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Help needed on organizing papers on top of desk

posted by: marie26 on 09.05.2007 at 01:08 pm in Organizing the Home Forum

I have a computer desk which the pull-out shelf broke a long time ago and I now have my keyboard and large flat screen monitor on top of the desk. There are also 2 small speakers on either side of the monitor as well as a desk calendar. I have drawers behind the desk that I can get to by just turning my chair around but I've found that when I put things in a drawer, I "forget" it's there. Out of sight, out of mind sort of thing.

My problem is the accumulation of notes I write and papers that I need to do something with before filing. What is the best system for on top of the desk? Vertical or horizontal? Is there one that takes up minimum space since 2/3 of the desk is taken up by the computer and keyboard?


clipped on: 05.19.2010 at 12:57 pm    last updated on: 05.19.2010 at 12:57 pm

Do You Have a Spice Drawer You Love?

posted by: karenmaness on 04.05.2010 at 01:41 pm in Kitchens Forum

We are pulling out a built-in desk and replacing with custom built cabinetry. I would love to have a drawer for organizing my spices where I can read the labels and get to them quickly. I looked at Lowes and HD and didn't see anything much in terms of spice drawer organizers. Please tell me about spice drawer designs/organizers that you all love (pics great too)! Thanks!


clipped on: 05.19.2010 at 12:51 pm    last updated on: 05.19.2010 at 12:51 pm

Your Handiest Organizational Item

posted by: maryliz on 10.21.2008 at 07:34 pm in Organizing the Home Forum

I know we have been talking a lot about getting rid of all the excess STUFF, but there are obviously some things worth keeping. Do you have any favorite tools or gadgets that make life at home more comfortable, more convenient? Some of us might not have a similar need, but one of more of us just might be grateful for the recommendation. Please share. What is this thing, and why do you find it so useful?


I'll start.

Hmmm. Out of my home tools, one of the most useful is my custom ironing board top. I laid it on top of the ironing board that I bought at the store. I tend to get a backache if I bend forward while working, so the store-bought ironing board boosts the work surface to the correct height. I can fold clothes without stooping and straining my back.

Hubby made my custom ironing board top for me from a piece of plywood, to my exact specifications. I knew the exact width and length I preferred, but I also wanted a specific shape for the curved tip, around which I wrap a dress shirt when I press with the iron.

I don't iron a lot, but when I do, I don't want to be frustrated by an ironing board that makes the job harder!

Most ironing boards have a tip that is just too pointy and narrow. I wanted to fit the entire shoulder area of the shirt around the tip, so that I can position it once, then iron and be done with that area, which is so hard to iron on a wider surface.

I was able to show hubby the exact contour I needed, and he traced it onto a piece of wood, showed it to me so I could give final approval, then cut it to the shape I wanted. He gave me the final, sanded board. I used the staple gun to attach a layer of cotton batting, then a layer of the aluminized ironing board fabric. Works great!

Yes, it slides around a bit because I haven't attached it in any way. Maybe I'll figure out how to do that if it ever bugs me.


So ... anyone else?


clipped on: 05.19.2010 at 12:50 pm    last updated on: 05.19.2010 at 12:50 pm

Things You've Bought That Really Made An Impact On Organizing???

posted by: cupofkindness on 01.30.2005 at 02:19 pm in Organizing the Home Forum

Well, most of you probably know about the wire shelving unit I bought at Lowe's for my sunroom to organize toys. It's been great. But I wanted to ask everyone what they've bought that really made a room or a closet or a cabinet "click" in terms of helping you keep it together.

Here's an unusual example: I bought a couple of boxes of Chris Madden "Spa Head Wraps" at JC Penney and they've really help my girls bathroom stay uncluttered. These towels, which are small and sort of cone-shaped, are designed to wrap a head of hair. They aren't bulky - something between a baby towel and a regular towel weight-wise. They have an elastic loop on on end (to tuck the end of the wrap in when you wear it on your head), so it hangs nicely from a hook. But the upshot of my story is that now I need fewer regular bulkier towels in that bathroom. And that's a great thing when you have four daughters. Since they're just used for clean hair, they don't need lots of washings. Anyway, you get the idea.

