Organization http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1605/all en-US 20 Genius Storage Ideas for Your Bathroom http://www.wisebread.com/20-genius-storage-ideas-for-your-bathroom <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-genius-storage-ideas-for-your-bathroom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bathroom-storage-shelves-Dollarphotoclub_68427417.jpg" alt="bathroom shelves" title="bathroom shelves" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you don't have a whole lot of storage space in your bathroom, finding places to stash all your stuff can be a challenge (especially if you're a product junkie like I am). Luckily there are tons of creative ways to increase the organization potential of your bathroom. Get inspired by one of these genius bathroom organizing ideas. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions?ref=seealso">15 Genius Kitchen Storage Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>1. Hanging Shoe Organizer</h2> <p>Make use of the space behind your bathroom door by hanging up a <a href="/www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HM5V0A/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000HM5V0A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=Y3MHEPOLTVWHR52Q">shoe organizer with clear pockets</a>. If you have lots of little bottles and tubes, this is the perfect way to organize them (By color! By type!) while being able to see all of the contents. I can only dream of owning enough tubes of lip gloss and makeup to fill one of these.</p> <h2>2. Stacking Bins</h2> <p>My under-the-sink area is notorious for getting stuffed with random bags of toilet paper, shampoo, cleaning products, and bubble bath. After a while, it gets so messy I don't even know what I have under there anymore! So I <em>should</em> be using stacking crates or bins are to take advantage of the vertical space. These <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EDZSDWA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00EDZSDWA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RVSZPX34DQF6BN6L">stacking bins</a> are perfect, but a little pricey. See if you can find the same thing or similar at local discount stores. (I frequent my local Daiso, a Japanese dollar store, for all my plastic organizational needs.) In a pinch, office organization bins can work.</p> <h2>3. Cabinet Shelving</h2> <p>If you're a little handy, you can build in a few little shelves under the sink to better use your space. Or if you're not up to DIY, a couple of plastic shelves (again, check your local discount store) or an inexpensive <a href="http://www.target.com/p/room-essentials-24-horizontal-shelf-white/-/A-15187075#prodSlot=_1_1">shoe rack</a> might do the trick.</p> <h2>4. Turntables for Hard-to-Reach Spaces</h2> <p>I'm a big fan of lazy Susans (also known as <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0036OQWT0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0036OQWT0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WHYTCIXLW46EEEQP">cabinet turntables</a>) in cabinets to help you reach those hard to access areas easily.</p> <h2>5. Add Wall Shelves</h2> <p>Add wall shelving wherever there is dead space, like over the toilet. It's a great place to store baskets full of useful items, like floss and washcloths. If you do store things over the toilet though, it's a good idea to get into the habit of keeping your toilet cover closed, not only so things don't fall in, but to minimize contamination.</p> <h2>6. Bring in Furniture</h2> <p>If you have the space, you might even be able to move in a small cabinet or bookshelf for extra storage. If a piece of furniture is too big, try a small kitchen storage cart like the <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30216536/">IKEA Raskog</a>.</p> <h2>7. Add an Extra Towel Bar</h2> <p>Instead of fighting my husband for use of the towel bar next to the shower, we decided to hang an extra towel bar above the old one. Now each of us has our own rack for a less messy bathroom (and bonus, towels that dry!). An extra towel bar can also be used to hang baskets, curling irons, and other sundries.</p> <h2>8. Repurpose a Vintage Ladder</h2> <p>Another creative idea I've seen is to use a vintage wooden ladder leaning up against the bathroom wall as a towel bar (if you have the space). With each rung holding a towel, you'll have plenty of towel storage.</p> <h2>9. Store Things in Dishes</h2> <p>Storage items don't have to be made for the bathroom to be used for bathroom storage. I picked up a vintage yellow ceramic creamer and sugar bowl set at an antique store. They are perfect for storing cotton swabs and cotton pads in the bathroom. They look great too! Don't be afraid to use pretty dishes for storing small items. A crystal bowl can hold nail polishes, hand lotions, or lip balms. A tiered dessert server can double as a jewelry display.</p> <h2>10. Reuse Old Containers</h2> <p>Old candle holders (after you've <a href="http://www.auntpeaches.com/2012/09/how-to-remove-candle-wax-from-glass.html">removed the wax</a>) can be used to hold toothbrushes and makeup brushes. Empty product jars (especially for fancier creams) can be repurposed to hold cotton balls, makeup removal pads, or even to decant larger items into. For example, put some of your favorite body lotion into a pretty jar, and store the rest of the giant bottle out of sight. Do the same with the enormous bottle of mouthwash.</p> <h2>11. Corral Loose Items</h2> <p>A bathroom looks untidy with a toothbrush, toothpaste, contact cases, and other sundries littering the countertop. Keep these daily use items together on a tray or in a water-resistant basket. I use this <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10239647/">IKEA candle dish</a> as the perfect waterproof way to store daily use items. The countertop looks less cluttered, but I'm not stuck with trying to store oft-used items out of sight.</p> <h2>12. Hang Stuff on Rails</h2> <p>If you're lacking counter space, a great way to optimize storage is to hang things from the walls. Hang a rail storage system, like the <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50201906/">IKEA Fintorp</a> series, and stash your stuff in the various hooks, cups, and holders that hang from the rail.</p> <h2>13. Hang Spice Racks</h2> <p>Similarly, an inexpensive <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40070185/">spice rack</a>, already meant to store small bottles, can be creatively repurposed to hold toiletries.</p> <h2>14. Divide Drawers</h2> <p>A bathroom drawer can quickly become a bottomless pit of junk without a bit of organization. Divide up the space using creative solutions such as repurposed cardboard boxes, silverware holders, bowls, office supply containers, and baskets.</p> <h2>15. Create &quot;Holsters&quot; Using PVC Pipe</h2> <p>I thought this was an ingenious way to store curling irons &mdash; attach short lengths of 2&quot;-3&quot; PVC pipe to the door of your sink vanity, creating &quot;<a href="http://www.familyhandyman.com/bathroom/diy-bathroom-storage/view-all#step5">holsters</a>&quot; for the irons and their cords.</p> <h2>16. Hang Baskets or Crates on Walls</h2> <p>Instead of bothering with hanging shelves, go straight to hanging baskets or wooden crates on the walls to hold towels and toilet paper rolls. You can make a little bookcase by stacking a few wooden crates on top of each other and anchoring them to the wall with the open side facing out.</p> <h2>17. Repurpose a Wine Bottle Rack</h2> <p>Use a wall wine rack to store rolled up hand and bath towels if you don't have much towel storage in your home.</p> <h2>18. Reclaim Cabinet Doors</h2> <p>Use the space behind your cabinet doors by hanging small plastic baskets or utensil containers behind each door to store small things like nail polish, nail clippers, and other little things that get lost easily.</p> <h2>19. Use the Sides of Your Vanity</h2> <p>Attaching a basket to the side of your vanity cabinet can make use of an under-utilized space. This <a href="http://www.listotic.com/50-brilliant-storage-ideas/20/">metal mesh basket</a> (actually a file holder) hung on the side of the cabinet is the perfect place to store hair dryers and irons.