My favorite places to shop are aisles that offer organizing items that help to keep drawers and closets neat. Those stores whose total inventory is made up of such things present a serious temptation for me to “buy.” Yet, I rarely come home with something new. When I study the situation, I decide that what I’m already using works just fine and often better.
Margarine tubs are perfect for the freezer. The large ones are great for chicken and beef stock and easier to wash than those with four corners that catch the solid fat. The small containers hold exactly the right amount of ripe peppers for a making of pimento cheese.
Sturdy flat boxes like those that cards and stationery come in make perfect dividers for dresser and desk drawers. I have bought some plastic divider trays that wouldn’t fit at all when I got them home.
For the office area, heavy mugs with the advertising logo turned to the back are much more satisfactory for pens and pencils than a lightweight metal or plastic holder.
Tall shoe boxes are ideal for scarves, socks and such in the chest of drawers. The best way to collect small bottles that easily tip over on the bathroom shelves is to put them in frozen topping containers—they are hidden behind the cabinet door anyway.
Decorative canisters are an addition to kitchen counters, but I prefer to have the counter space. Therefore I save large mayonnaise containers with screw tops to keep pasta, sugar and other staples handy on the pantry shelves.
Tops for pots and saucepans present a storage problem. You see various solutions in the container stores, from racks that hang over the inside of a cabinet door to upright dividers that sit within the cabinet. Cheese boxes hold the little ones for me and a narrow wooden box that once held nails at the shop hold larger lids close together and upright.
Under-bed storage boxes come in colorful coverings and see-through tops. But if I bought one or more for blankets, there would not be room under the bed for the suitcases. So, no more than I travel, I put the blankets in the suitcases. The blankets can stack nicely on the floor until I get back from any trip.
Quilts that are needlework treasures need special care to preserve their condition and beauty. We are told that my old faded pillowcases are better to hold them on closet shelves than the zippered plastic encasements that have been created especially for bed linens.
Although I imagine the pleasure I would feel to open up my storage areas and see picture-perfect organization instead of recycled solutions, I step out of the store knowing that my stuff is well kept without my having given in to temptation.