1 – Expandable Pantry Shelf – This creates a custom-built feature and maximizes space while keeping products visible. It can be used in pantries or cupboards.
2 – Lazy Susan – These make hard to reach places (like back corners of cupboards) accessible.
3 – Shelf Riser – These utilize vertical space without having to next small items into larger items.
4 – In-Drawer Knife Tray – It can be tempting to buy more of something for less. But then you have what you don’t need. This is often the case with knife sets that come in a block. The block is counter clutter and most of the knives don’t get used. Find the knives that you use most often and pare down (get it?) to just those.
6 – Rectangular Canisters – These are a cost-effective dupe for the very popular (but pricey!) Oxo Pop Containers. These canisters are the only reason that we can live with one small cupboard and no pantry.
What am I missing? What your favorite kitchen organizing product?
Being familiar with the folding method didn’t equal actually using it until recently. I don’t even have a good reason why I didn’t do it earlier.
But, a few months ago, I worked the KonMari magic on my sock drawer and it snow-balled from there. Socks led to underwear which led to workout tops & bottoms which led to shirts and then my entire dresser was KonMari-ed.
I saw what a difference it made in my own dresser, that I started folding my kids’ clothes using the KonMari folding method too.
It is the way to go.
Here’s the thing: If you fold your clothes at all – and by that I mean, if you do anything other than live out of baskets of straight-out-of-the-dryer clothes – there is no reason not to fold your clothes using the KonMari method.
It doesn’t take any more time than a “conventional” folding method. How do I know this? Because I timed myself folding clothes my old way and using the KonMari folding method. Lame, I know. But I’m here for the people. And my research proves my point. The difference in an entire load of clothes was seconds.
Benefits of KonMari Folding Method
Maximizes Drawer Space
More clothes fit in your drawer this way. I’m not exactly sure how the math works on this, but it does.
This was my husband’s drawer BEFORE using the KonMari folding method.
And this is the same exact drawer with the same exact amount of clothes AFTER using the KonMari folding method.
In addition to being able to fit more clothes in your drawer, you can also more easily access those extra clothes.
See Everything in the Drawer
You are more likely to wear clothes that you don’t have to dig for. Folding your clothes using the KonMari folding method means that you will actually wear the clothes that you buy.
Requires No Special Equipment
You don’t have to buy anything to make this change.
Do you want a clean, organized space without spending money? Start here. This is a fast, easy change you can make that costs ZERO dollars.
What are your thoughts? Do you fold your clothes this way? Have you noticed a difference? What’s your reason for not folding using the KonMari method? Inquiring minds (and by that, I mean me) want to know.
I’m one of those people that starts my taxes on January 1st. The earlier that I can get it done, the better.
We almost always have a significant refund coming our way, so there’s that motivation. (Spare me the lecture on lending the government my money for free. We like it this way.)
A huge hurdle in the tax paperwork prep is having an organized system for ALL the papers.
I got the main idea for the way we organize our home filing system from A Bowl Full of Lemons. I started with her main ideas and tweaked it for what we have and what we need.
Sidenote: This is a great way to approach the blogosphere in general. View others’ content not as a standard or something to be carbon copied, but rather as a starting off point to be reworked for you.
Home Filing System Game-Changers
1 – Monthly Folders for Paid Bills
We used to have a folder for each account or bill (ex: Mortgage, cable, electric, etc.).
This meant that at the beginning of each month, I would go through each account folder and throw away the bill in that folder from twelve months ago.
Can you say tedious?
Now, at the beginning of the month, I pull out that month’s folder and shred bills from twelve months ago and start fresh for the current year.
When a bill gets paid, that bill is put in that month’s folder.
It’s easier for me to grab one folder and put all the paid bills in there vs filing each individual bill in a different folder.
2 – Color Coded Folders
As you can see, I still used the plain folders that I already had because it seemed wasteful to me to purchase all new folders for everything when these worked fine.
But, each of the manila folders are in categories, which are marked in the colored, tabbed hanging files.
Color coding these categories gives me a quick, at-a-glance way to see where stuff is.
