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 06 2012

7 TOP TIPS FOR A CLUTTER-FREE LIFE

1. Develop a passion for recycling.
Recycle bottles, plastic bags, paper and more. Know what things you no longer use can be made into new things. In case you can’t recycle the item any more, do not think twice: donate it or throw it away safely.

2. Losing keys all the time? Try putting them in the same place every time you come in, such as on a rack by the door, or in a tray or bowl. Keep a spare set or two around in case of emergencies. You can also get a key finder key ring. If you lose your keys, press the key finder and that will trigger a sound from the keyring so you can find them easily.

3. Remove junk from your trunk!
A full car costs more to run. Cut fuel costs and get rid of any items that are not essential. Declutter your car and it will be far easier to find things that you need, like your tools if you should ever end up with a flat tire or other unexpected situation.

As for your own trunk, even gaining a mere one pound of muscle can boost your metabolism and lead to greater weight loss. Clean out your car, vacuum and detail it, and you can keep fit at the same time., for no more junk in your trunk.

4. Spill-proof your paper clip and tacks container.
Put a magnet at the bottom of the container or at the lid. This works even for vinyl-coated paper clips and push pins. You can also buy one with a magnetized mouth that will stop spills.

5. Set a good example for the rest of the household.
If you have children, instill in them the importance of becoming organized by setting a good example. There is no use complaining about the way your home looks if you scatter things in every direction the minute you walk in the door, or can barely find things because you never put them back where you found them. Simple organizational tasks like putting dirty clothes into the hamper instead of leaving them on the floor, or hanging them up in the closet instead of draping things on the backs of chairs, can serve as a great example for your children to follow. It will also save you a lot of time getting ready for work each morning, so that you will be less stressed every morning as the whole family heads off to work and school.

6. Minimize you laundry time by using different hampers for your clothes. Use one for your light-colored clothes, another dark, and one for mixed colored clothes. You will still have to check through the white load just to be sure no one has put in a colored object that will run and ruin the whole load, but if everyone in the family sorts as they go along, it can save you a lot of time each laundry day.

You might also consider just doing a load of wash as soon as you see a full load has accumulated. Washing as you go will not only help your family keep clean, it will also free up your time at the weekends instead of allowing your precious days off being eaten up by chores.

7. Extend the storage capacity of your closets by adding attachments such as hooks and rods on the closet doors, where you can hang your belts, ties, scarves, ribbons and other accessories. You can get sturdy metal hanging hooks and use them on the inside and the outside of doors. Hanging shoe bags are another great way to get organized and save space.

FURTHER READING:

How to Create an Organized and Productive Home Office

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

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

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 06 2012

Getting the Family to Help Organize Your Home

A well-organized home is one of the best ways to save money and relieve stress. Being able to find what you need can save a lot of time, money and effort and help you accomplish more in less time, leaving you free to enjoy quality time with family and friends.

If you share a home with housemates or other family members, it is important that any drive to get more organized includes all of them, no matter what their age. “A place for everything, and everything in its place,” will be the order of the day if you are really serious about having a more organized home, in which case, you will want to enlist everyone’s aid in putting things back where they found them.

For example, there is nothing worse than not being able to find something, like a pair of scissors or the hammer, because it did not end up back where you usually keep it.

This is just one step in the right direction. Another would be cleaning out all your old items and selling them or donating them.

If you work out of a home office, be sure to run a tight ship. File it or fling it into a bin, act on it, or trash it when it comes in the mail, and be sure to keep your computer hard drive as organized as you would a real filing cabinet.

Get rid of clutter, recycling, old newspapers and more. By working as a team, tackling one room of your house at a time, you can soon have your home more organized, and will then need to spend only a little time tidying each room every week. This will give you far more time for fun, and a better atmosphere in your home now that you have cut down on the clutter and are more organized.

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

How to Become a Do-It-Yourself Mom: A Guide for Simple Home Decorating Ideas for Smart Women