Category: Organization

Aug 05 2012

Creating Extra Storage Space in Your Home

Many people complain that they live in a small apartment or house, but are they really making the most of the space that they have? If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the amount of things that you have in your home, the first thing to do is to start cleaning out anything that you have not used in at least a year with a view to selling it or donating it to charity. EBay has taught us that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so start seeing what you can find to sell and begin making more room for what you have. Then all you will have to do is make sure you don’t buy any more items.

Next, it will be time to take stock of your home to be sure you are making the most of its storage potential. For example, one of the most common but under-utilized areas in the home is right beneath your staircase. You can use the space under the stairs for a home office, a book nook or just more storage space. Any reliable contractor should be able to transform your under-stair area into the perfect space to meet your needs. Whether you add a comfy chair for lounging or a desk for paying the bills, or even an extra closet, try to make the most of the space for the items you need to store most.

Another under-utilized area of the home is the closet. Too often your closets just get crammed full of clothes, shoes and other items until you can’t find a thing. But with a big clean out and some simple additions, your closet can be turned into a bright, well-organized space that can help you save time and store everything you need. There are plenty of closet organizers available today but you can save money by using storage cubes, hanging shoe boxes, and hanging rods.

The bathroom also tends to have hidden space that can be transformed. If the sink is simply mounted against the wall, you can add a cabinet underneath for extra storage. You can also use metal framed shelves to go over the toilet and sink, and small baskets or plastic tubs to hold all your toiletries and other essentials.

If there is any spare alcove in the house, you can create a shelving unit of a small closet or cabinet. You can also put in a small mirror cabinet, which will make the room look larger and more modern. Many of these projects are quite simple as long as you are careful with your measurements. The time and effort will be well worth it if you are better organized and can find what you and your family need more easily.

FURTHER READING:

How to Get Started as a Do-It-Yourself Mom

Jul 18 2012

How to Store Small Items Safely in Your Home

The smallest items can often present the biggest dilemma when it comes to storage solutions. In many cases people simply toss all their tiny trinkets together into one plastic bag, a box, or a drawer. They might be safely together out of the way, but how can you find what you need in such a messy jumble?

Storing small things in a large container can cause even more storage problems than the one you are trying to solve.

The best approach to storing small items is to store them in a correspondingly sized bag or box. You can use empty ice trays or egg cartons to store trinkets such as charms, earrings and buttons. Since there are many compartments, you should be able to find what you are looking for almost immediately.

This is a particularly good solution if you have a lot of earrings. If possible, hook your earrings together in pairs and then place each pair in one of the cubes of the ice tray or egg carton. You can then place the tray or carton in a drawer and have all your earrings neatly at hand.

For storing beads and other small crafting accessories, try using small plastic storage bowls that are typically used for leftovers from supper. Buy the clear version so you can see exactly what’s in each bowl and make sure that the lid seals firmly to prevent any sudden bead explosions. These storage bowls are usually stackable, so you can store several bowls on top of each other in order to save space.

When you begin a project that requires some of your stored beads, simply use a small spoon or a leftover plastic cup from the top of a medicine bottle to take out what you need.

One of the best solutions for storing jewelry we have ever found is to use fishing tackle boxes. They have a range of sizes and compartments and so can help you separate out all your earrings, rings and other jewelry. The ones Evelyn uses come from Kmart and come in a range of colors. They are double-sided, with two hinged lids, and the lids are made of clear plastic. Just be sure to open the box on a flat surface and you will be able to keep all of your jewelry well-organized and easy to spot.

A tackle box will also work well for buttons, nails and screws and other small items you usually fond rattling around in the back of a drawer.

FURTHER READING:

How to Get Started as a Do-It-Yourself Mom

Jul 12 2012

7 TOP TIPS TO ORGANIZE YOUR HOME

1. Install hanging closets and cabinets. This maximizes over-the-head space.

2. Designate a “to do” corner where you can put everything you can’t take care of right away. This can include items you have to repair, finish or spend time looking over. Once you have repaired the item or completed it, put it back in its original spot. For example, if you have sewn new buttons on your husband’s shirt or glued the handle of your daughter’s favorite mug back on, put the shirts in the closet and the mug in the kitchen cabinet.

3. Use the space inside and outside the door.
In most cases, a hanging rack or hooks that go over the door can fit easily inside a closet to give you even more organizational space and flexibility. Hanging clothes racks and shoe racks can make the most of the space you have, and any unfilled shoe racks can be used to store other small items, including tools and even jewelry.

4. Install a corkboard in the main places in your house such as near any land lines you might have, near the refrigerator and in your home office. This will make it easy for you to pin urgent messages and reminders. You can also keep track of important items with a white board.

5. Segregate clothes by season, color and occasion.
You can divide up your clothes into seasonal wardrobes and rotate them in and out of your closet in order to have more room. You can hang clothes by color, occasion (work, play, formal), item (skirt, blouse), and then mix and match. Be sure to keep each item repaired, with all buttons and so on sewn back on if you lose them, and rotate all of the items in your closet so that you get the most use out of them. If you own anything you have not worn for a year, consider donating it or selling it.

