More $1 Dollar Organization!

Inexpensive organization tools are high on everyone’s list of essential items for their home and I love finding treasures that help people save money. Here is a post I wrote about items found at the Dollar Store. This time, I found some great items at Wal-Mart. I know that is not everyone’s favorite place to shop but I love it for specific food staples and organization tools like bins, laundry bags, storage crates, and cleaning supplies. A lot of their bins are made in the USA which is a huge bonus in my book although I didn’t verify where these were made. One of my organization rules is to not buy things, even if they are inexpensive or on sale, unless I have a specific use for them. You should never go buy containers until you’ve decluttered and figured out exactly what you need and, most importantly, measured your space.

So here is what I found that I would recommend for anyone who wants to get organized and not spend a lot of money.

Small lidded container

Small lidded container

I love these small lidded containers for several reasons:

  1. They come in a variety of colors which means you can color code (love!) or just pick out your favorite.
  2. Lids are always good if you are storing leftover food or juice.
  3. They can be stacked if not in use and won’t take up a lot of room.
  4. These can be used for traveling, in your desk, bathroom, craft room, kids’ rooms, garage, or basement.I could go on and on….
  5. You get 4 for $1. Great price!
Similar and cute!

Similar and cute!

These containers have a similar function but thought they were just cute! These would be great for kids or adults that act like children. 😉

Notepad with pen and magnet!

Notepad with pen and magnet!

You know I love making lists and it’s great to have paper around to do just that. These notepads have a magnet so could be put on the refrigerator for grocery lists or other notes. Again, a dollar!

Notepad for capturing brilliant your brilliance

Journal for capturing your brilliance

Here is a journal with a pen for a dollar that would be great in your purse, briefcase, by your bed, in your car or wherever you may be struck with an epiphany that saves the world so you don’t want to forget it. I know there are a lot prettier ones out there on the market but these are small with only 60 pages so you can have them in a variety of locations. You can see how much of a luddite I am because I’m suggesting you use paper and pen and not telling you about an app to capture ideas or grocery lists. No, I’m not preparing for a zombie apocalypse; I just like what is easy and reliable. I’m also one who likes to sketch and doodle and there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to do that when I’ve got idle time.

Office supplies

Office supplies

Office supplies for a dollar? Yes, Virginia, it is possible. These cups for pens could also be used for holding craft supplies, makeup brushes, paperclips, scissors, and other desk necessities. The file folders in the background are a steal as well. It’s not a very masculine way of organizing paperwork but I think the bright colors are a nice break from vanilla manila.

So there are some more suggestions for inexpensive organization containers. Don’t forget to look around your own home before you go out and buy something. You may already have the perfect jar, shoe box, or mug that you can use right now. What is your favorite inexpensive home organization tool?

Happy organizing!

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Fun Spring Organization Project

Spring is here officially although it doesn’t really feel like it. I love the fact that it is lighter later and the trees are starting to bloom but 50 degrees just doesn’t feel like spring to me. They are even talking about the possibility of snowflakes–brrr.

The start of Spring inspires me to think about change, renewal, growth, lighter colors, fewer sweaters, putting away coats, and of course my favorite topic:  organization. I recently took the opportunity to refresh my appearance by going to a local (gotta support local, people!) store, Woo Cosmetics to get my makeup done by a professional makeup artist. I don’t advise doing this on a monthly basis since it can get expensive but I think it is always worthwhile to invest in yourself. Ladies, you don’t want to be the person not only styling yourself like you did 20 years ago but you especially don’t want to be using the actual products that you purchased 20 years ago. Seriously. Even if you don’t buy everything that they suggest, it is worth your time and money to get an expert opinion and suggestions from someone who does this everyday and has a passion for it. Just like you take your car to a mechanic to have it repaired or you retain an attorney for legal advice, see a makeup artist for suggestions on how to look your best. The way you present yourself is how people will judge you and don’t you want to present the best possible image? I know I feel better knowing a few new techniques to try at home plus I got my questions answered by an expert. So having the right products and knowing the right techniques to use will save me time and money in the long run by not having to reinvent that wheel each day. Peace of mind is priceless.

Clean and organized makeup drawer makes mornings easier.

Clean and organized makeup drawer makes mornings easier.

Have you cleaned out your makeup drawer lately? Ever? Now is a perfect time to do just that and it usually doesn’t take that long. You can ask yourself the same questions you would about your clothes closet or pantry although I modified the list slightly for today’s discussion:

  1. Do I currently use or wear this?
  2. Does it enhance my appearance and make me feel my best?
  3. Is it broken and need to be replaced?
  4. Is it better for another season and need to be put away for now?

