Monday, January 21, 2019

31 Days to Organization - Day 21: Organizing Your Phone

Happy New Year! January is a time to start fresh...to begin again with a fresh, clean start...so it is only appropriate that January is National Organization Month! And since many people make a New Year's resolution to become more organized, I've been be posting organization tips every day for the during the month of January.



Day 21 - Organizing Your Phone

You may not have thought about organizing your cell phone before. If that's the case, you may want to start thinking about it now.

I feel a little silly even discussing this. Perhaps even a little unqualified because I am STILL using the same phone I have had for the last 9 or 10 years. But some of the information below can also be applied to tablets and mine could definitely use a clean-up!

People are using their cell phone as their primary number nowadays and in many cases it is their only phone number. They have their cell phones at home, at work and while on vacation. It is an extesion of their bodies. Cell phones are also storing a lot more information than the older models that came before: emails, schedules and notes are all filed away along with all those phone numbers you have. And the number of phone numbers you need to have on hand keeps growing! And there there are the apps...and photos...gobs and gobs of photos!!!


In order to keep up with all of this, it is wise to have a system in place for keeping all your information organized.
  • Purge un-neccessary phone numbers, emails and other information. There is no need to carry around junk. If you don't need it, get rid of it.
  • Clean up the apps. Do you use them all? Remove them from your phone if you're not using it.
  • Most smart phones have an emergency contact feature. Make sure to set it up. If your phone does not have this, add the letters "I-C-E" before the name of your emergency contact in your phone (ie. ICE - Mom 555-5555). I.C.E. stands for "In Case of Emergency". Store your medical information under this listing as well: any allergies, medical conditions, etc. Your cell phone can actually act as a type of "med-alert" bracelet. This should not replace any current emergency tags or notifications you already have in place.
  • Be sure you have phone numbers in your phone for: your doctor, dentist, insurance company, child's school and of course, your emergency contact(s). It would be a good idea to also have customer service phone numbers for your credit cards and bank in case cards are lost or stolen, or in the event you need to make a large purchase or are taking a quick trip out of town. Do not put any account information on your phone!
  • Use your cell phone for things other than phone calls and emails. If you're bad about writing mileage down, use your phone to take a picture of the odometer on your car before and after a trip. Or, take a picture of the lot number where you park at the airport. It will help you find your car later in the event you don't remember "lower lot, row G"



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Sunday, January 20, 2019

31 Days to Organization - Day 20: Tips for the Bulk Shopper

Happy New Year! January is a time to start fresh...to begin again with a fresh, clean start...so it is only appropriate that January is National Organization Month! And since many people make a New Year's resolution to become more organized, I've been posting organization tips every day during month of January.


Day 20 - Tips for the Bulk Shopper

You know who you are. You are the one who leaves the store with a buggy overflowing with paper towel rolls and 2-liters of soft drinks. You are the reason the sale paper reads "Limit 10".

Congratulations! You are the one who has managed to consolidate the majority of the month's shopping into one trip, saving you time AND money! I can certainly appreciate the time and effort that goes into bulk shopping because I'm guilty of it myself. But what happens when you return home with all of your purchases? Where do you put everything? How do you store it all without turning your home into a mini-market look-a-like?
Storage cabinets, usually used in the garage for gardening supplies and tools can easily be converted into a pantry for excess cereal boxes or soup and veggie cans. 


For the bulk shopper as well as the bulk shopper wannabe, these tips are for you:
  • Before you start your shopping, be sure you have a list of everything you need. It's a good idea to plan many menus in advance so you're not stuck in the middle of cooking dinner when you realize you've forgotten a couple of ingredients.
  • Regularly check circulars and weekly ads for specials. Be sure you have your loyalty cards with you.
  • Reusable shopping bags with the flat bottoms are great for lining up in your cargo area because of their stability when packed correctly. They can also hold a LOT more than plastic bags and they are strong enough to not have to double bag.
  • Shopping bags can also be kept stationary in the car with the help of trunk organizers. Some even have coolers so you can keep your cold things cold if you have an especially long trip home. Which brings us to the next tip...
  • If you have several stops to make, or if you live a long way from your bulk buying store, keep a cooler in the trunk with some freezer packs to keep cold or frozen items from getting too warm.


