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Organization Tips for Daily Life


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Keep Scarves Visible & Organized
I love to wear scarves but won't think about it unless they're visible and ready to wear. In a walk-in closet or swinging-door-type closet, glue numerous clothespins to the door (or a wall if a door isn't available). Then clip up your scarves - maybe two or three per clothespin - to the door using only one corner of the scarf. It will be easy to see your scarves and they will stay wrinkle-free. Scarves can really extend a wardrobe because they can create so many different outfits.


  • Don't Throw Away Your Empty Cereal Boxes!
    When you need to organize your children's books, such as coloring books or paperbacks or you want to clean up your home office from the clutter of magazines and catalogs, magazine holders are a wonderful but expensive way to sort and store them. A cheaper alternative is to take your empty cereal boxes and cut them to form the shape of a magazine holder or simply cut them to a desired height for children's books. Let the children paint them, apply stickers or paste pictures cut out of old magazines you are going to recycle. When finished you will have a decorative way to store all those messy magazines, catalogs, and children's books, as well as a way to entertain the children for a couple hours. Other variations include using large laundry detergent boxes and covering your boxes with fabrics and ribbons.



  • More Shoe Storage Space in the Closet
    If you're like me one over-the-door shoe rack couldn't possibly store all of your shoes. The fabric/plastic pocket ones can easily be mounted on the back walls of your closet behind your clothes. I nailed picture hangers (the heavy-duty kind that hold 25 pounds or more) the same width as the holes in the shoe organizer (where the metal hanging hooks would go) and hung the shoe organizer on the picture hanger. I now have three hanging behind my clothes, which is just great for storing shoes!


  • Yet Another Use For Wipes Boxes

If you're a crafter don't throw away those used Pampers Wipes boxes. They work great for holding bottles of acrylic paint. The box is the perfect height plus it helps contain any leaks or spills. You can get quite a few bottles in a box too. Just mark the box clearly with a black permanent marker. To be more organized use more than one box, labeling them accordingly--i.e. 'pastels', 'primary'--so you can grab the right one at a glance.


  • Headband Holder

 Headbands can be bulky and difficult to store in a drawer. Also, if left down, they can sometimes get broken. To solve this problem, I bought a small, inexpensive towel rod for about 4 dollars. I mounted it to my closet wall. Now, I just hang my headbands on the rod. It makes for easy storage, plus I don't have to hunt through a drawer to find one right for my outfit--I can easily see all of them at once.


  • Flag Storage
    Are you one of the thousands of people that put a flag outside for every holiday/season change. I found a way to store them and locate them with ease. Use the empty roll from Christmas wrapping paper. Just roll up your flag, slide it inside the roll, and use a big marker to label the roll for finding it easily. Example: Valentine, Birthday, Football, Halloween, Christmas.


  • Hiding Your Bed Linens

We live in a small home with limited closet space. I gathered all my bed linens and matched up the sheets and pillow cases. I store the fitted flat-sheet, pillow cases and an extra blanket inside the pillow sham. I throw it on the bed and it looks like a pillow! Now when the kids need to change the sheets or get cold they just get into their sham and get what they need. And for the sheets that are not in the shams, I just store them in their matching pillow case. It stores nicely and when you need something, you're grabbing the whole package all at once!


  • Books & Tapes For Employee Library
    We wanted to start a library at work but it wasn't 'in the budget' and there was no space available for it. Instead we asked employees to bring in their own books/video tapes and audio cassettes that they are willing to share. Each employee keeps their items in their office and developed their own check out system. We have an intranet site where employees can see what is available and who to check it out with - works great and didn't cost a cent!


  • Organizing Sales Receipt

While doing our 1999 income taxes I spent hours looking through a large box that we kept for receipts. Some of the receipts were from previous years making it more difficult to separate out the ones we needed. It was such a hassle that I decided to find a better way to manage my receipts for 2000.  I purchased a letter-sized expanding file from a local office supply store for under five dollars and began to file all my receipts. At the end of December, I emptied the file and stored the year's receipts by each month in regular mailing envelopes. I am now re-using the expandable file for 2001. Now, I can find any receipt quickly and effortlessly.


  • Photograph Organizing

 I began sorting the pictures into piles according to the following categories: each child's birth 1st birthday 2nd birthday, etc. -- Christmas 1981, 1982, etc. -- Vacation 1981, 1982, etc. -- each holiday by year, and finally a 1981 bag, 1982 bag, etc. for all of the odd pictures that weren't by one of my key topics. These were placed into individual zipper storage bags (generic from a discount store!) and labeled with a permanent marker. Now, when I am in the mood to work on my new scrapbook hobby, I choose which Christmas, or child's birthday, etc. and have all pictures at my fingertips. 


