The Chicago Organizer

The Chicago Organizer

Terris Tips for an Organized Life

April 2015

Multi-Purpose, Affordable Storage Containers

Junk drawer organizers:
This helpful product is an organizing super-performer! Use one in your office to separate out rubber bands, paper clips, erasers, and other small office essentials. The junk drawer in the kitchen definitely needs one! Stash them in the bathroom to hold cosmetics and first-aid items. Put them in kids’ rooms to hold small toys or hair accessories. Sort out nails and screws in the workshop. Or separate small craft supplies like beads and wires or sewing stuff. Drawer organizers are available in a variety of price ranges, sizes, and materials (cardboard, clear acrylic, plastic, and wood). If you need maximum flexibility, look for one with adjustable compartments, so you can create the right sized spaces for anything in your drawer.

Flexible laundry baskets:
Containerizing your stuff is great, but buying all those bins and boxes can get expensive! Laundry baskets can be an affordable option. Watch for them on sale at your local discount store. You’ll also find some pretty wicker ones at craft stores (such as Michael’s and JoAnn Fabrics) for under $5. Use them all over your home, such as to contain toys, books, or magazines in the living room. Then, put one at the bottom of the stairs. Throughout the day, drop in everything that needs to go to other rooms--making evening clean-up quick and painless. Place one near the exit door for things that need to leave the house — clothing that needs to go the tailor or dry cleaner, items that need to be returned to stores, library books and movies ready for return, and loaned items that need to find their rightful owners. Or keep a basket in the trunk of your car. Take a peek in the box each morning and see what you can get rid of that day.

Multi-purpose photo boxes:
Photo storage boxes are great for organizing more than photos! These inexpensive, versatile tools can be used to store crafts, office supplies, jewelry, small toys, bathroom doo-dads, and so much more. For under $5 each, these boxes are an organizing best-buy. Label them clearly with a label maker or Sharpie pen.

Vertical space-savers:
Over-the-door pocket organizers — usually reserved for shoe storage — are wonderfully versatile. Hang one in a kid’s room to store Barbie and her accessories or toy cars and trucks. Mount one on the wall near the baby’s changing table to hold powder, diapers, and other necessities. Set up a gift wrapping station with ribbons, bows, tags, tissue, cards, and tape. Or keep one on the back of the pantry door to hold spice packets, Jello boxes, or kitchen gadgets. Choose clutter-hiding canvas or easy-to-see-through clear vinyl, depending upon your needs. Likewise, hanging sweater organizers can keep much-needed items at your fingertips. Use them in your bedroom closet to hold folded clothing like sweaters and T-shirts, or stash accessories like purses, belts, and hats. Get shoes off the floor by popping them into a narrower version of this organizer that holds ten pairs. And they work wonders in an entryway closet. Keep small outerwear — such as hats, mittens, baseball caps, sunscreen, camera, dog leash, binoculars, and umbrellas ready to grab on the way out the door.

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