One of the most common mistakes I see people make when trying to organize is buying organizing tools that they wind up not needing and which ultimately take up valuable space. Money is spent on bins, boxes, drawers and racks that very frequently are found to be the wrong size or just plain unnecessary.
Sometimes current storage items get emptied of their junk and can be used again to store items that have been deemed “keep-worthy.” In other cases, there are organizing tools lying around unused and forgotten that can be put into play. Further, there are many household items that can be re-purposed into handy and useful organizing tools. Especially during this recession, it’s good to use what you’ve got and not spend money that you don’t have to.
Below I am going to share with you my Professional Organizer’s Fave Five Ordinary Household Items That Can Help You Get Organized.
Read on to see how many of these objects you already have and how to put them to good use!
1. Empty Paper Towel Roll
These are put to great use as holders for extension cords and wires. Wrap up a cord in long loops and stuff it inside the paper towel roll. Then write what type/size of cord it is on the side of the roll, i.e. “Extension Cord- 6 feet”.
Using these rolls keeps cords neatly separated, prevents them from becoming unwound and tangled-saving you precious time that would be spent untangling-and lets you know at a glance what the cord is for. Plus you can line up or stack the PT rolls, keeping them orderly.
2. Empty Tissue Box
Take your plastic bags that have exploded inside your cabinet or all over your house and stuff them into an empty tissue box. You can then neatly stow the box away- tape it down even- and pull out a plastic bag one at a time as needed.
3. Hair Clips
I am talking about those jaw-type hair-clips where you squeeze the handle on one side and the “jaw” opens up. Spend not one cent on those millions of types of ties and Velcro strips meant to control computer and TV cord clutter. Just use one of your hair clips to catch all the cords inside and hold them cleanly together. You can also use several and space them out along the cords.
4. Baby Wipe Containers
I don’t have to tell you that these handy wipes are extremely useful, even if you don’t have a baby. They take off makeup, can be used for personal hygiene, wipe spills off clothing, and also are great for cleaning bathroom fixtures. And when you finish the box, use it to store a myriad of things. I personally use them to store my nail polish bottles and remover. Also try office supplies such as tape/highlighters/scissors/pens, hair accessories, batteries, sewing supplies, or other small, group-able items. These boxes are stackable and look very clean and uniform when they are all of one color. And, I recently noticed that Huggies brand are putting a snazzy modern pattern on their boxes now- looks a bit like wallpaper.
Yes, simple jars of all size that are currently getting thrown out can be re-used in a myriad of ways. Wash them out thoroughly, remove the labels with hot water and a scrubby sponge, and start keeping all your loose nails, screws, and picture hangers in them. Use them in their original intended way as food storage for leftovers. Make soup and fill the jars up! Store paperclips in them. You could even keep candies in them instead of having m&ms spill out of the bag, and put the jars right on the counter or away in the cabinet. The possibilities for these little airtight wonders are endless!
So! Now you can see that something often ignored as simple packaging can actually be a well-constructed and useful storage tool. And, furthermore, common items you already own can be used in more than one way. Use your imagination, look around your home, and I can guarantee you will begin to see creative and sensible new ways to utilize items you barely noticed or thought about before. And while you’re imagining, dream about the savings that will result!
– NICOLE ABRAMOVICI
Nicole Abramovici is an NYC-based Professional Organizer and the owner of Genius Organizing. She works with everyone from CEOs to homemakers, both in their homes and offices, getting rid of the clutter and organizing what’s left. Understanding that clutter causes not only disorganization, but a lack of motivation, she creates solutions that not only serve to de-clutter your home and office, but your mind as well, readying you to move forward with whatever you choose to spend your precious time on. To learn more about her services, or to set up an appointment, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.