Let's see if we can make a list of 100 favorite Organizing Tips..

justgotabmeAugust 14, 2008

Cable and Cord Tamer.

I don't know of anyone that doesn't have this problem somewhere in there home. The way I keep them in check is to use a shower curtain rod cover. They don't cost a lot and come in decorative colors. With the slit along the whole length it's very easy to cover a number of cords/cables. Just lay that against the wall and there you go! Neat and tidy cords.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shower Rod Covers

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mustangs81

The obvious is a Brother P-Touch labeling system. I use it all over the house-pantry, refrigerator, spice drawer, home office, PCs, garage

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 10:20PM
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bspofford

When doing a major purge, I bring the big garbage can right into the room where I am working, saving a gazillion trips with a wastebasket. I use binder clips on the four corners to hold the liner in place.

Barbara

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 10:56PM
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jamie_mt

Work with your natural inclinations, rather than against them. If you sort the mail at the kitchen counter, organizing a mail center in the office will probably not work. Likewise, if you kick your shoes off in the hall, organizing a shoe rack in your bedroom closet probably isn't going to help. Find solutions that work *with* you, and require you to make the smallest change possible.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 11:58AM
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talley_sue_nyc

Make some things easy to put away, even if it's harder to get them out.

Why? because if you really *want* an item, you'll spend the energy to get it. But once you're done w/ it, you may just leave it kicking around if putting it away would be too hard.

Example: put all the instruction booklets, etc., in one big folder, w/ no sorting. If you *need* to know what sort of bulb to buy for the microwave hood, you'll dig the manual out. But if putting it away means sorting through to find the right spot, you may just leave it lying on the kitchen counter.

If your kids want to play baseball, they'll dig the gloves out from the bottom of the big box; but if they have to get out the stepladder to put it away on the high shelf, they'll leave it sit (even if they were willing to climb up there to GET the gloves bcs they were all excited to play).

(note that this doesn't work w/ *some* things; if you store your everyday platters where they're easy to get to, and your fancy ones where it's harder, you may discover that you won't ever bother to get the fancy ones out)

(and let's do one Idea per post)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 12:20PM
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talley_sue_nyc

If you find that your most-used items are always sitting out on the open surfaces and never get put way, you may discover that the solution is found on your upper shelves.

Why?

These items should be stored on the foremost spot on the shelf.

But you have squatters who have taken over the prime storage spaces. The most-used items go out to "work," and then other stuff gets set in their places. That other stuff probably belongs on the upper shelves, and what's on the upper shelves should probably leave your house.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 12:46PM
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brugloverZ9

I find I get rid of the most stuff if I am feeling angry!

When I am feeling good I don't want to get rid of much...so it is better to save the dejunking job for another day!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 2:13PM
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chrisdoc

Best organizational tip ever ... If you don't have a place to put it, then you can't have it.

This helps keep new stuff from accumulating.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 2:47PM
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justgotabme

I wish I would have started by numbering. I'll start now at number....
1. Shower curtain rods are cord/cable tamer. (Becky)
2. Brother P-Touch Label system. (musstangs)
3. When purging bring trash can into room using binder clips to hold bag in place. (Barbara)
4. Work with your natural inclination instead of against them. (Jamie)
5. Make things easier to put away even if it's harder to get them out. (Talley Sue)
6. Most used items should be stored on the foremost spot on shelf. (Talley Sue)
7. Dejunk when you are angry. You'll get rid of more stuff. (bruglover)
8. If you don't have a place to store it than you can't have it. (chrisdoc)
9. Use drawer dividers to keep even a junk drawer easy to find things in. (Becky)

  1. Use all sizes of zipper bags to keep like things together. (Becky)
  2. Use tiny plastic containers such as 35mm containers or baby jars to store like items in. (Becky)
    Nine, ten and eleven can all be seen in my junk drawer pictured below......
    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 3:44PM
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justgotabme
  1. Get full extend drawers. It's so much easier to keep them neat if you can see and not have to dig for what's at the back of a drawer. (Pictured above)
    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 3:47PM
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elizabethzen

Don't organize things you don't really want!
I have spent a lot of time organizing various collections and stockpiles only to realize the items were not that important or useful to me and I should have just gotten rid of them! An example would be old patterns I had accumulated. Children's costumes, out-of-style 80's dresses, and patterns I didn't like enough to use. After getting them nicely organized and seeing how much space they occupied I donated two-thirds of them to Goodwill. Much better solution!
Elizabeth

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 7:15PM
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mustangs81
  1. Use clear Over-the-Door Shoe Organizers on the back of doors for craft supplies, junk drawer contents, bathroom grooming products, etc.
    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 10:58PM
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elizabethzen

I didn't number my previous tip (Don't organize things you don't really want! ) so that one will be 14.

  1. For Google email users: Use the Google labels and filters to organize email with color coded labels. Since discovering how useful these tools are, my email is easy to sort and access. Family members each have their own color and other mail is labeled by category and color. I use a star for mail that needs a reply. All is easy to see at a glance. Love having my email under control.
    Elizabeth
    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 8:04AM
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talley_sue_nyc
  1. Store things near where you actually use them.

and (related)

  1. Reject stereotypes!

It is perfectly acceptable to:
-store hats and mittens in the bottom of the china cabinet
-store Christmas ornaments in the hard-to-reach upper upper shelves of your kitchen cabinets
-store the turkey roaster in the bathroom or garage
-keep the bill-paying box in the top drawer of the dresser
-store shoes at SHOULDER height instead of on the floor (might actually be easier to use, less bending)

  1. Label the part you see.

-write "Carpet Cleaner" on the edge of the CAP of the aerosol can (or spice bottles stored on a shelf)
-stick a label on the top of the spice bottles in the drawer
-write "English" on the EDGE of the notebook that will lie on its side on a locker shelf or in a desk, or that will stand up always in the backpack

  1. Cut down shoe-pocket organizers to use them on the backs of cabinet doors (feminine hygiene products in the bathroom) or on the sides of bookcases or dressers. (staple-gun them on)
    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 10:51AM
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justgotabme

Thanks for catching us up Elizabeth. You had my heart racing when telling me about googles color coding options. I'm so obsessive about color coding things that you had my heart racing. I may just have to change my email account to google!
Talley Sue, you had me laughing at storing hats and mittens in a china cabinet though I agree whole heartedly, I can just see a guest wanting to help set the table and finding winter accessories instead. Too funny. But love it all the same.

  1. Buy furniture not only for it's looks but with double duty. Benches that have added storage instead of leggy. You can even buy couches now that have storage under the cushions. I'm so thinking of converting our no longer needed sofa sleeper into storage space.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sofas with storage.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 12:30PM
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donnawb
  1. If you don't use it lose it.
    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 2:20PM
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marie26
  1. For heavy pieces of furniture, apply pads that are made for moving furniture to the bottom of each corner. When you move them to clean under them or when you decide to rearrange your furniture, you can probably do it by yourself since it takes very little effort.
    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 4:07PM
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elizabethzen

Here is a link for tip 15. Gmail
http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=6560

  1. More color! If you like organizing with color like justgottabeme and I do, Firefox offers a "colorful tabs" add on for their browser. It is pretty :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Firefox colorful tabs

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 7:59AM
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ljwrar

Here is a piggy back on mustangs #13:

Use clear Over-the-Door Shoe Organizers on the back of a closet door to store socks. I store one color in each row. I never have to sort through a drawer to find the right pair.