If you answered “no” to the first 2, throw it away. If you answered “yes” to number 3, throw it away after you replace it in case you need to take it to the store to replicate it. If you answered “yes” to number4, put it in the back of your drawer so it is not cluttering your immediate space.

While you’re decluttering this drawer, clean up your makeup brushes while your at it. If you can’t remember the last time you did this, it’s been too long.

Happy organizing!

6 Dollar Store Organization Products For Every Home

I’m all about saving money whenever possible and not spending more than necessary when containing clutter and eliminating disorganization. Dollar stores can be an invaluable resource when it comes to finding storage solutions for your home. I think it is best to start inexpensive and work your way up for most products but there are exceptions, of course. Today, though, we are talking about some fab products I found at my local Dollar Tree but you may have a different type of “dollar store” (f.k.a. “five and dime”) near you. This post is not endorsed by anyone but me. 🙂

Stackable Storage Bins

Stackable Storage Bins

  1. Stackable Storage Bins–While you may not love the bright colors in every room of your house, the size and shape of these are great for kids’ toys, tools and hardware supplies, socks and underwear in your closet, under sink storage in the bathroom, and craft or art supplies. You can color coordinate if you want to go that extra step or just pick your favorite and get several of one color. Colors are also helpful for kids as well as labeling: cars, pencils, blocks, etc. 
  2. Small Containers with Lids

    Small Containers with Lids

    Small Containers with Lids–I’ve written about these containers before but they are still my favorite in the kitchen for small amounts of leftovers. They also come in round shapes if you prefer that but I’m partial to the easy stacking with the rectangular ones.

  3. 4 Cup Containers

    4 Cup Containers

    ~4 Cup Containers–There are more expensive versions of these at your grocery store and they aren’t crazy expensive there but you can’t beat the price of $1 for 3 of these. They are great for leftover food, dried beans, supplies under the bathroom sink, containing cords in your desk drawer, and taking your lunch to the office. What I love about this type of container is being able to label and stack them anywhere. These are 3.8 cups each which is great if you make and freeze stock–that’s usually the minimum a soup recipe requires.

  4. Wire

    Wire Drawer Organizer

    Wire Drawer Organizer–These are perfect for separating small items in your drawers like socks, underwear, scarves. They are also great in drawers for keeping kitchen utensils in place, separating items in your desk or utility drawer,

  5. 3

    3 inch boxes

    3″ Boxes–Is there anything better for keeping hair accessories in place? What about paper clips, staples, and other office supplies? How about keeping lipsticks in place in a makeup drawer? If you do not need all of them at once, you can keep the extras stacked in place. You can even have them by the door for storing your keys with a color for each person.

There are 2 other products I am going to mention here that aren’t for containing things but are part of general home-keeping and making your life easier:

Brown Kraft Paper for gift wrapping

Brown Kraft Paper for gift wrapping

Brown Wrapping Paper is your solution to all of your giftwrapping woes! It can be used for any gender or occasion and provides a perfect foundation for your creative embellishment such as  a simple ribbon or baker’s twine tied around it, cut flowers and greenery from your yard, burlap, newsprint or just draw a bow with markers!

Felt Pads

Felt Pads

Felt Pads should be used under all of your furniture legs if you have hardwood or tile floors. This will not only protect your floors but make it easier to slide furniture around if you need to move it. They are also helpful placed in the corners of the backs of your picture frames on the wall to keep from scratching your paint finish. It’s amazing how much damage your pictures can do to your walls, especially those near doors that are opened and closed a lot. I also think they are good under lamps. Protecting your furniture and walls will help them last longer.

The main goal here is to find a home for your clothes, food, supplies, and tools and a way to contain it all attractively, efficiently, and easily. 

Do you have any dollar store products you like to use in your home? I’d love to hear your suggestions and comments below.

Happy organizing!

How to Organize Your Kitchen to Save Time and Maintain Peace

The kitchen is one of if not the most used rooms in your home and probably the one that needs the most help keeping in order. If ever the saying “a place for everything and everything in its place” were more appropriate, this is the room. Unlike your bedroom or closet, this room is shared by most people in your home so you’ve got to set up specific rules about what goes where. While kitchen design and layout I’ll leave to the expert designers and decorators, I wanted to share with you some initial tips on kitchen organization.

Glassware and mugs near top shelf of dishwasher-easy!

Glassware and mugs near top shelf of dishwasher-easy!

