Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Posted by Samantha at 10:56 PM
OK so all this is, is a large box, and several smaller boxes fit into the large box like a puzzle. Then you just organize your items. Sometimes things are a little longer then they need to be, either consider buying something smaller or rethink the size of your bag.
Posted by Samantha at 9:07 PM
Monday, November 26, 2007
This little basket cost me a quarter and is perfect for my small sewing projects I hope to start learning.
I have organized my zen garden supplies, my paint, and my glitters. Currently my craft supplie is low. I will eventually need to upgrade my system when I stock up on new supplies.
If you have items that are larger or hard to place and have the ability to be hung up, use double sided tape to put up cork board on the side of your desk, or invest in a small cork board for this purpose.
Posted by Samantha at 8:32 PM
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Organzing my desk took some time, but this was a really fun project for me. I spent 75% of my time at my desk. I am either using the computer, paying bills, working on crafts, or writing. Being that I spend so much time at my desk, it really is important that it is as organized as possiable.
To start off make sure you have plenty of boxse,baskets,bowls, and trays to organize your desk items. Then get two boxes and a trash bag. The trash bag will be for garbage and papers, the three boxes need to be labled donate and keep and paper/binders.
1. Start by removing any dishes from the desk and bring them to the kitchen. Throw any visuable trash, paper towels, paper plates, wrappers,
If the answers to your question make you relize you could do without it then donate it, if you find you still really love or need this item, keep it.
Once you have decided what you want to keep put it in the keep box.
Posted by Samantha at 3:05 AM
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I love stocking stuffers. If I had my perfect Christmas it would just be a dozen stockings to open! Check out these creative and frugal ways to really get a smile when they open their stocking.
A really great way to make stocking stuffers more fun is to wrap as many as you can. Use presents to wrap presents. For girls you can use small purses to wrap chap sticks, lip glosses, or jewelery, heck even Money!
Stocking stuffers are a great way to start a gift tradition. When I was a little girl my step-dad would put baby soft perfume in my stocking every year. It was my favorite kind and it didn't last long after Christmas, but I looked forward to it every year.
Sterling Silver jewelery is getting considerably cheaper. If you have a child that is responsible enough to be given nice jewelery you can start a yearly pendant gift to add to a charm bracelet.
Boys are no different with tradition you just have to think different presents. For the boys in the house try to think of things they collect, if they love cars start a small car collection, if they love the military start a collection of military pieces, gamer kids can get expensive, games for some systems are as much as$60.00. Give him a present that last all year. Calculate how much money you can spend to get a reasonable amount of games for the following year. Get a gift card with that amount of money. This can be a really big present but talk about something that cant go wrong.
Below are a list of fun stocking stuffers I really love
Small kitchen gadget
Pretty Hair accessories ( think of hair length before purchasing)
Really Good Batteries ( even at 4 dollars it is still a good present, we ALWAYS need batteries)
Key Clapper ( is someone you know really bad at loosing keys, they will appreciate this present)
Incense Sticks ( get extra long ones, an incense holder and use clear plastic wrap and some ribbon to wrap it together and be seen outside the stocking)
Think about their job, if they have an office job maybe a really nice pen would have great use, if they are on their feet alot maybe some comfy socks or comfort soles.
Think about their collections, maybe they love hummingbirds, cats, or something more personal like ballerinas. Buy useful items with these themes in mind, some good ideas here are:
Folders ( walmart has huge collections with all sorts of themes)
Braclette or Necklace Charms
Someone in your family or friend circle not much of a risk taker buy them a couple scratch off tickets, for just a dollar a ticket and a chance for a VERY merry Christmas its worth it!
Got a family member that loves getting their nails done but hates the price, buy them all they need to do an at home french manicure, they have simple french manicure tip pens that require little know-how to use, Print up instructions or write them down on an index card.
Know anyone that had the hots for hot stuff? Get a bottle of the hottest hot sauce you can find. If it's rather rare and expensive get a smaller bottle, the hotter for this special someone the better.
Got someone who loves the rare social drink and has an pretty expensive taste, buy a sample bottle of their favorite brand of liquor.
