a view from the laundry pile…

…it's all about perspective.

A few clever ideas

on June 23, 2012

I love being neat and tidy and organized. Of course, with three dogs and a Fred, this doesn’t always happen — but I’m always looking for new, clever and, if possible, eco-friendly and cost-effective ways to improve this.

Who knew bread tags (the little plastic things that keep the bread closed) would be so useful?  Tagging spare keys, especially ones that get tossed into drawers, unused for months, or even years, is a very clever idea. Keeping cords labeled. THIS is one of the best ideas ever, I think. I use this on the computer cords (did you ever have to take a computer in for repair? There must be a bazillion…ok, maybe twelve, things that you have to unplug — and plug back in!). It’s been a sanity saver for me. Keeping elastics together…and away from getting tangled in everything else. How many times have you spent way too long looking for the end of the tape? No more!

I don’t know if these next ideas are “original” – but, as far as I know, they’re new to me! I was rather pleased that I thought of them. I took out the seal (the round detachable part of the lid with the rubber banding on it) and painted the rim of a Mason jar lid (in this case, black, to match our ugly bathroom). I put it back on the Mason jar and viola. A nice-looking cotton swab container. I can see me doing more of these, in different colors, for other projects as well.

These next two are thrift store finds. A .29 cent shot glass used to hold bobby pins. What a simple idea, huh? It fits in most drawers or on any counter top, takes up very little space, doesn’t look too bad,  and, best of all, the bobby pins are so easy to get out!

I found a medium-sized, flat-bottomed jar that opened from the front. It had no lid so I think that’s why the price was more than right at $1.99 (and I didn’t need the lid, anyway). I took it home, gave it a good washing, and now I have the perfect place for my hair clips. The ones I use more often I clip onto the rim so I don’t have to go looking for them if I’m in a hurry.

This last idea is not mine — but I did adapt it to suit my needs (ie: what I had on hand…this is my mantra, you know). One of my ongoing projects is going through my craft stuff and finding better ways to organize it so I can find what I’m looking for when I need it (what a concept, eh?).

Today it was the ribbon and ribbon-like things (rick-rack, strings of beads, twine, etc). I’d previously been using a large plastic bag. Not user friendly…at all (can you say “endless ribbon knots?”).

I’d purchased, on clearance (!!), a few small storage bins for CD’s and DVD’s — and I happened to have 2 left. They turned out to be the perfect size for this (9″ x 7-7/8″ x 6-1/8″).

The first one I used for the spool ribbon. I put them in, standing upright, with the ends of the ribbon sticking out the holes in on each side of the crate. I can now pull out, measure, and cut what I need (and yes, I did test this before committing to it…).

The second I used for the shorter pieces of (non-spool) stuff. It was, basically, the same except I just piled the ribbon in and stuck the ends out the holes (yes, tested this as well – no more knots!).

And, since the two crates stack, I have even more space for more crafts! Um…what I meant to say…

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2 responses to “A few clever ideas

  1. Carole says:

    I remember when I used to clean private homes and an older (Depression era) woman was absolutely horrified to discover that I had thrown away her seemingly five thousand bread tags. Now I understand….

  2. LB Driver says:

    Ha! Ha! I know, huh? It’s amazing what a “throw away” society we’ve become (I’m certainly not ‘guiltless’ here, either! :). Several years ago I set up a “challenge” for myself; before I throw something away I have to take a minute to really think if there’s something else I can use it for (excluding donating it — that’s a given). It’s almost become kind of a “game” for me now!

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