Friday, February 25, 2011

Short on Storage in Bedrooms?

Bed Risers. One of many tricks to get more space in bedrooms. Under the bed storage often goes unused because there is not enough space. Well, get some more space by lifting the bed up on risers. Here's how I used these to create more space in my children's room:

Clothes are in the rolling bin on the left, while baby dolls are in the clear bin on the right. Easy (and cheap) storage!

Don't have kids? Store your off season clothes, shoes, or those Costco size paper towels under your bed. The storage possibilities are endless!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Simple Way to Pour Soup into Bags

My friend, CV and I cook in bulk once a month. It's cheaper, easier, and way more fun than cooking every night on my own. This is the soup we made. Delish. But, difficult to pour into bags for the freezer.

Enter the can:

This is one of those big Costco size cans of tomato sauce that we used a while back. CV had a great idea (she got the idea from another person she cooks with...see, good things come to those who bulk cook) of putting a gallon size freezer bag in the can (which is empty and clean of course) and pouring the soup in. Genius. I can now have both of my hands free to minimize spills.

So, find a friend to cook in bulk with and be sure to save a large can for pouring liquids.

Monday, February 21, 2011

One Way to Store Pot and Pan Lids

I recently got a new set of stainless steel pots and pans. And I love them. No more feeling terrible about the toxins that are given off of Teflon. No more nervousness about the flaking off of the non-stick stuff.

However, I did have a new problem. Every single one of my new pots and pans had it's own lid. Where the heck to store them all. Here was my solution: Store them separately from the pots and pans themselves. "Wait, wait!" I can hear you say. "I thought like items were supposed to be stored together? Doesn't it make sense to store the lids with the bottoms?" Well, no it didn't in my kitchen. It may in yours. When I put all those lids in the same cabinet as the bottoms, the result was chaos, clutter, and a huge headache in trying to get the pans out.

So I put them under my oven. I had to move out some things that I rarely use (my rule in the kitchen: if you don't use it more than once a year, don't keep it in the kitchen). I had to move some baking dishes to another cabinet that had space for them. And now my pots and pans sanity has returned.

Here is my new cookware and the clutter-free cabinet that it's in. What I love best about this solution: it didn't cost a thing.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Create More Space with Shoe Racks - Day 5 (Last One!)

Last idea for hanging shoe racks: Bathroom supplies: make up, hair brush, lotion ,etc. This is from Christy's Thrifty Decorating.

Just hang this on the back of your bathroom door and you've added tons of space for your supplies. This works really well if you have a small bathroom or with multiple people using one bathroom.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Create More Space with Shoe Racks - Day 4

Creative use number 4: Accessories like glasses, belts, scarves, etc.

I have this one in my coat closet for scarves, hats, and gloves. However, move it to the bedroom and you've got storage for belts, sunglasses, small purses, etc.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Create More Space with Shoe Racks - Day 3

Another idea for shoe racks: Office Supplies
Photo credit: The Posh Space

If you have a small office or don't have one at all, hang a shoe rack on back of a door and you can put office supplies in there. Stapler, tape, hole puncher, etc. Whatever you have sitting out that needs a home.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Create More Space with Shoe Racks - Day 2

Idea number two using shoe racks: Craft supplies.

Photo Credit: Budget Wise Home

Hang it on the back of a door (or on a window like the picture - so cute!) and you've got immediate organized storage for crafts. For you or the kids.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Create More Space with Shoe Racks - Day 1

This week's creative storage solution: Over the door shoe racks. They are more than for just shoes these days. The next several posts will give ideas of what to store in hanging shoe racks.

