Organization http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1605/all en-US 8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-clothes-rack-Dollarphotoclub_75282538.jpg" alt="woman clothes rack" title="woman clothes rack" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Stop making excuses and clean up the clutter in your home! It'll make you feel better and make your living space look better as well! Ask yourself these questions and get rid of your items based on your answers. And when we say dispose of your clutter, we mean either <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Where-Sell-Used-Goods-28874509">sell it</a>, donate it, recycle it, give it away to friends and family, or throw it away.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/List-Things-Dispose-24575006">One a Day: Throw These 116 Things Away</a></p> <h2>1. Have I used this in the last year?</h2> <p>If your answer is no, it's time to toss.</p> <h2>2. If I were shopping right now, would I buy this?</h2> <p>If the current you wouldn't buy this item now, why would you even keep it?</p> <h2>3. Is the only thing that's keeping me from disposing this item that I don't want to waste money?</h2> <p>Think of it this way: You wasted money when you bought an item you don't use.</p> <h2>4. Am I holding on to this for sentimental value?</h2> <p>Be strict and keep only a few of those sentimental items in a small memorabilia box. Then take a photo of items you are throwing away so you can keep them forever.</p> <h2>5. Do I have a similar item that serves the same purpose?</h2> <p>If yes, then get rid of one of them.</p> <h2>6. Do I have a realistic plan to use this?</h2> <p>Remember, don't lie to yourself about how perfect an item would be for <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/Halloween">Halloween</a>. Make sure you have a concrete plan to use the item, and if you don't use it within the time frame you set for yourself to use it, then toss it.</p> <h2>7. Does it fit me or my living space?</h2> <p>You may love it, but do you have space for the item or does it even suit you now? Think hard on what to keep &mdash; your space is sacred.</p> <h2>8. Am I holding on to the broken item to fix in the future?</h2> <p>Fix it now, or if you don't get around to fixing in the next two weeks, then toss it.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> So much clutter is stuff that seems important, but really isn&#039;t. Give your things this quiz, and if they don&#039;t pass, it&#039;s time to let them go. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img style="height:95px; width:300px" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Live-Frugally-24174070#photo-24174070">66 Tried-and-Tested Tips for a Frugal Life</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/fashion/Simple-Closet-Organizing-Tips-36488783#photo-36488783">11 Easy Organization Hacks for the Lazy Fashion Girl</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/moms/Ways-Simplify-Family-Life-36292022#photo-36292022">8 Ways to Simplify Your Family's Routine in 2015</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-words-you-need-to-declutter-your-life">The Only 5 Words You Need to Declutter Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home">10 Super-Cool Ways to Add Hidden Storage to Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">A Denim Expert Reveals Why You Only Need 3 Pairs of Jeans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-in-your-office-you-can-throw-out-today">12 Things in Your Office You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips Organization clutter declutter organization storage Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:00:14 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1281603 at http://www.wisebread.com A Denim Expert Reveals Why You Only Need 3 Pairs of Jeans http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/jeans-store-Dollarphotoclub_74108631.jpg" alt="jeans store" title="jeans store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I paid for part of my college education and for the down payment on my house with the money I made buying and selling jeans. In my lifetime, I have bought and sold, conservatively, 11,000 pairs of Levis.</p> <p>When people discover my side business as a denim trader, the first question they always ask is, &quot;How many pairs of jeans do you own?&quot; They are always shocked by my answer.</p> <p>I own three pairs of jeans.</p> <p>A poll by ShopSmart, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, revealed that 25% of <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/jeaneology-shopsmart-poll-finds-women-own-7-pairs-of-jeans-only-wear-4-98274009.html">American women own 10 or more pairs of jeans</a>. The average American woman owns seven pairs of jeans. However, most women only <em>wear</em> four pairs out of their jeans collection on a regular basis. So, even if I weren't an expert on vintage denim, I'd still be considered an outlier, a jeans minimalist.</p> <p>If you are a coal miner, then yes, you possibly need more than three pairs of jeans, depending on your laundry schedule. But for most office workers, three pairs of jeans are all that is really needed to look tidy and well dressed.</p> <p>The three pairs of jeans that I own are: the pair I bought this year, the pair I bought last year, and the pair I bought the year before last year. Here are: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/myromanapartment/16189910321/">My Actual Jeans</a>. (Not a Denim Re-enactment!)</p> <p>Let's learn a little more about each pair.</p> <h2>This Year's Jeans</h2> <p>The jeans I bought this year are my dressy jeans. I wear This Year's Jeans to business meetings in creative environments where the dress code is suitably casual. These are also the jeans I wear to dinner or to nighttime events, paired with a nice blouse and dress shoes. These jeans are not play clothes. Just like my suit, these jeans are part of my work wardrobe, so I do everything I can to preserve the pristine quality of these jeans for as long as possible.</p> <p>After a year of office and dinner wear and tear, This Year's Jeans are usually too worn to wear to business meetings, even on Casual Fridays. At this point, This Year's Jeans become Last Year's Jeans.</p> <h2>Last Year's Jeans</h2> <p>Last Year's Jeans are my play clothes. They are the jeans I change into when I come home from work and change out of my dressy jeans. Last Year's Jeans are the pants I wear to school, to brunch with friends, and to run errands.</p> <p>After another year of wearing, Last Year's Jeans become The Year Before Last Year's Jeans.</p> <h2>The Year Before Last Year's Jeans</h2> <p>The Year Before Last Year's Jeans are my grubby jeans. These are the jeans I wear while beekeeping, painting, or cleaning the house. While the fading, tool marks, and repairs on these jeans might make them more charming to fashionistas, I generally don't wear these jeans out of the house. Why? Because even if they are my gardening pants, I need these jeans to hold on for another full year of wear before they are sold to a denim collector on eBay or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-new-things-you-can-make-with-old-denim-jeans">repurposed as a craft supply</a>.</p> <p>By rotating my jeans on this three-year schedule, I ensure that I always have a pair of jeans that are Like New looking for work, but at the same time have a rugged pair of pants that I can hike in. This jeans-buying schedule also means that I can reduce my wardrobe budget, as I only have to purchase one new pair of jeans per year. Additionally, I only have to have enough room in my closet for three pairs of jeans.</p> <h2>How to Buy a Pair of Jeans</h2> <p>Now, the reason that most women own so many pairs of rarely worn jeans is that it's much harder to find <a href="http://www.graspingforobjectivity.com/2009/03/mom-jeans-and-dreaded-long-butt.html">flattering pants</a> than to buy a flattering skirt. Holding out for perfect fitting jeans does not make you shallow. Even the most anti-fashion guy will spend hours looking for that pair of jeans that make him look thinner and taller. Once you find a pair of jeans that fit, stick with that style. No one will notice if you aren't wearing up-to-date jeans or luxury denim if <a href="http://www.graspingforobjectivity.com/2012/10/plus-sized-denim.html">your butt looks amazing</a>. If you notice, all three pairs of my jeans are the exact same size and style. By keeping my jeans' style consistent, I save time and money, because I don't have to go on a denim safari every year. Instead, I can buy my jeans online when they go on sale.</p> <p><em>Are you a wardrobe minimalist or maximalist? How many jeans do you own and how many pairs do you actually wear? What's your best wardrobe hack?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans" class="sharethis-link" title="A Denim Expert Reveals Why You Only Need 3 Pairs of Jeans" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-tricks-that-make-you-look-skinnier-without-being-skinner">12 Tricks That Make You Look Skinnier (Without Being Skinnier)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clean-jeans-right-without-going-to-the-dry-cleaner">Clean Jeans Right Without Going to the Dry Cleaner</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-little-things-you-can-fix-right-now">101 Little Things You Can Fix Right Now!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips Organization Style denim fashion jeans organization Thu, 22 Jan 2015 12:00:06 +0000 Max Wong 1282527 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Things in Your Office You Can Throw Out Today http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-in-your-office-you-can-throw-out-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-things-in-your-office-you-can-throw-out-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-messy-office-Dollarphotoclub_72213856.jpg" alt="man messy office" title="man messy office" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're like most people, your office is your second home. You probably spend way too much time there and, because of that, have way too much stuff there. If the new year has you inspired to make a fresh start, maybe the best place to begin is your office. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today?ref=seealso">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <p>So grab a box (you know, the big empty ones near the copier) and start purging. Here are 12 things in your office that you can throw out today.</p> <h2>1. Old Resumes</h2> <p>If you have a hand in the hiring process where you work, then you know the steep ratio between qualified candidates and open positions. If your stack of resumes is 6-12 months old, toss them. Most applicants' availability, career goals, and contact information have likely changed.</p> <h2>2. Outdated Electronics</h2> <p>Unless your business is selling antiques, it's okay to toss that dot matrix printer. And while you're at it, explore other ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-your-old-electronics">get rid of old electronics</a>. Once that 12 pound laptop and broken fax machine are gone, potential new clients will be far less likely to think your 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass has a bag phone in it.</p> <h2>3. Dead Plants</h2> <p>What special kind of voodoo makes even the most robust plant wither within weeks of becoming part of our office décor? Do the fluorescent lights sap the life out of them? Are they allergic to business jargon? Do they revolt at the smell of burnt popcorn? Whatever the reason, if you can't revive them, toss them.</p> <h2>4. Fake Plants</h2> <p>The only thing worse than a dead plant, is a fake one that can't die. These faded dust-collectors add nothing to most office environments. Switch to the real, but <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-hardest-to-kill-houseplants">hard-to-kill variety</a> or just embrace the dark power of your black thumb and go plant-less.</p> <h2>5. Gifts You Never Took Home</h2> <p>Rare is the employer that doesn't participate in some sort of white elephant or gag gift event during the holidays. While the parties can be a welcome diversion, after a few years, the gifts can leave our offices looking like a thrift store. Do a deep declutter one Friday afternoon and donate what you can to an actual thrift store.</p> <h2>6. Random Mugs</h2> <p>First, pat yourself on the back for using real mugs instead of disposable Styrofoam or paper. Then, take a critical look at just how many mismatched mugs you've collected. More than five? Ten? Donate the excess or pass them on to a co-worker who's still single-handedly keeping the polystyrene industry afloat.</p> <h2>7. Jackets, Sweaters, and Gym Clothes</h2> <p>The temperature in most offices varies wildly, prompting many to amass a small collection of light jackets and sweaters on the backs of their chairs. Take a few moments to scale back your growing second wardrobe. Oh, and while you're at it, clear out that small pile of gym clothes under your desk.</p> <h2>8. Tchotchkes</h2> <p>In our home offices and at work, tchotchkes multiply like dust bunnies and empty Starbucks' cups. While a few might be endearing, having too many tchotchkes implies that you need a desk full of totems to get through the day. Donate or take the excess home.