Organise your cords & discs

November 3, 2011
We all have loads of CD installation discs and cords that go with equipment in our home. Often, these end up wherever they happen to fall so when we need them, they have ‘disappeared’. A simple way to organize these is to use Ziploc bags.

Place the installation CD and the user manual and any cords that came with the item, into the Ziploc bag (one big enough to store everything). Then write the serial number of the equipment on the bag as well as what the item is e.g. HP ColourSmart printer. Then place all these equipment packs into a large container in the office.

This keeps everything neatly together and accessible for when you need it!
P.S. Every now and again, go through the box and throw out packs for equipment that you no longer have.

Waste not want not

November 3, 2011
If you find a lot of old materials in your craft room that are in good condition but you know you won't use them, get rid of them. You don't have to throw them away - instead you could donate them to a charity that collects art supplies for children going to school for the first time. There are also community art programmes that might benefit from them.

Doing this will bring even more joy to the pleasure of creating beautiful things (and you will have gained back some space to do what you love).


Cutlery tray to the rescue

August 1, 2011
So often that space in the front entrance becomes the dumping ground for everything, resulting in some serious frustration.

An easy solution to organizing this space is to use one of those cutlery trays that you find in your kitchen drawers (or a fancy wicker one if aesthetics are important to you). This gives you a functional storage solution: use one divider for keys, one for electronics such as your cellphone, the other for wallets and yet another for sunglasses (or whatever you need them for).

Make nice cardboard labels that you can stick on the front of each divider. Easy and affordable!

Labelling is key when archiving

June 8, 2011

Every home or office has loads of paperwork to deal with (despite the move to email) and every so often, you have to make space for current paper. That is why we need to archive and simply throwing it into a box isn't how it's done.

If you want to avoid wasting time looking for documents, the key to archiving is labeling the box you put it in. A blanket description is required BUT add exact descriptions as well, e.g. HR Files 2010 and thereafter, Joe Soap, Jane Doe, Cliff Richard etc. This is so that, should you have 5 HR Files 2010, you know which one to go to if you're looking for Joe Soap.

Need more info regarding time frames for the retention of documents, click here to download.


Be responsible - think before you chuck!

June 8, 2011

Ideally you should recycle old ink & toner cartridges. According to research done in the USA, each re-manufactured cartridge keeps approximately 1,3 kilograms of metal and plastic out of landfills and saves about 1,8 litres of oil.

Buy rechargeable batteries. It takes 1000 regular batteries to equal the lifespan of one rechargeable battery.

On that note make recycling bins readily available in your home and teach your family the value of recycling. Have a large bin for glass, plastic and cans and a nice big basket for paper. Go to the nearest recycling depot once a week (depending on how much waste you produce).

IN FACT, I challenge you to do this for a week and you will be amazed by how much waste an average home produces!


Memory box for kids

June 8, 2011

Like many children, my daughter likes to keep all those pretty little notes that she got from her best friend or that cute little picture that she drew way back when. Unlucky for her, I can't bear to have it all over her room, so I suggested that she have a memory box that she can use to put all these keepsakes in. Lucky for me, she thought that was a cool idea!!!

So I took an old shoebox and covered it with adorable wrapping paper (but if you don't have shoe boxes on hand, you could buy a gift box and use that). Now all those must-keep items are neatly put away where I can't see them but she can sneak a peak whenever she's feeling nostalgic.

(p.s. The trick is to get her to part with a few items when this is full so I don't have to look at a collection of memory boxes.)


Keeping the underwear drawer in check

June 8, 2011
When I decided that enough was enough and that I simply had to acquire nicer underwear, I also realised that I needed a better system to keep the matching items together.

So I've placed old shoe boxes in my lingerie draw with panty and bra neatly tucked together (panty in the cup of the bra). Now when I reach for that lovely number I don't have to go in search of the parts that make up the sum...

Shredded paper for hamster cages

June 8, 2011

I have to package a lot of items and it suddenly occurred to me recently that shredded paper would be really useful for this. There is always a small spot in the box that needs to be filled in order to protect the products and I am thrilled to know, that now all the paper I shred, can save me money on packaging. 

Equally as interesting, is the realisation that shredded paper can be used for hamster cages. Again, out of necessity (we had run out of chippings), it occurred to my kids that this could be a good substitute. And it is.


A few quick recycle/reinvent tips...

June 8, 2011

Old tyres painted bright colors make perfect planters for strawberries or flowers.

Old brass headboards make unique garden trellises.

The old aquarium that the kids lost interest in but is still sitting in the garage. Haul it back into the house and use it to plant an indoor herb garden. Aquariums are also just the thing to use to force bulbs so that your winter days can be bright with color.

Attach an old cork to your keys before you go fishing or sailing: if they fall into the water they will float.

Use old Popsicle sticks as garden markers. Write the type of seeds you have planted on the stick with permanent marker and push into soil.

When the kids are feeling artistic and want to paint pictures, cut a tennis ball in half and make a hole in the middle and slip their paintbrush through the hole. The tennis ball will catch the drips that would otherwise run down their arms.


Take care of them snazzy boots

June 8, 2011

You want your snazzy boots to last a few winters and not loose their shape so keep them upright by placing a rolled up magazine or two into them. They'll keep their shape and be good to go for their next fashion stint.

p.s. you can also use old cardboard poster rolls.


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