Toothbrush organizers

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 OXO Stainless Steel Toothbrush Holder Imagefeatures 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 Clear Vanity Organizer Imagedifferent kinds of toothbrushes (regular as well as electric toothbrushes) and toothpastes.

Answer: Handlebar organizer

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?

On the Go Organizer Image

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.”

 

T-shirt storage solutions

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. Fold n Stax Dividers (Set of 6) ImageThe 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 Clear Plastic Dresser Drawer Organizer - Large Imagewithout 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.

Refrigerator organizers

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.

Purse organizing tips

What if you didn’t have to hunt in your purse every time you needed to find your wallet, phone, keys, coupons, lipstick or whatever else you have to regularly rummage around for?   Think about it.  An organized purse can make your life easier every day.

Here are three purse organizing tips that will help you keep your handbag, shoulder bag or tote clutter free:

  • Use small clear zippered mesh pouches in various sizes for storing items such as cosmetics, medications, pen and Post-it notes or notepad, and any other supplies you need to access frequently.  Designed so you can view the contents, they’re more durable than Ziploc baggies and easier to keep upright in a crowded purse.
  • Clear plastic envelopes with Velcro or snap closures work well for keeping coupons, receipts, shopping lists and other small papers from getting lost in the depths of deep purses.  These organizers come in several colors, so use a different color for each group of items–it will make them easier to identify quickly.
  • Purse organizer inserts, such as the Purseket, offer a relatively compact solution by providing multiple pockets in a single unit that can be transferred easily when you want to use a different purse. Another easy-to-use option is the Pouchee purse organizer.

Car seat organizers

On the road again?  You can make road trips less stressful (and daily commutes easier too) by utilizing front-seat organizers for storing your cell phone, water bottle, tissues, sunglasses, chapstick, snacks or whatever else you like to keep handy.

Here are three different types of car seat organizers designed to make your driving life easier:

  •  The Car Seat Storage unit is spacious enough to store all your driving necessities, with an interior pocket that features a side pocket and an adaptable divider that can be removed to create a larger compartment. Car Seat Storage ImageThe outside of the organizer has front and side mesh pockets for storing items that need to be kept within reach and easily visible.
  • The compact Driver Pocket gives you a convenient place to empty your pockets before you embark on any car ride.  It attaches to the air vent with a flexible strap and actually provides two pockets: a mesh pocket in the front and a back pocket lined with soft fabric.
  • The swing-away Front Seat Car Organizer minimizes driver distractions by keeping accessories handy and safely secured. It attaches to a headrest with straps and has handles on either side so it can easily swing to the back of the seat to make room for a passenger.  There are seven storage pockets, including one with a soft protective lining for glasses, and outer mesh pockets for holding smaller items.

Answer: Fruit storage

Q.  We like to keep fruit on the table where we eat (it encourages eating the fruit) but we just don’t have a lot of room – what’s a good way to do this without one of those banana holders? We had one, but it kept falling over. Thank you.

A.  I recommend Three-Tier Hanging Fruit Baskets–a classic solution to the age-old problem of storing fruit so that it’s handy yet out of the way, while also providing good air circulation.  Three-Tier Hanging Fruit Basket - Copper ImageThese fruit organizers are economical as well as effective.

You can find more fruit storage options here.

Answer: Downsizing your stuff

​Q. I have always been very organized in my own life, but am having a hard time down-sizing now that I am older and know that it is time to do so! When my husband was alive we lived in a 5,000 sq. ft. home with our five children. Now that I am alone and a grandmother I find it hard to get rid of all my organized boxes and tubs full of household stuff which carries many memories. Do you have any suggestions for downsizing in retirement? I know I need to do it while I’m still able and strong, but keep procrastinating.
Thanks ahead of time, for any boost you can give me!

A. ​ In my experience, the downsizing process rarely happens in a significant way unless you have an actual deadline to meet (such as a move) and a specific goal (such as reducing your belongings by 50% to accommodate a smaller home). But if you are determined to make progress in advance, it can be very effective to arrange to meet at least weekly with a friend or a paid helper who will work with you for several hours at a time & help you keep up your momentum, as well as assisting by taking away items to be donated or discarded. Scheduling a regular decluttering or downsizing session is a way of establishing a routine that will enable you to get in the habit of letting go of whatever you are ready to let go of. Good luck!

Kitchen sink organizers

Whether you have a dishwasher or you are the dishwasher in your household, keeping your kitchen sink area free of clutter makes the dish-washing process easier.  But where do you store necessities like sponges, scrubbies, bottle brushes, dishwands and dish soap so that they’re handy–yet out of the way?

To help you make the most of your precious sink space, here are some of my favorite space-saving kitchen sink organizers:

  • Although they require installation, Sink Front Storage Trays are one of the best ways to maintain a clutter free sink and counter top.  Also known as tip-out trays, they provide hidden yet easily accessible storage by utilizing the wasted sink front.  (Note: Not all sinks can accommodate this storage solution–there needs to be enough clearance between the sink basin and the drawer face for the hinges to fit, and an existing drawer hole behind the false front.)
  •  The Sink Storage Caddy is a “sink saddle”–it’s designed to hang over a sink divider, with two self-draining compartments that allow wet sponges and brushes to drain directly into the sink.  What makes this caddy especially useful is that one section is deep enough for storing bottle brushes, dish wands or flatware upright.  If you don’t have a divided sink, there’s a similar type of sink caddy made to hang over a kitchen faucet.
  • Umbra’s sleek Kitchen Sink Soap Dispenser (available in three colors) features a built-in sponge or scrubby holder, a chrome-finished pump and a large reservoir to hold up to 25 ounces of liquid soap or lotion. Kitchen Sink Soap Dispenser - Black Image
  • A dish brush or wand with a built-in dish soap dispenser seems like a space-saver, but this type of tool can be tricky to store neatly when not in use.  One exception is the Soap Dispensing Brush which stands upright without a holder.  OXO also makes both a dish brush and a palm brush that each has its own storage caddy.

 

 

 

Garden Tool Organizers

For some, yardwork is a chore; for others, it’s a joy.  But whether you’re a green-thumb gardener or just a reluctant raker, keeping your gardening tools in order can make yardwork tasks more of a pleasure.

If you’ve been looking for an efficient way to store your brooms, rakes, shovels and other landscaping tools along with gardening supplies, consider these well-designed garden tool organizers:

  • The Yard Tool Organizer Rack is a rolling storage solution that can accommodate 20 long-handled tools, 17 short-handled tools, a weed trimmer, leaf blower and more.Yard Tool Organizer Rack Image The slots provide side access to your tools so you don’t have to lift them vertically out of the rack; strong clips keep each garden tool in place yet release easily for quick access.
  • The modular Garden Tool Organizer Wall System provides adjustable options for storing all types of tools plus pots and hoses.
  • Suncast’s Rolling Garden Cart is designed for serious gardeners.  Featuring multiple areas for storing various gardening supplies as well as tools, it also includes a 4-inch-high storage bin that makes it easy to create custom soil, while a sifter on the top of the cart allows loose dirt to fall into the bin when working in the garden.