What have you bought that really has made a difference in your home organizing? Thanks for your reply!



clipped on: 05.19.2010 at 12:50 pm    last updated on: 05.19.2010 at 12:50 pm

Share an Idea..

posted by: susie53 on 11.30.2007 at 10:07 pm in Organizing the Home Forum

Years ago I knew a lady and she was so organized.. She had 3 kids and each of them had a different colored clothes basket. Each night before bed the kids got their baskets out of their rooms and picked up anything that belonged to them and put it away. One night we went over for supper and before we sat down she had every pot and pan that she used washed and back in the cabinet where it belonged. This one I never could get to work at my house.. Her house was always neat and looked great..


clipped on: 05.19.2010 at 12:50 pm    last updated on: 05.19.2010 at 12:50 pm

Favorite Organizational Products

posted by: chrisdoc on 08.15.2008 at 09:33 am in Organizing the Home Forum

I'm curious to know what everyone's favorite products are. And I thought others might be curious to know what works for me.

So here are some of my favorite organizational products:

These home depot shelves are strudy and only cost $40. They are great for basement storage of everything. I use the 18" wide version.

These staples boxes are also great for storage. In the store I got a 6 pk of them for $9. I use them by themselves and in combination w/ the shelves. They are reasonably inexpensive and they even give a space to document what belongs inside them.

I just got this for my wife for her birthday and she loves this.

I'm looking for an inexpensive way to organize a closet. I was going to do the ClosetMaid ShelfTrack thing but that will be over $100. I think I'm just going to end up putting in wire shelves w/ a pole for support.

Has anyone found a more inexpensive closet organizer?


clipped on: 05.19.2010 at 12:50 pm    last updated on: 05.19.2010 at 12:50 pm

Let's see if we can make a list of 100 favorite Organizing Tips..

posted by: justgotabme on 08.14.2008 at 09:26 pm in Organizing the Home Forum

Cable and Cord Tamer.
I don't know of anyone that doesn't have this problem somewhere in there home. The way I keep them in check is to use a shower curtain rod cover. They don't cost a lot and come in decorative colors. With the slit along the whole length it's very easy to cover a number of cords/cables. Just lay that against the wall and there you go! Neat and tidy cords.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shower Rod Covers


clipped on: 05.19.2010 at 12:50 pm    last updated on: 05.19.2010 at 12:50 pm

Best organizing tips/worst mistakes

posted by: upnovernicole on 05.31.2006 at 01:20 pm in Organizing the Home Forum

I'm a lurker here, read a lot but rarely post on this forum. I love to organize (I know - some of you think I'm sick LOL).

Anyway - on another forum I read they have a thread going in which they've listed their best and worst organizing aids. I thought that would be a great thing here - especially for anyone just really starting to organize.

For me it's to do it in small doses, like 15 minutes, or a drawer at a time. And to clean it up when I'm done with that one before moving on. Because I actually enjoy organizing I can get very involved and then burn myself out easily. At the end I've usually made a giant mess that I'm too tired to clean up. If I do one drawer at a time and clean up after I can pace myself a lot better.

The worst thing for me is that I keep buying tools to organize, boxes and bins and baskets. I'm always searching for that perfect thing. At the moment I am slowly working on my scrapbook room and I have 1/2 an armoir full of empty containers! One's that just don't work for me. I hate tossing them too LOL. I need to though - makes no logical sense to organize empty containers!