</p> <h2>20. Hanging Storage From the Ceiling</h2> <p>Hanging tiered fruit baskets attached to the ceiling creates useful storage space without using up valuable real estate on the floor or walls.</p> <p><em>Even the smallest bathroom can be optimized for storage space with a little ingenuity. What creative solutions have you found to organize your bathroom?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-genius-storage-ideas-for-your-bathroom">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/how-to-downsize-and-declutter">How to Downsize and 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/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-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/12-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-garage">12 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Garage</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><br/></br> Home Organization bathroom storage Tue, 03 Mar 2015 12:00:10 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1316675 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Kinds of Emails to Purge From Your Inbox http://www.wisebread.com/5-kinds-of-emails-to-purge-from-your-inbox <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-kinds-of-emails-to-purge-from-your-inbox" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/email blackberry 2.jpg" alt="email blackberry phone" title="email blackberry phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have that email account &mdash; it's swimming in loose, unmanageable email messages we can't seem to delete. It's our primary email account. How did it get this bad? By not deleting these five kinds of emails.</p> <h2>1. Old Work Emails</h2> <p>You stopped working there two years ago but still let the entire history of communication rot in your email account, because who knows &mdash; maybe you'll need a coworker's contact info, need to access a file, or need to reference something. Here's the question: Have you so far? If not, consider adding all those old coworkers' addresses to your email contacts list and delete those emails! Here's how to <a href="https://support.google.com/mail/answer/8933?hl=en">add contacts in Gmail</a>.</p> <h2>2. Newsletters You've Read (or Never Read)</h2> <p>You signed up for a lot of newsletters that seemed informative at the time, everything from your favorite retail outlets, to blogs, to clubs or associations you're a part of to your bank's and gym's regular notifications. Once you've scanned or read them, delete! If you haven't read the sender's newsletters in more than a month, unsubscribe <a href="https://unroll.me/">using a tool like Unroll.me</a>. All the better to see the more important messages waiting in your inbox every morning.</p> <h2>3. Social Media Notifications</h2> <p>You opted in for email notifications on Facebook and other networks a long time ago, back in the oughts, when we expected to receive email notifications about everything. Now you have a smartphone that pings you everytime something new happens. All you have to do is check the app or go to the site (as if you don't already do that every 30 seconds) to stay abreast. So why do you still spam yourself with email notifications? Only because you are too lazy to delete them. Here's how to <a href="https://www.facebook.com/help/327994277286267/">get rid of those emails</a>.</p> <h2>4. Blind Solicitations</h2> <p>You scroll past emails from someone you don't know very well, because they're asking for something. Do you plan to reply to them in the next two days? If not, let it go. The recruiter who emailed you about a job you don't want, the sales person following up on your purchase, the not-even-an-acquaintance who asked you to donate to their Kickstarter &mdash; they all knew it was unlikely they would hear from you, anyway. Stop feeling bad about not replying to them and delete those emails!</p> <h2>5. Sentimental Emails</h2> <p>You keep those special emails from your significant other, your parents or grandparents, your closest friends in a special folder. It's meaningful to hold onto those messages, but you don't open that folder very often. Well, you can still do that by <a href="http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2013/12/download-copy-of-your-gmail-and-google.html">downloading those sentimental exchanges</a> to your hard drive, Dropbox, or other cloud storage. Anything not pertinent to your everyday communication needs is email clutter. Save those precious emails somewhere more permanent, where they'll be kept safe.</p> <p><em>How do you keep your inbox tidy and uncluttered? Drop us a line in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-kinds-of-emails-to-purge-from-your-inbox">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/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/do-this-one-thing-to-defeat-disorganization-forever">Do This One Thing to Defeat Disorganization Forever</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-ways-to-get-people-to-respond-to-your-email">15 Ways to Get People to Respond to Your Email</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/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Easy Organizing Changes You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Productivity clutter digital clutter email Mon, 02 Mar 2015 18:00:11 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1315185 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things in Your Basement You Should Throw Out Today http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-in-your-basement-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="/10-things-in-your-basement-you-should-throw-out-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/college-men-moving-boxes-Dollarphotoclub_42085553.jpg" alt="young men moving boxes" title="young men moving boxes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I hate to admit it, but I'm a basement hoarder.</p> <p>My subterranean lair is the slightly moldy home to any and every item that I cannot decide what to do with. If it weren't for the fact that our washer and dryer reside in the basement, there probably wouldn't even be room to walk down there. (See also: <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>)</p> <p>But for every item that actually should be stored in my basement, there are at least two others that are just taking up space. It's high time to clean house&hellip; literally! So if you're like me, here are 10 common basement items that you no longer need to hold onto (and the best way of getting rid of them).</p> <h2>1. Computer, Electronic, and Appliance Boxes</h2> <p>It's one of those completely irrational urges: to carefully preserve all of the packaging for any new electronic equipment you purchase. This might have made sense when you bought a desktop computer back in college and expected to move every nine months, but now it's just silly. Break down and recycle all those boxes. You can always get another box if you have to move. Recycling what you have will immediately clear up space in your basement and give you a sense of decluttering accomplishment.</p> <h2>2. Old Electronics</h2> <p>Speaking of technology of yore, how many of you have a VCR or a monitor the size of a sofa hanging out in your basement somewhere? (I actually still have a TV/VCR combo from my college days.) Often, we hang onto these items because we have no idea how to get rid of them. Enter <a href="http://www.earth911.com/">Earth911.com</a>. This website allows you to search for local recycling centers for everything from batteries to electronics.</p> <h2>3. Cables, Wires, and Chargers</h2> <p>Every device you buy comes with a new cable, wire, or charger. Take the time to go through your collection, match up the ones you actually need with the devices you use, and donate the rest to Goodwill or recycle them at <a href="http://www.bestbuy.com/site/global-promotions/recycling-electronics/pcmcat149900050025.c?id=pcmcat149900050025">Best Buy</a>.