Organize Your Supplies
The difference between keeping supplies
hand and having a large amount of junk shoved in a closet is the organization aspect. How
would I know? Oh, I know! I regularly fight the war on clutter. It's true.
One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries.
Well, that's pretty much the only advantage I can think of. If you; like me, have a
magnetic pull to the office aisle of any retail establishment, or absolutely must visit
the craft department of every store in your locale on at least a weekly basis, then here
is a little gift from me to you.
Five Tips for Keeping Supplies Organized
Have One (yes, one) Storage Location For All Your Supplies
If wrapping paper is in one closet, gift bags are under the bed, scissors are in a drawer
in the kitchen and tape is in a desk drawer, you will spend more time running around
getting these things together than it will take to actually wrap the gift. Or maybe
you'll just buy more so you don't have to go looking for it
all. Sound familiar?
Get It Together
At my house, we frequently play a little game I like to call "Shoe Round-Up" (no, it's
not a math game). For some reason we seem to have shoes in every nook and cranny of our
home. I will set a timer and everyone gathers up wayward footwear and we pile them all in
a laundry basket. Then each owner is responsible for "corralling" his
or her shoes to the appropriate closet. By the same token, gather up all of your curling
ribbon, tissue paper, bows, gift tags and such so you can assess the supplies you have on
hand. Be prepared for shock and awe: you may never have to buy gift wrap again!
Sort Your Stuff
Maybe it's just me, but I actually like this part. Make little (or big)
piles of like items. You may find yourself wondering why you have nineteen pairs of
scissors (remember, magnetic pull: office supply aisle...) or 28 rolls of clear
tape. Don't beat yourself up about it, just revel in the fact that you
won't have to buy any more for a looooong time.
Go House Hunting
No, moving to a new house won't get rid of the problem. Take a look at your
piles of goodies and decide on the best storage solution. This is not the time to go and
spend $3,000.00 at the "Store for Super-Organized People." What I have
found to work very well is just everyday plastic zipper bags. I like to have all of the
sizes on hand: snack size, sandwich-size, quart, gallon and my personal favorite; the 2.5
gallon. If you have all of these sizes on hand it is very easy to decide which bag will
be best for each of your categories. It also enables you to sub-categorize to your
heart's content. The bags are inexpensive, you can write on them with
permanent marker, you can see through them, and specify clearly where items should be
- Put It Away When You're Finished
For those of you the Slob Sisters and the FlyLady refer to as: "Born Organized,"
feel free to roll your eyes and mutter: "Well, DUH!" under your
breath. For everyone else this is key; PUT STUFF WHERE IT BELONGS WHEN
YOU'RE FINISHED WITH IT (I'm thinking of having this tattooed
on each of my family member's forearms). Now that you have it labeled and
you have one (yes, one!) storage location for it, put it away. It feels great to be able
to get what you need right away without having to frantically search for it.