Now that we’re on the other side of the craziness of the holidays, it’s time to think about what we’re going to do with the opportunity a brand new year provides us….mainly a new start, a chance to do things differently. :-) If getting organized is on your list, you’ve come to the right place! Not only are we sharing some of our best organizing tips from the OGT archives and from all over the web…we have daily, weekly and monthly calendars FREE for the printing!
A magnetic knife holder is a simple and practical organizing tool that has uses far beyond the kitchen!
- Matchbox cars
- Screwdrivers & paintbrushes
- Bobby pin, nail clippers, tweezers, and other metal beauty tools. Perfect for use in the bathroom, dressing room, or vanity.
- Paper punches, scissors, and other desk and craft supplies
- Put one near the front door or elsewhere in your home to keep all car and household keys together!
Ban bulky packaging.
You can usually store more when products are out of the package, you can easily see what you have, and they look nicer too! Square and rectangular containers are more efficient space savers than round ones.
A solution for the avalanche of artwork.
It’s hard to throw away children’s artwork, but unfortunately, the art tends to pile up all over the house. Not only is this messy, the pictures never get pulled out and admired. Solution: take photos of all your children’s artwork and instead of storing them, make the photos into a book once a year.
Reclaim your refrigerator.
The front of the refrigerator can easily become overrun with clutter. Put all the stuff that would normally be stuck to the front of your fridge on the inside of your cupboard instead. Just attach a piece of sheet metal to the inside of your cabinet door.
Related: Tips For An Organized Kitchen
Paper clutter buster.
Toss junk mail in the trash or into a recycling bin before it even enters the house. Mark events on the calendar, then recycle the mail, and put bills into a separate letter sorter for dealing with at bill-paying time.
Related: Tips For An Organized Garage
Mops and brooms, even vacuums, can be hung on walls (or the inside of closet doors) to free up precious floor space. Jewelry is easier to see and less likely to tangle when hanging, and camisoles are easier to find when hung on the inside of a closet door (based on personal experience.)
Under-sink storage saver.
Help free up some space and give those spray bottles easy access by placing a tension rod under your kitchen sink! Such a brilliant idea.
Maximize space with lazy susans.
They take up the same amount of space as a normal storage unit, but they provide easy access to hard to reach places. Use them to organize nail polish bottles, medicine, condiments, spices, cleaning supplies, craft supplies, etc.
Make organizing a snap with apps.
- Corral your cards. Keep your discount/loyalty/reward cards virtually on your phone with the Key Ring app. And if you don’t have a smartphone, hole-punching your discount and gift cards and adding them to a single key ring can keep your purse organized.
- Organize your inbox. Unroll.me is a free digital service that purges your inbox of unwanted emails. It’s like a maid service for your digital life.
- Digitize paper clutter. Use your iPhone or iPad as a pocket scanner with Genius Scan. You can keep all your documents electronically without having to invest in a scanner.
Over-the-door shoe organizers.
Ever since I discovered the organizing versatility of these gems I use them all over the house! Cleaning products, craft supplies, office supplies, toys, scarves and belts, first aid supplies, winter accessories like gloves and hats, socks and underwear….the list goes on and on!
You can even cut a shoe organizer in half for smaller areas (like under the kitchen or bathroom sink) or to create an over-the-seat caddy for your car.
Don’t miss an inch.
Make use of less-than-obvious spaces around your home:
- Inside kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors. Perfect for cleaning supplies or hair styling tools.
- The two feet above any door. Just install a shelf. Especially useful in the bathroom for supplies.
- Back of a room or closet door. There are lots of great organizers out there that hang from the top of any door.
- The space above kitchen cabinets. Store seldom used items in attractive baskets.
- Underneath your desk. Bookshelves, drawers, stools, a single shelf – all add to an organized desk.
Store your extra sheets under your mattress.
By stowing an extra set of sheets in the room where they will be used, you free up space in the hall closet. Valuable “real estate” in any home! Then when it’s sheet-washing time, no need to go hunting through the linen closet. Just strip the sheets off the bed and grab the perfectly-pressed and dust-free sheet set under the mattress.
Create a donation station.
Keep a designated donation “bin” for clothes, housewares, toys, and other items that you decide to give away. (I use one of the 3 partitions in my hamper in the laundry room.) When the bin is full, take the contents to a local charity. If you do this regularly it will contribute greatly to the overall organization of your home.
Become fond of file boxes.
Use magazine file boxes to organize lots of things:
- Plastic wrap and aluminum foil
- Small purses and clutches
- Canned food
- Seasoning packets, microwave popcorn, drink packets.
Embrace the brilliance of bungees.
Bungee cords can do a lot more than just secure loads. They are great organizing tools as well!
- Make a stuffed animal “playpen” out of an open bookshelf. They’re easier to find, easier to put away. And your child gets a kick out of having a zoo-like pen for all the stuffed animals. Get the directions here.
- Stretch across the ceiling of a closet to hold wrapping paper.
- Use bungee cords to secure items on shelving. Great if you live in an earthquake-prone area.
Related: Tips For An Organized Bedroom
No more paper instruction/user manuals.
When buying electronics, appliances, etc. – download the manual and store it in the cloud. Uploading an electronic copy to the virtual cloud of your choice keeps you covered in case the manufacturer stops producing the item and takes the manual down from its’ site.
For most manuals a simple Google search using the keywords, “INSERT-PRODUCT-NAME-HERE owner’s manual” will take you to the manufacturer’s website where you can download the appropriate PDF file and keep it stored on a cheap flash drive or in the cloud. Once you’ve got it saved, you’re safe to toss that manual.
Employ the “crap basket” system.
Everyone gets a basket. If you see or collect anyone’s “crap” around the house, it goes in that person’s basket. And then they’re responsible for putting it back into their rooms.
Or, if you don’t want that many baskets, place one basket in a central location to collect abandoned “stuff” around the house. Simply tote from room-to-room to put away all the belongings.
Related: Tips For An Organized Family Room
Utilize pretend pull-outs.
I have several very deep cabinets in my kitchen where items seem to get lost. To solve this problem I use an idea I spied at Everyday Organizing. Use plastic bins as pull-outs! You can also take it a step further and group your items into different categories and label each bin. So smart!
Using plastic containers as you would drawers allows you to pull out the container and find what you need easily. Goodbye to practically standing on your head to find things in the back.
Now that our homes are organized, let’s see what we can do about our LIVES! :-) The last several years I have designed some printable planners that I’ve had many requests for again this year. I’m thrilled people find them useful, so I have spiffed them up for 2018 and you are FREE to download and use!
Here are the planners and why I think all three are beneficial to being happily organized!
CLICK ON EACH MONTH TO DOWNLOAD
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
Being able to see the entire month all at once really helps keep me on track. It’s helpful to be able to see special occasions like birthdays, etc with plenty of advance time to plan a party or purchase gift. I’d be lost without my monthly calendar! But while being able to see your “month-at-a-glance” is very important….it definitely only goes so far in helping to be organized and stay on task.
A weekly planner is also very helpful….especially on Sunday night when you are making your “plan of attack” for the week. It allows you to add more details to the week’s activities and helps you to see how all the pieces of your week’s puzzle fit together.
This is the planner I want to start making much better use of. I’m very good at knowing what is coming up on what day, but I want to be able to accomplish more than just the appointments in my planner each day. I’m hoping this daily planner will help me live each day with more purpose…not to mention get a lot more done!
I hope these ideas and the 3 free printables will be helpful as we all strive for a better organized 2018!