  • Another Way to Store Plastic Bags
    When I 'm through with a roll of paper towels instead of throwing away the cardboard tube I use it to store my plastic grocery bags, newspaper plastic bags, etc. I just keep stuffing bags into the tube until it's full, then start on a new one. All of the tubes can be banded together with rubber bands and placed where you might need the bags. I have found that three tubes banded together fit nicely in drawers and don't take up much room. You could also place the tubes in empty cereal boxes (decorated, if you want) and file away the boxes.


  • Rid the Garage of Messy Bags For Free
    Are you sick of all the half full bags (fertilizer, potting soil, cat litter, animals food, etc.) in the garage that get wet and soggy or rip leaving a mess in the garage? My solution was to go to my local grocery store and ask the bakery for their empty frosting buckets with lids. They have given me them for free. I bring them home, thoroughly clean them, remove the labels and make new laminated labels or print clearly on the bucket. This has saved me from having to throw out half full bags of ruined fertilizer and dog food. I also use these buckets to store flour and sugar that I buy in bulk when on sale.


  • Shoe Boxes
    When you purchase a new pair of shoes don't throw the box out. Instead get a Polaroid camera, take a picture of the shoes, then tape the picture to the outside of the box. This prevents shuffling through every box of shoes you have to find the right ones. Stack them neatly on the shelf, and avoid space taking shoe racks.


  • Organization-vacation
    Instead of spending money going on a vacation that you can't afford-spend time with your family organizing everyone's things. It will surprise you how many things that you have bought twice because you could not find them the first time. At the end of all the organization have a yard sale and spend the money on a day trip and see the local history and enjoy the day knowing you did it as a family.


  • Easy Donations
    I keep a couple grocery bags or a cardboard box in an unobtrusive spot. I put old clothes, blankets, books, or any other 'stuff' that I run across that I no longer need, use or want in the box. When the box is full, I just wait for the local charity pick-ups to call (we have several in my city), tell them I have some donations, and put the box outside on the morning of the pick-up. No more running around frantically the night before the pick-up scrounging for things to give them. And the day of the pick-up, I start a new box.


  • Jewelry Organized Easily
    To protect and easily find your precious jewelry take empty small boxes or boxes that jewelry or other small things came in. Open and lay the box and the lid in your dresser drawer. Lay your jewelry in the box bottoms and lids. Now when you open your dresser drawer you can see all your lovely jewels all at once and when you close the drawer it keeps them safe and dust free.


  • Bulk Storage
    If you need containers for your bulk food like flour or pasta, etc. go to your children's school. Ask the manager of the school cafeteria if they have any or will save some for you. I used to work for school food service and many useful containers are simply thrown away! Some are plastic and some are glass but they both work very well.


  • Home-made Bill Organizer
    For two years I have been purchasing a 'bill organizer' from a catalog company for about 12 dollars. I decided I could do even better on my own this year: I bought paper pocket folders on sale for 10 cents each and recycled a one inch binder my kids were through with. Each folder is labeled with the month and a computer written list of bills is taped to the inside. 


  • Organizing All Those Store Receipts
    Many of times I have heard from a friend "I just bought this item and it broke and I can't find the receipt to make a return! Oh well, I will have to just throw it out." That's money lost.  Just use the long envelopes from the utility bills and label the different categories on the front. (Grocery store, Visa, Dept stores, etc.) Inside the individual envelopes, group the receipts from the same store with paper clips then just rubberband all the envelopes together and keep in a drawer. Also paper clip credit card statements and keep them in a pocketed (colored) paper folder.  All receipts and statements are kept in one drawer. Always keep your merchandise credit slips in your wallet next to your money, so you don't forget to use them.


  • Use For Single Socks
    I save the socks that have lost their mates and use them when I need to move or store breakable glassware. Just slip a glass down in the sock and tuck the top of the sock down in the glass. For added protection you can then slip the wrapped glassed in whiskey boxes that already have the dividers.


  • Use E-mail
    When opening mail after coming home from work I often find something I'd like to call on or respond to. But, by then, the place or business is closed. What helps me to remember to call is emailing myself at work. In the email, type the company and/or the person, phone number, and a short description of what you want to say. The next day at work, when you stop for a break or lunch, just pull up the email, and all of your information is right there in front of you.


  • Labeling Freezer Storage Bags
    Since I reuse my zip-top freezer storage bags I put a piece of clear tape on the front and write the contents on the tape before freezing.


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