#23. Store sweaters, t-shirts and sweats on shelves instead of drawers. I keep mine on shelves in a small armoire. The stacks of clothes are separated by bookends so they can't fall over. When I open the armoire, I can see all my folded clothes at once.

#24. When I got the armoire, I ditched the triple dresser that took up way too much space. I now store my lingerie in canvas shoe shelves that hang from a closet rod. I have 8 shelves to sort all my undergarments.

Lisa

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 12:11AM
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ljwrar

#24. Arrange spices in alphabetical order. Makes it really quick to find what you need.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 12:13AM
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talley_sue_nyc

#26. If you use just a few spices most of the time, put them at the front of the cabinet, or at the end of the spice rack that's easiest to reach. (I use almost no spices, but the three that I do use are in the front of the box they sit in; open door, grab spice.)

#27. If you have space, make a "baking end" of the kitchen, or a baking zone, away from the stove (or "cooking end" of the kitchen).

#27a. Store spices used mostly in baking (cinnamon, nutmeg, sometimes ginger) in the baking zone.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 8:21AM
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justgotabme

Since we're on spices I'll add this one that a friend told me about. She had very little shelf space so she
#28. Use clear jewelry pocket storage for spices by hanging it on the back of a door and placing small spice containers in each pocket. You see them at a glance.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 10:54AM
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donnawb

#29: Freecycle is your friend. They come pick up what ever you are giving away so no excuse that you didn't have time to drop off at Good Will.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 11:06AM
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lynninnewmexico

#30 Use clear plastic page protectors to store all instruction books, parts order forms, serial #'s, etc., on any new appliance, phone, etc; one per item. Boldly mark what it's for on the front of each and store in a 3,4, or 5" ring binder . . . and don't forget to label the binder's spine so that you and your family can easily locate it when needed. Alphabetizing the pages and using dividers for different categories helps, too.
Lynn

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 12:23PM
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lynninnewmexico

#31 When cleaning and purging, keep a nice-sized box, already boldly labeled "Goodwill" (or whatever) next to you, for items to donate. When done, seal it with tape and put in the front seat of your car right away to avoid second thoughts.

(BTW, I love Bruglover's "Dejunk when you're angry" idea . . . it works!)
Lynn

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 12:32PM
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livingthedream

#32 Make incoming stuff run a (logical) gauntlet.

For example, incoming mail and newspapers. As we enter our house we pass, in the following order: a waste basket for recycling the junk mail; a place for sorting the rest and storing those catalogs we keep; a basket for newspaper bags (ready for dog walk clean-up); separate places for social stuff (invitations, tickets, etc.), household operational stuff (bills, financial statements, etc.), and work-related stuff; and places for those newspaper ads we keep, and for coupons, where they are convenient when we go out to shop. The sections of the newspapers and periodicals that survive the screening are then put on the living room coffee table. Every so often we purge whatever didn't get picked up and read. And we keep recycling containers convenient to where we are likely to read. The sorting is logical enough that it isn't much of a chore, although when we're particularly busy, the sorting area can develop a mound. It's so much better than having things jumbled, let alone keeping everything.

We take a similar approach to everything we bring in. The only negative was that after unpacking our new purchases and recycling their cartons, we found we needed portions of those boxes to apply for rebates.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 3:34PM
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des_arc_ya_ya

I try to repeat this mantra to myself, "Don't put it down, put it away!!"

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 6:33AM
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chrisdoc

"Don't put it down, put it away!"

I like that!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 10:14AM
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lynninnewmexico

#34
Consider using the computer to make up your own personalized shopping lists for your groceries, Target, Costco, etc. Organize the lists by section of the stores you shop. That way you'll not only be able to keep running lists of all the things you need to pick up while you're out, you'll save time in the stores, too. I love being able to know exactly what I need ~ and don't need! ~ in each section of the store. It gets me in and out quicker and I save time and money by not browsing . . . as much anyway ;^P
Lynn

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 11:43AM
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RoxieL

This one is very old but very true. A place for everything & everything in it's place. I used to be a regular here ~7 years ago but strayed. Over the recent years, the physical organization in my home has faltered, so I'm back and ready to be inspired again. ;-) But over the years, two things I NEVER have to look for are my keys & sunglasses...because I have a hook by the door that I hang them on when I get home.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 3:26PM
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jamie_mt

Glad you came back, Roxie! :-) I just recently "returned" as well...

  1. Create a "launch pad" close to the door used most often (front or back), with a place for keys, outgoing mail, purse, whatever needs to go with you whenever you leave the house. Then when you come back in, always put those items back on your launch pad, and they'll be easy to find and handy whenever you need them.
    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 11:04AM
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talley_sue_nyc
  1. Put sunscreen next to the door (Jaime's launch pad), so you can apply to hands, arms and face before you leave every day.
    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 11:05AM
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maryliz

Freecycle is great, and I use it a lot, but sometimes it might be easier & quicker to drop off something instead of wait for someone to come pick it up. The answer is charities.

Some things are broken and useless, and need to be properly recycled. One needs to find the proper place for disposal.

So here is my suggestion:

  1. Investigate all the charities and recycling opportunities in your community. Find out what items each one does and does not take. Then sort your list based on item type. For example...

A appliances--working, appliances--broken
B batteries, bed frames, bed linens, bicycles--working, bicycles--repairable, books, building materials & fixtures
C cleaning supplies, clothing, burnt out compact fluorescent bulbs, craft materials
D doors & doorknobs
E electronics--working, electronics--dead, eyeglasses

and so on...

After each named item, I list the where, when & how of getting it to the right place.

I was fortunate to be able to find a webpage that lists charities for my area, so it didn't take me long to cut and paste it into an item-by-item list. The bonus: the list gets me thinking of stuff I could give away. "Hmmm, do I really need all those blankets?"

I have also asked around at church to see if anyone needs something I am about to give away. That saves me from having to post it on Freecycle, sort through the replies, make sure the person knows how to get to my house, etc.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 12:27PM
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maryliz

Maybe when you read this, you might say, "Duh!" But I have been saving all those buttons that come in a little plastic bag attached to clothing. Saving them separately from the clothes, in a jar in my sewing room. Sometimes, I label the button, so that I won't forget which garment it came from. Then a few days ago, I said to myself, "Duh! Just sew it to a seam allowance somewhere!" So I have been doing exactly that.

  1. Store extra buttons, snaps, etc. by sewing them to the garment they came with.
    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 3:15PM
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alabamajanet
  1. Whenver I take something off the hanger to wear, I TRY to remember to place the empty hanger on the end of the closet rod. It makes it easier to corral the hangers at laundry time.

