Pants Organizers


pants organizersPants, slacks, trousers…whatever you want to call them, they need to be hung up when not being worn or in the wash.  (Unless, of course, you only wear pants that resemble pajama bottoms.)

Here are three different kinds of pants organizers (aka slacks organizers and trouser organizers) designed to keep these garments looking good and also easy to access:

  • Pull-out pant racks. This type of pants organizer requires installation but takes up minimal closet space.  The Trouser Pull Out Rack holds up to 10 pairs of pants and can be mounted on the left or right side of your closet.  It’s durably constructed of plastic-coated chrome-plated steel. Another option is the Closet Pull-Out Pant Rack, which includes removable epoxy-coated steel wire pant hangers and comes in two sizes–the 24-inch width includes 18 hangers, and the 30-inch width has 24 hangers. It features smooth and quiet full-extension glides, installs into existing melamine closet partitions, and is constructed of anodized aluminum in a variety of decorative finishes.
  • Tiered swing-arm pant hangers. These specialty hangers also save closet space while providing easy access. The Five-Tier Swing-Arm Slack Hanger accommodates four pairs of pants on swing-out rods plus a fifth pair on the bottom tier.  A very similar pants organizer is the Five Tier Swing Arm Slack Rack, which has blue gel friction coating on each of the tiers to keep pants hanging in place.
  • Rolling pant racks.  Pants organizers on casters let you utilize your closet floor for slacks storage (and not in a wrinkled pile, either).. The Rolling Pant Trolley–with 15 removable cedar hangers–tucks away under hanging shirts or blouses and rolls out for easy access. A smaller option is the Compact Rolling Pant Trolley, which has 10 removable cedar hangers.  If you need more of the cedar hangers, they’re available in packs of five.

Kitchen under-cabinet storage systems


Under Cabinet Storage SystemsKeeping kitchen counters and cabinets uncluttered can be a challenge. Under-cabinet storage systems provide a space-saving solution, allowing you to utilize the area above your counters. This type of storage also makes frequently used items easily accessible.

Here are three different types of efficient under-cabinet storage systems to help you keep your kitchen organized and clutter-free:

  • Under-cabinet stemware storage is ideal for households where wine is enjoyed on a regular basis. The Under Cabinet Stemware Rack is designed to hold a variety of stemware shapes and sizes, from wine goblets to martini glasses and champagne flutes. Featuring a unique mounting plate that permits easy installation on the bottom of frameless or framed cabinets (using just four screws), it’s available in three different finishes.  Another easy-to-install system is the chrome Under Cabinet Wine and Stemware Rack, which can hold six bottles of wine in addition to six wine glasses.
  • Under-cabinet knife storage lets you keep knives safely hidden away yet handy without sacrificing counter or drawer space. There are two kinds: the drop-down knife drawer that pulls down and angles towards you, with magnetic strips to keep knives in place; and the swing-out knife block with a 360-degree swivel (great for kitchen islands with overhead storage) and magnetized knife slots to hold knives securely. One crucial difference is that a swing-out block is visible whereas a drop-down knife drawer is hidden, designed to rest flush with the bottom of a cupboard.
  • Under-cabinet cookbook holders offer a simple solution to the problem of where to keep the cookbook you need to refer to while you’re trying out a new recipe. The spring-loaded Under Cabinet Cookbook Holder makes it easy to instantly access a cookbook when and where you need it, then stores it out of the way under a cabinet when you’re done.  It’s constructed of clear acrylic for complete invisibility.



Cleaning supplies storage


How can you make housecleaning chores easier?  The obvious answer is “Hire a housecleaner!”  But a more budget-friendly option involves keeping your cleaning supplies organized and handy.

Cleaning supplies can create clutter unless you have an effective storage system for them. The challenge is to keep your supplies to a minimum (try to avoid accumulating more products than you actually use) and easily accessible.

