Answer: First Aid Kit storage

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Q. I have not been able to find a good place to store a First Aid kit at home so that it’s easy to access in an emergency.  My medicine cabinet is full of other necessities and I don’t really have any other cabinet or drawer space that would work for this purpose. Any suggestions to solve this storage dilemma?

A. I recommend either the Wall Mount Home First Aid Kit Box or the First Aid Wall Cabinet–both are designed to utilize wall space and provide easy access.  They are similar except the bright red First Aid Wall Cabinet is larger and has two swing-out bins.

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Bathroom Storage Solutions

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bathroom storage solutions
Seems like bathrooms never have enough storage space. But that’s not surprising when you consider how many different types of supplies we need or want to keep in what’s usually the smallest room.

Think about it: the word “bathroom” barely hints at all the stuff it’s often expected to hold.  Aside from actual bath products, there are cleaning supplies, dental care items, first aid supplies, haircare tools, makeup, personal products, toilet paper, towels…No wonder our bathroom storage is rarely adequate.

Fortunately there are several simple ways to maximize your bathroom storage space. Here are three solutions that can help you make the most of even the tiniest room:

  • The Hinge Mounted Mirrored Cabinet is essentially a framed full-length mirrorMirrored Cabinet - Hinge Mounted Image (70 inches tall, 16 inches wide) with interior storage, designed to fit on any standard door hinge.  It features eight adjustable shelves and four fixed shelves, all within a 4-inch-deep cabinet. For storing extra-tall items, the adjustable shelves are removable; retention rods keep bottles and other tall items safely secured. The unit can be installed within minutes with no extra tools or skills required.  (Note: It does require at least 3-1/2 inches from the center of your hinge pin to the side wall when installing to a corner and at least three hinges on the designated door for proper installation.)
  • The super-slim Toilet Paper Storage Cabinet (6.25 inches wide) is designed to fit in the narrow space alongside the commode.  In addition to being able to hold up to 12 toilet tissue rolls, it has a top drawer and a flip-top compartment for stashing small personal items.
  • The tall Bathroom Linen Cabinet has a small footprint (a mere 12.25 inches wide by 11.5 inches deep) but its 71-inch height lets you utilize vertical space for maximum storage. It consists of two separate cabinets, each with an adjustable shelf, plus two open compartments. 

More bathroom storage solutions can be found in several of my earlier posts.

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Vanity Organizers

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Do you suffer from vanity insanity?  It’s a common condition, especially on busy mornings.

A cluttered vanity (bathroom counter) is frustrating to use and hard to keep clean.  But personal care supplies tend to accumulate on open horizontal surfaces because leaving things out is easier than putting them away.

Luckily there are vanity organizers that can help you keep your bathroom counter clutter-free–or at least a lot tidier.  Here are four effective storage systems for cleverly corralling cosmetics, hair styling stuff, dental care items and more:

  • The Bathroom Counter Organizer is designed to both organize and attractively display frequently used items such as make-up, brushes and combs. It consists of three tall clear Bathroom Counter Organizer Imageglass jars ensconced in a metal frame. The jars lift out of the base for easy cleaning and are cradled at the bottom with thick foam padding for protection.
  • The Acrylic Vanity Organizer is a clear rectangular container with four small compartments and one large compartment for organizing a variety of personal care supplies and accessories.
  • The OXO Stainless Steel Toothbrush Holder provides bothOXO Stainless Steel Toothbrush Holder Image hygienic and stylish storage for toothbrushes and toothpaste on your vanity.  It can hold up to four over-sized toothbrushes plus a tube of toothpaste. The interior divider, which is removable for cleaning, features flexible plastic fins that separate the brushes. Vents near the top and bottom let air circulate so toothbrushes can dry after use, and the attached angled lid permits easy access to the contents.
  • The Hair Care Caddy is specifically designed to organize a curling iron, flat iron and blow dryer.  It’s constructed of stainless steel mesh with a silicone inner base for safe storage of hot hair appliances; a divided compartment in the back lets you neatly store the cords. You can keep this vanity organizer on your bathroom counter or store it in a cabinet, a deep drawer or even hanging on a towel bar.
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Bath & Shower Organizing Tips

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Bathtub edges and shower corners seem to have a magnetic ability to attract everything from rapidly multiplying bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bodycare products to clutter-causing kids’ bath toys.

To declutter and organize these tricky areas, try these bath and shower organizing tips:

  1. Take stock of your “product inventory” and move out anything that doesn’t get used on a regular basis.  Don’t hang onto products like shampoo that you tried a couple of times but didn’t like or ancient loofahs that you keep forgetting to use.
  2.  If there are a number of items that get used frequently by different family members, consider having a shower tote for each person’s bath necessities.
  3.  The most effective shower and bath organizers are those designed to utilize vertical space, such as:
  • The Mesh Shower Rod Organizer features three large and three small mesh pockets to hold your shower items Mesh Shower Rod Organizer Imagewithout collecting water, and a hook on each side for loofahs or shower brushes. The large lower pockets feature a hole in the bottom so you can store product bottles upside-down, eliminating the need to remove a bottle to squeeze out shampoo or conditioner. Designed to hang from your existing shower curtain rings or hooks, this clever shower organizer takes up virtually no space.
  • The tension-pole InterDesign Corner Shower Caddy makes the most of corner space in a shower stall or bathtub. The four height-adjustable, self-draining storage baskets include one large basket and three medium baskets, one with a towel bar and one with hooks and razor holders. The pole adjusts from 5 feet to 9 feet high.
  • The Adjustable Shower Caddy is an over-the-showerhead organizer with two large baskets that can slide from side to side and even reposition up or down to offer customized storage, allowing you to store larger shampoo bottles. The built-in dish on the bottom is sized to hold a large bar of soap; the non-slip grip hanger is augmented by a bottom suction cup that adheres securely to the wall.

