It's that time of year (in the U.S. anyway) when people are focused on getting organized -- or rather wishing they were organized. Being organized is great, it affords physical space, mental space and all but insures higher efficiency. But wishing and doing are two entirely different things. Wondering how to achieve the bliss of knowing where your stuff is? It's easy... if you start small and don't waste your valuable time watching TV shows or reading magazine articles on "how to" do it.
TV and magazines are enjoyable, honest they are, but for practical purposes, they are downright useless (the same as home decorating/improvement shows and articles). All they are going to do is tell you to spend mondo dollars buying stuff. Anyone who can afford a custom walk-in closet or who happens to have a spare 20'x20' room devoted to gift-wrapping or scrapbooking is most likely going to be more organized than the under-employed 'starving artist' living in a one-bedroom flat, who has to hoard everything with a potential use, just in case they need it and don't have the cash to buy it on-demand. A few easy (and affordable) workarounds follow:
Hoard More Stuff! OK, not exactly. Put your usual supply hoarding on hold and collect some storage items instead. Boxes, boxes and more boxes! Try to find boxes that have lift off lids. They are incredibly convenient and you can often get them for free. Go to your local printers or office supply shop, tell them you're looking for some free boxes with lids, and ask if they have any empty boxes that you could have. If not, ask when would be a good time to stop back. This usually works better with mom & pop type shops, but the larger chain stores generally have more surplus stuff lying around. Ask and you may receive. If not, lower your ideals and head to a liquor store. Not to drink away your troubles - to get less convenient but still fabulous boxes! Look for sturdy boxes and when in doubt, reinforce the seams with strong tape.
Recycle Your Own Stuff! It doesn't matter if you can find your stuff if it's all dirty, wrinkled and generally yucky. Cereal boxes are great for keeping things like paper, socks and bills in an orderly fashion and jars and cans are excellent for pens/pencils, chopsticks and kitchen utensils. Think outside the box and into the cylinder! (Make sure there are no chips or sharp edges, people!) Check out this charming lil' can at Jorunn's Scrappy Place. --------------------->
BONUS TIP - Yay! Always empty, wash and thoroughly dry whatever re-purposed vessel you're using. Yes, it may seem obvious to some of you -- if it does, you can feel special and clever and ignore this handy-dandy tip.
Get more tips in Organize Yo'sef! Part Two!
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