Janet

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 4:25PM
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RoxieL

I'm not sure if everyone would consider this an organizing tip, but I sure do! As I've mentioned before, I rely heavily upon my PDA. In fact, I have a rule that no Post-It's, scraps of paper or envelopes are allowed to stay around very long. For some reason, when I'm on the phone, it's just easier for me to write things down on paper (rather than keyboard.) (I'm very good about noting dates/times & names of people I talk to when calling about things.) But, if it's worth writing down, it's worth transferring to the PDA & then the paper tossed.

BUT...what about those times when you're driving & think of something you want to make a note about? A couple of years ago, I started using the voice memo option on my cell phone. While driving or in a situation where it's not convenient to enter info into the PDA, I'd simply make a voice memo on the cell phone & then transfer it later, to my PDA. This came in handy also, when outside - my PDA is difficult to read in the sun, so it's just easier to make a voice memo. Another situation is parking. IE airport parking or hospital parking. I'll make a voice memo about where I parked.

The problem is my cell phone doesn't allow much space for voice memos, eventhough I have added a micro SD card. Seems only the photos & camcorder can use the SD card. (BOO!)

SO...I got tired of running out of space & got this little baby. Yes, it's one more tool to lug around & one more tool to worry about batteries, but after having it for almost a week, I really like having it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Olympus Voice Recorder

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 8:21PM
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maryliz

We'll call the post above tip # 41.

  1. Keep a stash of healthy on-the-go snacks near your "launch pad," wherever you store your purse. Grab a snack when you dash out the door. Then you won't be tempted by a greasy fast-food burger.

I like granola bars, because they can sit in my purse for days before I need them. Apples are good, too. You could keep cheese cubes and celery sticks in a zipper baggie, ready to go in a corner of the refrigerator.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 9:55AM
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talley_sue_nyc

actually, let's make Roxie's tip TWO tips.

#41: don't let scrap-paper note hang around; if they're worth writing down, they're worth transferring to your permanent system (PDA or address book/calendar, whatever).

And MaryLiz can keep #42, so we'll make Roxie's OTHER tip be #43/

#43. Use the voice-memo feature on your PDA (or your MP3 player; some of them have 'em) to make short notes when you can't get to paper--but TRANSFER THESE as well. (unless it's info like, what to buy on a short shopping run, or where you parked the car at the mall)

Here's one from my morning:

#44: Take the paper TO the scissors. (or the tape, stapler, hole punch, etc.)
I needed to open 2 bags of caramels, and I started to go get the scissors to bring them to where I was working. Duh! Then I'd just have to make 2 trips, so I knew I'd leave the scissors sitting. I took both bags to the scissors drawer, and cut them open, and set the scissors back down in the same spot.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 10:57AM
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lynninnewmexico

#45 Take advantage of the back-to-school sales and stock up on the small scissors and clear plastic rulers (can be easily washed up in the sink). Leave a pair of scissors and/or ruler every place you typically might need them.

I keep one in the laundry room to quickly cut off loose threads; in my bathroom drawer, as this is where I usually unpack new clothing and I can easily cut off tags; DH's bedside table drawer, as I tend to fold clothes over on that side of the bed and can quickly snip off a loose thread. I keep a pair of regular and a pair of kitchen scissors, as well as a clear plastic ruler in my kitchen work drawer to measure lengths and thicknesses of things I'm preparing. I also keep a ruler and scissors in my glove compartment, desk drawer, my gardening bag and in my potting drawer. Anyhoo, I appreciate not having to stop and go hunting for a pair of scissors or a ruler every time I need one. It saves me time and I like that . . . and the fact that I can pick them up at this time of year for about 30 cents each.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 11:56AM
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graywings123

#46. Store your metal spatulas/pancake turners upside down in the kitchen drawer. They won't get caught as you pull the drawer out.

#47. Store your plastic wrap in the refrigerator to prevent it from sticking to itself as you are trying to use it.

#48. Keep a 12 inch ruler in the kitchen. Use it for measuring a baking dish when a recipe calls for a certain size or depth. Use it to keep a page open in a cookbook or to mark your place when following an intricate recipe.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 3:06PM
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raptorrunner

Closet tip.

In weather that does not require the wash of a shirt I've worn for one day, I put the shirt back on the hangar inside out. When I wear it the 2nd time, I know it should be washed after that wearing. No memorization needed.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 6:36PM
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mommabird
  1. Keep an empty box, with the lid, next to your dryer. As you take clothes out, put anything that was uncomfortable when you wore it, or was too small the last time your kid wore it, in it. When it's full, put on the box and take to your car. The next time you pass a charity drop box, drop it in.

  2. Before buying ANY article of clothing, visualize washing it, ironing it, maintaining it, storing it, etc. About 1/2 the time I end up deciding it's not worth the effort & don't buy the item.

  3. Keep a basket or plastic bin in the bottom of your coat closet for hats & gloves. Before I did this, we had half a dozen of each but could never find any of them. Now they are all in one place.

  4. Keep your re-usable cloth shopping bags in the car. That way you'll remember them when you go shopping. I empty out the groceries & immediatly take the bags back out to the car. Unless I do, I get to the store and say "shoot, I forgot the bags!"

  5. This is extreme so may not be for everyone, but I had my dad build a set of 3 cubbies out of plywood. They are in my kitchen and are our "launch pad." Each kid has a tall cubbie with a hook for coat & a hook for backpack, and 2 12" tall cubbies above for lunchbox. I have the top row of 12" cubbies for phone books, camera bag, sunscreen, etc. My dad built it about 6' tall and 9' wide and it takes up the blank wall in our kitchen. He stained it to match my cabinents.

  6. I have a cork board beside the calendar in my kitchen. I put the boys' sports team schedules, band schedules, etc on it. Also any tickets we pre-purchased for upcoming events. Anything I don't want to loose gets a thumbtack on the board. I take stuff off as soon as the sports team is over to keep papers from building up.

  7. I bought a flexible plastic write on/wipe off sheet at an office supply store that has magnets all around. It's made by Post It, about 1' wide by 2' tall, I put in on my back door (steel door). Every night before bed I write everyone's schedule for the next day. It's right in your face as you leave the house so you can't forget to bring what you need. I also found it on Amazon - see link below. This has made our lives so much easier!

  8. And the oldest hint in the book - lay out your clothes the night before & get your briefcase/backpack ready for the next day before you go to bed. I've done this since I was 8 or 9 years old and it really works.

Here is a link that might be useful: Post-it dry erase sheets (Idea #56)

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 11:14PM
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marie26
  1. For those who don't find it necessary to do laundry every day, buy a hamper(s) that is the same size as your washing machine bin. Years ago, I bought a new hamper and realized that when it was full, the clothes fit perfectly into my washing machine when it was set to a large load. If you sort your clothes, just buy 2 of these hampers.
    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 11:32PM
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RoxieL

Expounding on #45 - scissors in most locations you use them...

