide range of supplies, including all different kinds of toothbrushes (regular as well as electric toothbrushes) and toothpastes.
Q. I’m looking for an organizer that I could strap onto bike and baby stroller handlebars, kind of like a fanny pack. Is there anything available like this?
A. The On the Go Organizer is exactly what you’ve described. It has straps designed to secure it to handlebars and other types of bars, and four clear interior compartments for storing small accessories. The product description says it’s “ideal for bicycles, strollers, off-road vehicles, fishing equipment and just about any other items needed for travel or everyday activities.”
The average American owns at least 3,000 t-shirts, according to various highly unscientific estimates. But even if you have “only” 30 t-shirts, it can feel overwhelming if they’re crammed into overstuffed drawers, piled on chaotically stacked shelves or squeezed into crowded closets.
Whether you fold, roll or hang your t-shirts, if you’ve collected more than you have room for you’re never going to have enough storage space for them. So before you invest in any new t-shirt storage solutions, I recommend weeding your collection to make sure it includes only the ones you love and/or wear most. Once you’re ready to organize the keepers, consider these effective organizing options:
- Fold n Stax Dividers provide a simple way to keep folded t-shirts neat on a shelf or in a drawer: they allow you to remove a single shirt without messing up the rest of the stack. The dividers are made of clear plastic and feature rubber friction pads that grab a garment as you pull it from a stack. In a drawer they can also be used vertically to help keep “filed” t-shirts in order.
- Shelf dividers are like bookends for clothes and work especially well in conjunction with the Fold n Stax Dividers.
- Dresser Drawer Organizers are ideal for keeping either rolled or flat-folded t-shirts tidy in drawers. They make it easy to lift out a stack or group of shirts together, take out the one you want to wear and then replace the rest in the drawer without leaving a mess.
- If you prefer to hang your t-shirts, the best t-shirt hangers are Soft Grip Flocked Hangers. They feature a slotted collar area specifically designed to prevent shirt collars from being stretched out of shape as you remove the shirt from the hanger, and rounded edges that won’t leave hanger dents in the shoulders. They also are slimmer than standard hangers to take up less closet space.
No matter how large the refrigerator, there never seems to be enough easily accessible shelf space. Foods (especially leftovers) that get pushed to the back tend to get forgotten. And forgotten food often morphs into… “what WAS this?!”
Luckily there are refrigerator organizers expressly designed to make the most of your shelf space and eliminate Lost Leftovers Syndrome. Here are three different types of storage solutions that will help you keep your fridge shelves clutter-free:
- By maximizing vertical space, the adjustable Refrigerator Organizer helps to prevent leftovers and other foods from getting lost. It has three shelves that allow you to store up to four dishes or containers and they can be adjusted to fit different sized items.
- The chrome 12-Can Beverage Dispenser also utilizes vertical space effectively by providing three levels of storage: two shelves that store and dispense beverage cans, plus a top shelf for storing other types of drinks or food.
- The clear Expandable Plastic Bin Organizer can expand in both width and depth to nearly twice its original dimensions, and lets you adjust it to whatever size you need at any given time. Load it up with produce or other groceries, and as they get used and the container empties you can shrink it down to make space on the shelf for other items.