Does anyone have any organizing tips/items that worked really well for you?
I'm going through bhg organizing mag and they have tons of ideas but I am overwhelmed.
The one thing that has worked for me is a small entry table with area for keys, mail, etc.
I'm looking at magnetic spice containers for side of fredge but the reviews aren't great.
Any tips? Thanks!
To go one step further in organizing mail, I have added a shredder and a decorative file box to my kitchen where I have a little built-in desk. Mail gets sorted and put immediately into the recycle bin, shredded, or placed into the appropriate file folder. No more piles of paper taking over the kitchen island, breakfast room table or kitchen desk.
The first step in organizing for me has been to reduce the amount of stuff I have. No point in storing things one never uses. Then, as Dacia said keep like things together so things are easy to find.
I have some Ikea Skubb organizers with 9 compartments and the boxes that function as little drawers. They give a lot of organized storage in a relatively small footprint. Ikea has many other storage ideas and organizers. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/cata.../00193386/#/10185588
Years ago I bought a set of clear plastic shoe boxes at Costco. They are useful for many things. Originally I used them for closed storage in the cubbies in my clothes closet system but am currently using them for craft supplies. As I edit my craft supplies it will free them up for other things.
Michaels crafts has cardboard photo boxes that are also useful. I bought a dozen of them for storing office supplies, etc. Since they are cardboard I sprayed them with a clear sealer so they would not fingerprint, etc. They stack nicely on a shelf and have label holders on one end so it's easy to know what's in each box. They come in many colors and patterns.
In 2 of my kitchen drawers I use little plastic boxes from the dollar store to organize the usual necessary stuff like ties, elastics, small tools, tape, etc. Some other kitchen drawers have built in dividers for cutlery and tools.
I use large tote boxes for craft supplies and other things that fit well on the floor of a little used closet.
I have some vintage decorative tin boxes from DH's DGM (probably originally held English biscuits/cookies) that are useful to store things and are part of the decor in my cottagey guest room. Also some decorative hat boxes. Stacks of old suitcases are used by some people as storage and also part of their decor.
All of the closets in my house have some sort of closet organizers. One in the basement only has a bookshelf at each end. Most closets have space for a bookshelf which can hold storage containers. My current goal is to have more empty shelves than full and I'm getting there slowly!
My current storage problem is how to store all my scarves and handbags. Still have not found the best solution for that. The Ikea Skubb system would work well for scarves but I'm using the ones I have for other things and don't really want to buy more as they do take up hanging space in a closet.
How to store one's belongings is very personal and I recommend looking at many systems to decide what works best for what you need to store. Have you checked the Container Store? http://www.containerstore.com/welcome.htm
"I have always had an aversion to the concepts of in style and out of style." ~Rose Tarlow
Inspirational pics: http://inspiration4u.shutterfly.com/
Indeed Decluttering is a must. Investing in storage components is beneficial too. Labeling is a useful tool for ease of retrieving as well avoiding overstock of the same items. There are many useful items on the market to contain, hang or stash items from kitchen gadgets and utensils to closets and garage. Some can be found in dollar stores. They include, bins, boxes, tins, canisters, racks, shelf extenders, jars, over the door units, pull out shelving, cabinetry inserts, baskets, file cabinets, folders, tiered trays, magazine sleeves, albums, drawer organizers, spice cubes, hanging wine glass holders, hooks, rods, tiered hangers, bags, shower organizers, etc. etc.. Do maximize space, but pay attention to safety, visibility,and accessibility. The components utilized should be attractive if within sight. They should be sturdy enough for their contents too. I will provide a link with pics to inspire you. Do not overlook "dead space" especially for long term storage. Keep archival materials in mind when storing heirlooms.
My main clutter -- used to be paper. No more. I barely have any paper -- in fact, have been known to ask friends for newspaper to use as weed barrier in garden because I don't have any.
1. Notes/lists/reminders -- I only use the notes app on my phone now. No more little pieces of paper laying around.
2. I no longer get magazines. I live two minutes from the library -- if I need a hard copy to read I go there and check it out. But they have recently gotten 75 free online magazines that I read also.
3. Newspapers -- read online versions.
4. Bills, insurance explanation of benefits, bank and credit card statements, investments -- all online.
5. A few years ago I mounted a campaign to get rid of junk mail (in fact I won a contest on the CBS Early Show with my methods) -- catalogs, insurance and credit card applications, etc. It took about 6 months of dedicated work but now I rarely get anything. I guess I am one of the people partly responsible for the post office being in so much trouble.
Here's partly how I did it: catalogs -- go to website. There is almost always a spot to tell them to stop sending you their mailings. Keep doing it every time they send a catalog. It usually takes 2 months.
Unsolicited credit card and insurance applications almost always come with an enclosed self-addressed postage paid envelope. I mailed their stuff back to them with a note to remove my name from their mailing list. I included the original envelope too.
Step two of the credit card/insurance junk mail stoppage is to mark your credit report. There is a spot where you can stop them from checking your report, and this in turn, helps stop them from sending you unsolicited junk mail.
I usually only get about 2-3 pieces of mail a week.
This is a lot of work in the beginning, but it sure beats sorting mail, shredding it, filing it, losing it, and recycling it.
