Answer: Baseball cap rack

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Q. My husband has managed to accumulate a dozen baseball caps and he leaves them piled on his dresser.  He does wear them all so I’m not asking him to get rid of any, but I hate how messy they look.  Can you recommend something that will keep them organized or at least tidier?

A. Over-the-door baseball hat racks are an effective and space-saving storage solution for cap collections. I think the Perfect Curve Cap Rack might be the best choice for your husband’s accumulation.  It has 12 clips so he could use one for each of his dozen caps.  

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Answer: Packing dress-up clothes for a trip

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Q. I’m planning a six-week stay with family in Oregon, but the only luggage I have is a couple of old-timey suitcases and I can’t afford new specialized luggage. Most of my clothes won’t pose a problem but I have to take a fancy lace dress and shoes to wear to a wedding. Can you suggest a way to pack them that won’t (a) wrinkle or crush the dress any more than necessary, and (b) arrange and pack the shoes efficiently so they don’t crowd out other necessities?

A. Since I’m not a packing expert, I did some online research and found these excellent step-by-step instructions for packing dresses wrinkle-free inTravel Shoe Case Image suitcases.                     There’s a recommendation (at the end) that shoes be packed in a separate suitcase, and the explanation makes good sense. But if you need to pack shoes in the same suitcase as your dress, a Travel Shoe Case should solve the problem.

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Shoe Organizers

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Shoe organizers now come in almost as many varieties and styles as shoes do.  There are so many different kinds of shoe racks, shoe cubbies, underbed shoe chests, stackable shoe drawers, hanging shoe shelves, acrylic shoe boxes….the options can almost make your head spin.

To save you time (and space), I’ve narrowed the list down to focus on only the most space-efficient types of shoe organizers:

  • Over-the-door shoe racks are designed to hang on hinged closet or bedroom doors, and feature shelves or compartments sized to hold multiple pairs of shoes. They’re great for keeping shoes off the floor and making footwear easy to see at a glanceOver the Door Shoe Rack - 36 Pair - White Image (and also easy to access). This type of shoe storage system comes in a wide variety of configurations and materials.  For example, the steel and plastic 36-Pair Over the Door Shoe Rack has 12 tiers that are each able to hold up to three pairs of shoes; its two over-the-door hanging hooks make it simple to hang the rack on any door measuring a maximum of 1-1/2 inches thick. If you have fewer than 36 pairs of shoes, there are other racks that hold anywhere from 18 to 30 pairs.
  • Revolving shoe racks are freestanding yet have a small footprint (no puns intended)–they only take up about one square foot of floor space.  Each of the tiers rotate individually and can be adjusted up or down the pole to accommodate different sizes of shoes.
  • Under-bed shoe storage is best for shoes that aren’t used frequently, since they’re not Under Bed Shoe Organizer Imageas easily accessible as shoe racks. But this type of shoe storage lets you utilize your under-bed area while keeping dust bunnies out.  One good choice is the Under Bed Shoe Organizer–it features a dust-defying clear zippered lid, 16 compartments (for storing up to 16 pairs of shoes) and a handle on one end so you can pull it out like a drawer.  A smaller but more deluxe version with cedar inserts is also available.
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Dorm Closet Maximizers

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For dorm dwellers, making the most of a small closet isn’t just a challenge–it’s a necessity. A dorm closet needs to function as more than a mere clothes closet.  Dormies also need to stash away laundry, shower supplies and whatever doesn’t fit under the bed.

