Your Handiest Organizational Item

marylizOctober 21, 2008

I know we have been talking a lot about getting rid of all the excess STUFF, but there are obviously some things worth keeping. Do you have any favorite tools or gadgets that make life at home more comfortable, more convenient? Some of us might not have a similar need, but one of more of us just might be grateful for the recommendation. Please share. What is this thing, and why do you find it so useful?


I'll start.

Hmmm. Out of my home tools, one of the most useful is my custom ironing board top. I laid it on top of the ironing board that I bought at the store. I tend to get a backache if I bend forward while working, so the store\-bought ironing board boosts the work surface to the correct height. I can fold clothes without stooping and straining my back.

Hubby made my custom ironing board top for me from a piece of plywood, to my exact specifications. I knew the exact width and length I preferred, but I also wanted a specific shape for the curved tip, around which I wrap a dress shirt when I press with the iron.

I don't iron a lot, but when I do, I don't want to be frustrated by an ironing board that makes the job harder!

Most ironing boards have a tip that is just too pointy and narrow. I wanted to fit the entire shoulder area of the shirt around the tip, so that I can position it once, then iron and be done with that area, which is so hard to iron on a wider surface.

I was able to show hubby the exact contour I needed, and he traced it onto a piece of wood, showed it to me so I could give final approval, then cut it to the shape I wanted. He gave me the final, sanded board. I used the staple gun to attach a layer of cotton batting, then a layer of the aluminized ironing board fabric. Works great!

Yes, it slides around a bit because I haven't attached it in any way. Maybe I'll figure out how to do that if it ever bugs me.

So ... anyone else?

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lilydilly

I guess the best way to know if something is handy, is how often it's used.
For me, it would be:
My "fit the sink" chopping board and basket.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 9:27PM
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Frizzle

Plastic bins.

Mainly for toys these days. Small enough for the little one to get his things out and carry it to where he wants to play. Small enough to make "dumping out the whole thing" not a huge pile in the middle of the floor. And, small enough that, when clean up time comes up, they don't feel overwhelmed with the pile there is to put away. They get a real sense of accomplishment when they can do it themselves.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 6:08AM
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lexi7

Mostly, I just lurk here, but you have all been so helpful to me in getting organized. So, it is time to give back. The Excel program on my computer is the best organizational tool I have. I assigned every storage space in my home a number. The numbering is simple. Every room has a letter (like "O" for office or "U" for utility) and each space in that room has a number. The utility has 7 storage areas, so its numbers are U1-U7. I enter each item in one column and each space number in the second column. Example: Curtain Hardware L1; Picture Hanging Hardware L1; Power Strips-3 U1. I can sort the items alphabetically by item or storage location. I printed the data and put it in a notebook. I update it by pencil as I move things and enter it in the computer when I have computer time.

Thank you all for your inspiration.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 8:46AM
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maryliz

That's a good idea, Lexi!

I also use Excel, and it was a great help every time I moved, but now I realize that the same method I used to list the contents of each moving box could also be used to list all the doo-dads we have around the house, so that we won't have to wonder where that stuff was that we bought at Home Depot to fix the ________. It will also prompt me to organize all that home fix-up stuff by category.

I have decluttered the house, but the woodworking room in the basement is still untouched. It's mostly hubby's stuff, plus most of the "house fix-up" tools and materials, and still highly disorganized, but I have to start somewhere....

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 10:27AM
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sheriz6

I have three items I couldn't run my home without. The first is the Master Calendar in the kitchen. EVERYTHING is on that calendar. It's hung centrally so everyone can see it.

The second is a small blackboard on the kitchen wall that I use to plan the week's meals. I decide what I'm cooking for the week on Sunday and write it on the chalkboard (e.g., Monday - Tacos, Tuesday - Chicken, etc.). I don't always stick to it, but it gives me a starting point for the grocery list and it provides me with direction in the morning when the fog has not yet lifted from my brain and I can't possibly imagine what needs to be defrosted for that night's dinner.

