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Archive for Hobby Organization


Favorite Organizing Tools

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Clear View Binders and Page Protectors: Used together, they are perfect to display recipes, organize articles, and safeguard papers

  • Used as a Family Planner, you can add a calendar, phone number and address lists, emergency info., menus from your favorite restaurant, school news letters, and to-do lists. 
  • You can also create a Decorating Notebook to simplify home decorating projects. Store your paint and fabric swatches, and organize torn-out articles from decorating magazines.
  • How about a Home Appliance Manual or Home Inventory Folder for insurance purposes. 
  • As a teacher, they are invaluable for Curriculum.  

I use mine for EVERYTHING!  Don’t forget to label the spines, and for a clean, uniform look get all one color.  

Turnabouts:  Traditionally, turnabouts are used for kitchen utensils.  But, I use them  for Office Supplies, Craft Centers, and a portable Homework Caddy.  My clients LOVE them! 

  • As a Homework Caddy they will hold rulers, protractors, min-staplers, a roll of tape, colored pencils, erasers, markers ,scissors, and the list goes on.  They spin and are light weight and very durable.  I have had mine for over 16 years and 5 children – they are tough. You can even wash them in the dishwasher. Let me know if you want to purchase one, and I can get you a great deal.
  • Other uses: Scrapbook Supplies, Knitting Needles, Classroom Art Caddy, Tool Storage (hammer, screw drivers, etc.).  Leave me a comment and let me know your ideas.


Clear Storage Drawers and Pencil Boxes:  The nice thing about clear-view drawers, towers, and pencil boxes is their versatility.  Drawers can be used separately or stacked, and when you add casters they can roll wherever you need them. The pencil boxes fit perfectly in the med. sized drawer, and they are great dividers for organizing all the little things that get lost in the “junk drawer”. 

  • Use small clear-view drawers in the pantry to contain seasoning packets, powdered soft drink packets, and tea bags.  Use larger drawers for bulky bags of pasta and chips.  
  • Clear-view storage towers are perfect in any craft room.  Use them to organize your sewing, quilting, knitting, or scrap-book supplies.  If you are a stamper; use the large drawers to hold paper, and the small drawers for stamps and ink. 
  • I use them in the garage for grocery bags, umbrellas, vacuum bags and attachments, my husband’s work-bench supplies, and more.
  • They are perfect for storing children’s small toys.  I have a large one under my son’s bed for all of his Lego’s, small ones on the toy shelf for actions figures, and more on his desk for crayons and markers. 

Label Maker:  Next to my husband and children, my label maker just might be my “favorite” thing!  I have had my (Brother P-touch Label-er) for over 10 years, and it is still going strong.  It is my #1 organizing tool.  I use it to label everything in my home, my office, and my client’s homes.  

  • Label your notebook spines, storage containers, luggage tags, kid’s school supplies, your pantry shelves and containers, and all the misc. electronic cords (chargers, cam-corder, etc.). It will help you to designate specific homes for your items, and your family members will know where to find things, and more importantly, where to put them away!

There are so many wonderful organizing tools, and these are just a few, but before you run out and purchase them, make sure you have an organizing action plan in place.  You need to get rid of the clutter first, and then give your important belongings a home.


How to Get Your Photos Organized

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121_f260How many photos do you have in random boxes, envelopes, or stuck in your computer?  Hundreds, or maybe even thousands?  Organizing your photos can be overwhelming, so here are some tips to get your photos in order so you can enjoy them. 

Gather all of your photos into one large bin.  If possible work in a space you can leave undisturbed while you “sort” – a place you can leave and come back to often.  Place post-it notes in a time-line across your table or floor space.  Depending on how many years worth of photos you have you should decide whether you want your time-line to be specific or more general.  For example, you may choose to label the post-it notes by year and season (Spring/2000, Summer/2000…).  Or you may choose to be more specific (January/2000, February/2000…).  If you are completely overwhelmed, you may even choose to do your photographs by decade (1980’s, 1990’s, etc.).

Begin by “dealing” your photos in front of the appropriate post-it note.  Remember if you are working with decades, “close enough” will be better than no chronological order at all.  Use hair styles, clothing, ages of your children, and the interior or exterior of homes to give clues as to dates of photographs.  This is the time to throw away blurry, near duplicates or just really unflattering pictures.  There is no law against throwing away photos – you can do it – be brave!!!  Even if you will be creating photo albums for more than one person, or specific event albums, continue to make single piles in front of the post-it notes.  It’s easier to go back through and choose specific photos for separate albums after they are all in chronological order.

The hard work is over.  Congratulations – you did it!!  Now it is time for the fun part.  Whether you are planning on putting your photographs in albums or storage boxes, here are some more tips to keep you organized.

Storage Boxes:  There are a variety of boxes that will work.  I love clear plastic shoe boxes, but if they are not pvc and acid free they could damage your photos.  Creative Memories makes a Power Sort Box with individualized compartments that are perfect for sorting by event or chronological order and are 100% safe for long term storage.   This is what I use and they are great!  Contact me at daniele@otttogetorganized.com and I can tell you how you can purchase one.  Another option is the photo storage box sold at craft stores.  They are sold with dividers so you can index your pictures and they hold a lot of photos (see the image above).

Scrapbooks:  Chances are you have a lot of memorabilia that you want to include in your albums along with your photos.  Here is a cool storage solution that will work for larger items and keep things super organized, so when you are ready to work on your albums everything will be at your fingertips.

Materials Needed:

  • One covered file box designed for hanging files
  • 12 to 24 hanging files
  • Colored file folders

You already have everything in chronological order so this step will be easy.  Take your post-its (month/year) from the original sort and place one on each hanging folder.  Place the pictures into the hanging file for that time frame.

  1. Place one colored file for each album you will be doing in each hanging file.  For example – I might have blue for my family album, red for Christmas, green for one child, yellow for another, and so on.  So each hanging file has a blue, red, green, and yellow file in it. 
  2. Now go back and divide your photos into the colored folder for the specific album.  Add any memorabilia that you will include in the album.  For example – if you are doing a baby book, you may want to add birth certificate and baby shower cards.  For a school album, maybe report cards and some small pieces of art work.

Whatever method you choose, the most important thing is to commit time to getting your precious memories organized, so you and your loved ones can enjoy them!!

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