House plant storage systems


It’s easy to accumulate house plants. Finding room for them is another story.

Plants can take up a lot of space inside your home. But since certain indoor plants also function as air purifiers (according to the NASA Clean Air Study), an abundance of them may be justified.  Unless, of course, your plant collection has outgrown your space and morphed into plant clutter.

Having efficient house plant storage systems can keep your indoor garden looking tidy.  Here are four space-savers designed to help you make the most of your green thumb:

  • The Urbio Wall Planter is a magnetic container that attaches to any magnet-friendly surface, such as the side of your refrigerator, or to a magnetic wall board.  It can hold up to five pounds of anything (mail, vitamin bottles, office supplies, toiletries) but it works well as a small plant holder.
  • The Corner Folding Bakers Rack utilizes vertical corner space, with four ventilated metal shelves set in a wrought iron frame that can be folded away when not in use.
  • The Indoor Plant Pole is a spring-loaded metal tension rod that can be adjusted to fit floor-to-ceiling spaces of 7 feet to 8-1/2 feet, with three adjustable arms for hanging up to three plants at a time; each arm can support a 5-pound plant. It’s especially handy for when you need to temporarily bring outdoor plants indoors to protect them from harsh weather.
  • The metal 3-Tier Plant Stand features three shelves that fold down individually for space-saving when not in use. The tops of the shelves are made from Travertine stone; the frame legs are flared outwards for stability. The Metal Plant Stand, with slate shelves, has similar features. Both can be used outdoors as well as indoors.

More types of house plant storage stands can be found here.


Battery Organizers


National Fire Prevention Week is coming up–time to clean out that junk drawer and organize your batteries!  Why single out batteries?   Because batteries stored in drawers surrounded by metal objects (including other batteries) and flammable items can be hazardous:  Battery posts that come into contact with metal are capable of inducing enough heat to spark a battery fire.

So now you know why batteries shouldn’t be stored loose in a cluttered drawer. (There are those who also believe batteries last longer when stored in the freezer or refrigerator, but Everyday Einstein explains why that’s a fallacy.)

Luckily, there are battery organizers that make it easy to store batteries safely and accessibly.  Some are designed to hang inside a cabinet door or on a wall; others are made to fit inside a drawer; and some even include a battery tester.  There are even battery organizers that have all the above attributes.  And there are portable battery caddies too.  Here’s a sampling of the different types of battery organizers:

  • The Battery Storage Rack (which includes a removable battery tester) can either be stored in a drawer or mounted using the included screws and wall anchors.  It has compartments forBattery Storage Rack Image four 9-Volt batteries, six D batteries, eight C batteries, 39 AA batteries 25 AAA batteries and five button batteries.
  • The portable Storacell Original Battery Caddy is a compact, easy to access battery dispenser and organizer. It holds 12 AA’s, four AAA’s, two C’s and one 9-Volt battery. Originally designed for pilots, it allows you to dispense batteries with one hand for safety and convenience.  It also provides terminal protection at both ends regardless of how the battery is inserted, and a built-in hook for hanging.
  • The drawer-oriented Battery Storage Organizer is also portable, thanks to attached snap-close lid.  Constructed from clear polypropylene plastic, it features four compartments sized for 12 AAA batteries, 12 AA batteries, six C batteries, and four D batteries.

There are also similar individual battery storage boxes made for specific sizes of batteries.

More battery organizers can be found here.


Pegboard Storage Systems


pegboard storagePegboard storage systems are among the most versatile types of organizing solutions. And they’re not just for tools and garages–they’re also effective in bathroom cabinets,  laundry rooms, closets, home offices and kitchens.  (In fact, one of the most famous pegboard storage systems was in Julia Child’s kitchen–it’s preserved in the Smithsonian!)

Nowadays, the best pegboard organizers aren’t actually made of pegboard since metal (heavy gauge steel) has proven to be a better material.  Thanks to metal pegboard’s strength and durability, there are many pegboard possibilities–the basic type with hooks has evolved to accommodate all types of holders, including baskets, bins, shelves, clips and pockets.

Here are several different kinds of effective pegboard storage systems:

  • The Pegboard Basket and Hook Station is especially useful for laundry room, home office and crafts organizing–it’s a spacious wire basket with eight large hooks underneath; each hook is capped with silicone for added protection. It has attached pegboard hooks along with mounting hardware.
  • Wall Control Pegboards come in a wide variety of styles (even pegboard jewelry organizers) and in eight colors; the pegboards feature slots (for holding brackets) as well as hook holes.
  • The modular metal Garage Wall Storage System and Tool Organizer is a hybrid–it’s a pegboard system attached to a frame that also features shelving, wire baskets, hooks and bins. It includes an array of interchangeable and expandable components made from heavy-gauge epoxy-coated steel.  The mounting hardware provides a variety of hanging storage options for saws, hammers, screwdrivers, pruners and other household and gardening tools.

For more pegboard organizing ideas, check out the Family Handyman’s Organize Anything With Pegboard.


