Friday, October 21, 2011

42 Free Organizing, A Returns Basket and a Link Party!

Happy Friday Friends!  Or should I say, "Happy FREE Friday"?

Last week's reader spaces left me itching to get creative and problem solve something around my house for FREE.  And I also threw the challenge out there for all of you.  Totally FREE organizing!  Does it get any better than that?

The whole point is to get resourceful, find something you already have in your home, and put it to use organizing something.  The only rule is you can't go to the store to purchase a thing.  For me, I am lucky I am a bit of a basket hoarder because I was able to use one I already had on hand for my "can't leave the house organize with what I've got challenge".

So what did I end up doing?  Glad you asked.

Since I live in the middle of nowhere, I do most of my shopping at least 20+ minutes from my town and  I also order some items online when I can find free shipping codes, since it saves me on the gas it would take to drive to my nearest home or department stores.  That said, when I get something home or receive something in the mail that doesn't look a thing like it did on the computer screen, then it has to go back.  Enter sad face here.

And since I only leave my house every great once in awhile, I get a pile.  A return pile.  And you know how I feel about piles.... My return pile would always end up on the floor of our coat closet.  Things would get scattered and receipts would go missing... so it was time for me to organize for FREE and come up with a super easy solution.

A basket.

Wow, I know, I should get an award for most creative organizer.  You can send it to Jennifer Jones, 728 Creative Avenue....



Now, I can just place all of the returns inside the basket, along with their receipt.  That way, any time I am leaving the house to head to the cities to do some shopping, I can just grab the basket and pop it in the car and return the items while I am out.  Easy peasy!


Right now I have a hood that doesn't fit my camera lens well, a curtain panel that wasn't a great material, some drawer pulls that were an eighth of an inch too long, etc...  I can't be the only one who has to return things all the time?

I also popped a reusable shopping bag in there so that I can always have something to tote the returns into the store with.

I used my favorite BHG website to downloand and print out a free label for my returns basket.  I also laminated the label and just popped it into the basket with some scrapbook brads.


That way my hubs and kids won't toss their random items in there...

UPDATE!  I am the first to admit when I don't execute right the first time.  I actually ditched the brad idea.  It worked great and pretty in the closet, but for toting back and forth to the table or car, not so much.  I decided to switch things up and use a piece of twine to attach the label instead, now it will be much more durable!



So there you have it.  My zero cost organizing project.  Pretty incredible eh?

Like I said, 728 Creative Avenue....

So now it's your turn.  I can't wait to see what you bring to the totally free organizing table!



And a button for you:


FREE Friday's totally rock!  What's your all time favorite free organizing project?  Anyone else have a way to organize their returns?

42 comments:

  1. What a great idea for a link party Jen! I do this all the time. :)

    Anna
    www.askannamoseley.com

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  2. You are tooo funny with your returns basket. I have a winter project planned for reorganizing our coat closet and guess what is already on the list???....a returns bucket! It is a must have! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. I love this idea. So simple, yet so useful.
    xox
    Kerri at HollyMuffin

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  4. Jen,
    Although this goes against your theme for today because I'd have to buy something new, I'd love to know about the wire baskets you have mounted to the wall inside the closet. I need to do that! Are they specifically made to put on the wall or do you have a secret for attaching them. I'm not very handy and don't have a hubby to outsource this to.
    Thanks!
    Kristin

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  5. @Kristen, they were left over baskets from an over the door kit we used in our pantry {the kit was too long and didn't fit with the doorknob so we removed the two bottom baskets and screwed them into the wall in this closet instead and kept the rest of the over the door piece in our pantry}. Here is the over the door hanger we had used and taken the baskets from: http://www.amazon.com/Deluxe-6-Shelf-Adjustable-Pantry-Door/dp/B003VMW0HU


    We just installed them on the wall with drywall anchors. They have been awesome for corralling everything from lunch boxes to household binders.

    xoxo!
    Jen

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  6. I love it. I have issues with returns, too. They end up on the dryer or the floor in the car...and I lose so many receipts or forget to return the items before the final date. I have quite a few baskets sitting around and am definitely going to do this.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  7. That is a great idea! I am a return lady too. :) If it isn't right...

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  8. And what about the baskets above? I live in the middle of nowhere as well...

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  9. You are so clever and I am sure have thought of this already but with returns I always TAPE the receipt to the item so it doesn't get lost. The basket is a great idea also!

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  10. Ahhh. If this link party is still open in like 2 weeks...haha.

    I am tackling a pretty major task, and I'd really like to do it without purchasing a thing. I'm organizing all of the boyfriend's tools so that they don't continue to be nomads all over the house. Wish me luck!!

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  11. I'm in the same boat as you, shopping online & 20 minutes from home. A basket is a great idea to hold the stuff to be returned. Love the organizing link party too!

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  12. Oh. I love this idea. I too, have lots of baskets in the house and often have a pile of returns. Heading to my label stash as well. Thanks!

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  13. I read this post this morning Jen and had to laugh. I swear we share a brain! Just yesterday I was stuffing a return I had (kids' clothes that didn't fit) in a closet thinking "you know - I need some sort of return basket to keep by my door..." And then you posted this!

    LOVE IT! :)

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  14. Clever! I currently have a small return pile on our entryway bench. I like your idea better. ;)

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  15. Awesome party idea! I had to scrounge back through my posts and found a project to keep our recycling limited and organized. Thanks for hosting!