</p> <h2>9. Boxes and Packing Material</h2> <p>It's hard to avoid the slow accumulation of boxes, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts in any office. If your business doesn't involve frequent shipping, <a href="https://www.freecycle.org/">freecycle</a> these items (someone's always moving) or take them home to use for holiday gift-shipping.</p> <h2>10. Out-of-Date Magazines</h2> <p>The price of magazines makes them difficult to toss even after they've been read from cover to cover. Consider donating them to a hospital's waiting room, a retirement home, or a school.</p> <h2>11. Old Receipts and Bills</h2> <p>Once your expense reports have cleared, why keep old receipts? And how long are you planning to hold on to that cell phone bill from last April? While it's always a good idea to leave a thorough paper trail for tax purposes, it's also entirely possible to get a call from Hoarders as an industrial-sized dumpster gets dropped on your front lawn.</p> <h2>12. Old Marketing Materials</h2> <p>The sheer volume of business brochures, leave-behinds from conferences, catalogs, and random business cards that the average professional accumulates in a year's time makes me think printing is where the real money is. Take a moment before you leave for the weekend (you do leave for the weekend, don't you?) to go through the stacks. Keep what you need and feed the rest to the recycling bin.</p> <p>Okay, maybe you can't purge all 12 categories of items in a single day. Conveniently, there are twelve months in the year if you decide to take the scenic route on your decluttering journey. Whatever way you do it, you'll be glad you did. And with a clutter-free workspace, you just may be inspired to redecorate and find inexpensive ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-office-look-awesome">make your office look awesome</a>. Remember, clearing out your office can help clear your mind, inspire new levels of productivity, and make Monday mornings feel slightly less daunting.</p> <p><em>Is your office filled with items that get in the way of your productivity? What's the strangest item you've seen in someone else's office?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-in-your-office-you-can-throw-out-today" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Things in Your Office You Can Throw Out Today" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-in-your-office-you-can-throw-out-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-words-you-need-to-declutter-your-life">The Only 5 Words You Need to Declutter Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-wont-ever-use-again-and-should-throw-out-today">12 Things You Won&#039;t Ever Use Again and Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Career and Income Organization clutter declutter Office productivity Wed, 14 Jan 2015 12:00:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1278979 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Reasons January Is the Right Time to Start Planning for Christmas http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-january-is-the-right-time-to-start-planning-for-christmas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-reasons-january-is-the-right-time-to-start-planning-for-christmas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-thinking-christmas-Dollarphotoclub_57994542.jpg" alt="woman thinking christmas" title="woman thinking christmas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>To ensure that I always spend the last month of the year relaxing, I start prepping for the holidays in January.</p> <p>I know this sounds crazy, but hear me out.</p> <p>December has always been the big travel month for me. When I was a single lady, celebrating New Year's Eve overseas was my yearly tradition. As a married lady, my husband and I still try and reserve the month of December for vacations. What this means is that I have no time in December to waste on holiday prep.</p> <p>Here's how I get it all done earlier in the year.</p> <h2>1. It's All on Display So I Might as Well Look It Over Now</h2> <p>January is the perfect time to purge unloved decorations. Instead of mindlessly packing away all the Christmas lights, decorations, and ornaments in a post-holiday stupor, I take the time now to sort through my Christmas supplies. Before I stuff things back into the garage, I ask myself if I really love and use everything that I am storing for the next 11 months. For example, my husband brought beautiful mantel hooks into our marriage. I loved them, but our current house doesn't have a fireplace, so I sold them to a neighbor. No mantel also means we have no place to hang Christmas stockings either. Out they went. Also, why spend the time hanging and removing Christmas lights every year when we can use the white twinkle lights year round to light our garden? My husband loves decorating the house for Christmas, but we've gone from four bins down to one bin of holiday supplies that we have to store every year.</p> <h2>2. January Is the Perfect Time to Declutter the House</h2> <p>Why is my New Year's Resolution always &quot;Get Organized?&quot; Because I live in a tiny house with two tiny closets, it's always a challenge to find space to store anything in Dinky Manor. I use my holiday gifts as a way to jumpstart my organizing goals for the year. Since I literally have to get rid of things to make space for new gifts, January is always about assessing what material goods actually bring joy to my life right now as opposed to more dusting.</p> <p>On a side note, since books are my storage Waterloo, every year on New Year's Day I host a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-potluck-parties-that-help-you-share-the-wealth">book swap party</a> for all my favorite bookworms. Everyone brings the books that have been cluttering their shelves and dumps them on the communal table. Party guests take home whatever books they want for free. All the leftover books are donated to the Public Library Book Drive. I try to start every year with one empty shelf so I have space for new ideas.</p> <h2>3. After Christmas Sales Are the Work of the Clutter Devil</h2> <p>Many money advisers talk up buying Christmas supplies for next Christmas during January's post-Christmas sales as a way to save on the holiday budget. While January is definitely the time to stock up on cheap replacement twinkle lights, I make every effort to resist buying holiday specific décor, wrapping paper, or stationery, regardless of how deeply discounted the sale prices, because then I have to find a place to store it all year.</p> <p>More importantly, shiny wrapping paper isn't recyclable. It becomes garbage very quickly. Instead of buying wrapping paper, I try to find <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reusable-gift-wrapping-the-wrap-that-keeps-on-giving">greener alternatives</a>. And, nothing is cheaper than something I already own.</p> <p>For the record I will state that there is no shame is ironing the wrinkles out of used tissue paper.</p> <p>I'm also a fan of wrapping luxury gifts like jewelry and cashmere sweaters in cereal boxes or tea tins for an extra layer of surprise. This year I used pages from the Arabic edition of the Financial Times, National Geographic maps, and old color copies of film location photos to wrap gifts.</p> <h2>4. Transform This Year's Cards Into Next Year's New Holiday Ephemera</h2> <p>I know. Even by my own standards Christmas cards are a waste of trees and money. But <a href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/stationery-addiction-support-group-52-weeks-52-letters-challenge/">I love stationery</a>. Also, I can't decorate my home with holiday emails.</p> <p>Since I'm <strike>a masochist</strike> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">crafty</a>, I use old Christmas cards to create new cards with careful cutting and pasting. This year I went crazy with the glitter and the wavy scissors and turned some vintage Christmas cards into large gift tags that double as ornaments. (I got huge compliments on these.) Old cards and advent calendars can also be folded into gift boxes or holiday envelopes for wrapping small things.</p> <p>Instead of buying separate thank you cards, I cut the fronts off old Christmas cards and use them as holiday thank you postcards. (This requires some organization to avoid &quot;regifting&quot; cards to their original senders!)</p> <p>Used cards that don't make the literal cut for future Christmas crafts are donated to St. Jude's <a href="https://stjudesranch.org/about-us/recycled-card-program/">Recycled Card Program</a>.</p> <h2>5. It Is Never too Early to Start Making Peace Keeping Gifts</h2> <p>I married into a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gift-giving-hacks-that-will-save-your-money-and-your-sanity">ginormous Catholic family</a> who take Christmas very seriously. Early on I figured out that I can avoid uncomfortable conversations with my in-laws by wowing them with homemade gifts. Instead of listening to them talk about politics and death, our small talk is all about my latest relish recipe or how the shawl I made was the perfect Alaskan cruise accessory. For many people, knitting is seasonal because who wants to hold a furry, wool blanket on her lap when it's 100 degrees outside? Unfortunately, last-minute holiday knitting comes at a price for me: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I now practice preemptive needlework and complete one gift project a month, even in the dead heat of summer, instead of ruining my wrists by cramming it in when the temperatures dips in the fall.</p> <p>I also rely on easy, handmade, non-knitted gifts that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-to-make-deluxe-gifts-for-under-15">cost next to nothing</a> if planned in advance.</p> <h2>6. Saving Money for Holiday Travel Is a Year Long Endeavor</h2> <p>Last year, my husband and I went on a super-tight budget with the goal of paying down the mortgage on my rental property <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-most-valuable-thing-debt-takes-from-you-isnt-money-its-this">ten years early</a>. Although our Easter Island travel plans have been shelved for the foreseeable future due to this goal, we're still planning to fly cross-country to spend Christmas this year with friends and family on the East Coast. We will not be able to afford this trip unless we start budgeting for it <em>now</em>, as we've agreed that we won't take this trip unless we can pay for it without resorting to credit.</p> <p><em>Do you long for a stress-free holiday or do you love the Christmas frenzy? Make your argument in the comments section!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-january-is-the-right-time-to-start-planning-for-christmas" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Reasons January Is the Right Time to Start Planning for Christmas" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-january-is-the-right-time-to-start-planning-for-christmas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you">People Who Love Christmas Do These 9 Things — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-have-a-no-spend-holiday-season">12 Ways to Have a No-Spend Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-overpriced-holiday-gifts-you-should-skip">7 Overpriced Holiday Gifts You Should Skip</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment Organization Christmas DIY Holidays planning resolutions saving Thu, 08 Jan 2015 18:00:19 +0000 Max Wong 1278204 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl-closet-clothes-Dollarphotoclub_55445948.jpg" alt="girl closet clothes" title="girl closet clothes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Be honest &mdash; if your closet were a TV show, would it be Project Runway or Hoarders? If it's time to call in a back up team equipped with shovels and Hefty bags, maybe you just need a little help separating wearable clothes from the unbearable clutter. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today?ref=seealso">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <p>Here's a list of 15 things in your closet that you can throw out today.</p> <h2>1. Clothes With the Tags Still Attached</h2> <p>Let's face it, if you've purchased a piece of clothing but never removed the tags and worn it, there's probably a reason. Cut your losses. Return the item if you can or donate it to your favorite charity.</p> <h2>2. Old Bridesmaid Dresses</h2> <p>Sure, the bride may have promised you'd get years of versatile wear out of that fuschia and black dress, but it's just hasn't worked out that way. Donate it so that some young woman can pull a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005JKOI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00005JKOI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=46REAHXQQGY5FUCM">Pretty in Pink</a> and harvest it to create an original prom dress.</p> <h2>3. Mismatched Socks</h2> <p>We may never fully understand how pairs of perfectly good socks lose their mates. Stop wondering and don't try to force a mismatched marriage. Move the loners to your rag drawer; they make great dust rags. Or, explore other creative <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sock-it-to-me-15-uses-for-old-socks">uses for old socks</a>.