Answer: Vertical storage


Q. My husband had a stroke that affected his swallow mechanism, so it takes him a long time to eat and therefore a meal can take two hours. Because he is at the table so long, a lot of items he needs stay on the table for a long time.  I have tried baskets and trays, but the result is the same – a spread out mess on the table.  The table is next to a wall, so I know there must be some way to use that wall for vertical storage, but I don’t have time to shop.  Your suggestions will be much appreciated.

A. To create vertical storage on your dining table, I recommend a stand-alone, three-level tiered shelf organizer, designed to sit on a flat surface so you don’t need to attach it to the wall.  Also known as stair-step risers, they’re available in a variety of sizes and styles.

You might also consider using a three-tiered rolling cart next to or under the table that can be easily rolled away after mealtime.


Junk drawer organizers


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 compartmentsJunk Drawer Organizer Image 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 includeExpandable and Adjustable Drawer Dividers Kit Image 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.



Answer: Organizer for vitamins


Q. My husband takes about 20 different vitamins and supplements and the bottles are always cluttering up our kitchen counter.  He also sometimes has difficulty opening and closing the bottles. So I’ve been trying to find an organizer-dispenser that can accommodate up to 20 separate batches of large tablets and capsules. But all the ones I’ve seen are either made for small pills or they don’t have enough compartments.  Do you have any suggestions?

A. I think the 20-drawer Small Parts Storage Cabinet could work well as a space-saving dispenser and organizer for vitamins.  Each clear drawer can be pulled out completely for easy access when filling, and you can put adhesive labels on the drawer handles for identification.  (If you use Erasable Labels, you’ll be able to make changes easily when needed.) Small Parts Storage Cabinet Image

The only drawback is that this is not a totally air-tight container; therefore you might want to store it inside a cupboard, on the most accessible shelf.

More ideas for vitamin and pill organizers can be found here.



Linen closet organizing tips


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.


Answer: Storing fabrics


Q. I am needing to transfer and store various fabrics: extra shower curtains for vacation rentals, bedspreads I alternate seasonally on our guest houses, and fabric for planned projects, curtains changed out, etc. I have them in overly large bins that are impractical, large, heavy to move or stack or store anywhere. They are now cluttering up my bedroom edges. I have a closet space I think might hold some of this after I purge some more. It stands 68-70 inches tall (space inside is higher due to framing) 18 inches wide, 20 inches deep.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

A. I recommend storing all of these items by hanging them–folded carefully–on heavy-duty open-ended hangers. Comforter and Blanket Hanger ImageThe Comforter and Blanket Hanger (pictured) is a good example.  This type of storage solution also works well for storing tablecloths and quilts.

For additional hanging space, you can install towel bars on the inside of the closet door, or use an over-the-door towel rack which requires no installation.


Purse Organizer Inserts


Is your purse like a black hole that constantly swallows up your wallet, keys, phone, glasses, pens, coupons or whatever else you’re frantically looking for?   An organized purse may seem unattainable, but there’s hope.

Purse organizer inserts not only make sure your purse stays organized, they also make it easy to switch purses. These handy handbag organizers feature interior and exterior compartments sized to neatly hold just about everything you like to carry in your purse. Here are three examples of purse organizer inserts that can create and maintain order inside even the most chaotic purses:

  • Pouchee Purse Organizers feature nine exterior pockets (including one that’s perfect Pouchee Purse Organizer - Pink Cotton Imagefor holding pens), two metal ring handles at the top, and a magnetic snap closure.  The interior has three main divided sections, one zipper pocket inside (ideal for carrying cash), two small interior side pockets and a wide slip pocket sized for receipts or coupons. The Pouchee is available in several styles and a range of colors and materials.
  • Chameleon Handbag Inserts come in six sizes and both a structured and unstructured version, all with 16 pockets; one of the designs even has a removable pocket.
  • The RFID Blocking Purse Organizer provides plenty of pockets inside and out, plus protection from tech-savvy identity thieves with long-distance RFID readers. It features RFID blocking technology that prevents unauthorized access to credit card numbers and other personal information.  The four inside pockets are elasticized at the top; there’s also a large central interior pocket, three open outside pockets and a long zippered outside pocket.

For other purse organization ideas, check out my purse organizing tips and purse storage solutions.


Answer: Storing framed photos & artwork


Q. I’m trying to organize an unearthly amount in a basement. We live in a very small home. We are using a basement bedroom for storage. In our previous home I had a very large photo collage wall full of black-framed family adventures. I don’t have plans to put it back up….yet. I also have large frames of artwork that we rotate throughout the house. I have a 5 foot square area all taken up with these frames and stored art. I have no idea how to manage it. Ideas?

A. Your framed photos can be stored in a large multi-drawer chest such as the Iris Wide Three-Drawer Storage Chest.  Be sure to layer them with a piece of cardboard between each framed piece to prevent scratches, and label the drawers to make it easy to identify which photos are inside.Iris Wide Three-Drawer Storage Chest - Black Image

For storage of the large framed artworks, simply stand them upright in a cardboard carton; to protect the frames, sandwich them between cardboard or poster boards that are slightly higher than the frames so you can label them (like file dividers) for easy identification.