  • Your shopping trips can be make easier with the use of grocery bag clip holders. Carry multiple grocery bags in one trip without any discomfort. These are especially handy for heavy plastic grocery bags that seem to dig into your fingers when you're carrying them.
  • Heavy-duty metal shelving, similar to those used in restaurants for stock, can be used in your garage to store excess supplies.

  • You can minimize the amount of toilet paper that has to be stored in your garage by having a toilet paper reserve in each of your bathrooms. This can be in the form of a small storage cabinet or canister, an over-the-tank roll holder, or simply a basket on a shelf. They greatly reduce the chance that you'll be the one caught with no toilet paper when you need it. 
  • Potato chip bags and other snack bags can be kept in a plastic storage tote in the bottom of the pantry to reduce the chances of the bags getting crushed.
  • Store 5lb bags of flour and sugar in plastic containers sized to hold the full amount of the package. I recommend these containers by SnapWare. Extra bags can be stored in a weathertight storage box or in food-grade buckets with gamma lids.

  • If you buy large bags of flour, sugar, rice, etc like those found at Sam's Club and Costco, you can put those into the  food-grade buckets with gamma lids or divide them into half-gallon glass mason jars which then have the option of being sealed with a FoodSaver and jar attachment. You will need the wide-mouth jar attachment to seal half gallon mason jars. If sealing finely ground foods like flour, place a coffee filter on top of the food before placing the metal lid on the jar and sealing. This prevents food particles from getting caught on the rim preventing a seal. My favorite place to buy the half gallon mason jars is Ace Hardware but you can also sometimes find them at some grocery stores, as well as some Walmart or Target stores.



DISCLOSURE:This post may contain affiliate links. I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you for supporting Little House In Colorado.


Saturday, January 19, 2019

31 Days to Organization - Day 19: Safe Long-Term Storage For Your Keepsakes

Happy New Year! January is a time to start fresh...to begin again with a fresh, clean start...so it is only appropriate that January is National Organization Month! And since many people make a New Year's resolution to become more organized, I've been posting organization tips every day during month of January.



Day 19 - Safe, Long-Term Storage For Your Keepsakes

Many of us have a box stashed somewhere full of keepsakes and mementos. Our grandmother's linens, the high school year book, wedding favors, baby blankets - things too sentimental to part with. You certainly don't need to discard these things, but yet you still need space.

Maybe the only alternative storage space you have is a musty basement where the humidity could damage your treasures. If you have keepsakes that might be damaged by bugs or moisture, consider storing them in a weathertight storage box. This particular storage bin has a seal in the rim making the box airtight, protecting your precious keepsakes from the air and moisture that could do damage to them. I've kept baby blankets from my own childhood as well as from my children's baby years in one of these bins for the last 9 years. If I open the bin, they only smell of fabric and plastic (the bin scent). No must. No mildew.


Be sure the items you but into long-term storage have been cleaned prior to packing. Dust can form a residue that is difficult to remove and stains, however light they are, can darken and yellow over time.


If you have china or silverware to store, see our section on packing up holiday china. For photograph storage, see our "holiday photos" post.



DISCLOSURE:This post may contain affiliate links. I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you for supporting Little House In Colorado.


Friday, January 18, 2019

Vintage Recipe: Sonja's Sweet & Sour Cabbage

I'm digging into old recipe boxes and rediscovering the family favorites hidden inside! You'll find carefully handwritten recipe cards, newspapers and magazines clippings and even some hastily scrawled directions on scraps of paper, all from years (and years) ago! They're all getting scanned and transcribed so you can enjoy them in your own home kitchen. 


This recipe for Sonja’s Sweet and Sour Cabbage was handwritten on an index card. It was found in an old large recipe file box. The age of the recipe card is unknown.



DISCLOSURE:This post may contain affiliate links. I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you for supporting Little House In Colorado.


31 Days to Organization - Day 18: Say "NO" to Bulky Blankets & Crammed Cabinets

Happy New Year! January is a time to start fresh...to begin again with a fresh, clean start...so it is only appropriate that January is National Organization Month! And since many people make a New Year's resolution to become more organized, I've been posting organization tips every day during month of January.