The third item is my sharpie marker. I use it to put the "opened on" date on items in the refrigerator so I know how old things are when I go back to use them again. I use it to put names on lunch bags, to mark the dog towels so they don't get mixed up with the people towels, and to put names on kid items like nerf footballs or inside sweatshirt jackets so they don't get lost or mixed up. I just love that sharpie :)

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 1:27PM
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claire_de_luna

I've listed many of my favorites in this forum before, so I won't bore you with another list. However, like sheriz, the handiest item is my Google Calendar and Address List. I tend to list everything on my calendar, from what's blooming in the garden to what I made for dinner/dessert. It's a type of Journal to me so you could say my whole life is in there too!

Here is a link that might be useful: Address List.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 3:18PM
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lexi7

Hi Maryliz,
I am glad you can use the idea. I did not type in everything at once. After a space was decluttered and organized, the contents for that basket or drawer or closet were entered into Excel. Before Excel, do-dads were moved from one space to the next. After they had a home and could be looked up, it was easier to keep up with everything. I still have many spaces to enter, but as I do more and more, it is easier to find things and know where to put things. I especially like looking at my notebook to find something instead of dragging out dozens of baskets and boxes

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 6:05PM
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adellabedella_usa

I think my favorite is the over the door shoe racks. They are great for shoes and other things like office and art supplies.

My second choice has to be the big paper grocery bags that I get from the store. You can fit most anything in there except the oversized stuff. I use them for things to be donated to the thrift stores. They fit in the back of the vehicle and they don't tip over.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 7:16PM
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pammyfay

Ziploc bags--of all sizes: quart, gallon, supersize.
Especially useful for separating tool and repair stuff: one bag for all the picture-hanging necessities (incl a pencil so I don't need to run to find one when I'm hanging something); one for all the excess 3M Command hooks (they always give you extra strips in the pg); one for all the toggle bolts and pieces like that); one for excess curtain-hanging hardware (for the rods that are in the corner of the basement); small ones each holding the specific hardware for putting something together, with a slip of paper inside with the name of the object; etc.
And one to hold all my decorating paint chips (even tho they have been rejects, they're still great colors, so someday...!); a large one for hosiery.
Probably a few more scattered around!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 9:44PM
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lynninnewmexico

I used to have a big kitchen calendar on my wall which was Command Central, but with the kitchen reno last Fall, that spot was gone. Now instead, I keep a desktop calendar/planner in my kitchen . . . and I find it works even better than a wall calendar for me! It has a monthly calendar that spreads over two pages, followed by a page for each day. More pages in the back where I keep lists of movies I want DH to rent, restaurants I want to try, gift ideas for Christmas, etc. I keep running lists of projects I need to start or finish. It really keeps me sane and on track. I think that once I get a new laptop that I can keep in the kitchen, I'll probably use that instead. The Excel program sounds wonderful. Until then, this is working wonderfully.
Lynn

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 10:52AM
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bspofford

My handiest organization item is the compartmentalized bin that you see in a lot of workshops and garages.

When I cleaned out my THREE kitchen junk drawers, I used these bins to store almost everything. My main goal was to get a 'junk drawer' that wasn't junk, but stuff I used all the time, like a screw driver, a tape measure, matches, etc. This was stuff that I could never put my hands on quickly because of all the other stuff in the drawers.

I dumped out a drawer on the kitchen table, and instead of picking up each item and having to make a decision where it went, and finding that place each time, I separated by category, e.g. rubberbands, and then picked up only rubber bands. Same for screws, keys, cup hooks, and so forth.I knew for this storage to be effective, it had to be close, so I hung them on the wall going down the stairs to the basement.

Lowes has a great assortment of different configurations of drawer sizes.

My husband is still astounded when he asks me where the ------------ is and I can put it in his hands in less than 10 seconds! Someday he may even figure out where it is coming from.........on the other hand, probably not.

Barbara

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 11:03AM
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neesie

My handiest tool is my homemade dayplanner. Not only do I write appointments in it, but make all kinds of notations as well. I'm done with writing notes on little slips of paper that get lost in my purse and drawers and car, etc.
It came in very handy last week when I had a prescription transferred from a mail order pharmacy to a local pharmacy. I won't bore you with all the details but luckily I made notes along the way or I would have never traced what happened to that prescription along the way!

