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Organizing superstars: Share your tips please! :)

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I love it when I come up with a good organizational system for home or work, but sometimes I just can't think of how I should organize a space.

If you guys have any organizing tips, please let me know! I am always looking to improve.

For example, how do you organize your important paperwork, bills, reference manuals, etc? How do you have your garage organized?

I'd love to hear any ideas you have about anything - and you can gloat about those great ideas you came up with too!
post #2 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubbie View Post
I love it when I come up with a good organizational system for home or work, but sometimes I just can't think of how I should organize a space.

If you guys have any organizing tips, please let me know! I am always looking to improve.

For example, how do you organize your important paperwork, bills, reference manuals, etc? How do you have your garage organized?

I'd love to hear any ideas you have about anything - and you can gloat about those great ideas you came up with too!
DH and I are very organized people, and it doesn't have to be that hard. The key to it is to stick to a routine. If you take something out of the garage put it back right after you are done. When you put your papers in a filing system make sure you put stuff back.

Also, it has to make sense to you, so don't go with something that isn't going to work.
post #3 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubbie View Post
If you guys have any organizing tips, please let me know!
I believe there is a such thing as organized chaos and thrive in it.
I know where everything is and it's placement makes complete sense to me. Unfortunately anyone else is lost.

Other then that, clear storage boxes can be very helpful.
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
I believe there is a such thing as organized chaos and thrive in it.
I know where everything is and it's placement makes complete sense to me. Unfortunately anyone else is lost.

Other then that, clear storage boxes can be very helpful.
organization is not in my vocabulary
post #5 of 26
Those hard plastic file boxes are the best. We have one for manuals, one for important papers, etc. They fit into small spaces and are stackable. You can also keep small extra parts, screws and such in baggies and staplied to the manual of the thing it belongs to.
post #6 of 26
Yup, my theory is there is a place for everything and everything in it's place. Unfortunately, DH's theory is it belongs where it lands! Seriously, if you take something out, put it back as soon as you are finished with it. Use filing portfolios to file paid bills by either payee or category. Keep all your charitable receipts, income tax stuff together. Get organizing bins for storing stuff in. I have wardrobes in the basement for switching about clothes in and out of by season, etc etc. It's not difficult once you start - you just have to make sure you stick with it because it's much quicker to file or put one thing away than tackling a ton of stuff!
post #7 of 26
I love organizing but I get lazy and don't stick to it. We have a file cabinet in the den with all our bills, statements, car info etc. I take everything out of the envelopes since most are stuffed with junk. I keep the bills for 6 months. The statements I try to keep a year or more. Someday when we buy a house I know the mortgage company will ask for a year's worth of statements. I have my own hand carry for my files -vet bills, statements, college papers, work paper...etc. Most of that stuff stays forever.

I love shopping for boxes or canvas crates. We have a larger file cabinet with computer parts, wires, discs & it just looks neater in the canvas crates. I originally got them for clothes but the are narrower on the bottom & I thought they had a lid.

My favorite storage is an old wine crate. Mom had many more but she had a flood one year and the wood was rotten. I used it as a table in college, turn it upside to hid all the hard liquor & pile heavy stuff on top. I love using cardboard boxes for things like nail polish. The plastic strawberry things are great for storing makeup
post #8 of 26
I am getting organised but it's hard to stick to it and it's hard to find what works for you for the space you have. I have very little space for the amount of stuff i have.
I have those plastic tubs for some stuff but they aren't always the prettiest to look at in the living room for example. I have one tub for all the bird stuff cause it's under their cage and it gets SO dusy so I put everything in a big tub and i can just wipe the tub down. A lot of my organising also doubles as an easy way to dust because of Isis.
I am still looking for a way to clean videos and dvds and stuff. NOt much room and I don't want one of those media things.
For the barbies, I have those tubs that have the lids stuck to them and 2 of those fit in a bigger stackable tub so all her stuff is like that.

