When it comes right down to it, you might choose to do things the way you’ve always done them and there’s nothing wrong with that. If it’s not broken don’t fix it. Staying with what’s familiar and comfortable, so comfortable that it becomes seem-less, should just stay that way. In that case, you may not need organizing hacks.
Unless there’s the inspiration that makes you want to change. When you find new, innovative and better ways to do the same thing. Maybe it’s shorter, exceptionally clever and easier to do. Or it turns you around because it cuts your time in half.
When you begin to think outside the box because old systems just aren’t working and you’re trying to kickbox your way out from in, you create the possibility for change in a way you may never have thought of before.
You don’t have to consider every angle and hypothetical possibility because I’ve done that for you. TRY IT THIS WAY!
40 Genius Life & Organizing Hacks
- Use shoe bags to organize anything from toys, cleaning supplies, jewelry, office supplies, toiletries, crafts, sewing supplies… the list goes on.
- Install a shelf above your doorways. It’s barely noticeable and creates easy storage when you need it.
- If you do a lot of traveling, create a toiletry bag that’s always packed and ready to go in a moment’s notice.
- When writing an email, fill in the “to” and “subject” sections last. In this way, you will not accidentally send a message before it’s complete.
- Color keys with a permanent marker and in different colors to distinguish which keyhole each belongs to.
- Put your nail polish in the fridge for 15 minutes (or longer) before you apply it. It will go on smoother and the polish lasts longer.
- Coconut oil will easily take off mascara and makeup while moisturizing your skin at the same time. It has so many other uses and it’s super affordable when you buy a large jar.
- Need an ice pack? A frozen bag of peas will do the trick. The movement of the peas gives you flexibility when covering the area you need to ice.
- Reuse an old bottle of suntan lotion. Rinse it out and store keys, change, and bills when you’re off to the beach. It makes a great camouflage for sticky fingers.
It Cost’s You Nothing to Think Way Smarter than Before
- It’s smart and easier to “set” certain tasks when you do them over and over.
- Cluster similar tasks or errands together. If you need to make several phone calls or go to multiple stores in the same neighborhood, try to do it sequentially.
- When you park at a mall or large lot, click a picture of the aisle numbers on the pillars. Then, when you return from shopping, you won’t panic or waste time trying to guess where you’ve parked.
- When you’re thinking of buying that expensive item you’ve had your eye on, try this first. Imagine the item in one hand and the cash equivalent to what the item costs in the other hand. Now make your decision.
- When you go to a restaurant, wash or sanitize your hands after ordering. The menu has the most germs and is probably the dirtiest thing you can touch!
Organizing Hacks When Timing is Everything
When picking up prescriptions try to avoid Mondays and Fridays as well as the day before and after a holiday. Right before or just after the weekend are the heaviest periods of calls and visits to doctors, so the pharmacists tend to be particularly busy at that time.
When visiting the supermarket the quietest times are usually anytime before 3 pm. on Tuesdays and Fridays. Most days before 9 am and most evenings after 7 pm are also a little calmer so that you can slip in and beat the rush.
For mailing packages, it may seem counter-intuitive to go at lunchtime but most post offices have additional personnel assigned to window duty during lunch hour, so the post office lines move more quickly. Also, keep your eyes peeled for satellite postal stations. In major cities, a post office “sales” truck will sometimes park on a busy street corner and people can mail packages and pick up stamps from this mobile sales window. If your post office waits seem to take an eternity, however, you may want to explore one of the shipping storefronts that have sprung up in the last few years. They generally ship with several different services so they can price shop for you and most also sell stamps etc. as a customer courtesy. They will also store frequently used addresses for you, which saves time when you drop off packages for mailing.
For gas or auto repair work that needs to be done aim for midweek. Mondays and Fridays are particularly bad for getting these things done.
When visiting doctors or dentist’s request the first appointment of the day, except on Mondays. Doctors are generally catching up with cases from the weekend early on Monday mornings.
TIP: Learn more about this in my hit book, Organize Your Life: Free Yourself from Clutter and Find More Personal Time.
Affordable Organizing Hacks for Entertaining
I’ve always considered myself a smart shopper. Several years ago, I was hosting Thanksgiving for a healthy crowd of 35. I needed extra dinnerware and glasses and using paper was just not an option. So I headed over to The Dollar Tree and was ecstatic to find gorgeous white plates with a gold rim. I couldn’t believe they were $1 each as they could have easily sold for 10 times that amount. I also had to stock up on extra drinking glasses. These were as thick and sturdy as the stoneware plates.
I purchased more than I needed for my holiday feast because I wanted to make sure that I would have enough plates and glasses. (Even stoneware, as sturdy as it is, can chip or break.) By the way, I recommend buying extra. In the long run, buying extra is cheaper, smarter and saves you a whole lot of time.
Everything was delivered and it felt like I won the lottery. Needles to say, I’m now one of their biggest fans. Not only for the prices but I have a blast shopping the aisles every time I go.
Are you hosting an event or function soon? Summer is just around the corner after all. Or do you just love to entertain and be a gracious hostess too?
Well, I then suggest making Dollar Tree your secret weapon. With great quality products at a super affordable price, you couldn’t ask for better or more reliable help as a hostess. Not only do I keep going back to their stores but I love how they make it so convenient to shop online and collect your goods at the nearest store.
My personal favorites at the moment are these fabulous beaded dish sets which will look great serving tasty meals for any occasion.
- Stock shelves like the grocery store does. By placing the newest boxes, containers, and cans behind the older stuff, you’ll use the older food first.
- Keep extra bags at the bottom of the trash bin so that when you pull out one bag and take it off, there is a new one at the bottom.
- Reduce time cleaning up by spreading waxed paper out across your work surface. Simply pick up the paper once your work is complete.
- Line pans with foil before cooking. Let it cool after the pan comes out of the oven, then peel off and toss away. (The cost of the foil is less than the cost of the water and soap it would take to scrub off cooked-on food.)
Cooking Hacks to Save Time on Meal Prep
- At the grocery store, buy items in the form you will need them: pre-washed lettuce, shredded or grated cheese, pre-cut vegetables, boneless, skinless chicken, etc
- Chopping is not for everyone so you can either buy veggies pre-cut (yes for a premium and not as fresh) or chop extra while you’re at it and refrigerate or freeze portions in a baggie. Definitely, something that must be done with onions.
- If you’re like me and have an abundance of fresh herbs (and you don’t want them to go to waste) try freezing them in ice cube trays with olive oil. Then pop them out and use in sauces and other recipes as needed.
- The same goes for wine (no waste rule!) to use later in recipes.
- How to quickly peel garlic? Separate all the cloves from the bulb, and then smash each clove with the side of a chef’s knife. The skin will fall right off.
- When grilling or roasting veggies, you really don’t have to waste time flipping them over; especially if you preheat the roasting pan. They’ll be well cooked.
Unconventional Cleaning Ideas
- An inexpensive all-purpose cleaner is a mixture of equal parts of water and vinegar. I do it and it works wonders even on wood floors.
- Use lemon oil furniture polish on shower doors and ceramic wall tiles. The polish will reduce the problem of soap scum, lime, and mineral deposits, and the areas will stay clean longer.
- Cut a thin sponge to fit the soap dishes in the sink, shower, and tub; the sponge will catch the scummy, soapy run-off. Instead of scrubbing these hard-to-clean areas, just rinse soap scum out of the sponges.
- Dampen your dustpan before you sweep debris into it so the dust won’t drift back out.
- Use pieces of Velcro under your rug if you have small children at home. This is an easy way to prevent falls if the edges of your rug lift.
Laundry Organizing Hacks to Knock Your Socks Off
- Put socks in a mesh bag to keep them from getting lost in the corners of big sheets or clinging to other clothing. (If family members wear similar socks, purchase extra mesh bags and make each person responsible for getting his or her own into the appropriate bag.)
- If socks do get separated, establish a bin in the laundry room for odd socks. At some point, the pair will be reunited
- Wash dark clothes inside out in cold water to keep them from fading.
- Skip washing jeans in a machine and keep them in the freezer between wears. (So says the jean manufacturers.)
- For brighter and whiter, add 1/4-1 cup of white vinegar to the final rinse cycle.
- Save time and energy by throwing a dry towel into your dryer with your wet laundry.
Organizing can be Easy & Affordable
Getting organized can save you considerable time and make your life so much easier. But contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get organized. As these organizing hacks prove you have super quick solutions available with things you likely already have in your home. All it takes is some resourcefulness and learning to use what you already have to hack your organization.
And if you don’t have something you need to get organized at home? Well, that’s exactly what stores like Dollar Tree are for! Easy, quick and affordable organizing hacks accessible to everyone, including you!
What are your favorite affordable organizing hacks?
Disclaimer: Keep in mind that I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you when you click my links and make a purchase. However, this does not impact my opinion in any way. I only promote brands that I believe in and products that I use and love myself. I try my best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.
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