What are your favorite tips, tools etc. Mistakes others can learn from?



clipped on: 05.19.2010 at 12:49 pm    last updated on: 05.19.2010 at 12:49 pm

RE: Where do you put paper towels, wet dish towels, cutting board (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: buehl on 03.23.2010 at 02:43 pm in Kitchens Forum

Cutting boards...In a tray divider under the prep sink

Paper towels...On the counter in an OXO holder that allows me to easily get one panel one-handed. Paper towels are used from various places in the kitchen so I wanted to be able to take them with me instead of having to run back to where they're stored each time I need one. Personal preference. My mom has one mounted under the cabinet next to the sink and you either need to take the roll out of the holder or run back to it when using it other than at the sink. This would be the same if it were mounted under counter or inside a cabinet.

If you're going to give it a permanent/fixed home, at least locate it in the middle of the Prep Zone so it's easily reached w/o having to run around an island or up/down the counter to get a paper towel.

Wet dish towels...hanging on the handle of either the freezer drawer in the refrigerator or the warming drawer. The most convenient place is the refrigerator since it's easily accessed from both the Prep Sink & Main/Cleanup Sink. I successfully banished it from the oven handles b/c the oven is front & center from the front door. We don't use the DW handle b/c when the DW is opened the towel hits the floor.

Some related threads...

Thread: Ew...wet rags on kitchen sink

Thread: Dish cloth or sponge? And where do you store it between uses?

Thread: where do you keep kitchen cloths?

Thread: Where to put the roll of paper towels? etc.

Thread: paper towel holder

Thread: OT. Kitchen-towel-hanging-on-the-oven-door-survey...

Thread: Where do you hang your cloth hand towels?

Thread: What to do with the Dish Towel?!?!

Thread: narrow open cabinet to hang damp dish towels

Thread: Where do you keep your paper towels?

Thread: Best Paper Towel Holder for kitchen?

Thread: Where to store that wet dishrag?

Thread: Those little dishtowel racks?

Thread: Towel bar on front of sink - talk me into it (or out of it)...

Thread: cloth for washing dishes

Thread: Where and how do you hang your cloth dishtowels?


clipped on: 05.19.2010 at 10:45 am    last updated on: 05.19.2010 at 10:45 am

warranties, receipts & instruction manuals

posted by: minet on 05.30.2007 at 12:55 am in Organizing the Home Forum

These have been discussed before in general, but I think they deserve their own thread.

I've been sorting these things tonight. I've had a system for many years that worked well enough for me, but my husband (who came along after my system) doesn't think the same way I do and therefore couldn't always find something.

My old system was straight alphabetical - A through Z folders, first in one of those big brown envelopes with 31 slots and an elastic cord to hold the flap in place. And then it became a plastic crate with hanging folders, still labeled A-Z.

I filed papers according to how I would look for them later - for example, answering machine under "A" but my husband might look for it with the telephone papers under "T" or even "P" for phone.

So I decided tonight to put them together in groups of common areas and see if that works out better. Here are the group files I've just labeled:
-- Audio/Video this one needs help
-- Cameras, Still & Video
-- Computer
-- Exercise & Sports (bikes, weights)
-- Furnishings (furniture, lamps, rugs, etc.)
-- Garden/Yard/Patio/BBQ
-- Health (electric toothbrush etc.)
-- HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning) - this one needs help - I put in there the ceiling fan booklets but any repairs or major purchases (new furnace or AC) would go into the other HOUSE files, so this might be confusing
-- Kitchen
-- Laundry & Vacuum
-- Office Equipment (home office)
-- Small Electronics (regular phones, answering machine, etc.)
-- Television
-- Tools

Other receipts such as for cell phones I keep in the box that holds all the cell phone and PDA stuff, in the office. I wonder if I should put them in here too? I usually just keep those papers in the original boxes because it's easy to match up the cell phone picture on the box with the cell phone in my hand.

The Audio/Video hanging folder needs help. I separated out the Television papers and included things related to tv - satellite dish, VHS, DVD.

I think I need a separate Stereo folder too, for all the speakers and receivers and other stuff my DH brings home.

But what about the papers for small cassette recorders, jam (boom) boxes, headphones, etc? Maybe the folder should be labeled Audio/Video Small? or Audio Video Miscellaneous?

