Widgets, Gadgets & Organization

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hello, my name is Donna and I am addicted to gadgets. LOL! It used to be high-tech gadgets...I was always a first adopter of new technology. As I've posted before, I've lost my technological edge.

No, nowadays it's the simple things that catch my eye. Things that make the RV life easier or help me stay organized. I no longer get all the catalogs but I remember the names: Harriet Carter, Lillian Vernon, Walter Drake, Dr. Leonard's, Vermont Country Store and Carol Wright's Gifts to name a few. They're all online now and I find myself perusing their new arrivals, clearance and sale pages WAY too often. LOL!

So here, in no particular order, are some things I have found. Some I bought and use, some I plan to buy, some I just thought might interest other RVers.

The first little gadget is a set of two ice cube trays that I found at Miles Kimball...I wanted covered ones to help contain water spills until they freeze. I love these! Unfortunately they are no longer available but I found some larger ones here and here. Here is the photo from Miles Kimball followed by a photo of my freezer. You can see one tray in the center top - just fits in depth and perfect for one person who doesn't use a LOT of ice but would like to have some on hand. EDIT 4/18/08: These little covered ice cube trays are back!

Now a little organizational tip. I was constantly fighting things falling out of my freezer...being a solo I break up packages into smaller ones and the plastic bags are, well, slippery. I know you can buy refrigerator bars to help keep things in place but they are a pain in the neck. Often they pop out when you least expect it and in my case, that can be dangerous. My freezer is over my head. I had read a blog about using plastic storage containers and thought that was a great idea. So I measured my space and figured out what combination of sizes I needed to look for in plastic bins.

While in Quartzsite, I lucked out in a dollar store. I had bought these bins before, they're often used to store CD's. Four of them fit perfectly (and the lids are stored away with my spare plastic shoeboxes). No more bags falling on my head when I open the door! They were about $2.50 each, if I remember correctly.

The next item is a larger purchase, dollar-wise, but it has worked out so well that I plan to get a second one. It's a solar light from Harriet Carter. It's lightweight, plastic and meant to be mounted on a wall or a post. BUT, it sits just fine on a table which is where I have it. You saw it along with my rechargeable lantern and my heavier metal-glass solar lantern that I've had since I started out (actually, I started out with two but one fell on the ground when I opened a bin and it shattered).

I plan to order another because the light from this is amazing! It only needs a couple of hours a day to charge and it puts out a nice bright light for hours. I'll use it as a backup inside when I'm boondocking. One thing I really like about it is that it has an off-auto switch so you can turn it off when not in use, saving the battery power (I have no idea how long they last but would rather not find out. LOL!)

The next item is one I have used since Mike & I first went RVing...later they were utilized in the back of our cars. I stared with two black ones, found two heavier duty multi-colored ones at Big Lots, one of which was eventually broken. Oh, what am I talking about? Sorry...folding crates! Lightweight and easy to store...great for laundry, groceries, inside storage bays, "stuff" stored when you move, etc. They come in several sizes and colors....I am order one more multi-colored one from the same manufacturer as my other one. Here is one source, here is another and one more here.

Another item that I bought and have used a couple of times is a set of covers for a picnic table and two benches. They are made for a standard size table/benches and have elastic edging but since not all tables/benches are standard, it's good to have some extra clips to hold them in place. Harriet Carter and Dr. Leonard's both have them on sale and an up-scale version is offered at Camping World.

As always, check prices in more than one place as well as compare shipping costs (and return policies). For example, Camping World offers the ever popular folding step-stool for $12.22 ($8.99 if you're a President's Club member) while Harriet Carter has it for $15.98. I found the solar light going for as much as $42 in other places, Harriet Carter had the lowest price.

I know I have missed some of my favorite gadgets....I'll try to remember them for next time around. Hope ya'll have fun shopping!

Till next time - keep on rollin',


  1. Great post, thanks for all the tips & links ! Hope to get the ice cube trays and solar lights. Question re: the Calif. Duster....I imagine it could be used to keep the solar panels clean. Ours sure got dusty in the southwest.. Do you put it in water or always use it dry..
    Sounds like we are going to break the 70 deg. mark this week. Thank goodness.
    Ciao, Kelly

  2. I saw that very same solar light in WalMart's clearance aisle for $17 last week. No S & H.

  3. Thanks Donna, just what I need. More things to spend money on with no place to put them! LOL


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