Get Organized Using Repurposed Items

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It may not be wise to sweat the small stuff but small things can quickly pile up and get lost, adding clutter to your home and unnecessary stress to your life.

Conquering clutter whenever you’ve got a few minutes is wise. Set a timer if you want. It’s amazing how much you can get accomplished when you focus completely on the task at hand, even if it’s only 5 to 15 minutes.

A functional desk or junk drawer or surface area or cabinet can have a positive impact on your life. It only takes a few minutes of work and a little creativity to accomplish some of the most beneficial organizing tasks.

Purging as you go is the most efficient way to get organized. Not sure about whether to keep or get rid of something? Put it in a box or basket to be dealt with at a later time.

Wouldn’t you like to know exactly where something is when you need it? No more searching for lost keys, toenail clippers, paper clips, twist ties etc.

Accomplishing a task or two here and there, when you have a few spare minutes can be a great motivator to tackling bigger organizing projects (in bite sized chunks of time) down the road.

To keep things easy and to save you from running out to pick up a bunch of organizing tools, I’ve put together a collection of re-purposed household items that can double as organizers.

You may be surprised how easy it is to get better organized simply by re-purposing a muffin tin, a toothbrush holder or a pizza pan.

Muffin tins: Organize office supplies with a muffin tin. Use it to keep small items organized that tend to get lost.

Baking pans: Want to get shallow drawers better organized? Easily separate office supplies, bill-paying essentials and miscellaneous items using (three quarter-inch-deep) baking pans as drawer dividers.

Egg cartons: An easy and inexpensive way to organize the odds and ends in your junk drawer is to use an egg carton to storage small items like staples, thumb tacks, and elastics. The lid side can be used to store larger items such as pens and pencils, scissors, and a calculator. (Use a second egg carton in your laundry room to organize miscellaneous items like coins and buttons.)

Toothbrush holders: Have an extra toothbrush holder hanging around? Why not re-purpose it as pencil and pen holder or to creatively house paintbrushes? Have a matching soap dish you no longer use? Re-purpose it in the office to house business cards, post-it notes, paper clips and other small items.

Odd glasses and cups: Before throwing out odd glasses and cups consider using them as storage containers for Q-tips and makeup brushes on a bathroom counter or in a cabinet. Recycle yogurt cups and sour cream containers for storing items in bathroom drawers.

Glass jars and canisters: Use extra glass jars and canisters to decoratively store kitchen, bathroom and craft supplies or to display small collectibles like matchbooks, coins, marbles, and buttons.

Magnetic knife holder and hooks: Make a quick key rack by installing a wall mounted magnetic knife stripe on the side (or inside) of a kitchen cabinet, closet or shelving unit and add a few magnetic hooks. Another idea would be to add some magnetic clips and use it for keeping ‘To Do’ lists, receipts, gift cards, paint chips etc. handy.

Storing utensils: Easily locate a necessary kitchen utensil by re-purposing a plastic flowerpot, tall basket or wide-mouth vase for storing your utensils on the kitchen counter instead of in a crowded drawer.

Open counter storage: To make an attractive counter top display for bathrooms, place small white containers (easily found at your local dollar store) on top of a bright tray in a solid color.

Give Susan a new home: Re-purpose an old ‘Lazy Susan’ and use it to store medicines on a high shelf (out of the reach of young kids) in your linen closet.

Reuse kitchen items in your craft area: Enhance the storage in your craft area by hanging a metal pizza pan or baking sheet on the wall and adding some empty round magnetic spice containers (to store small items like pins, clips, and sequins). If you don’t have any magnetic spice containers, simply buy some inexpensive magnetic strips (from a dollar store) and place on the bottom of small (labeled) boxes. Use to store lightweight items.

Store jewelry using drawer knobs, pulls and hooks: A simple and effective jewelry organizer can be easily fashioned using a piece of plywood covered with fabric and a selection of miscellaneous drawer knobs and pulls. (Simply secure the fabric to the wood by stapling the back and screwing in knobs, pulls and cup hooks.) Or, if you have lots of lightweight jewelry and an extra bulletin board lying around as well as a few push pins – just use that. (An ice-cube tray is also great organizer for pierced earrings without hooks.)

Create a catch-all for personal clutter: Keep your main entryway tidy by installing hooks and hanging a personalized basket for each member of the family. Everyday items like lip balm, iPods, sunglasses, keys, sunscreen etc. can be handy yet neatly tucked away.

write by Gregory Binford


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