And the HVAC - some of these types of papers should go with the house repairs and maintenance papers, not with the general warranties/receipts.

I think the folders labeled by groups rather than A-Z will help, but only time will tell.

Have I missed any categories, do you think? How do you organize your warranties, receipts and instruction manuals?


clipped on: 05.19.2010 at 10:44 am    last updated on: 05.19.2010 at 10:44 am

RE: How did you organize your drawers? Pictures pls! (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: plllog on 04.20.2010 at 03:45 pm in Kitchens Forum

Same as Rhome, only two weeks, rather than two years for the tweaking. I looked all over for organizers that didn't bug me. The Blum ones are very expensive and ugly. Most of the wood/bamboo ones are too small/shallow/ugly/expensive or all of the above. I ended up buying the OXO ones on a whim when I saw them at BB&B. They're very well designed, acrylic. Fairly inexpensive. Easy to wash. They clip together to form a custom silverware organizer, or stack for a double decker. The smaller ones aren't very useful. My small flatware is bigger, and the wee little ones are too wee. The big utensil ones are great. I don't attach them, though. I use the space between for things like the long shaft of the big ladle.

For dishes, bakeware, bowls, etc., I did a lot of shifting around so that I had everything I needed in every zone, and it all made sense. My top drawer for pie pans and casseroles went to more utensils, however. Organizing them in a useful manner expanded the whole thing, even though I've relocated extras and over sized things to the pegboard cabinet.

I don't have pictures, but here's my first working plan (tweaked a bit, and will be tweaked some more, but seems to work). Here's the tour:

  • Pegboard: Big tongs, extra cooking spoons, spatulas, etc. Peels. Upper, flyswatter. Middle (message center) will have pads and pens when it's done.
  • Facing away from ovens cabinet: Pitchers, vases, small stuff, cookbooks.
  • Under the ovens: cooking small appliances, except toasters (waffler, crock pot, egg boiler, electric skillet (where did that come from?)). Pizza stone in shallow drawer. Over ovens--racks and oven trays.
  • Spice rack also has oils and vinegars.
  • Baking zone: Top drawer--utensils for oven or baking. Second drawer--bread bowl & kitchen serving bowls, pie plates, pie weights, casserole dishes. Bottom drawer--baking pans, mixing bowls.
  • Corner: Top--utensils for stove and tea. Middle-- canisters (flours, sugars). Bottom--tall canisters and strange grains. Counter: KitchenAid mixer. Upper Corner: Bowls and accessories for mixer, salad spinner (it needs a better home, but fits here).
  • Under stove: Top shallow tray--grill pans, spatter screen, wooden spoons, meat forks, silicone stirrers. Middle--pots (Le Creuset & Corning). Bottom--pots (Stock pots, small roaster, meat pan, etc. Upper (baking side) measuring cups, strainers, extras. Upper (sink side): spice blends (Italian Herb, Garlic Pepper, Lemon Pepper, 21 Seasoning Salute), salt, light olive oil (good for saute--higher smoke point), wine for cooking, Wondra, cooking spray, dried mushrooms...and Pepermint Schnapps???? I'm not sure why that's there!! Upper Uppers: Over hood are empty, lidded tins. Over seasoning cupboard are rarely used pots.
  • Under sink: roll out tray shelf with sponges, garbage strainer, DW powder (I know it's not supposed to be a good place, but it's the best one unless the powder goes lumpy), extra dish liquid, and the (covered) garbage pail when it's hiding.
  • Drawer over trash (one bin for recycling, one deposit return containers) has a decanter scrubber, fancy dishcloth and trash can liners. Upper: small plates, cereal bowls, a few odds and ends.
  • Corner: Top--kitchen flatware and service pieces. Middle--large plates and soup plates, custard cups, a couple of mugs. Bottom--tea towels. Upper: Plastics. Lids in caddy.
  • Snack zone: Pullout--bread, oatmeal, cookies. Upper--kitchen glasses.
  • Under warming drawer: prep and snack appliances (Cuisinart, toaster oven, toaster). Between warming drawer and Advantium drawer has Advantium rack and trays, potholders, aprons. Upper: organizers for warming drawer, stray stuff. Possible future home of plastics. Mostly empty so far.

