Let's say you can't tolerate the clutter and confines of your bath and kitchen. Money is tight and lenders are tighter. Perhaps this is not the year for your kitchen or bathroom remodeling project. That doesn't mean you're stuck with an unmanageable home. Bins, organizers and storage solutions abound - and most of them are quite affordable.
Let's start with the busy and confined kitchen. I like Face Your Kitchen's "Storage Ideas for Your Cabinets", which suggests installing sliding corner racks, spring-loaded appliance shelving, pegboards and slotted racks.
For cookware storage, try pot racks. They're sold in materials that complement your kitchen theme. Prices range from $25 for a stand-alone tree organizer to $125 for a bamboo and chrome hanging pot rack with hooks. Baskets with slide-out tracks can make it easy to fetch low cabinet items, while a steel insert that becomes an in-closet pot-lid holder can get those clanking covers out of the way.
I'm partial to the Rev-A-Shelf style organizers that separate cabinet storage into independent, easy access storage baskets. You'll also find swing-out pantries with shelf and door-mount kits that really maximize space.
Before you start buying kitchen organizers, I recommend you purge kitchen items you haven't used in a long time. Either part with them (recycle) or store them in a panty or the garage. That will open up room and help you prioritize your shelves. You don't really need to keep that set of plastic drinking tumblers you saved from college!
Finally, if there's room, consider an island on wheels. Creating functional space is the key to successfully remodeling your kitchen.
Bath storage solutions
The bathroom organizer industry has created its own niche market, with specialty stores and special sections at home improvement centers. My favorite bathroom organizing items for large families are those door-hung towel organizers with two or three layers of hanging bars.
Over-toilet, space-saving shelves and cabinets are also a great way to use bathroom space that usually goes vacant. Features vary widely, as do prices, from $30 to $150. Shelf units come with any number of tiers, allowing for towel storage or cosmetics. I like the idea of sorting his and her cosmetics into baskets and set on a middle shelf.
Ikea sells a wide selection of inexpensive glass or acrylic shelves, ranging from $12-$39. I like their wall-mounted galvanized steel storage cubes, too, which leave wall space for an attractive paint job or decorations.
Oh, and shower caddies are an absolute must.