I discovered a new gadget a couple weeks ago that is seriously becoming a favorite. It is a "count up" timer that records hours and days. I bought it at the grocery store under the label "when did I open that?" My husband opened a jar of sauce to pour over a meatball sandwich and I put the remaining sauce in a plastic container. I took the new count up timer and placed it on the lid. A few days later I went to heat up some mozzarella sticks for my boys and instead of wondering how long the sauce had been sitting in the fridge I could see it was four days and three hours (acceptable). It had lots of other good applications suggested on the packaging. I thought, how stupid, but I couldn't resist buying it. Now I love it.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 5:37PM
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maryliz

That little counter sounds handy!


I wish the companies that make containers for "leftovers" (such as Rubbermaid, Ziploc, etc.) would make a white space on the lid to write the date. It would be neat if they could supply a special marker that won't rub off, won't lose its markings from condensation, etc. Then, when the lid goes into the dishwasher, the markings should wash off from the soap and/or heat. 

Instead, I use labels, then have to peel them off before they go though the dishwasher. Hubby usually forgets. If I don't spot it before the dishwasher gets started, the paper washes away, leaving behind the sticky part. Oh, well. 

Another idea:

You know how every TV, DVD player, VCR, etc. has its own remote? You know how cluttered the coffee table gets? I decided to do something about it.

I wanted a container that was taller than wide, tall enough to hold the remotes upright, and heavy enough that it wouldn't tip over.

At Target, I found a bamboo box that fit the bill. It is constructed like a lattice, with vertical and horizontal bars with gaps between, so that the remotes are partly visible through the sides, which is a nice bonus. It is big enough to hold all of our remotes, and heavy & wide enough to stay upright. It's easy to put away the remotes when we're done watching TV. Just slide them into the holder.

It was worth the ten bucks to have a clearer coffee table. Or maybe the thing was twelve bucks? Still worth it.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 8:28AM
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RoxieL

@neesie - I agree, your gadget sounds great! I had to Google them & found the following article. I don't know if they are exactly like yours, but I did end up ordering a package from Amazon. It seems there are a variety of them: suction cups, magnetic & "banded". The reviews at Amazon all seem to agree the idea is a good one, but the people had problems with them. But I'm willing to give them a try, since you're happy with yours.

Thanks for the info on this!

Here is a link that might be useful: DaysAgo counters

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 4:18PM
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claraserena

Lexi--great idea with putting items and their locations on EXCEL-that list would be invaluable if you had to itemize losses (fire, hurricane) for insurance. We had a very bad house fire 25 years ago and listing what had been lost was incredibly time-consuming.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 10:54PM
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arleneb

Maryliz, I've started using masking tape and Sharpie pens on my plastic containers. It seems to peel off more easily than labels.

Arlene

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 11:44PM
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maryliz

Thanks for the tip about the masking tape! I'll try that.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 9:22AM
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neesie

roxiel, yes, that is the same "days ago" timer I am using. I do admit that I wondered if sticking it on a container in my fridge would run down the battery. But so far so good. BTW, it's going on 9 days so I should probably rinse the container out and use it for something else!

Lexi7 & Maryliz, I love eXcel too! I still have the original phone list I made when I was learning how to use eXcel about 10 years ago. I realized immediately that the phone numbers should be in the first column because they shared the same number of digits and therefore looked a lot "cleaner". I loved the idea of being able to insert a new name and still be alphabetically in order.

When I learned about the "tabs" I started breaking down the lists into catagories. I started out with friends & relatives and expanded to such things as: medical, school, automobile, stores & restaurants, entertainment. I keep the original on my home computer and a copy on a flash drive. I have a printed version in a binder at home in my kitchen that the family is free to scratch off or write-in. Then it occaisionally gets updated. I print a 50% smaller version that I keep in my car.

