Organizing Your Entire Home

You're on Page 1 of 3
Go to

  • Organizing...it might take several weeks to get everything organized, but the time it will save you in the long run...hunting things down...it's a real life saver.

    For The Frugal Mom - Not Using Plastic Containers:

    For Larger Storage - The boxes that hold reams of computer/copy paper is ideal. They all have lids and are the same size as the filing boxes you can purchase. Generally they
    even have the spaces to carry them with. And if you want them to match your decor...cover with self-stick shelf paper and if that gets too expensive (sometimes you can find it at the '$' store in your area which is perfect, or discontinued patterns cheap at the retail stores)...or you can cover with the self-adhesive wall paper (which can be very cheap $2.00 a double roll at the wallpaper stores in discontinued patterns, which covers alot). If using the wallpaper...after wetting, let drain to get most of excess water off and once you have applied it, allow to dry over night before using in order to keep it's shape.). Then label the outside and stack for easy storage. These computer/copy paper
    boxes are free at most area Mailing stores (they use alot of copy paper), or at local computer supply or office supply stores for the asking. If one is not near you...check with neighbors to see if their offices have some they throw away on a daily basis.

    For Smaller Storage - Use empty shoe boxes and cover as you do with the larger ones and label.

    But any type of cardboard container can work...as long as it has a lid it can be converted into frugal containers for organizing.
    And if you purchase several plastic containers each week for several dollars...you'll have everything converted over before you know it without too much coming from your budget at one time.
    Some containers can even be found at garage/yard sales for a dime or quarter...even if they look really nasty...just bring them home and throw them in a tub of hot water, soap and clorox...like new again.


    Just Some Organizing Ideas I Do:

    Kitchen:

    (When everything is scattered and falling off shelves
    these work great. All containers are thoroughly washed
    and dried before storage, then labeled.)

    Use the shoe box size for:
    1. Storing muffin/bread mixes.They lay sideways perfectly.
    2. Gravy mixes/sauce mixes. They also lay perfect side-
    ways. I alphabetize them for quick access and
    reference when making grocery lists.
    3. Kool-Aids/drink mix packages. They also lay sideways.
    4. Jello - Works great and then they don't fall everywhere.
    5. Instant Packages of Oatmeal/Grits
    6. Cookie cutters - I have alot...so separate by holiday
    and regular...but for just a few...they are always
    at your fingertips in one place.
    7. Outdoor Barbeque - I store my turner, brush, fork and
    the thin spray bottle in one. That way they don't
    clutter my kitchen drawers...and I don't have to
    go under the cabinet and through drawers each
    time to find everything for the barbecue...just grab
    the plastic box from the closet/pantry.
    8. Plastic forks/spoons/knives and utensils - you never
    know where to put the extra ones you get with
    fast foods, or the ones you didn't use at your last
    party...store in the container and always handy. I
    first separate mine into the ziploc bags...so if I just
    need spoons, can grab a bag from the container.
    9. Condiments - You also never know what to do with
    the extra condiments they put in your fast food bag
    and hate to throw them out...yet they are terribly
    hard to store. Separate by type first into baggies,
    place in container and store easily on your bottom
    shelf of the fridge.
    10. Small appliances - These also work great for small
    appliances with extra parts. Food slicer, Mixer with
    extra attachments, Salad Shooter, Cookie Press. etc.
    All the parts store together and stackable.

