Photo storage solutions


Digital photos may be great, but print photos aren’t disappearing anytime soon.  If you have drawers stuffed with disorganized photos and half-finished albums, you ‘re not alone. (There’s even an organization called the Association of Personal Photo Organizers for those seeking help with their photo clutter.)

Although there are various types of print photo storage systems (the shoebox style is perennially popular), few provide a way to easily view photos in addition to storing them.

Here are three different types of space-saving photo storage solutions that let you actually see the pictures you’re saving:

  • The Fotoview Photo Organizer Box allows you to view, store and organize up to 300 4-inch by 6-inch photo prints in six compartments made of clear plastic.  The compartments are attached to a base and angled to swing open and closed.  This photo organizer can also store various photo discs and CDs. Labels are included which make it easy to clearly mark each photo storage compartment, and the entire unit is made of acid-free plastic.
  • Picture Pockets are hanging photo holders that store and display up to 80 4-inch by 6-inch photos in 40 double-sided pockets (you can insert photos on both sides for twice the storage). This type of “hanging photo gallery” can be hung on a wall or even from the ceiling.
  • The clear Plastic Photo Storage Box comes with six individual removable cases that hold 100 4-inch by 6-inch photos (for a total of 600 photos); the cases all fit neatly inside the box. Constructed of transparent acid-free plastic, the cases provide a simple way to organize your photos by event, chronological order or any way you see fit. The box and each of the cases snap closed to ensure safe storage of your photographs.



Hearth Organizers


Santa Claus appreciates a tidy hearth.  But if you have a working fireplace, firewood clutter can be a problem.

Luckily logs and kindling needn’t be a jumble of lumber, thanks to the help of space-saving hearth organizers.  Here are three different types that will make Santa smile:

  • The hammered steel Hearth Essentials Wood Rack is thoughtfully designed with three open compartments.  The main Hearth Essentials Wood Rack Imagesection is large enough to contain a full night’s worth of firewood; a shelf on the bottom is ideal for neatly storing a stack of newspaper; and a side holder is perfectly sized for kindling and firestarters.
  • Also of hammered steel, both the Log Rack with Tools and the Compact Hammered Steel Log Rack with Tools provide two-section storage for firewood and kindling, and include three essential fireplace tools–a shovel, poker and small broom, which hang handily on side hooks. These log racks require only a minimal amount of space, with a footprint of just over one square foot.
  • The Firewood Carrier Bag and Rack is a two-piece firewood storage and collection system consisting of a roomy Firewood Carrier Bag and Rack Imagecotton-duck canvas bag and a sturdy hammered-steel rack. The vertical arch rack design provides maximum log storage while occupying minimal hearth space. The bag, which has a side pocket for storing kindling, can be removed from the rack to collect firewood and then hung back on the rack when filled.  Another helpful feature is that the bag keeps chips and dirt off your floor.

More hearth organizers–aka indoor firewood racks–can be found here.


Christmas Decoration Holders


So many Christmas decorations–so little time to hang them!

Christmas wreaths, lights, garlands, ornaments and stockings–all are lovely expressions of your holiday spirit.  But when not hung up in time for the season, they become clutter.

Good intentions can turn into Christmas clutter when you accumulate decorations without acquiring simple solutions for hanging them up.  Luckily there are now a number of easy-to-use Christmas decoration holders.  Here are five excellent examples that don’t require any nails-or-screws installation:

  • If your tree is overflowing or you just want to highlight a special ornament, consider the Christmas Ornament Stand.  Constructed of thick metal wire with a black finish, the elegant arched design has a side base for stability and is under 6 inches in diameter so it can fit on almost any surface.
  • The cast iron Holiday Stocking Hanger lets you safely hang Christmas stockings on the fireplace mantle without the need for screws, nails or hooks.   A decorative iron pinecone anchors a single hook that securely holds fully stuffed stockings.
  • The Adjustable Garland Hanger is an over-the-door holder that can hang up Christmas lights, long strands of garland or a decorative wreath. It adjusts to fit any door from 34 to 52 inches wide, and locks into position so you won’t have to worry about it falling down; and with no screws or nails, your door will remain undamaged.  All sizes of garland will hang perfectly on the decorative center and outer hooks to frame your door for the holidays. The center hooks are also perfect for hanging wreaths of any size for every season.
  • Command Outdoor Light Clips are a damage-free way to string your lights around a door, up the siding, under the soffits, around a window, or along the gutter all without nails or screws. Using a new formulation of the revolutionary Command™ Adhesive, these hooks are specially designed to hold strongly outdoors–and like all Command™ products, they remove cleanly with no holes, marks, stains or sticky residue.
  • Over-the-door Wreath Holders are available in several styles and finishes to accent almost any type of door.