I prefer to have different colored handles for each location. That way, when my husband uses them & leaves them in another location, I know the purple ones go in the kitchen, the neon green ones go in the office bathroom, the black ones go in the tv room, etc.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 3:36AM
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graywings123

#60 Experiement with how you fold towels. Fold to maximize your space, which sometimes means taking up more surface area and allowing you to stack higher. And sometimes rolling towels is better than folding.

Just because your momma taught you to fold a certain way doesn't mean it is the best fit for your closet.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 2:23PM
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livingthedream

Great ideas!

Here's some more, which I'm inspired to post by #53 (which we also do):

#61: To make the most of time and gas when running errands, keep an insulated cooler chest in the car to protect perishable items. In cold weather, it's useful for tender greens and other things that might freeze. In hot weather, cool it off with an icer or bag of ice cubes. That way you don't have to cut the trip short.

#62: Keep a handcart (I got mine at IKEA for $20) in the car. It's amazing how much easier it makes bringing things in (including the cooler when full).

As in #53, cooler and handcart get returned to the car as soon as they are unpacked, and the icer to the freezer, to be ready to go on the next trip.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 2:44PM
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justgotabme

Wow some great tips here. Funny how right now I can't think of any that haven't been already added and I'm the one that started all this.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 4:21PM
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brugloverZ9

Not sure if already mentioned...I don't think so, but setting a timer & doing a certain task. I find that with this I get so much more done. I don't "float" from one things and one room to the next. I am amazed how much that I can get done in 10-15 min. when I am set on doing only one task.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 9:28PM
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maryliz

I'll call that tip above #63. Hope it wasn't already mentioned.

I already do a lot of these tips -- like the cooler to keep groceries from wilting/melting on long, combined errand runs.

Here's my latest:

  1. If you have a dog, keep one dog leash in each car you own. Keep another leash at home, to use when walking near your house. Now, when you dash out the door, you won't arrive at your destination and realize that you don't have a leash for the dog.

  2. If you have a dog, keep a non-tip bowl in the car at all times. Fill a water jug right before you leave anywhere with the dog. Keep a little water in the bowl for the dog. Check the water level frequently when the weather is hot. When you get back, clean and dry the bowl, and put back into the car.

  3. Keep a non-digital (mechanical) thermometer in the car -- if possible, where you can view it from the driver's seat. You'll always know how hot it is inside the car. Safer for animal passengers that way.

  4. Fill a pitcher with water. Keep in the refrigerator. When you want a drink, you won't have to run the water until it gets cool. It is already cold. Do the same with a reused spring water bottle, and you can grab it as you dash out the door.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 10:00AM
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RoxieL
  1. I like to use a bright red, orange or pink nail polish to put a big dot on the "top side" of electrical plugs that can only go in one way. Only saves a few seconds, but it's handy when you're in a hurry & plugging something in.

MaryLiz, your item #64 reminds me of something I thought of the other day. We have a couple of safes in the home. One is for things you don't want a nibby person who may be a guest in your home, getting their hands on, such as new books of checks. The other one has a handle on it & it's used to keep more important things such as cash, jewelry, backups of our computer. It's one of the things on my "evacuation" list, should we need to evacuate b/c of fire, flood, etc. The other day, it occurred to me I should put a couple of dog leashes in there, too.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 10:18AM
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RoxieL
  1. When putting folding towels, sheets, blankets, etc on a shelf, I put the fold facing me (edges toward the back - hope that makes sense.) That way it's alot easier to simply grab the number of items you want w/o pulling extras out & having to put them back.
    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 11:01AM
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jamie_mt

As an addition to #40 - I have a basket (with a handle) on my closet floor that I simply drop hangers into when I take clothes off of them. Then I can carry the whole basket downstairs with me when I do laundry. I need to do that for my husband's closet too.

It's clear that I need more scissors! Love the tips on taking things to the scissors, and keeping scissors everywhere you might need them...I'm constantly "misplacing" scissors, and those two tips would completely solve the problem!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 11:38AM
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jamie_mt
  1. One of my hanging organizers has shoe pockets in the side (like an over the door hanger). I put one pair of underwear and one pair of socks in each, so I can just grab the contents of one pocket each morning, and not have to dig for those small items in drawers.

  2. I buy my socks all the same color, so I don't have to worry about whether they match what I'm wearing or not. All of my work socks are black, and all of my atheletic socks are white (I wear thick white atheletic socks in my dressy work boots for winter - no one knows the difference, and my feet stay warm).

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 11:47AM
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talley_sue_nyc

Sometimes the advice is given that if you haven't used something in a year (or once I read 6 months!), you should get rid of it.

But this has never set well w/ me; just because I didn't host Thanksgiving dinner this year doesn't mean I'm going to toss my big roasting pan. Ditto stuff like long underwear (I should go by new just because last year's winter was mild?)

So, for those, how to decide? Someone posting here once said:

#72. If you have *PASSED UP* an opportunity to use something, that's a sign you should get rid of it.

(if you'd rather be cold than wear those longjohns, then those longjohns aren't useful anymore)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 3:40PM
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justgotabme

#73 Store extra bed linens for each bed under that bed in covered roll out underbed storage containers.
#74 Organize your plastic kitchen storage containers by shape. All square on one shelf and all round on another shelf.
#75 Have a laundry schedule where all family members can easily see it so they know to have their laundry sorted and ready whether they do their own or someone else does it.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 5:50PM
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marie26

Put all the components of your sheet set into one of its pillows. I've been doing this for years and it really is easier to just pull the pillowcase from the linen closet.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 7:31PM
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talley_sue_nyc

That's #76.

#77. Have only one spare set of sheets for each bed. (For kids, have a spare mattress pad, and maybe 2 spare sets of sheets for every 3 beds; bcs kids get sick sometimes)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 11:39PM
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jak1

I have only white towels for all of my three bathrooms. Go with any colour bathroom, can go to whichever bathroom needs some, get all washed together with hot water and bleach. No sorting by colour, just put a few towels in each bathroom on washday.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 8:23AM
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talley_sue_nyc

That's #78 (all white towels means no sorting,a nd they always match).

(Don't forget to number your tip, so we can keep track.)

ditto:

#79 Using only white sheets means that when the bottom sheet wears out (and it will--just went through this), you can buy a single sheet to go w/ the top sheet (particular useful if you tend to buy slightly more expensive sheets).

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 8:34AM
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arleneb

I don't know if this qualifies as "organizing" or not . . . but when I cook or bake, my first step is always to fill the sink with hot soapy water and to open the dishwasher. Every dirty utensil or pan goes immediately into either the DW or sink. When I'm done, the dishes are either hidden in the DW or pretty much soaked clean in the sink . . . a quick rinse, a counter wipe, and the kitchen is clean. #80, if you count it as organizing.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 9:23AM
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lynninnewmexico

#81 Keep a stack of those small "dot" stickers in your kitchen drawer and use them to mark any box or can of food that you have doubles of in the pantry or another storage location. That way, as you're running out of it, you immediately know if you have another one waiting in the wings or if you need to add it to your shopping list. It's an easy way to keep your kitchen organized and not end up with 4 bottles of balsamic vinegar taking up space (like I did)!