    Use the oblong plastic Glad type (they are air tight ...ones
    you get at the grocery store. (I purchase large
    quantities of items on sale and can't put all of a bag or
    container in my canisters/glass jars...so remainder is
    placed in these for easier storage and stackability):
    1. Flour- you can't stack these bags easily.
    2. Sugar - same with sugar
    3. Tea Bags
    4. Coffee
    5. Pop-Tarts - If you purchase alot of them like I do (my
    grandbabies love them), if you try to stack the boxes
    they fall over if you touch them. If you lay them
    sideways in the container, four boxes will store in one
    container.
    6. Grits/Oatmeal (Not instant) - Works great and I store
    a scoop for measuring. (If you can't remember the
    directions...you can either cut from the box/container
    or type and print off computer...then tape to the
    bottom of container.
    7. Bisquick/Cake Flour/Reg. Flours/Cornmeal/Powdered
    Sugar/Brown Sugar/Cornstarch/Rice/Instant Potatos -
    They all work great in these. Same process as with
    (Grits/Oatmeal).
    8. Snacks - Cheetos/Fritos/Crackers (Especially the
    large bag of animal crackers for the little ones...the
    bag always rips).

    I use these for everything except the bottles and can items. The best rule of thumb is...use the plastic shoe type (they seal but are not air tight) for pre-packaged items...like the mixes, etc. and the Glad type (air tight) for the un-packaged items. I've found everything stays fresher, longer using them. Bags tend to get air in them even when utilizing the clips and folding over...especially in Florida (humidity is so high) and get soggy.

    Utility Room:

    Use the shoe type or larger (according to quanity of supply):

    1. Batteries (all sizes - separated with baggies)
    2. Light bulbs (including replacement night lights &
    Christmas tree bulbs...you'll always know where
    they are)
    3. Vaccuum bags/Fresheners
    4. Plastic gloves
    5. Gardening tools - handheld rake, hoe, fertilizer, gloves
    knee pads (all in one place for quick access)
    6. Candles (they are just the right length)
    7. Emergency kit - I put several candles, Emergency
    phone listing, Child Proof Lighter, Battery operated
    radio, Bee sting vile, Smelling salts, Bandages/band-
    aids, ointments, rubber bands, pen & paper for 911
    Instructions,r Adult and Child CPR/First Aid Guide, and
    anything else you might individually use for your
    personal emergencies. This works great, especially
    for moms with small children...they don't have to
    think where something might be for an emergency.
    Everyone in the house (and babysitters) are made
    aware of the location. This way everything is at your
    fingertips before panic sets in.
    8. Potting soil, sand, small pebbles - The small bags fit
    perfectly in the small sweater type containers.
    They are easy to carry and stackable...where the reg.
    bags don't fit anywhere. I leave a scoop in each for
    easy usage.
    9. Hand Tools - If you're a single mom or your husband
    doesn't have a tool box or storage. These work
    great for storing hammer, screwdrivers or
    pliers. However, if you do have a special area for
    tools...the hard plastic holder that hooks to the wall
    and has various size holes in it works great. You can
    slip each tool in one of the holes for easy access and
    just the right size.
    10. Car Cleaning - Use the larger sweater type
    containers and place the car wax, leather cleaner, old
    (clean) rags, small glass cleaner, small detergent
    bottle and paper towels. When you get ready to
    wash the car...grab the container...no hunting what
    you need.
    11. Screws/Nails/Bolts, etc. - The embroidery floss boxes
    work great for these if you do not have a large amt.
    The dividers can be arranged for the various sizes
    and will keep them sorted.

    Well, almost out of length for this post...will continue on next one.
  • (cont'd) Organizing Your Entire Home!
    Misc.:

    1. Coupons

    Grocery - I use the plastic shoe box type container
    due to the fact...I'm a real couponer. I generally save
    $30/$40 a week...so have alot of them. I separate
    by particular items instead of general categories (that
    takes too much time filing time and searching on
    grocery day). I sort i.e. flour, cornmeal, muffins, cereal
    green beans... just exactly what it is in a general way.
    I don't break down into frozen green beans, canned
    green beans...just the basic. I use the large index
    file alphabetical cards. I label my name on each. If
    you don't want to purchase several of those packages
    you can cut your own out of poster board. This
    makes it so much easier/quicker to find.

    Restaurants - Have tons of these...so have separate ones
    by the most (i.e. Dominoe's, etc.) then have one for
    infrequent coupons under miscellaneous.

