14 Smart Storage Accessories
Welcoming guests and hosting family gatherings requires you to have lot of extras on hand, but where to put it all?
These clever organizational tools will keep your stuff streamlined so that you can focus on what's really important—especially during holiday seasons: Family, fun, and food.
Lea Schneider, author of Growing Up Organized and member of The National Association of Professional Organizers says getting organized won't just save you time; it'll save you cash, too. Knowing what you have means you're not spending unneccessarily, and making the most of storage means you can invest in economical family sizes. "Take advantage of every square inch," Schneider advises.
Here are 14 great storage tools and products that can help.
You file papers to get them organized; why not file pot lids, cutting boards, and baking sheets away, too? "Things are so much easier to grab in a hurry when they're in an upright rack," Schneider says. This durable easy-to-install gliding chrome-steel rack can hold up to 18 lids securely. All hardware is included for quick installation. It measures 7¼ inches wide by 21 inches deep by 9 inches high.
About $40; Lynk Incorporated
Holiday time means overflowing pantries, so take advantage of every spare bit of space. Take that gap between the fridge and your cabinetry, for instance. This 10-inch-wide rolling caddy with casters and an easy-pull handle slides right into dead space. The 6 shelves are lipped to ensure nothing falls while the unit is in motion. You can also try squeezing this into the laundry room, garage, or any place you have 10 inches to spare. It measures 9 ½ inches wide by 24 inches deep by 56 inches tall.
About $100; Home Marketplace
Shuffling through blades haphazardly thrown into a drawer is as fun as it is dangerous. Organize your tools—and keep them sharp—with this trim-to-fit insert. The customizable piece can hold up to 19 knives and includes a bottom compartment for other utensils. It's available in birch, maple, or bamboo, and measures 18½ inches wide by 22 inches deep by 2 3/8 inches high.
About $60 for wood and $170 for bamboo; Rev-A-Shelf, LLC
"The pro of this option is that it puts to use an otherwise unused space," says Schneider. With the help of this rack, you can create a home for your spices and clear shelf space for other goods. Three trim-to-fit wood and chrome shelves offer full visibility to labels and accommodate a range of standard bottle sizes. The rack measures 13 3/8 inches wide by 4 inches deep by 25 inches high.
About $90; Rev-A-Shelf, LLC
Pro Tip: "Follow the 'next-to' rule and keep spices stored near the stove, but putting them over the stove isn't ideal," advises Schneider. Heat and humidity can degrade flavors and shorten the life spans of your favorite flavor-boosters.
"Spend a few minutes sorting your freezer in the weeks before a holiday. You'll be needing more room there," says Schneider. Then add durable storage levels with these, so you won't have to dig to get to what you want. These two odor and stain-resistant holders measure 13¾ inches wide by 4 inches deep by 13 inches high.
About $30; AP Wagner
Pro Tip: "Make it a habit to add new purchases to the back of the shelf, pulling older meat packages forward so you can use them first," Schneider advises.
Give all those extra bottles of holiday wine a home with this expandable storage system. Swedish pine and steel racks are available in starter sets of either 14 shelves (to hold 126 bottles) or 6 shelves (to hold 54 bottles). Depending on the size of your space, you can tuck one into a guest-room closet or convert your basement into a wine cellar. Racks measure 13 inches wide by 32 inches long by 34 - 69 ¼ inches high.
From about $120; Brookstone
Holiday entertaining and cleaning up go hand in hand. Keep your soaps, sprays, and everything else in that awkward space under your sink organized with this customizable shelving unit. Cleaning supplies keep company with sink plumbing under there; this plastic and metal unit features segmented shelves that you can slide into position to accommodate pipes. Now you can make use of the upper part of the cabinet and not just the base. The rack measures 18¼ to 33 inches long by 11 inches deep by 17¼ inches high.
About $15; Made Smart
"The typical kitchen cabinet has a lot of wasted space," explains Schneider. "You can't see or get to what's in the back, so things get forgotten and food items can get outdated, especially in lower cabinets." Create a system in your existing cabinets that allows you to see and access everything in the pantry. These solid wood units allow you to customize the height of shelves and glide each unit out of the way on piano hinges. All necessary hardware is included. The kits are available in a range of heights, from 25 inches for lower cabinets to 57 inches.
About $470 for a complete 45-inch kit; Rev-A-Shelf via Cabinetparts.com
Avoid an avalanche of rumpled linens when your dinner guests decide to overnight. These collapsible organizers come in 3 sizes to create storage sections in your closet. The small ones hold pillowcases and washcloths, medium holds sheets and bath towels, and blankets and pillows can live in the large ones. Sturdy fiberboard panels are covered in 100% cotton twill fabric and label windows allow you to see where things are without having to pull linens off of shelves. When they're not in use, each unit folds flat for storage.
From about $19; Kangaroom
Stacking expensive chinaware can be risky business. Moving them safely out of off-season obscurity can be quite a feat, too. These durable, quilted microfiber cases are each uniquely designed to hold 12 standard sauce, dessert, salad, and dinner plates each. Built-in felt dividers protect the plates from one another and each case's contents are kept secure with a complete zip closure. Label and easy-view windows allow you to see what's inside before disturbing contents.
About $27 for the set; Organize.com
Protect 12 fragile flutes with this luxe faux leather case. The cushioned inner features trimmed dividers to protect glasses from collision and a snug lid with snap closure to keep your pieces clean and free of dust. You could tuck it away in the off-season, but the box is beautiful enough to keep out year-round.
About $40; Organize.com
"You might not have had that silver out all summer. Check around the second week of November to see what items need polishing," advises Schneider. Or, you could save yourself the trouble of polishing altogether by storing your flatware in this pouch. It's made entirely of silversmith's cloth, which contains the tarnish preventative R-22. The flapped case features a three-sided zip closure to block airborne sulphur, the cause of darkening. It can hold up to 120 pieces securely in built-in notches. It measures 19 inches wide by 12 inches deep by 2½ inches high.
About $35; Hagerty
Food containers create a common kitchen storage problem—good luck finding the lids to match the bowls when they all come tumbling out at you. Meanwhile, "foil-wrapped mystery bundles in the fridge make for forgotten leftovers that turn into science experiments," says Schneider. "You'll want to get food storage containers that are stackable and transparent, so you can see what's inside." This 49-piece set comes with eight 22-ounce containers, eight 12-ounce containers, eight 6-ounce containers, 24 lids, and a carousel to house them all. Containers are microwave-, dishwasher-, and freezer-safe. Carousel measures 11 inches wide by 6 inches deep by 11 inches high.
About $20; Prime Pacific Trading
According to Schneider's holiday checklist, you'll also want to check on linens during the second week of November. "Look for things that need to be washed or pressed. Once pressed, fold items to fit on a hanger until you're ready to use them," she advises.
Plan ahead and these stackable vacuum-seal space totes can help to eliminate a chore during the busy holiday season; laundered items will stay as fresh as the day you washed them when released from this airtight storage bag months later. The totes are reinforced with sturdy canvas and have handles for easy moving. It measures 25 ½ inches wide by 10 ½ inches deep by 19 ¾ inches tall.
About $27; Space Bag via Do It Best Hardware