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Organizing Product Review: More Container Store Favs

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

I have to limit my trips to The Container Store – hard to keep my total purchase under $100. However, there are a few items that are so versatile, I use them often in client’s homes. If you are lucky enough to live close to a store, don’t forget you can do the shopping online and then pick up to avoid shipping.

Translucent stack drawers – $4.99-11.99

Slotted Interlocking Drawer I use these with Slotted Interlocking Drawer Dividers ($4.99) for custom medicine storage.

24-Pocket Mesh Overdoor Shoe Bag – $12.99

Pocket Mesh Overdoor Shoe bag Use this in any room of the house: pantry – for individual packets & odd-shaped items; bathroom – for most used toiletries; craft room – for scissors, glue, etc; kid’s closet – for small stuffed animals.

Clear Handled Storage Baskets – regular price $3.99-4.99

Clear Handled Baskets These are great for storing toiletries by category so you can find what you need easily. The handle makes it easy to pull out and look.

Who says organizing can’t be fun? I can easily spend 2 hours wandering in this store! You?

Product Review: Greeting Card Organizers

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

When I worked at Hallmark, my curiosity was piqued by the gal who said she was shopping for her husband’s Christmas present. Her hands were full of greeting cards. She went on to explain that every year she picked out cards for each of her husband’s relatives and filed them by their birth month.

What a thoughtful and practical gift! Better yet, she used one of her 20% off total purchase coupons. I thought she was one smart lady.

You may not purchase cards a year in advance, but may have leftovers, some “Thank You” cards, and a few blank all occasion cards. You can get creative and group cards either by the month they will be used, or by sentiment using one of these resources.

Organizer Books (by the month)

These books have a total of 12 pockets (one per month). You list people with special days on the month’s pocket and file any cards you find ahead of time. Be sure to look at your monthly list before you go to the grocery store or card shop.

*Franklin C. CoveyGreeting Card Organizer by Gina B. Designs , 7.5″ W x 9″ H, $25.00

Greeting Cards Organizer Book by Current

*CurrentGreeting Card Organizer Book #604345, 8″ X 10 “, $8.99
This one wins my vote for good size, low cost, and trendy design.

Organizer Boxes (by the occasion/sentiment)

These boxes work well for the person who likes to send cards for many occasions. The cards are filed by category rather than month. The categories I use are: anniversary, baby, birthday, congrats/encouragement, get well , thank you, thinking of you, and sympathy. I use my Tickler File to keep the monthly cards with a list at hand.

*Lillian VernonGreeting Card Organizer Box, SKU: 013628
Was $9.98 on sale for $5.98
Pretty, but not sure of sturdiness.

IRIS Greeting Card Box

*IRIS Greeting Card Box, $11.95 or set of 2 for $19.99
Clear plastic means indestructible  and perfect for a closet or cupboard (not beautiful.)

*BigSo White Card Organizer from The Container Store, $14.00
This box is a heavy duty cardboard with reinforced corners, is neutral so can go anywhere in the home, and has large

I use a fern green BigSo Box with plastic envelopes labeled with categories as my greeting card organizer.

Why even bother organizing cards? If you can find what you need when you need it, you are organized.  Don’t bother.

If you find yourself hunting, stop wasting time and organize. Storing the same kinds of things in one specific spot is the way to do it. You can start with greeting cards and move on from there.

Do you have a greeting card system that is working for you? Please share with us in the comments!

Easy and Efficient Under Sink Storage

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

What have you tried to store under your kitchen sink? The space is different in each house depending on where the water lines and disposal end up. You are lucky to get one skinny container on one side of the cabinet.

Then there is the mix of cleaning products; dish-washing liquids, powders and tablets; trash can liners; rubber gloves; and assorted scrubbing doo-dads. The shapes and sizes are a nightmare to organize and contain.
When you are in a hurry, something is bound to topple over. Gooey spills, dishwasher detergent powder, and spider webs conspire against you to make a sticky, dirty mess under there!

Let me offer a few suggestions. You are free to mix and match to come up with a solution that fits your unique circumstance.

  • Store only what you use in the kitchen here. If you have an adequate pantry or space in your laundry room, keep the majority of your cleaning products there. This also helps cut down on the danger of poisons a child can reach (locks are necessary, but should not be the only safeguard!)
  • Move trash bag liners to your plastic wrap area. These boxes should fit in the drawer on their side.
  • Cover the floor of your cabinet with a rubber mat or shelf liner. The spills and grit will be easy to clean with a wet sponge. Once that cheap particle board gets wet, it is never the same. A pristine cupboard looks good when you get ready to sell.
  • Use a slide out container with a stable bottom. Choose solid plastic, mesh, or metal stripping that is less than ½″ apart to avoid tipping.

A 6 qt plastic shoebox with no lid will do for the side of your cabinet that has the most head room. This is the frugal organizer’s option.

Lynk Professional Kitchen Under-Sink Rollout Double Drawer

Lynk Professional Kitchen Under-Sink Rollout Double Drawer

The Rolls Royce of pull-outs for the tall side is the 11″ x 21″ chrome Lynk Professional Kitchen Under-Sink Rollout Double Drawer. There is an 11″ x 18″ version as well.

Finally, I love the 13″ x 13″ ITSO wide tray at Target ($5.19) This can hold sponges, rubber gloves, scrubbers on the short side.

Once you make these changes, you will be surprised at how easily and efficiently you can access everything you need from your now beautiful under sink storage!

This is a reprint of a guest post I wrote for Organize with Sandy, originally published on 8/16/10.

Got Stuff? Where You Gonna Stuff It?

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Got stuff? You love it. You need it. You gotta find a place to keep it.

After you have sorted and purged, you are ready to assign a home to your belongings. You will want to keep in mind your habits and preferences (where does it usually land?), where the items will be used, and the nature of items to be stored.

These are the 7 basic storage options available to you. You can mix and match (a hidden  built-in) to your heart’s content to find your perfect storage solution.

  1. Hidden storage – Drawers and cupboards that hide contents, keep items safe from damage
    Drawback: more effort to retrieve and replace, out of sight = toss it in and forget it
  2. Display storage – open shelving, glass cupboards when well organized, double as a decorative feature
    Drawback: storage of too many objects can look crowded and unappealing.
  3. Built-in storage – efficient use of space with no footprint, no cleaning around it.
    Drawback: location is set, cannot rearrange for different decorating option.
  4. Freestanding storage – portable and adaptable, such as bookcases, carts, metal shelving.
    Drawback: takes up floor space, usually not enclosed so can become unsightly dumping ground.
  5. Compartmentalized storage – used to keep like items separated, such as partitioned drawers, matching baskets, jars, bags, or a system of hooks/pegs.
    Drawback: the designated holder takes up more space than the objects alone.
  6. Item-specific storage – well designed to hold specific shapes or fit in a particular space, such as shower organizers, CD racks, jewelry trays.
    Drawback: limited use, hard to repurpose.
  7. Dual duty storage – versatile furnishings that double as storage, ex. trunk used as coffee table, ottoman with inner storage compartment.
    Drawback: Can’t think of one unless it is the option to keep more stuff!

Don’t forget to leave a little empty space for expansion. Otherwise all your organizing work will be undone by a few new additions!

When you get all your stuff stored in perfect order, step back and breathe a sigh of satisfaction. Better yet, take a picture and tack it up where you can see it and duplicate the same order as needed.