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.


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

Jul 12 2012


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.


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