</p> <h2>4. Free Promotional Clothing</h2> <p>Do you have an upcoming event where a t-shirt advertising a low rate at Bill's Discount Autos is <em>de rigueur</em>? I didn't think so. Consider donating most of your promotional clothing.</p> <h2>5. Sentimental Clothes</h2> <p>It's a natural impulse to keep clothing that means something to us. Your first college sweatshirt, a t-shirt from a marathon you spent months training for, a scarf from your favorite aunt. But if you're not still using any of these items, maybe it's time to store the memories and let the items go.</p> <h2>6. College Tees</h2> <p>It's perfectly acceptable to wear a college t-shirt &mdash; if you actually attended college there, if you're forking over crazy tuition for a kid who attends, or if you're employed there. Otherwise, toss those tees or explore <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">ways to creatively recycle them</a>. Wearing random college swag might have been hip for about five minutes in the late 80's, but the moment has passed.</p> <h2>7. Anything With Blown Elastic</h2> <p>Socks, bras, and underwear all require elastic to be comfortable and fulfill their important wardrobe functions. Remember that and live by this this mantra: When the elastic blows, the item goes.</p> <h2>8. Clothes Saved From Old Relationships</h2> <p>We've all collected a few clothing pieces from previous relationships. But wearing them regularly is the wardrobe equivalent walking around in a scrapbook. Whether we consciously realize it or not, these items can make us melancholy and keep us literally wrapped up the past.</p> <h2>9. Damaged or Stained Clothes</h2> <p>Damaged clothes present a special challenge for many people. If we love the item, we tell ourselves we'll repair that rip, replace that zipper, or research how to <a href="http://www.cleaninginstitute.org/clean_living/stain_removal_chart.aspx">remove a stubborn stain</a>. But we seldom find the time. That's why damaged and stained clothing can languish in the back of our closets for years. Be honest and realistic with yourself. If you can't &mdash; or won't &mdash; repair it, toss it.</p> <h2>10. Clothes That Don't Fit</h2> <p>If it's too tight, too short, too long, or too big, why keep it around? If a piece of clothing can't be tailored, clear it out and make room for something that fits just right.</p> <h2>11. Clothes That Aren't Comfortable</h2> <p>That wool sweater that makes you itch just looking at it, those pointy shoes that turn every step into exquisite torture, those jeans that hug all the wrong places &mdash; scrap 'em all. Life is too short (and our closets are too small) for clothes that aren't comfortable.</p> <h2>12. Clothes With Pilling</h2> <p>It's not always easy to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-to-keep-your-clothes-brighter-whiter-and-lasting-longer">keep clothes looking new</a>. Depending on the fabric and the weave, pilling is just a fact of life. Though there are pill-removing devices, relying on them is often an exercise in futility &mdash; you really shouldn't have to shave you sweater before you wear it. Toss what's pill-prone and shelve your shaver.</p> <h2>13. Unflattering Clothes</h2> <p>I can't wear low-rise jeans; I know it and I accept it. But every time I shop for jeans I'm tempted to buy a pair because finding an alternative is nearly impossible. Facing a high tide of low-rise jeans, I completely understand how folks end up buying a piece of clothing that's just not right for their body type. If something unflattering has wound up in your closet, embrace the fact that you wouldn't &mdash; and shouldn't &mdash; wear it. Pass the item on to someone who can really pull it off.</p> <h2>14. Clothing That's Out of Style</h2> <p>Nineteen eighty-two called, and it wants those parachute pants back. Holding out until items come back in style is a misguided strategy; either the cuts have slightly changed or our waistlines have &quot;evolved.&quot; Delight a hipster and sell these retro fashions for a premium on eBay.</p> <h2>15. Faded Black Clothing</h2> <p>Black can't handle even the slightest fading. If that little black dress, black shirt, or black cotton sweater is obviously going gray, give up the ghost. Chuck it and look for a replacement.</p> <p>Just imagine it: a closet purged of every single thing that isn't flattering and wearable. It's not an urban myth and it's entirely doable with a bit of discipline and diligence. Oh, and once you declutter your messy closet, explore new <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-organize-a-messy-closet">ways to organize it</a>. You just may love the results so much that you finally tackle what's under the bed.</p> <p><em>What's in your closet that you can toss, recycle, or donate today? What have you been holding onto for years?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">A Denim Expert Reveals Why You Only Need 3 Pairs of Jeans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-organize-a-messy-closet">14 Ways to Organize a Messy Closet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-tricks-that-make-you-look-skinnier-without-being-skinner">12 Tricks That Make You Look Skinnier (Without Being Skinnier)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home Organization Style closet clothing clutter fashion old clothes Wed, 07 Jan 2015 18:00:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1275772 at http://www.wisebread.com You Need an Inventory of Your Stuff (and It's Easier Than You Think) http://www.wisebread.com/you-need-an-inventory-of-your-stuff-and-its-easier-than-you-think <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-need-an-inventory-of-your-stuff-and-its-easier-than-you-think" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-cardboard-boxes-laptop-Dollarphotoclub_48423199.jpg" alt="man cardboard boxes laptop" title="man cardboard boxes laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Take this quick quiz:</p> <ul> <li>What is the serial number of your computer?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>How much did you pay for your gaming console?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What is the dollar value of your record collection?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What is the make and model of your flat screen television?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>How many tools are in your garage?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>How many of these questions can you answer off the top of your head?</li> </ul> <p>Now imagine your house has burned to the ground with all your belongings inside of it. During this crisis, would you be able to successfully come up with this kind of information for every possession you own? Could you do that off the top of your head?</p> <p>An up-to-date home inventory list should be part of everyone's emergency kit. Not only will it help you resolve insurance claims in your favor by substantiating lost, stolen, or damaged possessions, but it will ensure that you have purchased enough insurance in the first place to replace your belongings. (If you own a vintage house or a lot of collectibles, it's important that you consider buying <a href="http://learningcenter.statefarm.com/insurance/home/replacement-cost-vs-market-value/">replacement cost insurance</a>&nbsp;versus&nbsp;market value insurance). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance?ref=seealso">8 Surprising Things Covered by Homeowners Insurance</a>)</p> <p>There are a number of ways to inventory your belongings. Don't make this harder than it should be. Chose the method you are most likely to do.</p> <h2>Make a List and Check It Twice</h2> <p>You can be old school and use pen and paper or an <a href="http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/home-contents-inventory-list-TC006090426.aspx">Excel</a> <a href="http://www.vertex42.com/ExcelTemplates/inventory-spreadsheet.html">spreadsheet</a> to record and describe each of your possessions. The description of each object should include the make and model number, when and where it was purchased, price paid, and its current condition. Or you can use an app such as <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/inventoryd/id588651470?mt=8">Inventory'd</a> or <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iii-inventory/id475840890?mt=8">III Inventory</a> to photograph and organize your list of belongings.</p> <h2>Gather Evidence to Support Your Claim</h2> <p>Keep all receipts for expensive items. These should be part of your inventory.</p> <h2>Visual Aids Are Your Friend</h2> <p>Regardless of how you choose to create your inventory, I recommend that you also take photographs, at least of your big ticket items such as consumer electronics, collectibles, and furniture. Valuable items such as your computer and jewelry might require a separate insurance policy. Double check with your insurance company what items fall outside your general homeowners insurance policy.</p> <h2>Protect Your Dragon's Hoard</h2> <p>For jewelry, I take a tip from my jeweler and make full size color copies or scans of my jewelry pieces. In the event of theft, this will make it easier for the police, pawn brokers, and others to correctly identify my stolen baubles.</p> <h2>Make a Movie</h2> <p>If you have access to a video camera, you can also create a video tour of your home and all its contents. Pretend you're on MTV Cribs and give a running commentary on where you bought everything in your home and how much you paid for it. Shoot close ups of small items and read out serial numbers. Don't forget to mention fancy ceiling lamps, fireplaces, and other fixtures.</p> <h2>Be Thorough</h2> <p>Don't be daunted by this task! If you have a house that is packed full of stuff, it might be easier to inventory <a href="http://www.squawkfox.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/printable_home_inventory_worksheet.pdf">room by room</a> as opposed to itemizing things <a href="http://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/homeown/home_invchklst.pdf">by type</a>. Start at the door of each room and work from top to bottom, clockwise around the space. Don't forget to itemize the contents of drawers and closets!</p> <h2>Store Your Inventory Off-Site</h2> <p>Once you've created an inventory list, make sure to keep a copy in a safe place outside of your home, like in a safe deposit box at your bank or at the home of a trusted friend. If your house is destroyed by a tornado, you don't want the only copy of your inventory list to be lost in the rubble.</p> <p>The copy can be photocopies of your original information, or a digital version that is stored on discs or a thumb drive.</p> <p>If you plan on storing a copy of your inventory online in cloud storage, make sure that your information is protected from thieves, who use the Internet to window shop for future victims. Double-check your security settings, create a strong password, and use third-party authentication tools. If you go this route and don't have a photographic memory, remember to make a hard copy of your password, user name, and site-key codes and store that information off-site.</p> <h2>Yes, It's Worth It</h2> <p>I will be the first to admit it: Inventorying the contents of your home is a tedious and sucky job. It's a lot of work spent in advance of a disaster that may never strike. So, what's the point?</p> <p>Creating an inventory is like having catastrophic insurance. It's something that no one wants to spend time and money on until disaster strikes. Then it's the best thing ever. If your house gets robbed, wouldn't you like to give yourself every chance of recovering your stolen treasures?</p> <p>In addition to saving your bacon, or, at least properly ensuring your bacon in the event of loss or damage, an inventory has two fantastic side benefits: as back-up evidence for tax deductions and as a decluttering tool.</p> <h3>Win a Fight With the IRS</h3> <p>Every year at tax time I have no problem calculating the depreciation of my office equipment and assessing the resale value of goods I donate to charity. Because I did all the heavy organizational lifting for my home inventory list, I know exactly what needs to be deducted from my taxes and where to find the related receipts if the IRS comes knocking.</p> <h3>Inventory Your Home as the First Step in Decluttering</h3> <p>One of the most powerful organizational tools you can give yourself is an inventory list. Have you watched that beautiful nightmare that is the show Hoarders? Then, you know what I'm talking about. Documenting and touching every single material possession you own gives a detailed picture of your consumerism. Most people who do a full house inventory for insurance reasons, discover that their home is full of things they don't want or need.</p> <p>Don't try to declutter while you are doing the inventory. That kind of mission creep will lead to chaos. Make your inventory list first. You can go back through your home, room by room, drawer by drawer at your convenience.</p> <p>Be sure to update your inventory list periodically. When you bring new things into your home be sure to add them to your inventory list. When you donate or sell goods, remove them.</p> <p><em>Have you created an inventory of your stuff? How'd you do it?