HUGE candy cane. The stick ones a Jumbo cane whatever you get make sure its big, its the best original stocking stuffer!
Magazine Subscriptions are still a great present for everyone, woman and men for all sorts of hobbies. Fitness, Sports, Organizing, Crafts, and even Game and Console Magazines.
Even people in apartments can enjoy some good indoor flower seed packets, if you can, provide a mini set of garden ware for small indoor planting, such as: Small pot, small packet of soil, small shovel and "rake". Zen garden rakes are good for this purpose and your local craft section might have something that small.
I love anything I can use on the go and carry conveniently in my purse. Mini lotions, hand sanitizers, band aids, nail polish remover, shampoos, even bars of soaps, or hand wipes are useful items for the prepare-a-holic!
For The Kiddies (2-7 Years)
Small Puzzles, maybe a 50 piece
Play-Doh Fun Packs ( the dollar stores are carrying more and more of these!)
Stickers ( if you are worried about the stickers getting on furniture, buy a sheet of poster board for added fun, let her decorate the poster board and hang it on wall.
Beanie Babies ( Still are a fun and great present for the young, some can be found in discount stores, with a good wash second hand items can be made new. )
Purse- Somewhere between 2 and 4 a little girl wants her own purse. I have found a great present that I plan to put together for my 4 year old.
A Perfectly sized and design purse. Please scope out thrift stores and yard sales for this, this purse will get a lot of abuse! Also dollar stores are getting nice selections that are a great size for this age.
Wallet. If your child is old enough to handle paper without ripping it and coins without trying to put it in their mouth then get a play money set. Some sets are more durable, I even seen plastic money. try to find sets with plastic credit cards. For a really big kick, you can print up these checks! Cut out a piece of cardboard the size of the checks and staple them all together at the top. Then just slide into a real checkbook holder (also can be found at thrift stores!)
CHECKS FOR CHECK BOOK
Get a small brush that she can really use to brush her hair, and teach her how to brush her hair properly.
Buy a plastic mirror so breaking isn't an issue.
If you trust your daughter with real make up get some make up and get a purse for the makeup.
This purse gift is not only fun, but if you teach her how to use her purse properly this will be a skill she won't have to learn later in life. You can even give her play money that is equal to real money you may give in allowance, and teach her the starter of money responsibility.
The dollar tree has a large selection of fun toys that can really entertain for a cheap cost. The great thing about the dollar tree is some things comes in packages of two or more. This can be great for kids around the same age. Both my daughter and step daughter enjoy little mermaid alot. So getting some gifts for them is simple as my dollar tree has gotten a large collection of Disney princess toys!
Play Doctor: Doctor kits can be fairly inexpensive if bought at the right place check out big lots for discount prices. Teach kids that going to the doctors is good for them.
Tools: stock up on plastic and child safe tools to prepare daddy's little helper for next years projects.
For the animal lover, consider a really easy to care for pet like a fish.
For the Tweens ( Ages 8-12)
This is a great age with lots of options
Flash Cards for the academic buff
age level books
arcade game tickets ( still fun if the parents are willing to bring back the good old days!)
Teenagers (Age 13-18)
Favorite Brand of Cologne/Perfume
Game Points (for xbox live)
I hope some of these ideas helped you get a head start on Stocking Stuffers!
Posted by Samantha at 7:51 PM
I have used a lot of different products. I have narrowed it down between usefullness and budget. A lot of these items you can pick up at your local Dollar Store or Discount Store. What most people need to remember is that chemicals are chemicals and used correctly cleaning will not differ between brand name.
Below is a list of products that I feel every household should have.
Square Container: This needs to be large enough to hold all of our supplies. We will need a minimum of two of these containers, one for the kitchen and one for the bathroom, if you have more then one bathroom get another one of these containers. You can have a different type of container for each room so be creative on finding this product.
Static Cling Feather Dusters. These are great, the dust clings to duster making sure to leave your surface dust free. These are rather inexpensive now. I found a really small one at my dollar tree that is perfect for my desk, I bought one and its worked great. I would recommend at least two dusters, one for your desk if you are there often and one for the rest of the house.