    All upper uppers not mentioned (over baking corner, snack zone and corner, and coolers) are all empty as of yet, but I'm not completely moved in.

    Double pantry has all foodstuffs not mentioned, including the bottom of the interior upper for wine and other alcohol. Papergoods up, cans, jars, pasta, drinks, etc., in lowers on ROTS.


  • Under sink: fire extinguisher. Deep drawers: Top--colanders, graters, chopper. Bottom--large bowls, chopping bowl, small wood cutting boards.
  • Fridge drawers: Top--whatever is new and needs doing with. Currently, many dozens of lemons. Bottom, juice bottles, wine, etc., for company, cooking vegetables (onions, potatoes, carrots, garlic, bell pepper, celery).
  • Shallow drawers: Top--knives and little prep bowls. Second--commonly used bags and wraps (overs in pantry). Third--prep gadgets (openers; special cutters for eggs, pickles, carrots; garlic peeler and press, avocado slicer, etc. Bottom--small tools and other non-food detritus.
  • Board caddy: Bread board, meat board, old oven rack, big cooling rack, stacked cooling rack, plastic cutting boards. No marble yet. Don't know if I need it.

    Butler's Pantry:

  • Stemware: Uppers are all stemware, plus one shelf with tiny serving things. Lowers have mugs, glasses, tea cups, butter dishes, etc.
  • Lowers: Top--Mother's old stainless (used for casual parties). Second--Brights flatware for smaller groups, salad servers. Third--punch ladles and other big servers. Bottom--empty as yet. Horizontal tray cabinet: trays, cookie sheets (may move), hot tray, meat platters, placemats). Vertical tray cabinet--round platters, doilies. Drawer above--toothpicks (panty and decorative), large paper napkins.
  • Uppers: Company dishes (gold trimmed and brights), serving bowls, chargers, company flatware (gold flashed), mesh picnic covers, casserole carrier, cake safe, cake stands, plate stands, coffee makers, etc.
  • YACK!! Yeah, I have a lot of stuff. But I use all of this. The other stuff isn't even in yet!!


clipped on: 05.19.2010 at 10:32 am    last updated on: 05.19.2010 at 10:32 am

Neat laundry room idea!

posted by: brugloverz9 on 08.12.2008 at 01:56 pm in Organizing the Home Forum

With so many people talking about laundry rooms I thought I would post this idea I just saw in the book "A Place for Everything" by P.Wolfman & C. Gold.
I need to return the book to the library and thought this one one of the nicest ideas in it!
Not sure it will be readable...but they made a heavy curtain with gromets and hung it from below a shelf or I suppose a cabinet with cup hooks. It is to hide the plugs and equipment on the wall. Then they used the curtain to hang photos, etc on!
I think I might try it!

Image Hosting by


clipped on: 05.18.2010 at 03:04 pm    last updated on: 05.18.2010 at 03:05 pm

I'm looking for a particular poster

posted by: brutuses on 09.23.2009 at 12:28 am in Organizing the Home Forum

I apologize that I do not remember your name, but your organizational ability I will never forget. I'm posting to ask if you wouldn't mind posting your photo's again of your pantry and other areas. I remember you had posted your laundry room and I believe a closet. You had everything labled and mentioned you even had things labeled for your DH for the laundry and the garage.

I have a friend I would like to share your talent with and also look at your photo's to give me some inspiration to get off my duff and get busy with organizing my new house.

This invitation also goes out to anyone who has some wonderfully organized spaces they would like to share. I think all of us would love to see them.

Thanks so much.


clipped on: 05.18.2010 at 03:04 pm    last updated on: 05.18.2010 at 03:04 pm