All my college books are in a 4 cubbie bookshelf (well 2 for me, 2 for hubby) and they go back there.

The key really is finding a spot for everything and then putting it back when you're done.
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosey View Post
I am getting organised but it's hard to stick to it and it's hard to find what works for you for the space you have. I have very little space for the amount of stuff i have.
I have those plastic tubs for some stuff but they aren't always the prettiest to look at in the living room for example. I have one tub for all the bird stuff cause it's under their cage and it gets SO dusy so I put everything in a big tub and i can just wipe the tub down. A lot of my organising also doubles as an easy way to dust because of Isis.
I am still looking for a way to clean videos and dvds and stuff. NOt much room and I don't want one of those media things.
For the barbies, I have those tubs that have the lids stuck to them and 2 of those fit in a bigger stackable tub so all her stuff is like that.

All my college books are in a 4 cubbie bookshelf (well 2 for me, 2 for hubby) and they go back there.

The key really is finding a spot for everything and then putting it back when you're done.

Um yeah, organizing things can be a challenge...but with a little creativity, you can come up with something that works and looks nice too!

We've got lots & lots of VHS tapes!!! They are clumsy and take up lots of space. We don't have an entertainment center either. I picked this beautiful piece of furniture up at a yard sale some years ago...I think I paid $20.00 for it and I've used it for everything in every room! Right now, its holding all of our tapes...


You can see it has a door that opens down with hinges on either side...



It also has 3 drawers and holds all of our tapes!



...as well as a curious kitten or two!



Hilda>^..^<
post #10 of 26
As for paperwork, at the moment I just have them in a pic-nic basket I got at a yard sale (you guessed it right? LOL). We also have 2 metal 'apothacary' chests. They're not really apothacary chests but that's pretty much what they look like. I keep my bills and important papers in there. The hubby brought them home from work a few years ago and I love 'em! They are still in our garage though while I figure out where I want to set them up...that's why my bills are in the picnic basket at the moment

Hilda>^..^<
post #11 of 26
I have a four drawer metal filing cabinet in the basement. We keep all the owners manuals, stock stuff, tax stuff down there. I should go through and toss out some stuff-like the pd mrtge ppwk and manuals to stuff we no longer have.
We have a small oak secretary in the kitchen where we have file folders for medical stuff, cc statements, bank statements. A cubbie for current bills too as we only pay once/month.
I am lucky as not only do we have the attached 2 car garage I have a very good sized potting/garden shed and Neil has this humungous workshop. So there is not much in our attached garage. Lots of bins-for recycling, cat and bird food. Brooms and such are all hung up in each building. Lots of shelves etc....
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
I believe there is a such thing as organized chaos and thrive in it.
I know where everything is and it's placement makes complete sense to me. Unfortunately anyone else is lost.

Other then that, clear storage boxes can be very helpful.
I know where everything is, and thats all that matters
post #13 of 26
I just figured out a great storage solution for our DVD's. My DH seems to come home with at least one new one a week. They were beginning to be found all over the house because there was no place left to put them . I got a CD book,one of the cloth ones that zips up (it holds around 130 CD's) and threw away all of our DVD cases. I figured that we would never really need them anyway. So now our DVD's take up the space of a large photo album and my life is SO much simpler. No hunting for the right case for the DVD anymore.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittiesx2 View Post
I just figured out a great storage solution for our DVD's. My DH seems to come home with at least one new one a week. They were beginning to be found all over the house because there was no place left to put them . I got a CD book,one of the cloth ones that zips up (it holds around 130 CD's) and threw away all of our DVD cases. I figured that we would never really need them anyway. So now our DVD's take up the space of a large photo album and my life is SO much simpler. No hunting for the right case for the DVD anymore.
Great idea kittiesx2! I've been meaning to get myself one of those to keep all my picture cds!...they end up all over the place too!

Hilda>^..^<
post #15 of 26
yeah i can't get away with throwing out the covers...but i think i might push for that. Took forever for me to be allowed to throw the game cds away....