#82 Keep a small, brightly colored 2x2" pad of Post It notes and a small (golf/Miniature golf sized) pencil in your car's ash tray/auxillary holder. Use it to write yourself quick notes (at stop lights, not while you're actually driving!). Things you forgot to put on your To-Do or shopping list, an address or phone number, etc. I'm amazed at how much I use mine and how wonderfully they help me stay organized when I'm out running errands. The trick is to keep them with in easy reach and handy . . . and also small.

#83 Keep a nice-sized notepad on your extra fridge and/or freezer (if you have one). I cut up one of those big, thin advertising magnets that I get in the mail from realtors, etc. and hot glue it to the back of a regular notepad. Pick up a magnetized pencil holder, which are very cheap now that school is starting. The set is very handy to write yourself notes as you unload your groceries into that garage or basement extra freezer or fridge.
Before I started doing this, I was always buying things at the grocery and then forgetting half of what I'd bought. Out of sight, out of mind! This way, I write myself a quick list of things I've purchased and take it into my kitchen with me.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 11:10AM
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justgotabme

Yes, that's an organizing tip Hostagrams! Thanks! I'm using it tonight when I make dinner.

Lynn, love your tips as I'm very forgetful.

#84. I prefer to do my sorting in the laundry room so I've placed a laundry basket in our walk in closet to toss all dirty clothes. My hubby never could remember which mesh bag was for which color clothes so I was sorting them anyway. It's the best time saver I've ever come up with for us.

#85 Keep travel sized containers of lotion, lip gloss and anything else you might need at bed time or during the night in your bedside table drawer. I keep an anti itch/ bug cream in mine since it seems bug bites don't itch until I'm almost asleep. Saves me from having to get up and possibly wake up too much to fall asleep.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 2:21PM
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lexi7

My DH taught me this one. He could always find his clothes easily when we traveled, but I was always tumbling around in the suitcase for everything.
#86 Fold each dayÂs clothes together; pants, shirt, socks and underwear. Then all you have to do is take out one group for the day.

Would you love to send birthday cards to the people you care about, but always seem to forget something. This one works for me.
#87 Buy all the cards and stamps at one time. Select the cards and address all the envelopes. With a pencil, print the birthday on the envelope where the stamp goes. Arrange the envelopes unsealed in date order. Depending on the distance for mailing, if in the same city, two days before the date, erase the date and put a stamp on the envelope. Jot a note, sign and seal the card. The reason for not signing and sealing when you address the envelope is you might want to add a time appropriate note.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 10:39PM
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justgotabme

Love them both Lexi! Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 10:53PM
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marie26

Lexi, I'm going to use the suitcase trick next week when I travel. That is such an obvious one, it's amazing that most of us never thought of it.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 12:18AM
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maryliz
  1. When you buy food that is supposed to last for a while, such as ketchup, bread crumbs, crackers, etc., put a small sticker on it, with the date purchased. Sometimes, foods don't have a "good until" date printed on the label. When it sits for years, bad things can happen.

Especially important at a family cottage, where you might have an item bought for one person that nobody else will touch -- until it starts to bubble or small bad!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 8:24AM
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bronwynsmom

For keeping your pocketbooks in order...(I know,...everybody says purse, but I seem to still say what my grandmother said...I still say icebox sometimes, too...)

Half my pocketbooks have sections, and half are just one big sack inside...and I seem to have lots of sizes and shapes....so...

  1. Sort your contents into small zipper pouches or card holders...then when you change bags, you can take only what you need, and avoid the great cluttered sack effect and all that annoying rooting around when you have to carry it all.

I have one small card holder with all my membership cards in it...the museum, the botanical garden, etc...and all my discount cards as well...Barnes & Noble, the punch cards for any buy-ten-get-one-free things, that sort of thing. I have another for my health and auto insurance cards, my auto club cards, and my emergency contact card...anything that might be needed in an unexpected event. I keep a small pouch in my desk drawer with store account cards which I only carry when I am going to that place, and any credit cards I keep active for special use (I only carry my debit card and my american express card every day). I have a little zipper bag for a couple of cosmetic essentials, and another for medicine, if I have to carry any. And I keep a small notebook with a little pen included, a 3 inch tel-address book with local phone numbers I may need, and my wonderful Moleskine calendar (I use a red one so I can always find it...)...
If I have to change pocketbooks, I can do it in no time, and for special occasions, I can take a small one with just the essentials in it.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 9:09AM
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sheriz6

This one builds on Maryliz's excellent idea #89 If the item doesn't have an easily visible expiration date stamped on it, I use a sharpie marker to jot the date bought on the package. But I've also found it helpful to (#91) mark the date a food item is opened on the lid before returning it to the refrigerator. Things sometimes get shuffled to the back, and sometimes I just can't remember how old that sour cream or half jar of tomato sauce might be.

Such good ideas here! I'm keeping a list.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 9:45AM
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lynninnewmexico

Lexi, we use that suitcase one, too! I'm glad you listed it here for everyone, as it's so darn handy. I especially appreciated it when the kids were small. One day's complete outfit in each ziploc bag, folded so that they could see the pants or shorts on one side and the top on the other side for choosing WITHOUT opeing each bag.
Bronwyns Mom: great purse idea!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 10:52AM
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jamie_mt

#92. Establish morning/evening routines and stick to them as much as you possibly can. When I let my routines go even for a day, the whole rest of the week is out of whack. Being strict about sticking to them allows me more flexiblity throughout the rest of the day to work around whatever might happen, and know that at least the basics are taken care of.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 11:27AM
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livingthedream

#93 - A great idea that I got here, but haven't listed seen so far: keep produce in the refrigerator door shelves rather than crispers. It cuts down waste as it is easier to keep tabs on what you have, plus seeing it reminds you to eat it.

#94 (another one I got here) - Keep track of whether you use all your clothing by starting the season with the hangers reversed, then putting things back with the hangers in the regular directio. At the end of the season it's easy to see which items didn't get worn.

#95 (this one is mine) - Use different hangers for different categories of clothing (for example, I use different hanger styles for full-length pants and capris, which otherwise look similar folded over on a hanger). It speeds up putting together outfits. Plus, for those of us who buy more during the season, running out of hangers means it is time to purge that category (or go look for the hangers in someone else's closet).

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 2:33PM
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bronwynsmom

This may be the most trivial one of all, but my DH came up with a great idea for managing gifts of wine...

You know how when you go to your friends' houses for dinner you take a bottle, and they bring one to you, and those bottles often get put away for later because you've already chosen the dinner wine, and bottles show up for birthdays and Christmas, and you forget who brought you what, and you worry that you will take the same bottle back to the people who gave it to you?