    Also, I tried to use your party button but for some reason it isn't showing up. Just wanted to let you know. I'll be happy just to include a link at the bottom of my post. LOVE your blog. :)

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  16. I have a return basket by our door in a closet. I put my return items in a bag matching the store they go to so if I am heading out the door, I see my bright red reusable target bag and know I have a return to Target.

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  17. Yea! I was literally JUST thinking about my pantry redo... wanting to use baskets, but have them labeled. I was thinking, "how am I going to get labels to stick to baskets?" Hahahahah... woo hoo! Thanks!

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  18. Girl, you are speaking my language. I am a return junkie! Thanks for posting this.

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  19. THANK YOU for sharing the link to those cute labels! :-)

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  20. Yes, I am most definitely loving the closet! Is it a small closet? it doesn't look very high. Love the basket idea! I am an online shopper as well 25 mins from town is no fun!

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  21. Jen - Thanks for the speedy reply to my question about the wire baskets on the wall! I really {heart} your blog and appreciate the fact that you read and respond to comments! Keep up the great organizing - you are an inspiration!
    All the best,
    Kristin

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  22. Ingenious! I too have a "returns" pile that just needs a home. Thanks for the inspiration as always Jen!

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  23. I wanted to add something to that return basket!
    A empty tissue box- I use one to put all my receipts in from everywhere I shop so if I need to return something I know where the receipt is. Easy to pull them all out if you need to and when it is full I just throw it in the recycling bin.

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  24. This is a great party idea... Freecycling is an excellant way to organize!!

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  25. I just love the wallpaper you have on the back of your closet.

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  26. Thanks so much for this, I am always returning things. How do you edit the colours of the writing from the BHG labels please?

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  27. Oh! I love the idea of attaching the label with brads!!!

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  28. I'm having trouble inserting the button on my post. It's my first time adding one, so it could be user error.

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  29. I'm a bit confused by this closet..in one photo it looks like ita a full length closet--but in another the door handle looks like it in the wrong spot ( too high).. Also the returns basket looks like its sitting on a shelf although--is that shelf lined with linoleum tiles--maybe its just the angle--bc the jackets do look long. Regardless LOVE the back of the closet and this whole posting! great job!

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  30. ps--i don't know how to post to a blog so that it says Amy says....never works for me--so I just do anonymous..any pointers anyone/..I don't have a blog--never seems to work when I try to do google account either

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  31. The closet is definitely interesting. The closet is only really a half closet because it sits right above our staircase that goes downstairs, and the closet was cut in half by the slope of the header space of the stairs below it. So now it's just a half closet that can really either accommodate shoes or coats but never both at the same time. Which is why we opted to go with a shoe cabinet at our entryway here: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2011/09/happy-and-organized-entry.html

    and now use the closet for our coats, outdoor great and other entry/mudroom type of items.

    xoxo!
    Jen

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  32. Great idea. We're pinching pennies right now but every time I want to do something new around the house, I automatically decide I need to buy X, Y, Z. Can't wait to look through all the other blogs for suggestions and then raid my closets!

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  33. Jen, thank so much for the "Peak at the Week" printable. I just adjusted to suit myself as I have a lot of baking, crafting, sewing and 'doing' to get through between now and Christmas. Thanks always for the inspiration. Hope you didn't mind me copying your idea?

    Anne xx

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  34. Got some REALLY good ideas here!! I'm apparently lacking the oooomph!

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  35. Love the blog and love this post!
    Wish I had a closet to do this because it is a NEED in my house. When I come up with a solution, I'll forward it along. :)

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  36. Love this solution! I do something very similar in our laundry room. We have a wire shelf over our washer/dryer, and one corner is dedicated to things which need to be returned (whether to a store, a family member, etc). And since we check so many books out from the library, all outgoing library books have a home in the drawer of our front entry table. It makes going to the library a breeze, since I don't need to pick through our book baskets to find what needs to go back. I just empty the drawer into my tote and I'm ready to go!

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  37. I'm glad I'm not the only one who is perpetually returning things :)

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  38. Genius, as always...Jen the Genius! :) I love this idea and at some point I will have to rearrange my closet to implement it! ;)

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  39. Where did you get those baskets on the side of our closet? I've been looking forever for our nursery! Please email me asap, I'm dying here haha! Thanks :)

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  40. @Maria,

    The baskets were left over baskets from an over the door kit we used in our pantry {the kit was too long and didn't fit with the doorknob so we removed the two bottom baskets and screwed them into the wall in this closet instead and kept the rest of the over the door piece in our pantry}. Here is the over the door hanger we had used and taken the baskets from: http://www.amazon.com/Deluxe-6-Shelf-Adjustable-Pantry-Door/dp/B003VMW0HU


    We just installed them on the wall with drywall anchors. They have been awesome for corralling everything from lunch boxes to household binders.

    xoxo!
    Jen

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  41. I, too, am wondering how you change the color of the text when creating your labels from the BHG website. When I tried it, I was only able to type my text with their pre-selected color. They have some great label templates, though, so thanks for sharing.

    Terri (tgrzyb16@yahoo.com)

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  42. I've always loved your "return" basket idea. I finally was able to implement it. You are one smart lady!

    http://www.aninvitinghome.com/2013/04/returning-those-returns.html

    Thanks!
    ~Sarah

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