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-need-an-inventory-of-your-stuff-and-its-easier-than-you-think" class="sharethis-link" title="You Need an Inventory of Your Stuff (and It&#039;s Easier Than You Think)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-need-an-inventory-of-your-stuff-and-its-easier-than-you-think">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-facts-about-flooding-and-your-home">10 Surprising Facts About Flooding and Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rebuilding-after-a-disaster-create-a-home-inventory-now">Rebuilding After A Disaster: Create A Home Inventory Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-your-bank-pick-your-homeowners-insurance">Don&#039;t Let Your Bank Pick Your Homeowner&#039;s Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">A Denim Expert Reveals Why You Only Need 3 Pairs of Jeans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Insurance Organization homeowners insurance inventory possessions Mon, 05 Jan 2015 12:00:08 +0000 Max Wong 1275171 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Cool Things You Can Make With an Ice Cube Tray http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-things-you-can-make-with-an-ice-cube-tray <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-cool-things-you-can-make-with-an-ice-cube-tray" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/ice%20cube%20trays.jpg" alt="ice cube trays" title="ice cube trays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you have an old ice cube tray stuffed away in a kitchen drawer? I'm sure if you dig deep enough, you'll find one hiding back with your fondue pot or some other useless kitchen gadget. Drag it out of storage and start using it for way more than freezing water. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-wont-believe-how-much-you-can-save-with-an-ice-cube-tray?ref=seealso">You Won't Believe How Much You Can Save With an Ice Cube Tray</a>)</p> <p>These 14 genius ideas will spur some creativity, and if you use ice cube trays for something else equally smart &mdash; let us know in the comments!</p> <h2>1. Coffee Cubes</h2> <p>Cool a batch of your favorite strong-brewed coffee to room temperature, then mix with your favorite flavors and sweeteners before <a href="http://kirantarun.com/food/2014/04/08/iced-coffee-cubes/">freezing overnight</a> in an ice cube tray. Put several cubes in a glass and pour over with your favorite milk or creamer for a delicious beverage that would cost you a lot more if you bought it at the shop.</p> <h2>2. Lotion Cubes</h2> <p>Winter is the season of dry skin. Take a preventative approach by mixing together a batch of <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/08/diy-natural-lotion-cubes.html">DIY Lotion Cubes</a>. Melt beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter together in a double boiler. Then add in any essential oils you like. Portion into cubes and let set before using. They make great gifts!</p> <h2>3. Multicolor Crayons</h2> <p>If you have lots of odd and ends of old crayons in your child's art supplies, take the wrappers off and <a href="http://theimaginationtree.com/2011/08/diy-rainbow-crayons.html">melt them together</a> in a silicone ice cube tray. Preheat your oven to around 200 degrees F and bake for 10-15 minutes.</p> <h2>4. Frozen Herbs</h2> <p>I got a little over-zealous at Thanksgiving and bought way too many herbs than I needed for cooking. So, I took the rest, chopped them up, and <a href="http://www.simplycanning.com/freezing-herbs.html">froze them with water</a> in an ice cube tray. Now when I'm cooking, I just pop out a cube and toss into whatever I'm making.</p> <h2>5. Perfect Portions</h2> <p>The same idea applies when I freeze portions of ingredients like pesto, pizza or pasta sauce, salsa, vegetable stock or broth, etc. Many ingredients you have left over after a big cook can be chilled into individual portions and tossed in whatever you're making. For example, I regularly <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/09/another-homemade-almond-milk-trick.html">freeze homemade almond milk</a> in cubes for use in my morning smoothies.</p> <h2>6. Smoothie Cubes</h2> <p>And sometimes when I don't leave enough minutes in my morning to make breakfast, I pop a few <a href="http://thethingswellmake.com/smoothie-fruit-cubes-or-homemade-baby/">Smoothie Cubes</a> in a cup and bring it on my morning errands. In a few hours, the drink is defrosted and ready to consume. Some smoothie cube recipes can also be used as baby food.</p> <h2>7. Candy Bars</h2> <p>You can make tiny candy bars at home using an ice cube tray. These bite-sized <a href="http://almondsandavocados.com/bite-size-chocolate-turtle-candy-bars/">Chocolate Turtle Bars</a> even allow you to make your own chocolate, customizing the flavor and ingredients if you have any dietary restrictions. Pour a small layer of chocolate in the tray first, let set in the freezer, then place in the caramel filling and more chocolate on top.</p> <h2>8. Cookie Dough</h2> <p>Skip the store version of ready-to-bake cookie dough and make your own. After you mix together your favorite recipe, portion out into your ice cube tray and let freeze. You can pop out each dough bite and store in an airtight container (or zip-top bag) until you're ready to bake. You may need to add a minute or two to the baking time to see those golden brown edges.</p> <h2>9. Granola Poppers</h2> <p>Yum. Mix together a few simple ingredients and then portion into an ice cube tray to make these <a href="http://www.smartschoolhouse.com/easy-recipe/granola-bar-ice-cube-tray/2">Granola Poppers</a>. They'd make a wonderful after-school snack or just help you from eating the entire batch in one sitting.</p> <h2>10. Dishwasher Tabs</h2> <p>I regularly make my own detergent, but I had never thought to store it in solid form until I saw this <a href="http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/04/make-your-own-dishwasher-detergent-tabs.html">Dishwasher Tab</a> recipe. Better yet, these tabs use all the standard ingredients (borax, baking soda, salt, etc.), but instead of putting vinegar in the rinse cycle, you add it right into the mix to help bind everything together.</p> <h2>11. Toddler Tray</h2> <p>I read a lot of Dr. Sears when my daughter was a baby, and he advocates letting kids graze versus eating large meals. His trick? The nibble platter. You can actually employ this concept quite easily <a href="http://www.wileyvalentine.com/blog/2011/11/21/mom-monday-toddler-lunch-idea/">using an ice cube tray</a> filled with a variety of fresh fruits, veggies, and other healthy snacks.</p> <h2>12. Paint Palette</h2> <p>We also use ice cube trays as makeshift paint palettes for rainy day crafts and art projects. Just squirt different colors into each cube and paint. You can even mix custom colors easily this way, creating a whole world of new hues for your kids to brush around. Pretty simple, right?</p> <h2>13. Jewelry Organizer</h2> <p>If you're strapped for space or just don't feel like spending money on a jewelry box or case, use some ice cube trays to separate and organize things like earrings and rings. My daughter likes to take my rings and hide them around the house, so I stack trays in my dresser drawer to keep jewelry safe and out of sight.</p> <h2>14. Mini Candles</h2> <p>Here's a fantastic gift idea: Make <a href="http://www.twiggstudios.com/2013/01/ombre-heart-candles.html">mini candles</a> for your friends and family using a silicone ice cube tray! This tutorial uses a heart shaped variety for some extra flair. Simply pick up some tea lights at the dollar store, remove the wax and melt with crayons for color, pour into your tray, and let set.</p> <p><em>What cool uses for ice cube trays have you come up with? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-things-you-can-make-with-an-ice-cube-tray" class="sharethis-link" title="14 Cool Things You Can Make With an Ice Cube Tray" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-things-you-can-make-with-an-ice-cube-tray">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-fantastic-chalkboard-paint-projects">15 Fantastic Chalkboard Paint Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-fantastic-uses-for-apples">23 Fantastic Uses for Apples</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-4-get-free-stuff">Getting by without a job, part 4--get free stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-awesome-muffin-tin-recipes-for-breakfast-lunch-and-dinner">15 Awesome Muffin Tin Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> DIY Food and Drink Organization clever uses crafts freeze ahead ice cube tray Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1270632 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/senior-woman-kitchen-452417119-small.jpg" alt="senior woman kitchen" title="senior woman kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm no stranger to a tiny, cramped kitchen. Thing is, I have a food blog and a passion for cooking and baking &mdash; so I've had to get creative with my storage to make my operation run smoothly. Thankfully, with a little attention to detail (and some clever solutions), you can carve out counter space you didn't know you had and even organize your stuff so it's easier to find. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today?ref=seealso">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <p>Here's how.</p> <h2>1. Wire Baskets</h2> <p>Don't discriminate when it comes to storage. Those <a href="http://www.goldenboysandme.com/2014/09/wire-baskets.html">decorative wire baskets</a> used more traditionally for mail and magazines make a perfect place to stash stuff in your kitchen. Hang a double tiered basket on the side of your island or cabinets to wrangle tea towels, paper plates, or whatever else you need to get off your counters.</p> <h2>2. Shower Caddy</h2> <p>Speaking of repurposing, check out this <a href="http://domesticdivadomain.blogspot.com/2013/07/diy-produce-rack.html">produce rack</a> made from a shower caddy. You can easily find a caddy of this size for less than $10. The rest is finding a spot you like and hanging it with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FSORW4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000FSORW4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5TGS5DAFZXDNKJCG">Command hooks</a>.</p> <h2>3. Magazine Rack</h2> <p>I love this idea to use an <a href="http://cookiescraftsandchaos.com/2014/02/21/the-little-rack-that-could/">old magazine rack</a> to hold baking pans versus stacking them in messy cabinets. Not only does this solution look great, but it also serve a major purpose. Though the blogger who served up this idea decided to paint her magazine rack, I would have kept mine natural for easier cleaning (all those chocolate chips from the cookies I make would inevitably end up on that crisp white paint!).</p> <h2>4. Tilt Storage</h2> <p>You know those fake cabinet &quot;doors&quot; by your sink? If you own your home, consider turning them into something functional with this <a href="http://thediyclub.com/2011/09/rockler-helps-to-add-kitchen-storage/">DIY Tilt Storage</a> tutorial. The tip out trays you'll need for this project cost about $10 each. Once you're ready to start, just remove the false drawer fronts, install your tilt hinges, hang your trays, and enjoy!</p> <h2>5. Folger's Tubs</h2> <p>Here's a brilliant example of turning trash into treasure: <a href="http://kelliskitchen.org/2013/07/cheap-organization/">Repurposed Coffee Containers</a>. They can hold your bulk goods or whatever else you might want to corral &mdash; and they're virtually free. Just clean out the can, spray with your favorite color paint, and slap on some chalkboard labels. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-fantastic-chalkboard-paint-projects?ref=seealso">15 Fantastic Chalkboard Paint Projects</a>)</p> <h2>6. Hanging Pipes</h2> <p>I recently made my own <a href="http://www.writingchapterthree.com/2014/11/industrial-diy-pipe-pot-rack.html">Industrial Pot Rack</a> using a couple plumbing pipes, connectors, and spray paint. Going with non-galvanized pipes helped save me some money on this project. Plus, you can paint them whatever color matches your kitchen. Best of all, the rack is an incredibly sturdy structure that will hold strong for years to come.</p> <h2>7. Freestanding Rack</h2> <p>If you can't drill holes in your walls, try this <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/claire-jeffreys-kitchen-our-inspiration-renovation-diary-claire-jeffreys-kitchen-183702">temporary pot rack</a> (the last photo in the series) which is nothing more than an old ladder with S-hooks. You can take it wherever you decide to move. The biggest difficulty of the project is finding the right height ladder, so check out thrift and antique shops, as well as Craigslist and any local classifieds.</p> <h2>8. Door Organizer</h2> <p>Check out this other amazing (and temporary) solution: the <a href="http://www.creatingreallyawesomefreethings.com/rental-trick-3-a-door-organizer/">Kitchen Door Organizer</a>. The author of this project found a plantation-style door at her local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store (just $5!). From there, she gave it new life with a coat of paint and accent color. The storage works using a system of hooks, freeing up cabinet space for stuff that can't so easily hang out.