Look around your home. What items take up large chunks of space but are seldom used. Is that ice cream maker or indoor grill something that needs to be out or taking up valuable cabinet space? Do you need ALL those blankets to be in the linen closet or can most of them be stored elsewhere? Wedding momentos and baby keepsakes are wonderful sentimental items to keep, but you could really use that closet shelf for something else. Where do you plan to store the 48 rolls of toilet paper and 60 bottles of water you just got on sale?

The organizing tips that will be shared over the next few days deal mainly with your bulky storage needs. Sure, you should reduce your clutter and toss out unnecessary items. However, those seldom used items that are left over should really be packed up and moved elsewhere. They can be safely "banished" to the basement or the garage or wherever else you have available out-of-the-way space to they don't cramp your everyday routine with their "bulk".

Day 18 - Say "NO" to Bulky Blankets & Crammed Cabinets

Closets and trunks throughout our homes tend to be stuffed full of big, bulky blankets - even in the Winter when all the blankets in the house should be out being used. There are thin, thermal blankets available, as well as "all-season" blankets. Both types can offer year-round comfort without all the bulk. But for those people who love their big, thick, heavy blankets, there is a solution!


Compression bags can take all those large items and shrink their bulkiness down to about a third of their original size. Compression bags also protect against bugs, dust and moisture so instead of putting those newly compacted blankets back in the linen closet, you can safely store them in the garage or the basement without having to worry about them getting ruined by pests or mildew.

I don't recommend compression bags for long-term storage. Fabrics can become severely wrinkled and items like comforters and pillows may never again achieve their original "poof". For seasonal storage, this shouldn't be a problem. If you need to store things for years, consider whether it is something that you need to be keep in the first place. Perhaps it is another opportunity to minimize your "stuff".

An old pillowcase can be used as an inexpensive dust cover for your appliances. 



Have you got any small appliances hanging around your kitchen that are so seldom used you forget you even have them? How about those huge stockpots that come out only once in awhile? Maybe you have a stash of specialty cake pans buried in your kitchen somewhere (how often are you going to make a cake in the shape of a baby carriage?). These items are big and bulky. They don't stack well and they take up space in our cabinets. Move them out!
  • If you have extra space in your pantry, move your large items from your cabinets to a bottom shelf.
  • Small appliances can be relocated to a wide shelf in a garage or basement.
  • Cover appliances with a tarp, plastic sheeting, dust covers (like the ones grandma had on her toaster and mixer), or simply put an old pillowcase over each item to keep garage dust off.
  • If you cover the items individually, label the shelf with the name of the item. You'll know which item to take down and exactly where it goes back.



DISCLOSURE:This post may contain affiliate links. I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you for supporting Little House In Colorado.


Thursday, January 17, 2019

31 Days to Organization - Day 17: Laundry Chores Simplified

Happy New Year! January is a time to start fresh...to begin again with a fresh, clean start...so it is only appropriate that January is National Organization Month! And since many people make a New Year's resolution to become more organized, I've been posting organization tips every day during month of January.



Day 17 - Laundry Chores Simplified

Laundry is one of those tasks that doesn't lake a whole lot of energy, but is always being put off until later. According to epa.gov, the average family does 400 loads of laundry per year (thats 7.69 loads per week). If you keep putting off those loads of laundry, dirty laundry piles up and you wind up spending your entire weekend washing, drying, ironing, and folding. When it takes you that much time to do your laundry, you're bound to put it off again and again. The cycle continues. I speak from experience.

Break the cycle! Learn ways to make your laundry chores quick and easy (and relatively painless). As soon as children are able, teach them the system. As they grow, they will be able to take care of their own laundry.
  • Treat stains as soon as they happen.
  • Place all socks belonging to one family member (even if it's just one pair) into a zippered mesh washer bag (also great for washing delicates). This will keep the sets together and you'll always know whose is whose. If socks for 2 different people are similar, write names on the bags or color code them.
  • Be sure to always have a constant back-up of all your laundry requirements. If you always have a spare jug of detergent, dryer sheets or bleach, then when you open the spare, you know to add that item to your shopping list. This way you will never run out.
  • Sort your laundry as you go. If you have the space, use a sectioned hamper in the laundry area. You can separate by color or by family member. You could also sort by type - laundry vs. dry cleaning. Be sure to let everyone know which bin or basket is for the dry cleaning.
Buy as many hampers or laundry baskets as you need and put one in every room. If you need one in your bathroom, don't put it in your closet. Have one in each child's room and teach them to use it. 

