Time to Clean Out or Organize Your Home

| 1/8/2010 1:53:58 PM

Tags: question to readers,

January — the month of resolutions and a time to review priorities. Cleaning and organizing my workshop area comes to mind. It’s a mess! I moved to this house about nine months ago, and have never fully unpacked and organized all of the workshop tools and accoutrements. There are open boxes everywhere filled with whatever was easiest to grab and put in the box. What I need is an organization system for all of the stuff. But those cute little plastic boxes at the home improvement store are expensive!!

So, a friend has come up with an idea. His wife cuts the bottoms from cereal boxes, about 4 inches up, as organizing boxes. What a fabulous use for something that would otherwise be trash! I’m definitely going to give this a try.

Do you have any creative organizing tricks you’ve used successfully? If so, tell us about it in the comments below.

1/27/2010 9:24:21 AM

the folgers containers can be used at the washer/dryer for a change/junk holder or a pen/pencil holder for on the desk or on my counter where everyone drops every pen they own and then can't find one when they are running for work or school. They are good to hold rice, pasta, partial bags of cereal and crackers in the summer. They make good containers in the shop too. This size is large but will hold ribbon spools and yarn or use one on your counter when you are peeling and working making dinner as your "slop bucket". I keep a large scrap bucket on the end of the counter to take to the chickens in the morning its nice to have the cover on it. Laurie

rose reyes_1
1/19/2010 9:24:39 AM

does anyone out there have any ideas as to what I could use the Folgers plastic cans for.I am sure there a lot uses for them but my mind is blank I have no ideas.Please help,i have collected a few I try to recycle as many things I can but no clue as to what to do with them.. Thank you rose

dawn pfahl
1/17/2010 12:22:19 PM

We've found various ways to reduce clutter. I've made an investment in a pair of small organizer drawers, which are stacked on my desk and labeled - bills, paychecks, reciepts, etc. Every week I go through the mail, take care of bills or other things that need a reply, and then file everything. Once every 2-3 months as the drawers fill up I sort through them and remove extra paper (take statements out of envelopes, etc), and at tax time, the whole thing should get cleaned out for next year. Another thing I like to do is re-use neat packaging - tins, boxes, etc. I recently repainted a nice deep heart shaped box that used to hold valentine's candy, and re-purposed it as a small shelf for some of my trinkets, with some braided yarn and a thumbtack to hold it to the wall. It saved money on buying a decorative shelf, and the lid hangs above it; a matched set!

1/15/2010 1:27:17 AM

I use empty creamer containers, just peel off the lable and use permanent marker to lable the contents. They come in various sizes, wont rust, and do not normally shatter if dropped.

1/14/2010 7:25:01 AM

You can also use cereal or snack boxes for magazine or letter holders. I have found they hold up better if you pur contac paper over them - even on the insides if you are keeping small items that collect dirt and dust in them as it makes the box washable.

paul keen
1/13/2010 7:27:01 PM

Katherine's comment on January 8th is "spot on". Back in the 1970's my Dad and I found a great use for baby food jars - back then the jars were glass (still are, I think), and the lids were metal with an easy thread to screw on or off. Some of the newer ones I've seen have fine and/or plastic-reinforced threads and are not as easy to use as the coarser threads Dad and I used. What we did was to screw the lids for the jars we wanted to use to the underside of shelves in the garage. For convenience and spacing, we screwed the lids to a long, narrow strip of 1/4" plywood, and then mounted the plywood strip to the underside of the shelf. We used 2 small screws for each lid - to keep the lids from turning when you try to unscrew the jaw. We found all sorts of uses for the jar system. Most of the time, we would use them for keeping different types of screws/nuts/bolts/washers separate. One of the neat things we found was that as the jars became full, some of the taller baby food jars had the same size lids, so the shorter jars were exchanged for the taller ones. It's super easy to see what's in each jar and get just the part(s) you need for your project. It does great for removing clutter in the workshop, but can also be used for various things in the pantry as well. Be sure to space the lids/jars far enough apart so you are able to wrap your hand around the jar to unscrew it.

suzanne horvath
1/13/2010 10:12:56 AM

I save any envelopes/paper from my daily mail. I throw it all in a big basket I have sitting near my fireplace. I also add any dry pinecones I pick up in the yard. Then when I want to start a fire in the fireplace, this collection helps the kindling to get the fire started. I accomplish 2 things this way: reduce litter and diffuse some of my frustration with trying to get a fire started. If you don't have a fireplace, maybe your neighbors/friends do. Ask if they can use the excess shredded paper. Or possibly, your local animal shelter may be able to use it for bedding/litter boxes.

mary ann eyben_2
1/13/2010 10:10:48 AM

For really great tips to clean and organize your house check out the flylady web site. this has helped me to clear out, cleanout and organize so much. My house is much easier to maintain now.

1/13/2010 9:10:26 AM

I like to save and reuse containers that can be covered with nice paper, some come with lids, cans like baby formular cans, hot cocoa cans etc, I recover with a matching paper, the ones I have just done are covered with a lovely paper I cut from a "bag" I recieved some purchase in, it was just too nice to throw away. I label the cans and I have a lovely can to put anything I want in, all shapes and sizes. I use them in the house and in the garage.

susan thomas_4
1/11/2010 5:52:34 AM

No more foraging through a mass of earrings and pins for me! I bought a large wood hoop for a quilt block at a garage sale. Never used it for quilt blocks so I took an old bath towel that had holes in it, placed a piece of an old lace table cloth over that and stretched it into the hoop. I took all my earrings and fastened them onto the hoop, and my favorite jacket pins too. It's drop dead gorgeous, and no more clutter in my Jewelry box. I hung it on the wall where I put on my makeup for work each morning. It's awsome to simply glance and choose what I want to wear that day. Saves me money too. I no longer buy earrings because I can find what I was looking for anyway.

bonnie schroter_1
1/10/2010 10:26:27 AM

Hanging shoe organizers are great when hung behind a utility room door. They can hold cleaning products, extra light bulbs, vacuum attachments, dusts cloths, anything you may need in a pinch, and the items are easily visible through the clear plastic pockets.

hazel watson_2
1/8/2010 5:42:17 PM

I keep the paper shredder and a wastebasket next to my desk. This helps when I open my daily mail. I also recycle all the usable paper and cardboard that goes into them. For recycling, I've begged for free or bought cheaply at resale shops 13-gallon wastebaskets - kitchen can size - so I can use ordinary liners. I now have five of them - one each for donations, styrofoam, glass, plastic, and metal. The unshredded paper and cardboard goes into corrugated boxes. Shredded paper goes into a trash bag. I keep all of these containers in the garage so it does not matter that they do not match up neatly! When I make my trip to the recycle/resale centers (on my way to do my grocery shopping), they usually give me back my liners and the corrugated boxes for my next batch.

1/8/2010 4:00:06 PM

for cleaning up the messy desk, remember that pile are just files on their sides! Simply the act of sorting through the various desk top strata and putting the papers into files starts you down the path of organization, takes the dread out of the project, and makes you feel like you've made some progress with fairly little effort.

1/8/2010 3:01:46 PM

I love the small, clear baby food containers from Gerber. They are just perfect to put in small amounts of small things like beads, pins, etc.

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