Kitchen Organization Made Simple

Do you need to get organized?

Here's your chance to organize your life as "The Early Show" launches its "Early Gets Organized" series in partnership with Real Simple magazine.

Let's begin in the kitchen. Pots, pans, napkins, cups, plates, and everything else you need in your kitchen can pile up and mess up your kitchen's look. However, there are many ways to maximize your kitchen's space with tasteful storage options. Kate Parker, a contributor to Real Simple magazine, shared her tips for organization and several products on the market to maximize your kitchen's potential.

The following product descriptions were prepared using assertions provided by the manufacturers.

Oxo Good Grips Rectangular Food Storage Pop Containers (Bed Bath and Beyond)
Maximize space with this efficient rectangular food storage container. The airtight seal will keep things fresh with the simple press of a button. This modular stacking system grants optimal countertop and pantry organization. Also handy for use in the garage, playroom, sewing room, and more. Pop containers are intended for dry food storage; microwave or freezer use is not recommended. Hand wash. Lifetime satisfaction guaranteed.
Price: $9.99 - $14.99

KATE SAYS: Make it transparent. The more you can see, the easier it will be to find what you need when you need it. Many of us, we come home from the grocery store with boxes of cereal and oatmeal and candy and just toss it in the cabinets, which can take up so much precious space. Clear containers contribute to a cleaner pantry -- airtight ones mean your food stays fresher longer.

Kamenstein 16-Jar Spice Rack (Bed Bath and Beyond)
Rotating spice rack has a modern brushed metal and glass design. Spice bottles have E-Z pour and shake feature. Filled with 16 spices including thyme, caraway, bay leaves and paprika. Measures 14 1/2" high and 7 1/2" in diameter.
Price: $39.99

KATE SAYS: Consolidate spices into a spinning rack that saves space and makes it easy to grab what you need.

The Kangaroom Mail Sorter (Kangaroom Storage)
The Kangaroom Mail Sorter allows you to organize as you go, avoiding the magazine and mail pile up. Our sturdy, faux leather Mail Sorter helps you to sort bills, invitations, catalogs, large magazines, and more as soon as they come in. Perfect for the front hall table or your home office, our Mail Sorter comes with five compartments, with windows ready to display pre-printed to customized labels.

Five compartments allow you to organize your mail, homework, notebooks and desk supplies in one convenient place! Its vertical build maximizes surface space, leaving room for projects, bill paying and more. The faux leather design is complete with white stitching, adding style and elegance to any home office space. Holds all of your mail up to 9" x 12" oversized envelopes. Available in black, brown, ivory & red. Dimensions: 9.5" long x 7.5" wide x 9" tall.
Price: $29.99

KATE SAYS: The kitchen often becomes the "landing spot" or "command center" - bills and random paperwork can wreak havock on an otherwise orderly counter. Keep the paper in check with a divided bin like this.

Ultra Caddy (Container Store)
For utility with style, our Ultra Caddy can't be beat. In addition to the two deep compartments, the bottom and rim are reinforced for greater strength and longer life. Fill it with craft or cleaning supplies, gardening tools, pet grooming items, car washing essentials or tools.
Price: $4.99

KATE SAYS: Keep cleaning products in one place. And make them "grab-able" so chores aren't so arduous. When it's time to do a little cleaning, you don't have to go digging around under the sink looking for all the right supplies, they're right here in one spot.

Lack Bookcase (Ikea)
Finished on all sides. Can also be used as a room divider. Can be placed vertically or horizontally; suitable for use both as a bookcase and as a sideboard.
Price: $129.99

KATE SAYS: If you're short on space -- create some. An unused wall space can be turned into custom "cabinets" using a simple bookshelf and baskets that act as drawers!

Boja Table Lamp (Ikea)
Handmade shade; each shade is unique. Shade of plaited bamboo, creates decorative light patterns on the wall.
Price: $39.99

KATE SAYS: Light it up -- a brighter kitchen makes meal prep easier.

Kassett Magazine Box With Lid (Ikea)
Label holder and paper included; indicate contents for easy overview. Handles make it easy to pull out and lift the box.
Price: $11.99 for 2-pack

KATE SAYS: Use every nook and cranny - white storage boxes are an inexpensive way to use that otherwise unused space above the cabinets - they "disappear" into the ceiling so the room doesn't feel cramped.

Beachcomber Baskets (Pottery Barn)
Our beachcomber baskets are hand woven from sustainable natural fibers and are ideal for storage and lightweight toting. Add a drip tray, and it can also be used as a planter. Hand woven of chunky, natural seagrass.
Price: $89 - $129

KATE SAYS: Baskets are a lifesaver - a place to just "dump" things without creating a mess. Call it "contained chaos" if you want. It works.

Savannah Utility Baskets (Pottery Barn)
Keep clutter out of sight while keeping everyday necessities within reach with our baskets woven of natural seagrass.
Utility Basket: 12" square, 8" high
Large Basket: 16" wide x 13" deep x 10.5" high
Woven of natural seagrass. Cut-out handles make the basket easy to carry.
Sized for use with our Studio Wall Shelf.
Price: $29 - $39

KATE SAYS: These baskets are sturdy and have a handle for easy access. They can go inside the IKEA shelves and store glassware, plates, utensils, etc.

ChalkBoard Wall Decals (Wall Candy Arts)
You are a royal diva when you use one of these amazing ChalkBoard wall decals in your room!

WallCandy® decor stickers are the ultimate in stylish form and function. Write a note on the most beautiful reusable ChalkBoard wall stickers of them all! Louis XIV has nothing on this stunning wall art! Put it up and turn your room into a palace. Each kit includes one 31 1/2 x18 1/2 ChalkBoard decal. Chalk is included.
Price: $36

KATE SAYS: Grocery lists and reminder notes are a mainstay in any kitchen - give them a whimsical place to live with this removable chalkboard wall decal in a fun Rococo shape.

Expand-a-Drawer Cutlery Tray (Container Store)
Storing a large collection of flatware stretches many drawer organizers too far. The Expand-a-Drawer® Cutlery Tray features compartments of various sizes for separating and organizing cutlery, small gadgets, and accessories. Our Expand-a-Drawer® Organizers adjust to the width of your drawer for a custom fit in an instant.
Price: $17.99

Erasable Food Storage Labels
Make identifying your frozen and refrigerated foods, convenient and fool proof with our Erasable Food Storage Labels. The labels go from freezer or refrigerator, to microwave, to dishwasher without missing a beat! A little more care must be exercised to ensure the labels will not peel off in the dishwasher and that the ink will not be made difficult to remove - complete details are inside the package. The self-adhesive, non-porous label won't smear and the ink won't sink in and become permanent. The pen is a Fine Point Sharpie Marker. First, the label should be allowed to adhere for 24 hours before being subjected to the microwave, dishwasher, or freezer. Second, the ink should be erased before microwaving or dishwashing to ensure that the ink will erase completely and easily. The starter kit includes a marker and eraser.

Phone/PDA Charging Station (Kangaroom Storage)
We're all proud of having the latest (and smallest) electronic gadgets to organize our lives. But what good are they if we can't find them or the uncharged battery dies right in the middle of a conversation? With our Charging Station you can say good-bye to multiple chargers and their unsightly electrical cords snaking all over your desk. You can corral up to three items and neatly tuck a 10" power strip (sold separately) out of sight behind the sliding door. You can also mount it to the wall as easily as a clock with two dry wall screws (included).
Price: $29.99

KATE SAYS: Gadgets also often end up strewn about the counter - gather them in one place and juice them up with a charging station - a power strip mounted inside of it keeps your phone, camera, and MP3 player all charging at once.
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