Here are three effective types of cleaning supplies storage solutions:

  • Portable.  A cleaning caddy is the simplest, most efficient and most economical way to store a small number of cleaning supplies.  Its portability makes it especially effective for quick Casabella Cleaning Supply Caddy Imageclean-ups.  The Casabella Cleaning Supply Caddy is a good example–it nests directly inside the Casabella Cleaning Supply Bucket, providing a streamlined system for keeping your supplies handy as you clean room by room. Featuring a comfortable, well-balanced handle, this caddy has a 2-gallon capacity with sufficient space for holding full-size bottles of cleaners.
  • Under-sink.  If you need something more comprehensive for your cleaning supplies storage, the Chrome Pull Out Cabinet Organizer is a well-designed solution.   It makes the most of your under-sink storage space while also providing an efficient carry-all.  Smooth-gliding extension slides allow this organizer to pull out of the cabinet for easy access to contents, and the basket section is removable so you can carry it with you from room to room. An adjustable carrying handle can slide to the side to accommodate under-sink plumbing.   The basket has a leak-proof tray to keep spills contained; a removable tray above the basket gives you room to store a roll of paper towels or other cleaning accessories.
  • Wall-mounted. For storage of long-handled cleaning supplies (including Swiffers and telescoping dusters), wall-mounted broom and mop holders are the most space-saving option.  I like the Clincher Mop and Broom Holder–it The Clincher Mop and Broom Holder Imagefeatures six spring-activated rubber cams designed to securely hold any type of broom or mop handle; five hooks to provide storage for dusters, cleaning cloths and other small items; a 4-inch-deep shelf for storing cleaning chemicals and spray bottles; and color-coded labels to help you organize your supplies.  The thoughtful design also keeps hanging supplies stored 4 inches away from the wall so you don’t have to worry about damage from wet mop-heads or damp rags.

Answer: Storing dried pasta


Q. What’s the best way to store dried spaghetti and other long pastas so they don’t get buggy or stale? I’ve always kept them in their original boxes but lately have had a problem with bug infestation (ugh). I don’t want to use glass containers since I’m afraid of breakage so I guess that leaves plastic but I’d want the BPA-free kind. Any suggestions?

A. I recommend the Progressive Pasta ProKeeper. It’s crafted from BPA-free plastic with an air-tight silicone seal that keeps stored pasta fresh and safe from bugs. (Tip: Bay leaves are supposed to repel pantry bugs; there are many claims that keeping a bay leaf in with your pasta will deter insects.) The container also features a unique body shape that funnels pasta toward the spout for easy dispensing. With an approximate 2.36-quart capacity, this pasta keeper can hold up to 2 pounds of spaghetti noodles. The hinged lid swings back so you can easily access the inside of the container, and the snap closure keeps the lid secured. The lid has a sliding door so you can measure out 1 to 3 servings of pasta.


Organizing baby supplies


baby organizersNew parents of infants are faced with an overwhelming variety of baby supplies. From bibs and bottles to diapers and wipes, the list of essentials for babies is mind-boggling.

That’s why it’s important to have organizers designed to help you keep your baby’s stuff in order, both at home and anywhere you take your infant. Here are three different helpful tools for organizing baby supplies:

  • Diaper Bag Organizer Pouches are a set of four color-coded, zippered cotton bags, each clearly labeled to help make taking care of baby easier when you’re out and about.  Designed to let you avoid the frustration of digging through a crowded diaper bag when it’s time for a quick snack, a dose of medicine or change of baby’s clothes, the back of each pouch is nylon mesh to allow for easy recognition of contents and proper ventilation. Large lettering and colorful accents make it simple for parents or babysitters to locate supplies. The bags are sized appropriately and color-coded: blue for Clean Clothing (14 x 11 inches); brown for Dirty Clothing (14 x 11 inches); sage green for Goodies & Snacks (10 x 6 inches); and pink for Extras such as pacifiers, toiletries and medicine  (7 x 7 inches).
  • The Stroller Organizer Bag has Velcro straps that attach to your stroller handles and support a large mesh pouch (you can easily see what’s inside), a smaller pocket with Velcro closure, and two drink holders. The small pocket keeps your phone, keys and other accessories safely stored away yet within easy reach. The large mesh compartment provides ample storage for everything else you need to carry with you.
  • The birch wood laminate Hanging Diaper Storage unit is a wall-mounted organizer with multiple compartments, designed to hold dozens of diapers and other changing supplies. The convenient towel rod allows you to quickly grab a towel when you need it.  Hanging Diaper Storage Image

Packing Organizers


packing organizersPacking organizers can save time as well as sanity by making it easier to pack. Some can even help keep your packed items organized and easily accessible while you’re away.