</p> <h2>9. Hanging Basket</h2> <p>I love a good <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008UP233O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008UP233O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=E5ALFAF6SZJPSYFS">three-tiered hanging basket</a> in almost any room in the house. It's cheap, looks good, and serves a purpose. And, yes, in the kitchen, it's particularly useful. Snag one for less than $10 and let it rock your storage world. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-home-purchases-for-under-10-that-are-well-worth-the-money?ref=seealso">16 Home Purchases Under $10 That Are Well Worth The Money</a>)</p> <h2>10. Cork Door</h2> <p>Our refrigerator ends up being a catch-all for papers, coupons, bills, and hastily scrawled recipes. Get that pile of paper out of sight by <a href="http://www.younghouselove.com/2008/11/somebody-put-a-cork-in-us/">installing cork tiles</a> inside one of your cabinet doors. You can stick anything your heart desires on this instant cork board &mdash; and you might even be able to find your supplies at the Dollar Store.</p> <h2>11. Kitchen Armoire</h2> <p>Missing some major cabinets? I've totally been there, multiple times. For our lack of storage, we'd use what we had &mdash; in one case, a dresser &mdash; to make up for the deficit. This <a href="http://www.recapturedcharm.com/2011/08/armoire-redo-in-milk-paint.html">Kitchen Pantry Armoire</a> idea is super cool. I think the poster used it more for aesthetically pleasing display, but I'm sure you can organize a bunch of plates, cups, and even food inside without it looking too crowded.</p> <h2>12. Spice Jars</h2> <p>Make some <a href="http://davisongoons.blogspot.com/2010/11/check-out-my-moves.html">DIY Spice Jars</a> and hot glue magnets to the back so you can hang them on your fridge. If you have some old baby food jars at your disposal, this project is easy. Clean off the labels, then stick on new ones using Mod Podge. You could also use tiny Ball jars at a low price and even hang some metal strips in a cabinet door if you wanted everything out of sight. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-herbs-and-spices-every-pantry-should-have?ref=seealso">12 Herbs and Spices Every Pantry Should Have</a>)</p> <h2>13. Wrap Dispensers</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.achievingcreativeorder.com/2013/11/its-wrap-dispenser.html">Wrap Dispenser</a> idea is so easy, I'm going to install a couple in my own kitchen tonight! Give tin foil, plastic wrap, parchment and wax papers a home using inexpensive adhesive hoots on the inside of a cabinet door. It's as simple as that.</p> <h2>14. Smart Hooks</h2> <p>While you're at it, use any leftover hooks wherever they might come in handy. This <a href="http://www.thehyperhouse.com/2012/08/organizing-my-baking-nook/">baking nook</a> got a dose of clean when the owner stuck mixer attachments to the cabinet with hooks. You can also use them to <a href="http://simplydarrling.com/2012/04/measuring-spoon-cup-organization/">hang measuring cups and spoons</a> in one convenient place so you're not searching when you should be baking.</p> <h2>15. Smart Board</h2> <p>Even if your stuff is neatly organized, sometimes there just isn't enough counter space to do what you need to do. Consider investing in a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001FB6TSK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001FB6TSK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=TCAOFAYSLSE7CAAO">sink cutting board</a> that fits right over your sink (and sometimes stove) to give a few extra feet of workspace. I have used this idea for years without a special board &mdash; sometimes all you need is just a large cutting board to bridge the gap.</p> <p><em>How do you maximize kitchen storage space? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home">10 Super-Cool Ways to Add Hidden Storage to Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-and-cheap-storage-solutions-for-tiny-apartments">10 Fun and Cheap Storage Solutions for Tiny Apartments</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home Organization kitchen organization storage tiny spaces Wed, 03 Dec 2014 19:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1263085 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Lose the Clutter and Keep the Memories http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-digital-tablet-picture-509234135-small.jpg" alt="couple digital photo" title="couple digital photo" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have a hard time parting with things that hold significant sentimental value. Yeah, they're just sitting around my house, collecting dust, but these things are part of my life, memories of good times, and I don't want to get rid of them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/toss-it-or-not-5-organizational-tips-from-a-chronic-clutter-bug">Toss It or Not? 5 Organizational Tricks From a Chronic Clutter Bug</a>)</p> <p>Luckily, in the age of technology and how-to articles, there are brilliant compromises to be made that ensure that you're preserving some of the touchstones of your existence without tripping on them all over the place.</p> <p>Take a look at these nine clutter-free ways to preserve your memories, and see if you can't preserve who you are while getting rid of all that stuff.</p> <h2>1. Snap Photos With Stuff You're Tossing</h2> <p>For tangible items that you're sending into the afterlife, a great way to remember the good times you had with it is to take a photo with that item in it. Perhaps it's a favorite piece of clothing that you once cherished, board games that made many memorable nights, or musical instruments that helped cultivate your love of culture. Set up a nice photo up &mdash; perhaps a snapshot with friends with the discarded item as the centerpiece &mdash; so you can look back on it with fondness whenever you want.</p> <h2>2. Scan Pictures, Letters, and Cards Into Your Computer</h2> <p>Reduce that pile (or massive box, as they case may be) of beloved photos, letters, and cards that you've accumulated throughout your life by scanning them into your computer. You might find it hard to part with the original hardcopy documents, but try to remember that it's only paper that you're tossing out. By scanning these items, you're preserving the thought that went into them when they were originally given to you &mdash; and that's what counts. Plus, this way they can never be destroyed, whereas the original versions will eventually deteriorate over time and are at the mercy of fire, water, and other elements that can destroy them completely.</p> <h2>3. Transition to Digital Picture Frames to Eliminate Paper Photos</h2> <p>If you're anything like me, each of your single picture frames is home to about half a dozen photos. I keep the old photos in the frames when I update a picture by simply laying the replaced images behind the new one. While this method reduces the clutter I see, it only allows me to enjoy one of the photos opposed to all of them (even though rediscovering the old ones during the swapping process is a welcome surprise). Nowadays you can enjoy many photos without fussing with any paper by digitizing them and adding them to a digital frame. These frames rotate images automatically so you see multiple pics &mdash; and relive the memories &mdash; on a regular basis.</p> <h2>4. Transfers Old VHS Tapes and DVDs to Computer Files</h2> <p>My husband has a huge cabinet full of VHS tapes from his wrestling days that &mdash; mark my words &mdash; he will never do anything with until they're so old they've deteriorated beyond repair. I even bought him one of those VHS-to-DVD thingamajigs a few years ago that I recently sold on Amazon new, in-the-box. Hey, I tried. In any case, if you want to ensure that your old VHS tapes and DVDs stand the test of time, consider transferring them to computer files that you can save in your cloud. There are plenty of companies that specialize in this service, but you also can <a href="http://www.cnet.com/how-to/transfer-vhs-tapes-to-your-computer/">DIY it if you're fairly tech-savvy</a>.</p> <h2>5. Repurpose Useless Little Things Into One Useful Big Thing</h2> <p>Before you donate all that extra clothing, think of ways you might be able to use the fabric to make something new &mdash; like a blanket, tablecloth, or shower curtain. For instance, you can turn a bunch of old T-shirts into a rad quilt if you've got sewing skills (or, ya know, send away for it if you don't). You may not think about it a lot, but many items in your closet &mdash; especially the really old, ratty stuff &mdash; hold a special place in your heart; repurposing these thrift-shop-ready beauties lets you keep them a bit longer without becoming a hoarder. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-new-things-you-can-make-with-old-denim-jeans">20 New Things You Can Make With Old Denim</a>)</p> <h2>6. Turn a Special Moment Into a Beautiful Tattoo</h2> <p>One of my buddies gave me this idea, and I thought it was very interesting. Computers &mdash; and especially the cloud &mdash; help us preserve many of our tangible memories while cutting the clutter, but what about adding those memories to our own bodies? Thus, a tattoo is an awesome way to recognize an important event or time in your life. The result is a permanent reminder of that particular memory, and you're bound to be asked about it over and over again, allowing you to tell the story many times over.</p> <h2>7. Create Sentimental Artwork Out of Attic-Bound Items</h2> <p>I recently came across a Buzzfeed post that I thought was really cool. There were lots of great ideas in author Mike Spohr's <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/incredibly-meaningful-gifts-you-can-give-your-kids">26 Incredibly Meaningful Gifts You Can Give Your Kids,</a> but I thought the framed teddy bear was kind of genius. Expanding that concept a bit further then, you can basically take anything of sentimental value that's perhaps tucked away in a box and turn it into a treasured family heirloom that will serve as a reminder of a special time as well as a conversation piece. It goes without saying that it'll be super fun to go through the attic to see what resources you have to work with when creativity strikes you.</p> <h2>8. Start a Blog Dedicated to Your Memories and Treasures</h2> <p>Maybe I'm speaking for myself here, but I like to share many of my fond memories with, well, basically anyone who'll listen. I mean, who doesn't like to reminisce about the &quot;good ol' days,&quot; right? I bet we're of a similar mindset, which makes starting a blog dedicated to your memories and treasures a decent idea. You can write about fun times that you've had, post pictures of moments you never want to forget, and then share them with the world so you can bring joy to it.</p> <h2>9. Keep Your Treasures in the Family by Passing Them on to Loved Ones</h2> <p>You know that old saying &mdash; one man's trash is another man's treasure? Absolutely true, and it provides a great opportunity for you to unload some of your cherished items that are perhaps taking up too much space on family and friends who want or need it. With this tactic, the clutter is out of your way, but the things and the memories they conjure are still part of your life, which makes this easy option the perfect compromise.</p> <p><em>Have a few more clutter-free ways to preserve memories? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Ways to Lose the Clutter and Keep the Memories" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organize-a-room-for-10-with-no-extra-effort">Organize a Room for $10 with No Extra Effort</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home Organization clutter mementos memories storage Mon, 17 Nov 2014 18:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1254628 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Things in Your Garage You Should Throw Out Today http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-in-your-garage-you-should-throw-out-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-in-your-garage-you-should-throw-out-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-cleaning-garage-iStock_000022050235Small.jpg" alt="couple cleaning garage" title="couple cleaning garage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The garage. For some, it's a pristine white-walled home for a four-wheeled pride and joy. For others (and let's face it, that's most of us), it's a place to keep the car, the lawn mower, the old fridge, paint cans, empty boxes, and everything else that we either forgot to put in the basement, or never even realized we owned. There are many items that should be in your garage right now, and others that should be removed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-wont-ever-use-again-and-should-throw-out-today?ref=seealso">12 Things You'll Never Use Again and Should Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <p>Here are the eight things you should throw out right after you've finished this article.