    All Other - I use coupons for everything. I use another
    one for everything else...all other categories by: Auto,
    Eyes (for glasses,etc.), Entertainment (movie
    offers, water parks, etc.), Department Stores (10% off,
    etc.), Photography (developing, portraits, etc.),
    Cleaning (bulk order or % off), Hair (styles, coloring,
    etc.), Toys/Games (% off or offers), Videos/DVD's (rent
    one/get one free, etc.), then Misc. (carpet cleaning and
    any other)

    Everyone can save a ton of money if they coupon...you don't have to purchase things you don't normally buy just because you have a coupon. But there are so many for almost everything now, that it's hard not to save if you just spend a
    little time organizing...then it's a breeze. If you need paper towels at the grocery in a hurry...check paper towels in a split
    second to see if you have a coupon. No time hunting them down or going through stacks...always at your finger tips.
    Not an organizing tip...but a frugal tip. I've found that you
    never go large grocery shopping on the first or third week of the month. The grocery stores never have really good sales during these weeks, I think it's because they know that alot of people
    only get paid on the first day of the month...or the 1st
    and 15th...they can bring in more money by not offering alot of
    items that everyone uses. The buy one, get one frees are always on the second or fourth week...and most of the major products like paper towels, soap powders and toilet paper. See if that isn't the case in your area, as well.

    2. UPC's - My grandbabies are always wanting to send off
    for something that requires several UPC codes...I
    never seem to have enough of the right ones. So I
    started taking them off of everything that generally
    at sometime has offers. I write what it is and file as I
    do the coupons except by name brand for the dividers
    (i.e. Pillsbury, Kellogg's, etc.), then I use an index
    file card for the varied UPC's by stapling them to it,
    with the name of the individual product (i.e. Fruity
    Pebbles, Corn Flakes, etc.) written or typed at the
    top. I put my grocery receipts in the back, in case
    a cash register receipt is required. Now whenever
    the grandbabies want to send off for something...
    they call grandma...she always has the required items
    at quick reference.

    3. Video Tapes/CD's/DVD's - I have shelves for all of
    our above. I alphabetize by Title for the DVD's and
    Video Tapes (when I purchase them...I enter them
    on a program like Excel or Lotus...which has Title,
    Date Made, Type of Movie/Video and Actors/Artist.
    If someone wants to borrow a certain movie/tape
    ...I can easily find it...and also log their name next
    to the tape on the program. Movies are easy to
    locate...or actors in films...plus, you know who has
    your item. I go to extremes though...I even have
    our music CD's logged by song. This works great
    for me, because involved in alot of volunteer fund
    raisers, school activities that required a certain
    song...I am able to quickly check to see if I have
    the music...then go right to the CD...alphabetized
    by artist name on the shelf (which is logged with the
    song on the computer). Has really worked great for
    me.

    4. Nail Care - I use a baseball card plastic storage
    box. (It's like the embroidery floss boxes with the
    moveable compartments...but taller and can be found
    at sports card shops and craft stores). I move the
    compartments to sort my nail polish by pinks, reds,
    oranges, clear/white. Then use the other
    compartments for clippers, cuticle removers, cotton
    balls/q-tips and remover. This again is a one stop
    manicure set...with everything you need in one
    place.

    5. Beach Supplies - I use a larger flat container. I supply
    with sunscreens, tanning lotion, box of sanity wipes,
    several large ziploc bags for shell collecting and one
    for any trash we might accumulate, a shovel & small
    molds for child's sand play, visors and/or collapsible
    cotton hats, uninflated beach toys, several rolled
    beach towels, and a portable CD/or radio. When
    everyone wants to go to the beach...grab your
    container and go.

    6. Mittens/gloves - I use several plastic shoe containers
    for these. I have one for tobaggons/hats for the
    adults and one for gloves. Then I have one for the
    children. This way the gloves and hats are always
    to be found...never just one glove. They stack...so
    no messy hall/coat closet.

