Easy Organization Tips

Below is a list of some of the best tips from the Woman’s Day article “GET ORGANIZED” by Rebecca E. Greer. Plus, I’ve added some of my own. Hopefully you will find them beneficial in organizing your day.

• Set priorities. Rank items in order of importance and do the most important first.

• Always plan your errands so you do a whole group on one trip. If somehow one item was missed and you need to go back, take something else that you forgot to handle with you, such as; recycling or dry cleaning drop off.

• Cut unwanted calls short by posting a list of handy excuses (“Something is boiling over on the stove”) by the phone.

• Buy duplicates of items in frequent demand – scissors, pens, rulers, transparent tape – and keep them in strategic spots around the house.

• Arrange to do two things at once. Keep mending or other handwork near the phone or television. Never call a friend or relative for a long chat without first assembling ironing, manicure supplies or other mindless tasks.

• Make the most of your shopping trips by keeping a purse notebook with detailed lists of everything you want or need in the next few months (including clothes, cosmetics, housewares, gifts). If you spot a sale or have a store near your child’s dance class, you will be prepared to shop.

• Overcome morning madness. Have some members of the family shower the night before. The items you are going to wear the next day, the things you need to take to work and the items your children need to take to school should be gathered the night before. Have the coffee pot ready and the breakfast table set before going to bed. So what if you have to give up an hour of television to get this all done, you’ll be grateful in the morning.

• Save those film cases. They can be used to store items such as; quarters, nails and screws, bobby and safety pins, paper clips and hooks and snaps.

• Set up a system for recycling newspapers promptly. Put them into a paper grocery bag every day. By the end of the week, they will be ready and handy to be recycled.

• Open all mail at a desk with a grocery bag nearby to toss in junk mail and recycle when full.

• Use folders to help control the flow of letters, bills, flyers, school notices and invitations. Add labels such as; “Pay,” “Read,” “Answer,” “File,” “Call.” Red folders can be for school, blue for swim team, etc. • Tip a box upright to stack used paper. When filled, recycle. It is best to have the box located closer to you than the garbage, so it will be easier to put in the box that to throw them in the garbage.

• Designate a special place for magazines. Put them into a wicker basket under a coffee table and once a month, take a bundle to an oldage home or library.

• Don’t store trays and cookie sheets flat. Stand them up so you can get to them without removing a stack of other items. (Any cabinet can be converted by the addition of pieces of plywood or a couple of dowels.

• Use stackable plastic crates or boxes to keep cleaning supplies upright and easy to find under the kitchen sink.

• Install racks inside the doors under the sink for sponges, scrubbers and other small items.

• Keep favorite recipes neat and free of spills in a photo album with plastic sleeves.

• Keep a ceramic jug on your stove for easy access to spatulas, wooden spoons, stirrers and other frequently used utensils.

• Reuse same size wine and liquor bottles to store cooking oils and sauces and line them up on a wire rack mounted on the wall in back of your stove.

• Homemade croutons are tasty, low-fat and easy to make. If you use a store bought frozen bread dough, thaw out one loaf (don’t let rise) blend in garlic powder, onion powder, basil and oregano or blend in just dill spices. Let rise, bake, let cool, set oven to 250 degrees, cut bread into slices and place on oven rack to dry. Cube croutons when dry. Normally croutons will be 100 calories per 10 croutons, but not this way. Whatever calories per slice it says on the bread dough bag, that is the amount of jcalories in approximately 20  croutons. Which most frozen bread doughs are around 67 calories per slice.

• Remember: Some of the most useful containers were designed for another purpose. For example: Fishing tackle boxes can also be used for storing hardware, garden tools, jewelry, toys, cosmetics and arts and craft supplies. The same goes for desk organizers, which can be used in so called “junk drawers” (yes, even the most organized have them, so you may as well also have your junk organized).

• Pick a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to do your entire cooking and lunches for the week.  If you have enough containers, you can even portion out the lunches ahead of time.

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