Utilizing the closet door is one of the best ways to create storage from wasted space. Here are four types of door storage solutions that work well as dorm closet maximizers–and for studio apartment closets, too:

  • The Door Knob Hamper can be hung inside or outside a closet on the door knob (or from a closet bar or over-door hook).Canvas Door Knob Hamper Image  It’s handy for keeping dirty laundry off the floor or storing clean towels or other items. The patented design features a swiveling hook on a steel frame that holds the hamper open for easy access yet is only six inches deep.  The hook also functions as a carrying handle for toting to the laundry room.  Another thoughtful feature is that the large canvas bag (two-load capacity) has a full-length zipper that makes it simple to empty laundry directly into the washing machine or onto a surface for sorting.  The bag is also removable for washing.
  • The Mesh Shower Caddy provides ample storage for shower supplies and toiletries yet takes up little space, since it can also be hung on a door knob or hook.
  • The Over the Door Storage Baskets rack consists of a steel frame with six ventilated plastic basketsOver the Door Storage Baskets Image that are ideal for storing all sorts of supplies.  Tip:  To help keep everything organized, decide what you want to store in the baskets and then use removable labels to label the edge of each basket.
  • Over-the-door hooks and over-the door racks (with multiple hooks) are useful for hanging everything from hats to hoodies, belts and bags.

More over-the-door organizers can be found here.

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Sock drawer organizers

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What do Valentine’s Day and socks have in common?   For both, pairs are essential.  And sometimes finding a mate for a sock can seem harder than finding a mate.

Whether or not you have a significant other, Valentine’s Day is as good a time as any to organize your sock drawer.  And if you have a messy mate, organizing his or her sock drawer is a special way to show your love.  Here are three types of sock drawer organizers designed to keep socks happily paired up and neatly organized:

  • Flexible drawer dividers.   Diamonds are always a great gift, so consider the Diamond Drawer Organizer –it features up to 32 diamond-shaped compartments sized perfectly for individualDiamond Drawer Divider Image pairs of socks (each section is 4-1/2 by 4-1/2 inches). The smooth plastic interlocking dividers fit most drawers and can be cut for smaller drawers.  Simply stuff a pair of socks into each diamond and you’ve instantly got a perfectly tidy sock drawer that lets you see all the socks at a glance.  A similar option for you or your honey is the Honeycomb Drawer Organizer, a set of eight honeycomb dividers that snap together to form 18 individual cubbies each measuring 3.15 by 3 inches–ideal for socks or hosiery.
  • Drawer inserts. The Sock Drawer Organizer is a fabric-lined drawer tray with nine 4-inch-square compartments for keeping pairs of socks and similar items safely separated and tidy.
  • Clear stackable drawer with dividers.  If you never seem to have enough drawer space for your socks, just add a drawer–the Small Clear Plastic Stacking Clothing Drawer is ideal for housing socks, especially when paired with Small Plastic Drawer Dividers. The dividers slide and lock into place to provide six separate compartments that allow you to easily see everything in the drawer.

Other types of drawer dividers can be found here.

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Answer: Rolling wardrobe

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Q. We live in a space-challenged mobile home that also has only one closet for four adults. I got a wardrobe that is stationary, but really need one that moves. Is there anything sturdy with wheels that can handle not just shirts and pants, but longer items, like dresses and coats, too. Nothing too big, because space is really limited! Thanks.

A.  It sounds like you could use either the Mobile Wardrobe Center or the Clothes Armoire with Shelves.  Both are fairly compact yet offer ample clothing storage.Mobile Wardrobe Center Image

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Shelf organizers

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Is “get organized” at the top of your New Year’s resolutions list?  Even if it isn’t, you probably have at least one shelf that seems to defy your best efforts to keep it in order.  Shelves–whether in closets, kitchen, pantry or bathroom–are notorious clutter magnets, attracting piles of supplies and mounds of materials.

To the rescue comes a specialized type of organizing option: shelf organizers. Here are three categories of inexpensive yet highly effective shelf organizers that don’t require any installation:

  • Cabinet shelf organizers (aka shelf doublers) offer an easy way to maximize horizontal shelf space by utilizing vertical space.  Different styles are Expandable Kitchen Cabinet Shelf Imageavailable for closet shelves, kitchen cupboards, pantries and bathroom cabinets. Some are stackable, others are expandable, but all are designed to at least double the available shelf space.
  • Under-shelf organizers allow you to utilize the wasted space directly underneath a shelf to store small or flat items, in a basket or rack with “arms” that slide onto the shelf.  This provides easily viewable and highly accessible storage for various supplies that might otherwise be hard to see or reach (and therefore tend to get misplaced or forgotten).
  • Shelf dividers are essential for dividing and conquering closet clutter sources such as purses or White Wire Shelf Dividers (Set of 2) Imagestacks of folded shirts, sweaters and towels.  This simple organizing option can transform messy-looking piles into tidy towers of organization.  Shelf dividers are available in a wide variety of sizes and materials to work with all different types of shelving.