    Bathroom:

    1. Medical supplies - I have several containers for these
    because there is never enough room in a normal
    medicine cabinet. I use the shoe box size for these
    and store under the cabinet if you don't have small
    children...or on a bathroom closet shelf if you do.
    I put band-aids, bandages, tape and ointments in
    one. I have another for ace bandages, wraps,
    elastic wraps and clamps. Then another for antacids,
    eye drops, cough drops, etc. Then another for the
    cotton balls, q-tips, etc.
    2. Curlers - Sponge rollers for the children...or all other
    curlers for adults (like the extra hot rollers) work
    great in these containers. No loose rollers
    everywhere.
    3. Small samples of Soap/Shampoos, etc. - If you buy
    small sample size items for the bath for guests...the
    excess ones are stored neatly in one of these
    containers. Also ones you might get at hotels/ motels
    or samples in the mail can also be stored here...out of
    the drawers and loose in the cabinets.

    These all stack and store easily under your bathroom cabinet or in the closet for no mess and clutter.


    Bedroom:

    (I've already gone through the things I do in my closet with clothes, shoes, scarves, etc. in the "Introduce Yourself" section...but left off one thing.)

    Socks: I store mine and my hubby's socks in the plastic
    shoe containers. I course my are separate from
    his...but roll each pair (so not to stretch top by folding
    around)...then place in container. I sort by color (I
    think he's color blind...will inevitably put on navy with
    black and vice versa...so this works well...doesn't mess
    up.) I put sport white socks in one, black in another,
    navy in another and so on...then of course label and
    stack in the closet. Doesn't take up a whole
    drawer...easy access...and no messy sock
    drawers.

    Well, another maxed out post...will continue on next one.
  • (cont'd) Organizing Your Entire Home!
    Crafts:

    I am a craft nut, and buy things that are on sale even if I'm not using them at the moment. If you have a large room for your crafts it's alot easier to organize...but if you don't...you can still get organized.

    A great space for crafts is the 8 or 10 ft. long folding tables you can find at office supples/discount stores for about $29.00. They are the perfect size for any project...perfect arm height so not to get cramps. I've got three of them in a 'U' type shape and you can just turn your chair around to reach anything you need at the time with tons of room. If you don't have alot of room...you can use one and it makes for great storage underneath, which can be covered with a plastic tablecloth for
    a cleaner appearance. I have the large heavy plastic utility shelves for stacking my containers...and a large 4 drawer filing
    cabinet.

    Buttons: I use the embroidery floss compartment box for
    these and sort by color. Works great for separation and
    quick to find the right color, especially when your little one or
    hubby pops one off just before leaving for school/work.

    Fabric/Ceramic Paint: I've found that the large cardboard
    sports card boxes (holds 5000 cards) works great.
    They are about $3.00 at the sports card stores. They
    have 5 rows with a divider. Each row will hold 2 side by
    side and 14 back...holding 140 bottles perfectly. Easy
    to carry and easy access. I sort from whites, to ivory, to
    beige and so forth. I use the small round label dots to
    write the name of the color and stick on the top. Therefore,
    I can see exactly what color I need without going through
    every bottle to find...just at a glance without moving
    anything. Love the convenience.

    Thread (Sewing): I use the long flatter plastic containers
    and sort by color from lightest to darkest. I lay them on
    their sides and put them next to each other in rows.
    Another easy access, without a mess...especially if you
    are sewing numerous colors at a time (like quilting). You
    can keep the box near and just replace the one you were
    using and choose the next with no effort or tangling when
    they are falling in the floor.

    Sewing Patterns: I use the flat 12" high size. I cut pieces of
    poster board and dividers, labeling with size or type on a
    piece about 1" higher than the pattern size. Then file by size
    behind the dividers; placing in container from smallest to
    largest sizes, then the craft ones by type alphabetically.