</p> <h2>4. Owner's Manuals</h2> <p>One of the perks of living in the age of the Internet is the fact that you can recycle all of those manuals you have been carefully saving. You can Google the problem you need to troubleshoot faster than you could find the necessary owner's manual in the pile, anyway.</p> <h2>5. Hazardous Materials</h2> <p>Basements tend to collect everything from half-empty cans of paint to expired motor oil to jugs of antifreeze to expired batteries. Just like your old electronics, you may have held onto these because you don't know how to safely get rid of them. Earth911.com can help you determine where to take these items without harming yourself or the environment.</p> <h2>6. Unused Small Appliances</h2> <p>I'd wager you have a bread machine kicking around somewhere in your basement. Or maybe your mother-in-law gave everyone a crockpot one year for Christmas and yours has never seen the light of day. Nearly every basement has some sort of kitchen appliance that's been used once or twice and then stored. Drop off those George Foreman grills and Williams-Sonoma Panini presses at your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. You'll never miss them.</p> <h2>7. Exercise Equipment</h2> <p>When is the last time you used that home elliptical machine for anything other than drying sweaters? Or the skis you bought before you broke your leg in Aspen? If you have pieces of exercise equipment gathering dust in your basement, it's time to clear them out. No, you won't use them and you won't get your money's worth out of them. Believing that you will is just <a href="http://moneyning.com/money-beliefs/how-loss-aversion-in-behavioral-economics-explains-your-irrational-money-choices/">the loss aversion talking</a>, and you'll feel much better to let go of those false beliefs (and the accompanying guilt.)</p> <p>When it comes to sports equipment, the options run the gamut from donating them to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army to selling them on Craigslist. It's also a great idea to check with your local <a href="http://www.ymca.net/">YMCA</a>, <a href="http://www.bgca.org/Pages/index.aspx">Boys &amp; Girls Clubs of America</a>, or <a href="http://www.specialolympics.org/">Special Olympics</a> chapter to see if you can do even more good with your unused equipment. (Not to mention the tax write-off.)</p> <h2>8. Broken or Unused Christmas Decorations</h2> <p>It seems like most basements in America have at least one strand of non-working Christmas lights stored somewhere. You can send your lights to <a href="http://www.holidayleds.com">HolidayLeds</a> for recycling year-round, and receive a coupon good for 15% off LED Christmas lights on the site.</p> <p>If you have an artificial tree even Charlie Brown wouldn't put presents under, check your local drop-off recycling center (or Earth911.com) to find out if you can recycle it.</p> <p>For Christmas ornaments and bulbs that have seen better days, donate them or trash them. Don't assume that you'll make that lovely <a href="https://www.pinterest.com/explore/broken-mirror-projects/">Pinterest mosaic</a> from the broken pieces.</p> <h2>9. Baby Items</h2> <p>If you're not sure you are done having children, it can be tough to get rid of old baby items. But some baby gear expires (like car seats, for instance), and baby clothes, jumpers, strollers, and the like are generally going to be the worse for wear after spending years in your basement. Donate the usable items.</p> <p>As for those car seats, there are specific guidelines for disposing of them.</p> <p>Car seats generally expire within six years of purchase because the foam padding degrades over time. If your car seat is newer than six years old and has never been in an accident, you may be able to give it to another family, although you will likely have to pass it along to someone you know personally. Most parents are (understandably) leery of accepting a used car seat from a stranger.</p> <p>If you cannot donate your seat, you may be able to recycle it. There are <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/10/what-to-do-with-a-used-car-seat/index.htm">recycling centers in 11 states</a> that will accept used and expired car seats for recycling. Otherwise, you can dismantle the seat, remove the straps, and recycle the plastic and metal portions of the seat while trashing the rest. As a last resort, you can dispose of the seat in the trash, provided you have removed or cut the straps so the seat cannot be used again.</p> <h2>10. Games With Missing Pieces</h2> <p>Just because you <em>could</em> play Monopoly with a handwritten B&amp;O Railroad card doesn't mean you want to. It's time to just get rid of any games with missing pieces. It's likely that you will have to just trash/recycle these misfit toys, but it's always a good idea to post such games on <a href="https://www.freecycle.org/">Freecycle</a> to see if a local artist-type could use some random game pieces.</p> <p><em>What items are you still keeping in your basement that you have not gotten around to throwing out? What items do you plan to keep forever in your basement, no matter how much it will confuse future archeologists (and your current significant other)?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-in-your-basement-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-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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <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> <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-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization basement clutter declutter hoarding Mon, 23 Feb 2015 12:00:08 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1302027 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Smart Storage Solutions for Your TV Room http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-storage-solutions-for-your-tv-room <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-smart-storage-solutions-for-your-tv-room" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-tv-remote-media-room-Dollarphotoclub_59539526.jpg" alt="woman tv room" title="woman tv room" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Need a media room makeover? I certainly do. There's a lot of stuff that goes into entertainment, even for those of us who like to keep life more minimal. So check out these amazingly easy ways to get your space organized in a flash so you can enjoy more movies, tunes, and fun. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-your-old-electronics?ref=seealso">How to Get Rid of Your Old Electronics</a>)</p> <h2>1. Fake Built-Ins</h2> <p>You don't need carpentry skills to enjoy the look and function of built-ins. This blogger collected five Ikea Billy bookcases and <a href="http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2011/03/built-in-beauty.html">assembled them together</a> using wood and moulding for a finishing touch. She then painted them and accented the faces with patterned wallpaper. So much storage!</p> <h2>2. Stacked Shelving</h2> <p>If you have lots of media items, like CDs, DVDs, and games, consider stacking them high with a system of <a href="http://p-fst2.pixstatic.com/51bbcf1bdbd0cb1e74000534._w.540_s.fit_.jpg">simple shelving</a>. A floor-to-ceiling installation can be both practical and eye-catching. You can find basic shelving at your local hardware store along with all the brackets you need to fasten it to the wall. If you cannot find the studs, use screws with anchors for staying power.</p> <h2>3. Disc Jockey</h2> <p>I used to work in libraries, so I'm all about this streamlined approach to disc storage. Take all your CDs and DVDs out of their plastic boxes and slip them into <a href="http://www.hisugarplumsblog.com/2013/09/organized-mountain-of-dvds-cds.html">slim paper sleeves</a>. Arrange in a cute bin alphabetically by creating clearly marked dividers.