Another eXcel log that I've kept for years is Medical and Dental appointments. Everytime I make an appointment for myself or a family member it gets logged in. (I keep one log per year). The most important column after logging in the date, person and Dr or clinics name is why I made the appoitment. In the past I would get something in the mail or something printed out with a date and patients name and I couldn't place the reason why I made the appt. I have a few other columns to note what happened at the appt, if there was a charge, if I received an EOB, if I submitted paperwork, etc. Very handy to have one tool that I can actually read and track on my own!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 12:03PM
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lexi7

Claraserena, thanks for the insurance records idea. After everything is listed in Excel, I am going to take pictures and put a list in the safe deposit box. I know people who have gone through the insurance nightmare too. I always plan to make a record, but never seem to get around to it. Now I have a way. Thanks

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 12:07PM
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marie26

For those using the excel spreadsheet, if it's important information, I would recommend mailing a copy to your e-mail account. Years ago, my computer crashed, causing me to lose some very important information. Since then, I've gotten into the habit of e-mailing the information (as attachments) to myself. I tend to do this instead of backing up my information.

My handiest item is a tall collapsible garbage pail that I purchased before hampers similar to it became popular. Mine is dark green and is sturdy. I can put a large garbage bag in there and since it's so light, I can move it around easily. It's very handy to use when purging.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 12:22AM
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RoxieL

FYI, the "emailing to yourself" approach only works if you email it to a web based account (and don't delete the email, of course!) A much better solution (IMO) is to simply do good backups of your documents, photos & anything else (IE Quicken). It doesn't have to be painful & it doesn't have to be expensive. Many online backup solutions (IE Mozy springs to mind but there are many others) allow free accounts to backup "small" amounts of data (IE typically 2-5 gigs.) If you have alot more Carbonite.com allows unlimited space for ~$50/year.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 5:44PM
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RoxieL

I received my package of "Days Ago" timers (Thank you for the tip, Neesie!) and have been playing with one. (It's up to 23 hours, now & should switch over to 1 day, soon!) They are very cool. (I got a pack of three.) We're having new carpeting installed on Monday & so I'm not planning on doing much cooking for the next few days and will not get a chance to test them out until later this week.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 5:58PM
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biner

probably old but the big spools to store xmas lights and toilet roll tubes to hold extra computer cables-labelled of course

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 2:00PM
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neesie

roxiel, enjoy that new carpeting; I finally got new carpet in my bedroom this summer and I was so overdue for it!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 5:28PM
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houstonmom_gw

I love my strainer (colander) that fits ON my sink. Strainers that sit IN the sink gross me out...somehow I imagine germs invading the food. Especially when the liquid being drained off fills up the sink by an inch or so, then it seems to me that sink germs have "floated" up into the food. Am I nuts?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 8:49AM
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norcalpeetnik

I always write the date in Sharpie right on the lid of the jar when I open something new - it is the same idea as the timer....

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 11:49AM
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bspofford

"I wish the companies that make containers for "leftovers" (such as Rubbermaid, Ziploc, etc.) would make a white space on the lid to write the date. It would be neat if they could supply a special marker that won't rub off, won't lose its markings from condensation, etc. Then, when the lid goes into the dishwasher, the markings should wash off from the soap and/or heat."

Most of the Sharpie pen ink can be removed with a little rubbing alcohol!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 5:19PM
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posie4u

Lexi7, would you mind sharing the Excel program you set up. I can use Excel, but have no imagination when it comes to setting up useful material. If you are willing my e-mail is Fairwayser@yahoo.com.

Thank you.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 6:14AM
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maryliz

Houstonmom, I get the same thought about a colander in the sink! My sink has a small side section with its own drain. I can rest a colander on the sides of the mini-sink. It is suspended "in the air" and drains just fine. No backlog of liquid to wash "sink germs" into the food. Under FlyLady's influence, I have started to scrub my sink regularly, not just when it's red with rust, and I no longer feel that it is quite as gross. Before, if I dropped a carrot in the sink, I would compost it instead of cooking it. But now, my white plastic sink is a respectable white color.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 9:39PM
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timberframe4us

I think the sink concern is reasonably valid, but I try to to drive myself too crazy about it. I use a colander that has a nice tall base and always pour slowly enough that the water doesn't back up to the level of the food.

