Sunday, July 1, 2012

Organizing Tips for July

Elfa Over-the-door Media Storage Rack
from The Container Store

      It is July and it is hot and humid, no surprise there.  I wonder if we spend as much time in air conditioning in the summer as we do the heated rooms in the winter.  Since we are enjoying our living rooms, family rooms or dens, let’s get them organized this month.  Here are some tips that might be helpful to you.

  • Arrange electronic items such as televisions, CD and DVD players and video games in one area so the wires and cables can be contained together.
  • Label each end of cables and wires related to the computer and other electronic equipment.  It will save much time in connecting or reconnecting
  • Use wire baskets that can be mounted under shelves or cable ties to contain wires.
  • Purge videos, CDs and DVDs that are no longer used.  Sell or donate them to a local charity, nursing home or hospital.  If you want to locate one again, they can be rented or borrowed from local libraries.
  • Renting or borrowing movies and games is an excellent organizational choice and sets a good example for your children in managing finances and spaces.
  • Store CDs and DVDs in their case vertically on shallow shelves or if space is limited, they can be removed from the case and placed in notebooks or cases with plastic sleeves.  Sort and arrange by category.
  • Videos can be stored vertically on shelves or in shoe box type containers.  Do not stack flat as accessing those on the bottom is more difficult.
  • Remotes and game joysticks should be contained in a basket, decorative box or container designed specifically for them.  Keep them within easy reach of the chair or sofa.
  • Place a table or shelf near every seating area.  Large coffee tables can take the place of several small end tables.  Choose one with storage shelves, cabinet doors or drawers.
  • Provide an area for playing with toys if you allow that activity.  A lower cabinet can be used to store those items or they can be taken back to the bedroom in a tote box or rolling crate.
  • For reading areas be sure to have a comfortable chair with adequate lighting and a place to store books, magazines, newspapers, etc.
  • Books should be purged from bookcases.  Keeping fiction books that you have read serves no purpose except to prove you own them.  Sell or donate them knowing you can borrow it from the library if you have time to read it again.
  • Non-fiction books should be grouped by category.  Since information is always changing, using older books as reference many not provide recent findings.  Let them go and use the Internet to find the latest information.  The books are not your brain and letting them go will not cause you to forget what you have learned.  (Old age, however, may cause you to forget.  I speak from experience once again.)
  • Sets of encyclopedias are dated the moment you get them.  Use the Internet or library for research.  Use their encyclopedias if you want to teach your children how to use them.
  • Make friends with the library.  It is a wonderful place of knowledge and entertainment for your children and prevents book clutter from residing in your house.  Most offer excellent programs for adults and children.
  • Mix books, plants, attractive storage containers or photographs on bookshelves for more interesting arrangements.
  • Upper bookcase shelves and over the window shelving can be used to display collectables and photographs.
  • Collections of similar items are more attractive when grouped together in displays.
  • Keep an attractive container with pens, pencils, note pad and scissors in a convenient location in case they are needed.
  • Card tables can be used for board games, craft activities or other projects.  When you are finished it can be folded and stored under the sofa, behind large furniture or in a nearby closet.
  • If the family office is located in this room, reserve a space for a table or desk.  A drawer or attractive containers can hold desk supplies. 
  • If a computer will be located in this room, consider placing a wireless system in your home to eliminate having to connect all of the components with cables.