Broom: A good broom and dust pan is needed for kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor purposes. I would purchase a good broom for inside, and a cheaper one for outside. Small hand brush brooms are useful as well, the dollar tree supplies these mini broom sets quite often.
Mop: A good mop is really important. I personally like the mops with the thick strips of 'fabric' to scrub and clean the floor. The yarn mops just fall apart and the sponge mops have no scrub action.
Mop Bucket: This bucket dosen't need to be very big, just large enough to hold the head of your mop and catch the extra water from ringing it out.
Vaccumm: Two vaccumm, one for small jobs and easy clean ups and one for major house hold vacumming makes this chore simple. I have a light weight easy vacumm that is wonders for small messes caused by the kids or pets. Then your regular vaccumm to do weekly household vacumming.
Trash Cans: The kitchen should have a decent size trash can that is not visuable upon entering the kitchen or dining room. Under a cupboard or into a closet is a good place to "hide" the can. For bathroom, you can be more decorate. Large baskets and even planter pots can be turned into trash cans. Every room that is frequently used should have a trash can near by.
Garbage Bags: You should have bags for the Trash Cans, some are scented for a more fresh scent and you should save plastic grocery bags. Use an empty garbage bag box to hold the used plastic bags. These are great for packing things in a hurry, cleaning small messes, or cleaning trash through out the house in a hurry.
Paper Towels: Good paper towels can make a difference sometimes. Get good towels but don't break the bank looking for indistructable paper.
Dish Towel: Have two clean towels at all times. One for dishes and one for hands. Buying a set of four is helpful so when one set is in the wash one set is already clean.
Rags: These are the easiest to get, cut up old t-shirts in useable squares. Use different fabrics to get a better scrub, jeans actually scrub very well! You of course can also buy some rags if you really want to, they can still be bought cheap at the Dollar Store
Baking Soda: A odor neutrilizer this cheap but effective product is a major must have. Sprinkle in garbage cans to fight smell, in refridgerators to keep food fresh and smell of left overs minimal. In shoes for a shoe deodarnt, the list contuies!
Soft Sponges: These are for those easy spills, counter wipes, and dish washing.
Abrasive Sponges: For those tougher jobs, crusted sauce on the oven, a crusted pan, spilt mess in the fridge.
SOS Pads: When cleaning on a regular basis the need for these tough pads become less and less, but always have some for those odd really tough jobs!
Bleach: Useful in the laundry room, bathroom, and kitchen so get one for each space.
Glass Cleaner. Windows and mirrors are almsot in every room. Have one for the kitchen, bathroom and any room with a lot of mirrors or glass.
All-Purpose Cleaner: This should be the only real "cleaner" you need for surfaces. Have one for the kitchen and every bathroom in the house.
Furniture Dusting Polish
Air Freshner: Whether its a spray, candle, insence or all three, get something to give the room a final aroma after every cleaning.
Comet: I have only found this extremly useful in the bathroom for hard bathtub residue. One for each bathroom should be sufficent.
Laundry Spot Remover
Liquid Dish Washing Soap
Fabric Softener Sheets
Pine Sol/Floor Cleaner
Rubber Gloves ( protect against harsh chemicals while cleaning)
Carpet Spot Cleaner
This list may seem fairly large, but alot of them are one time purposes for at least the course of a year or more.
* To give new life to a worn out sponge, soak it in vinegar, ring out the extra and zap it in the microwave for just a few seconds. Don't let it burn!
* Vinegar and Baking Soda are the two most popular home remedy cleaning solution
* Remember that somethings can serve more then their orginal purpose. For example brewed coffee grounds put in a bowl in the fridge acts the same as baking soda in freshning the smell of the fridge.
* Lemons. You can use a lemon cut in half added to a bowl of water to clean the stuck on food in your microwave. You will add the half of a lemon to a bowl of water and run your microwave for 15 minutes. You will be able to remove the stuck on goo with your fingers. Due to the goo being hot from the cleaning of the microwave, you should wear a rubber glove to remove the stuck on food.