  • For larger families, combine wash loads of family members whose clothing is very different - not only in gender, but also different sizes. You can easily tell whose clothing is whose when the entire load is made up of clothing for either your toddler daughter or your teenaged son. However, trying to sort clothes for two adult-sized men is not so easy. Again...I speak from experience.
  • Liquid detergent can be used as a pre-treatment for some water-based stains.
  • It takes approximately 30 to 50 minutes for a load of laundry to run through a full wash cycle in a top load machine. The time can be more for HE washers because of the lower water and/or energy use. Run a load of laundry while you are making dinner, watching your favorite television program, etc.
  • A luggage rack can help save the strain of your back. This great item stands 20 inches off the floor so you can place your laundry basket on it and easily transfer your items from the dryer to the basket. The rack folds up flat when not in use and can be stored between your washer and dryer. Of course, you can use it as a luggage rack when guests come to visit, too.
  • Keep empty hangers in the laundry area. When folding your clothes you can place items directly on hangers instead of having to first fold them, carry them to the correct room and then hang them. I installed a hanging rack in our laundry area to store hangers and to hang shirts fresh from the dryer.Mine came from IKEA but it is just like this one.
  • Set aside items that need to be ironed. Assign one or two days a week to do the ironing (or however often it needs to be done). It makes more sense to pull out the iron and ironing board once for several items than to put it out each and every time you have one garment to iron.
  • As you fold items, sort them into piles or baskets for each family member. 




DISCLOSURE:This post may contain affiliate links. I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you for supporting Little House In Colorado.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

31 Days To Organization - Day 16: Jewelry & Cosmetics

Happy New Year! January is a time to start fresh...to begin again with a fresh, clean start...so it is only appropriate that January is National Organization Month! And since many people make a New Year's resolution to become more organized, I'll be posting organization tips every day for the month of January.



Day 16 - Jewelry & Cosmetics For Travel & Everyday

Jewelry and cosmetics can take up an incredible amount of space. Earrings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches, jars, compacts, tins and tubes all scatter everywhere and more often than not, what you are looking for is not what you end up finding.

It gets worse when you travel. If you can't decide what to take, you end up packing it all in a hurry and everything winds up in a jumbled mess in your bags! Cosmetic are broken, necklaces tangle, or worse, your nail polish bottle breaks -yikes!

When traveling, string necklaces through plastic drinking straws and re-hook. This reduced the risk of tangles from being jostled around in small spaces. 

A lot of jewelry never sees the light of day. They get placed in a jewelry box, have other things piled on top of it, and they never get worn again. If this is happening to your jewelry, start whittling down the collection or take quick action and get it all organized!
  • For rings and earrings, divided trays, or even ice cube trays, can easily sort and store your treasures. Both of these options can be kept in drawers or stacked.
  • Necklaces and bracelets can be stored in a necklace keeper, specially made to store and protect necklaces. You could also mount a small hook rack to a door, a wall or inside your medicine cabinet to hang necklaces and bracelets, keeping them tangle-free.
  • A mug tree is also an interesting option for storing necklaces and bracelets. The tree can be kept on your dresser or vanity as an eye catching display. Your necklaces and bracelets can hang from it's branches and add sparkle and color to the room.
  • For traveling, jewelry can be stored in a roll-up jewelry organizer. These bags have separate compartments for your jewelry so things don't get tangled up.
  • A very practical jewelry organizer is a divided storage case. Dividers can be adjusted for whatever suits your needs and can change as your collection changes. The box is clear so you can see everything at a glance and if it gets flipped upside-down, your collection will still be as organized as ever. This option is also great for travel. 

Cosmetics are very similar to jewelry. A new eye shadow is purchased. It may have been on sale or a new shade. Whatever the reason, it came home with you and immediately joined the others in your cosmetics bag. Every once in awhile, you may see it and think, "Oh, I forgot about that one! I'll need to try it out...tomorrow." Use the following tips to organize your cosmetics. Know what you have and what you need, and always know where it is.