I don't have room for a piece of furniture like that hilda but i love the idea. i had a desk like that, fold up in hs and loved it!

I'm looking for nice boxes that won't be the tacky plastic kind for the living room. I do have an entertainment center but again...the dust thing....

So much easier to just have knick knacks on it.
post #16 of 26
We keep the kitties' papers in their carriers, in pockets on the sides.

Our paperwork is in stackable file boxes (with snap lids and handles). There's a section for medical, with a file for each of us, a section on immigration for me, a section for car-related papers, one for house maintenance and heating, etc.

When we come into the house, we put all receipts and mail in a drawer in a table in the front room. Once a week, Husband goes through it all, recording and paying bills. Then the receipts are filed by month (and year) in one of the stackable file boxes.

We have a box for recycling paper under the kitchen sink, so it's easy to throw newspapers and such in there.

The key to staying organized is to have a place for everything. If you don't have a place for it, it's not worth keeping and you have to toss it.

I have to stay organized because it drives me crazy to search for things.
post #17 of 26
This is the box I got for our VHS tapes and some CD's. Very sturdy and it blends with our black entertainment stand.

http://store.myofficesource.com/idesns01503.html
(I got it through Amazon & the shipping was more than the item.)
post #18 of 26
The trick to organization is to get rid of stuff that clutters up your life. If you have less stuff, there is less to organize.

The rule of thumb that I've had to adopt is that for every new item that comes into the house, the old, comparable item has to be removed. This is a necessity when you are married to a pack-rat husband.
post #19 of 26
Once you get started, organizing is easy--the hard part, like when one loses weight, is staying that way! You have to find what works for you, and keep using it, or, if it isn't working, find another system right away, before things get out of hand again. The simpler, the more chance you have of staying neat. I like to put similar and used-together items side-by-side, and then label the boxes or bins or shelves. I just make fancy labels on my printer, and cut them out, and usually make hang tags. I'm big on labeling! That way, when someone else in the house/at work needs to find something, they don't have to make you get up and "find" it for them! For example, I have a decent-sized laundry room, so I store stuff on wall-mounted shelves. The one wall has white plastic bins (Sterlite, Wal-Mart, they come in many sizes), with hang tags I made for them. We buy paper towlels in bulk, so I decant them into 2 large bins. The same with trash bags and light bulbs. Since they're clearly labeled, hubby can find them. I also moved a small chest of drawers I wan't using under these shelves, so I can store tablecloths and cloth napkins (I entertain often). I borrowed a tip from Martha Stewart, and sorted my nakpins into large Zip-Loc bags (cheap ones are o.k.). I counted them, and then affixed a stick-on label with the number of napkins on it to the bag. This works well, as, when the napkins (and tablecloths) come out of the drier, I immediately bag the napkins. (And the cats can't lie on them, hairing them up!)

Another tip: if others live with you, try to organize from their point of view--what seems logical to you, may not to them. Perhaps ask them what they want/need, and work together to arrive at a solution.

How many out there enjoy surfing home organization supplies websites, and also get that gleam in their eyes? Hubby swears that do!

Good luck with organizing! Just remember, do a managable bit at a time--for example, tackle just 1 closet in one day. Don't pull stuff out of all the closets, and try to organize it all at once! Disaster time! Also, you'll get discouraged, and won't finish the job, and it will put you off organizing. Many people have to be in the mood for this--it's not exactly fun--so make it easy, and get that thrill from accomplishing something in a day!

MargeCat
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittiesx2 View Post
I just figured out a great storage solution for our DVD's. My DH seems to come home with at least one new one a week. They were beginning to be found all over the house because there was no place left to put them . I got a CD book,one of the cloth ones that zips up (it holds around 130 CD's) and threw away all of our DVD cases. I figured that we would never really need them anyway. So now our DVD's take up the space of a large photo album and my life is SO much simpler. No hunting for the right case for the DVD anymore.
Bless you! The dvds are driving me wild! I use those nice photo boxes for videos, but hubby likes dvds, and I can't find an affordable alternative (they don't fit in the photo boxes). What a great idea! If you really wanted to keep the info from the labels, you could remove the paper "label" from the sleeve, find a binder, and punch holes in the labels. I realize this sounds obsessive...but some folks may want them for some reason...but I agree with you--who needs them? We already know why we own the dvds, and have probably already watched them many times!




