Tips & Tricks

Some Free Advice…. Tips & Tricks of the Trade!!

THE KITCHEN

  • Use carousels (10″) for vitamins, OTC products in small kitchen cabinets.
  • Use custom dividers for cutlery when standard ones don’t work
  • Use “catch all dividers” (aka “junk dividers”) to hold scissors, batteries, pens, etc.
  • Use bathroom vanity pull outs in kitchens to hold wraps (think outside the box!).
  • Use bubble wrap to cushion between items.
  • Use storage bags instead of plastic storage containers (e.g, Tupperware).
  • Simplify menus-e.g., Monday-pasta night; Tuesday-Mexican night, Wed-Soup, etc.
  • Get rid of cracked or mismatched dishes/glasses.
  • Use stacking divider to separate glass sizes within the cabinet.
  • Use hooks to hang mugs in the cabinet, to make extra room in cabinet.
  • Lid holders that hang on closet doors.
  • Get rid of old food & don’t store leftovers if you are not going to use them.
  • Put can goods on tiered shelves. Stack-able racks are better square than round.
  • Get special hanging unit for hanging pots and pans from the ceiling or grids/hooks.

HOME OFFICE

  • Use the vertical space in the room to organize with racks & bookcases to the ceiling
  • Use baskets, add shelving.
  • Mail Box – Create a space for new papers that come into home.
  • Create action folders or desktop/wall bins–bill paying; file later; actions pending
  • Annualized approach for transactional files to facilitate easy weeding at end of year.
  • Use of online history vs. paper records but be sure to take system backups!!.
  • Find space you love.
  • Renovate closet into a home office.
  • Set up an ‘L’ Shape or ‘U’ Shape workstation if you can… they are more efficient.

CLOTHES CLOSET

  • Organize clothing by color — light to dark
  • Use every bit of space by adding additional shelves or cubbies.
  • Put like things together
  • Organize by short hanging, long hanging, shoes, hats
  • Items in the closet need to be Ready To Wear.
  • Bin or area for repair, donate, toss, dry cleaning, etc.
  • Always have clothes hamper as close as possible to closet.
  • Invest in uniform hangers – helps visually and less clutter
  • Over the door pocket organizers for clothing (scarves, gloves, lingerie, etc.)

Questions to ask about deciding about clothes:

  • Is it flattering?
  • Do I love it?
  • Is this the image I want to project?
  • Do I have more like it?
  • How do I feel when I wear this?
  • Have I worn it in the past 2 seasons, if not, don’t keep it!!
  • Does it fit right?

LINEN / STORAGE CLOSET

  • Throw out expired products
  • Dividers to separate categories
  • Use wall hanging battery organizers/tester.
  • Stack-able boxes with drawers to house one category (batteries, light bulbs)
  • Hanging door organizers – bottles, cleaning products, etc.
  • Small containers
  • Inside-doors wire shelves Insert shelves when you have fixed shelves
  • Wire drawers Hanging devices/ hooks
  • Cleaning Caddy to store cleaning products in vanity or closet
  • Hang the ladder, ironing board, broom, mop

THE HOLIDAY’S

Holiday Cards

  • Buy at the end of the season for next year… they are really discounted.
  • Create a master list and keep it updated.
  • If cards are returned, get a new address or cross it off your list.
  • Make use of your computer… put the list on it and print labels …or… if you are really good, print your cards and envelopes through your computer printer!
  • Pick an must mail by date, count the list, and calculate how many have to be done each day to get the job done in time.

Shopping & Wrapping

  • Shop online or catalogs… you pay shipping but save time and sometimes money and sales tax.
  • Choose less hectic times to shop … weekdays & evenings, dinner time, when store opens.
  • Avoid Lines… Post office on Saturdays, Mall Shopping & Food Shopping on weekends.
  • Use a paper tablecloth to wrap the very big or odd shaped gifts.
  • Buy extra gifts… just in case.
  • Wrap in gift bags so they are easy to return if not used.

Holiday & Family Meal Planning

  • Stock your freezer and pantry ahead of time… saves trips to the grocery store.
  • When cooking double up the recipe and freeze half for another meal that is ready for you.
  • Cook simple dishes.
  • Go to a restaurant.
  • Buy precooked meals from the supermarket.
  • Have “Pot Luck” dinners… everyone brings a dish.
  • Find those ‘old’ recipes that you will need beforehand and make a copy.

Decorating

  • Muster the Troops!
  • Letting them do ‘their thing’ (in non critical areas) it might provide you some interesting ideas for the future or at the very least… some interesting topics conversation!
  • Keep it simple. Less out… less to put away.
  • Decorate (and store the decorations) room-by-room instead of trying to get it done all at once.

Entertaining

  • Plan in advance. You can never have too many lists where this is concerned.
  • Have a ‘White Elephant Party”. Everyone brings a wrapped gift they got last year but doesn’t’ like… first person picks… next person picks and gets to keep or exchange with the person before. Lots of laughs!!

House Cleaning

  • Keep up with it… spend a little time each day and don’t let it get away from you.
  • Lower your expectations, it doesn’t have to be perfect!!

Saving Time & Money

  • Screen your calls than plan a time when you can return them.
  • Wrapping gifts or stuffing card envelopes is a good thing to do while on the phone.
  • Use Lists…. You won’t have to spend time or energy trying to remember what to do.
  • Ask everyone to make gift wish lists of items under $25.
  • Opt not to give gifts and instead – adopt a family, make a donation, give gift cards, put the money toward a family trip or dinner.
  • Instead of buying gifts for everyone… do a “Secret Santa” with a dollar limit.
  • Put all names in a hat, everyone picks a name and buys for that person. Instead of 4 $25 gifts one $100 is nice! Remember… no ‘From” Names on the tag!
  • Starting this year make a “Holiday Book”. Your own personalized reference book to remember and store good recipes, ideas, menus, lists, etc. Then you won’t have to re-invent the wheel.

In General…

  • Lower your expectations … sometimes good enough is good enough.
  • Let people help you; meals, decorating, cleaning, cards, anything… helping hands are a blessing.
  • Use a family calendar to make sure everyone knows and records what is going on each day.
  • Keep your priorities in sight.
  • To avoid stress try to you accept invitations and make plans for events that are truly meaningful to you and your family.
Simply Organized Solutions is a top Nassau-Suffolk County, NY professional organizer on FindMyOrganizer.com!