  • Cosmetics expire. The life span of makeup differs for each product. A safe bet is to toss out all the cosmetics that you have had for over a year. Some powder based cosmetics last longer. Items like liquid eyeliner need to be discarded sooner. Mascara has the shortest shelf life of all. If you use "natural" makeup, the lifespans are shorter. Check with manufacturers for the shelf life of your makeup. Here are some guidelines:
    • Mascara: 3 to 5 months
    • Cream blush or cream eye shadows: 6 months to 1 year
    • Concealer and liquid foundations: 1 year
    • Eye pencils, powder eye shadow, under-eye cream: 1 year
    • Foundation, lipsticks, facial moisturizer: 1 to 1½ years
    • Face powder, powder blush: 2 years
  • If you have the same makeup routine everyday, keep on hand only those few items. They tuck easily into a compact cosmetics case. A divided storage case, like the one mentioned for organizing jewelry for travel, would also work well for cosmetics.
  • A tackle box or hobby case can organize the smaller items on top and large jars and moisturizers in the bottom. 
  • If you are able to dedicate a drawer in the bathroom to your makeup, use drawer dividers to create compartments for each type of product or facial feature: eyes, lips, foundations, etc.
  • If you prefer your cosmetics to be kept on your counter or vanity table, various countertop products are available for organizing your make-up.
  • Store lipsticks so you can quickly tell the shade without having to open the tube. If need be, store lipstick tubes upside-down so you can read the labels.
  • Have a dedicated place for your eyeliners and lip pencils, whether it is a separate drawer divider or a cup in the cabinet. It will eliminate the morning search for a slim makeup pencil beneath the piles of makeup.
  • Keep your nail polish upright in a cabinet or deep drawer or find an organizer that will keep them from bumping into each other. A broken bottle of nail polish is one of the messiest, smelliest makeup-mishaps you will ever have to deal with. I suggest you get your manicure before your trip and leave the polish at home. Or leave your nails natural and take a buffer with you to give them a shine. (I haven't tried it, but I hear you can clean up wet nail polish from flat non-porous surfaces with sugar).



DISCLOSURE:This post may contain affiliate links. I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you for supporting Little House In Colorado.


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

1960s Christmas Gift Tags by Kaycrest

Yes, I know Christmas is over. But I just had to post about this adorable set of Christmas gift tags I found! I just about squealed when I spotted them!


These gift tags are still in the original retail box. They were made by The Papercraft Corporation and have the Kaycrest brand on them. The box originally held 21 tags and it looks like there are still 18 left. The tags fold over so you can write your sentiment inside. Strings are included for attaching to gifts.


The Christmas gift tags feature three different designs; Santa driving an old timey car, snowmen playing instruments, and Christmas ornaments that look very much like Shiny Brite ornaments. (I LOVE the Santa design!!!)


The back of the box is just as interesting as the front. It has an entry coupon to a long-ago ended contest with prizes ranging from "luxurious gift wrapping kits" to Westinghouse transistor radios and 23" color tvs!

23" COLOR televisions! What would they think of us now? We've come a long way!


These gift tags are in great vintage condition, having been stored in their original box. The box itself has very little shelf wear considering its age. We are estimating these gift tags to be circa 1960s. Perhaps even late 1950s.

They would be the perfect final touch for those extra special presents. Or use these as labels in scrapbooks or in other paper crafts.

You can pick these gift tags up in our Etsy shop right now so you'll have them for next Christmas!




DISCLOSURE:This post may contain affiliate links. I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you for supporting Little House In Colorado.


31 Days To Organization - Day 15: The Organized Bathroom

Happy New Year! January is a time to start fresh...to begin again with a fresh, clean start...so it is only appropriate that January is National Organization Month! And since many people make a New Year's resolution to become more organized, I'll be posting organization tips every day for the month of January.


Day 15 - The Organized Bathroom

Think of your morning routine. You wake up when the first alarm goes off, skip over to the shower and jump in for a leisurely wash...wait...that's not quite accurate, is it? For many of us, mornings send a constant chant through our heads. "Rush, rush, rush! Hurry, hurry, hurry!"

