Tuesday, October 11, 2011

30 You Asked: Favorite Organizing Supplies

How has this topic not come up yet?  I am so surprised that this wasn't one of my very first posts.  In fact, it's a question I get frequently, "What are your favorite organizing supplies?  What supplies would you recommend for someone on a quest to get uber organized?"


So my friends, I thought I would put together a list of my top 10 favorite supplies and why {in no particular order}!



1.  Photo Boxes.  Love them.  Sure, they are wonderful for stashing away your extra photo prints, but I use them everywhere for EVERYTHING.  They offer a streamlined look in any space and are great for stashing away my coffee pods in the kitchen, cards and dice in the living room, craft supplies in my office and toiletries in our guest bathroom!  Anything on the smaller size of things can be corralled in these pretty yet simple boxes. 

2.  Shoe Pockets.  Again, a multi-functional product that doesn't just need to be used for shoes.  First, it allows you to expand your storage by utilizing door space vs. floor space which is always a plus.  Second it can hold anything from charging cables to hats and mittens to kitchen supplies.  Gotta heart when one product can offer so many solutions!

3.  Label Maker.  What kind of organizer would I be if I didn't love a good label maker?  I will say however, I don't use it as often as you would think, as I am more in love with handcrafting my own labels.  More on that in a bit.  Therefore, I didn't invest more than $25 on my label maker, but it is absolutely fantastic for labeling spice tins and folder labels and all those itty bitty things.  My biggest tip is to go with the clear tape whenever possible as it provides a much cleaner look.

4.  Scanner/Printer.  Back to making my own labels.  Many times a label maker is limited on changing up font sizes, graphics and colors, so I LOVE to make my own labels for around our home.  A printer helps me achieve this, and I typically always print on standard white cardstock since you can't see through it as easily as regular printing paper and it offers extra durability.  The reason I love to get a printer with a scanner is because it cuts down on the number of products plugged into the computer and allows you to scan in your memories and keep them digitally, which will allow you to free up valuable real estate in our home {think kid's artwork, greeting cards, receipts, old photo prints, etc....}

5.  Clear Storage.  By storing items in clear storage, it allows you to always get a quick visual inventory without having to dig.  This is hugely important in the kitchen to not only keep food fresher for longer, but to also allow you to see what you have before heading to the grocery store, and reducing the chances of over-purchasing things you already have.

6.  Bookcases.  These babies come in endless varieties of shapes and sizes but really can be the multifunctional furniture answer for many organizing dilemmas.  The best part is that it is a piece of furniture that you should always be able to find a use for, so if you move it out of a nursery, you can most likely put it to work in any other space in your home.  I love popping them in an entry for shoes, in a playroom for toys or in a living room for media and books!


7.  Laminator.  A laminator doesn't need to cost you more than $30 from your local big box store either.  They are fantastic for providing longevity in the labels you make, especially in kid's rooms where they will get crumpled and bitten on, or in a garage where it can quickly get dusty.  I typically partner my laminated labels with Velcro because it seems to hold the best and allow you to easily switch them out if necessary.  Of course as a mom I use it for many of the projects I do with the kids as well since again, it allows them to last much longer.

8.  Hooks.  These are one of the least expensive and most effective ways I have found to really maximize the space in a garage.  These hooks can be used to get bikes hung from the ceiling, yard tools hung on the wall and even sporting equipment bags up off of the floor.  Utilizing your vertical wall space in any room is a great way to free up space, but in the garage it is absolutely crucial.

9.  Binders.  Binders are such an inexpensive solution for managing paper clutter.  I use them everywhere to keep categorized items in one place.  Sure, I have one to manage all of our family's household documents, but I also use one for recipes and one for my blog management tools.  Pop an annual calendar in one and DIY your own daily planner.  They are a great solution for LEGO instructions and creating your own inspiration books.  The best part is they take up very little space when it comes to storing them as well.

10.  Decorative Paper.  This should be no surprise to anyone who has been reading this blog for awhile now, but I totally LOVE to add decorative paper to majority of my organizing projects.  This could mean wrapping paper, wall paper, drawer liner or scrapbook paper.  I dig it all.  It always adds color and gives a project a finished look.  I mount my labels on it to give them a matte, I line my drawers with it so I am more excited to keep them tidy and I cover old kleenex boxes and soup cans with it to organize on a budget while keeping things looking pretty.

So there you have it!  My top 10 favorite organizing supplies.  Of course, I have an obsession with baskets and bins as well, you can read more about those favorites of mine here.  Any surprises or Ah Ha's?  What is one item you couldn't live without, when it comes to getting organized?

30 comments:

  1. First off, I love how organized you are, definitely inspiring. I had a question, how did you stay organized when your boys were babies? I had a baby boy in May and feel like I have lost complete control of my house.

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  2. shoe organizers are my favorite! we have the clear ones on the back of my boys doors, and have fun scrapbook paper that coordinates with thier rooms, in the pockets. we use them for storing hats, socks, shoes (my boys are 1 and 3, shoes are tiny ;) belts, everything.

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  3. In college I became addicted to hooks, clear storage, and shoe organizers! Now that I've moved back home I still utilize all 3, along with binders.

