Binders, baskets, portable file keepers. With a half-dozen tools, organization can be simplified - and life made less chaotic.
1. 3-ring binders: These are perfect for keeping similar themes of paperwork together in one place. Three possibilities are:
- Home Decorating Binder. Add tabs to make a section for each room and insert blank pages to jot down tips you read, pages from magazines and furniture or art from catalogs that you'd like to order.
- Warranties Binder. Include all of your household warranties for furniture, appliances, games, tools and electronics.
- Projects Binder. Insert pocket folders, and use one pocket for each active project you're working on.
2. Baskets: Since these come in so many different sizes and shapes, there are baskets to fit every need and style. Three basket thoughts are:
- Sewing Repair Basket: Hold anything you need to set on a button, mend a tear or make a hem.
- Reading Basket: Hold bookmarks, your reading glasses, a dictionary and sticky notes to tag pages when necessary.
- Pet Toys Basket: Corral all pet toys for your furry friend in one basket so they're not laying all over your house.
3. Portable File Keepers: These containers with lids and handles hold your hanging file folders, so you can transport your important paperwork from one place to another. Three ideas:
- Office-on-the-Go: If you're regularly on-the-road to get from one business appointment to another, these can work nicely for you. You can keep anything from contracts, to proposals to price sheets organized and a cinch to locate.
- Student Paper Finder: Have kids who are always bringing home papers that need to be signed, notes about upcoming school events or weekly lunch menus? If you use one of these file boxes, you'll never lose another important school-related paper again.
- Event Holder: Keep all aspects of your child's birthday party, your parents upcoming anniversary party or your wedding contained in one place.
4. Plastic Storage Totes: What better way to keep a room or a closet organized, than with these essential tools. Try them for:
- Rummage Sale Stuff: Store everything you plan to sell at your upcoming rummage sales in these storage totes. Have one for each category, such as Clothes, Toys and Kitchen Items.
- Make a Rainy Day Box: Include toys, crafts and activities that your kids only play with when the weather is not nice enough to play outside. The contents will be more special because they're not seen on a daily basis.
- Holiday Kits: Get one plastic storage tote per holiday that you normally decorate for. Label each with the particular holiday such as Halloween, Christmas and Easter, or use more general categories if you wish, such as Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. Include your seasonal decorations in the appropriate boxes.
5. Notebooks: These are not just for school--they're perfect for everyday life. Stock up and have these handy 'reminder' tools whenever you need them. Three thoughts:
- Get Together Journal: If you regularly have friends or family over for dinner, you can jot down notes you'd like to remember from each event, such as foods that someone may be allergic to, someone's favorite recipe, what you wore so you don't wear the same outfit next time and the particular game or activity you chose for the evening.
- TV Helper: When you see something on television that you'd like to watch, a product you might like to try or an event you're interested in, you'll have someplace handy to jot down the information. Keep a pen attached to it, and keep the notebook close to the area where you regularly watch TV.
- Phone Notes: Keep your Phone Notebook near your telephone, or where you usually are when you're talking on the telephone. Use it to jot down instructions from your pharmacist, things you want to tell your sister or the steps you need to take to get your computer repaired.
6. Shelves: Wall space is so often forgotten about, but if you use it properly, you can free up tons of space. Wall shelves help do the trick. Here are three uses:
- Display Shelves: Get your family photos and decorative figurines off coffee tables and dressers, and onto display shelves. They're less likely to get damaged when your friend's little angels come to visit.
- Shelf with Pegs: Display your kids' trophies and special awards proudly. Shelves with pegs serve double-duty. They allow you to hang caps, umbrellas and other essentials underneath the shelves.
- Bathroom Shelves: Add some pretty glass shelves to your bathroom wall, and you have the perfect place to keep a waterproof radio, your toothbrush holder or cosmetics.