A lack of time is the #1 reason people say they have not gotten organized. What they don't realize is that being organized CREATES more time. And because so much morning time is spent in the bathroom, it makes sense to get it organized so we can spend that extra time elsewhere...unless of course you want to use your extra time for that leisurely shower...

Towel bars can pull double duty when they also include an attached upper shelf. Another option is to install a shelf above your existing towel racks. 

Choose from the following bathroom storage and organization ideas and tips to get started organizing your bathroom today!
  • For cabinet storage, install an under sink roll out drawer for storing toiletries
  • Use a 3-drawer mini organizer on a shelf or in a cabinet to store hair bows, bands, clips and other accessories.
  • Many times, a bathroom has a huge area of wasted space above the toilet. Get a space saver - a set of shelves designed to surround the toilet tank creating usable storage. They come in various materials, colors and styles so you can find one that fits your decor. You may also consider installing a wall mounted cabinet or set of shelves on the wall space above the toilet.
  • Keep counter tops clear by using a bathroom caddy or basket to store all your necessities in (like those a student might use in their college dorm). When you are getting ready in the morning, pull out your basket. When you are finished, tuck it away in a cabinet or on a shelf. You can create a basket like this for each family member.
  • Hair dryers, curling irons and brushes can all be stowed away in a hair dryer caddy that hangs on the inside of a bathroom cabinet door.
  • Hooks and over the door storage systems are especially helpful in the bathroom providing hanging space for damp towels and robes or storage space for extra toilet paper and toiletries. They really come in handy in cramped apartments where space is hard to come by and restrictions may not allow you to install wall units.



DISCLOSURE:This post may contain affiliate links. I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you for supporting Little House In Colorado.


Monday, January 14, 2019

31 Days To Organization - Day 14: The Utility Closet

Happy New Year! January is a time to start fresh...to begin again with a fresh, clean start...so it is only appropriate that January is National Organization Month! And since many people make a New Year's resolution to become more organized, I'll be posting organization tips every day for the month of January.



Day 14 - The Utility Closet

Let's face it...no one likes to go to the utility closet. If you need anything from the utility cabinet it means something needs to be fixed or cleaned or replaced and none of those things tend to rank very high on anyone's "want to do" list.

Cleaning and maintenance are both dreaded chores that seem to never end. However, a large portion of the time it takes to do the chore is spent getting everything together and set up. Your cleaning and maintenance chores actually go alot faster when you are prepared and have a plan. The first step, of course, is to get organized!

Share the load: Figure out the chores that need to be done daily, weekly and monthly. Split chores up among family members and post them in a convenient place.

Take a good look at your utility closet. It may simply be a dedicated cabinet in the kitchen or section of the laundry room. If you don't have a central space set aside for your vacuum, brooms, mop and other supplies, make one. You (and everyone else in the house) will know where to find what is needed to help out. Even small children can easily grab a towel or sponge to wipe up a spill (just keep the cleaners out of reach).

  • Find the largest item that will fit in your closet and organize around it. This will usually be the vacuum cleaner or the collection of mops and brooms. As you decide where everything will go, make sure it is all easy to reach and easy to retrieve. If you make it difficult to get to your cleaning supplies, you will inadvertently discourage yourself (and others) from cleaning.
  • A wall mountable wire holder, normally used to hold plastic container lids can be installed on the inside of the closet door. Use it to hold your dustpan,sponges, or a first aid kit.
  • Use a grocery bag holder to store cleaning towels instead of plastic grocery bags. Towels can be placed in the top when they have been cleaned, but will dispense one at a time from the bottom when you need them. You can mount the dispenser to the inside door of your utility closet or on an inside wall.
  • If your utility closet has a hanging rod, store paper towels in a hanging shoe shelf organizer. It takes up very little space and you won't wind up with bulky paper towels taking up an entire shelf.
  • The Grook tool holder will keep your mops and brooms in place until they are needed. Additional hooks are perfect for dusters and other cleaning tools with a notch, hole or loop for hanging.
 
