Creative Organizing Ideas – Repurpose Items {1}

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I love finding creative storage and organizing solutions and then sharing them with you. Here are a few ideas where items are repurposed.

  1. Reuse a salt pour spout with canning jars. Read more about it on Thrifty Fun.
  2. Make a chip clip out of a plastic hanger.
  3. Repurpose a 12 pack soda box into a canned food organizer. Read more about it on Then She Made.
  4. Make a lined canvas bin from a diaper box. Read more about it on Positively Splendid.

Click HERE if you’re looking for other Creative Organizing Ideas.

Creative Organizing Ideas – Cords

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If you’re looking for ways to organize your cords, then check out the following ideas:

  1. Secure your cords that always slip out of reach with binder clips.
  2. Store cords in cardboard toilet paper rolls.
  3. Use bread tags to label cords.
  4. Place cords in a piece of pipe insulation – foam tubing with a slit along one side.
  5. Use a sock to keep multiple cords together. Use a  stretchy trouser sock with the toe cut off.

Click HERE if you’re looking for other Creative Organizing Ideas.

Creative Storage Ideas – Pen & Pencil Holders

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Up cycle items by turning them into pen and pencil holders. Here are some fun examples.

  1. Repurpose a tin container and attach magnets to hang on refrigerator.
  2. Use a toothbrush holder to hold pens or pencils.
  3. Recycle soup cans into pen and pencil holders.
  4. Repurpose a silverware caddy to store your markers and pencils.
  5. Repurpose jars to store pens and pencils.

Click HERE if you’re looking for other Creative Organizing Ideas.

Creative Organizing Ideas – Storage {1}

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I love finding creative storage solutions. Most of them are simple and seem so obvious.

Here are some I recently found that I want to share with you.

  1. Use a travel soap box to store flash cards or card games. Read more about it on Shady Tree Diary.
  2. Turn a dish drainer into a file holder. Place pens and pencils in the utensil holder.
  3. Organize batteries in a plastic tackle box or container with dividers that has multiple sizes of openings.
  4. Store wrapping paper in a trash can (on wheels). Read more about it on Chez Larsson.
  5. Use a tension rod to hang spray bottles under a cabinet. Read more about it on a thousand words.
  6. Store plastic wrap and foil boxes in a magazine/paper holder. Read more about it on Chica and Jo.

Do you have a creative storage solution? Tell us about it.

Click HERE if you’re looking for other Creative Organizing Ideas.

My Top 10 Uses for a Countdown Timer

My kitchen timer gets used often and not just for timing my cooking.

Here are my top 10 uses for a countdown timer:

1. Reminder to get ready to leave for an activity.

2. To limit kids playtime with the computer or video games.

3. To limit my online time. This involves my blogging, social media, or general Internet reading. I often need to set time limits or else minutes will go by and I wasn’t productive. I use Online Stopwatch.

4. To do some speed cleaning. If I want to straighten up the house but I don’t have much time. I’ll set the timer for 10 minutes and get as much done as possible. I don’t get lost in time spending an hour cleaning but instead get a few things cleaned. For example, this can be done when cleaning the kitchen – set a time limit on wiping down the counters, table, refrigerator, and stove.

5. Limit my time on a project. I do this if it’s something like cutting coupons or boxtops. Or when doing a part of craft project. Activities where it’s okay if I stop in the middle of it and it has no deadline.

6. Take a 5-10 minute rest break for myself. Times where I realize I need to just “breathe!” So I set the timer and close my eyes. It’s amazing what 5-10 minutes of that can do.

7. To chill a beverage in the freezer. When I want to get a lukewarm drink cold quick but I don’t want to forget I put the drink the freezer! I can be forgetful. ;)

8. Reminder to start cooking dinner. Remember, I can be forgetful.

9. Reminder that dinner IS currently cooking! I do my best to stay in the kitchen while cooking but life happens and I don’t want to forget something as simple as a pot of boiling water.

10. And YES for cooking…of course I need to include this one. I use it to time the food I’m cooking or baking in the oven.

I know in some of the above cases I could simply use an alarm clock but I’m now used to my multi-functional kitchen timer. :) It works for me!

As for setting time limits (such #3, 4 and 5), I need this because I can easily get lost in the moment. This results in poor time-management for me. There’s this great eBook, Tell Your Time, that helped me realize this.  I was already doing a lot of what the eBook recommends.  But I wasn’t scheduling and setting  time limits on the one thing where I spent the majority of my day – being online. I followed some of the tips in Tell Your Time and it’s made  a difference. My time management skills and daily balance is not perfect but it has greatly improved.