GREEN – BILLS & ACCOUNTS
Folder for each month for paid bills
Folder for each billing account
Folder for each credit card account
Folder for each loan account
Folder for each account/loan that has been paid off (I wish there were many more of these folders……)
RED – INCOME & TAXES
Folder for each employer
Folder for each retirement account
Folder for current year tax deduction receipts
Folder containing previous year’s tax information
BLUE – AUTOMOBILE, HOME & INSURANCE
Folder for each vehicle
Folder for auto insurance policies
Folder for each house we’ve owned
Folder for homeowner’s insurance policy
Folder for each life insurance policy
Folder for each warranty account
RED – HEALTH
Folder for health insurance policy
Folder for each person’s health records
I would LOVE to have five different colors (for five different categories), but the box of three colors was half of the price, so I made due. #storyofmylife
3 – Know What to Keep & What to Throw
Generally, we defer to not keeping things. Go with the view that most information, when necessary, can be accessed online or by calling a representative/agent.
For example, Health Insurance benefit summaries. They can be longer than some novels. Why store them? We always end up calling our insurance agent for clarification about what is and what isn’t covered even when we dig out and read the gargantuan summaries.
What documents do you struggle to know what to keep and what to throw?
And, because I will get asked about storing tax paperwork, tax information from 2+ years ago is stored elsewhere in a safe. I keep the previous two years in our desk so that I can access it easily and quickly.
I would love to have the Pottery Barn lateral filing system that A Bowl Full of Lemons uses, but our Ikea option was a fraction of the cost and it gives us loads of works space.
The file drawer on the right side (underneath the computer) houses files for Bills, Accounts, Incomes & Taxes (Green & Red). The file drawer on the left side houses Automobile, Home, Insurance & Health records. These files don’t need to be accessed often and more for storage and reference than frequent use.
It’s 2018, so I pay most of our bills at our computer. In deciding which files would go where, I chose the files that had anything to do with bill paying to be in the drawer nearest to the computer. The other files went way, way far away – to the other end of the desk.
What’s the hardest part of paper storage for you? I’m curious to know if anyone has gone fully digital. Is that possible?
The winner will be tagged in my Instagram account on Friday, December 14th.
As the creator of this planner, Emily Ley, would say – ‘A planner won’t fix your life. But this can be one of the tools that helps you to reign in the craziness so that you can focus on the really good stuff in this life.’
Start the New Year off right with a FREE Simplified Planner Bundle. Enter here.
P.S. Simplified Planner not your thing? Try this free printable to keep track of all.the.things.
I grew up in a family that gives cards for every occasion.
The big (what most people would call normal) events warranted two cards – one funny and one sentimental. The lesser holidays – you know, like Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day or Arbor Day – only warranted a single card.
Because of growing up like this, I do love giving and receiving greeting cards.
But, what do you do with greeting cards after you’ve read them?
I don’t know the answer to that question.
In our immediate family, we no longer give greeting cards, and instead, have, what we call, Greeting Card Journals.
This is just one more idea that was not originally mine and that I got from friends (others being this, this and this).
Each family member has their own journal, and on an occasion that warrants a greeting card, family members write in that person’s journal. So far, we’ve mostly just written in them for birthdays and anniversaries, but as our kids get older, I can see also writing in it on other “milestone” events.
Why Greeting Card Journals?
They Get Re-Read – It is not uncommon for my daughter to ask to have her “birthday book” read to her. She loves to hear the words written to her by her mom and dad from when she turned 2 and 3 and 4. Instead of having cards that sit in a box stuffed somewhere, these greeting card journals are easily accessible. I have been known to grab mine off the shelf and read sweet, encouraging words to give me a pick-me-up on a tough day.
Less Clutter – These journals stay on a family bookshelf. We don’t have to find a place to keep and pack away stacks of various sized cards. And they look pretty on the bookshelf.
Cheaper – There is nothing special about these journals. I got them at Target a few years ago for $8 each. Most greeting cards are $3-$4. You can do the math to see how quickly a journal becomes the more cost-effective solution.
Keepsake – If our house was burning (and everyone was out safe) and I had one minute to grab something before we got out, I’d grab these greeting card journals. In those pages are some of the sweetest memories and words that any of us have. These journals are a record, not only of some of our best days, but also of the people with whom we shared those days. And written reminders of how much we love one another. That is gold.
I still buy and send greeting cars to other family members. And I still oboe getting cards in the mail from friends and family. But, for our immediate family, who would otherwise exchange hundreds of cards over the coming decades, greeting card journals are much better way to go.
P.S. For those of you who still want to send greeting cards, here’s how I make sure that I don’t miss one.