Here are some ideas...
For our little closet here
in the kitchen/familyroom. I have two carts and I labeled the drawers
and every single thing has a place and the ironing board and paper cutter
can fit nicely standing beside the carts.
Here's what I did... each
type of item in that genre per drawer...
camera & film; batteries;
light-bulbs; specialty light-bulbs; tools;
extension cords; painting stuff; iron & starch;
nuts-bolts-nails-screws (in 4"X 2" boxes in one drawer);
tape-duct-tape-glue-paste; bags; and assorted odd stuff.
It is so freeing---bcz having a place for everything AND the labeled drawers
force order! I am amazed what we do with stuff just bcz we haven't
found a proper place for things!!
Oh, above the carts are shelves: on these, I have folded the fabric I WILL
use and gulp!! got rid of the fabric I just know I am not going to use!
Also on the shelf is a heavy box with the little vacuum and attachments, and
some oversized pitchers and the gallon of crème paint that I keep in here so
that I can do frequent touch-ups with hardly any fuss to it because the
paint brushes/sponges are in one of the drawers, rags are in another, and
the paint is on the shelf. All right there together---you know just
like the "centers" in our kitchen and in the rest of our home... See?
In Children's bedrooms, the
carts can be used for games and toys with lots of little pieces. The
drawer can be removed from the cart and taken to the table or floor and can
be put back away after the playtime and quick clean-up.
I know caterers
who use *several* of them in their vans with ramps... they roll them into
the kitchen at each site they are catering and have every single thing they
will need for serving, cooking and cleanup... spices, utensils, plastic
gloves, cloths, cleaning supplies, silverware, serving utensils etc.,
etc. right in the carts and in Rubbermaid bins.
In the craft
room or family room carts can be sooo helpful. The carts
are the 5 or 9 drawer plastic drawer carts on wheels where you can
remove a drawer (say it's a coloured pen drawer) put it on the
table---do the art project ---have the other art supplies (paper,
envelopes, clay, glue, scissors, tape---whatever) right there beside you
while you have your time... then it's all easily tidied up and rolled
back into place when you are finished.
These are around $25.-
30. so you add them slowly over time depending on your need and
finances. I got the first one several years ago for all of our
stamps, inks and stamping/stationery supplies... then later, one for my
sewing... then one for crafts/painting... and so on. The
children have them in their room for their personal supplies-----the see
through drawers force neatness bcz I can see them when I do bedroom
Look around your home for things that
you already have but can put to better use in another area. Like, l like book
shelves for clothes--- and drawers for craft supplies. I had a wicker
shelf in the bathroom for towels and decided to use it by my desk for
Bible study books and pictures and put a small painted chest of drawers
in the bathroom for the towels. I decided to use a "sofa table" (painted
ivory) in the dining room as a "side table" for the tea set and the
tiered plate holder. Wooden apple crates can hold books or can
hold the newspapers beside the woodstove. A small crate can hold
cookbooks on the counter. A picnic basket can hold your
placemats and napkins, or your towels and washcloths rolled up in a
basket in the bathroom. Baskets can hold your often used
seasonings and spices in the kitchen.
Baskets can hold your
journal, pens, notebooks, reading materials, etc. beside your bed.
Boxes can be covered with wrapping paper and then "painted" with a half
glue/water mixture in order to make a "decoupage" surface and then the
box can be used for your make-up, your writing materials or special
cards and letters. You can be very creative---all you need to do
is pray(!) ask the LORD to show you what you have in your hand already
and *use* it!
Instead of leaving all
the photos in the box, I put lots of them all around… in books, taped
inside cupboard doors so that whenever you open a cabinet you see some
LOOK FOR BETTER
WAYS OF DOING THINGS....
In the baking area of
our kitchen I use the stoneware snap lid canisters for soda, baking
powder and salt. I leave a measuring teaspoon in each one and never have
to search for one! I use the large (2 gallon) clear glass
cookie jar type containers for flour, pancake flour, and sugar… in
these, I always leave a measuring cup and/or a two cup measuring cup...
again, this way I always have the measuring cup right there. I buy
measuring cups at the "dollar store" or when our market has "dollar
days" sales. These can be sooo handy and helpful. I use the
1/8 cup in the hot chocolate mix container for perfect amounts of hot
chocolate, and the 1/3 cup in the coffee canister for the right measure
of coffee... you get the idea? Nothing is wasted and everything
has a great use (or two!).
In my bathroom under
the sink AND under the kitchen sink, I have a roll of paper towels
mounted on a little plastic holder. In the cabinet (I have safety
latches on the doors) I also have the cleaners for the bathroom and in
the kitchen the appropriate cleaners there also. This way, I can
be prepared to clean either the kitchen or the bathroom right away... I
don't have to leave the room and hunt for the towels or cleaners.
It has really saved me a great deal of time. I also always have a
box of baby wipes on hand in the bathroom... these are not only for
diaper changes and cleanup, but I use them frequently to wipe down the
bathroom counter, a quick wipe of the toilet seat and rim... sometimes
even the floor between the daily mopping (we have a lot of traffic and
My whole hope in
sharing all this with you is that you will see that you already have so
much in your hand... all you need to do is look around and see how
better you can use what you already have, and how to save yourself a
This week get out every
one of your plastic containers and lids…. Match them up and toss out the
rest! If the idea of actually tossing them out is too much for you, how
about at the very least putting them in a large box (that you will continue
to add to) of things that will go to the thrift store. You can start
the year fresh---save yourself the aggravation of sorting through all the
lids and containers that don’t match!