    Material : I use the large clear tubs for this. I sort each tub
    by color from lightest to darkest...so when I need a certain
    color for something...always at my fingertips...no hunting
    through large stacks of material. If I just have scraps...I
    save them and put in a flat shallow container by color for
    use in quilting or small projects.

    Embroidery Floss: I've found that the embroidery floss
    holders don't work as well as other things to store your
    floss. Sometimes I would want a shade lighter than the one
    before...but if you file in the box by number...they are out of
    color order and difficult to see the numbers on the white
    cards you have to write so small; plus you have to take the
    time to wrap the thread around each white card. I use the
    clear floss bags and write the number on each. Then I
    placed on the metal rings by color...lightest to darkest...that
    way I can find the next color shade or also I can hunt for the
    number easily on the bag if by color number on
    pattern.

    Silk/Dried Flowers: I use the shoe type to sort flowers. I
    use one for each major color (White, Yellows/Gold,
    etc.). I put every type flower in each color box from the
    large silk to the small dried. I even put my satin tiny roses
    in a baggie (not to get lost in the container) with the large
    ones. If I need a certain color for decorating...don't have to
    go through a large stash of flowers to locate just the right
    color or size.

    Silk/Satin Ribbon: The spools of ribbon stand up perfectly
    in the shoe type box. Sort by color and then by size.
    I used to use the wooden dowel that hung on the wall...but
    if you are like me...I have so many spools...the room would
    have been covered with them and no room for anything
    else.

    Brushes/Utensils for Crafts: I've found that the ice cube
    trays for the sports bottles work great. They are really
    long...usually have about 18 holes for the cubes. You can
    find them at the grocery store or cooking shop...about
    $2.00. Your brushes stand up on their wooden ends
    and it's easy to choose just the right size and shape for
    your project. Also holds scrapers, dry brushes, etc.

    Scrapbook Supplies:

    Scissors/Pens/Stamps - I've found the Scrapbook carriers are
    overrated and generally quite expensive. I found some
    great large plastic fishing tackle boxes. They fold out and
    easy to handle...plus they have moveable dividers in them...
    they work great for sorting supplies and holds alot more
    than the largest scrapbook tote.

    Papers - I use the large cardboard file boxes. I sort my
    paper by: colors, flowers, cartoon, vacation, each holiday,
    etc. and place in a file folder, labeling each by type and
    putting in alphabetical order. Easy to put your hands on
    just the right sheet in seconds, without sorting through
    your entire stash of papers for just the right sheet.

    Stickers/Item Pictures/Stencils:I use another cardboard file
    box for these. The same type process as the paper. Use file
    folders for articles (i.e. letters.birds, school items, etc.) and
    place in the box in alphabetical order. If you go to
    scrapbook parties, you can also do the same process with
    the folders except staple up each side of folder so articles
    won't fall out. Punch the folded bottom of each with a three
    hole punch and place in a 3-ring binder in alphabetical
    order, whichever is more useful for your needs.

    Scrapbook Articles: I also use the cardboard file box for
    this. I place the items for each occasion (photos,
    memorabilia, etc.) in a file folder, and label with occasion.
    You can pull one folder at a time, with everything
    to include...for those few minutes you might have free
    to do one/two pages only. Plus, all your articles are
    consolidated into one place...not strewn around the
    house or craft room. If you have a large quanity for each
    person...use one box for each... label with name for
    easy access. (This is especially true for school age children
    ...every paper is a keeper.)

    Beads: I use the plastic sports card boxes (a little larger
    than the shoe boxes with dividers) to sort by color my
    craft beads.

    Lace: I cut 10" X 6" rectangles out of poster board and cut
    canoe chapes out of each long side to hold the lace without
    slipping off. Then wind lace around each one. Place
    in a oblong flat container about 8" high on their sides by
    color. They don't get tangled or wrinkled.