</p> <h2>4. Cord Wrangler</h2> <p>I don't know about you, but we have a gazillion cords laying on the ground in our entertainment room. Get them in line by using <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=cable%20organizer&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=L7XDK7D5S5KNNFYQ">cable organizers</a> installed on the back of your TV stand. Though <a href="http://www.ikeahackers.net/2012/12/ocd-friendly-expedit-tv-bench.html">this project</a> is specific to the Ikea Expedit and Signum organizers, the same concept applies to any other piece of furniture your television lives on. Attach to the back and get your cords in line.</p> <h2>5. Thing Organizer</h2> <p>There are lots of, well, things that go along with TVs, DVD players, game stations, streaming devices, sound systems, and more. Tame all the extras &mdash; cords, chargers, etc. &mdash; in file or media boxes. You'll <a href="http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2012/03/you-asked-organizing-cords.html">cut out cardboard dividers</a> to create nooks to place all your stuff inside. Don't forget to wrap the cords using ties to keep them from getting tangled.</p> <h2>6. DIY Ottoman</h2> <p>For small rooms, this <a href="http://www.rustoleum.com/project-catalog/living%20room/ottoman/#_a5y_p=2902456">Galvanized Ottoman</a> project is genius. I'd love to make one to store my child's toys or even my workout equipment (weights, bands, rollers, etc.) for all those exercise DVDs I do at home. All you need is a metal tub to start. Then you'll cut out a circular top out of wood and upholster with foam and fabric. You can choose to add swivel casters or not. The finished ottoman can double as a coffee table or seating in a pinch.</p> <h2>7. Hidden Storage</h2> <p>Not everything we store in our entertainment rooms is beautiful or display-worthy. Try hiding extra cords, remote controls, and other equipment with a couple <a href="http://www.bhg.com/rooms/living-room/room-arranging/multipurpose-living-room/#page=7">tension rods and short curtains</a>. Finding the exact size you need at the store might be difficult, so try making your own curtains out of fabric and iron-on hemming tape. Just cut to size, fold over edges, and leave room for the rod before heating.</p> <h2>8. Speaker Solution</h2> <p>Clunky speakers cramping your style? My husband and I are continually arguing about the best way to have surround sound without all the bulk and eyesores. Here's a great idea to slip them <a href="http://stylemesouthern.blogspot.com/2012/04/skirted-table.html">under a skirted table</a>. That way, he gets his subwoofer and I get my tidy room.</p> <h2>9. Record Station</h2> <p>We have an impressive collection of vinyl that needs a place to live. This <a href="http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2011/09/diy-industrial-record-cabinet.html">DIY Record Cabinet</a> looks easy to assemble and has distinct industrial flair. Beyond that specific project, I like the general idea of using old crates &mdash; metal or wooden &mdash; as storage for records. If you can find several sturdy crates, you could stack them atop one another for a quick record shelf wherever you need one.</p> <h2>10. Television Cabinet</h2> <p>Pottery Barn has some amazing cabinets that hang over your television to hide it away in style. The problem is that they cost over $450 to purchase, depending on your TV size. Try making your own cabinet using <a href="http://www.soyouthinkyourecrafty.com/wall-mounted-tv-case-tutorial/">frames and a pallet</a>. You'll construct a box on the wall before mounting your TV and putting the frames on hinges to open and close.</p> <p><em>How do you keep your media room tidy?</em></p> <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/10-smart-storage-solutions-for-your-tv-room">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/8-reasons-why-you-should-get-a-3d-printer">8 Reasons Why You Should Get a 3D Printer</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/miracle-device-coin-rolls-all-your-credit-cards-into-one">Miracle Device Coin Rolls All Your Credit Cards Into One</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/mr-cheap-stuff-who-do-you-think-you-are">Mr. Cheap Stuff: Who do you think you are?</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/best-ways-to-count-and-cash-in-your-change">Best Ways to Count (and Cash in) Your Change</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/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization entertainment gadgets media technology Thu, 19 Feb 2015 12:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1299968 at http://www.wisebread.com Do This One Thing to Defeat Disorganization Forever http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-one-thing-to-defeat-disorganization-forever <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/do-this-one-thing-to-defeat-disorganization-forever" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/retro-businessman-messy-office-desk-Dollarphotoclub_72115873.jpg" alt="businessman messy desk" title="businessman messy desk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some people are just born to be organized.</p> <p>Labeling and categorizing comes naturally. Itineraries and schedules are seen as welcomed tools. These are the people that can easily lay their hands on a shopping receipt, the water bill or the warranty on the refrigerator at a moment's notice.</p> <p>I admire these people. I even envy them at times. But I am <em>not</em> one of them&hellip; not even close.</p> <p>It's not that I don't appreciate the benefits of a good system&hellip; I do. But my brain just doesn't work that way. As counter-productive as it might be, I am innately disorganized to my core. And I have been that way for as long as I can remember.</p> <p>Which is why I knew I had to write this post.</p> <p>See, it's easy for an organized person to tell you how to bring order into your life. Throw stuff away, they counsel. And do one thing at a time.</p> <p>But for those of you &mdash; like me &mdash; who have trouble with those concepts, this kind of advice simply won't work. I do throw things away for instance, but one look at my closet or my garage and you'll know it's not nearly enough. And I'd love to focus on just one thing at a time, if only my mind (and my attention span) would cooperate.</p> <p>So, if you and I have this in common, if you too struggle with inherent disorganization in a relatively organized world, then this post is for you.</p> <p>Do this one thing, and defeat your disorganization for good.</p> <h2>Build Your Own System</h2> <p>I spent years trying to work within the commonly accepted model. File important papers alphabetically for example, and if you haven't used something in a year, toss it out. A place for everything and everything in its place.</p> <p>But those rules simply didn't work for me and the more I tried to adhere to that kind of structure, the more overwhelmed I began to feel.</p> <p>I have spiral notebooks full of story ideas that are older than a year, but toss them out? I think not. I also have the megaphone from my cheerleading days &mdash; decades old, I might add &mdash; and certainly not anything I'll be using anytime soon. Does it have &quot;a place?&quot; No. It's bulky and dented and dusty and it doesn't really &quot;fit&quot; anywhere. Is it something I really need to keep? You betcha.</p> <p>Filing things alphabetically isn't a &quot;bad&quot; idea <em>per se</em>, but let's be honest. Asking me to set up (and follow through with) said filing system is like asking me to stash my socks in those cute, individual cubbies they make for dresser drawers. It's a nice thought, but it's probably not going to happen.</p> <p>So, I've created a system that works for me instead, and you can too.</p> <p>Here's how you do it.</p> <h2>Find Your Flow</h2> <p>We all have a preferred way of doing things and finding yours is the key to building your system. So, look around and see what makes sense to you.</p> <p>What items do you most need to find on a regular basis? What items are you most likely to misplace? Do you frequently write down phone numbers or passwords or other important information on envelopes or scraps of paper?