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Organize To Save
|Posted by [email protected] on August 21, 2015 at 1:15 PM||comments (3012)|
How, you might ask, could being organized save you money? Surprisingly enough, in lots of ways. You see, if you’re more organized you are more aware of what you need to do and what you need (or don’t need) to buy. Refresh your surroundings, get organized and see the changes it could make in your finances. Here are 6 ways getting organized will save you money.
1. Make cash.
Get rid of all the things in your home that you no longer want or need—clothes, electronics, furniture, toys, sports equipment etc... Put them up for sale on Craigslist, eBay even Amazon or sell them at a consignment shop. Don’t want the hassle of selling? Give your extra things to Goodwill, Salvation Army or another charity and take the tax deduction. Goodwill’s website has a valuation guide so you can calculate the value of your contribution, just be sure to get a receipt. Not only will you have more cash, you will be doing something good for the environment by recycling!
2. Dine in
Declutter and clean up your kitchen. If your kitchen is neat, you’re more likely to want to cook in it. Eating-in can save you a lot of money. The average American family spends upwards of $200 per month eating out. Plus, if your kitchen is organized you know what you have as far as ingredients and you’re less likely to waste money buying things you already have.
3. No buying double
If your home is organized, you know what you have and where it is. How many times have you fruitlessly searched your home for something only to give up and go buy another one. Think about it—glue, nail polish, phone chargers, batteries. All these little things that go missing can really add up. In addition, you'll save money (and gas) by not making unnecessary trips to the store.
4. Avoid late fees and penalties
If your bills and receipts are organized you’re much more likely to pay them on time and avoid costly late fees, interest charges and penalties. Your taxes will also be easier to prepare and submit on time.
5. Time is money
Knowing what you have and where it is saves you a lot of time. And, as we all know, time is money. Actually time is much more valuable than money, you can never get back wasted time. According to The Wall Street Journal, one third of respondents to a poll stated they spend 15 minutes a day on average searching for lost items. That’s over 90 hours a year! Think what you could do with all that time.
6. Increase your home value
Having an organized home not only helps you sell your house faster, it gets you a better price for it as well. The number one thing realtors ask their clients to do to improve the look of their home is declutter. Cleaning out the overflowing closets and cupboards helps show buyers how much storage space (a big selling point!) you actually have. Getting rid of the clutter makes your home look bigger, cleaner and more inviting. And bigger, cleaner and more inviting means more money!
Spring Cleaning and Organizing
|Posted by [email protected] on April 27, 2015 at 1:55 PM||comments (810)|
Cleaning is not organizing. Many people get the two confused but they are definitely two distinct things. Cleaning involves scrubbing, dusting, washing and vacuuming. Organizing involves decision making, weeding, purging, and containerizing, However, the two things do go together well and when your house is organized it is much easier to clean. So,while you are doing your spring cleaning why not do some organizing as well. Yes, it will take a little longer this time but your house will stay cleaner longer and the next time you have to clean up it will go much more quickly.
As you’re cleaning your bedroom don’t forget to take a look at the closet. Get rid of any clothes that you no longer wear. If you didn’t wear it this winter chances are you won’t wear it next winter either! Put away your fall and winter attire in bankers boxes or underbed storage. If that’s not possible at least keep all your seasonal clothes together and move them to the back of the closet. As you bring out your spring and summer wardrobe, look it over too and get rid of items that you no longer wear.
Take a good look at your medicine cabinet. Check the expiration dates on all your prescription and over the counter medicines and get rid of those that have expired. Make sure to safely dispose of medications. Call your local pharmacy or county to see where to go. Don’t forget your make-up! All those creams you tried but didn’t like are taking up valuable drawer or makeup case space. Get rid of them! Yes, they were expensive, but you’re not using them. Also bacteria can begin growing on liquid makeup products and formulas start to degrade. It’s best to toss mascara and liquid eyeliner after 3 months, lipstick and pencil eyeliner after 2 years. Group the items you keep in categories when you put them away— face creams and lotions, eye liners and shadows, mascaras, foundations. That way you’ll know what you have.
As you’re moving all those small appliances and little gadgets to wipe down your counters ask yourself if you really need them (When's the last time you used that breadmaker?). If the answer is no then get rid of them. If the answer is yes then ask yourself if they really need to be on the counter. Try to limit yourself to no more than 3 appliances/gadgets on the counter. Your kitchen will seem cleaner and more spacious and you will have more counter space to work with. Garage Before you sweep all the salt and dirty residue from your garage floor this spring do a little organizing. Gather up all the sleds, snow shovels, car brushes, and bags of salt. Look them over and get rid of anything that’s broken or that you no longer want or need. Put the things you’re keeping together in one area of the garage so you will know right where to find them next December.
Organizing Family Photos
|Posted by [email protected] on March 1, 2015 at 7:35 AM||comments (598)|
We all love to take pictures. It’s what to do with the photos after we take them that’s the problem. Not for everyone of course. There are those crafty women who joyfully put together museum-quality scrapbooks and the techies who take care of it all online. Then, however, there are the rest of us. We want a physical picture. We’d like our pictures to be in some sort of order so that we can enjoy them. And, most importantly, we would like whatever we do with our pictures to be fairly easy.
Start with the present
If you have years of unorganized photos, starting a new system with your most current pictures will keep you on track for new photos. You can get to your backlog as time permits.
Sort your photos
Decide how you’re going to organize your photos— chronologically, by event, by person etc. I would suggest chronologically simply because it’s the easiest. Put your photos in groups according to the system you’ve chosen. Get rid of duplicates and blurry photos. Put your organized groups of photos in labeled envelopes. That way you can come back to this project later and pick up where you left off. If you feel overwhelmed by the whole prospect, set a limited amount of time that you will work on your photos each day, week or month. Then stick to it.What follows are three no-fuss ways to organize your photos.