The hanging kind are great though, but the one I've had for several years collects the smaller stuff between the wire and the rim. (It's actually more of a strainer than a colander.) Recently, I've been seeing collapsible silicon ones that look like they would clean up great though. Unfortunately, I don't even have room for the collapsible devise right now though. One day my 'real' kitchen will be done!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 10:08PM
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alto

lexi7, i'd be interested in your spreadsheet also. If you can, my email is mjalto@gmail.com.

I know that backups are important, but if you had a fire, would you have your backups somewhere else.

I do my backups on my computer, but then synchronize them on the web at dropbox. Dropbox is a free service where you can keep files. I sync all my important info there, which also syncs it up between my two computers. It's free, here is the link if anyone is interested.

https://www.getdropbox.com/referrals/NTE0MzU2ODk

Here is a link that might be useful: Drop Box

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 9:00PM
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jiggreen

My handiest organizational item is the peg board on the wall behind the door in my laundry/mud room. We hang all sorts of odds and ends on that pegboard.....dog leashes, extension cords, my hubby's ballcaps, assorted tapes, flyswatter, caulk, dustpan, screw gun and tools that we frequently use in the house and anything else that is "hangable". It has freed up the junk drawer in our kitchen and anytime someone needs something it's always easily located.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 9:13PM
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talley_sue_nyc

Oh, man, I love pegboard!

I don't have any in my house, but I want some. (I don't quite know where i'd put it, but I want some)

Actually, I know where to put it--on the back wall of the utility closet.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 9:48PM
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ronbre

I sure enjoyed this..don't know if i even have excel on my computer and if i do don't know how to use it.

i have a few favorites..

one is a labeler..i label everything so i don't have to look inside for things..and so my husband (head injury) or son (next door) can find things when they are looking for them..i do tend to collect plastic bins for things they might need, and then i label the outside and stack them..esp in the garage and tool cabinets.

2. i love my desk calendar..this goes back to head injury again..i have done this for years..i get the big blotter style desk calendar..and then when we get things in need to remember to take care of ..say now if i get a notice for June..i stick the notice under the May calendar page so when i tear off May and the pile of June things are there waitinig to be taken care of..Ron has prescriptions that are filled either mo or 3 mo..the 3 mo ones are stuck inside the calendar a couple of weeks before i have to have them here..i also write appointments and things ahead on the pages..easy to get to on the blotter calendar.

3 alphabetical files..I use them for everything and I have more than one..i have one in the roll top desk file drawer for every mo stuff like power co, credit cards statements, telephone bills..etc..and when they are paid they are filed alphabetically.

I have one for important papers..car registrations, ins stuff, marriage certi..etc.

I have one for warranties and extended warranties
I have one for instruciton booklets for in the house..and one in the garage for garage type and outdoor things.

i have one for clippings i save..gardening, self help, etc..

4. i have a hanging pan rack in my kitchen..i am partially disabled..so bending and digging through the drawers and cabinets is difficult..so i hang just about everything from the pan rack..it dosn't look cluttered cause it is nicely arranged and close to my stove over an island..and i take things off that aren't used as often and wash them regularly so they don't get dusty.

4. as i said plastic bins..i have them stacked in my sewing armoire with sewing notions..labelled..in my craft closet with craft things..labelled..in my closet with shoes..labelled..in my tool cabinet with screws, nails, staples..etc..labelled..and in our garage with plumbing things, painting things, etc..they range from tiny tiny and even the wall units with tiny drawes..to the big big totes..all of them stack and are all labelled and i always can find what i want.

i also am a big fan of the ziploc bags and of the markers for food containers and also wished they washed clean in the dishwasher..

i also would like info on the excel thing..will have to find out if it is on the computer..probably on my new laptop

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 12:03PM
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seattlemike

maryliz: Regarding the many remotes. That, too, drove us crazy until we got one of those universal remotes several years ago. I recall that it took the place of 3-4 separate remotes.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 4:58PM
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Frankie_in_zone_7

I got one of those "erasable" label sets for food storage containers along with the "eraser" that rubs off the Sharpie markings. I guess alcohol would work too, but this eraser pen is in the drawer and works pretty well. I leave the labels on--agree that it would be better if the DW just washed the words off!