More bath and shower organizing tips can be found here.

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Answer: Nail polish organizers

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Q.  My 16-year-old daughter has a nail polish collection that rivals a manicure salon. She has dozens of bottles and needs a way to store them so they’re not all over the place. Can you recommend any nail polish organizers that will accommodate her growing collection?

A.  Depending on how many dozens of bottles of nail polish your daughter has collected so far–and whether you want to plan for future acquisitions–there are two nail polish organizers that could work well for her:

  • The clear Acrylic Nail Polish Rack holds up to 40 bottles and can be kept out on a counter or in a drawer..
  • The two-sided Nail Polish Organizer Case (pictured) holds up to 60 bottles and includes a compartment on one side designed for storing emery boards, cotton pads, nail clippers and other nail care supplies.  It also has a hinged door on each side and a handle for easy portability.Nail Polish Organizer Case Image
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Toilet Tank Organizers

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In a contest for the most over-looked storage space, the toilet tank would be a top contender.

Actually, the top of a toilet tank isn’t as over-looked as the sides. (No pun intended.)  But both of these limited yet accessible areas can be used for storing toilet paper, facial tissue and other bathroom necessities.  The trick is to utilize this precious storage space while camouflaging the supplies–or at least making them look tidy.  To the rescue: toilet tank organizers!   Here are three excellent examples:

  • The wicker Toilet Tank Topper is a lidded basket designed to fit neatly acrossToilet Tank Topper Image the top of a standard toilet tank. It’s divided into three sections sized to hold two large rolls of toilet paper at either end and a square box of facial tissue in the center (there’s a slot in the middle of the attached lid).  The end compartments can also be used for discreet storage of personal supplies.
  • The sleek Ecostyle Bamboo Toilet Paper Holder has a similar three-compartment design but features a removable lid, and is constructed of slatted bamboo lined with mesh material.Over the Tank Magazine Rack - White Image
  • The Over the Tank Magazine Rack is a white wire basket that hangs securely over the top rim of a toilet tank thanks to a specially designed square hanging hook.  The basket is 9 inches wide by 8 1/2 inches high by 3 inches deep to accommodate standard size magazines, catalogs or paperback books.

 

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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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Bathroom cabinet storage solutions

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Towels, toilet paper, toiletries, cleaning supplies…there never seems to be enough bathroom cabinet space for storing these necessities.  But installing another cabinet may seem like more trouble and expense than it’s worth.

The solution: free-standing bathroom cabinets.  These cleverly crafted units offer easily accessible shelves and compartments in a variety of different styles. Here are three types of space-saving bathroom cabinet storage solutions, none of which require installation:

  • One often-overlooked area is the wall space over the toilet tank.  Luckily there are quite a few excellent over-the-toilet shelving options. Also known as etageres, some feature towel racks for hanging towels, while others–such as the Over-Toilet Space Saver–provide cabinet storage plus an open shelf.
  •  Bathroom tower cabinets offer slim, stand-alone storage that utilizes vertical space, with a combination of open and enclosed shelving.
  • Alongside the commode there’s usually a sliver of space that seems too narrow for a useful storage solution–but the Toilet Paper Storage Cabinet is designed especially for that space.  And the slender unit (6.25 inches wide) can hold more than toilet paper: while the main cabinet has enough room for up to 12 rolls of tissue, you can also use it for storing cleaning supplies.  Plus there’s a top drawer and a flip-top compartment for keeping personal items discreetly hidden yet handy.

 

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Shower organizers

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Stressed out by shower clutter?  It’s a common problem.  Shampoo and conditioner bottles, soaps, bath brushes, loofahs and other bathing paraphernalia have a tendency to accumulate in shower nooks and crannies.

Keeping your shower clutter-free is easier when you have the right storage solutions. Here are four varieties of space-maximizing shower organizers that require no installation:

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Answer: Bathroom linen rack

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Q. We are building a new house with my dream vintage bathroom. Do you have any unique suggestions for displaying vintage linen, doilies, etc. in the bathroom (such as towel racks hung high so if they are hand towels, no one will be confused with using them? Or a special rack shaped like a warming towel rack that would layer displayed linens? A quilt rack only hangs in the same layers so linens cannot be seen.

A. I don’t think you need to worry about guests drying their hands on your vintage linens since it seems most people are reluctant to even use standard guest towels. (I recommend having paper towels on a holder right by the sink since guests are more likely to use what is most convenient.)

For displaying your vintage linens on a tiered rack, here are three options that are each available in different styles:

Whichever type of towel rack you choose, you can place it as far as possible from the sink so guests will be less inclined to think of using your decorative linens.

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