</p> <h2>1. Old Paint</h2> <p>Unless you're very lucky, you will never buy exactly the right amount of paint you need for a project. There's always some left over, whether it's a quarter of the can, or a full can that's unreturnable. Either way, you'll most likely let this old paint sit on a shelf for a few years, knowing it will be there to touch up the wall. Of course, a few years pass by, and you repaint the wall. If you have these orphan cans of paint in your garage, they can be a fire hazard; they also go off quicker in garages than inside the home. It's time to dispose of them safely. You cannot just dump them, as these paints contain hazardous chemicals. Instead, visit your local hardware store like Lowes or Home Depot. They will be happy to recycle that paint for you.</p> <h2>2. Files and Paperwork</h2> <p>You may not have much use for them, but an identity thief can have a field day with documentation. If you have decided to keep boxes of bills, personal letters, government notices, and other items in your garage, you are keeping it in the most unsafe room in your house. Garages are very easy to break into, and you do not want to risk anyone accessing this stuff. It's better to scan it and shred it, or if it's really no use, just go straight to shredding.</p> <p>Most copy and office supply stores will be happy to take your old papers for shredding, for a fee.</p> <h2>3. Armchairs and Cushions</h2> <p>You bought a new sofa, so you decided to keep the old one in the garage. Hey, you never know, it may come in handy for that man cave one day. This is not a good idea. That armchair or sofa is a veritable nirvana for mice and rats. They can build nests inside there and hunker down for the winter. They'll happily munch on the foam padding, and have baby mice and rats in the hundreds. This is not something you want to deal with. Do yourself a favor and dump or sell the old seating now, before another family sets up home inside it.</p> <h2>4. Old Motor Oil and Oily Rags</h2> <p>If you change your own oil, you probably have a large container of old oil just waiting to be filled. This is a disaster just waiting to happen. Motor oil is combustible, and as it is no longer needed, it's a waste of space as well. There are various places to recycle this, including many auto parts stores and auto mechanics. Get into the habit of taking the old oil there after every oil change. Yes, it may be easier to let a large container fill up with old oil, but it's not safe. The same applies to oily rags, too. One hint of a flame or spark and they're going up in smoke. Get rid of them, safely.</p> <h2>5. Expired Food</h2> <p>This seems like a no brainer, but it's amazing how many people have a stockpile of old food in his or her garage. It was, of course, intended to be a second pantry. But that shelf is now a mixture of good and not-so-good food items. You need to take the time to go through that food (including the food in the garage fridge) every week and dump the food that is well past its use-by-date. Now, if you're not sure (some foods are good several months after the date printed on the can or bag) do a little googling first. But if in doubt, throw it out.</p> <h2>6. Broken&hellip; Well, Anything</h2> <p>OK, if you're genuinely intending to fix that broken thing soon, then you get a pass. But if it has been gathering dust for 12 months because &quot;when I get the time, I'll fix it,&quot; you need to throw it out. If it was important to you, you'd have fixed it already. If you are just waiting for the right time, you'll never find it.</p> <p>Old junk, broken gadgets, smashed toys, they're all just taking up valuable real estate in your garage. If they're worth something (broken video game consoles can fetch money for parts), sell them on eBay or Craigslist. But really, most broken stuff is just on death row in your garage. Declare the appeals process over.</p> <h2>7. Books and Magazines</h2> <p>It's a safe bet 90% of the books and magazines you have read will never be read again. You are most likely hanging onto them because you don't like getting rid of something you paid money for, or you intend to read them again&hellip; one of these days. Go through those boxes of books and mags now and <em>be ruthless</em>. Then make four piles. Keep, sell, donate, and trash. Some doctors will thank you for magazines that can help the waiting room feel less like a waiting room. Some of those books will fetch a good price online. And if the cover is falling off and the pages are warped from a water spill, dump it.</p> <h2>8. The Shoe Graveyard</h2> <p>Don't deny it; you have one in your garage. These are the shoes that once took pride of place in the shoe rack inside, but over the years they got messy, tattered, or went out of style. Now you keep them in one of those shoe holders on the back of the door, or in an old cupboard next to the bag of damp cement. Put them out of their misery. Throw them into a bag for charity if they still have some years left in them, otherwise dump them today. You won't wear them again, even if you have fond memories of them.</p> <p><em>What are you keeping in your garage that you know you should throw out? What's missing from this list? And what would you never throw away, no matter how often your significant other tells you to? Let us know.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-in-your-garage-you-should-throw-out-today" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Things in Your Garage You Should Throw Out Today" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-in-your-garage-you-should-throw-out-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-one-thing-a-day-to-defeat-clutter-forever">Do This One Thing a Day to Defeat Clutter Forever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-words-you-need-to-declutter-your-life">The Only 5 Words You Need to Declutter Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-wont-ever-use-again-and-should-throw-out-today">12 Things You Won&#039;t Ever Use Again and Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Frugal Living Organization clutter garage old paint organization Thu, 06 Nov 2014 18:00:05 +0000 Paul Michael 1251546 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Fantastic Chalkboard Paint Projects http://www.wisebread.com/15-fantastic-chalkboard-paint-projects <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-fantastic-chalkboard-paint-projects" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chalkboard-picture-frame-512939223-small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you haven't been watching home decor trends over the past few years, you might have missed the chalkboard paint phenomenon. Good news, though: It's still going strong. And when I started brushing this useful and stylish coating onto my walls and other projects, it was mostly available in standard black. Now the options are many &mdash; you can even <a href="http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2012/02/how-to-mix-chalkboard-paint-in-any-color.html">make your own</a> unique blend using &frac12; cup acrylic paint (in any color) and a tablespoon of sanded grout. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-used-corks-including-making-money-with-them?ref=seealso">25 Things to Do With Used Corks</a>)</p> <p>How will you use your batch? I'm here to help! The following projects make creative use of this ubiquitous medium. With each, you'll want to <a href="http://salvagedinspirations.com/how-to-season-a-new-chalkboard/">season</a> before using, which means shading a thin layer of chalk over the whole, erasing, and then drawing and doodling to your heart's content.</p> <h2>1. Calendar</h2> <p>Use an old window to make this cute weekly <a href="http://www.housebyhoff.com/2013/09/old-window-chalkboard-calendar-its-30/">Chalkboard Calendar</a>. You'll want to choose a window that has more than seven panes in all. Then paint each pane and let dry before writing. You can even add hooks for hanging coats and bags if you like.</p> <h2>2. Magnetic Board</h2> <p>I love this freestanding <a href="http://deniseonawhim.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-chalkboard-with-magnetic-personality.html?m=0">Magnetic Chalkboard</a> upcycled from an old mirror. The author used sheet metal cutouts to achieve the magnetic feature, but you can also try a can of magnetic primer applied directly onto the mirror (under the chalkboard paint) for a much easier solution.</p> <h2>3. Framed Chalkboard</h2> <p>Rather than cover your entire wall using chalkboard paint, try sectioning off single area for this <a href="http://www.meadowlakeroad.com/how-tos/large-diy-framed-chalkboard/">Framed Chalkboard</a> effect. After cutting pine boards with a compound miter saw, this family screwed and glued together their frame before staining. You can either paint the actual wall and mount the frame over top of it or, alternatively, paint a piece of plywood that fits inside the frame.</p> <h2>4. Another Framed Board</h2> <p>Better yet, skip all the construction and use an old wall mirror or picture frame as your project base. This particular <a href="http://www.youaretalkingtoomuch.com/2012/08/chalkboard-paint-vs-spray-chalkboard-paint/">tutorial</a> is helpful with deciding between using standard brush-on chalkboard paint versus the newer spray-on kind. Whatever you end up choosing, you'll prime and paint the mirror or glass and then let dry.</p> <h2>5. Party Favors</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.maisondepax.com/2014/05/diy-monogram-chalk-slate.html">Monogram Party Favors</a> are fun for kids and adults alike, and they only cost two dollars a pop. Just find large wooden letters at your local craft shop. Then sand and prime them before smoothing on a couple coats of chalkboard paint.</p> <h2>6. Play Table</h2> <p>As a mom, I find this <a href="http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.ca/2011/10/organizing-legos-part-2-creating-table.html">DIY Chalkboard Play Table</a> absolutely genius. You can use an old table you already own or pick one up on the cheap at your local thrift shop. From there, paint the legs whatever color speaks to your playful side. The trick is slathering several coats of chalkboard paint onto the top and letting your child's imagination go wild.</p> <h2>7. Garden Markers</h2> <p>Those of you with green thumbs will enjoy this <a href="http://www.handmadeintheheartland.com/2013/06/easy-garden-markers.html">Chalkboard Garden Marker</a> project. Paint stir sticks are the star of the show (and cheap to boot). Coat them with chalkboard paint and let dry. The author uses a chalk marker versus standard chalk for more precise labeling.</p> <h2>8. Kitchen Jars</h2> <p>Organize your pantry using these <a href="http://pumpsandiron.com/2012/11/07/diy-chalkboard-paint-glass-jars/">Labeled Glass Jars</a> using &mdash; you guessed it &mdash; chalkboard paint. Clean your container thoroughly before taping off the section you want to paint. Slap on a few coats and let dry before labeling.</p> <h2>9. Serving Platter</h2> <p>Whether you're hosting a fancy wine and cheese soiree or an informal potluck, this <a href="http://www.soyouthinkyourecrafty.com/chalkboard-serving-tray-tutorial/">Chalkboard Serving Tray</a> will come in handy. The author made it by painting an old cabinet door. You could also use an existing platter or even large plate.</p> <h2>10. Refrigerator</h2> <p>I know. This idea sounds crazy. Would you believe I <a href="http://asouthernfairytale.com/2014/09/16/chalkboard-paint-refrigerator/">painted my refrigerator</a> using chalkboard paint? Our range and dishwasher are both black and the fridge was an off white, so rather than buying a matching appliance, I thought I'd give painting a try. So far, it's holding up well. Advice? Make sure you prime first.</p> <h2>11. Pantry Organizer</h2> <p>I painted the inside of our pantry door with chalkboard paint as well, creating a <a href="http://decorandthedog.net/decorandthedog/2012/03/organization-baby-steps.html">DIY Command Center</a> to stay organized. It eliminates searching for scrap paper to make grocery lists, that's for sure. Plus, I like how it looks.</p> <h2>12. Clipboard</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.andersonandgrant.com/2013/07/kitchen-chalkboard-made-from-clipboard.html">Chalkboard Clipboard</a> looks easy to make and quite functional. I'd love to paint several and arrange on a wall in my office for mega-organization. You could pretty much use one of these guys in any room of the house, and I think they'd make fabulous frugal gifts.</p> <h2>13. Staircase</h2> <p>The <a href="http://houstonlifestyles.com/country-flair-in-bellaire/">Chalkboard Staircase</a> in this home is quite unexpected, yet it adds some interesting flair and personality to an otherwise boring space. The family uses the area to write positive affirmations that foster confidence and strength in their kids. I like the whole concept.</p> <h2>14. Banner</h2> <p>There are many reasons to celebrate with this all-occasion <a href="http://snapcreativity.com/easy-diy-chalkboard-banner/">Chalkboard Banner</a>. Just pick up some wooden shapes at a craft store, paint them, string on some twine, and write your message. Festive decor: Done!</p> <h2>15. Gift Tags</h2> <p>This tutorial is actually for <a href="http://www.gingersnapcrafts.com/2012/12/chalkboard-ornaments-tutorial.html">Chalkboard Ornaments</a>, but I think the finished product could double as amazing gift tags for any holiday. Much like with the banner above, you'll want some wooden cutouts in different shapes to paint. Let dry and tie to gifts with ribbon.