Here are three different types of extremely effective packing organizers:

  • Packable Shelves is a compact polyester organizer consisting of two open shelves and one zippered shelf, Packable Shelves Imagedesigned to fit inside a 21-inch carry-on suitcase and also hang on a closet rod.   To pack, you simply hang the shelves in your closet or over the back of a door, then place your clothes, shoes and toiletry kit on the shelves.  Then you drop the Packable Shelves, clothes and all, into your suitcase. When you arrive at your destination, unpacking is a breeze–just lift the organizer up from the suitcase and hang it in the closet or over the door. Your clothes stay organized and ready to wear.
  • The Pack This! Checklist Notepad is a 6 x 9-inch pad of 60 pre-printed sheets, each providing a comprehensive categorized checklist that’s a thorough inventory of what to pack. It lists 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 ultimate reminder list for travelers, the notepad even has slots at the top for Destination, Days, Special Events and Local Weather, and includes ideas for necessities you might not have thought of.
  • Mesh Packing Envelopes are moisture-resistant, semi-sheer zippered cases that let you easily pack and organize all types of small items, from toiletries to receipts. The set of seven includes a variety of sizes ranging from 6 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches up to 13 x 10 inches.  The PVC mesh material makes the contents viewable so you can pass through security checkpoints with minimal inconvenience.

For more packing tips, read my post on travel toiletry organizers.


Space-saving kitchen storage helpers


jokari standup produce bagFinding more space in your kitchen isn’t impossible.  You just need the right kitchen storage helpers.

By “helpers” I mean products that make life easier yet take up virtually no room.  Here are three amazingly cost-efficient helpers that are designed to reduce messes while maximizing kitchen storage space:

  • The Countertop Storage Bag Holder provides an easy, convenient way to load soups, salsas and other potentially messy foods into storage bags– the mess. Designed to fold flat so it easily fits in drawers and cabinets when not in use, this clever device uses adjustable clips to hold open zip-lock bags of just about any size as you pour foods for storage.  It can also be used to hold bags open for washing on the top rack of your dishwasher.
  • The Collapsible Funnel lets you easily transfer liquids from one container to another without making a mess on the counter, then collapses down when not in use for space-saving storage. The plastic handle gives you a firm grip while you’re pouring. You can also rest this funnel right into a waiting bottle so you can use both hands for pouring a hot liquid. Simply swing the handle down and expand the funnel; the handle becomes a part of the funnel to provide a handy freestanding design.
  • Progressive Kitchen Scissors with Magnetic Cover makes it easy to store scissors accessibly yet safely. The magnetic sleeve allows you to efficiently attachProgressive Kitchen Scissors with Magnetic Cover Image the included kitchen scissors to any magnetic surface, such as your fridge or freezer. The comfortable, sure-grip handles reduce slipping so you can easily cut through tough materials. The serrated blade edge ensures the blade won’t slide around when cutting almost any material.  An added feature is the steel tooth inserts on the inner handles–they’re designed for opening bottles.

Cereal storage solutions


cereal storageCereal is perennially popular, not just for breakfast but also for snacking.  That’s why there are literally hundreds of different cereals (check out this list), with new ones popping up all the time.

