It’s that time of year again. That time when you can open a door or a window to get some fresh air without getting hypothermia. That means you can also clear your living area of the things stored from not wanting to freeze to death on the way to the trash can.
For the sake of your sanity, don’t try to do your spring cleaning and organization all in one day. It doesn’t matter if you have kids or not. It doesn’t matter if you live in a house or an apartment. Chances are that you have collected enough clutter over the course of the year to justify breaking your spring projects down to a day to day affair. One day is the kitchen. The next is closets. To be honest, I have one day dedicated to junk drawers. If there is a drawer (kitchen, bathroom, or desk) it has become a catch all. I need all day to discover what I have hidden in there.
Make a list of organizational tools you will need to pick up as you go from room to room. You may need hangers or hanging door hooks for the closet. You may need a few more laundry baskets. Then go to the store and get only what is on the list. Remember as cute as it looks you didn’t put the bamboo shoe organizer on the list. Walk away from temptation.
Throw Away Comes Last
Ever been cleaning and find the second half of something that you threw away an hour ago or yesterday? It was something you could have used. It’s something you are now going to need to replace. It’s something you are going to be frustrated about all day. For the sake of your wallet and state of mind, don’t get rid of anything until the very end of cleaning and organization. This may mean that one room (most likely your bedroom) will become a catch all for a few days, but it will only be a few days and can save you money.
How do you tackle your spring cleaning?
So you’ve just returned from a major shopping haul and your car in loaded down with 20 containers of Tide, 120 rolls of toilet paper, 16 scented candles, 50 boxes of cereal and about a dozen bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Your house is on STOCKPILE OVERLOAD!!! What are you going to do with all of your new deals. A lot of people may think you are crazy and have no place to store all of the new goodies, but we have some creative ideas for you to hide your stockpile. These tips are mostly for those living in tighter quarters.
1. Use the under portion of your bed as storage.
There is usually NOTHING under a bed that is of use. If you get those thin tupperwear storage containers that fit under the bed, these make great storage boxes. These boxes are great for toilet, paper, cleaning supplies, or anything else you can stuff in a box.
2. Out in the garage.
This is a great place, but you have to be aware that some food and other products are sensitive to temperature changes. You will need to check before you store.
3. Crawlspaces are wonderful! The crawlspace in our house is ginormous. It’s almost the size of a basement, but it’s not. And it has shelves down in it. So we can just pack it down and get it out when we need to.
4. Kids closets. Let’s face it, kids clothes are small and they aren’t going to care if you have toilet cleaner in their closet or under their bed. Kids in general just don’t take a lot of space. So use the space that they don’t.
5. Use your closet.
Most closets have space up top that rarely gets use. So, use it for storage. Rolls of toilet paper are perfect for this area and still keeps things looking nice and clean.
How to you utilize your space? How do you store your stockpile?
It’s a new year and I am all about getting organized. I love the idea of labeling everything and with this awesome deal, someone else is doing the work for me! You can buy these HERE, but you may have to sign up for these GroopDealz first.
“Start as you mean to go.” –Old British Expression
Happy New Year! Here at Thrifty Divas we aim to start the year saving money as we mean to continue saving money throughout the year. And, one way we are doing that is by joining the “Boost Your Budget Pantry Challenge” this month. The challenge is to boost your budget by eating what is sitting in the pantry, freezer, stockpile, etc. I’m a big believer in the concept of saving money by using what we already have. So, this is right up my alley, but a challenge nevertheless!
I’ll be posting every Monday in the month of January with goals, updates and results of the challenge. And, I encourage you to take the challenge with me! Can you think of a better way to save money on groceries? It’s a fantastic way to a money-saving 2012.
This week, we are looking at our goals. So, here’s what I plan to do:
1. Create meal plans based on what I have in my pantry and freezer
2. Avoid purchasing anything that can be substituted for something I would have or put in the pantry or freezer.
3. I will, however, purchase produce (fruit and vegetables) as well as eggs, milk and bread.
4. I will also not resist any good deals. So, if the organic beef or chicken we buy is deeply discounted to 50%, as it sometimes is, I will not forgo the deal.
You know that besides saving money, getting that pantry better organized will be a nice side effect! 😉 (You know what I mean, don’t you!) I invite you to take the challenge with me. If you post a comment over at Shopper Strategy, you will be entered for the giveaway of a $25 Coupon Clutch gift certificate each week.
Happy planning. Happy saving. Happy New Year!
As you begin to think about taking down all the decorations, it’s a good time to give yourself an organizational head start for next year. Here are just a few tips to keep in mind as you say good bye to the holidays and hello to 2012.
1. Donations. As you begin to pack up your decorations, it’s inevitable for you to ‘run into’ those things in your attic, your garage or any other storage spot in your house that you haven’t used in a long time. It has been said that if you haven’t used something (aside from seasonal items) in six months, you probably won’t use it again. But, if you want to give yourself an even more conservative timeline, you can ask yourself if you have used your “stored” items in the last year. If not, then get rid of them. And, if they are in decent condition, then you may want to consider making a donation to a non-profit organization with a 501c3 status so that you can get a tax write off for 2011.
2. Make Lists. If you haven’t already taken advantage of Christmas clearance sales, take note of what’s missing, broken or just something you wish you had this year and see if you can get it now while all the decor is discounted. If you’re not in hurry, then the list will help you for next year’s clearance sales. Put the list IN THE BOX with all the Christmas decorations so that all things Christmas stay together.
3. Trash. The trash can is your friend, really. As you go through your “storage,” if there are things that don’t work or that you planned on fixing four years ago and just haven’t gotten around to it, dump it! No need to collect dust and take up space you could use for more valuable items.
I like going into the new year a little more organized and these are just a few easy ways to do it. What do you like to do to get organized for the new year?
Are your coupons an amazing mess?
You are not alone.
A lot of new couponers find themselves very overwhelmed when they try to be like the veterans. Then they find themselves knee deep in 10 Sunday papers and all their inserts sitting in their living room screaming to be organized.
I call this coupon overload.
It has happened to us all.
Here are a few tips to help you get your pile organized.
The first step is to get all those coupons clipped. People do this in a variety of ways. Personally, I think it’s easiest to lay all of the same pages together and cut them at the same time. Make sure you don’t do too many or you will mess up cutting some.
One they are cut, now we have to get them organized.
Most people use one of three systems.
1. A wallet type folder with little pockets and that generally has categories.
I usually tell people to start with this that are just getting into couponing. It’s quick once those coupons are cut and mostly when I started would just put them in general categories like food, toiletries, clothes etc.
2. Another type of organizing tool is the large accordion box.
When I was using this system, I would clip my coupons and put them into baggies according to the kind and date. For example, if it were Red Plum, I would write RP 10/2 on the baggie. Then I would put them into my labeled folder in the box. I liked this method because so many websites when showing you match ups tell you where the coupon was and the date it was in there. This is not a good way to organize if you like to go to the store and find deals on your own though.
3. And finally, you’ve probably seen people in the store with huge binders and wondered what they were doing.
I call this extreme organization and it’s awesome! People will simply cut all of their coupons out and organized them in their baseball card binders. Most use these type because they can see what the coupons are as they flip through it. People will also organize a few different ways. Some will do it by category, but a lot of women that I have spoken to will do it by isles in their local stores. I think it’s important to find what works for you.
How do you organize your coupons? Are they out of control?