</p> <p>I do, and then would have to spend hours trying to find the right &quot;scrap&quot; when I needed that information again. To remedy that, I keep a steno pad handy at all times to record those little tidbits of data. It's not a &quot;pretty&quot; way to organize that information, but I haven't had to hunt down an old sticky note in ages.</p> <h2>Find Your Place(s)</h2> <p>And all those spirals containing my writing? They're in a box that sits underneath my desk. I know where it is, it's easily accessible, and I can take from it or add to it whenever I need. I do the same with receipts I want to keep and all our various warranties go straight into a drawer in the kitchen the moment they enter our house.</p> <p>Warranties also share space with our chargers, but it's a deep drawer so it works fine and again, both of these item now have a &quot;place&quot; that I can work with, even if it's not the most logical arrangement.</p> <p>My socks also make it to a drawer, but that's about as much as I can promise. Sometimes, they're matched, sometimes they're not, but they're all in the same place and that's good enough for me.</p> <p>The point is to create a system that works the way you work and addresses the areas you struggle with the most.</p> <p>Remember, the whole point of being organized is ultimately to make life easier. You want to find things when you need them, without having to launch an all-day search and rescue. And contrary to popular opinion, there's more than one way to achieve that goal.</p> <p>Building your own system allows you to create your own version of &quot;order,&quot; even if that version still looks chaotic to your more traditionally organized counterparts.</p> <h2>What About Clutter?</h2> <p>Will this get rid of all the clutter?</p> <p>It depends on how deep your clutter runs. The reason that disorganized people find themselves surrounded by clutter is that we haven't yet decided what to do with all that stuff.</p> <p>I have tons of craft supplies for instance, and at some point in my life, I've had specific plans for each and every one. If I can comfortably say that I'm no longer interested in doing a particular project, it's easy to get rid of the supplies in question.</p> <p>But that's not always the case.</p> <p>So, I compromised. I keep the supplies not being used in a plastic tub in the back of my closet. The supplies I use frequently are kept in a smaller tub that slides underneath my bed.</p> <p>Is it a perfect solution? It's perfect for me!</p> <p>Building your own system may not permanently clear out all the clutter, but it at least organizes the &quot;stuff&quot; together, so that you can focus on how to store it. And that makes it easier to find the things you use without weeding through the things you don't.</p> <p>So. Does this mean I won't have to throw things away?</p> <p>You'll still eventually have to &quot;spring clean&quot; and clear things out, especially when you need to make space for the new &quot;stuff&quot; you need to store.</p> <p>You can however, use this model to give yourself more time to come to that decision by making your potential junk less of a nuisance while you assess your options and remember, there's more than one way to &quot;get rid&quot; of something.</p> <p>Maybe you can find a way to upcycle the item into something you'll actually use. Maybe a friend or relative will mention they're looking for that very thing, allowing you to say, &quot;hey, I just happen to have one you can use!&quot;</p> <p>You can also donate the items, sell them on eBay or Craigslist, host a garage sale or in some instances, wrap them up and give them as gifts (use common sense with that last one). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-one-thing-a-day-to-defeat-clutter-forever?ref=seealso">Do This One Thing to Defeat Clutter Forever</a>)</p> <h2>What About Non-Stuff Clutter?</h2> <p>That sounds great, but what about organizing the non-tangible aspects of my life?</p> <p>So, you're starting to see your physical environment take a more organized shape, but still you're struggling with things like appointments, reminders, bills, and due dates?</p> <p>The same basic approach still applies.</p> <p>I don't work well with day planners for example, but I do love lists and as luck would have it, my cell phone has a simple Notes app that keeps those lists forever at my fingertips.</p> <p>I have a running grocery list that gets updated any time I notice we're out of something, a list of clothing sizes (should I want to shop for the family), and another list for thoughts and ideas that that come to me when I'm out and about and my spirals aren't within reach.</p> <p>Birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, bill dates, and trash days are easily managed with the generic reminder app, but if you want something fancier, there are plenty of ready-made apps to help keep you on track as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-productivity-apps-for-really-busy-people-like-you?ref=seealso">The 10 Best Productivity Apps for Really Busy People Like You</a>)</p> <p>The key to success here is to write it down (or type it in) when you think of it. Don't assume you'll remember later, because you won't.</p> <h2>Where to Start?</h2> <p>Okay, but one last question&hellip; where do I start?</p> <p>My organized friends would tell you to pick an area, be it a room or one of those non-tangible aspects, organize it and then move to the next area. Focus on one thing at a time.</p> <p>And that's not bad advice. It just may not be the best advice for you.</p> <p>My recommendation is to pick the areas that need your attention the most. After all, restoring order to your kitchen cabinets might give you a sense of accomplishment, but it will be short-lived if your electricity is turned off because you forgot to pay the bill.</p> <p>So, start with your most immediate concerns, then work your way out from there. And don't be afraid to think outside the box because chances are, that's where you'll find the best solutions to defeating your disorganization for good.</p> <p><em>Have you defeated disorganization? What worked for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-luther">Kate Luther</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-one-thing-to-defeat-disorganization-forever">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-home-office">10 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Home Office</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/5-kinds-of-emails-to-purge-from-your-inbox">5 Kinds of Emails to Purge From Your Inbox</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/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization clutter planning productivity Wed, 11 Feb 2015 10:31:14 +0000 Kate Luther 1285778 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Garage http://www.wisebread.com/12-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-garage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-garage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/garage storage.jpg" alt="garage storage" title="garage storage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of my favorite features of my new home is an oversized double attached garage. I'm in storage heaven in there, but I know I could be using the space better to accommodate all my different needs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions?ref=seealso">15 Genius Kitchen Storage Ideas</a>)</p> <p>Below you'll find a number of ideas &mdash; from broad to specific &mdash; that will help you use your garage space better. Feel free to share your own solutions in the comments.</p> <h2>1. Pipe Rack</h2> <p>A few small pieces of PVC pipe can go a long way toward making <a href="http://www.ashbeedesign.com/2012/05/organizing-tools-with-pvc.html">smart tool storage</a> that will hold up for years to come. The author of this project cut angled pieces of PVC from scraps she had around the house. You can also head to the hardware store and ask an associate to make 6 inch cuts for you. Then mount and label.