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08/16/2013

Organizing Tips for August

Summer is moving on.  This month we
are concentrating our organizing on Toys and Electronics

But first:

Back to School
items are now on sale and families are getting kids ready for a new year at
college or school.  Take advantage of
great bargains on those supplies not just for the kids but for you home and office,
etc.  In Virginia we also have a tax free weekend the
first weekend of August on many of those items. 

 

With that in
mind, we need to make space for new items. 
Here are some tips to guide you along the way.

Children’s Toys

  • Children learn from their toys but there should be
         limits on how many they own and how many they can have out at one
         time.  Decide what that will be
         ahead of time and stick to it. 
         Encourage relatives and friends to give clutter free gifts to your
         children.
  • Toys should be more difficult to get out than put
         away.  Books that are stored upright
         on a shelf are easy to pull out and more difficult to put back in
         order.  A better choice would be a
         dishpan, bucket or basket that makes the child look for the book he wants
         but will be easy for him to drop it back in when
         he is done with it.
  • Depending on the age of the child, most toys should
         be kept in open bins arranged in cubes or shelves and labeled so that
         clean up easy.  Picture labels can
         be used for toddlers and large word labels for children learning to read.
  • Some special toys or games can be stored on a higher
         shelf where only a parent can reach it as a reward or incentive for
         cooperation, responsibility, etc.
  • Hanging pockets and plastic stacking drawers are good
         choices for small toys such as doll clothes, matchbox cars or train
         pieces.
  • Puzzles should be kept in their original box.  The corners may need to be reinforced
         with clear tape.  Another choice is
         zip lock bags with the picture included. 
         Color code the backs of the pieces for each puzzle with markers or
         crayons. Then the correct pieces can be returned to the proper box if more
         than one puzzle is out at a time.
  • Other
         storage options are over the window shelving to display some collectible
         toys, corner nets to hold stuffed animals and totes on wheels to transport toys that can be taken to
         other rooms temporarily and under the bed roll out containers or drawers.

 

Electronics

            Most
families have electronic gadgets all over the house.  We even take our cell             phones with us out of the house.  Here are some tips to help manage and
organize            those.

  • Label
         each end of cables and cords that they use.  A label maker or write on tape can be
         used to place the name of the electronic. 
         This makes it easy to identify when many cables are attached to
         power strips or if they are stored together when not in use.
  • Donate
         unused electronics with their cables, power cords, etc.  Best Buy and other stores will give you
         a receipt for tax donations purposes. 
         If you are concerned about privacy, have the in-store geeks clean
         them while you watch.  If you can
         locate and identify the storage disk in them and know how to remove the
         data, you can do that yourself before donations.
  • Resist
         the urge to have the latest and greatest technology.  In a few months it will be replace by
         yet another upgrade.  Try waiting
         until your current gadget is no longer usable.
  • Contain
         remotes in one room to one basket or box. Since many televisions are used
         for VHS, DVD, and several electronic games, lable the remotes with the
         name of the item they control. 
  • Store
         the manuals near the electronics if possible.  Other manuals, receipts, etc. should be
         filed in the household reference files until the electronics are disposed.
  • Control
         the accumulation of cables for one device in baskets that can be secured
         under the device.  Some will attach
         under the table top, shelf or desk. 
         Look online for specific models. 
         This makes cleaning around the device much easier, especially if
         they touch the floor.
  • For
         the ultimate challenge, eliminate the TV, electronic reader and games, and
         the cell phone for anything but calling for one day.  You may have extra time to do the things
         you never had time to do.

 

 

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