Storage Step Stools


Storage step stools are handy double-duty storage solutions. Even though they only provide a relatively minimal amount of storage, they’re ideal for certain purposes.  For example, there are storage step stools designed for holding various tools and supplies, while others work well for toys and “kid stuff”.

Here are some examples of those two very different types of space-saving storage step stools:

  • Two-step.  Usually made of wood, two-step storage step stools are often (but not always) designed for children. The 15-inch-high wooden Step Stool is a good height for use next to a high bed; it features a concealed storage area under the bottom step which is handy for storing socks, slippers, knitting supplies or whatever you want to keep by the bed but not on your nightstand..  The 12-inch-high Kids Storage Step-up has a similar design but with storage hidden in the top step and side-slot handles for easy transport.
  • Single-step with lift-out tray.  Constructed of heavy-duty molded plastic, this type of storage step stool–really a cross between a toolbox and a step stool–usually features a hinged step-surface that flips up to reveal a removable divided tray atop a deep storage compartment.  A good example is the Stand ‘n Store Step Stool –with a weight capacity of 300 lbs, this double-duty dynamo is a favorite with gardeners since hand tools can be stored inside while the height (15 inches) is comfortable for sitting when working in the yard. The lift-out tray measures 14 inches wide by 8-1/4 inches deep by 1-5/8 inches high. A similar storage stool is the Step Stool Tool Box which differentiates itself by its tongue-and-groove design that keeps water out of the inner compartment; the toolbox is contractor-grade quality, with a strong latch on the front that keeps the lid secure.

Other types of step stools can be found here.


Adjustable height desks


adjustable height desks
Adjustable height desks are ergonomically superior to standard desks since they allow you to work either sitting (at various heights) or standing.  And because they utilize vertical space, they’re also space-efficient.

There are also desk risers that mimic adjustable height desks–they’re designed to be used on desk tops, so you don’t have to invest in a new desk to take advantage of the benefits of a stand-up desk.

Here are three adjustable options that can help you become more well-adjusted–or at least make your workspace more ergonomically efficient:

  • The Height Adjustable Desk Riser lets you turn any desk into a standing workstation. It adjusts to 10 different height positions so you can customize your work surface to your individual comfort level. Dual side handles and a spring-lift mechanism makes it easy to raise or lower the riser; the spacious top surface provides plenty of space for your computer monitor; and a separate keyboard tray holds your keyboard and mouse. It supports up to 33 pounds and measures 35-1/2 inches wide by 36 inches deep by 16-3/4 inches high. There’s also a slightly smaller and more economical version called the Multi-Position Desk Riser.
  • The Adjustable Desktop is a similar but less customizable riser.  A pneumatic air cylinder smoothly lifts the work surface while the spring-loaded bumper enables easy lowering of the desktop. The edges gently slope downward to keep your forearms comfortable while typing or maneuvering a mouse. The 31-1/2-inch wide by 22-1/4-inch-deep work surface can easily accommodate a laptop or even dual monitors.
  • The rolling Stand Up Computer Desk can be adjusted to work as a sit-down desk. A large top surface offers space for your computer monitor; the lower two shelves provide room for your accessories. A retractable keyboard tray slides under the work surface when not needed. Four swiveling caster wheels make the unit easy to move; two of the casters lock in place to keep the desk stationary.

More types of computer desks can be found here.

You might also like to read this Organize-It Blog post on ergonomic workstations.


Answer: Under bathroom sink shelves


Q. The cabinet under my bathroom sink is 32 inches wide, 20 inches deep and 15.5 inches high; however, there is the plumbing trap and hot & cold water cut offs near the center of the bottom of the cabinet.  What kind of storage would you suggest for me to maximize this under cabinet space?  I would like two levels to maximize the storage.

A. There are two under-sink shelf organizers that should fit your cabinet–each is 15.5 inches high, 15.5 inches deep, and expand from 17 to 27.5 inches wide: the Under Sink Shelf Organizer and the Expandable Under Sink Organizer.  Both have two levels and are designed with adjustable panels that accommodate under-sink plumbing. 



Rolling pantry organizers


Rolling pantry organizers are sanity savers as well as space savers. These handy storage solutions make it easy to store and access items in awkward spaces, such as the narrow gap alongside a refrigerator or on the floor of a pantry closet–places where it’s easy to lose or overlook stuff.