#96: DH bought a package of small assorted colored dots, and assigned a color to each of the people or couples we exchange dinners with most often. When they give us a bottle, we stick a dot in their color somewhere on the bottle so that we know not to take it back to their house. We also know who to thank when we open one that came from somebody, particularly if it is something special.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 8:51PM
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justgotabme

#97 Challenge a friend that also needs to get something organized to a day of doing just that. Organizing. Even if you don't live in the same town you can post pix of what you accomplished via email or in a photo album, such as on photobucket. Or we could do it here as far as that goes. Just like Jamie did with her office area.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 2:52PM
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ljwrar

Here's something my mom does. She has a large closet and travels a lot.

#98 Color coordinate the clothes in your closet. When you travel, just pack one section of tops, a couple pair of neutral pants and one jacket that matches them. I've never been able to pull this one off. But I do envy my mom's closet!

Lisa

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 10:47PM
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justgotabme

Lisa, I do that! It's easy!
#99 If you pack your own groceries, make sure items in each bag go in the same area of your kitchen or home.
#100 If you love TV, but don't have as much time to watch as you'd like, then TiVo or DVR everything you want to watch. You'll save twenty minutes of every hour just by fast forwarding through the commercials.

I know that's one hundred, but if you have more bring them on!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 5:39PM
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cave76

Spices: Because I use a lot of 'different' ones and little space for a rack--- I organize them into "red spices" "green spices" etc in plastic baskets in my pantry.

And, I have one with 'ethnic' for spices that are clearly indefinable (like shrimp paste or 5 Spice or Amchur.

I may not work for everyone but it works for me.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 10:49AM
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justgotabme

Thanks Cave76. That's # 101. I think it's a great one. I never would have thought of that. Smart thinkin'.
Who has more?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 1:47PM
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janetgia

#102. When buying a new home, keep everything related to the purchase in a tabbed three-ring binder. This not only allows you to quickly find your purchase agreement, mortgage application, etc. during the process - but also gives you a baseline for the condition of every aspect of the home, as shown in the home inspection, termite inspections, etc. It also is a great one-stop reference for future needs such as, "What was the name of the pest control company we used?" or "We should call that guy who fixed the sunken patio and have him replace the front stoop."

I bought a 3-inch binder and set of five tabs, and marked the tabs like so:

Purchase documents (purchase agreements, addendums, etc.)
Inspections (home inspection report, furnace inspection report, etc.)
Financial documents (mortgage app, documentation provided to bank, etc.)
Warranty/Misc. (copy of home warranty, dispute resolution brochure, etc.)
Sale documents (documents related to the sale of our present home)

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 1:41PM
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bronwynsmom

#103: Simple white cardboard document boxes for all the stuff related to each project in your life, to make your shelves serene, and to make sure you don't lose track of things in the pile.

I mentioned this in another thread, about craft supplies:
Staples sells flat-pack storage boxes that are simple white cardboard. They come three to a package, and I use them as project boxes because they are the right size for a bookshelf, clean looking and simple, relatively dirt cheap, and store flat when I am not using them. The sizes I find most useful are 10 X 12 X 4 deep, and 9-1/2 X 11-1/2 X 2-1/2 deep.
I pop them together, use clear package tape to hold them around the back, and then I put a piece of package tape on the front edge so that I can put a label on that, and peel it off cleanly to reuse the box for the next project. I probably have two dozen of them in my two work areas, they are fabulously neat and tidy, and I can take down only what I am working on at that moment.

The link shows them in packages of 25, but the stores have them in packages of three...

Here is a link that might be useful: White document boxes

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 3:53PM
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ladynimue

We keep a SOCK BOX in the laundry room to keep those spare, match-less socks in and later match them up. I just use an old cardboard shoe box.

When I put away laundry I'll toss in any single sock and it's amazing how many times I'll end up later finding it's match (usually under the kids bed!).

Also great for that one remaining good sock when you've had to throw away the matching one because of a hole or something - keep the good one in the box and eventually you'll have another good one because you've had to throw away it's matching sock...on and on, LOL.

It helps that we buy our boys and ourselves all the same color and style of socks (a tip someone else mentioned above).

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 5:41PM
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talley_sue_nyc
  1. We keep a SOCK BOX in the laundry room to keep those spare, match-less socks in and later match them up. I just use an old cardboard shoe box.

My mom did that, but I have a different plan that works well for me. I call it:

  1. The "no summer homes" policy.

Things have only one place they go.

So I put the loose socks back in the drawer; its mate will come back to it eventually. Now and then you have to toss out the ones whose mates never come back but at least I don't have the separate chore of sorting out the sock basket.

(My mom put ALL socks in the sock basket, and made kids sort them; she could do that, I can't)

Also, when I take the china out, I put the plate protectors back on the same spot, to wait there for the clean plates. (my MIL was helping set the table one day and wanted me to notice where she was putting them -- on top of the kitchen cabinets--so I could find them later. Until then it had never occurred to me that anyone would put them anywhere but back in the same spot)

If my kid is picking up his room and finds half of a toy, it goes back on the shelf where it belongs; when he finds the other half, the first piece will be waiting right where it belongs.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 3:27PM
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concretenprimroses

Wow, what great hints! I'm going to buy some document boxes for starters. Love the hint about not having many sheets. I'm not going to buy anymore for sure (until what i have wears out.)

  1. Put a coat rack in the bedroom. (Free standing post type with hooks). I did this when we gave up our queen sized bed to weekend houseguests so they'd have somewhere to hang things. When we moved back into our room, my dh started hanging his clothes and bathrobe there at bed time (it was on his side), and unlike when he threw them on a chair or the floor, he put them away in the morning! Something about being at eye level, so its staying. It doesn't take up much room, and they come in different styles.

  2. Another way to store sheets which I keep in a bureau: Bottom sheets in bottom drawer, top sheets in middle, pillow cases and pillow protectors in top drawer(s). I mix and match, and we each use 2 or 3 pillows. This is for the 3 full beds. Queen sheets I keep in room with the one queen bed.

Hope these qualify.

kathy

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 4:24PM
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redcurls

Roxiel....about your cell phone not allowing much space for voice messages when you want to make note of where you're parked.

Take a PICTURE of the location sign where you're parked....Once you return, just delete the picture.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 1:01AM
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bspofford
  1. Get your supermarket to put a garbage can by the fresh corn. Clean it there and leave the husks in THEIR trash, not yours.
    I had four houseguests, and when prepping for dinner, one of them was assigned to do the 'fine cleaning' and wrap each ear in plastic wrap for nuking in the microwave. She asked if I wanted all the ears wrapped, and the extra stored that way. So, hint 109 was born...
  2. Wrap cleaned ears of corn in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to cook in the microwave oven.
  3. Slice several bunches of green onions and store in the fridge in a covered container. I find I use them much more often if they are already to use. And as an added bonus, they seem to last longer for me when they are chopped. After a week in the fridge, uncut green onions started to get slimy/mushy.

Barbara

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 7:00PM
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marie26
  1. The only lids I need to store are those from my oversized stock pots since I use plates instead of lids for my saucepans.

