Friday, August 30, 2013

Organizing Electronics

Newsflash: 5000 spare wires are not needed per household. It looked like that was the case before I picked out the wires we didn't need and donated to Goodwill. Our Electronics box was overflowing and wires were falling out. Ended up narrowing it down to this: 





We used to have batteries in their original packets all thrown into this box until I got a battery organizer.


Also, any wires we did end up needing were tied together with this wire that ties bread packs. 


All in all, an important project that needed to be done...I feel like the box can finally breathe again!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Family Binder

Having a family binder with all of the important documents in one place is essential. My binder is still a work in progress, but since I have almost completed it I thought I'd share. 




The binder itself is from Target, and it is 1.5 inches wide. I bought it in plain black, and accessorized it with scrapbook paper and stickers from Michael's.


The Target Up & Up brand of binders have pockets on the inside. I decided to keep some stationery and a First Aid book for quick access in them. Thinking of adding a small post it notepad too. 




Passports are kept in this mesh zipper case made for binders. Here's an Amazon link to a different brand. They are meant for pencils and pens, but a family's passports can easily fit in.


Another zipper pouch was bought for things like passport sized photos of the family, memory card of old pictures, USB stick for important documents and cash. In emergency situations like natural disasters, credit cards will not come in use, so it's important to keep small bills for each family member.

The remainder of the binder has sensitive information, so I'll make a list of what else I have included in it. All of these documents are in clear pockets:

~Birth Certificates
~Vaccine Cards
~Social Security Number Photocopies
~Marriage Certificate
~Old passports
~University Degree and a list of courses taken with grades

I also have a notebook at the end of the binder for important notes: 



There are still a few important documents that I need to add in this. Some things that I can think of are photocopies of health insurance cards and auto insurance. I need to get a business card holder pocket and add the insurance cards, copies of drivers licenses, and clinic business cards. I also need to get a sheet of paper for the back of the binder for emergency contact numbers and addresses. This will also include close relatives. The 401(k) paperwork can be added in the binder as well.

I still have a way to go with this binder and am thinking of doing an update a couple of months down the line when I get more organized with other paperwork. Hope this helps some of you with those essential documents which seem to be everywhere around the house! :) Let me know if there are other things that you feel must be added to this binder!

Update: I've added a few more sheets to the binder. One tip I have is to add the Emergency Contacts sheet to the back of the binder for quick access.



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Monday, August 26, 2013

Quick Tip: Jewelry


If you have a drawer for jewelry but everything is getting tangled up inside, here's a tip I learned from Martha Stewart. Keep the jewelry in unused teacup saucers or small bowls. These pretty saucers were packed up in boxes due to lack of space in my cabinets. I had a spare drawer in my old apartment so set up this system. It was a lot of fun to open the drawer and choose the jewelry this way. Now, I have a new jewelry armoire where I keep all of my necklaces and earrings, but here's a picture of how it was all set up in my old apartment: 



Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Quick Tip: Snacks


To spend your time efficiently in the morning while making lunch for your family as they head out, try taking out all of the snacks from their boxes as soon as you unpack the groceries. Store them vertically in a large serving bowl so that all of the granola bars and crackers are visible. This speeds up the process of getting together the lunch as you just grab one and throw it in the lunch bag or box with the other items! 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Packing Carry-on for Baby


Traveling can be stressful as is. Add a baby into the mix and it can get even more hectic. Having an organized carry-on for the baby definitely makes it easier in some aspects during the time you're away from the comforts of your own home. 

I like to organize my 10 month old's clothes in gallon-sized zip-lock bags. They're affordable, reusable, and most importantly, clear. I keep his onesies in one, t-shirts in another, and the 3rd one holds his pants and socks.

All of the prints face the front so that I can quickly mix and match an outfit. We all know how valuable time is after having a baby!

  
Another useful item is this clear toiletries bag. This kit is great for things like

-Spoons
-Bibs
-Nail cutter
-Infant Tylenol
-Thermometer
-Saline Solution
-Bulb syringe
-Rash creams
-Gas drops
-Prescription medicines
-Lotion
-Shampoo, soaps

And basically every other small thing you will be needing for your trip. I took this case to a month long trip overseas and didn't need to purchase anything extra when I got there!


