Monthly Archives: October 2011

Managing a Messy Car

PREPARATION

Tackling a messy car can be a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be! Begin with making three piles – one with things to throw away, one for things you want to keep in your car, and the last pile is for things you want to keep at home. Our expert for the week, Laura (blogger from http://www.orgjunkie.com/blog) advises to pile anything you want to remove from the car but keep at home “into a laundry basket so you can take it into the house and put it away where it belongs when you are done.” Make sure to empty everything, including the glove compartment, trunk, cup holders, and side compartments. Now, either vacuum and wash the car yourself, or bring it to a carwash!

UTILIZE YOUR SPACE

Glove Compartment: This space should be used for the essentials only! The car manual, insurance information, and registration should all be kept here. In case you ever need any of these, you do not want to waste time hassling through a mess of useless items.

Center Console: Our recommendation is that the center console should be dedicated for storing the items belonging to the driver and the person in the passenger seat. Examples of items that may be kept there include sunglasses, cell

Purse Essentials

phones, makeup, and more. Don’t let the name of this product mislead you, our Purse Essentials from GreatUsefulStuff.com are an excellent way to organize the center console. Instead of fumbling around to try to find your sunglasses while driving with the blinding sun in your eyes, the Purse Essentials make it easy to find everything you are looking for. Also, with a neat and organized center console, this will encourage you to stop throwing receipts, wrappers, and trash into this compartment.

Side Pockets: Side pockets on the doors of the car are a great place to store car chargers and other electronics. However, cords tend to get tangled and this makes for a messy automobile. GUS has solutions to neatly store your chargers and electronics! Our 2-sided Cord Pouch is great because it holds up to ten chargers in separate compartments of an easy-viewing labeled pouch. You no longer will have to worry about tangled and disorganized chargers, cords, and wires!

2-sided Cord Pouch

Another Great Useful Solution from GreatUsefulStuff.com is our Personal Media Pouch. This can be easily stored in the side pockets of your car doors, along with the Cord Pouch. The Personal Media Pouch effortlessly stores and organizes phones, cameras, iPods, cords, chargers, headphones and other electronics. This will definitely easy your worries of losing or misplacing electronics during long car rides.

Personal Media Pouch

 

 

Other tips: Laura writes on her blog about the necessity of garbage bags in automobiles. She writes “I’m making it my personal mission to see to it that garbage bags are added to vehicles everywhere.  I’ve seen one too many vehicles with food wrappers and other garbage on the floor.  We wouldn’t do this in our homes, so why then is it okay in our vehicles?” We recommend always keeping a plastic bag in the car, whether it be in the seat pockets, tied around the neck of the seat, or even in the trunk of the car. This will save tons of time having to constantly clean and empty your automobile.

Example of Garbage Bag Storage via orgjunkie.com

Laura also gives a list of the supplies she keeps in her car to be “prepared for everything from emergencies, to traffic, to play including a beach stop on an unexpected sunny day.”

  1. First aid kit
  2. Flashlight
  3. CD’s/DVD’s
  4. Gum
  5. Book (for when you are waiting around)
  6. Sunblock
  7. Hand lotion
  8. Snacks (granola bars work well)
  9. Water
  10. Notebook/Pen
  11. Extra garbage bags
  12. Hairspray (you never know when you might need a little squirt…priorities people!)
  13. Picnic blanket
  14. Reusable grocery bags
  15. Shovels/pails
  16. Lawn chairs (soccer chairs in our case)
  17. Change of clothes for younger kids (including extra diapers if needed)
  18. Toy basket
  19. Kleenex
  20. Antibacterial wipes
  21. Baby wipes
  22. Umbrella
  23. Sunglasses
  24. Paper towels
  25. Receiving blanket (great for spills)
  26. Sunflower seeds (awesome for keeping me awake while driving!)
  27. Tylenol (locked in glove box)
  28. Toilet seat covers (love these!)
  29. Lip balm/gloss
  30. Bug spray
  31. Maps

Organizing Tote

“Now that you have a rough idea of what you need, we need to figure out a way to store it.” At GUS, we have an awesome solution for this! Our Organizing Totes can be kept neatly in the trunk of your car. Many people recommend laundry baskets or milk crates for the trunk, however the separated compartments of our Organizing Tote will not only keep your trunk organized, but it will also keep the items themselves from getting out of hand. Not only that but, items that you tend to not use in a crate will find a way to sit on the bottom, forgotten and taking up space. With the Organizing Tote, you can simply remove these items from their compartments and throw them out or place them elsewhere!

How to Organize Your Kitchen

RECIPES

Recipe Binder via barnesandnoble.com

People tend to expand their recipe collection, rarely getting rid of any, therefore this tends get fairly disorganized. There are several approaches you can take to organizing your recipes. The first is the binder method. Our expert of the week, Elizabeth Larkin (writer at http://personalorganizing.about.com), uses this technique to keep her recipes neat. She “keeps recipes in clear plastic sleeves in a binder organized by main ingredient.” The plastic sleeves are a must in order to

keep pages from ripping out! Another recipe organizing strategy is to use a filing

Recipe Box via mostazaseed.blogspot.com

box. Sections can be separated by dividers, labeled by categories such as “sandwiches” or “soups.” This approach may be better suited for those who have many recipes that no longer fit in one binder!