</p> <h2>2. Gutter Genius</h2> <p>I've seen a lot of <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZwPjpdMjZqk/Uh_yk82mm-I/AAAAAAAAHSs/ym1-DXbl8Cg/s1600/garage+p.jpg">gutter shelf projects</a> for the home, but what's more perfect than making storage shelves for your garage? Go to your hardware store and pick out gutters and end caps in whatever size makes sense for your purpose. Then hang them and fill with paint, caulk, sprays, seeds, whatever.</p> <h2>3. Container Corral</h2> <p>Our attic is full of blown-in insulation, so we don't use it for storage. Instead, we have several rows of basic shelving where we've arranged our plastic containers up and off the ground. For better organization, <a href="http://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/2014/10/garage-organization-part-1.html">label your bins</a> in big, bold letters. I suggest using clear tubs for the most transparency.</p> <h2>4. Mudroom Magic</h2> <p>If you're low on closet space indoors, turn your garage into a <a href="http://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/2014/11/how-to-create-a-garage-mudroom.html">beautiful mudroom</a> with just a few tricks. You'll want some hooks for coats and other apparel. A few hanging baskets to keep umbrellas, bags, and mail in check. The rest is up to you!</p> <h2>5. Peg Rails</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/273114/peg-rail-organizer?xsc=eml_org_2011_03_12">Peg-Rail Organizer</a> is as functional as it is beautiful. You'll hang wooden beams along your wall and then drill holes for your pegs. If you don't have tools or time to do this project yourself, consider buying several long hook or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=peg%20rail&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=Y7H3CNH2JLZXBUYT">peg rails</a> and arranging them in a couple long rows for the same impact.</p> <h2>6. Toy Tamer</h2> <p>There are a lot of different ways you can approach toy cleanup in your garage. I love these <a href="http://orgjunkie.com/2013/05/organizing-concepts-for-kids-garage-toys-free-printable.html">educational ideas</a> that put some responsibility in your child's hands. For example, tall laundry baskets for sport balls; stackable shelving for bubbles, helmets, and pool toys; and brightly taped off areas for bikes and scooters. The key is keeping everything clearly labeled and encouraging your kids to put their stuff away.</p> <h2>7. Hook Hideaway</h2> <p>The minute we moved in, my husband went out and bought a set of inexpensive <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=gladiator%20hooks&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=VD6DFRTRB7YIBQWX">Gladiator Hooks</a> at the hardware store. There are a number of different ways you can use them, but he arranged them on the studs to get bikes, skis, sleds, folding chairs, and other outdoor items off the floor.</p> <h2>8. Pegboard Pal</h2> <p>One of the best things you can get for your garage (or basement) is a pegboard. Here's exactly <a href="http://www.positivelysplendid.com/2013/06/how-to-hang-pegboard.html">how to install one</a> quickly and easily. After you figure out how high you want to hang your board, you'll make the spot and then drill into the studs using wood screws. Don't forget to level! Then buy some hooks and go crazy.</p> <h2>9. Screw Central</h2> <p>Our garage also serves as our tool storage area. We had inherited an old tool bench at our last house where the original owner had <a href="http://www.chezlarsson.com/myblog/2009/02/screw-organizing.html">organized his screws</a> by placing them in small jars. The cool part? All the tops of the jars were glued (or screwed) to the bottom of a shelf for easy keeping. It's a simple project with big impact.</p> <h2>10. Bungee Corner</h2> <p>Stash all your soccer balls, basket balls, and kick balls in one space <a href="http://100things2do.blogspot.ca/2013/08/organization-ball-storage.html">using bungee cords</a>. The cost of this project was a mere $2. You'll need a wooden frame for the top and bottom of your zone. Then four or five bungee cords stretched between the posts will hold things tightly together.</p> <h2>11. Shoe Win</h2> <p>Those <a href="http://harvardhomemaker.shareist.com/uploads/organizegaragewithshoerackharvardhomemaker_1270_843_l.jpg">plastic shoe organizers</a> work in almost every room, and the garage is no exception. Use it to hold spray paint, golf balls, tools, cleaners, and anything else you have in chaos. You don't even need to hang it over a door. Just nail or screw hooks into the wall or use rope to tie it onto a shelving system.</p> <h2>12. Bike Shelf</h2> <p>I love this simple <a href="http://daily.sightline.org/?attachment_id=21734">DIY Bike Shelf</a>. Cut notches in a fruit crate to accommodate the top tube of your bike. Mount on your wall. You can use the top shelf to store your helmet or any other gear. (And though this storage device would work great in your garage, it would also be perfect for apartment storage!)</p> <p><em>What's your favorite genius garage storage idea?</em></p> <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/12-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-garage">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/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/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories">9 Ways to Lose the Clutter and Keep the Memories</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/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-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/20-genius-storage-ideas-for-your-bathroom">20 Genius Storage Ideas for Your Bathroom</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization clutter garage gardening storage tools Fri, 06 Feb 2015 12:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1285072 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Kid's Room http://www.wisebread.com/11-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-kids-room <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-kids-room" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child-toys-storage-shelf-Dollarphotoclub_66011751.jpg" alt="child toys shelf" title="child toys shelf" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you feel like your house is overrun with toys, kids' clothes, and children's books, you're not alone. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-home-office?ref=seealso">10 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Home Office</a>)</p> <p>I've contemplated whether we need a bigger house to accommodate all of my kids' stuff. Fortunately, there are easier (and less expensive) ways to organize your kids' clutter. These creative storage solutions will ensure your kid's room has space for everything and is well organized. At least until they tear it up again.</p> <h2>1. Spice Shelf Book Storage</h2> <p>Spice shelves aren't just for the kitchen anymore. Use Ikea's Bekvam spice shelf to create neat, easy-to-reach bookshelves for your little ones. Leave them as-is or paint them for a customized look. Check out three ideas for how this works at <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40070185/">Ikea</a>, <a href="http://www.decoratingroom.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/kids-reading-nook-19.jpg">Decorating Room</a>, and on <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/pin/527343437588031374/">Pinterest</a>.</p> <h2>2. Mobile Book Storage</h2> <p>If your kids like to carry their books all over the house, consider a library cart or wagon for book storage. Not only will a cart serve as a home for your kids' books, but it will also speed up clean-up time. Here is one of <a href="http://www.landofnod.com/local-branch-library-cart-white/f7888">my favorites</a> and <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/pin/62698619787572843/">another</a>.