Idea 1. They are great to go on the back of the door to your child's room. Most of my kid's toys goes in baskets to keep them organized. However, there are those "odds and ends" toys that don't belong anywhere. Or for the tons of stuffed animals kids accumulate. Or the collection of hair bows little girls accumulate. Or action figures and cars that little boys accumulate. You get the idea.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

10 in 10 on the 10th

For those who are new to this blog, I post something called "Ten in Ten on the Tenth" every month. It's 10 things that should take about 10 minutes to do. So, when you have an extra 10 minutes, try to be productive!
  1. Look at your bookshelves and pull off three books that you don’t want anymore. Donate or sell them.
  2. Pick one kitchen drawer to resort. Take items out that you don’t use, are broken, or no longer need
  3. Pull all the extra hangers out of your closet. Throw them away.
  4. Load (or unload as the case may be) the dishwasher. Don’t have one? Wash all the dishes in the sink.
  5. Sort your makeup. Come on, you know you have mascara that is so old that you can’t even pull the brush out. Go through your make up drawer or box and toss what you don’t wear anymore.
  6. Fold the laundry that’s been sitting there for days.
  7. Air dust your electronics. Or your refrigerator like the picture above. Or better yet, get someone else in the house to do it!
  8. Go through your CD collection and purge what you don’t like anymore.
  9. Declutter the items you might have hanging on your refrigerator.
  10. Go through your delivery menus. Toss those you didn’t like, won’t try, or have food crusted on them.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Schedule, Routines, and Lists - Oh My!

My sister gave me a wonderful book for Christmas - Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider. It's a beautiful, practical book on simply living.

She has a wonderful section on how she manages her household and schedule. One thing she uses is a "Daily Docket". It's a free pdf document that you can print and use as something to guide your days. I recreated something similar to it here - which is also pictured above.

Here's how I am planning on using this to make my life more simple:

Every day I create a To Do list. Usually on small notebook paper. Which ends up getting torn, taken by kids, lost on my desk. Or I end up making several of these to do lists and now I have multiple pieces of paper to keep up with. And I end up using a lot of paper.

I created the document (email me at if you'd like the document that you can tweak for yourself since the above is a pdf.doc). Then I printed out two copies. One for today. And the other for tomorrow. I did this because at the end of the day I may still have some things I need to do, but I also want to start tomorrow's to do list as well.

Then I put them in plastic sleeves. The thought of printing these out every other day made me a little nauseous. Not simple and not green. So, I put them in plastic sleeves. I'm using a wet erase marker (it's labeled for overhead transparencies) to write on it. That way I can erase it at the end of the day and reuse the paper. And by using a wet erase and not a dry erase marker, it doesn't accidentally rub off.

To get a better idea of how to use the Daily Docket, read Tsh's instructions here. And I hope this simplifies your life as much as it will simplify mine!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Carbon Checks

Checks...not many people use a lot of these like in past years. If you do or if you run a business and need to keep the carbon copies, read number 1. If you use checks, but not carbon copies, read number 2.

1. Save the boxes your checks come in. Once you've used all the checks out of the checkbook, put the carbon copies back in the box and write the dates on the outside of the box. Be sure to tape the box closed once it's full.

In the event that you need to reference them again, you will be able to find the date quickly. They are easy to store and easy to shred when you no longer need them.

2. If you don't use carbon copies - still keep those boxes your checks come in! Put them in a drawer and use them to organize small items like pens, paper clips, scissors, etc. Can't beat free storage!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Other Uses For Hardware Organizers

Here are some items that would work well in one of these hardware organizers:

  • Hardware (nails, screws, etc) - this one's a given...but wanted to mention it so all the men don't feel left out.

  • Jewelry Supplies - beads, findings, charms, wire, clasps, etc

  • Craft Supplies - a friend of mine actually gave me the inspiration for this post since this is how she organizes her craft supplies. 

  • Office Supplies - you may not want this in your office if you have one of those beautiful Martha Stewart offices. But, if you don't have one of those kind of office spaces and need some good storage for paper clips, staples, binder clips, rubber bands, thumb tacks, etc....this may work for you. Probably look for a smaller one since I doubt many people have enough small office supplies to fill this.  

    • Scrapbook Supplies - this one kind of goes with craft supplies, but I decided to give it its own bullet. And all you scrapbookers out there know why. 
    • Toys - A friend uses this to organize her son's Legos...genius!