    All Other Crafts - I use the Glad storage containers...they
    are great for stacking and alot cheaper than the thick
    plastic ones from the craft store for small items...such as
    popsicle sticks, nuts, pipe cleaners etc. Then use the larger
    plastic for yarns, macrame cord etc. and sort by colors.
    For wooden hoops, long stencils and cutting boards...hang
    on the wall with metal hooks for easy removal.

    GIFTS:

    Since I'm a frugal person....I purchase gifts all during the year for children, grandbabies and friends for Christmas, Birthdays and Misc. I had to have a way of keeping up with it all. So I made up a sheet on the computer (in Excel, Lotus, etc.) for each type.

    Christmas - I put the each person's name, item, color, size and cost as titles on each column. Then when I find a great deal...I purchase the item and log on the computer. That way, I know what I've purchased for each person (i.e. if I find $15.00 turtleneck on sale off season for $2.00...I'll purchase and later find some slacks or something to match or if I find a great deal on books...get them and don't duplicate later). Then when Christmas arrives I can compare total costs. (Try to keep each category of relatives/people within a couple of dollars of each other...don't want to show partiality.) After logging on the computer, I store in a large plastic tub (I have one for each child and grandchild). I label with occasion and name. This works great too for parents on a budget with small children. You can purchase all during the year when things aren't as high and on sale...store containers in the garage, attic ...just make sure if children can read, the label is turned towards a wall or solid area... so nosey children won't peak. It takes the pressure off of Christmas...you can just enjoy
    the season, without the stress.

    Another full post...will continue on next one...probably the last one.
  • (cont'd) Organizing Your Entire Home!
    Birthdays - I have one tub labeled as Birthdays. If I purchase a birthday present (toy, etc.) on sale. I put in this tub and also list on a separate file in the computer..."Birthdays" with the same type of categories as Christmas.

    Other - If I find books, journals, home decors, baby items etc. on a special sale...I'll purchase them for friends etc. for birthdays, new baby, anniversaries, etc. Also log on computer under "Other Gifts" and list by male, female, child or baby...with item, size, color. When I need something...I first check the list to see if I already have something appropriate, taking off the list if I use it. This way you always have things handy for spur of the moment items, or the occasion happens in a month that your car had major repairs, the a/c went out or something that was major...and your funds are short. Works really well. I have
    found name brand crystal items (great wedding/anniversary gifts)at major dept stores during the fall for 75% off, and household gifts at specialty stores going out of business for 90% off...that's when I purchase extra gifts...really saves a ton and the expensive gifts (without the cost to you) are generally unexpected and appreciated.

    Correspondence - I also purchase cards this way...there is
    places to order on the internet with great prices on cards or at great store sales. I use a cardboard file box for storage. I label folders (Anniversary, Graduation, Get Well, Birthday - Child, etc.) then sort cards according to categories. I have everyone's special occasion posted on my computer organizer. I check it the last of each month for all occasions I need cards, gifts, etc. for during the coming month. If just cards to send, I pull from my supply...write the card out,address it and write on the spot where the stamp is placed very small, the date four days prior to the occasion. Then I put all in date order placing on my desk until the date on the corner of the envelope. On that date, I place a stamp over the written date and mail. This way, I won't forget anyone...and the cards are always on time (four days ahead is perfect to assure the card arrives). If a present is necessary... I check my computer for a gift...if not one that is appropriate, I add to my purchasing list for the week. (Frugal idea for tissue streamers. A small bag costs about $3.00. Instead purchase colored regular tissue when it is on sale or at the $ store. Unfold and run through your paper shredder...makes great stuffing for gift bags.)