So how about you?! Do you use a timer at home for anything other than cooking?

(This is linked up to Works for Me Wednesday and Top Ten Tuesday.)

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto)

My Laundry Schedule

My household tip of the week…

Do you get overwhelmed by piles and piles of laundry? Does it feel never-ending?

Here’s how I’ve been able to control our laundry:

Create A Daily Laundry Schedule

A schedule is how I am able to get my families laundry done without feeling overwhelmed. 

I do at least one load a day during the weekdays.

I try to plan it so I am able to take the weekend off from laundry.

Here’s an example of a Laundry Schedule:

  • Monday: Easy care shirts & delicates 1-2 loads
  • Tuesday: Sheets 1 load
  • Wednesday: Grownup clothes 1-2 loads
  • Thursday: Twins clothes – 1 load
  • Friday: Oldest daughter’s clothes – 1 load

There is some flexibility in this schedule. Some weeks I may have an extra load to add onto a day. Some weeks I skip a day and add that load to another day. The point is to stick as close as possible to a schedule.

Other helpful tips:

I load the washing machine first thing in the morning. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to get a load washed, dried and folded by 9am. I am done with my day’s laundry before my second cup of coffee. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does…boy do I feel like I can conquer the rest of the day!

I also do my best to fold the clothes right away, sometimes right from the dryer. Literally, the dryer door is open and I take a shirt out, fold it, put in the basket, and repeat.

How about you? How do you tackle your laundry pile? Do you spread it out during the week? Do you do it all in one day? Wait until you have a big pile? What works for you?

(This is linked up to the Works for Me Wednesday on We Are That Family)

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto)

Quick Tip: Keep Replacement Bags in the Trash Can

Here’s a household tip I apply to my kitchen’s trash can.

Um..I can’t believe I’m going to talk trash now. :) But here goes…

When you take out your garbage, what’s the next thing you do to your trash can? Line it with a new replacement bag, right?! Do you spend time getting a trash bag from under your sink…or is it your pantry…or a kitchen cabinet OR how about at the bottom of your trash can?

Put several replacement trash bags at the bottom of your trash can 

I take my box of trash bags and pull out around 15 bags. I fold them, pile them together and then place them in the bottom of my trash can. I then line the trash can with the current garbage bag to be used.  This way, when you take out the garbage, you’ll have a fresh bag ready to take the old bag’s place and will only need to grab a new bag (from wherever) half as often.

Well, that’s my quick tip. It’s not a huge, “front page headline” type of news, but even the little things can help! I read about this tip in a magazine a few years ago and have been doing it routinely ever since. It works for me!

About the photo: It’s a picture of a designer garbage bag that is no longer available to buy. Yes, I said “designer” and “buy.” Just the thought of it cracked me up, so I couldn’t resist posting the picture.

Be sure to read my other household tips and “Works for Me” posts.

(This is linked up to the Works for Me Wednesday series on We Are That Family.)

Refrigerator Cleaning One Shelf at a Time

It’s a new year and everyone is talking about getting organized …and cleaning more…and being more efficient… and on and on. It got me thinking about the daily routines that already work for me.

I’d love to share them with you.

So, here’s the first post (in what I hope to be many) where I’ll share a tip. I plan to keep the tips simple. They will be time saving tips (and sanity saving ;) ). They have been for me at least. It’s about creating routines.

Do you dread having to clean your refrigerator?

Here’s what I do:

Tackle Refrigerator Cleaning One Shelf at a Time.

When I see a shelf is nearly empty:

  • I take the remaining items off the shelf
  • I then pull out the shelf and give it a clean rinse OR
  • sometimes I leave the shelf in place and just do a quick wipe of it.

So, I ONLY clean that shelf mentioned above. That’s it – I’m done until the next day or 2 or 3 or when another shelf (or the same shelf) is almost empty.

The idea is to clean the refrigerator in small steps. This way you won’t have to spend a lot of time cleaning the entire refrigerator all at once.

I’ve been doing this method for a long time.  It works for me! It saves me time on doing a big cleaning. Plus, my refrigerator stays relatively clean. I say that because I don’t want you to get the impression that it’s always sparkling clean. ;)

Oh and don’t forget to check those expiration dates from time to time.

Do you already do this type of refrigerator cleaning or do you prefer cleaning it in one shot?

(This is linked up to the Works for Me Wednesday series on the blog - We Are That Family)

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto)