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Where do you put stuff away? - Page 2

post #21 of 32
Thread Starter 
Cardboard boxes are okay temporarily, but my kids tend to dump them out and play in them. We still have quite a few around from our move, but I really want to get away from cardboard if it's at all possible, because things feel messier to me with cardboard boxes around.

Our trash nights are a little different than most communities-- we buy bags from the borough and put them out on the designated day for the neighborhood. Anything that can't fit into a borough bag will only be put out once a year for the annual city cleanup (which they didn't do last year for some odd reason ). At any rate, on *that* night (city cleanup night), that's a great time to go looking for shelving units and useful items. That's how I got the kids' table and chairs, and a small shelf for the bathroom, but like I said last year it didn't happen and the year before that something else was going on (I think I was hugely pregnant ).

I never thought to ask at Home Depot or a sawmill for extra bits... I'm very eager to do that!
post #22 of 32
I would say if you have the space, get some of those "things". If you have no floor space, go to the walls, under the beds, etc. I saw an organizational expert speak and she said the first step to an organized home was to "corral the mess". Baskets, boxes, etc. If your space is less visually cluttered, even if that same mess is hidden, you might feel better.
post #23 of 32
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Bearsmama
I would say if you have the space, get some of those "things".
Um, if I could just walk into a store and "get some of those 'things'" I wouldn't have posted the question...
post #24 of 32
My first question is what things are the major problems? books? clothing? what is the serious cause of the clutter?

here is what I did/do when we are in the process of getting actual storage items but don't yet have them.

-hang every piece of clothing that is humanly possible to hang-generally hangers are super cheap/people are willing to give them to you etc. I hang all pants/t-shirts everything it gets a ton out of the way-If you can get kid size hangers that helps

-hang string or wire and use clothespins to hang artwork or other small/paper items, this can be done in more areas of the house than you may initially think, at one point I even used several strings etc to keep track of mail-this may cost some money but is usually under $8 (here is is about $2 for a ton of clothespins and about $4 for clothesline/string)

-if you can put hooks of any kind up do so immediately, then use any bags you have with handles to hang on the hooks(even grocery bags and ask family for the big shopping bags with handles etc) this can really help get you organized and you can lable the bags with what should go in them etc. I did this on one wall for a few months-the bags can also go on doorhandles for a temporary fix

-get as many shoeboxes/tangerine boxes as possible

-take books off of shelves and stack neatly in piles along walls, by couches etc. use boxes for other stuff and put those neatly on the shelves, if you can cut the boxes to similar sizes, take off lids etc and buy a can of mistake paint then you can make them look pretty ok while you are working on other stuff even if you have to keep this system for a while

-restaurants may be recycling large glass jars that you could use for eg. my local pizza place gets HUGE jars for olives in glass containers, they are great for canisters, etc the smaller ones are good for cotton balls, random hair items etc and really help organize any odd items they may also have large plastic containers for kids stuff for eg the pizza place also has a supply of ricotta cheese containers that are about 1/2 gallon with lids and work great for a variety of kid activities

-every time you can get a delivery type pizza box that is clean use it to store paper in-my husband drove for a pizza place and they often had clean boxes available-i had a whole filing system that could be labeled with a sharpie-also good for organizing kids "school" papers etc.

best wishes.
post #25 of 32
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by lula
My first question is what things are the major problems? books? clothing? what is the serious cause of the clutter?
We do use lots of hangers now that we have some closets (we moved from a place with *no* closet space to a place with almost-reasonable closet space), but the big problem is books. I have a problem, I tend to pick up free books wherever I see them, and while I use the library for the majority of my new-book fixes, I have still managed to amass a sizeable collection over my lifetime. All of our out-of-season clothing fits more than comfortably into the plastic storage bins that we have, and I keep diapers in a plastic bin as well. I'm not quite sure how we'll keep the kids' clothing organized once #3 arrives and we have three different sizes floating around, we could probably use another dresser or set of bookshelves or something. I dunno, we'll see.

I've got another question-- I can remember seeing closet bars that hung from regular closet bars, so that you had double the amount of room for hanging things. They're not so great for adult-sized clothing, but they'd be perfect for the kids (with the added benefit that they could likely *reach* the lower bar, andbe able to hang some of their own things). Where do those things come from?! If you were going to make one, what would you use?
post #26 of 32
eilonwy-I'm sorry. I did not intend to sound so dumb or ignorant to your post's questions. I guess I thought you meant that you didn't *like* those things like dressers, storage shelves, etc. We have friends, for example, who try to keep a very unclutttered home, and love a clean, modern feel to their space. They don't like those things-dressers, big hacking storage areas. They don't have lots of shelves, either. I can't just order from a catalog or walk into a store either and pick what I want for my home. I'm sorry if I sounded ignorant to a financial concern. I'll shut up now.
post #27 of 32
They usually have this stuff in the 'laundry room' section of dept. stores. Where they sell the laundry baskets and irons etc...If it's for kids clothes (stuff that's not too heavy) you can make one of those lower closet rods out of a broom/mop handle (maybe you have an old/extra one around) and some clothesline. just make 2 loops of clothesline the length you need for the height of the 2nd closet rod and insert the rod into them. If the kids have access to this, maybe drill holes or install metal eyes for the closeline to go through on the bottom rod so that it doesn't fall out with movement. also, I store lots of stuff in laundry baskets--toys, clothes etc. then put them in closets on shelves above for seldomly used stuff or in closets the kids can't/don't get into. We can usually get laundry baskets for 3-7 dollars each. Also, do the books need to be on display?? Do the closets have top shelves? Are the books paperbacks or hard cover or both? Just some thoughts. HTH
post #28 of 32
Thread Starter 
The second closet rod would definately be for the kids; I'm not sure if I could set it low enough for BooBah (that is, if I set it that low, I think that some of her brother's things would drag on the ground) but I know that BeanBean would be able to reach it (and really, that's part of the point).

The books don't need to be on display, but they do need to be up and out of the way, rather than spread out all over the floor. If they're in boxes all over the floor (which is the case now) the kids tend to find them and dump them out all over the place. I'd like for the *kid's* books to be on display, so that they can see them and put them away without making a huge mess, but most of my books can be out of sight. Ideally they won't be, but this is not an ideal world.
post #29 of 32
So what *I* would do is take all of your books and stack them on the tops shelves of your closets, like a previous poster said. You can use milk crates, boxes that are on their sides with the open parts facing out, or crates from a selvage yard for small bookshelves for the children's books. This works well because you can line up or stack as many as you want.

You could also wrap the boxes with wrapping paper, or let the kids draw on them to make them look prettier..
post #30 of 32
I wanted to jump in and mention the idea of dishpans. I know that would be an expense, but you can buy them for 97 cents I believe at Walmart (we aren't big fans but in a pinch we do shop there as it is close to home).

I read organizedhome.com pretty regularly and got the idea from there. Attach a pic of the item to the front and it is great for toy storage, in place of drawers for things like socks, bras, undies, etc. You'd still need some sort of shelf system but this is the least expensive way I can think to store the items without using cardboard, unless you can find some free storage vessles on freecycle, etc.
post #31 of 32
When making the closet rod, heavy gauge wire won't stretch like clothesline. I use an over the door shoe organizer for small toys.
post #32 of 32
One of my high school friends kept all of her paperbacks (about 300 books) piled up against a wall in her room. She did a grid of books stacked horizontally and vertically. She said she had to play around with how things were stacked, but (and I really really wish I'd been able to figure this out when I examined the stack) had gotten it to the point that there were only a few keystone books she couldn't take out without tumbling things. That is, she could take out all the rest of the books.

Anyway, taking the books from the boxes and stacking them could work if you have wall space. Actually, if you ever get a hold of cheap wood, see if there are some hardcovers in your collection you probably won't want to reread any time soon and use them instead of cinder blocks.

(And, of course, if there are any you like anymore, maybe you could sell them to get money for the wood. )
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