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NEW & USEFUL / LYNN SIMROSS

Now, Why Didn't We Think of That Idea?

January 06, 1994|LYNN SIMROSS

Several 1994 items qualify for the "why didn't somebody think of this before?" category. They range from products for bathrooms and babies to grocery boxes, window shades and bottle tops.

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Curtain Call: SnapUps can ease one of the most aggravating household chores--putting up a shower curtain--by eliminating the struggle to slip plastic rings through the holes in the curtain and close them over the rod.

SnapUps are shower curtains with their own vinyl tabs that slip over the rod and snap in place on top of the curtain. Each tab is the same color as the curtain and is reinforced with heavier vinyl so it won't tear easily. (People with arthritis will find the new curtains a real snap.)

Introduced by Tex Style Inc. of Cincinnati, SnapUps (70 by 72 inches) come in five embossed vinyl patterns ($4.99) in ecru, blue, rose, teal, dark green, black or white. By spring, they will be available in additional vinyl patterns and several fabric patterns ($6.99 to $16.99). The company also plans to manufacture seasonal curtains with goblins or ghosts for Halloween and Santas for Christmas.

SnapUps are available nationwide in most K mart and Wal-Mart stores or by calling Tex Style, (800) 875-8001.

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Cabinet Caddy: Medicine Cabinet Organizer is the perfect remedy for that typically messy household cupboard. It's an insert for cabinets that lets you store toothpastes, toothbrushes, razors and ointments in separate compartments.

Made of recyclable white polystyrene, the Organizer fits into 90% of bathroom medicine chests (standard heights of 17 and 23 inches). It's held in place by self-adhesive tape. No tools are needed to install it.

In 23-inch cabinets, the top of the organizer becomes an additional full shelf; for shorter cabinets, the top section snaps off. The left side of the Organizer has 1/2-inch snap-off shelf edges to adjust to a narrow cabinet.

Inside, the Organizer is divided into two sections. On the left are two six-inch permanent shelves to accommodate larger products; on the right, four seven-inch adjustable shelves can be snapped into place at 1 1/2-inch intervals.

You can arrange the adjustable side to stand toothpaste tubes upright or to hang as many as six toothbrushes, dental picks or razors.

Medicine Cabinet Organizer ($14.95) is available at Target and 3-D Bed and Bath stores or by contacting the manufacturer, Rx for Organization, 6754 Eaton Ave., Canoga Park, Calif. 91303; (818) 704-4455.

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Diaper Dumpster: New moms and dads should love Diaper Genie, which keeps soiled disposable diapers locked away in an odor-free canister. The 18-inch, four-pound container is easy to use at home and transportable for visits to relatives or friends.

The white plastic canister seals dirty diapers in an odor- and germ-resistant film. Simply roll up the diaper, insert it in the ring opening in the top of the canister, press down and twist. Diaper Genie seals each diaper in film, forming a chain of up to 20. When you open the latch at the bottom, the sealed diapers are attached in a sausage link-like string ready for disposal.

Diaper Genie (suggested retail, $30) is available nationally at K mart, Sears, J.C. Penney, Toys R Us, Target and some Longs Drug Stores. Or order from three national catalogues: the Right Start, (800) 548-8531; One Step Ahead, (800) 274-8440; the Safety Zone, (800) 999-3030. The film rolls, which will seal 180 diapers, are available in refills for $5.

In the Los Angeles area, you also can find Diaper Genie at Baby's World in Studio City, Bellini in Sherman Oaks and Simi Valley, the Juvenile Shop in Sherman Oaks, Bringing Up Baby in Los Angeles, Carousel Baby Furniture in Pasadena, and Sid's Baby & Kids Furniture in West Hollywood.

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Sack Rack: Box Boy solves the problem of keeping grocery sacks from tumbling over in the trunk or back of the car.

Simple in design, Box Boy has four compartments that accommodate grocery sacks or plastic bags snugly and keep them upright when you make a quick turn or accelerate. The unit is constructed of sturdy (mostly recycled) cardboard and folds compactly when not in use.

Box Boy ($3.50 plus $1.50 shipping and handling) is available in three patterns: fruits, vegetables, and stars and stripes. Contact Box Boy, 11601 Wilshire Blvd., Fifth Floor, Los Angeles, Calif. 90025; (800) 525-2510.

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Paper Drapes: Redecorating your home or moving into a new one? You may need Redi Shade, a temporary window shade to cover bare windows until the drapes or permanent shades go up. It looks a lot nicer than an old sheet.

Redi Shades look like traditional cloth-pleated shades but are made of durable white paper. They are easy to install with peel-back tape on the top that sticks to window glass, frames or painted wall surfaces.

Each shade is 36 inches wide and 5 1/2 feet long. If you have a long window, you can attach a second shade to the bottom of the first to cover the whole surface. Or trim the temporary shades for a shorter opening.

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