“Sorry, my place is such a mess!” If you have to pull out that one every time you welcome friends or family into your house, it might be time to get organized. Marla Cilley, know as The Flylady, calls that C.H.A.O.S—can’t have anyone over syndrome!
Organization is an important aspect of any home. And we’re quite familiar with the rule: A place for everything and everything in its place. Right? The challenge is finding that place and then actually following through by making sure that place is regularly occupied!
What follows is a random selection of tips and tricks I’ve received over the years from my dear readers. Undoubtedly, some will have a ring of familiarity, while others will have you smacking palm to forehead wondering “Why didn’t I think of that?!”
Reading all the way to the end just might give you an uncontrollable urge to get started. Should come up with your own organization and storage tips and tricks, which we hope you’ll share!
Computer cords and charging cables make homes and offices unsightly. Camouflage the cords by threading them through a length of 1/2-inch PVC pipe you’ve attached to the wall.
Take a forgotten dish drainer that’s most likely stashed under your kitchen sink and give it a new life in the office. Use it for organizing paper, pencils, pads, cards, and envelopes. It works great and will save you a few bucks from buy buying a desk organizer.
Earring organizers are all the rage in stores and boutiques. You can make your own by removing the glass and cardboard backing from a picture frame and replacing it with a piece of vinyl window screen purchased at a home improvement center like Home Depot or Lowe’s. Cut it to the same size as the glass. Tack it in place in the same manner that the screen was secured. Now you can hang your earrings through the screening so they stay organized and easy to find.
The next time you come across a piece of thin foam wrap (not bubble wrap) used to package fragile items, cut a strip that will fit nicely into a drawer or a compartment of your jewelry box. It makes a handy and convenient earring holder. Simply push the shank through the foam wrap and attach the earring back to the other side. The convenience of having all of your earrings secured and in the same place is well worth the few seconds it takes to attach them to a foam strip.
Clearly, there is no single way to accomplish the matter of keeping earrings organized and not hopelessly orphaned! Here’s one more:
Are you always rummaging through your jewelry box in the morning to find a matching pair of earrings? Purchase a 28-day pill organizer from a dollar store to organize your earrings. The box is clear plastic so you can easily see all of your earrings at a glance. Now they’re all organized. No more rummaging.
Donate to Drama
If Halloween costumes (old prom and bridesmaids dresses) end up in boxes in your attic or garage, never to see the dark of night again, get all of them out and donate them to a theatrical group, school, or church drama department. You’ll get a tax recipe and free up some much-needed storage space, too.
Cabinet Storage Guide
Once you have your kitchen cabinets organized, take photos of every item that goes into each of our kitchen cabinets and drawers. Then print them in thumbnail view, one page per cabinet. Tape each handy reference guide to the inside of the cabinet door and now your family is perfectly clear about what goes where. It’s a quick guide to finding what you have stored in deep or low cabinets as well.
Golf Bag Revival
An old golf bag makes a great caddy for all of those long-handled tools in your garage or garden storage shed. It looks cool, too.
For things you would hate to lose in a fire or tornado but won’t fit into a safety deposit box, do this: Put them in freezer bags and store them in the freezer. Chances are they will survive a disaster quite nicely.
Storage Space Solution
If your storage space is limited and you have to stack several boxes on top of each other, make a diagram on an index card and keep it in a handy place. When you look for something, you’ll know exactly where it is. Store items that you’re more likely to use often toward the front with less frequently used items at the back.
Tangled, unorganized cords can quickly clutter your space. But when you need to use that item, you need its specific cord, too. Use empty paper towel and tissue rolls to store appliance cords, It keeps them neat and you can write on the roll the appliance or item it belongs to.
To keep your possessions from overtaking your life and your space, declare a new personal dictum: For every new thing that comes in, something old must go out. You must obey The Law. It’ll work. In fact, there will be times that you’ll really want to bring home something new but the thought of getting rid of something of equal size or value will help you distinguish between a true need and a passing desire.
Use a terra-cotta flowerpot (super inexpensive in the garden department) to hold all your kitchen-cleaning tools under the sink. The terra cotta absorbs moisture, which will help to keep your tools dry and rust-free.
The Perfect Box
Buy milk from Costco, two gallons to a carton, and recycle the box they come in, which is perfect for storing 8-by-11 sized documents and magazines. These sturdy boxes are easy to manage because they are smaller and hold less than typical storage boxes.