Answer: Sorter for mail, magazines and catalogs

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Q. I am looking for a sorter for the hallway near my garage. It mostly needs to hold magazines, catalogs and mail. Keys are not necessary but definitely a plus. Any suggestions?

A. Depending on the number of catalogs and magazines you want it to hold, there are several options. Scroll Mail Organizer and Key Rack ImageOne good example is the Scroll Mail Organizer and Key Rack–it provides three spacious tiers of storage so you could designate one each for magazines, catalogs and mail. It also has five keys hooks.

More mail sorters can be found here.

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End Table Storage Solutions

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If you’ve got a couch, sofa bed or loveseat, you’ve probably got at least one end table alongside.  End tables (aka side tables) are useful for holding lamps, remotes and other items you want to keep handy when you’re lounging.  But they’re even more useful when they also provide storage for other things, especially if you don’t have much space.

Here are three different end tables that offer storage solutions for a variety of needs:

  • The Wine Rack End Table gives you an efficient way to store up to 15 standard-sized wine bottles withinWine Rack End Table Image easy reach yet tucked safely out of the way.  It features a metal base with 15 bottle-holder compartments, topped by a mahogany surface with tapered edges that make it easy to fit in a small corner.
  • The slender Williams End Table (just 13 inches wide) is a classic style that has three drawers and an open shelf.
  • If you prefer hidden storage, the Antique Walnut Storage Table Antique Walnut Storage Table Imageis a good choice.  Its top is actually a sleek lid that lifts off to reveal a space large enough to stash away whatever you want to hide when company comes–or blankets and other supplies for sofabed guests.

More types of end tables can be found here.

 

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Answer: Recycling system

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Q. I am looking for a space-efficient recycling system for collecting batteries, cell phones and ink cartridges at our “Green” school. I need 3 containers in all, that won’t take up much room in our school hallway & will encourage parents to drop their items in easily so I can periodically collect the batches to send off to the recycling plant. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

A. I think the Stackable Recycle Bins could work for your school hallway–they come in a set of three, each a different color (green, yellow and blue) so you can easily color-code your recyclables. The bins are designed to stack with or without the lid to save space, and each has a carrying handle and a front flap that can stay open or be left closed.   Stackable Recycle Bins (Set of 3) Image

Another good recycling system (but pricier) is the Stainless Steel Three-Compartment Step Recycle Center, which features three step-open compartments with removable bins for storing and organizing recyclables.

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Room dividers with storage

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Room dividers usually serve three main purposes: to divide a space, create privacy and/or hide an unsightly area (such as a cluttered desk or a water heater).

But some room dividers do even more–they also offer storage, via shelves or pockets, making them useful for creating a home office, a study space or even a mini crafts room.  And of course they’re also ideal for organizing dorm rooms and other shared spaces.

Here are three different kinds of room dividers with storage:

  • The Walnut Room Divider with Book Shelves features four wooden shelves in a four-panel folding wood frame.  4-Panel Book Shelves Walnut Finish Room Divider by O.R.E. ImageThe shelves simply slide into the panels to create space for books or whatever else you want to store and keep handy. Depending on how you configure the panels, the shelves can be threaded through so that there is shelving on both sides or on just one side. You can also use this room divider without the shelves.
  • The 4-Panel Folding Screen with 2 Display Shelves is a more classic style of room divider but with shelving on both sides.
  • The 3-Panel Fabric Room Divider with Pocket Holders includes 24 fabric pockets (all on one side) attached to cotton canvas suspended on three wood rods at the top, middle and bottom of each panel.  The rods are removable and the canvas is washable.  The pockets are sized well for everything from office supplies to accessories (each is approximately 7 3/4″ tall x 5 3/4″ wide), and they can be labeled, decorated or left unadorned.
    More varieties of room dividers can be found here.
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Kitchen counter space maximizers

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Seems like there’s never enough kitchen counter space. Even kitchens that aren’t small have a tendency to run out of surfaces that are the right height for working on multiple dishes.  This can lead to dangerously crowded counters–and the frustration of not being able to find an ingredient that you saw just a moment ago (before you put something else in front of or on top of it).

Luckily there are several simple solutions for expanding your food prep surfaces. Here are three types of efficient kitchen counter space maximizers that can help you counter chaos:

  • An Instant Counter gives you an attractive way to transform your stove top or kitchen sink into a temporary food prep or storage surface. Instant Counter - Gerbera Daisy Image Constructed of tempered glass with silicone “feet”, the counter is 21.5 inches wide by 11.88 inches deep, and adds 2 inches of height to any surface, making it a comfortable level for doing prep work. Instant Counters are available in several decorative styles.
  • Stove burner covers are another type of product designed to let you utilize your stove top as counter space. Placed over burners that aren’t being used, these metal covers (round or square) also help protect the burners from crumbs and splatters.
  • The Stainless Extendable Over-Sink Dish Rack is a counter space-saver that allows you to let dishes Stainless Extendable Over-Sink Dish Rack Imageand glassware drip dry right over the sink, thereby eliminating the need for a space-hogging dish drainer.  It doesn’t accommodate silverware, but if you require one that does, there’s the clever Collapsible Over The Sink Dish Drainer: it includes a removable holder for utensils, yet uses a third less storage space than other dish racks (it folds flat to one-third its in-use size).

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Linen closet organizing tips

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Keeping bedding, towels and tablecloths organized is a challenge even if you have a large linen closet.  One of the most common linen closet problems is too-deep shelf space that makes it awkward to access items stored in back.

An easy way to unstuff those shelves is to hang linens instead of, or in addition to, stacking them.  Using towel racks on the inside of your linen closet door, you can hang bed sheets, over-size bath sheets, tablecloths and other long linens. You can also hang linens on hangers in any closet that has a rod.

Here are three solutions for hanging linens to help keep your linen closet organized:

Other types of Hinge-It racks are also available.

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