Here's a picture of what the baby's carry-on looks like when packed. For a short trip, diapers and wipes can be arranged in this manner for convenience. 
 

Hope your next trip with baby is stress-free and filled with memories to cherish! :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Closet Organization - Men


Organizing a man's closet is still a relatively new concept for me as I got married a few years ago. So I haven't really made any earth-shattering discoveries, but here's what I've got so far. This side of the closet is also color coordinated, but isn't noticeable since...it's pretty much all the same color! Got to work with what you have :)


In order to double the space, I purchased a double closet rod. I kept the shirts on the top and trousers on the bottom. There's no installation necessary for this!




To organize the ties, I got this tie spinner. It can hold up to 16 ties and looks very neat in the corner of the closet.




Belts can be hung on this hanger to save space and stay organized:




Baskets are of course necessary to avoid mayhem in the closet. I got two - one holds my husband's traditional hats and the other holds his socks.



Weird tip of the day: I found stacking new, unopened shirts in alternating directions helps prevent it from slipping and sliding onto the floor. It might look strange, but it sure is convenient!



Let me know if you have any ideas for mens closets...I'm still learning! :)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Closet Organization - Women

The closet is a space we use every single day so it's important to keep it organized. Here are some tips:

1) Use all the same hangers. Clothes can be hung in an orderly fashion but if there are hangers of various sizes, colors and materials in the closet, it's bound to look messy. 



Ideally I would have liked these black, velvet hangers as they are thin and cut the amount of space the clothes take into half. However, since I already had majority of the white, plastic hangers, I stuck with those. Plastic hangers are definitely less pricey and easier to find in stores. 


Image source

2) Color coordinate. Some might find this excessive, but let me share the benefits: 
    ~Convenient to find the clothes you're looking for
    ~Aesthetically pleasing
    ~More effective in figuring out what to wear 
    ~Easy to find out which colored clothes you have too many of so
      they can be given away or donated. 

   



3) Categorize types of clothes. Although it may not be clear in these pictures, the clothes have been categorized according to type. On the left side are my everyday clothes, and on the right side are the party wear clothes. Another way to do this is to categorize long-sleeved shirts, short-sleeved shirts, dresses, skirts and pants separately, and within those categories you color coordinate.

4) Scarf organization. Having a lot of scarves inside drawers is hardly ever a good idea since they are bound to get messy if used frequently. A simple solution is using an over the door hanger to hang your scarves so that they don't all get tangled with each other. Less ironing involved too! 

   

Another option is this hanger made specifically for scarves: 


I personally never liked this type because by the time you finish adding all of your scarves in, it looks bulky and unorganized. It works for other people that I know of though, so it's a personal preference! 


Those are all of the tips for organization in a woman's closet. Mens organization will be posted separately! :)


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Makeup Organization

Featured on Organize & Inspire

Makeup. We all have it, but sometimes it tends to get chaotic because of the different sizes and shapes of all the products. Keeping it in drawers can be messy too, especially if there are items like foundation which are supposed to be upright. Enter the Jetmax Desktop Carousel from Michael's. This product is meant for organizing crafts and stationery, but works great for makeup. Plus, you can easily find coupons for Michael's that gives you 50% off! (I'm starting to sound like an ad now)


 
I got mine in black. Doesn't get dirty as easily. The different compartments are great for sectioning different types of products and it also revolves.







You can even throw your hairbrush and combs in the center compartment




The 6 drawers on the bottom work really well for sample products that you get from stores like Sephora and Ulta


I feel like this is an organizational project that has worked nicely for me. Not only can I see everything that I have in front of me so as not to waste products by letting them expire inside drawers, it also allows me to know that I have enough products so I don't need to buy more :) This way, I can make sure I have just enough to fill in this organizer, and the only way I can buy more is after one of the products finishes. It really helps to control the clutter! 

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