VERONICA E. MAIER

Organizing on a Dime

In Chic, crafts on February 2, 2009 at 6:58 am

In this month’s ShopSmart ;) Magazine, they offer some really cool concepts on how to organize everything from hair dryers to sock drawers. Enjoy!

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1. Shoe boxes

Cost: Free!
Best for: Office and craft supplies, CDs, TV remotes, travel-size toiletries, and other small items.
Why they Work:You can spend as much as $20 on fancy, store-bought boxes, but shoe boxes work just as well. They’re sturdy, stackable, and fit nicely on a shelf. (Usually the pricier the shoe, the sturdier the box.) “They keep spaces like closets really well organized and are an excellent way to
quickly subdivide the stuff,” says Julie Morgenstern, author of “Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life” (Simon & Schuster, 2009).

Tip

Give shoe boxes a makeover with wrapping paper, contact paper, fabric, or even leftover wallpaper, and they’ll look like pricey store-bought storage boxes. Vinyl contact paper adheres tightly and can actually strengthen the
box. “Make sure to cover the bottom too,” Morgenstern says. To replicate boxes with window labels, attach adhesive-backed clear plastic sleeves sold for loose-leaf binders at office-supply stores.
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2. Acrylic cubbies

Cost: About $15 to $25, depending on the size.
Best for: Makeup, desk-drawer essentials (paper clips, pens, pencils, post-it notes, stamps), or vanity clutter like perfume bottles and jewelry.
Why they Work: The see-though compartments come in a variety of boxy shapes and sizes that can give a vanity or desk drawer a fast makeover, and they have flush edges so they can be placed close
together in a drawer. “What’s nice is this system can grow with your needs, and it’s easy to find what you’re looking for and put it away,” says Ilene Drexler, owner of The Organizing Wiz, a consulting firm in New York City.

Tip

Keep lipstick and nail polish in the small cubbies, makeup brushes in the long ones. Or you can turn a dresser drawer into a customized jewelry  warehouse. “Measure your drawer space, then see what size compartments you’ll need–necklaces in one size, bracelets and earring in others–before you head to the store,” Morgenstern says.

3. Over-the-door shoe bags

Cost: About $10 to $15.
Best for: Bathroom, craft-room, and coat-closet clutter.
Why they Work: Hanging bags make things easy to reach and they can hold lots of different stuff, not just shoes!

Tip

Hang one on the inside of a closet to store gloves, hats, and scarves. Give each family member a row and label each pouch as a reminder. A bag on the back of a bathroom door can hold your blow dryer, curling and straightening irons, extra shampoo, soap, and other toiletries. Or sling one over the door of a crafts room to store things like scissors and glue. Keep small and often-used items between eye and chest level for easy reach. “place heavy objects in the bottom rows,” says Standolyn robertson, founder of Things In place in Waltham, Mass. “You don’t want to pull them out overhead.”

4. Plastic linens bags

Cost:Free!
Best for: Storing nonwool sweaters or out-of-season clothes, so you don’t have to spring for expensive sweater bags. The pillowcase-size ones are handy for stashing small gift-wrapping and craft items like tags, rubber stamps, and ink pads. And large and small can hold napkins, place mats, and seasonal linens.
Why they Work: They’re great for stashing things because they’re sturdy and see-through. Best of all, you get these zippered bags free every time you buy a new set of sheets or a comforter.

Tip

Don’t use these bags for antique, heirloom, or wool fabrics. Those delicate items should be stored in fabric bags that let them breathe so they don’t discolor.

5. Lazy Susans

Cost:From $5 for the small plastic ones up to $20 to $40 for fancier types with stainless-steel or bamboo finishes.
Best for: Toiletries and cleaning supplies. They’re also great in the garage for lawn-and-garden supplies or in the laundry room for things like detergent. And a rotating lazy Susan out on a crafts table or tucked away in a cupboard can tame an awful lot of itty-bitty art supplies.
Why they Work:They’re known for spinning spices in the kitchen, but lazy Susans are one of the most versatile organizing tools around, says Barry Izsak, an organizer in Austin, Texas.

Tip

put one or two lazy Susans in the linen closet or under the bathroom sink. If plumbing is in the way, put one on each
side of the pipe.

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  1. i’ll admit it- i am obsessed with lazy susans. i have them all over my kitchen. in fact, i love to stock the one in my fridge with yogurt. that way it doesn’t get shoved to the back and forgotten. also, it’s easier to choose a flavor.

  2. cleaning supplies should be environment friendly too, choose cleaning supplies which does not harm the environment-*’

  3. cleaning supplies should have earth friendly organic ingredients so that they do not harm the environment `:~

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