Five Organizing Tips for the New Year

If you’re like most people, you made a resolution for the year 2012. You probably also made one for 2011, 2010, 2009… going back as far as you can remember. You may have kept these resolutions and you may not have. Whatever your goals and your intentions, I have some quick helpful hints for organizing yourself that are so simple, yet so effective, you will be wishing that you made it your resolution.

You don’t need to tackle the whole house in one day.  And if you’ve developed bad habits over time, you obviously won’t change in one day.  If you start with these five small tasks (try 1 per week) you will see such a difference that you will be inspired to keep going all year long.

1. The kitchen junk drawer.  Do you have a drawer in your kitchen that has so many tools, utensils, and gadgets that you don’t even open it anymore?  Take all the tools out and put in a few drawer organizers. Since you know you haven’t used most of the things in this drawer sort out the stuff you use from the stuff you don’t.  Put the most used items near the front and the least used items in back.  If you really don’t use anything at all, get rid of it.

2. The Sock drawer.  Just take it out and dump it.  Throw away any socks with holes and any socks without partners.  You can get clear plastic draw organizers very cheaply these days.  I think these are great for socks, underwear and t-shirts.  When you put your socks back in the drawer again put the most used socks in front and lesser used ones towards the back.  It’s always easier to keep things organized when the things you reach for quickly are actually within reach.  This is a technique you can use for all of your drawers, once you are inspired.

3. The dumping spot.  Do you have a dumping spot where you put everything when you walk through the door.  The keys, the mail, etc.  Rather than have a dumping spot that accumulates clutter, create a station where you can keep your items.  When you create this station look at where you naturally go when you come in the door, the station should be located within the path that you naturally follow when you come in the door.  If you you have to go out of your way to use it, you won’t.  Use a couple of hooks to keep your keys hanging and not lying on a surface where they will get moved around.  Near the hooks keep a standing file or a magazine type of file where you can put your mail and other items.  I actually have my entire station hanging on the wall where I can put my mail and keys all in one.

4. The puzzles.  A while back, I wrote a blog entry about how to organize and store all the kids puzzles.  Take the time now to get them organized and you’ll never have to do it again.  At least not until you buy more puzzles.

5. Batteries.  I hate batteries.  They always create a mess. You can never find them when you need them. The best way to organize batteries is to put them in a battery organizer.  There are some great ones out there that you can put in drawers or hang on the back of a door or a wall.  I like this one.  Since it has spots for specific types of batteries, it helps you know when you are almost out, so you won’t be stuck in an emergency without batteries.  Don’t forget that old batteries have to get recycled and not thrown away.

Good luck. May the organizational ideas keep coming to you all year.





Filed under Big Projects, Common Household Chores

Appliance Fixes

Dishwasher, open and loaded with dishes

Image via Wikipedia

What do you do after a long, tough day at work?  How about fix your dishwasher?  That’s what I did. Of course, not without a glass of wine and a pre-recorded episode of Glee.  That’s the way things go in the Quick Fix household these days.

For the last year, our dishwasher has been slowly falling apart piece by piece.  For every piece that fell off and melted on the heating element, the cleanliness of the dishes would degrade another degree.  I had done some research on new dishwashers and decided that the quality of the one we currently had was better than the quality of any new one that we could afford. So it was probably worth fixing.

A couple days ago, after the last possible piece that I could tolerate fell off, I decided to investigate.  All of the pieces that have been falling off were plastic simple parts.  There must be a way just to get these parts and put them back on without involving a repair man.

So, now we cut to the free advertising, earned media portion of my blog:

This website is the best website ever:  I will gladly give them as many link-backs as possible.

I was able to plug in the model # of my dishwasher and look up the problems that I was having.  They told me what parts I needed to buy and replace.  They also provide instructional videos for replacing everything.  And, especially helpful are the customer comments on how they replaced the parts themselves. The accounts of how easy it was and how well it worked gave me the confidence to do this all myself.

So here we are 20 minutes and $30 later, and 1 dishwasher fixed.  I saved myself what probably would have been  a $150 repair visit.  Next up: replacing the ice maker in the freezer.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

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Filed under Junk that Falls Apart