Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More Timely Tips

To cure yourself of impulse buying, the Editors of FC&A Publishing, in their book 1001 Timely Tips for Clutter Control, suggest to ask yourself these three questions before you buy anything: 1) Do I really need it? 2) Will I really use it in the next week or the next month? and 3) Do I have a place to put it right now? If you answer "no" to any of these questions, then walk away from the purchase. The authors say, "If you only buy items that meet these three criteria, your home will stay clean and uncluttered." That is of course once you get it uncluttered in the first place!

Organize your refrigerator? Yes, why not. Like with all clutter-control projects, group like items together and designate a place where they will be kept. This will save you from purchasing a duplicate of something you already have and will help, in your refrigerator at least, make sure that some unknown item doesn't go bad in the corner of a drawer.

When you dust (during TV commercials if you read yesterday's blog), carry a plastic trash bag with you for collecting trash or items that are "out of place." The authors of the book say, "With just one trip around the house, you can get everything dusted and put away." Sounds good, doesn't it? Let the group know if this works for you.

When traveling by car, the authors suggest to hang your clothes in garment bags (or even just an old plastic bag you got from the laundry) and lay them down on the back seat or trunk. Packing them in suitcases makes them wrinkled and in need of an iron. They also note that laid down takes up less space than bulky suitcases. I would say that this would depend on the number of stops you will make on the trip where you have to carry the clothes in and out and on the number of other items you have to stow in the car like coolers, backpack, gift and souvenirs. Garments in plastic bags are slippery and unless they are laid absolutely flat, they are apt to slip off the hanger into a heap and be more wrinkled than if packed properly in a suitcase. An alternative suggestion they make in another tip, to reduce wrinkles, is to put clothes on hangers together in a plastic bag from the laundry and then fold the whole bunch once or twice to fit the top of your suitcase. That seems more practical to me than having the clothes loose in a bag in the trunk.

There is a section of the book that gives some suggestions for creating an inexpensive closet organizing system using furniture and containers you may already own. A small dresser or set of bookshelves put into a closet work well for folded items and accessories; milk crates on their sides stack well and can be used to hold purses and scarves; woven baskets look good on shelves to hold belts, t-shirts and socks; and an extra shower ring on the clothes rod can hold handbags and belts.

The last tip sounds more like a Hint from Heloise. They say that tea makes a good remover for old polish, dirt and grime on your wooden furniture. Add two teabags per quart of water, boil and steep until you get a color you like because the tea will stain the wood! Cool before using and test on a part of the furniture that is not too visible in case you are unhappy with the results.

More from this book and others soon.

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