But all cereals have two inherent problems: they lose their crunch when not stored properly, and they can be messy to dispense.  Fortunately there are now cereal storage solutions designed to solve both of these maddening issues.  Here are three cereal dispensers that will keep your cereals crunchy and tidy too:

  • The OXO Countertop Cereal Dispenser consists of a clear, BPA-free plastic 5-1/2-quart-capacity canister (it can hold the entire contents of one large cereal box) that sits atop a dispensing mechanism with a spring-loaded lever on each side.  It features one-handed dispensing–you OXO Countertop Cereal Dispenser Imagesimply press either of the levers to release the cereal down the chute, through a trap-door opening and into your waiting bowl.  Silicone seals on the canister lid and inside the dispenser work together to keep stored cereal fresh.  The chute opening won’t crush cereal while dispensing, and the removable bottom tray helps keep counters free of cereal debris.
  • The Double Food Dispensing Canister is a similar counter-top concept, but it features two canisters that each have an easy-to-use front knob for quick dispensing.  It’s available in white, black or red.
  • The Bag-In Cereal Storage Container and Dispenser is an economical option that’s more suited for keeping in a cabinet or on a pantry shelf.   The clear, BPA-free plastic container accommodates standard size cereal bags, and has an innovative bag gripper design with an airtight seal that keeps bagged cereals fresh. A flip-open pour spout on the lid provides neat dispensing. Another product, the Easy Pour Food Storage Container and Dispenser, is very similar but larger; it also has a handle which makes it easier to pour but takes up more shelf space.

More cereal storage solutions can be found here.


Answer: Butter storage


Q. Is there a tidy & hygienic way to store a stick of butter that lets you keep the wrapper on it? I’ve tried various butter dishes but those all seem to be designed for wrapper-less butter.  Also I need it to fit 5-inch by 1/4-inch sticks.

A. I think the Stick Butter Container could be exactly what you’ve been looking for, and it’s only $1.99. Perfectly sized to accommodate a 1/4- pound stick of East Coast-sized* butter (5 inches by 1-1/4 inch by 1-1/4 inch), the form-fitting design doesn’t waste any space inside the fridge. And it lets you leave the wrapping on the butter so you can easily measure out tablespoons later. Crafted from clear BPA-free plastic, it has a hinged lid that snaps closed to keep the stored butter fresh.

*  Find out why sticks of butter are long and skinny in the East but short and fat in the West–this article explains the mystery.


Nail polish organizers


nail-polish-organizerNail polish organizers can help you keep your nail polish looking good, even when it’s not on your nails.

Whether you have a collection to rival a nail salon’s inventory or just a few bottles, there’s a nail polish bottle rack or holder that will fit your needs.  Here are four different  types of nail polish organizers:

  • Wall or counter. The 3 Tier Nail Polish Holder consists of three 13-inch shelves that let you store from 33 to 66 bottles, depending on the bottle sizes.  Nail Polish Holder - 3 Tier ImageThe versatile design enables countertop storage or wall hanging; hardware is included for easy wall installation (using only a drill and screwdriver).  Ample vertical space between shelves ensures ease of access.  With scalloped wire fronts, this nail polish rack is as attractive as it is functional.  A similar rack, the Wall Nail Polish Rack (which also can be used freestanding on a counter or wall-mounted) has a slimmer design and holds up to 48 bottles.
  • Portable. The two-sided Nail Polish Organizer Case holds up to 64 bottles (32 on each side) in individual compartments, and also has a compartment on one side designed for storing emery boards, cotton pads, nail clippers and other nail care supplies. The case has a hinged door on each side, a handle for easy portability, and includes a salon professional polish remover bottle with internal pump.
  • Counter or drawer. The clear Acrylic Nail Polish Rack holds up to 40 bottles and can be kept out on a counter Acrylic Nail Polish Rack Imageor in a drawer.  Four tiered rows keep bottles visible and easily accessible.
  • Inside cabinet door.  If you only have a few bottles of nail polish, magnetic MagnaPods are a good organizing option.  The set of two clear acrylic containers is sized to hold up to six bottles (three bottles each); the strong magnetic backing is designed for securely adhering to steel-framed medicine cabinet doors.  Adhesive Nail Polish Organizers are a similar option for wood-framed cabinet doors.