</p> <h2>3. Loft Bed</h2> <p>Create more floor space in a small room with a loft bed. Younger kids can use the area underneath the bed for playing or reading. Teens and tweens can add a desk and bookshelf and use it for studying. If you want to add extra storage, use Ikea's Trofast toy organizers as steps to get into the bed. Adding a loft bed to my son's room is at the top of my to-do list. <a href="http://www.ikeahackers.net/2010/07/childs-loft-bed.html">Ikea Hackers</a> and <a href="http://www.pbteen.com/products/girls-sleep-and-study-loft/">PB Teen</a> have two good ideas.</p> <h2>4. Hooks and Pegs</h2> <p>Capturing vertical space is key to maximizing storage in kids' rooms. Hang hooks and pegs in strategic places around the room to organize everything from coats and backpacks to dress-up clothes. And remember to hang them at kid-level. I hung a hook near the door for my three-year-old son's coat and he loves being and to hang it up and take it down himself. Here's a great example on <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/pin/5629568257119705/">Pinterest</a>.</p> <h2>5. Behind-the-Door Shelves</h2> <p>Use the <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/pin/AVySS8vKSSewsUV_7hisDVYf0fhjkdC4o99WNySbyG77onPqABtNrLA/">space on the inside</a> of your son or daughter's <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/pin/AVySS8vKSSewsUV_7hisDVYf0fhjkdC4o99WNySbyG77onPqABtNrLA/">closet door for storing toys</a>, clothes, headbands, and other often-accessed items. Hang wire shelves, spice racks, or even a shoe storage organizer, depending on your needs.</p> <h2>6. Under-Bed Storage</h2> <p>If you decide not to get a loft bed, a great place to find bonus square footage for <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/pin/137500594845767088/">storage is under your kid's bed</a>. Invest in a few under-the-bed storage drawers for extra toy or clothes storage space. They roll out easily and are the perfect place to store items you need to access often.</p> <h2>7. Floating Shelves</h2> <p>If you want the functionality of a bookshelf without the clunkiness, consider using floating shelves. I hang them high for fragile items and low for toys and books my kids play with often.</p> <p>Check out <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/pin/274156696041120021/">these great floating shelves for kids books</a>.</p> <h2>8. Multi-Purpose Bookcase</h2> <p>One of my favorite storage solutions &mdash; for my stuff and my kids' stuff &mdash; is Ikea's Expedit shelving system. It's great because it's so flexible. You can add durable bins made of wicker, plastic, or cloth or you can leave the shelves bare. It holds a ton of toys and books, but looks organized. Apartment Therapy has a great set of photos showing all the <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/a-photographic-ode-to-ikeas-expedit-in-kids-rooms-200503">ways the Expedit can be used</a> in a kid's room.</p> <h2>9. Closet Space</h2> <p>Most closets have one or two bars for hanging clothes, but that's not very practical for kids' rooms since kids don't have many clothes to hang. Get creative and take advantage of <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/pin/320529698451032293/">closet space for storage</a>, kid-style. Use bins, shelves, baskets, and hooks for storing everything from shoes and coats to toys and books. In my son's closet, I added shelves for shoes and blankets and hanging shoe storage for games and books.</p> <h2>10. Wire Baskets</h2> <p>For a fun look that uses vertical space in your son or daughter's room, <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/srens-sunny-with-a-chance-of-smiles-room-my-room-169396?img_idx=3">hang inexpensive wire baskets</a> on the <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/pin/114841859222127324/">wall to store books and toys</a>. It's a quick project and looks more interesting than a simple shelf.</p> <h2>11. Bench Reading Nook</h2> <p>Use an under-the-window or corner space to create a comfortable reading nook that your kid will use for years. Start with a storage bench that opens up or has shelves underneath and add shelves on the wall around it. I haven't gotten to this yet, but I would love to build one of these in my daughter's room. Check out this <a href="http://cptnrin.smugmug.com/photos/i-4dh9tXf/0/O/i-4dh9tXf.jpg">amazing reading nook</a>.</p> <p><em>How do you keep your kids' rooms organized? Let us know!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-kids-room">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/20-genius-storage-ideas-for-your-bathroom">20 Genius Storage Ideas for Your Bathroom</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <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-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><br/></br> Home Organization closets kids storage toys Wed, 04 Feb 2015 12:00:08 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 1284845 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Home Office http://www.wisebread.com/10-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-home-office <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-home-office" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman-home-office-Dollarphotoclub_63733966.jpg" alt="businesswoman home office" title="businesswoman home office" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The holidays hit my home office like a tornado, but one of my New Year's resolutions was to get my office space spic and span, and keep it that way. And with a genius storage system, a change in behavior, and a few simple items that are inexpensive and widely available, I plan to do just that.</p> <p>Sure, you could blow all your holiday gift money at the Container Store, but you don't have to do that. Here are the steps I took and items I'm utilizing to keep myself, and my work, organized:</p> <h2>1. End Clean, Start Clean</h2> <p>Throughout the day, my work unpacks itself: books, papers, post-its, pens and pencils, push pins, newspapers, and magazines. So I end every day by tidying up my space and bringing order to the widespread disorder known as my desk. I write out a list of my tasks for the next day and place that list in the center of my desk so that I can start tomorrow with clarity and focus.</p> <h2>2. Wrangle Papers</h2> <p>While the good ol' filing cabinet works for some people, it's a blackhole for me. Papers go in there and never see the light of day again. Instead, I bought a simple set of three stacked trays marked &quot;urgent,&quot; &quot;current,&quot; and &quot;to scan.&quot; All of my papers make their way down the ladder in that order. When they hit the &quot;to scan&quot; tray, I use my desktop scanner and file them away in folders on my laptop hard drive. <a href="http://www.neat.com/">Neat</a> is another wonderful option for receipt tracking and document scanning. With the push of a button and the accompanying Neat mobile app, you'll banish papers and keep your space clear from rampant paper clutter.</p> <h2>3. Get Wireless Everything</h2> <p>A few years ago I had a storage box marked &quot;cords.&quot; In it I stored a tangle of cords for my many electronic devices. Even when they were wrapped and labeled, I couldn't stand that box and I hate the mess that wires cause in my home office. In that moment, I decided to go wireless as much as I could. The plethora of brands that now make wireless and Bluetooth-enabled devices have greatly reduced their prices and increased the available selection.</p> <p>Some of my favorite wireless pieces are my wireless printer/scanner, wireless device charging pad, and wireless mouse. I couldn't believe the peace and harmony I found in my office once I cleared the jungle of wires. I still have to charge some of my devices overnight but now I have a designated space for that charging and all the cords are neatly tucked away in a drawer under the table where everything charges after a long day of work.</p> <h2>4. Use Just Enough Space</h2> <p>I move a lot. Last year alone I moved to three different apartments. When you move a lot, your items tend to follow you, and they may not always be best for your space. To counter this, I keep everything as small as possible no matter how big my space is. My desk is only as big as I need it to be to fit the essentials of my trade as a writer: a laptop, a pad of paper, a jar of pens, and a small desktop printer/scanner. The bigger the desk, the bigger the mess. I fill my space so I keep my work space, and furniture, small.