  • If available space is hard to find (and isn't it always?), use a tool holder for your mops and brooms that will slide out when you need it but stay hidden safely away when you don't. This is especially convenient if a utility closet or cabinet large enough for tall cleaning tools is not available.
  • Keep cleaners in a portable caddy or bucket. It makes moving from room to room easier. They should be stored on a shelf out of reach of children. If no shelf is available, place a lock on the closet door.
  • Keep a small toolbox handy or attach a pegboard to the closet door or on the inside wall and use it to store general maintenance tools. This will keep you from having to run to the garage or basement every time something needs a quick fix. Store a small hammer, a phillips and flathead screwdriver, a wrench and a tape measure.
  • Recyclables can be kept hidden away by storing the bins in your utility closet. Attaching one or two cabinet trash bag holders to the inside door of your utility closet creates a great recycling center that is convenient but is still hidden from view. Label each bin so family members know what items are allowed in each bin.
  • An over-the-door shoe organizer can be used to store all kinds of cleaners, brushes and towels.



DISCLOSURE:This post may contain affiliate links. I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you for supporting Little House In Colorado.


Sunday, January 13, 2019

31 Days To Organization - Day 13: Your Linen Closet, Revived

Happy New Year! January is a time to start fresh...to begin again with a fresh, clean start...so it is only appropriate that January is National Organization Month! And since many people make a New Year's resolution to become more organized, I'll be posting organization tips every day for the month of January.


Day 13 - Your Linen Closet, Revived

When a linen closet is organized and items are in their proper place, you won't be ashamed to open the door wide when retrieving some bed linens for an unexpected overnight guest. The kids will be able to tell which are the "good" towels and which are the ones used for drying off the dog.

A little planning and a few ideas are all you need to make the organized linen closet a reality.

Labeling "zones" will help everyone young and old to quickly find (and replace) items in a linen closet. Label areas for sheets by size. 

Linen closets can be used to free up so much space by storing bulky items that would normally fill bedroom and bathrooms. However, they are notorious for becoming the "junk drawer" of closets. They quickly resemble a a jumbled mess of towels, bed sheets, overstock of shampoos and conditioners, as well as all sorts of things that cannot possibly be categorized as "linens".
  • Pull everything out and start over.
  • Dispose of the things you don't need or don't want.
  • Put odd items aside to be relocated elsewhere (tools, light bulbs, batteries, etc). This is a linen closet so if it's not made of cloth (clothing not included) or is not being used to store items, set it aside. If you have tablecloths or cloth napkins, relocate them to a side table, buffet or kitchen drawer closet to the dining area.
  • Label "zones" such as "sheets", "towels", "guest linens", etc. 
  • A shelf basket can neatly house excess shampoos and conditioners.
  • Wire shelves can be used to separate stacks of sheets. Place a label on the shelf for each stack. You can label by size or by family member (this works well if you have a lot of printed gender-specific sheets for children).
  • Fold sheets as a set - you can keep the flat and fitted sheets inside the pillowcase or just tuck the flat sheet and pillowcase within the fitted sheet
  • Keep stacks of towels from becoming one big messy heap with shelf dividers. You may want to consider rolling your towels instead of folding.
  • Use large storage baskets or bins on the floor of the closet to store extra toilet paper, blankets, or other bulky items.
  • If you frequently have guests over, designate a shelf for guests sheets, blankets and towels. This would also be a good place to keep a basket of all those miniature hotel-sized bottles of shampoo.
  • If space limitations require you to store items other than linens in your linen closet, try to keep only those items relating to the bedroom and bathroom stored here. An over the door basket unit can store overstock of items such as extra tissues, baby wipes and diapers, cotton balls, cotton swabs, etc.



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Saturday, January 12, 2019

31 Days To Organization - Day 12: The Organized Closet

Happy New Year! January is a time to start fresh...to begin again with a fresh, clean start...so it is only appropriate that January is National Organization Month! And since many people make a New Year's resolution to become more organized, I'll be posting organization tips every day for the month of January.

Day 12 - The Organized Closet

While many of us dream of large, open closets with a dressing area complete with full length mirrors and tons of cabinets, drawers and storage space, the reality is, we really don't need it. Walk-in closets, and even reach-in closets have the capability to neatly store all the clothing we need on a regular basis.

