6 Organization Ideas That Make Weekdays Less Chaotic
Cooking, cleaning and hunting down spare double-A batteries eats up about 2 1/2 hours each day, a 2013 study found. Here's how to reclaim some lost time.
Photo: Naomi Kim
The Kitchen Organizer You Didn't Know You Had
Tension rods aren't just useful for hanging curtains in a flash or doubling your under-sink storage—they can also streamline your kitchen cupboards. Install them vertically on a shelf to create custom dividers for storing your baking sheets, muffin tins and cutting boards, as Brette Sember recommends in The Organized Kitchen, and you can avoid dealing with an avalanche of trays any time you try to wriggle one out. It could shave a minute or two off your fridge-to-table cooking record.
Photo: Handmade in the Heartland
The Unexpected Alternative to Your Old Makeup Bag
The average woman spends close to 6 1/2 hours a week (or roughly two weeks per year) getting ready, a 2014 AOL/Today Show survey found, and although the study didn't delve into it, we imagine at least a few hours of those two weeks involve rummaging through shelves and makeup bags for that mascara that you just used yesterday or the bronzer you swore you just had in your hand. That's why we love this DIY Magnetic Makeup Board idea from Handmade in the Heartland: Just cover a sheet of metal with your favorite fabric or gift wrap, and add magnets to your go-to eye shadows, brushes and BB cream, and you have them within arm's reach.
Photo: Ashley Johnston/MakeIt-LoveIt.com
The Cure for Too-Short Charger Cables
If you've ever stumbled over a charging cord that was stretched from the outlet to a side table, you may want to take a cue from MakeIt-LoveIt.com blogger Ashley Johnston, who turned an old lotion bottle into a cell phone holster. The container keeps your phone close to the outlet, and tucks away the cable, so you don't have to worry about tripping over your cell again. (Johnston notes that she's had no problems using the holster, but commenters on the blog suggest sticking an adhesive hook on the wall near the outlet—that way the cord is still contained, but the holster isn't resting against the socket.)
Photo: Sarah Hearts
The Little Reminder That Saves Your Skinny Jeans
No matter how pulled together you are, last-minute loads of laundry are inevitable. And in the mid-week scramble, it can be easy to go on autopilot and shove everything from the washer into the dryer—including those borderline-highwater pants that can't afford to shrink anymore. It's prompted Sarah Khandjian to keep a dry erase marker next to the washer, so she can jot down anything that needs to air dry, then wipe it off the washing machine as soon as the laundry's done. (Worried about losing it? Try gluing a magnet to the marker or Velcro-ing it to the top corner of the machine.)
Photo: Jennifer Jones/IHeartOrganizing.com
The One Thing That's Missing from Your Junk Drawer
Little containers can corral pens, batteries and half-used bottles of hand sanitizer so your junk drawer has a sense of order—at least until people take things out and forget what goes where. I Heart Organizing blogger Jennifer Jones puts vinyl labels on the bottom of each divider, taking the guesswork out of keeping things orderly. Also, Jones recommends putting a strip of rug tape under the dividers so they don't move around when you open and close the drawer.
Photo: A Thoughtful Place Blog
The Bathroom Space-Saver to Borrow from Your Closet
Grabbing hairspray in the morning shouldn't be like playing an extra-annoying version of Pick-Up Sticks, where you slowly try to remove the bottle without accidentally jostling the 47 other ones, yet it so often is. A Thoughtful Place blogger Courtney Fernan has found a surprisingly easy solution: She cut a cloth shoe organizer to the size of the cabinet under her bathroom sink, then screwed it into the inside of the cabinet door. It's the perfect size for holding lotion, hair products and any other beauty potion.