</p> <h2>5. Find Storage Everywhere</h2> <p>Everything I have serves a double or triple purpose. I learned early on that all furniture needs to pull its weight in my space. There's hidden storage in everything. For example, the seat of my desk chair lifts up for storage and the desktop itself sits atop a hidden storage tray.</p> <h2>6. Use the Walls</h2> <p>Because I keep my desk small, I make full use of my walls. I have hooks, cork boards, magnetic strips, and right-sized sturdy shelves woven in with art that inspires me on my walls. Walls resist clutter in a way that horizontal surfaces can't, so I use my walls as much as possible.</p> <h2>7. Choose a Bright and Simple Color Palette</h2> <p>My office space has a simple color palette &mdash; white, brown, seafoam green, and a dusty blue. That's it. It's a beautiful combination of brightness and soothing comfort because it reminds me of the sea, the sand, and the sky. And because it's beautiful, I'm motivated to keep it neat so that it remains a place where I enjoy spending my time.</p> <p>I also have just the right combination of light: natural light, desktop light, and an overhead light when I need to spread out a bigger project. I use the right light for the right time of day for the right project. By keeping it bright, clutter isn't able to hide from my view so I'm more likely to take care of it quickly and restore order.</p> <h2>8. No Junk Drawers Allowed</h2> <p>Forget giving yourself an allowance of a junk drawer. It has a natural ability to grow without your permission. In 2015, I'm subscribing to the old philosophy of &quot;a place for everything and everything in its place.&quot; I picked up mason jars of various sizes and a large set of small plastic boxes at my local dollar store to keep all those tiny desk items like paper clips, rubber bands, and writing instruments organized.</p> <h2>9. Keep It Clear</h2> <p>This is a new idea I got when I was shopping around for organizing materials. If we keep them clear, we can easily see what's inside of them and the light that filters through them gives an airy feeling to the space. They also make a small space seem bigger. You can even get a clear desk, chair, storage furniture, and shelving if you really want to make everything in your space clear.</p> <h2>10. Digital Wins</h2> <p>I read a lot of books, magazines, and newspapers not only because I love to read, but because I also edit and review books for publishing companies and write on a wide variety of topics that require me to read massive amounts of content every day. I have a handful of books and periodicals in paper form &mdash; these are ones that really resemble workbooks of some kind that are easier to use in paper form. Everything else is digital on my Kindle and through a set of mobile apps on my iPad. After a few days, my eyes were feeling the fatigue of that bright screen so I adjusted the settings on iPad to have my screen be black with white type. This helped tremendously and now my eyes aren't any more fatigued than when I read in paper form.</p> <p>And all those books? I donated them to my local library so that they could be enjoyed by my community.</p> <p><em>How do you keep your space tidy and organized?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-home-office">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/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-to-defeat-disorganization-forever">Do This One Thing to Defeat Disorganization 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/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/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/12-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-garage">12 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Garage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization clutter productivity storage Wed, 28 Jan 2015 12:00:19 +0000 Christa Avampato 1283486 at http://www.wisebread.com 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://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.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://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.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-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/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/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/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/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><br/></br> 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://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.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> <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-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/101-little-things-you-can-fix-right-now">101 Little Things You Can Fix Right 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/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-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/how-to-fix-18-common-wardrobe-malfunctions">How to Fix 18 Common Wardrobe Malfunctions</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> 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://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.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> <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-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/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-to-defeat-disorganization-forever">Do This One Thing to Defeat Disorganization 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/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/10-things-in-your-basement-you-should-throw-out-today">10 Things in Your Basement 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/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><br/></br> 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://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.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> <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-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/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-one-thing-to-defeat-disorganization-forever">Do This One Thing to Defeat Disorganization Forever</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> 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://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.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> <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-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/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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-garage">12 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Garage</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-fix-18-common-wardrobe-malfunctions">How to Fix 18 Common Wardrobe Malfunctions</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> 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://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.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> <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-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/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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-ways-to-count-and-cash-in-your-change">Best Ways to Count (and Cash in) Your Change</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/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> 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://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/ice cube trays.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> <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. 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