Consumerism

May 19, 2014

ShopSmart’s Closet Solutions for $25 or less

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Low-cost & no-cost fixes for overstuffed closets; Plus the best DIY closet systems

YONKERS, NY ? Those looking to tame an out-of-control closet or for smart ways to store clothes may already have the tools they need handy. The June 2014 issue of ShopSmart, from Consumer Reports, highlights more than two dozen fixes for disorganized closets for $25 or less – and some of solutions may cost nothing at all.  The feature also identifies four great do-it-yourself closet systems that cost a lot less than ones installed by professionals.

“You’ll save tons of money on getting your closet in shape by using things that are lying around your home,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart.  “Our tips and tricks will make a big difference in the way you organize and store things.”

Below are some no-cost and low-cost closet fixes featured in ShopSmart; the full list is available in the June 2014 issue.

Free or super-cheap:

Super_CheapMason jars can be used to stash rolled-up belts, tights, and scarves.
Corkboards provide easy-access to jewelry particularly necklaces, earrings and bracelets; use decorative pushpins to dress it up.
Ice cube trays are sized just right for earrings and other small jewelry items, and they’re stackable.
Rubber bands can secure bulky items (such as a puffy down vest or jacket) that have to be rolled up tightly.
$25 or less:

Rubbermaid Flex Tote storage boxes, $8 (homedepot.com) can be filled with cotton items and is easier to squeeze into tight spaces than traditional storage boxes.
Hanger Hamper, $9 (containerstore.com) is a triangular bin that stores extra hangers neatly without tangling; the triangle shape nestles neatly into the corner of a closet.
3M Command Hooks, $3 (containerstore.com) can be hung anywhere in a closet where there is a little space to hang robes, nighties, necklaces, and more.
Acrylic shelf dividers, $17 each (organizeit.com) keep T-shirts, jeans, and sweaters neatly stacked on a shelf; they can also prop handbags upright and don’t add visual clutter.
Best Closet Systems

Do-it-yourself closet kits can save shoppers hundreds of dollars over professionally installed systems.  ShopSmart  put  those  designed  for  a  six-foot  wide  closet  from  ClosetMaid,  Elfa,  Ikea, Martha Stewart, and Rubbermaid to the test.  Here’s a look at two of the winners:

Best Overall: Platinum Elfa Reach-In, $560 (containerstore.com) This system held all of the stuff without anything getting smooshed, plus it was the easiest and fastest unit to install (taking 35 minutes), with minimal drilling.  There is a lot of customer support – online and video directions are clear.

Best for small closets: Rubbermaid Homefree Series, $90 (rubbermaid.com) This kit was the cheapest of the bunch and held all the stuff.  It was also fairly easy to put together, though installation time took more than an hour.

For more closet fixes and information about additional DIY closet systems, pick up the June 2014 issue of ShopSmart on newsstands now.

About Consumer Reports:

Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

About ShopSmart magazine:

Launched in Fall 2006 by Consumer Reports, ShopSmart draws upon the publication’s celebrated tradition of accepting no advertisements and providing unbiased product reviews. ShopSmart features product reviews, shopping tips on how to get the most out of products and “best of the best” lists. It’s ideal for busy shoppers who place a premium on time. ShopSmart has a newsstand price of $4.99 and is available nationwide at major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Kroger, Safeway and Publix. ShopSmart is available by subscription at www.ShopSmartmag.org.

ShopSmart is available 10 times a year. Subscribe at www.ShopSmart.org.

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