Magnetic Organizers

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Magnetic organizers are terrific for utilizing vertical space–whether on a fridge, a file cabinet, a locker or any steel-framed door.  I’ve found they work well for keeping all different kinds of materials organized and easy to reach.

These well-designed wonders are some of my favorite magnetic organizers:

  • You can turn almost any wall into a magnetic surface with a Magnetic Wall Board which can be easily mounted with the Magnetic Wall Board Imageincluded 3M Command Mounting Strips or mounting hardware (also included).  Then simply add magnetic containers (available in a variety of sizes and shapes) to hold mail, eyeglasses, cell phones, office supplies or anything else you want to keep handy and visible. (But nothing too heavy: the Magnetic Wall Board will hold up to a total of 20 pounds).
  • Magnetic Storage Tins are small round metal containers that feature a see-through top
    with a sprinkle-or-pour opening for spices or sparkles. The bottoms are magnetized so you can stick them on the side of a fridge or metal cabinet (or a Magnetic Wall Board) for easy access.
  • MagnaPods Cosmetics Organizers are a set of three one-inch-deep clear plastic containers designed to magnetically adhere to the inside of steel-framed medicine cabinet doors (and other magnet-friendly surfaces).  Ideal for storing small items–not just makeup, but things like tweezers, nail scissors and other easy-to-misplace supplies–the organizers come in three sizes; two of them feature removable dividers so they can be customized to fit your needs.

Other sizes of MagnaPods are also available as nail polish bottle organizers and toothbrush holders.

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Answer: Corner shelf

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Q. I have been looking for a single small corner shelf to hold an antique vase. I need to be able to attach it to a wall high enough so that my kids can’t reach up & knock it down. Any suggestions?

A. The solid wood Instant Corner Shelf is an ideal solution that’s also economical ($12.99). Instant Corner Shelf ImageIt holds up to 25 pounds and features an invisible mounting system that requires no tools for installation.

Another option is the Corner Glass Shelf which holds up to 50 pounds.

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Makeup drawer organizers

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A messy makeup drawer isn’t a pretty sight. And facing a disorganized jumble of beauty supplies each morning makes it hard to start the day with a smile.

But luckily it’s not hard to conquer cosmetics clutter, thanks to well-designed makeup drawer organizers. Here are three effective and affordable examples that can also be used to organize other drawers around your home:

  • The natural wood Expandable Cosmetic Drawer Organizer expands from 9 inches to 16 inches deep, then locks in place once you have it at the width you want. Six compartments in varying sizes accommodate most types of cosmetics and make it easy to maintain an orderly makeup drawer.
  • Clear stackable drawer organizers such as the Cosmetic Organizing Tray let you utilize every vertical inch of drawer space.
  • Another drawer-space maximizer is the Drawer Doubler, an eight-compartment organizer designed to fit over the top of most Drawer Doubler Divided Organizer - White Imagedrawers without hindering drawer closure.  Adjustable to fit most drawers (11.25 inches to 16.25 inches), the smooth plastic edges glide atop the drawer sides, allowing you to easily access the contents below.  Since the top-to-bottom depth is just under 1 inch, it won’t hold cosmetics in bottles or jars but works well for storing everything else–from eye shadow pans to lipstick tubes.
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Seasonal storage solutions

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Are your closets still stuffed with cool-weather clothes and blankets?  Procrastinators, take heart–it’s not too late to store out-of-season items. (Just be sure to launder or dry-clean all fabric materials before storing even if they look clean.)

The trick is to use containers that will keep out moisture and bugs, yet will be easy for you to access the contents. Here are three types of super seasonal storage solutions:

  • The Jumbo Zipper Storage Bag is ample enough to accommodate large items such as an over-sized comforter or even a sleeping bag. Jumbo Zipper Storage Bag ImageConstructed of water-resistant heavy-duty woven polyethylene tarp, it’s a spacious 26 inches high by 22 inches wide by 12 inches deep and has four handles (one on each side) for comfortable carrying.  A label pocket lets you easily note the contents.
  • Stackable plastic storage boxes are ideal for storing out-of-season blankets, flannel sheets and bulky clothing.  They come in a variety of sizes and configurations.
  • Covered garment racks work well for storing out-of-season clothes that you prefer to keep on hangers. For bug-safe storage of garments made of natural fibers such as wool and silk, Cedarstow Hanging  Hanging Wardrobe - Extra Wide - CedarStow ImageWardrobes provide extra protection–the freestanding units feature interlocking cedar panels on the sides, and also include side hooks so they can be hung from a closet rod.

Other types of cedar clothing storage helpers can be found here.

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Arts & Crafts Organizers

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Got craft clutter?  If you’re a crafter, the answer is probably “yes!”  Whether your favorite creative activities include beads, fabrics, yarn, paint, glue, paper, pens, glitter, thread or all of the above, you’re dealing with crafts supplies that can easily get out of hand (literally).

Fortunately there’s a wide variety of arts & crafts organizers specifically designed for the many different types of crafting materials.  Consider these three that are perfect for keeping all kinds of bits and pieces in place:

  • Artbins are divided containers made for organizing and storing sewing, knitting, scrapbooking, beading and other craft supplies.  (Constructed of acid-free polypropylene, they’re safe for storing art supplies too.)  One example is the Artbin Super Satchel which comes in two different models with fixed and stationary compartments. Easy to carry, with snap closures and convenient handles that fold neatly into a recess when not in use, the design is also easily stackable for storage.
  • The Bead Storage Bag and Containers is a portable storage system consisting of a nylon carrying case that holds five removable and stackable clear plastic 10-1/2-inch long containers, each with 17 compartments (a total of 85 compartments).  The carrying case itself is a storage center, with five Velcro-closure pockets for storing jewelry-making tools; a sewn-on heavy-duty handle is on top, and the bag also includes a removable shoulder strap .
  • For storing larger arts & crafts materials, the Kids Art Supply Organizer is a terrific storage solution–just don’t be put off by the name.  This clever cart isn’t just for kids: it’s a rolling organizer that’s ideal for serious crafters and artists of all ages.  The blue metal frame has three shelves with three large bins and four medium bins (all included and removable), along with eight side pockets for holding small supplies. Locking casters make the cart easy to roll anywhere and then keep it safely in place.

More arts & crafts organizers can be found here.

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Sporting gear storage solutions

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Sports are fun, but storing sporting gear?  Not so much.

It can be a challenge to keep sports stuff organized and easily accessible yet out of the way.  Since sports equipment varies widely–from footballs to fishing poles–you may need specialized types of storage for yours.

Here are three efficient examples of sporting gear storage solutions:

  • Soccer balls, footballs, volleyballs, basketballs….for storing all of these and more, the wall-mounted Ball Storage Rack helps you to literally have a ball.  It’s designed to neatly store, organize and display up to seven full-size sports balls of almost any shape and sizeBall Storage Rack Image.  The rack is also versatile–it can be set up vertically (as shown) to fit on a narrow wall, or reconfigured into three horizontal sections.
  • The heavy-duty rolling Storage Rack with Baskets features three pull-out baskets of different sizes that work well for storing a variety of sporting gear.  Two top shelves provide additional storage space.
  • For long or flat types of sporting gear such as skis, fishing poles, wakeboards and snowboards, the ceiling-mounted Garage Sports Organizer is ideal–and a real space-saver.  When you pull it downwards, it locks into place so you can easily remove and replace items as needed, and then it smoothly auto-retracts back up to the ceiling.  The system has a 50-pound capacity and holds up to eight fishing poles or other combinations of sports gear.
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