  2. I purchase spaghetti sauce in a jar and then add lots of my own ingredients when cooking it. I use the jar for the leftover sauce that I put in the fridge and then when that's used I just throw the jar away. Saves on washing out a messy container.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 7:33PM
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justgotabme

I'm thrilled with how many great tips are piling up! We could have a book made from these!

  1. If you wear your sunglasses mostly in the car then leave them on the dash where you can see them so you won't look all over the house for them only to find them on the car seat.

  2. Dry your wet umbrella opened on top of the hood of my car so I won't forget to put it back in it so I'll have it next time it rains.

  3. Have a special place for your remotes to "hide" so when you have company and you tuck them away you'll not have to search for them when you need them. Also works when different family members use the same remote. If there's a special place to put it when you are done the next person can easily find it. A decorative box works great.

~Becky

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 12:09AM
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joann23456
  1. Make helpful notes for next year in your calendar.

For example, after a Halloween kids' event last year where my niece was running around barefoot because we didn't know to bring socks, I made a note for October 1 of this year to remind me to bring socks this time. I would never have remembered otherwise.

I also make notes of where I've stored season-specific items that I wouldn't otherwise remember. Things like, "You have 19 red taper candles on the top shelf of the dining room closet" written on November 1, just before Christmas buying season.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 1:46AM
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lulubelle512

Just jumping in here. I too have the solo sock holding drawer but finally gave up on some of them and made them good dusting/cleaning helpers. (eventaully teh long lost mate is just not going to appear:)

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 12:07PM
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kookoo2

regarding #84 - i solved the "which bag/hamper" problem by buying four color-coded tall trash cans for each bedroom to use as hampers. White for whites, tan for light warm-wash, dark green for dark warm-wash, and light blue for cold wash/delicates (not in the youngest kid's room, since so few of his clothes needed this). Even my youngest (about 6 at the time) could do this, so your husband probably could too (unless he is color blind, maybe). A few errors aren't a problem, since you can see the clothes as you load them into the washer, and just take out the mis-placed ones (or go ahead and wash them anyway if it won't ruin the garment).

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 2:13AM
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mc_hudd

This is more of a time saver, but I guess you could classify it as organizing your time.

#117: If I'm wearing something & know I've gotten a stain of some sort on it, I make it noticable for laundry day. When I take the article off, I either tie it in a knot (t-shirt), or on long sleeved shirts, I tie the arms together, pants, tie the legs together, etc... This way when laundry day comes around, I don't have to inspect each item for pretreating. This might be difficult to get your kids to do this, but even if only 1 person does it, it just saves that much time.

#118: I am not a morning person, so I try to do as much as possible the night before. I always have the delay brew set on my coffee pot, and have recently started setting out my coffee cup, upside down by the pot, & putting a napking & spoon @ my place at the table. This doesn't sound like much, but it really makes the morning easier for those of us who are slow risers.

#119: (This is similar to one mentioned above.) When I'm shopping & get to the check out counter, I always unload my cart by catagories; ie. frozen food, non-frozen food, personal care, pet products, etc... This way the cashier will more than likely bag those catagories together, then when it's time to put away, it's just that much easier.

Hope these help someone! :)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 2:08PM
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nwroselady

#120 Space bags are wonderful. I bought an assortment of sizes at Costco and used them to store extra blankets, pillows, tablecloths and napkins. I had to wash a lot of them first because they had gotten dirty just sitting on shelves, but now they'll stay clean and take up less space. Maybe ultimately I'll be able to toss them because I don't use them often enough to keep them from getting dirty sitting on the shelves, but some of us just can't let go. Other bags were used for storing out of season clothing and, OK, T-shirts and jeans that are too small but I hope to lose enough weight to get back into some day.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 2:35AM
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treasureforu

#121 Recylce bag - I use a brown paper grocery bag stored on my pantry floor for recylce items. Empty soda cans milk cartons, paper etc can be tossed in it. Then when the bag is full I take it out to the actual recylce bin.

#122 Plastic bag for car garbage - my husband actually came up with this one because I was always getting so much garbage in my car. The kids and I would toss empty soda cans and stuff on the floor and then I would never get around to emptying it. So now I have a plastic bag that I hang on my drivers seat and all of the garbage goes in it. Easy to clean up the car now!

# Drawers for mail - After we sort through the mail we always have something that doesn't really need its own space but needs to be saved. So I started using storage drawers for all of the stuff that did not have a home. I just toss it in a drawer and then when I need it, I can sort through the papers until I find what I need. It is all in one place so things can be found and I can sort through the drawers once or twice a year and toss the things that no longer need to saved to make more room. Works like a charm and any kind of drawer works, plastic, cardboard or whatever. I have oone drawer for me, one for hubby and one for general info.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 1:03AM
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des_arc_ya_ya

I saw two funny ones listed in a magazine the other day, "Antidepressants and Glad bags!' and "Marry Somebody Neat"! LOL

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 12:36PM
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debsan

This is so obvious, but I'm going to add it anyway.
#125 Like with like.
When you organize things put like items together. For me this can mean very broad categories such as "Things that are Sticky" I have a small plastic basket that contains all the adhesives and tapes that would normally be spread all over the house. Masking tape, packing tape, electrical tape and duct tape are all in the same basket with wood glue, school glue, epoxy, fabric glue, etc. This saves have to figure out if the masking tape was last put in the garage, the desk, or the junk drawer.
I also organize pots & pans the same way. Metal pans are all kept together. Glass pans are kept in a separate cabinet. (An added advantage is that it makes it easy for anyone who has to put things away to figure out where things belong.)
In the closet, keeping like items together saves so much time finding items. Skirts are together, pants are together, sweaters are together etc. Then if you want to take it to the next level, put like colors together so that within each section it's easy to see what you have.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 10:28AM
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houstonmom_gw

#126 Install vertical dividers in the cabinet where you store cookie sheets, broiler pan, pizza pans, etc...storing those items vertically greatly improved that cabinet!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 8:41AM
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garden_graphic_gal

Piggyback onto #13:
Over the door shoe dividers are a great use for all the electrical cords/chargers/uploaders etc that you have laying around for the PDA's, cameras, cellphones when not used on a regular basis.
I saw this in a magazine recently and will try it on the inside of my office closet door.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 1:48PM
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adirondak

This applies to anyone who gardens, inside or out, and reduces ones brain energy and stress.

I garden a lot, and at times need to apply a spray to different plants for different diseases etc. I have found the directions on bottles can fall off or I forget what plant, for what problem I used the bottle of product on. Plus it's a year later since I used it.
So I just started writing with a black marker on a blank area of each bottle.....plant name, for what problem, amount to use, how often,, .....this way when a plant problem occurs again, I no longer have to read each bottle again, or go to the garden center or google my questions. I just grab it and apply. Often the same problems come back every year and this has made gardening so much easier! Also write on the outside of fertilizers and bags of gardening products like bulbtone....apply sept/oct, 1 cup/ per 10sq. feet. Good reminder as well as you start the next season of gardening.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 5:24PM
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talley_sue_nyc

So that's #127--Use a Sharpie to write the contents--AND the complicated directions--directly onto the generic spray bottles; also include the formula for mixing the refills.