Now if only I could figure out how to stop all that pol i tical junk mail in November!
Good luck on your road to total organization.
Gracie and Daciab, thanks for your suggestions.
Lucky, thanks for all the ideas and links. Sounds like you are where I want to be with orgainization!
Froo, appreciate your ideas and the link!
MLV, I am becoming paperless too except for the very
few magazine subscriptions I still have.
I would like to replace my entry table with a bookcase and use baskets,etc. Something like this:
or a covered storage piece. I know this is built in but I like the look of this.
What do you think?
look what I could hide!
another nice idea.
What GREAT ideas here! I throw away junk mail BEFORE It enters the house. That makes mail so much easier to go through!
Computers were supposed to make our lives easier and eliminate paper... HA, made it worse!
I am in the process of declutting and like the idea of sorting... I think SORTING is the NEW black! LOL
One thing that works for me is having drawer-type plastic bins. Not everything fits into them, but there are many sizes.
The problem with plastic tubs, plastic boxes with lids, etc. is that I have to make many more motions to get what I want.
Remove all tubs on top of the one I want, take lid off, put lid back, put other bins back on top. Or shuffle them all.
Either way, plastic drawers are faster, less motion.
This is very important because many times we don't put things back because "it's complicated." It's NOT EASY or FAST.
This includes having shelves higher than we can comfortably reach. If we can't reach it, we then have to dig out a chair or ladder.
Again, that's NOT EASY or FAST. So, stuff lays around until we have time and/or energy to put it away--away being higher than we can comfortably reach.
The other posters have mentioned some great tips, too.
One thing to think about when decluttering. We always talk about living within our means, and that generally has reference to finances.
But, we might think about living within our "space means." And then declutter until we are there.
I love the fabric-covered table idea. It's so nice to have some place to stash a few things that need a home close to the entry. I like the covered idea better than baskets because it would be easier to access and you can't see into it at all when it's closed.
I find that a de-clutter is necessary first. Then organizing is easier for me.
Break down the organizing tasks into smaller projects to prevent that overwhelmed feeling. Sometimes it's only one drawer at a time or one closet shelf.
~Like sands through the hourglass
~So are the days of our lives
I agree with ongoing decluttering. I also go through the mail before it enters the house. I have a bag that I throw coupons in that come in the mail for local services, Ulta, etc. Once a month I go through those and toss unused and expired. Bills go to a slot on my desk immed.I have a file cabinet and file papers immed. It takes some discipline to just do it as it occurs, but gosh, its so much easier. Hubby is bad about piles. I gave him his own junk drawer right as you enter the kitchen from the garage. He can throw all his odds and ends in there, keys, phone, security badge for work etc. I bought a really pretty basket at PB for my magazines. I like my 'paper' decorating magazines. I get 4 of those per month and Oprah. I used to be bad about tossing my clothes onto a chair in my closet. If I let it go it can get messy. Now I rehang, fold, put away everything twice a week on my days off. Linens can pile up. Last year I was ruthless and went thru all my linens. I kept only sheet sets in great condition. Got rid of worn toss rugs and mixed match towels.It gave me the opportunity to buy all news towels for the guest bath, lol. Please donate old linens to your local animal shelter, they appreciate and use them! I also purged my beauty products. Its hard to toss 'mistakes' that cost alot of money but I knew I would'nt ever wear. I use up product before I buy new. I only keep one shampoo set, one body wash, one face wash in the shower instead of several.With me, decluttering and organizing is ongoing and I actually enjoy the process and the rewards.
I think organizing and de-cluttering is an on-going project.
I go directly from my mail box to the shredder. Where I shred everything that is junk mail and flyers. Makes great packing material.
Then I file the bills right away after I open them in a small file folder I have.
I think de-cluttering first is a must. I have been on a de-cluttering mission for the past year. Can't tell you how much *stuff* I have passed on the children, neighbors, GW and Abuse center. Now my motto is: If I don't LOVE it out it goes.
Baskets and bins are my friend! Have lots of those. Everything is marked so I know what is inside without looking. So many cute ways to mark them. Course it is still a work in progress, but I think lots of the posts have given you good ideas and sent you in the right directions. Good luck. And be sure to come back and tell us how it goes.
Good point Mary Ruth!
Indexlady, the plastic drawer sound like a good idea.
Gracie, I love the covered table idea too. Lots of space to stash necesities.
Reau's Rose, I am doing a little at a time, trying to live with less.
Janetaz, thank for all the great suggestions.
CaraRode, I am shopping for bins today, labeling is a great idea.
What a timely topic! I've been cleaning out and purging since the first of the year. I'm so tired of the clutter in drawers and closets. So this is a great topic with many wonderful ideas.
Thank you starting this, and I'm so glad I stopped by during my break from decluttering and babysitting. She's napping, so I can do my own thing for awhile!
So nice to hear from you! Hope all is well.
I am off to look for some storage bins and looking for some fun ideas. If I find anything wonderful I will share it!!
I watched my husband enter the house yesterday... and OMG I realize WHY clutter is gathering faster than I can move it out! HE brought home an armful of 'stuff' from work (Lowe's always has some little gadget on sale) and a few 'items' for me. It is nice to get small gifts often, BUT I realize there is no place to store all this 'stuff'! I have my work cut out for me! LOL
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