And, yes, I do alphabetize my video boxes, and use the placards on the ends to denote what letters (of the titles) are in them!

MargeCat
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampWitch View Post
We keep the kitties' papers in their carriers, in pockets on the sides.

Our paperwork is in stackable file boxes (with snap lids and handles). There's a section for medical, with a file for each of us, a section on immigration for me, a section for car-related papers, one for house maintenance and heating, etc.

When we come into the house, we put all receipts and mail in a drawer in a table in the front room. Once a week, Husband goes through it all, recording and paying bills. Then the receipts are filed by month (and year) in one of the stackable file boxes.

We have a box for recycling paper under the kitchen sink, so it's easy to throw newspapers and such in there.

The key to staying organized is to have a place for everything. If you don't have a place for it, it's not worth keeping and you have to toss it.

I have to stay organized because it drives me crazy to search for things.
I love the tips, especially the kitty medical records! I've often wondered about how I could store them (I have 9 cats to haul in all at once, so I get a discount!). I've often worried about how I would get the paper together in an emergency, such as an evacuation, as the few shelters that allow pets sensibly insist on medical records.

Thanks!

MargCat
post #22 of 26
Quote:
For example, how do you organize your important paperwork, bills, reference manuals, etc? How do you have your garage organized?
The key for me, is actually allocating time to the organizing. If it's done once a week, then it never becomes too overwhelming.

Paperwork:
Every year, I get an expanding file with 31 pockets. I then use labels for each pocket.
Home/Personal Categories
Auto expenses
Banking
Cable
Credit Card Bills
Grocery
Mortgage
Personal expenses
Household Items
Home Improvement expenses
Gas/Electric Bills
Phone Bills

Then categories for my husband's work expenses he can write off his taxes

Then categories for my two different businesses.

Then a ledger book with all the categories listed on separate pages, and the appropriate items listed weekly. End of the year, add everything up and the figures go to the tax preparer.

Important documents are kept in a file until time to take to the safe deposit box.

All my books are organized by topic on my book shelves. All my fabric is organized by type of fabric on either bolts, or folded in crates. All silk is together; all cotton is together; all panne is together; all flannel is together, etc. All my thread is organized by color number, with cheat sheet cards noting which thread number is used for a particular fabric/print.
post #23 of 26
My most favorite tool for organizing is a cross cut shredder.
post #24 of 26
We live a completly disorganized organized life. Everything has a place but we have run out of room so things are pilling up. Plus my DH build his skateboards in the livingroom and paints them in the bathroom, we have no garage. So now we have tools and things everywhere. We are both artist and live that way to. It can be chaos at times. Karma loves it, she hates it when we clean the house. She likes having all those hiding places.

The only thing we keep very neat is our MP3 collection, we have about 550 discs each holding anywhere from 5-10 albums. We have so many we had to start a database. What we do is uae those white paper sleeves. Each didc get two numbers. The first number is the disc number and the second is the database number. They all live in a big plactic box we got at the Container store. We need a new box though, the one we have only holds 500 and we passed that a few weeks back and the collection keeps growing.

We also have the same thing for movies. If we buy one we copy it file it and usually sell the original to a used movie store. I never throw out the boxes, the landfills are full enough. Usually you can get 1/2 your money back and someone who wants it but can't aford retail can buy it. We have about 400 movies and it to keeps growing.
post #25 of 26
Well I don't know where nothing is, I kinda have a general idea, but I usually have to hunt for stuff.

I am not a organized person, I am trying to get better though.
post #26 of 26
opps posted in wrong thread. LOL talk about un-organized!
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