Never enough closet space? Portable closets to the rescue!
Portable closets, aka rolling wardrobes, are ideal for storing out-of-season or infrequently worn clothes and accessories. The old-style rolling wardrobe is basically just a garment rack with a zippered cover–it’s only designed for storage of hanging garments. But portable closets tend to include more features, such as shelves and pockets that allow you to also store folded clothing and other items.
Here are three types of space-efficient portable closets, all with fabric covers and smooth-rolling casters:
- The Rolling Wardrobe Rack offers three storage sections: a top zippered shelving area for folded clothes, hats or handbags; a steel rod that provides 30 linear inches of hanging space; and a ventilated bottom shelf for shoe storage. The roll-up door makes it easy to access hanging garments and footwear; the top section has a triangular flap door.
- The versatile Mobile Wardrobe Center provides multiple storage options–the exterior features eight mesh pockets (sized for four pairs of shoes), a removable hamper bag for laundry (attached by Velcro and with a shoulder strap for easy transport), a wooden bar for hanging ties and scarves, removable pockets for toiletries, and additional pockets for undergarments and socks. The zip-up door has a clear section at the top so you can easily view your hangered clothes.
- The Clothes Armoire with Shelves has four compartments for keeping stacks of folded clothes and accessories organized, plus a closet bar that can hold up to 50 pounds of hanging garments. The bottom part is fully enclosed (unlike that of the Rolling Wardrobe Rack) to keep the contents protected.
Other types of portable closets can be found here.
Whether or not you have the luxury of an entry closet (aka coat closet), it’s a good idea to have an alternative for hanging rain-damp items and other gear that should be aired out.
A wall coat rack or series of individual coat hooks attached to the back of an entry door (or on the wall behind it) may be sufficient for keeping jackets, coats, hats and scarves off the floor. But that still leaves the problem of where to stash wet-weather necessities such as umbrellas, rain boots and shoes, which tend to get left in a jumble by the door.
Luckily there are several types of efficient outerwear organizers with umbrella storage. Here are three of my favorites:
- The practical bamboo 4-Shelf Shoe Rack and Umbrella Stand has four spacious slatted shelves for holding footwear and purses, and a vertical side holder for storing umbrellas, canes and hiking sticks. The entire unit is a relatively compact 28.37 inches wide by 10.62 inches deep by 25-1/4 inches high.
- The handsome wooden Hallway Tree offers storage for everything but shoes–it has eight double coat hooks (two on each of the four sides); two center shelves for holding purses and totes; an umbrella stand; and a small drawer for stashing keys, gloves and other accessories. It towers at 72 inches high and is 17 inches wide and deep.
- The elegant birch wood Mission Style Coat Rack features a lower section for holding umbrellas, four double coat hooks for outerwear and hats, plus two drawers on top for stowing small items. Shoes can be tucked under the umbrella section. It measures a slender 16 by 16 inches and is 60 inches high.
To learn about other kinds of entryway storage systems, see my previous posts on this topic.
Craft carts are great storage solutions for more than arts and crafts supplies. With multiple drawers and compartments of various sizes, these handy carts can help you keep all sorts of supplies organized and easily accessible: office supplies, beauty supplies, gift wrapping supplies, pet supplies…
Here are three examples of well-designed craft carts:
- The dual-sided Craft Storage Cart has three built-in drawers, a large open compartment and two open shelves on one side; on the back are four dowels, an open compartment and three smaller sections. The dowels can be used for storing ribbons, yarn, rolls of stickers and other spool-oriented supplies.
- The slim 10 Drawer Storage Cart consists of 10 plastic drawers in five colors (two drawers of each color) on a steel frame. Each drawer measures 12 inches wide by 15 inches deep and the five colors allow you to color-code stored items; the drawers can be easily rearranged into different color combinations. Two of the casters lock securely in place to keep the cart stationary.
- The translucent 12 Drawer Rolling Cart features four large drawers, eight shallow drawers and a spacious top shelf that can be used as a work surface. The metal frame rises into handles on each side for easy transport. And since the drawers are semi-transparent, it’s easy to see what’s stored within them.
Other types of craft carts can be found here.
Are your kitchen drawers a disaster? Any drawer has the potential to become a cluttered mess, but kitchen drawers are especially vulnerable since they’re used so often.
Deep drawers and shallow drawers present different challenges. Outfitting them with the right kitchen drawer organizers can make a wonderful difference. Here are three of the most effective types of kitchen drawer organizers:
- For deep drawers, the Umbra Kitchen Drawer Organizers set offers a flexible way to create and maintain order. This is a simple pegboard system designed to keep food storage containers, cookware and other bulky items in place. Two plastic pegboards are included in each set along with 16 pegs; one end of each board is extendable to fit larger drawer spaces (expanding from 17-3/4 to 21-1/2 inches in length). The easily repositionable pegs lock into the pegboard to organize items of all shapes and sizes.
- For shallower drawers dedicated to storing cooking utensils, the Silicone Drawer Organizer Set is ideal–it consists of a green silicone base mat (20 inches by 14 inches) that’s cuttable to fit any size drawer in your kitchen, along with 15 dividers (Divitz) which can be arranged on the base mat to keep utensils secure and prevent sliding. The silicone material is easy to clean and food-grade safe, and it’s also available in a neutral color.
- For cutlery drawers, the Expand-A-Drawer Cutlery Organizer provides five sections for flatware and two large side compartments for kitchen utensils. Constructed of smooth white plastic, the sides pull out to expand the tray from 9 inches to 16 inches wide. When the expandable sides are pulled out, two new compartments are created. The adjustable compartments can be up to 3-1/2 inches wide, and the sections run the entire length of the organizer so they’ll fit long spoons and serving utensils.