Alternatively, in my freezer, I do occasionally have a container of chili labelled "chicken stock," or chicken stock labelled "pea soup". Of course any idiot can see what's really in there, right? What's the problem?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 6:31PM
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maryliz

The problem is when one re-uses cottage cheese and sour cream containers for frozen food. (Why spend good money for special freezer containers, while throwing away free ones that work great?) Reused sour cream containers are opaque, necessitating a label.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 1:39PM
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gayle0000

I'm generally one who refuses to buy organizational tools because my systems don't require store-bought accessories.

With that said, I am really into my clear airtight food storage bins. Mine are "lock N lock" brand, and I will stick with that brand so everything is cohesive. Lock N Lock's I have are squares & rectangles and stack go together nicely, even when mixing & matching the sizes.

I am HUGE into decanting my dry food supplies (coffee, flour, sugar, rice, salt, macaroni, cereal, etc.) so I can see exactly where I'm at, and know ahead of time if I'm running low on anything. Decanting has been one of my best kitchen organizational habits and I recommend it to anyone.

I've decanted my dry goods for years, but just used appropriate-sized clear jars I've collected & used because they were free and worked great. One day a couple years ago, I decided to invest in a system that goes together to achieve exactly what I was already doing, with less wasted space, stackable...everything I had with more streamlined results.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 6:34PM
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gayle0000

and another thing...I'm big into ziplock bags for those little handfuls of accessories I should keep from things I buy.

Examples:
All the little things that came with my deck furniture...the extra bolts & screws, the allen wrench, and the little-bitty bottle of touch-up stain.

The extras for my indoor/outdoor thermometer...the mounting wall brackets & screws I'm not using, the extra outdoor sensor I'm not using, the extra stand, and the postcard sized instruction paper.

The extras that came with my cell phone. The paperwork/book, CD, cords & plug-ins I don't use.

I just put the things in a ziplock, write what is is with a sharpie, and put it in a shoebox I have dedicated for these labeled ziplocks. I don't alphabetize or organize these things, but if/when I'm looking for them, I know where to go.

I have a ziplock bag dedicated to the 1 little wrench thing that came with my dining room table so i can tighten the legs if necessary. The wrench is the only thing in that bag, but I know exactly where to find it, and there's no question I'm using the correct tool.

I guess I do keep the ziplocks with Electronics/Computer items in a separate box in my computer room...but all the other ziplocks with random household are in a closet elsewhere.

This has kept my junk drawer cleaned up, and keeps my computer room put away & organized for things I may or may not need...but should keep available.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 7:08PM
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ronbre

another thing that I find that I can't live with out is bookshelvs..i'm a bookworm and have books in every room of the house..i even have gone through and given away any that i no longer use..i use them as references for my design business..so i have to have a lot.

i try to sort my books by subject matter..painting, gardening, crafting, cookbooks, etc..into separate bookshelves..and I generally pull one book off my shelves and read or work in it every day..minimum..so it is good to know right where to go for them.

and for the remotes, I bought a coffee table that has two large drawers stacked in the center and a cabinet on each side that opens from front and back..some of my quick grab art supplies are in one cabinet and my garden and decorating notebooks are in the other..the drawers have my colored pencils and sketch material in one and the other has my t v guide and remotes and diary and bible for daily use.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 7:58PM
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mustangs81

Gayle, I'm with you on "decanting". I also "decant" or repackage frozen foods. Often times the box is twice the size necessary to hold the contents. I cut out the directions and put them in the Ziploc, Foodsaver, or whatever storage appropriate before putting the item in the freezer. It also helps that I have my freezer/refrigerator shelves labeled. e.g. Beef, Fish, Pork, Vegetables, etc.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 9:54PM
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maryliz

I also repackage my dry goods in the cupboard.

After I got an infestation of insects in some grain products, I decided to so something about it. One day, my brother's friend showed up with a box of old-fashioned mason jars. They had turned pale blue with age, and had wire clamps to hold down the glass lids. (Real old, but cool!) I bought them from him.

I put all my dry goods inside them, and that way, even if one of the products came down with "bugs," it never spread.