If you have clothes in lots of different sizes, you need to be realistic about your weight gain and try to slim down but not starve yourself back into the clothes. You can use one of the smaller sizes as motivation to slim down. If you have lost weight but are still hanging on to the large sizes, donate them and promise you will never be that heavy again.

6. Buy air-free storage bags.
These bags are connected to a vacuum hose so that the clothing you put inside it is compressed and no air inside takes up precious space. It also looks neater in the closet rather than bulky bags. You can slip them under the beds as well, or even store them in the attic, basement or garage without having to worry about the clothes inside getting ruined.

7. Create your own closet from an unused alcove. You can get sliding or louver doors to make a closet out of a small, unused alcove. As long as it is deep enough to hold a clothes rack and the clothes can fit on the hangers, you can create a whole new closet for your room. You can also put up the door and use it for storage space for plastic bins and so on.

FURTHER READING:

How to Create an Organized and Productive Home Office

The New Green Family Guide: A Beginner’s Guide to Going Green As a Family

Green Mother’s Guide: How to Raise a Child More Greenly and Naturally

How to Get Started as a Do-It-Yourself Mom

Jun 30 2012

Organize Creatively to Eliminate Clutter

Productivity on both the personal and professional front depends on being organized at all times. A person with a cluttered office and crammed closets and cabinets will end up spending a great deal of his or her time shuffling about trying to find even the smallest item, eating up valuable time that they can ill-afford if they are working as a freelancer or outsourced hourly worker. In this case, time is money, so getting organized should be one of the first items that you tackle on your to do list.

One of the best ways to organize your office and become clutter free is to look at it from a creative standpoint. Try to make every item in your home office or living space attractive but functional at the same time.

For instance, if you are using a spare bedroom as your new home office, it might be worth it to removed the double bed and get one with a roll out trundle bed that will sleep two people or several children, plus have storage space in the drawers for bedding and other essentials. The rest of the time, the room can serve as your home office. A desk or workstation and filing cabinets on wheels can help you easily expand or contract your work space,

Look for furniture items that can help you stay organized and which make the most of the space that you do have. For example, if you live in a small apartment, you might consider creating a loft bed in order to put your home office underneath it. If you have two children who need to share a room, a bunk bed with a desk, chairs, shelves and drawers can make the most of the space so that everything can stay uncluttered.

Keep clutter to a minimum with clear storage drawers and bins that will help you spot what you need right away. If you do have to opt for color, choose bins with differently colored covers. Use color for your files as well, dividing up home and work files and perhaps even color coding important client files.

By being creative in terms of your organization and storage solutions, you can create a clutter-free work environment you will enjoy spending time in, which can lead to increased productivity and more profits.

How to Create an Organized and Productive Home Office

How to Start Working as a Successful Freelancer

Successful Outsourcing: A Step-by-Step Guide

Jun 18 2012

7 Top Tips for Better Organization

1. Assign a distinct ring tone on your cell phone for each of your important contacts.
Assign a tone for family, friends and office colleagues so you won’t have to guess who is calling and can decide whether to stop what you are doing and pick up, or ignore it and carry on with your work.

2. Organize and segregate the tools in your house.
Use a hanging shoe bag to sort large tools from small and help you see what you have to work with. You cannot only access the tools easily, you can also bring the whole array from room to room and just hang them on the door for easy access.

3. Manage the paperwork in the glove compartment of your car.
Get a small expanding file and create the appropriate labels for each compartment, such as registration, insurance, and a photocopy of your licence in case you might have forgotten your wallet and so on. This will help you avoid the fuss when looking for something in particular, especially if you are already under stress because you have been pulled over or had an accident.

4. Sorting clothes by color and use.
Color code the hangers: use blue hangers for casual clothes and black hangers for office wear. Have three central laundry hampers for the family if you can, white, colors and dark. Check to make sure none creep into the wrong load. And don’t forget to check for items in the machine that have the potential to ruin the whole wash if the colors run.

5. Post a list of what’s inside on your refrigerator and freezer doors. The note will help you identify which food went in first, which went in last or when leftovers need to be thrown away. Cooking ahead and freezing can be one of the best ways to save money and make the most of the hours in your day when you are working full time.

6. If you share a bathroom with other members of the family, share the same shampoo and soap and assign each member his or her own bathroom caddy to put their personal things in. Your bathroom will be more organized and clutter free.

7. Keep all appliance manuals and troubleshooting guides in a safe place, such as in a filing cabinet or in a large envelope or folder. They can help save you from expensive repairs and the frustration of the appliance not working.

FURTHER READING:

Make and Freeze Recipes

Healthy Make Ahead and Freeze Muffins

Even More Make and Freeze Recipes

More Make and Freeze Recipes

How to Create an Organized and Productive Home Office

The Smart Woman’s Do-It-Yourself Guide to a Greener Home