</p> <p><em>Have you chalkboarded anything in your home? Leave us a note in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-fantastic-chalkboard-paint-projects" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Fantastic Chalkboard Paint Projects" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-fantastic-chalkboard-paint-projects">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-a-crafty-airbrush-out-of-old-junk">Make a crafty airbrush out of old junk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-things-you-can-make-with-an-ice-cube-tray">14 Cool Things You Can Make With an Ice Cube Tray</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">A Denim Expert Reveals Why You Only Need 3 Pairs of Jeans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> DIY Organization chalkboard crafts organization paint Wed, 05 Nov 2014 10:00:05 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1250693 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cleaning-kitchen-460315379-small.jpg" alt="woman cleaning kitchen" title="woman cleaning kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Kitchens can easily become cluttered with less-than-useful gadgets, tools, and food items, but it's important to keep your kitchen tidy and organized for the health of your family and for your sanity. Stop fighting rarely used kitchen items for counter space. Get rid of the following things and cook with newfound peace of mind. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today?ref=seealso">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <h2>1. Sponge</h2> <p>Your sponge is where kitchen germs live and thrive. The moist nooks and crannies are a perfect breeding ground, so switch your sponge out often. Even with a new sponge, microwave it daily in an inch of water for a minute to disinfect. You'll keep from spreading lots of germs all around your kitchen and will help keep your family healthier.</p> <h2>2. Meat Mallet</h2> <p>Tell the truth: how often do you use a meat mallet? Most people use one once in a blue moon, and a number of tools can take its place. Putting the meat between plastic wrap and using a heavy skillet is a good alternative. An unopened canned good and rolling pin are other options.</p> <h2>3. Old Plastic Storage Containers</h2> <p>Studies have shown that plastic food storage containers with recycle codes 3 or 7 and many made before 2010 may contain BPA, a harmful chemical that can leach into food. If you own some of these containers, toss them. You can often end up with bottoms and tops that don't match or missing pieces, so throw out or donate any without partners.</p> <h2>4. Panini Press</h2> <p>Make paninis on a daily basis? Then ignore this one. But for most of us, this common wedding registry pick isn't a necessity. You can easily imitate this kitchen gadget using a regular skillet and a heavy skillet or pan (a cast iron skillet works great) to press your sandwich on top.</p> <h2>5. Old Dried Spices</h2> <p>Spices can accumulate, get pushed to the back of the cabinet, and crowd your storage space. But spices don't last forever, and can lose a lot of their flavor after a year or two passes. According to McCormick, <a href="http://mccormick.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/11/related/1">ground spices last three to four years</a>, leafy herbs for one to two years, and whole spices for four years. Dried herbs and spices should smell and taste potent, and should be stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and heat (including your stove).</p> <h2>6. Bread Maker</h2> <p>Unless you are living the dream and making bread on a weekly basis, you probably don't need this clunky appliance. It's awkward to store and isn't required for making homemade bread. Flex those muscles and do a little kneading, get a dough attachment for your mixer or food processor, or try no-knead breads.</p> <h2>7. Jigger</h2> <p>Unless you're an amateur bartender, you don't need this awkward tool crowding your junk drawer. You can use regular measuring spoons, with two tablespoons equaling the small end of a jigger (one ounce) and &frac14; cup equaling the large end of a jigger (two ounces). Or you can just relax. You're at home &mdash; just eyeball it and enjoy.</p> <h2>8. Expired Canned Food</h2> <p>It may seem like canned food lasts forever, but they can actually go bad. Canned fruits and tomatoes last 18 months, while other items can last up to five years. Be sure to check your emergency kit and replace those, too.</p> <h2>9. Open Canned Food</h2> <p>Leftover canned foods are easy to store by just leaving them in the can and shoving them in the fridge, but the metal can leach into the food and create a metallic taste. This is especially common with acidic foods like fruit or tomatoes. Take the time to transfer your leftovers into a storage container and you'll be rewarded with better tasting food.</p> <h2>10. Toaster Oven</h2> <p>This appliance takes up a lot of valuable counter space without making up for it. If you're a frequent toaster, get a more compact and easily storable toaster. Everything else can be done in the oven, and if you only make toast now and again, you can do that in the oven, too.</p> <h2>11. Rice Cooker</h2> <p>Most people don't cook enough rice to make this large appliance worth the storage space. Although you can make <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/5-things-you-can-make-in-a-ric-111057">a few other things</a> with it, it's largely a unitasker. Rice can easily be made on the stovetop or even in the oven, so donating your rice maker is likely the right move.</p> <h2>12. Mandoline</h2> <p>This is another unitasker, and rarely used by most households. Most recipes don't require fruit or vegetables sliced paper thin, making a regular knife more than adequate. Most food processors also offer a mandoline attachment.</p> <h2>13. Pastry Bag</h2> <p>Unless you are making cakes and fancy desserts left and right (and if you are&hellip; can I come over?), you can easily create your own pastry bag with a plastic freezer bag. Just cut a hole in one of the bottom corners, attach the tip, spoon in your filling, and close the top. You can also use a cone of parchment paper wrapped closed and folded down at the top.</p> <h2>14. Electric Kettle</h2> <p>If you're a heavy tea drinker, then ignore this tip. Otherwise, a stovetop kettle doesn't take that much longer and doesn't take up space on your counter. Donate this one.</p> <h2>15. Leftovers</h2> <p>Leftovers always start with good intentions, but can often end up pushed to the back of your refrigerator. Periodically clean out your fridge, and get rid of leftovers that are more than a few days old. They can contain bacteria and cause illness, and simply aren't worth the risk. Always throw out food that has become moldy.</p> <p><em>What's cluttering up your kitchen?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-in-your-office-you-can-throw-out-today">12 Things in Your Office You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home Organization clutter declutter kitchen kitchen gadgets Mon, 03 Nov 2014 15:00:12 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1248293 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How You Maximize Fridge and Freezer Space http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-maximize-fridge-and-freezer-space <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-you-maximize-fridge-and-freezer-space" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-refrigerator-485018303-small.jpg" alt="woman refrigerator" title="woman refrigerator" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Is your freezer a mess? Do you frequently find old food rotting in the back of your fridge? I used to lose so much money this way. Now I take time to regularly clean and organize my refrigerator and freezer spaces, and it has made a huge difference. Even a few simple hacks are helpful here. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/schedule-regular-fridge-cleanings-to-prevent-food-waste?ref=seealso">Schedule Regular Fridge Cleanings to Avoid Food Waste</a>)</p> <p>So, check out these handy tips to get your foods onto the table with less mess, confusion, and &mdash; most important &mdash; waste.</p> <h2>Clear Out</h2> <p>Before you begin any project, it's good to clear out the old so you can start fresh. Take a good half hour (depending on your level of crazy) and take everything out of your fridge and freezer. Trash what's rotting, examine what's expired, and keep the rest. This occasion is also a great opportunity to spray some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners">homemade cleaner</a> in there and wipe all the crud and grime away. If you don't like how your refrigerator is configured, most shelves are moveable, so try a few layouts before putting your food back in.</p> <h2>Create Zones</h2> <p>The next step: Create zones for all your stuff to live in. There's no right or wrong way to divide, however &mdash; temperature and humidity does vary in the box, making ideal environments for some foods versus others. This <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/organizing-kitchen/refrigerator-drawers">organization guide</a> helps to identify the areas that work best for all your foods. For example, eggs do well on the middle shelf where temperature tends to be most consistent. Fruit, on the other hand, thrives in a low humidity drawer, whereas you'll want to keep veggies in higher humidity. And condiments &mdash; which have more preservatives &mdash; can happily hang out in the door. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fridge-or-counter-where-to-store-fruit-for-best-flavor?ref=seealso">Fridge or Counter? Where to Store Fruit for Best Flavor</a>)</p> <h2>Contain It</h2> <p>Whole foods and leftovers can certainly get lost without visibility. So, just as you'd box your belongings in other areas of your home, consider bringing some clean bins into the mix. The <a href="http://www.fourgenerationsoneroof.com/2014/02/hello-organization-refrigerator-makeover.html">before and after shots</a> of this refrigerator are jaw-dropping. Corralling snacks into one spot keeps them from migrating to the back of the refrigerator where they'll likely expire before use. And think outside the box here. I've seen friends use lazy susans or even magazine holders as unique shelving options. These same tips work in the freezer, too.</p> <h2>Freeze Flat</h2> <p>If you do any <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-and-money-with-a-monthly-assembly-or-bulk-cooking-weekend">bulk or assembly cooking</a>, space is at a premium in your freezer. Even if you have a dedicated chiller, like I do, you can get much more out of your investment by <a href="http://www.onedishdinners.com/2011/03/flat-freezing.html">freezing foods flat</a> whenever possible. Of course, you can't do this with absolutely all foods, but soups and stews, pre-cut fruits and veggies, sauces, meats, and even some baked goods can be placed in zip freezer bags and flattened. You can even freeze smoothies, soups, and other liquid items in ice cube trays and then transfer to flat bags. Try to remove as much air as possible to create even more space (and avoid dreaded freezer burn).</p> <h2>Label It</h2> <p>From there, you might notice that many foods become almost unrecognizable once frozen. And, though you think you'll remember what's what, that's rarely the case. Keep a Sharpie marker on your fridge or in your junk drawer and immediately label anything that goes in with the name of the dish and the date it was made. Otherwise, try to stick with clear storage containers versus opaque for quick identification of, say, applesauce from chili. It's a simple trick, but it cuts down significantly on time and guesswork.</p> <h2>Section Out</h2> <p>If you have a chest freezer &mdash; great! But I know how tricky it can be to organize. This blogger built <a href="http://www.thegigsdigs.blogspot.ca/2013/05/chest-freezer-organization_6.html">DIY dividers</a> to section off space for different items using plywood. If you don't have a jigsaw at home, you could take all the measurements and ask your local hardware store to make the cuts for you (usually at a small price). If you're not into that idea, consider buying a few larger plastic bins to put your flat bags into and dividing them into broad categories like breakfast, lunch, and dinner or soups, desserts, and whole ingredients. Then stack the bins on top of one another. You get the idea.</p> <h2>Make Lists</h2> <p>Once all your food is happily organized, it helps to make a list of what's there to aid with meal planning each week. That way, if something does disappear from the inventory, you'll still know it's worth digging out. I also write the date it was purchased (with produce), the date it expires (with packaged foods), or the date it was packaged (with frozen foods) and try to list in order of what spoils first. You can keep a spreadsheet if you're more computer-oriented. A small dry erase board works well in my household. Always consult these lists before bringing more food into the house.</p> <p><em>How organized (or disorganized) is your fridge or freezer? What's your system? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-maximize-fridge-and-freezer-space" class="sharethis-link" title="Here&#039;s How You Maximize Fridge and Freezer Space" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-maximize-fridge-and-freezer-space">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home">10 Super-Cool Ways to Add Hidden Storage to Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions">15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-downsize-and-declutter">How to Downsize and Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organize-a-room-for-10-with-no-extra-effort">Organize a Room for $10 with No Extra Effort</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home Organization food storage food waste freezer fridge storage Mon, 03 Nov 2014 09:00:13 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1248262 at http://www.wisebread.com Organized People Have These 5 Things in Their Homes — Do You? http://www.wisebread.com/organized-people-have-these-5-things-in-their-homes-do-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/organized-people-have-these-5-things-in-their-homes-do-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/organized-woman-home-490848943-small.jpg" alt="organized woman" title="organized woman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Organization is all about time management and making sure your belongings have a designated home for easy access and cleanup. It's a simple concept, but it's not always easy to pull off, especially when you're being pulled in a million directions by work, trips to the grocery store, your kid's cello lessons, your Twitter feed, and the dog who just can't get enough walks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today?ref=seealso">25 Easy Organizing Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>Luckily, there are tons of tools on the market to help you keep calm, cool, and coordinated. Read on for our roundup of the things every organized person should have in the home if they want to stay clear of chaos and clutter.</p> <h2>1. A Shoe Rack</h2> <p>Never again will you have the right shoe but not the left. Never again will you have to tear up the house looking for that missing pair of rain boots. A rack built to store and display two dozen pairs of footwear is the organized person's must-have sanity tool. Try something sleek and simple like this <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005KC6DY0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005KC6DY0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=VZCSHTUYRLFVCNZP">Whitmor rack</a>.</p> <h2>2. Grid-It Organizer</h2> <p>This rubberized grid of elastic bands is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002HU27UW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002HU27UW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=EUG6PHAKHFWG5TMC">like a Trapper Keeper for grown ups</a> that slides right into your drawer, bag, or briefcase. Simply place the items you need &mdash; cell phone, toothpaste, notebook, flashlight, measuring stick, business card holder &mdash; beneath an elastic strap and the Grid-It Organizer will hold them firmly in place. Rummaging through a bag or junk drawer to find your flash drive is now a thing of the past.</p> <h2>3. A Garbage Can &mdash; That Gets Used For More Than Just Food Scraps</h2> <p>Organized people stay organized in part because they don't hold on to every little thing they've ever owned. They know when it's time to say goodbye, if only to prevent clutter from cramping their style. Even the smallest show of resistance to a good spring cleaning is indicative of mild hoarding. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today?ref=seealso">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <p>&quot;People hoard because they believe that an item will be useful or valuable in the future,&quot; writes Fugen Neziroglu, Director of the Bio-Behavioral Institute in Great Neck, New York. &quot;Or they feel it has sentimental value, is unique and irreplaceable, or too big a bargain to throw away. They may also consider an item a reminder that will jog their memory, thinking that without it they won't remember an important person or event. Or because they can't decide where something belongs, it's better just to keep it.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Smart Shelving</h2> <p>We all use shelving to organize everything from our kitchenware to our laundry supplies. But organized people utilize this shelving with a bit of forward-thinking: Whether its dishes or detergents, the organized person arranges the items on their shelves by frequency of use, with everyday items on an easy-to-reach shelf and special-occasion items tucked behind or above.</p> <h2>5. A Filing Cabinet</h2> <p>A home filing system keeps the organized person free from the frustrations that come with not being able to find their passport. That's because the organized person stores all important documents and paperwork in a single cabinet organized with tabs marked by category and the letters of the alphabet.</p> <p><em>Are you organized? What do you use to help keep your place organized and clutter free? Please share in comments.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organized-people-have-these-5-things-in-their-homes-do-you" class="sharethis-link" title="Organized People Have These 5 Things in Their Homes — Do You?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organized-people-have-these-5-things-in-their-homes-do-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stuff-will-never-make-you-organized">Stuff will never make you organized</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-organize-a-messy-closet">14 Ways to Organize a Messy Closet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home">10 Super-Cool Ways to Add Hidden Storage to Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Organization organized planning storage Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:00:07 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1238128 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways You're Wasting Time Without Realizing It http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-youre-wasting-time-without-realizing-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-youre-wasting-time-without-realizing-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-working-headphones-175219954-small.jpg" alt="woman working headphones" title="woman working headphones" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Time is one thing that we seem to have less of as life wears on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-essential-life-hacks-that-will-save-you-time-in-the-morning?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Save Time in the Morning</a>)</p> <p>The days fly by and we're stressed to come up with any extra minutes. But what if we could free up our schedule and finish our to-do lists? Some people are just busy with little or no recourse, but others are wasting time without even knowing that it's happening. Here's a look at a few ways we can be more aware of our time and be better managers of it.</p> <h2>1. Leaving Email &quot;Up&quot;</h2> <p>You may work a job where you must have email up on a constant basis. But if you don't, there's no reason to run it when you aren't waiting on a particular message. If you're working on a project, just close your email and check them periodically throughout the day. Avoiding that catchy little &quot;(1)&quot; that often distracts your train of thought can save you a lot of time.</p> <h2>2. Listening to Music</h2> <p>In some cases, listening to music can help pass the time when engaging in mundane or mindless tasks. But when it comes to work that you need to think intentionally about, like crafting a sales pitch, writing a report, or even just reading something, <a href="http://tech.co/listening-to-music-at-work-2013-11">music can slow you down</a>, thereby increasing the time spent on the task and decreasing the resulting quality of your work.</p> <h2>3. Paying for Lunch</h2> <p>In some cases, you need to spend money to make money. But paying for lunch is often a double-figure investment and can cost you close to (or more than) an hour of work. <a href="http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/cheap-and-healthy-brown-bag-lunch-ideas-for-grownups">Pack a lunch instead</a> of eating out and you'll get back an hour's worth of pay, which<a href="http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/budgeting/how-much-cheaper-to-pack-lunch.htm"> can really add up</a>.</p> <h2>4. Not Taking a Break</h2> <p>It might seem counterproductive (or even impossible) to stop what you're doing at work or home to take a break. However, <a href="http://healthdecide.orcahealth.com/orcatheme_imagepost/take-a-break-it-may-increase-productivity/#.VBcv5vldWSo">numerous studies have shown</a> that taking a break, or even a short nap, can actually boost your productivity and increase the quality of your work output.</p> <h2>5. Not Making a To-Do List</h2> <p>Even if you can remember everything you need to do, making a to-do list can help you focus by streamlining your schedule and giving you a failsafe to avoid forgetting important tasks.</p> <h2>6. Using a Gadget When Pen and Paper Will Do</h2> <p>Tablets and smartphones can be excellent productivity tools. But when it comes to taking notes or <a href="http://bulletjournal.com/">quickly writing down ideas</a>, you may be better off with the much simpler pen and paper.</p> <h2>7. Going to Meetings</h2> <p>It's becoming increasingly common for meetings to be viewed as <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201204/why-meetings-kill-productivity">productivity killers</a>. That's not to say they don't have their place, but a<a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2012/09/20/why-business-meetings-are-often-a-waste-of-time-and-productivity/"> brutally objective view</a> of the typical workplace meeting shows us that we're wasting a lot of precious time.</p> <h2>8. Attending Technology-Related Classes</h2> <p>It's not to say that all work-related classes are a waste of time, but a lot of the information that used to only exist inside classrooms now exists for free on the Internet. Particularly when it comes to technology-related topics, you can learn almost everything there is to know in a free, online format.</p> <p>Places like <a href="https://www.khanacademy.org/">Khanacademy</a> and <a href="http://www.codecademy.com/">Code Academy</a> are great places to start.</p> <h2>9. Running Dual Monitors</h2> <p>A lot of people find dual monitors to be more productive because it allows them to avoid having to switch back and forth between different applications or documents. While that's true, it only applies in certain professions. For example, graphic designers and programmers will often have need for more than one screen. But if it's not an obvious necessity, more than one monitor often makes things more distracting because it tempts you to put something that's not work-related on the second screen. In most cases, it'll be more efficient to stick with one monitor.</p> <h2>10. Not Putting Your Clothes Out the Night Before</h2> <p>One incredibly simple thing you can do to save time before you go to bed is set your clothes out for the next day the night before. It makes early mornings a lot quicker as it gets you out of your bedroom without having to search through drawers, possibly in the dark out of fear that you'll wake someone up.</p> <h2>Time to Be Saved</h2> <p>There's no question that it's easy to crowd our lives with obligations and tight schedules. But there is time to be saved if we're willing to be objective about our own scheduling and work habits. If we remove the unnecessary time wasters and get specific about where we can get be more efficient, most of us can get back more than 60 minutes a day. For many, that can make a huge difference by allowing them to be more focused, relaxed and allow them to feel less rushed every day.</p> <p><em>How do you conserve and avoid wasting time? Are the tactics you employ at home and work much different? Let me know in the comments section.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-youre-wasting-time-without-realizing-it" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Ways You&#039;re Wasting Time Without Realizing It" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-youre-wasting-time-without-realizing-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-time-saving-tools-everyone-should-own">15 Time-Saving Tools Everyone Should Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-a-deep-declutter-can-improve-your-life">12 Ways a Deep Declutter Can Improve Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Easy Organizing Changes You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-good-habits-that-may-actually-be-hurting-you">6 &quot;Good&quot; Habits That May Actually Be Hurting You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-ways-to-spend-the-first-10-minutes-of-your-workday">The 5 Best Ways to Spend the First 10 Minutes of Your Workday</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Organization Productivity efficiency saving time shortcuts time time savers time sucks Tue, 23 Sep 2014 21:00:04 +0000 Mikey Rox 1218888 at http://www.wisebread.com