Living Space

Living Space: How to get organized

Tribune Content AgencyJanuary 17, 2014 

Corral all your makeup in a single basket you can grab quickly and easily.

FOTOLIA

Now that the holidays are over, retailers are eager to help us get organized for the year ahead. There’s certainly good reason to adopt some fresh storage strategies as you pack away holiday decorations and get ready for tax season.

Even if you don’t want to think about your taxes yet or where to stash all those tangled Christmas lights, this is a good time to grab some bargains on storage products.

Party in the pantry

Leftover holiday sets of storage containers are often available at home centers and retailers after the New Year, or they go on special at this time. Getting your pantry organized is easy with products like the Oxo Good Grips 12-piece popup lid set ($79, Samsclub.com). Square canisters fit neatly and easily on pantry shelves.

Fill in shelves with stackable baskets to hold items like ramen soups or packaged noodles. Add a large plastic basket to a shelf, and stock it with sugar and flour canisters to make assembling items for baking as easy as pulling the basket off the shelf.

Organize the bathroom

Banish counter clutter in containers you can tuck away under the sink. Combs, brushes, bottles and other hair products can be stored in a basket. Drop toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash and floss in a single plastic bin, and whether you store it on top of the counter or underneath, you only have to lift one item instead of five or six to clean. Add a lazy Susan under the counter for other items you use daily, putting them within fast and easy reach.

No one hanging up their bath towels? They will if you provide a towel warmer. Plug one in, and when everyone gets a toasty towel to wrap up in after a shower, they’ll gladly hang them up.

If digging through your makeup collection every morning is tedious, get it together with a cosmetic organizer. For about $20, you’ll be able to see and find you need quickly without rooting through a drawer (Organized Living Cosmetic organizer, Overstock.com). Weary of that messy shower caddy? If you have a shower stall, opt for a standing shower caddy rather than one hanging over the spray arm.

Conquer the laundry

Wall units similar to garage wall systems are available for laundry rooms and easily keep cleaning supplies neat and tidy.

The Flow Wall Laundry System creates 24 feet of organized laundry room space with buckets to hold cleaners and hooks that can handle everything from spray bottles to a stepladder or ironing board ($225, Overstock.com). Even simple wire shelving with pull-out baskets can quickly transform a jumbled mess to an organized work center.

Around the house

There’s almost no place in the house that couldn’t stand a little organization. Store TV remotes in a basket, add a shoe rack by the door, and put a trunk organizer in your car to corral jumper cables, maps and umbrellas in one neat spot.

Don’t let January go by without stocking up on organizers, large and small, widely available at dollar stores, hardware centers and big box retailers.

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