    Decorations:

    All Occasions - I use one large tub for each occasion - Christmas (well several for this one), Halloween, Easter, Thanksgiving, July 4th (This one is combined with Memorial Day), Valentine's Day.
    I store everything for that occasion in the tub. Door decorations, house decorations, occasion shaped cake pans, candy molds, lights...everything. When the occasion arrives...just grab the tub and decorate. I also have the decorations listed on the computer for each tub. This way I never duplicate deco I already have.
    For Xmas ornaments...I use a roll ($4.98) of the white paper at the office supply...yards and yards of it like schools use to wrap my breakables or I use the shredded paper I've saved from my office paper shredder. Then I cut poster board to layer the ornaments after wrapping.

    (Frugal idea for home accessories -If you want to change a room around...say you have a dark green sofa and you've had darker pillows in golds/rusts etc. and you want to brighten it up. If you can sew...purchase a bed in a bag on sale in a print or pattern you light (say yellows/beige/sage green to brighten the sofa) ...you can find them sometimes for $39.99 for king size. You can cut them up and make all types of accessories. I do this to cut costs to nearly nothing. I take the dust ruffle and cut it off of the mattress portion and made a cover for a large coffee table, then take the coordinating sheet and make the topper. You can do the same for end tables. Cut various pillow shapes with the various patterns in the bag and stuff with your precious pillow forms or batting. You have enough to make about 8 regular (various size and shape pillows, coffee table and 2 end table covers, a patio door and one window valance, several scarves for the tables or inserts in bowls, and enough to cover a large end table into an ottoman to match (the ottoman was made by cutting off the legs about 4 inches from an old end table) ...all for $40.00. This way you can change your decor for each season...makes great conversation with your friends and guests.

    Also, my hubby collects M&M memorabilia. He wanted me to decorate his office with them and the bright colors. I did. Purchased unfinished various size wooden shelves...painted them in the bright colors of M&M's for displaying the collectables. I couldn't find any material I liked with the colors. I was in the $ store and found the colors on large plaid placemats, with matching napkins (were in a medium weight linen look material). I bought 6 of each. I made the valance out of the placemats by sewing them together on the long sides, then folding one end down over about 5 inches and sewing the casing for the rod. The fringe is at the bottom and also on the bottom of the casing. Worked great and sooooo easy. Then took and cut the napkins in half and hemmed the cut portion...placed them with pointed end hanging over each shelf... then placed the collectables on the shelf. He loves it and so colorful and cheap...but doesn't look it.


    Office Supplies:

    I use the shoe box size for storing all my office supplies (also
    buy in bulk for savings). You can sort by the type and quanities of your supplies. I have separate ones for calculator tape; one for extra staplers/staples; one for note pads and post'ems; one
    for pens and one for pencils. Then easy storage in the closet...not on the desk or cluttering up the desk drawers.

    Paperwork:

    I have a legal size metal file with four drawers. I have a drawer for crafts...I store x-stitch patterns, ideas for tole painting, crochet/knitting instructions, etc. I place in a flex folder for each category, then into separate folders within the category for particular items (i.e. under x-stitch...sayings, children, baby,
    nature, etc.) then place alphabetical within that category. Makes it easy to find without searching.
    I have another drawer for misc. items...Warranties (also
    sub-categorized by type...i.e. electronics, small appliances, tools, etc.), Maps (sub-categorized by state), Menus (we eat out alot and I save the paper menus for later reference), and any other
    misc. item I need to keep. Then alphabetize them in that drawer.
    Then I have another drawer for financial papers...by company name...then filed with most current statment on top. Makes easy references and great for income tax.


    Linens:

    I store change of room decor linens/curtains in tubs. I change, or someone in my family is always changing things around...so if I've stored a green double bed skirt and they are in need of one...out it comes for use. (Great for big families). I usually place like types together. I have one for curtains, one for sheets, one for quilts/bedspreads, one for tableclothes/kitchen items (I get bored easily and change decor quite often). I also made a file for these items...so if someone needs something I don't have to go through the tubs...just check the computer where they are logged by item type, color, size. I only store if they are in really good condition. Everything else is either given to a charity if still good, or if worn...I cut up for quilt scraps. Buttons, lace or other embellishments are cut off and saved for craft use.