 

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Answer: Rod & Brackets for Armoire

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Q. I am trying to find the proper rod and brackets for my armoire for the purpose of hanging clothes. What are your recommendations for the type of brackets used in an armoire? I don’t want to use screws or hardware that will come through to the outside of the armoire. Yet, I want the rod and brackets to be strong enough to hold a fair amount of clothes. Any advice will be appreciated. The inside dimension of the armoire is right at 36″ across. At the very top of the inside walls there’s (2) small wooden running bars (both sides) that’s probably 12″ long and less than an inch in diameter (3/4 inch). I would imagine this is for the bracing of the armoire. At the back there’s also a bracing type wooden strip that is 36″ length x 2.75″ wide and about one-half inches depth.

A. Here are the two products you need:

 

 

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Corner Organizers

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Cabinet corners have a tendency to accumulate clutter since they’re often difficult to access easily.  That’s why corner organizers are a necessity for maximizing hard-to-reach cabinet space.  Corner shelf systems also create handy storage options for corner areas of walls and counters.

Here are three types of corner organizers that offer new angles of organization:

  • Many cabinet Lazy Susans are specifically designed for base cabinet corner “caves”. The Pivot and Glide system is a good example. 28 Inch Lazy Susan - Pivot and Glide Half-Moon Image It features a pair of half-moon polymer shelves that pull out and pivot independently; the bottom shelf also glides out like a drawer, and both shelves have an extra-deep 1 1/2-inch rim height to prevent stored items from tipping over.
  • The Instant Corner Shelf features an invisible mounting system that requires no tools for installation and holds up to 25 pounds.  At 18 inches wide and 12 inches deep, it can hold a variety of supplies or decorative objects.
  • The Cabinet Corner Storage Shelf Kitchen Cabinet Corner Storage Shelf Imageis actually a two-shelf unit that helps utilize vertical space inside cabinets.  The stand-alone design is also useful on kitchen and bathroom counters, and even on desk corners.  The Stainless Steel and Clear Plastic Corner Shelf is a sleeker option but only provides one shelf.
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Dorm Room Storage Solutions

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It’s that time of year when it seems like half the country is moving into dorms and the other half is helping them–or at least advising them on how to organize the often less-than-spacious accommodations.

In most dorm rooms the only over-sized furnishing is the bed. Dorm beds are usually 80 inches long, about six inches longer than a standard twin. You can put that extra half-foot to work by using these dorm-friendly storage solutions:

  • The Storage Pod Bed Riser Set maximizes under-bed storage space via two separate functions, utilizing four bed risers and a multi-compartment storage pod. The bed risers raise a bed six inches so you Storage Pod Bed Riser (Set of 5) Imagecan store more stuff underneath, while the pod, which attaches to any of the risers, has a large compartment for notebooks, books and papers as well as smaller compartments with slits to accommodate chargers and cables. The pod is cleverly designed to spin 360 degrees for easy access to whatever you put in it–keys, remotes, cell phones, snacks, magazines, etc.
  • Under-bed storage drawers are another way to make the most of the space down under while also keeping stored items dust-free.  The Iris Stackable Under Bed Storage Drawer features a low 6-1/2 inch high frame enclosing a clear removable drawer; if you use bed risers you may be able to stack two drawers and create a mini dresser under your bed.
  • The Bed Caddy is like a condensed nightstand that hangs from the side of your bed,  with a tissue holder and six pockets in various sizes for storing almost anything you like to keep close at hand.  Dorm beds are long enough to allow you to comfortably fit more than one bed caddy along the bedside.Bedside Storage Caddy - Black Denier Image
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