By Erin Huffstetler | 01/24/2015 | 4 Comments
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Buying ahead saves you time and money, but it only really works, if you have a way to keep everything organized. I’ve made a lot of strides in that department over the years, but it’s something I’m still working on. Something I will probably always be working on. Because life evolves, and your organizational systems have to continue to evolve with it.
I can always tell when I’ve come up with the right organizational solution because things just seem to stay neat and orderly on their own. That’s definitely been the case with the binder system that I created last January. It’s so easy to file papers now that everyone in the house just does it. And they actually put things in the right place. That part is always shocking for a mom.
But there are other areas of our home that aren’t as organized as I’d like them to be. My gift closet is one of those areas. While I know where everything is, it just isn’t as easy to get to as I’d like it to be. I have to shuffle things around to get to stuff, and that drives me nuts.
My biggest challenge with the space is that it has to do so many things – it’s where I store all of my gifts and wrapping supplies, but it’s also where I store my kids’ out-of-season clothes and the clothes that I’m waiting for them to grow into. It’s where I keep all the school supplies; and where we’re currently storing all the supplies for the master bathroom addition that we had to put on hold. And let me tell you, those boxes of tile and bath fixtures are major space hogs.
So, that’s a lot going on in my 100 square foot gift closet, and to make it work is going to take a level of organization that I just haven’t achieved yet.
Last year, I got all the school supplies into two rolling carts, and that’s working really well for us, but the rest of the closet still needs help. Lots of help.
This week, I decided to tame my collection of greeting cards – a project that I’ve been meaning to get to for, oh, about a year now. For as long as we’ve been married, I’ve kept my greeting cards in a plastic basket, and size-wise that’s been perfect. But, what hasn’t been perfect is the lack of order. My cards were just thrown in there in no particular order, which meant ever time I needed a card, I had to dig through all of them to find the one I needed. Such a waste of time.
Since the container was still working for us, I decided to keep it, and create some dividers for it. Just like I did to organize my seed collection last year.
I sifted through my collection of cards to determine what categories would work best, and I came up with these:
Thinking of You
Envelopes (for all my spare envelopes)
With that decided, I pulled out some card stock to create the dividers. Here’s my trick for that:
Decide how big your dividers need to be to fit your container and stand above your cards. Then, cut your card stock to that size.
Trace around the tabbed part of a file folder to create the tab for your dividers.
Then, cut along the line, and your dividers are ready for use.
I finally bought a label maker last year, so we used it to print labels for our tabs. I like to use clear label tape, so you see the label, and not the sticker it’s printed on. Just looks a bit more polished.
Once we had our dividers, we arranged them alphabetically in the basket. Then, we inserted the appropriate cards in front of each divider. Such an improvement!
If only taming the rest of my gift closet could be that easy. But we’ll get there.