Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tips for an Organized Home: General Household Storage

General Household Storage
  • Clear plastic storage bins are the organizer’s best friend. Target carries clear bins with white, locking lids. They come in various sizes, and same-size bins stack beautifully. I use them for sorting toys in my kids’ rooms, and they’re great! Polly Pocket sets, doll clothes, matchbox cars, train sets, etc. – sort items by theme, and it will make it easier for kids to keep their rooms tidy.
  • For larger items (Christmas decorations, extra bedding, out of season clothing, etc), larger storage bins that stack well are a must. Label each bin with exactly what is in it so that you can find something when you need it. Store bins with the labels facing out. Keep a catchall box in your storage area to collect items that need to be added to packed boxes, and put them where they belong the next time you pull out the boxes.
  • Keep a basket or other container near the front door for things that need to go out: videos, mail, etc. Keep another basket at the foot of the stairs for items that need to go upstairs. The trick: make sure to empty them!
  • Create a home for new acquisitions right away. Better yet, think about where you will put it before purchasing it. If you have nowhere to put it, don’t buy it. Make a decision to purchase items only to replace items that are worn-out.
  • Jot all notes, reminders, and phone numbers in a small spiral notebook. It will eliminate all the little bits of paper that are apt to get lost.
  • Open-top bins or baskets are great for storing items that you need easy access to: medications, cleaning supplies, sippy-cup lids, etc. Square or rectangular shaped storage containers fit neatly onto shelves without wasting space.
  • Arrange the contents of cabinets and closets so that frequently used items are the most accessible. Store less frequently used items on very high or low shelves in a closet or at the back of a cabinet. Store items used most frequently at about waist height.
  • Set up workstations for activities such as handling mail and bills, sewing, hobbies, etc. If necessary, make these workstations portable by storing them in bins that are clearly labeled. Organize your workstation with all the supplies you need.
  • Look for ways to use doors, walls, and even ceilings as vertical storage space: back-of-door organizers, shelving, hooks, peg-boards, racks, and grid systems.
  • Keep remote controls and small “cluttery” items in a decorative basket or tin on a shelf where you will see only the container.
  • Label everything! Folders, home videos, boxes, bins, binders, shelves, etc.
  • Collect all clothing with missing buttons, fallen hems, or rips and put it in a bag for mending or in a basket in your laundry room. Schedule mending time.
  • Store out-of-season blankets, comforters, coats, sweaters, and other seasonal clothing in vacuum-compressed bags to save space.
  • Use empty suitcases to store out-of-season clothing or bedding.
  • Make a decision to postpone all impulse purchases by 24 hours. Most of the time, you’ll decide it’s not worth the effort to go back for it.
  • Keep in your email in-box only those messages that you have yet to respond to. Delete or move other messages to subfolders within your in-box.

For more ideas, see the websites below:

This ends my "Tips for an Organized Home" series. Hope I shared something useful with you! And again, I'm VERY interested in YOUR ideas too, so email me your organization tips! :)

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