I worked with a client the other day who gave me some insight. She has MS and has trouble getting around. She also has oodles of Christmas decorations. I looked around at all her beautiful displays and asked if she had decorated herself (because I had a hard time picturing this much of a creativity side of her husband…no offense. LOL) She said, “No…I just direct.” I thought how frustrating that must be. To have the desire to do so many things in life and have a disability or disease that doesn’t let your body do what your mind wants to.
Then she shared with me something I have seen before, but never thought to be used in this way. She took a picture of her decorations up and displayed the way she likes them (last year or the year before I think) and posted that picture on the bin with those supplies in it. Brilliant!
Each person helping her just brings that bin up and knows exactly where and how to put the decorations.
So simple but most of us would never have thought to do so.
This is a fantastic idea for any of us to use. In the spirit of Christmas or other holiday, if you know someone who has troubles getting around themselves, help them do it this year! Take a picture close up and one a little further back (to see exactly the location) of their decorations. Help them to load just that set up or two in a bin and post the picture on the outside.
Love it! Thanks Becky!
Organizing Your Kids Closet
Closets…you either love the closets in your house, or you hate them. I would have to guess that the majority of people are not happy with their closets. The biggest complaint I get is that they are too small.
It would be ideal for each of us to have someone come in and install a complete closet system wouldn’t it? But that isn’t realistic.
So we have to make due with what we have and be able to expand on it to make it more usable.
You can buy a hanger extension for as little as $9.99. It just hooks onto the bar above and gives you a 2nd hanging bar. This works great for kids. They all of a sudden can reach their hangers!! They can get their own clothes and hang up their own clothes. Not only does it help you, but it gives them a feeling of accomplishment.
Putting in an extra shelf or two in a closet isn’t hard. Most homes today have the wire shelves built in. But there is a lot of wasted space above them. You can fit another shelf above in most cases.
Using the backs of doors can be a great alternative to finding extra space in a room. These over the door shoe hangers can be used obviously for shoes. But you can also use them for toys, combs, brushes, small stuffed animals, barbies, suntan lotion, sunglasses, winter gloves…and the list goes on.
Here is another option for the back of a bedroom door or inside a swinging closet door. It has little pockets for the kids items, blackboard and bulletin board. I found this one at JoAnn’s. But I have seen them also at Walmart. They run about $15.
You can also hang magnetic boards, or just hooks for clothes to go on. The list is long, it just takes a little imagination. But don’t waste that space behind or inside of a door.
Under the bed storage is a great option. Usually the only thing you find under their beds is clothes and toys that have made it there in a “clean up” attempt. You can store out of season clothes in them. Don’t rule out this option if you have very limited space and more than one child in a room. If they don’t have much closet or dresser space…use it for their daily clothes if needed. But be sure to get something that is easy to pull out and easy to open up. Or don’t even put a lid on it if they are using it daily.
Keep things bright and colorful if you can. Baskets make a great addition for organizing socks, underwear, toys etc. This basket I put up on her shelf to put clothes in that she has outgrown. When you or your children come across something that doesn’t fit, instead of shoving it back in the drawer..take it out and put it in the basket (or a hanging laundry bag or garage bag works too) to get it out of your drawer.
Use your floor space as best as possible. Otherwise it just gets filled with shoes, clothes and toys that hit the floor.
If you have room for a drawer unit like this, it is inexpensive and can house toys, workbooks, paper etc.. or can be used for socks and underwear if a dresser is limited.
The white shelves also can be used as such for shoes, but these are also a great space for baskets for any number of items.
Be creative and try and use all the space available.
The new year is underway and many of us are in our “I am going to get this house under control” mode. Going through our houses (or even one room that needs done) will end up with items that we do not want to donate or throw away. There might be clothes that the younger child can wear next year, or the cheer leading outfit that will still fit next year but it doesn’t need to take up space in the closet until next fall. What ever it is, it needs some form of storage.
I believe very strongly in clear storage bins if at all possible. Can you tell me which bin the box of Ritz crackers is in? Yep…it was in both, but you didn’t know it on the green ones did you? Point made. I love the colored CLEAR bins especially for holiday storage. The colors stands out immediately when you look at your shelf, but you can still can get a general idea of what is inside.
The other very important thing you need to do which takes a few extra minutes initially but will save you time in the future is to label all your bins with what is inside. You don’t need necessary need to put down every little thing but get the big things and a general idea so that a year from now you can take a quick glance at the bin at the label to know what is in it. You can use sticky address labels. You do not have to have anything fancy. Then if you change what goes in that bin next season it is easy to peel off or just use another one on top of it.
Now that you have your bins full, you need to put them somewhere. The basement, garage or attic work great. There are many different styles and prices of shelves you can buy. I prefer the heavy duty plastic shelves. They have pieces that fit together easily without screws or nails. Be careful to purchase good ones though. If you buy plastic that is too cheap, it will not hold the bins well and may break. I do not care for the metal ones that may be cheaper for several reasons. They are a pain to put together, they tend to rust, they aren’t very sturdy and the shelves dent. (Now there are metal ones with boards for support that are usually over $100 per shelf. That is not what I am talking about here…those are commercial grade and are very nice)
Decide how many shelves you have space for. You will need to measure your space. – width and height. (There may be pipes in basement or low ceiling that you need to account for). Next measure the bins you have. You need to make sure that you have shelves that are tall enough in between shelves for your bins. You also want to be able to get at least 2 bins across on a shelf. So measure the distance with the lids on the bins of 2 across to make sure your shelf will be wide enough.
If you have the shelves first…then measure those before going to buy your bins and buy your bins according to your available space.
MEASURING your shelves and bins and space is an important factor here. If you just go on “I thinks” then you will end up with shelves that don’t fit the space, bins that don’t fit the shelves and over all wasted space and wasted money.
Plan ahead and get the most out of your space and money for your storage. You will be glad you did.