* Put a dryer sheet in your vaccumm bag and freshen your air while you clean your rug.
* Stinky Garbage: Keep kitchen trash receptacles smelling a bit better by putting a cotton ball soaked in an essential oil -- such as orange or eucalyptus -- at the bottom of the container, then put in the garbage bag.
Do's & Don'ts of Carpet Stain Removal General Spot Cleaning Tips
Use a clean white, absorbent terry towel.
Blot or tamp the spot.
Pretest the carpet in an inconspicuous area.
Clean the stain from the edge to the center.
Apply cleaner to the towel.
Clean with modest amounts of cleaning solution.
Adhere to product safety and follow instructions.
Remove the stain as soon as it is noticed.
Remove the dirty excess before cleaning.
Use cleaning compounds at luke warm temperature.
Use a dirty or coloured rag.
Rub, brush or scrape the spot using force.
Pretest the carpet in the middle of the room.
Clean the stain from side to side.
Apply cleaners directly to the stain.
Saturate the spot with cleaners.
Ignore manufacturers instructions.
Ignore the stain or leave it until later.
Wet clean before removing the dry excess.
Apply heat to the stain.
Not all stains can be completely removed, but appearances can be improved.
As you can clearly see. There are many ways to clean your house on a budget. The above products can all be bought over a period of time. Some of the easiest products are ones you already have in your kitchen like vinegar and baking soda. Check back often for more useful cleaning recipes.
Happy Clutter Control
~Clutter Control Lady~
Posted by Samantha at 6:07 AM
1" 3 Ring Binder with clear front cover ( for label or decorating purposes)
Several single color folders with binder holes ( its good to get a different color for each folder)
Clear Sheet Protectors
Binder Zipper Bag
Small Pair of Scissors
Lined Notebook Paper
These supplies are fairly easy to come by. Even if bought new, shouldn't cost more then $ 15.00 dollars. Be frugal and shop at places like Big Lots and the Dollar Store.
Each household is different, so will require different sections for their Clutter Control Binder
Below will be a written layout of my Clutter Control Binder. Remember to change yours to suit your needs. My daughter is only 4 years old so her chore list is rather simple and small. If your child is older accommodate the chores to your child's age. I work during the day, so a lot of my chores are scheduled during the afternoon and the weekend. If you stay home, schedule your chores during the day.
If the paper you have doesn't go in a folder pocket, then make sure it has a clear sheet protector before you put it in the binder.
Front Cover- Pictures of rooms and ideas that strike me as useful, the front cover is basically an on-going college of organizing creativity.
House Hold Folder: Daily Chores , Child's Chores, Weekly Menu, Grocery List,
Recipe Folder: Store recipes in clear sheet protectors. Just clip out the recipe or write it on an index card and glue it to a sheet of plain paper. Slide it into the protector and when you have a new recipe just add it on. Try to save the best recipes for this part of the binder, you can organize the recipe folder using dividers for main dishes, sides, and deserts.
Creative Ideas Folders: This section is for all those great organizing ideas you see that you never remember. Using the same method as the recipes save any article in magazines that target your creativity. You can also cover the the front of the binder with some of your favorite ones.
Clutter Control Plans: You can print out my Clutter Control Plan Sheet HERE. Make several copies. When you think of something that needs clutter control, make sure to write it down. Try to judge how much time you think that task would take. If the task takes 20 minutes, and you have an hour before you have to be ready for the Dr. appointment, you will be able to see your Clutter Plan and know you have time to tackle this project! This plan sheet will help you track of what materials you need for the project as well.
Financial & Personal Documents Binder
Bills Folder: Keep all records here, bills, receipts, pay stubs from work, bank receipts, bank statements, loan plans, Rent Receipts. Use envelopes to keep them separated and orangized, use labels to clearly mark each envelope .
Birth Certificates: Keep each family members birth certificate in a clear sheet protector at all times. Also have photo copies of all the photo ids and social security cards.
Health Insurance: If your family is on any kind of health insurance or Medicaid, file away all corresponding papers in this folder, this means spare insurance cards, coverage book, policy agreement, insurance contact information, emergency coverage, etc.