The key to having an organized, efficient closet is to stay on top of what items are kept in your closet and controlling what items go in it. How much of your clothing do you regularly wear? Are there any seasonal items that can be moved elsewhere?

The majority of closets today have at least one closet rod and one shelf that extends the length of the closet. If you don't have a shelf in your closet, consider getting one installed. A single long shelf will add an incredible amount of additional storage space!

Shelf dividers keep sweaters in neat stacks without the risk of having them topple over. They can also be used to designate sections of a shelf for clothing, bags, hats, etc. 

You've probably heard this a dozen times before...go through your clothes discarding everything you don't wear, don't like, or hesitate to put on. Let's just face the fact that some items look better on the rack at the store than they do on us. If you don't wear it (or if you don't feel good wearing it), get rid of it.

Use these other ideas to get your closet in shape:

  • Hang hooks on the walls behind your clothing to store small handbags. Large handbags should be stored on shelves to prevent sagging or drooping. Stuff them with tissue or bubble wrap to help them retain their shape.
  • If you have high ceilings, a second shelf above the first is a great option for storing seldom used items or seasonal clothing (scarves, gloves, etc.). If you would rather not install a permanent 2nd shelf, consider getting some removable ones instead. Additional shelving can also be achieved with a hanging shelf unit usually used for sweaters and other knit items. The cubbies in the unit can be used to store larger handbags as well as jeans and other folded garments, too.
  • If you have a deep closet, sliding drawers may be a better option for you. Drawers will bring your stored items up front to you. They can be used to store socks, underwear and accessories. 
  • You can easily double your hanging space in an area by installing a second closet rod below the first. Or, a similar solution that even renters can use, a closet doubler. Each level can can store shirts and pants.

  • Pull shoes out of cardboard boxes and store them in clear shoe boxes. The uniform size of the boxes stack neatly and you can see at a glance what you have available. Sort by color or by type (sandals, heels, flats, etc).
  • If clear shoe boxes are not an option right now, consider taking snapshots of of your shoes and taping them to the fronts of the shoeboxes so you can easily identify what is inside.
  • High humidity in a closet can ruin your clothes. If you have a humidity problem, especially if your closet is close to, or part of your bathroom, keep the humidity down with a small closet dehumidifier or moisture absorber.
My Organized Shoe Stash
I can usually be found wearing flip flops or slip-on shoes in the summer (and sometimes hiking boots) and those same slip-on shoes in the winter (and sometimes hiking boots or snow boots). Rarely do I ever wear anything else. Yet I have at least 20 shoe boxes n the top of my closet storing all manner of footwear (whittled down from about twice that many).

Most are shoes I might wear in a business environment. And although I haven't been in the business world for many years, I'll still dress the part for a parent teacher meeting, a meeting at the bank, etc.

Other boxes store heels. When I find a heel I like and can wear for hours without pain, I don't let them go.

Then there is my one pair of cowboy boots, a couple other pairs of boots, and some flats and sandals. 

All my shoes are stored in clear plastic boxes in the very top of my closet. I don't color code them and they aren't labeled. I can see them clearly through the box so the rest is unnecessary.

When the occasion to wear a pair arises, I pull out my step stool and can quickly find the pair I need. It might seem like a hassle at that moment, especially if I'm rushing around to get ready, but the rest of the time, they are up and out of my way while still protected and kept clean in their tidy little boxes.

You can buy the clear shoeboxes in bulk on Amazon. I happened to catch them on sale at Big Lots for less than $1 a piece.



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Friday, January 11, 2019

Vintage Recipe: Crustless Spinach Quiche

I'm digging into old recipe boxes and rediscovering the family favorites hidden inside! You'll find carefully handwritten recipe cards, newspapers and magazines clippings and even some hastily scrawled directions on scraps of paper, all from years (and years) ago! They're all getting scanned and transcribed so you can enjoy them in your own home kitchen. 


This recipe for Crustless Spinach Quiche was handwritten on both sides of a decorative Bisquick Recipe Club recipe card. It was found in an old large recipe file box. The age of the recipe card is unknown.



DISCLOSURE:This post may contain affiliate links. I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you for supporting Little House In Colorado.