Many rolling pantry organizers (sometimes called pull-out pantry organizers) require installation–here are three space-maximizers that don’t:

  • The 5-Tier Slide Out Pantry is a 54-inch-tall rolling shelf caddy that’s a mere 5.25 inches wide and 18 inches deep, so it can easily fit between your fridge and counter, cabinet or wall.  The five shelves provide plenty of room to organize packaged foods, canned goods and cleaning supplies. The raised sides on each shelf prevent items from falling off when the unit is rolled out.
  • A similar option, but smaller, is the three-shelf Slide Out Storage Tower–it’s just 5 inches wide but over 21 inches long and about 30 inches high (which also makes it useful as a laundry room caddy, since it can fit between a washer and dryer).
  • The heavy-duty steel chrome wire Slide Out Pantry utilizes your pantry floor while keeping items off the floor.  The ventilated design makes it ideal for storing produce. It expands from 16 to 24 inches wide to fit your available space. Slide Out Pantry Image

More ideas on this topic can be found in my post Kitchen Pantry Organizers.




Footwear Storage Solutions


shoe organization
Tennis shoes, boots, flip-flops, high heels, loafers, sandals, ballet slippers…the list of footwear seems almost endless. (Fun footwear fact: There are at least nine shoe museums around the world.)  And the more pairs you have, the more space you need to store them.

Fortunately there are space-savers designed to let you store the maximum amount of footwear in the smallest footprint (pardon the pun).

Here are three space-saving footwear storage solutions that can accommodate all different kinds and sizes of footwear:

  • The rotating Adjustable Boot Tree (only 12 inches in diameter) features three tiers of storage that can hold up to six pairs of boots or nine pairs of shoes–or a combination of both. The tiers revolve individually and are adjustable in height.  The system also includes six sets of boot shapers.  Other thoughtful features are a weighted base for stability and a carrying handle.
  • The Boot Storage Bag is only 6 inches high–making it ideal for under-bed storage–and has four spacious compartments sized to store up to four pairs of boots or large-size shoes.  The clear vinyl zippered top allows you to view the contents while keeping them dust-free. Side handles make it easy to access the bag from underneath a bed.  It can also be stored upright on a shelf.
  • The Large Hanging Closet Shoe Organizer will fit on any size closet rod and holds up to 10 pairs of shoes, yet only requires 8 inches of hanging space. It features compartments that are roomier (8 inches wide by 14 inches deep) than those of standard sized hanging shoe organizers, to accommodate extra-large shoes (including men’s) and short boots–they’re even large enough to hold shoe boxes.  Made of breathable natural canvas, it hangs from two heavy-duty metal hooks.

More footwear storage ideas can be found in my posts on shoe organizers,
boot storage and new shoe storage solutions.



Mobile Office Organizers


Mobile Office OrganizersIf you spend a lot of time in your car for your job or business, you know what a challenge it is to work while on the road.   Keeping paperwork and necessary supplies organized while juggling various electronic devices is no easy task.

Luckily there are mobile office organizers designed to turn the front seat of almost any vehicle into an efficient work station.  Depending on your needs and car space, there are several types to choose from.  Here are three of the best mobile office organizers:

  • The Mobile iPad Desk features a Mobile iPad Desk Imagepull-out writing surface that offers ample work space; a non-slip grip top surface; separate compartments for holding hanging files, writing utensils, small electronics and notebooks or binder; and an adjustable cradle to fit most tablets, including iPads 1 and 2, Galaxies and Nooks. The support cups contain open slots providing access to audio jacks, USB outlets and other ports. This type of mobile office organizer must be seat-belted into the front passenger seat.
  • The Steering Wheel Desk and Tablet Mount is a two-piece system–the “desk” attaches to the lower half of your steering wheel and is strong enough to support small, lightweight laptops; the universal tablet mount secures to the passenger seat bracket and allows you to easily view your tablet.
  • The Travel File Tote is a customizable carryall that can hold everything from hanging files to laptops.  It has removable Velcro-edged padded dividers (two measuring 12-1/2 by 9 inches and two measuring 5-3/4 by 9 inches), a Travel File Tote Imageseat belt security strap on one side so you can strap down the tote; two ergonomic extended side handles that let you carry it comfortably; and a flap lid with Velcro closures to keep everything safely in place.

More ideas for auto organization can be found in my posts on how to conquer car clutter and auto trash container organizers.