However, a common issue when organizing recipes is that to use a specific recipe, it had to be removed from the binder or box. After people are done using the recipe, they often forget to put it back in its correct place, and recipes either get misplaced or out of order. Additionally, recipes are occasionally ruined by the splatter of cooking! To solve the latter issue, Elizabeth “tapes the clear plastic sleeve, with the recipe in it, to the bottom of a cabinet so it’s easy to read while [she is] cooking.” At GreatUsefulStuff.com, we have a handy solution to fix all of these problems! Our Recipe Organizer has many functions, starting as a replacement for your recipe binder or filing box. Separated labeled compartments organize recipes for your main dishes, salads, sides and desserts. The Recipe Organizer has a front sleeve and a hanging hook so you can protect and view the recipe you need to cook your meal. Plus, the front sleeve is the perfect size to fit your iPad! Now you can utilize an online recipe without wasting the paper to print it out or having to worry about damaging your iPad!

Recipe Organizer

UNDER THE KITCHEN SINK

Quick and easy, GUS has a simple solution for your under the sink mess. Step 1: Completely empty the area under your sink. Step 2: Clean this space until it is spotless! Step 3: Throw away anything that is unnecessary and that you do not need. Step 4: Organize all of your under sink items in our Undercounter Bottle Organizer. Many sites recommend baskets for under your sink, however when your bottles are not separated it is easy to let the mess build up. Also, the handles on our Bottle Organizer make it easy to grab for cleaning other areas of the house. With our Undercounter Bottle Organizer, you will never have to organize again!

Undercounter Bottle Organizer

APPLIANCES

Storing large and small appliances can get tricky because they tend to take up a lot of space. Elizabeth prefers to “use roll out storage, and [she] especially likes the design of this Lynk Roll Out.” While roll out storage is great, cupboard space is limited, and GUS has an stylish solution. Our Appliance Covers are terrific for storing anything from blenders to mixers. Your appliances now can be stored anywhere without having to worry about them getting dirty, dusty, or damaged! Also, the Appliance Cover have cord openings to avoid messy tangled wires, pockets to store accessories, and extra padding.

Appliance Covers

For more information about products and ordering, visit http://www.greatusefulstuff.com.

Storing Your Summer Wardrobe

The brisk mornings and cloudy afternoons are indicators that it is time to store away your summer wardrobe and make room for your fall clothing.  GreatUsefulStuff.com has great tips on storage for all of your summer items.

PREPARATION

The first step in preparation is to wash and dry all of the clothes you plan to prepare. Writer for About.com and an expert on the matter, Mary Marlowe Leverette (check out her posts at http://laundry.about.com), reminds our readers to “make sure that everything is spotlessly clean and completely dry. Never store soiled items or damp items that will lead to mildew, attract insects and give stains time to set-in permanently.” Another tip is to make any adjustments or repairs on your summer wardrobe before you store it away. Extra button will get lost and ripped hems will be forgotten if you wait until next summer to take care of these issues. Readers are also cautioned to fold their summer clothing along the seam lines to prevent wrinkles. Mary also advises that “to prevent wrinkles, your clothing must have plenty of space or be folded with acid-free tissue paper cushioning every fold. Your best items should be stored in cloth fabric hanging bags to prevent dust from settling on the shoulders.”

STORAGE

There are many options for storage of your summer wardrobe.

The first choice is vacuum-sealed bags. Brands, such as Space Bag, can be found at home stores. Mary recommends vacuum-sealed bags because “they are lightweight; easy to use; easy to open and reseal; and waterproof.”

The next option is under-bed storage. At GUS, our Underbed Storage Zips are a great solution! The Storage Zips include separated compartments that will aid in organization. Furthermore, under-bed storage is perfect because it keeps the items out of site and creates tons of space in your closet.

Joey & Jane Underbed Storage Zips

A quick tip when using under-bed storage is to place a cedar block in with your clothing. This will absorb moisture and prevent moths and other insects from ruining your clothes.

Collapsible Open Shelf Storage Box

There are also those items that are designed for summer, however you know you will be needing them from time-to-time on warm days over the fall. Instead of digging through your vacuum-sealed bags or under-bed storage box, we encourage you to keep an accessible storage box somewhere conveniently located. A perfect storage solution for these items is our Collapsible Open Shelf Storage Box. This way, you will quickly be able to grab the article of clothing you are looking for without the fuss of searching through all of your storage.

Mary reminds our readers that “bathing suits should be stored together for ease in finding them next summer.” Along with this, some recommendations on storing bathing suits for the season are: “swimsuits with padded or shaped bra cups, should be stuffed with acid-free tissue paper to help them hold their shape” and “swimsuits with metal or ‘jewel’ decoration should be wrapped in acid-free tissue paper to prevent scratching.” Additionally, Mary gives a great tip to our readers in saying “I store my suits in my beach tote which is usually empty!” If you need a beach tote to store your bathing suits that you can use on vacations and for summers to come, our Mesh Beach Tote is a great solution.

Mesh Beach Tote

As a final note, our Travel Shoe Bags are a great way to store flip flops and sandals until next summer! Not only will you be able to keep your summer shoes out of sight, you will also be able to keep them organized and clean.

Travel Shoe Bag

For more information about products and ordering, visit http://www.greatusefulstuff.com.