Is car clutter driving you crazy? (Sorry, that pun was intentional.) If so, you’re not alone. Automobiles of all sizes have a well-known tendency to attract and hold clutter.
You already know you need to remove all the stuff that doesn’t belong in your car–that’s the simple part. But what can you do about the stuff you really need to keep handy when you’re in the driver’s seat? I’m talking about necessities: sunglasses, cell phone, tissues, pen or pencil, notepad, cleaning wipes and whatever else you want to be able to reach easily while you’re behind the wheel without taking your eyes off the road.
Fortunately there are auto organizers designed to keep those necessities right at hand yet out of the way. Here are three I recommend for conquering car clutter:
- The Driver Cup Auto Organizer fits in any cup holder and features a rear cord port for charging a cell phone, three soft pockets (fabric-lined for safe storage of glasses and small personal electronics), and a mesh front pocket for holding ear buds, change or cash. The rubber cord port lets you easily charge your cell phone or MP3 player while you drive.
- Another space-saver is the Driver Pocket Auto Organizer, designed to hang from the dashboard vent via a two-way clip. It has one large pocket with rigid sides to keep it open, plus a small front pocket; both pockets are lined with padding to protect your electronics.
- A larger option is the Automobile Catch-All Organizer which fits neatly on a seat, console or floor of any size vehicle. It includes a large main section with a movable divider; two outside mesh pockets; a corner pocket; and a lid with Velcro closure. Reinforced sides keep the unit sitting upright, and bottom grip-strips make sure it stays in place.
For more tips on this topic, read “Keeping your car clutter-free.”
Ah, the classic junk drawer. Filled with items that you just know if you ever discard them, you’ll finally need them. A jumble of seemingly useless yet occasionally useful odds and ends.
An organized junk drawer may sound like an oxymoron–but think about it. How handy would it be if you could quickly find whatever you needed, instead of wasting time rummaging around and getting sidetracked by things you forgot you had?
Junk drawer organizers are available in a variety of configurations. The best ones offer some type of flexibility. Here are five effective types of junk drawer organizers:
- Double-decker. The Junk Drawer Organizer consists of two trays: a sliding top tray that’s about half the size of the bottom tray. Together they comprise 22 individual compartments of various sizes. Decals are included that can be used to designate specific sections for a variety of items such as pens and pencils, notes, scissors, stamps, and screwdrivers. The trays can also be used side by side for more drawer coverage.
- Modular. Interlocking Plastic Bins are useful for creating a completely customized drawer organizer. The bins come in various sizes and feature an interlocking lip so they can be easily joined together.
- Sliding. The Acrylic Expandable Drawer Organizer is a clear tray with multiple compartments, designed to slide on drawer sides to allow quick access to items in the drawer space below. The tray features square rails to fit on drawer side frames measuring one-half-inch thick, and expands to fit in drawer spaces measuring 11 to 18-1/2 inches wide. The clear acrylic lets you see what’s in the drawer beneath the tray.
- Adjustable. The Bamboo Adjustable Drawer Organizer includes three removable dividers that can create anywhere from six to 13 storage compartments.
- Dividers. The Expandable and Adjustable Kitchen Drawer Dividers kit components include a pair of spring-loaded dividers that fit in drawers measuring 17-1/2 inches to 21 inches long, plus three additional slide-in dividers that provide for greater custom organization.
For more types of drawer organizers that can help you get your junk drawer in order, read my earlier post on makeup drawer organizers.
Summer’s here–time to tuck away all those heavy blankets, comforters, bedspreads and quilts. Easier said than done, of course, especially since they should only be put away clean. And getting them laundered or dry cleaned is a job in itself.
At least you won’t have to lose any sleep over how to store them. Here are four different types of effective blanket storage solutions:
- Zippered storage bags. A classic solution, especially if you have adequate storage space. The extra-large Canvas Blanket Bag is a good example–it has a clear side and zips on three edges for easy access to the contents. At 26 inches by 21 inches by 10 inches, it’s roomy enough to accommodate a king-size comforter and duvet cover. Zippered under-bed storage bags are also useful for blanket storage.
- Vacuum seal storage bags. To fit more blankets into less space, Jumbo Vacuum Clothes Bags are an efficient solution. These clear, heavy-duty double-zip bags allow you to compress the contents by using your vacuum hose to pull out excess air. (You can also remove air by hand, but the vacuum does a better and faster job.)
- Blanket hangers. The Comforter and Blanket Hanger features extremely sturdy chrome wire construction designed to support the weight of even the heaviest comforters. Providing 15 inches of hanging space, the open-ended design makes it simple to retrieve or hang any large folded materials. The hanging rod includes a non-slip rubber sleeve to prevent covers from falling off.
- Quilt racks. If you’d just like to be able to grab extra blankets easily, a quilt rack is a handy option. This type of blanket storage solution also allows you to display afghans, quilts and throws. The antique-style Quilt Display Stand has three bars, and each bar can be used to hang at least one blanket.
More types of blanket storage solutions can be found here.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 without 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.
Whether you have just a few strings of pearls or a vast collection of neck jewelry, necklace organizers can make life easier.
Different types of necklaces require special storage. For example, chain necklaces ideally should be hung to keep them from getting knotted and tangled. Necklaces made of pearls, gems or beads can also be hung but ideally should be stored in a scratch-free environment such as a velvet-lined jewelry tray.
There are many types of necklace organizers to choose from. Here are three of my favorites:
- If you’d like to have your necklaces on display but also want to keep them dust-free, the Hanging Necklace Holder is your best bet. It features a removable lid with an easy-grip knob that attaches to 12 necklace hooks, providing quick access to the contents. Constructed of clear acrylic so you can view your necklaces from all sides, it keeps them safe from tangles and dust while looking great on your dresser or vanity.
- If dust isn’t a concern, the Spinning Jewelry Stand is a good bet. Five separate holders (each designed to hold four necklaces) are of varying heights to provide ample hanging room for different necklace lengths. The base can spin 360 degrees in either direction to allow for easy access to each necklace, and the raised lip provides additional storage for other jewelry items such as rings or watches.
- If you prefer to keep your necklaces in a drawer, the Neatnix Jewelry Stax Necklace Holder is ideal. The stackable and sliding design works with other Neatnix Jewelry Stax, and includes a flocked plastic insert with a faux velvet lining and seven long divided compartments designed to hold necklaces or bracelets. A protective clear plastic lid is also available.
More types of necklace organizers can be found here.