Here are some snapshots of different ways we have found to organize our lives. Hopefully these will help give you some ideas for the problem areas in your homes as you gear up to tackle Spring Cleaning 2009!
In the kids’ room-
top shelf L-R: coloring books and construction paper in the blue bin, craft supplies/glue/scissors in the clear bins
lower shelf L-R: crayons/pens/colored pencils/stamps in blue bin, markers in green basket, timer for room time, Maggie’s hair stuff in purple basket, hair ribbon/bows in pink&purple thing.
on dresser top: dehumidifier (our house is a moist place…), stereo, chapter books, library books, audio books, and give/save/spend jars.
In the linen “closet”-
(I put “closet” in quotes because it was made in the hallway by a previous owner…they stole precious space out of the bathroom to make it- I’m still wondering if it was worth their time…) :-)
top shelf L-R: pain relievers and Rx, in drawers: travel size stuff/cough drops/cold medicines
lower shelf L-R: first aid, cotton balls, q-tips, and first aide. In drawers: asthma meds/band aids and ointments/kiddie meds/extra meds
In the living room-
We semi-recently got rid of our coffee table and therefore needed a good place for our magazines (okay, mainly they are mine…and I can’t part with them until they are at least 6 months old and the season is past…). SO, in the meanwhile, we weren’t too sure what to do with them. I decided to buy 2 CHEAP magazine holders from IKEA and they’ve worked great! I even think they look somewhat stylish on the bookshelf!! :-)
In the kitchen-
I’ve been trying to save some dough by buying what I can from the bulk section at Winco. I was encountering a problem though: everything ended up in a ziplock…and then in a pile in the cupboard. I did some research on storage options and settled in these by OXO. They aren’t cheap: BUT using a Kohl’s card with a great coupon at a sale I was able to get them fairly affordably! I stole my sister-in-law’s label maker and got them all set to go. I have two layers of them on the shelf and a few were removed when I took the picture. I’m in love with them! Here are the things I opted to store in them: flour, sugar, cornstarch, powdered sugar, wheat flour, brown sugar, splenda, cornmeal, steel cut oats, slivered almonds, walnuts, raisins, and dried cranberries.
Another great way to save money by shopping in that bulk section is by refilling your empty spice jars! You can get them for pennies on the dollar and it’s so easy if you already have empty, labeled jars! I always have trouble finding the spice that I need in the cupboard, especially with shelves that are above eye level, so our solution has been to put the spice jars into metal baskets (or you could use plastic bins, etc.) This way I can just grab a basket, pull it down and find what I need w/o pulling half of the cupboard out, dropping anything onto my head or into my mixing bowl (yes, it HAS happened!)
In the entry way –
Even though our living room is fairly big, and we do have a coat closet in our current house, there is almost no entry way or welcoming area at the front of our house! In an effort to make the area seem larger we hung this set of mirrors with pegs that both makes the space feel larger AND creates an easy place to hang a visitor’s coat (and not have it out of site to be forgotten!)
We thought we’d share some organizational solutions that we have used in our homes to help you get a jump start on your brainstorming! There are a plethora of ideas and options out there, but hopefully SEEING some possibilities will help get you thinking of how you can reorganize your problem areas :)