Home Rental/Owner Papers: Whether you rent or own you usually always have papers regarding the house. Mortgage, Deeds, Leases, Terms of the House, Etc. Keep those all together in one piece.
Income Tax: They say its wise to keep your tax information for the most recent 7 years. If you really do this, this may require a separate binder altogether, this may take more time, but in the end is very valuable during tax time.
Binders are one of those organizing tools that never fail to find a new purpose. There are dozens of ways a binder can be made useful in organizing paperwork. Besides binders are manila file folders, which today are becoming a fairly cheap and effective way of organizing papers.
Happy Clutter Control
~Clutter Control Lady~
Posted by Samantha at 5:36 AM
Today I tackled the kitchen. I spent a total of 4 hours and 45 minutes on getting about 85% of the kitchen organized and ready for daily maintance. I had limited space and only a few things to clutter control with. Baskets, buckets, plastic shoe boxes, all these items are great clutter control buddies. I love anything that can minimize the appearance of clutter!
Here are some examples of useful baskets, I used similar ones in my kitchen, they hold packed drinks such as kool-aid, hot cocoa, and other packages like gravy mixes, oatmeal, or popcorn bags.
Plastic shoe boxes are durable and stackable. You can use lables to make finding what you need even faster.
Ramon Noodles are always in abundance in this house. To keep these together without taking much space we use plastic baskets.
I have a lot of different teas. Organizing this section was so much fun for me! I used to have to search for over 5 minutes every morning to find which tea I wanted that day. Now all I have to do is browse one simple basket or reach for one other bucket. I have over 6 types of teas and two items that cost me less then a dollar at the goodwill now keeps the organized and pretty on my tea counter. I have cabniet right above that holds my collection of tea cups and tea saucers. I do also drink coffee as well as my husband, a similar section is set up for our coffee section. Baskets, jars, and pretty bowels all can serve a decorative and useful purpose.
Here is a great link on how to organize your junk drawer and never have to search for those odd items again. When I went threw my drawer, 85% of it WAS junk. 60% got thrown away and the other 25% was put in a donate box (extra sunglasses, watches,wallets.)
Organize That Junk Drawer
Go through all of your appliances, some people have more of one thing, I had two sets of electric mixers, I put one in a donate box and kept the other. Go through your pots and pans and try to find their matching lids. If you have extra lids for cook ware, put these in the donate box.
Organizing Tub-A-Ware can be tricky, sometimes it seems easier to start with a new set, if you don't have much tub-a-ware to begin with, then this may not be a bad idea, if you have loads of it but just a lot of mismatch items, go through and see what has their matches, keep the ones that are saveable, donate the rest, THEN go buy what is needed.
Zip lock bags in the kitchen are the most useful tool. I suggest buying a large basket that will hold all of your different size variety of ziplock bags. I suggest getting the ones with the ziplock close so they are more easily useable, they require less to seal shut and if they are preserving freshness this ensures no air leaks. Baggies can hold anything from food, toys, crafts, hair accessories, I mean there is no end to what a ziplock bag can do.
Under sink storage is an absolute must for any kitchen. This small section should hold everything your kitchen needs for basic cleanliness. A small bucket or basket for extra sponges, dish soap, one all purpose cleaner, oven cleaner, and extra dish towels.
You should always have clean towels in the kitchen ready to dry a dish or your hands. Always have a sponge for dishes and another one for counters. The easiest ways to spread germs is to share sponges for both jobs.
Don't think you have to spend a fortune buying baskets and other containers to organize. Your local thrift stores and neighborhood yard sales are really great places to get very useful organizing materials. I was able to buy all the baskets and buckets and trays for my kitchen under $5.00!
Next Clutter Control Project
Next we will be tackeling my daughter's bedroom. The project will begin after November 30th. Mean time we will be completing smaller tasks, I will be organizing my desk and will post about last weeks Bathroom Clutter Control Project.
Have Clutter Control!
~Clutter Control Lady~
Posted by Samantha at 3:32 AM