That worked fine for a several years, but then we moved to a new house. There was not as much storage space. The jars didn't fit into the new house's cupboards as well. There were two different heights, and some had a different diameter.

So I standardized by getting quart mason jars -- wide mouth -- and the white plastic screw-on lids. (Didn't want to mess with the two-part lids that came with the jars.) Each jar holds about one pound of dry beans. Easier to find stuff, now that the jars are all the same size and height. I use pint size jars, also wide mouth, for smaller quantities. They stack.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 9:10AM
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susie53_gw

My hubby put me in a new big pantry all across the end of my kitchen with shelves from top to bottom. I bought me some plastic see thru comtainers for storing. So I didn't hang to pull them out and look for items I made a list on my computer and placed it inside facing out so I could see without even opening the box. I have never been so organized. Also I love the lock N lock containers. We also save the cottage cheese containers for leftovers and sending home things with the kids.
My son bought me a 4 drawer filing cabinet years ago and I am getting it all organized. Every folder will be marked for easy viewing..

I just ordered some space bags. I can't wait to get started on them..

I have never been a real organized person but I am getting there... I just hope I can get my hubby inspired to do the same in his barn.. ya never know, it just could happen..

Susie

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 2:09PM
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jannie

I bought a plastic fishing tackle box in a sporting goods store and use it to hold my collection of pierced earrings.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 9:44AM
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mustangs81

Jannie, Your tackle box reminded me of one of my everyday organizers. I usually buy vitamins and supplements in Costco sizes; rather than get an array of large bottles out twice a day, I use a nut & bolt organizer case with customizable compartments. I refill it as needed-one to three months depending on the size. And of course, I have labeled the compartments. It even comes with a hanger, so I hang it on the inside of the cabinet door so all these dailys don't even take up space.

An added bonus is when we travel, I just have to throw the organizer in the suitcase.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 5:37PM
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brutuses

mustangs, that is so neat. My DH takes a lot of vitamins twice a day. Your little case would save him tons of time unscrewing and screwing back all those lids. I'll have to show him this. Thanks

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 2:54PM
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clarosietoo

I have an over the door clear plastic shoe organizer. It's in my sewing room that hold notions and supplies. This one is clear and just perfect. My mother had one on the inside of the pantry door. That's where the aluminum foil, wax paper, baggies, aeresol cans, and etc in it. I had one in my laundry room and kitchen until this past year. My brother keeps one on the door leading into his house from the garage. I can't imagine my life without one somewhere.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 4:26PM
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claire_de_luna

clarosietoo, that's a great idea, especially for a sewing room. I've thought about doing this, and it might work inside my office closet door. I'm going to investigate further.

Mustangs, that is the solution to our vitamin/meds dilemma; leave it to you to come up with it! (You are one of my organizing gurus, and I bow to you.) I stopped at the Container Store today so I could make this work for us too, and even bought a labelmaker (my first) to make it all very clear. PLUS, you made me look up Krill, and I'm making the switch as soon as the fish oil tablets are gone. I can use all the benefits I can get, and I especially like that it helps reduce inflammation with arthritis. THANK YOU!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 9:20PM
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mustangs81

Claire, Thank you for the kind words! I got my organizer at Big Lots for $4.

Now to a recent discovery that I am really eager to share with you--I couldn't sleep on my side because my shoulder hurt; I couldn't sleep on the other side because my hip hurt. 2 months ago I started taking Inflame Away. To my SHOCK it has rid me of shoulder and hip pain. I replaced glucosamine with this supplement. Please try this my friend!

Clarosietoo, I agree with the over the door shoe rack and actually credit this forum for the tip. I have two, one for the infrequent crafts the other gets almost daily use. The other is on the back of the laundry room door. I emptied out my junk drawer and put everything that survived the purge in the pockets. It's certainly more accessible than the drawer.

Here is a link that might be useful: InFlame Away Celadrin

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 2:32PM
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claire_de_luna

Don't you just love Big Lots? Thanks Mustangs for the hot tip on Inflame Away. I'm going to make a purchase directly!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 6:57PM
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