How I Solved 7 Annoying Household Challenges

Sometimes all you need is the right product to solve an organizing dilemma.  It can be big.  More often they are small.  Here’s 7 chronic organizing challenges and the products I found that turned them around. 

pile of unorganized shoes

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Bigso Oskar Document Storage Box

solution to > Piles of Loose Paperwork 

My filing system includes keeping two categories of paperwork: (1) items that require action, and (2) items that are ready to be filed.  This system works well for me, but I wanted to find a way to keep the two categories of papers in place and out of sight.  

I ordered a couple of these document boxes on a whim and was so happy with the quality that I ordered more.

Here’s what I like:
  • Ample Size - The size is 13.7 " x 10.2 " x  3.3", which is easily big enough to hold a ream of 8.5" x 11" paper.  Also, a standard size file folder fits nicely into the box without bending, which really comes in handy.
  • Sturdy - and can easily handle being filled to the brim if needed.
  • Multi-purpose - Paperwork is certainly not the only thing they're useful for.  I'm also storing keepsakes and memorabilia in them as well.
  • Stylish - They look great and add a pop of color sitting on my office shelves.  In fact, they're available in multiple colors. 

Kohler Over-the-Sink Drying Rack & Caddy

solution to > Crowded Counter Space Behind Sink

I used to store dish washing items on the small counter space behind the kitchen sink: dish detergent, Dobie cleaning pads, bottle brush, etc. But even when it was tidy, it always looked a bit cluttered.

Enter this over-the-sink caddy.  It changed the look and functionality of our sink area for the better and I wish I would have found it sooner!

Here’s what I like:
  • Great use of space - The sleek design holds items across the upper part of the sink so there is still room for items to sit below it in the basin.
  • Tidies up the sink area - No more clutter on the counter space behind the sink! We refill a small bottle of dish detergent and sit it in the storage cup. Any brushes and scrubbing pads fit nicely on the rack.
  • Multi-purpose - There are lots of ways to use the caddy. If you use a dish cloth, you can drape it over the side rail. You can use the rack and cup to drain a small number of items or flatware after washing or rinsing. Or the cup can be used to store and soak utensils until you put them in the dishwasher.
  • Stays in place - The arms on each end are coated with non-slip material and it stays where we put it.

mDesign Single Serve Tea Bag Divided Box

solution to > Keeping Teabags Tidy and Easy to Find

If you like tea, it’s hard to limit yourself to one kind.  And even if you don’t love tea, it’s great to have on hand when guests visit.

I have boxes of different kinds in my cupboard, from caffeinated & decaffeinated, to herbal, to specialty blends.  This meant finding and opening the right box every time I made a cup of tea.

But now, it’s simple and convenient to grab the right bag, or to offer a selection to guests.

Here’s what I like:
  • Easy to find exactly what you want - Instead of lookng for the right box, there is always a variety at our fingertips.
  • Space saver - I don't have to store all the tea boxes where they'll be convenient to get at on a regular basis. I can put them out of the way for refills, and just keep this box in my kitchen cupboard or on my countertop.
  • Looks nice - The box is made of clear, sturdy plastic so the colorful bags are easy to see. It's simple and pretty to look at.

SpiceLiner Spice Rack Drawer Organizer

solution to > Storing Spices Neatly in a Drawer

After a recent move, I went from storing spices in a cabinet to keeping them in a drawer.  Since this was a change for me, I went looking for products to help make the most of the space.

What I found were these liner strips designed to keep spice bottles in place and not rolling and bumping into each other while you’re opening and closing the drawer.

I’m now getting used to having a spice drawer and liking it.

Here’s what I like:
  • Customizable size - You can buy precut strips or you can buy a roll and cut to custom lengths to perfectly fit your drawer. I bought the precut strips, which work well, but do slide a little because they aren't the full length of our drawers. I would suggest buying the longer rolls and cutting them yourself.
  • Simple - It's ridiculously easy to install.
  • Keeps spices in place - It does its job and keeps those jars where you put them.

Safco Multi-Compartment Vertical Organizer

solution to > Keeping Binders Upright and in Place

I love using binders to organize.  And with homeschool, business, and personal items to keep in order, I make use of lots of them. 

What I don’t like is how awkward binders are to store.  I tried stacking them, standing them, and bookending them but each method had its drawbacks.

That is why this vertical organizer is one of my absolutely favorite organizing tools!  It completely solves the problem of what to do with binders.

Here’s what I like:
  • Keeps binders tidy and easy to access - The binders are organized on my office shelves, I can see each binder spine label clearly. And they're easy to take out and put back. I bought my son a set and he's got his school binders organized the same way.
  • Sturdy - These are not flimsy. They're made of steel, even the mesh, and will last for years.
  • Different sizes - I purchased the 8-Slot version but there is also a 5-slot version.

Home-Complete 3-Tier Shoe Rack

solution to > Shoes Piling Up Near the Door

We had an ever-present pile of shoes just inside our front door, which then became a pile of shoes inside our front closet.

Although we considered other shoe storage solutions, they weren’t going to come close to solving the dilemma.

But this rack made a huge difference simply because it holds so many pairs of shoes while taking up a minimum of floor space.

Here’s what I like:
  • Holds up to 18 pairs of adult shoes - We tried and fit 18 pairs of adult shoes, including work boots, on these shelves.
  • Small footprint - Since there are three tiers, the shelves only take up a narrow section of floor space and make use of your home's vertical space.
  • Shoes sit flat - I really like this feature because it's easy to sit the shoes on the racks. With tilted racks, it can take more effort to get the shoes in place and they have more of a tendency to fall off. I will say that this is not the best selection for storing shoes with pointed heels because the racks have spaces that the heels would slip into.
  • Lightweight and plastic - This is a plus for me because it can be easily moved if needed. Because it's plastic you can use it for wet, muddy and snowy shoes without a second thought.

Copco Non-Skid Lazy Susan Turntable

solution to > Using the Space in Deep Corner Cabinets

You can’t have too much cabinet space, and many of us wish we had even more.  So when it came to our deep corner kitchen cabinets, I had to find a way to use the space and make it practical.

A lazy susan was the obvious choice, but this one had to be large and turn easily even while supporting the weight of lots of items.

The one I found has done the trick and given me three cupboards of space that would have been frustrating and inefficient otherwise.

Here’s what I like:
  • Fits our deep cabinet - We needed a large 18" turntable for our cabinets, which is not available with all brands, and it fits nicely. They also make smaller sizes.
  • Makes space usable - I would have a lot of really inconvenient cabinet storage on my hands without these lazy susans. With them, I'm making good use of an awkward space.
  • Smooth turning action - Easy to turn with no jerky action, even when filled.
  • Rimmed edge and non-skid surface - I don't have to deal with items falling off the edge or sliding around when I spin the turntable.

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