Sunday, February 13, 2011

Weekend DIY: Gift Wrap Organizer

If need a gift wrap organizer and would rather build than buy, here's a nifty project for you. This organizer also doubles as a display for your pretty wrapping paper and ribbon. Instructions at 33 shades of green.

Spunky Junky shows you how to make your own ribbon organizer for less than $5.

Transform an old cigar box into a tape dispenser. Instructions at Just Something I Made.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Out on Display

I love open storage. Everything is in its place but easily within reach. The key to making this work is a unifying theme that creates the look of a collection rather than a hodge podge of random items. The theme can be based on the type of item, a cohesive color palette, similar storage containers or a combination of the above. Achieving this look will require a little more discipline in terms of sticking to the established theme, but the final product can be absolutely beautiful.

Glass jars unify the display of dry goods.

All kitchen items on display share the same warm, rustic colors.

Wicker baskets neatly group and hide small items.

Simple lines, a neutral color palette, natural textures and metal accents create a serene and relaxing bathroom.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How a Messy Desk Costs You Money

I came across an article explaining how messy desks cost $177 billion of lost productivity. This reminded me of two clients I recently worked with. When we organized their offices, we found almost $1,000 of gift cards kicking around in the recesses of their desk drawers. They were a couple years old by the time we unearthed them. Luckily, they were still valid, and we found a good home for them for future use.

Messy desks cost you time and money. Those minutes spent daily hunting for misplaced files, staplers or documents add up to 76 hours — or nearly two work weeks — a year. Nearly one-third of office workers fail to get reimbursed for a business or travel expense because they misplaced or lost a receipt.

Most people clean and purge their desks once a year, but it takes regular maintenance to keep it orderly. Once you set up a system for dealing with your paper work and projects, it only takes about 10 minutes a week to tidy up your office.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Organizing Tip: Organizing Must-Haves

Every client is different, and there is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution, but there are a few organizing tools I use so frequently that I can't live without them.

1. Label Maker - My love affair with my label maker borders on obsession. My husband jokes that I may one day label him, but I can't think of an easier way to label and identify your items. I label everything from files, binders, bins, spices, closets, drawers and pantries. It makes scanning for items easy, and I know exactly where to put things away.

2. Clear plastic bins with lids - These containers come in a wide variety of sizes and store almost anything. The perfect solution for storing like things together, these bins are cheap, reliable and durable. I insist on clear bins so I can easily see the items inside.

3. Baskets - Baskets are a great decorative solution for open storage. They come in a range of beautiful colors and textures that work in a wide variety of decors.

4. Lazy Susan - This little turn table is the perfect combination of convenience and organization. It provides easy access to all items on it with a simple spin. I've used it in kitchen cabinets to organize spices, bathrooms to hold toiletries and offices to hold supplies.

5. Color coded file folders and file hangers - File folders and hangers are the perfect solution for storing paperwork, but I like to go one step further and color code the files for different categories. For examples, I use red for financial records, yellow for home related papers, blue for electronics, etc. The color coding makes it easy to divide and scan for things instead of reading every little tab.

6. Drawer dividers - Without drawer dividers, all my stuff in my office and kitchen drawers would slosh around every time I opened and closed the drawers. Drawer dividers help keep things in their place so you don't have to wade around the drawer to find that one item.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Organizing Tip: Creative Home Made Organizers

Many people think they need to buy plastic bins, boxes and gadgets to organize their possessions. If you're on a budget or want to reduce your environmental foot print, there are creative organizers you can make from things sitting in your cupboard or recycling bin.

An egg carton is a ready made sorter for small objects.

Repurpose vintage cups and saucers as beautiful jewelry organizers.

Mounted tin cans are the perfect solution for kitchen utensils.

Convert a cereal box into a magazine holder with pretty paper. Instructions at Apartment Therapy.

Make your own drawer dividers with cardboard. More information at Apartment Therapy.

Cover a 6 pack holder and reuse as a picnic caddy.

Keep cables wrapped and organized in toilet paper rolls