I purchased a see through hard plastic envelope with the zip slide closure at the office supply store. It measures 10.5 inches x 6.5 inches. I place the seasonal pictured labels paper-clipped together in the front and all the others in the back. I then place sheets of postage stamps right in the very front so the supply can be quickly viewed and I can tell when I am running low on postage. This handy packet stores in a shallow desk drawer and stays neat and orderly.
By Connie from Houston, TX
My desk is against one wall. I have a computer and printer on it. I have velcro strips holding all the cords together with the name of each cord written on it with black felt marker.
I had a shadow box shelf hung at eye level when sitting at the desk. On this I put the stick tape dispenser, a small letter stand for stamps and business cards, and the small needy paper information that all desks get cluttered with. If this little shelf has the space, I put a pen holder also.
To keep the papers in place, I put dividers in a magazine holder. I put the plain, lined and grafting in there spot so I have them all in one place.
I like magnets for a few things we always lose; like scissors and paper clips. The strips of magnet sold today can be mounted in so many different fashions. It is fun. I have a picture frame made from magnet strips.
The area at the bottom of the desk that is empty, because it is so low. I store extra paper there, that is too much for the magazine holder.
I hope some of these ideas help someone :)
By Carolyn from Chilliwack, BC
By Trish from Memphis TN
To remember items I need when I go to town, I keep a running list clipped to the front of the refrigerator.
By Betty from NC
There's really no better way to organize rubber bands than to make a fun rubber band ball. They're easy to make, and your children will have fun making and playing with the balls.
Start with a small bouncy ball the size of a gumball, a marble, a wadded piece of aluminum foil, or a knot made out of broken rubber bands. Then, separate your bands by size. Wrap the smallest band around the ball, twisting and doubling it if necessary. Wrap the bands opposite one another; one around the diameter and then another around the diameter that intersects it at 180 degrees. The third band should sit to the side of the first, and the fourth should sit to the side of the second.
It doesn't have to be that organized, but the bands should be randomly wrapped around the ball to give it balance and strength. Make sure they each hug the ball tightly. Finally, continue the wrapping until all of your rubber bands are organized into one large ball.
If your paper clips are left in a pile or in a messy knot in the magnetic container that they came in, try to create a more decorative craft from them. The colored clips make interesting paper clip chains. Your children can attach the clips one end to another by linking them end to end. This long chain can decorate your office until you need a clip; hang it from a nail, or drape it over a lampshade or picture frame. Making several five foot strands, you could hang them from your doorway to create a retro door curtain or use them as wall art to disguise cracked plaster.
To keep your bills and other papers organized in a fun fashion, have your children create large paper clamps. First, wash and dry bottle caps. Next, have your children paint the caps and let them dry. Then, cut out small pictures from magazines that will fit inside the bottle caps, or have the children draw small pictures. Stickers are often the perfect size, and anything from wrapping paper to photos will make interesting sets of clips. Glue the pictures to the inside of the painted caps. Using a strong glue, glue the caps to the top of a spring-loaded clothespin. The clothespin works as a paper clamp with style.
Try creating sets of these clips that can be given as gifts; they can feature pictures of your family or initials. Wooden clothespins can be painted or decorated with markers. For presentation of your gift, cut out a rectangular piece of cardboard and clip the clothespins around the edge. On the cardboard write "Happy Birthday" or "to:/from:".
Magazines, folders, or other paper organizers can be made from cereal boxes. Cut the larger two sides of the box at an angle from two inches above the bottom to the opposite top corner of the box. Then either paint the box with tempera paint, cover it with colored paper or children's drawings, or create a photo collage. Fabric coverings add some upscale appeal to your desk, but it requires hot glue or spray adhesive and children should be supervised. The storage boxes can stand upward or lay flat.
If we take stock of what we have, we spend less on what we really don't need. It's the principle of "use it or lose it." Organizing and putting your things to good use allows you to actually use them to make the best use of your money.
Take stock of what you have. Organize your items in storage boxes and label the contents on each box. Cards should be organized by type, season, or holiday. Paper craft supplies should be kept together and separate from other craft supplies. Creating a tote that holds leftover supplies that can be used for kids' crafts isn't a bad idea, either. Hardware should be separated in compartmentalized storage boxes, and freezer contents should be listed on a sheet of paper. Likewise, read your manuals for electronic products and know their capabilities so that you don't purchase more items than needed.
Using some items for projects other than the ones they were intended for might be painful initially, but they're actually costing you money if you don't. Expensive leftover scrapbooking supplies seem inappropriate for decorating a child's Valentine box, but the alternative is leaving them to sit on the shelf while purchasing new supplies. Rather than horde them, use them.
If your home is feeling crowded and unorganized, using rather than saving will help alleviate that problem. By putting everything to good use, you'll have less clutter and more responsible use of your money.
By Kelly Ann Butterbaugh