Organization

Organizing Spices

Category: Organization

I do a lot of cooking and use a lot of herbs and spices. I was frustrated looking through all the stacks of bottles and so I bought several of the trays of drawers that people use in their workshops to hold screws, etc. I stacked them on the kitchen counter between my base and top cabinets and numbered them. I keep about two teaspoons of each spice or herb in each compartment that tips out. I ended up with 64 compartments. I numbered them and typed a list in alphabetical order of each ingredient with the number of the bin. On top I placed a baby spoon and the system works so very well. By keeping the quantity small and out of direct light, the ingredients last for quite a while and I always refresh all the bins twice a year. It is so easy now to simply open the door of the cabinet, find the ingredients I want and spoon out the quantity that I need.

Grocery List

Category: Organization

Throughout the week, I keep a grocery list on the side of my fridge, writing items down as I run out of them. But just before I head to the grocery store, I re-write my list, organizing it according to where I will find it in the store I will be shopping. This helps me not to miss anything I really need, or have to run back to the opposite side of Wal-Mart to scramble for something I have forgotten. It's wonderful for sending, say husbands, to the store too. This way they don't disappear for hours, wandering around a Wal-Mart, looking for an items in completely the wrong section. This has proven to be a huge time saver for our family!

Outgrown Clothes

Category: Organization

This is a trick my daughter was just sharing with me that she has learned. When it comes to storing her children's outgrown clothes, she puts the nice clothes she can reuse or sell in a plastic tote and puts the more worn clothes (that could still be worn as play clothes) in a garbage bag. When the tote is full, she takes it to the upstairs storage. When the garbage bag is full, she gives it to a friend or takes it to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. This saves her a lot of hassle when it comes time for a yard sale, because she doesn't have to sit down and take the time to sort through everything...and sometimes she can even price it by the tote.

Basement/Garage

Category: Organization

A great organizing tip especially for the basement or garage: Start with some boxes, number each box from 1 to however many you have. Then as you place your items in the boxes for storage fill out a 3x5 index card with the corresponding number of the box written in the corner of the card (preferably in marker) then in pencil proceed to write the contents of the box on the card and where the box is located in your house. Store the cards in numerical order in a 3x5 index card (recipe) box where it's most handy for you to reference. From the recipe box you will know exactly what items are stored throughout your house, and where to find the numbered box. The contents are written in pencil so in case you decide to empty the box or add/subtract items from the box. You can also add sub letters if you need to add more boxes. Example: Christmas decorations are stored in boxes 20-29 but you need one more, label a new box 20a, or 20b, etc. Now you can find anything at a glance!

Puzzles

Category: Organization

My children love puzzles but the boxes always take up too much room. To better organize the puzzles, we cut out the picture from the box and store it with the puzzle pieces in a plastic bag. This allows us to keep the picture with the puzzle pieces and to store all the puzzles in a specific tote so they can always be found.

Meal Plans in Google

Category: Organization

I put all my meal plans in a google calendar that has its own special color. Every day has a green bar that has what we're eating that day. Whenever I plug in my meal plans for the upcoming week or month, I also make my grocery list and save it with the date on it for that week. All I need to do when that week comes up is check the house for any "staples" we might be out of and buy everything on the list. It helps me make sure we eat a variety of healthy foods, cuts down on last-minute trips to the store and has made cooking really fun instead of somewhat stressful! And since its stored in my google calendar forever, I can refer back to old meal plans if I'm feeling a little less ambitious and simply copy it over for the week I'm working on.

Daily Calendar

Category: Organization

Keep a daily calendar for what the happenings for the day are. Keep it close like in your kitchen. Write on it what you want to get accomplished on that day and also any appointments you have. Make sure on the days of your appointments you also put the doctor, etc phone # in case there is a reason you need to cancel or get a hold of them beforehand. After the day is over mark the day off as completed and look at the next day so you know what is in store. My husband and I do this
so we know what each of us has going on so we don't schedule things on days the other person is busy.

Organizing the Closet

Category: Organization

Like most women, I like to shop for clothes. To prevent over buying of clothes, I organize my closet doing 2 things. First, I color coordinate my tops. Secondly, I only have so many hangers that fit on the closet rod. If there are no available hangers for me to hang a new item, it forces me to discard an older item.

Declutter

Category: Organization

Use the taped and dated box rule for all the items that you're not really in love with but still have some emotional attachment to. Put them in a box for six months or a year. Mark the date on a calendar. If after the allotted time you have not needed anything in the box deliver it promptly to your favorite charity. Also expand on the "if I haven't worn it in a year give it away rule by using it in the kitchen and elsewhere in the home. If you haven't used it in a year you probably don't need it. Give it away. Better yet, have a yard sale (anything that doesn't sell gets donated) and use the proceeds to either take that mission trip to
Peru with Tim and Pam!

Family Calendar

Category: Organization

As our kids grew up, we often had busy schedules. We would go and look at open dates on our calendar and write in family time or stay home before it got crowded out. Sometimes if you just look at one date and not the whole week, you may find that you are busy too many nights in a row.