And similarly, write all over the outside of other bags, etc.

Here's #127-A:
If you mix something in those generic spray bottles (say, Simple Green, at 1 to 6, or something), figure out where the "1" is, and where the "full" line is when you add the water. Draw a line on the bottle for the first, and write "fill with Simple Green to here" and then a line for the second, and write "Add water to here" (or, just "simple green" and "water," since you know what's going on.

And #127-B:
Sharpie marks can wear off. I used my P-touch labeler to do this with my foaming soap dispenser; I printed a long underline with the word "soap" centered on it, and I stuck it on the bottle so the underline lines up with the level the soap should be at. The bottle came with a sticker for the top line, so I just add water to that spot. Easy-peasy!

Oh, and here's #81-A (an application of #127)
[i]#81 Keep a stack of those small "dot" stickers in your kitchen drawer and use them to mark any box or can of food that you have doubles of in the pantry or another storage location. [/]

I write directly on the bottle, "new jar on bottom shelf in dry-goods cupboard." Then everyone in the household knows where to find it.

And some advice for #126: space those vertical dividers pretty closely--have more of them, and closer together. That will keep your pans, etc., standing more vertical, which:
-makes it easier to fit more
-keeps them from leaning on each other, thereby:
-minimizing breakage
-making it easier to pull the "bottom" one out (bcs there isn't a bottom one, there's a right-most one)
-looks tidier

Holy Toledo--this is an amazing list!
(fun to see that some of the things I'm living by, I first identified here in 2008!)

Who's got #128?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 7:13PM
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rjr220

We have a shredder where we open mail. Those credit card applications and the like get shredded immediately and the the recyclable paper envelopes and non-identifiable information gets tossed into the recycle bin right away.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 9:29PM
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talley_sue_nyc

Don't forget to number your tips! That's #128.

#129
I put a basket or bin way up near the top on the inside of the bathroom vanity door, the one closest to the toilet. In the basket, I put feminine hygiene products and a container w/ the plastic grocery bags I use to scoop the soiled kitty litter into. (I sit on the toilet seat when I change the litter box.) So when the door swings open (over closer to the toilet), all those things are then reachable while seated on the toilet (lid up or lid down).

This post was edited by talley_sue_nyc on Tue, Aug 20, 13 at 8:18

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 9:53PM
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annkh_nd

#130

I kicked myself when I figured this out, that I didn't do it sooner! I used to fold my sons' t-shirts when I took them out of the dryer, and grumbled at them when they just dug through the basket of clean clothes, rather than hang them up in the closet.

One day I realized it's much easier to put shirts directly from dryer to hanger than to fold them. I bought lots of extra hangers, and trained them that when they hung up a batch of clothes, they should bring empty hangers back to the laundry room for the next load. It works a lot better than folding + hanging.

I think this one has been covered before, but my DH and sons all wear the same white socks. We don't have to sort for each person - just match up pairs, and divide by 3. My white socks have pick toes, so they are easy to distinguish from the guys'.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 4:38PM
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jannie

Make sure there's a wastebasket in every room of your home. A place to throw away envelopes,food wrappers, anything you are done with. Saves walking.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 8:47AM
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Jane9610

I use a lot of spices. After years of trooping to the pantry trying to remember what spices I needed, I finally (don't know why it took me so long) dedicated a top drawer under the counter where I do most of my food prep and which is close to the stove. The spices are arranged in alphabetical order. I no longer end up with spice jars left on the counter to "put away later". I use them and they go right back in the drawer.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 1:00AM
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PRO
modern life interiors

bump

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 10:10AM
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talley_sue_nyc

Those were:
#131--wastebasket in every room
#132--store spices near food prep instead of across the room in the pantry

#133--I went on vacation and discovered that my dopp kit was missing stuff. It was annoying.

So I'm going to make a list of all the stuff that I *have* to have, and laminate it, and slip it inside the pouch to use as a checklist for next time.

Also, I'm going to put my kit away *complete* now that I'm home, instead of trying to organize it in a rush when I'm packing.

(Don't forget to number your tips!)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 8:59PM
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talley_sue_nyc

Here's another one, that I love, love, love. I think I'm going to write it on the mirror.

It's from bleusblue:

My motto is "Notice Stagnation"

Her (his?) example: "There are things that add nothing to your life, they are just there. Like the old cute little china cabinet I hauled home 40 years ago and have moved from one house to the next!!! I'm an artist. I thought I'd make a puppet theatre out of it. Or put lights inside and display things. I've never done a thing. I finally faced it and it goes out..."

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 12:58PM
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alameda/zone 8

I use a lot of storage tubs for holiday decorations and other things. I type on the computer a list of what is in the tubs - tape the list on the inside of the clear lid so I can see whats in the box. This also makes it easy to repack the box.
Judith

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:12PM
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cupofkindness

Tip # 136: Prepare a file or binder that contains everything that your spouse or children should know in the event of a life-threatening medical situation or your death. This will help them deal with the overwhelming amount of information and countless decisions that need to be made under these circumstances. Tell your family that this information is in your file cabinet, you should probably show someone as well. There is a lot that should go into such a file, and this might require an overhaul of your entire home office in order to collect this information and put it in a single place that is easy for someone besides yourself to use in a crisis. This might also be the file you grab in the event of an emergency, like a hurricane. Taking time to create this file this is an amazing act of love in itself.

This file should include
1. A copy of your will (and contact information for the executor) and other medical directives, and contact information for attorneys and accountants.
2. Durable healthcare power of attorney/medical release information
3. Instructions to your family. Funeral and cemetery information. Proof of payment of burial/cremation arrangements.
4. Safety deposit box keys and a list of what the box(es) contain, what is needed immediately and what can wait.
5. Details about and location of life insurance policies and social security benefits, pensions, IRAs etc.
6. Documents proving ownership such as deeds and titles
7. Where to find financial information and trust documents
8. Tell where to find debt and loan information
9. Login and passwords for financial accounts

  1. Copies of your birth certificate, social security card, and marriage license, divorce decrees, military service records, information on dependent children, etc.
  2. Critical business information
  3. Letters to your dearest loved ones telling them good-bye, apologizing for your shortcomings and failures-and likewise forgiving them if need be, and thanking them for the unspeakable privilege of being a part of their beautiful lives. Tell them a funny story or a favorite memory or two.... Generously affirm that you are confident that they will go on famously without you, and speak your most tender love to each, one last time.

I am so fond of this quote, it helps keep my priorities in order (which is something that I struggle with every hour of every day):

Place your mind before the mirror of eternity....
~St. Clare of Assisi

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 9:47AM
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rhomy

Thanks for all these wonderful helpful tips!

cup of kindness - you surely are. #12 Letters to your dear ones is a great treasure.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 12:04PM
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