  1. Organize your plates, silverware, and glasses around the dishwasher. Most families run the dishwasher at least once a day so you are constantly taking things out and putting them up. It is SO much easier if you have those items within close range of the dishwasher so you aren’t hauling stacks of breakables across the kitchen.
Dishes not far from dishwasher and accessible by small people

Dishes not far from dishwasher and accessible by small people.

2.  Think about what you use most often and have it most easily accessible. Formal china or stemware that you don’t use very often should be placed further out of reach than your everyday china and glasses. Not only does this make logical sense, but there is less chance of breakage if you aren’t bumping into it regularly.

Easy access to dishes.

Easy access to dishes.

3.  If you have kids and are trying to teach them to help empty the dishwasher, I suggest putting plates and silverware where they can reach it. That way they don’t have to climb up a stool or ladder to put things away. Again, have it close to the dishwasher and easily accessible.

Plastic containers and lids have their home.

Plastic containers and lids have their home.

4.  Store plasticware in a drawer or cabinet accessible to small kids. They will find hours of entertainment taking the containers and lids out and stacking them like blocks. I personally spend a fair amount of time reorganizing this drawer because we use these containers constantly so its arrangement isn’t static. I have given up on it being perfect and am now content with just having their location identified. You have to choose your battles, people!

Kitchens are getting bigger and we are keeping more appliances, accessories, tools, dishes, glasses, etc. than ever. Finding a way to organize the things you use everyday is essential to a peaceful home. Remember everything needs a home and everyone in the house needs to know what goes where. Get everyone involved in the cleanup and put away process so there are no more searches for things that have been misplaced.

Happy organizing!

Great minds think alike…

So yesterday’s post was about makeup organization and look what was posted today on the Birchbox blog: an article on how to organize your makeup drawer! Brilliant!

Birchbox is a ton of fun to subscribe to and get new product samples every month. Plus their packaging is awesome and the boxes can be reused for storing small items or for shipping gifts. This makes a great gift, too.

Happy organizing!

Organization in 5 minutes

I have an article from Real Simple magazine (January 2011) pinned up on my bulletin board in front of my desk for inspiration called “If You Have Five Minutes” that has a list of 20 plus tasks you can do in 5 minutes or less. I love this concept because so often even the idea of “getting organized” seems not only herculean but also Sisyphean (great vocabulary word). This list, which I’ve unsuccessfully tried to find a link to on their website, provides great inspiration for those fleeting minutes when you can get a simple task accomplished, and usually one of those small, nagging ones that pile up incessantly. Just remember that those small victories add up and you’ll quickly have a smaller to do list so that you’ve got more time for what you want to do!

Which brings me to the title of this post which is organization in 5 minutes, the Makeup Drawer Edition. I realize I’ve probably lost any male readers at this point but, ladies, please keep reading. If you can take 5 minutes to go through your makeup drawer or basket or whatever you use to contain all of that stuff, you’ll be able to shorten the time it takes to get ready in the morning and reduce that AM anxiety.

Ugh. What a mess. And I can’t find what I need.

  1. Start with a clean slate. Take everything out of the container and clean it. It is amazing how much hair, dust, and general ick accumulates in something you use everyday.
  2. Take inventory. Look at every product and ask yourself, “do I really use this?” I have some super cool, gold, liquid eyeliner that I really just do not use. I’d like to think that I go out clubbing so much that I’ll need something like that but it’s just not the case. Also, get rid of old makeup that has seen better days. Replace it with something new for your own safety. While I am normally one who wants to pass things on to others, I do draw the line at cosmetics. That is too personal unless it is something you’ve never used or you have a sister who doesn’t mind. 🙂
  3. Pack for a trip. Huh? This is supposed to take 5 minutes. Really, think about what you would take if you were going on a trip and not checking luggage so you can only take the essentials. What products are absolutely required for everyday? You want to make sure those are within easy reach. This also helps with #3 because you see what you really do use.
  4. Group like with like. With the remaining products, group your blushes, eyeshadows, lipsticks, etc. together so that they are easily found tomorrow morning when you start this process all over. This also means to put elsewhere stuff that doesn’t belong here like bandaids, combs, cotton balls, etc. Everything needs a home and needs to be in that home.
  5. Make it pretty. Use attractive containers to store your products together and don’t limit yourself to just plastic, square boxes. Shop your house for baskets, bowls, trays, and odd shaped containers to store items together. If you must keep it all in 1 case, put items in zippy bags or fabric bags to separate the items.

Real makeup drawer, organized and ready to go.

There, all done now. Doesn’t that look better? Just think, you’ll start your day refreshed and with at least one part of your routine functioning well. This makes you neat and smart!

So, how do you store your makeup? What task can you suggest to get done in 5 minutes?

Happy organizing!