    Well, I've covered most everything...hope this has helped someone with getting organized. If you once get organized and
    get used to a routine of keeping it that way...life is so much easier and effortless. Also remember...before you throw things out...think outside the box (you'll probably find some use for it).

    Have a great day and God Bless!
  • craft 1
    Thank you so much for posting all these great idea's .
    I have printed them and I am going to be going through each area and doing what I can to organzie things as you suggest

    Thank you again

    Sue
  • lace/trim holders
    Craft1,
    I wind my lace on cardboard like you do, but i go to the fabric dept. @ WalMart, and ask to have the empty ones they had for their displays. They throw them away regularly, and i've found some nice plastic ones, too!
  • Craftymom and Bettdev:
    Craftymom:

    Great...I know you'll have it done in no time, and be so pleased...it's really not as time consuming/difficult as it seems to get organized...you've got the hardest part licked...getting started.

    Good luck...let me know how it works for you.



    Bettdev:

    Thanks for the tip...I'll have to check out the Wal-
    Mart near me...I certainly didn't realize they purge those
    items regularly. Due to cost of the plastic ones, I assumed
    they recycled. I would love to have all plastic for mine, as well. Can't wait to get to the store and inquire. By the way, do they save them for you, or do you just check every day or so... to see if they have any throw outs for that day?
  • Craft1,
    I'm usually in Wal Mart during the early evening. I look around the cutting table, to find the trashcan. There are usually a few in there, and i ask if i can have them. Never been turned down yet!
    Might try JoAnn Fabrics, Han**** Fabrics, or Mae's Fabrics. They ALL throw those away!:p
    I'v even got some that have a hanger on the top of them...will hang from a dowel rod, or even wire closet shelves.
    Take Care, and have fun!
  • Craft1
    just though i would give you a quickie update on my progress lol so far i have managed to organize my crafts closet ( it is supposed to be the linen closet ) as i dont have the room to have my own craft room ...yet lol Everything is either in one of those plastic organizer things ( the ones you would put screws in ) or old cardboard boxes CLEARLY labeled. I have actually gained a shelf in there now lol i guess it is time to shop so i can fill up that empty space lol

    Next on my organizing spree is our bedroom *argh* lol If i dont post for a few days send out a search party lol . It really isnt that bad just the closet is a horrible mess cuz we only have clothes hangers and we store 'junk' on the top shelf and crap on the floor lol that is soon going to be ended though. Also i am going to go through all the clothes and any that we dont wear will be donated to either friends or the thrift store.

    Thank you again Craft1 for giving me help on getting organized. Not that you would know by my house , but my computer is so organized it is freaky lol i know EXACTLY where all my graphics are ( i am a computer graphics artist) and exactly where anything i need to use is ( url's for things etc)

    Thank you again
    Sue
  • Craftymom:
    You're doing SUPER!!!! Already accomplished one (an extra shelf to boot) and into the next...at this rate, you will be finished before the weekend is out.

    Since you are into the bedrooms...forgot to mention also about your children's things. I found when the children grew taller (slacks too short)...but waist and hip sizes were the same...I was frugal and recycled. I would cut the legs off and make either
    capris or shorts (whichever the child preferred). This even works for wool or winter slacks for girls; because mine wore the wool
    shorts with long socks/tights in the winter. This method also works for blouses and shirts...just cut the sleeves off (make sure you allow plenty of length for the hem.)

    Also, if you find things you dearly love and really don't want to get rid of it, yet it doesn't fit. Cut up and use to make small
    pillows. furniture scarves, etc. (if something matches some area of your home decor).

    And see, once you have finished your first area and see the end results...you can't wait to get to the next and the next and the next...it just looks so good.

    Take care and don't work too hard....keep me posted...I can't wait to hear!