Get a photo album that has 4”x6” pockets for photos with a memo area to write a description. Make sure the album allows for the addition of more photo pages. Fill the pockets with the pictures you’ve selected. Put larger pictures or momentos in 8”x10” page protectors. Put photo discs or memory cards in a Ziplock bag. Use a hole punch to put holes in the page protectors and the Ziplock bag so that the holes line up with posts of your album. Unscrew the album’s binding and insert the page protectors where they belong and put the Ziplock in the back. Your pictures are all together with your momentos and if you ever need a copy you have the disc or memory stick right there.
There are all kinds of photo boxes on the market, from very plain to beautiful fabric-covered models. Choose whichever works for you. Then simply insert your sorted photos. If you want you could just leave them in the envelopes you’ve already put them in. Make sure you label the box and put your photo disc or memory stick in the box as well.
Photo keepers can be found at craft stores and online. They’re usually large, clear plastic boxes that hold smaller, clear plastic boxes. The smaller boxes hold approximately 100 4”x6” photos. Place your sorted photos in the smaller boxes, label each box and put it back in the bigger box. That’s it — all your photos are sorted and ready to enjoy. Whatever way you choose to organize and store your photos be sure to store them in a safe place away from moisture, light and extreme temperature.
5 Steps To An Organized Closet
|Posted by [email protected] on February 22, 2015 at 8:10 AM||comments (327)|
Your closet is supposed to be a place to put the clothes you wear. Somehow however, it becomes the storage space for clothes you donʼt wear and anything else you canʼt find a place for. Follow these 5 steps to get your closet organized.
Go through your closet item by item and ask yourself three questions. 1. Have I worn this in the past year? 2. Does this fit me? 3. Is this in-style and in good shape? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then get rid of it. Itʼs taking up valuable space!
2. Bag and Pile
As you go through your closet put things in bags and piles Charity items go in one bag and trash in another. Make piles of items that need to go elsewhere in the house. Throw the trash out, put the charity in the car for drop off and deliver the piles to the appropriate rooms.
Take a look at your closet. How is it working for you? Do you need more hanging space or more shelving? Is there a place for your accessories and storing out of season clothing? Address these problems as best you can. If you can afford a closet system, great get the one that will work best for you. Otherwise, you can hang another rod pretty easily or buy a set of shelves from the big box stores. Hang hooks for accessories or use a back of the door organizer. Shoes can go on floor racks, shelves or hanging organizers, whichever works with your space. If you donʼt have room for your out of season clothes store them in bankers boxes or under the bed storage.
4. Sort and Hang
Group your clothing into categories. You can sort clothes by color, style (dressy, work, casual), item (pants, blouses, skirts) or even into outfits, whatever works for you. Use quality, matching hangers to protect your clothes, make your closet look more orderly and keep everything at the same level. When you remove clothes from hangers to wear, place the hangers at the end of the rod or on a hook, youʼll know right where the empty hangers are when you need them.
Make good use of containers and organizing tools to keep things neat. Inexpensive bins and baskets can be used for accessories, nylons, socks or lingerie. A towel rack hung on an empty wall or on the back of the door can be used for scarfs, ties or belts. Use shelf dividers or baskets to keep shelves orderly. Consider labeling shelves and areas to remind yourself to put things back where they belong.
If this all seems overwhelming, take it little by little. Plan to work on it an hour a day till itʼs done or a certain amount of time every weekend. Above all, make sure whatever system you put in place is easy to use. Otherwise, you wonʼt use it and your time spent organizing will have been for naught.
The Kitchen Command Center
|Posted by [email protected] on February 14, 2015 at 2:45 PM||comments (106)|
The old saying the kitchen is the heart of the home. still holds true, but today’s kitchens are also central command for many families. In most homes the kitchen is not only where we cook and eat, but where we pay bills, open the mail, leave messages, answer the phone and keep the family schedules and calendar. Even if your lucky enough to have a home office, chances are your kitchen counters are still home to a whole lot of papers. In a few simple steps you can clear off your counters and make a kitchen command center.
Begin by sorting all the paperwork laying around the kitchen—bills, catalogs, magazines, permission slips, appointment cards etc. . . Recycle or throw away things you no longer want or need and sort the rest into piles. For example, bills in one pile, appointments in another, kids’ papers in another. Any important papers such as birth certificates, passports or mortgage papers should be placed in a labeled box and put in another room.
Next, choose your location. If possible locate your command center away from the area most used for food prep. A little bit of counter space may be enough, but if you can clear a small cupboard or drawer as well it will work even better. Once you decide on a spot, remove all the “kitchen” items from the area.
Supplies and Set Up
Hang a dry erase, magnetic or cork board above the counter to post messages or just put a notepad and pen on the counter. Place extra pens, pencils, a pair of scissors, a stapler, paperclips, stamps etc. in a caddy. Label individual colorful file folders or an accordion file in the way that works best for you. For example, bills, receipts, notes, homework and/or a file for each family member. Store the files in a vertical or horizontal file holder, whichever works best for your space. Hang the family calendar and schedule on the inside (or outside) of the cabinet above your command post.
It’s important to get the whole family to use your new command center for messages and notes. Remember to flip through your mail as you’re walking into the house and toss unwanted magazines and catalogs into the recycling bin. Open the rest of the mail at the command post and put everything in its proper file (or toss it) before it can clutter up your kitchen.