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  4. Two questions: What kind of label maker do you have? And, what kind of laminator do you have? Both of these things are on my wishlist this year, but I haven't figured out which one I want!

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  5. I'm surprised your Silhouette vinyl cutter isn't on your list! (It's on my wishlist...) I love having various sizes of baskets and bins on hand. When something calls for a quick organizational fix it's nice to be able to grab something I already own rather than having to wait and buy something. I particularly like the lined wicker baskets.

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  6. I love this. I am also wondering about some of your favorite brands and/or models for some of these products though - especially your clear storage containers.

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  7. This post is one of the many reasons why I keep coming back for more, Jen. Thanks!

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  8. You've inspired me more than you know to get organized. I've always been a very organized person, but only organized to me. I always knew where everything was, and everything had a place, but it was "my place"; not anyone could just walk around and find it. You've inspired me to be uniformly organized - storage bins, labels, the whole shabang.

    I made a "Family Binder" just like yours this weekend! I spent all of Saturday on it. Turned out fabulously. :) Thanks again!

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  9. I love your blog and visit everyday! How do you get anything that is a picture with a number beside it or a fancy fonts to show up on your blog. do you make them in photoshop or excel first and then save them as pictures to insert in your blog?

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  10. Very timely -- I'm in the market for #3, #4, #7 and #9 as I race to the finish line of my only new year's resolution: "GET ORGANIZED!"

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  11. I love the bookcases that you pictured! Where can I buy them?

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  12. Yes, I love those bookcases pictured, where are the from?

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  13. How did I not think of clear label tape? Of course they make it and you're right: so much cleaner looking. Ahhhh I will head out tonight to get some. I hate the look of the white stuff on pretty coloured things. You're so smart

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  14. I too love decorative paper, but haven't been all that successful in finding paper that makes my heart swoon out in the real world, sure I find paper in the blog world that I would marry, but never when I am shopping in real life, where do you find your paper? Thanks for sharing, I stayed up until 1am finding free fonts the other night, you and I are sisters from another mother!

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  15. where do you find those pretty binders?? Love them.

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  16. I'm a new addict to the blog. You have so many good ideas that I can't wait to implement into my new space! The velcro idea for labels is GENIUS! I'm heading to the store right now :)

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  17. I love the clear storage boxes pictured. Where were those from?

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  18. I love the idea of using paper to cover soup cans, tissue boxes etc - it's like pretty recycling!
    Love this post :)

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  19. another well-timed post for me. I just ran out of label tape and am thinking about getting a different labeler altogether to be able to use clear background tape. Mine only seems to come in white tape with black ink. Something to think about.

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  20. I love, LOVE your blog. It has been my goal for years to get organized and I decided that since I have 2 older kids in school, that this was going to be THE year. Your blog has given me ideas galore.

    However, we are on a tight budget. Do you have any recommendations for organizing on a tight budget? While a lot of your top 10 things are pretty, they can add up.

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  21. Hi All!

    To answer your questions -

    Organizing with babies is so general. I don't feel I was much different than now, I was pretty disciplined, even then. Now that they are older, I do feel as things have gotten easier, however, because they can help with more.


    My label maker is this one: http://www.amazon.com/DYM1733013-LetraTag-LT-100T-Personal-Label/dp/B001HA8D1A/ref=sr_1_21?s=office-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1318390621&sr=1-21

    My laminator was a GBC from Target and they don't sell it there any longer, but I know I didn't pay more than $30 for it.


    I create the numbers and pictures in photoshop and save it as one image for the blog.

    The bookcase source is from here: http://www.landofnod.com/kids-bookcases/kids-furniture/white-bankable-bookcase-60%22/f66


    I find my decorative paper mostly at Archivers, however, I am always on the hunt and if I see some I love, I snag it for future projects.


    I purchase all of my three ring binders at Target.


    Here is the source for the clear storage containers:


    Here are all the posts I have done that have budget ideas, anything that can be done under $25 falls in this label: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/search/label/Budget%20Friendly

    Thanks all!
    xoxo,
    Jen

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  22. Hi Jen-
    Love your blog! I'm always curious when I see that frame...what is printed out in the frame on top of your washer/dryer? :o)

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  23. @Anonymous - it's a stain removal guide, I found it on Martha Stewart's website: http://images.marthastewart.com/images/content/web/pdfs/pdf3/stain_removal_basics.pdf

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  24. The clear storage container link didn't show up in your comment. So sorry, but could you post that one again! Thanks!!!

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  25. @audrey - Oops! Thanks so much!

    http://www.containerstore.com/shop/kitchen/foodStorage/canisters?productId=10029789&N=74062

    xoxo!
    Jen

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  26. I'm surprised your Silhouette isn't on that list but otherwise a good list, I will have to try some of those things out

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  27. Oh how I do love my Silhouette SO very much and have gotten more into using it for labels which is FANTASTIC! I still have a lot to learn though, and organizing can be achieved without one.

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  28. I am the queen of clutter. Thanks for the wonderful inspirational ideas! I will hopefully become the queen of clean after implementing some tips from you. :)

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  29. I bought the label maker you recommend it and love it for it's ease of use but is there a trick I'm missing to how to peel these labels? LOL

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    Replies
    1. Try folding it in half a little, the back may peel down the center :)

      xo,
      Jen

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