Stuffing Grocery Bag Clutter

October 7, 2011

This clutter-control idea isn’t mine, so I can’t take credit for it.  But I find it to be a fabulous solution for containing those unruly plastic grocery and retail bags and until they are outlawed, I think you deserve to know about it.

But first, let me clarify something.  I have a collection of reusable grocery bags that I use religiously because I believe that if everyone does just a little to help save the environment…let me just say, if WE don’t do it, who will?

On rare occasion I find myself without a reusable bag and if I can’t carry my few items individually by hand to my car, I will succumb to a plastic bag.  Now, I understand that you might have chosen to contribute to saving the environment in other ways, and therefore, you are using plastic bags so I’ll share with you what I found to corral them while saving space.  A paper towel tube!

Some people use empty kleenex boxes, but I think they are too big beckoning one to keep MORE bags than is necessary and they can’t be packed away as easily, thereby taking up a larger footprint than a tube.

Stuff one bag at a time into one end of the tube until the tube is full.  VIOLA…instant storage within minimal space.  I have just one tube (since I am highly clutter-conscious) and keep it in a shoe box containing my cat’s litter box tools.

Beware of the potential clutter TRAP!  One could easily keep EVERY tube and EVERY bag that passes through their hands. Determine about how many bags you use per week and keep only that many at a time. Unless you use the plastic bags daily, there is no need to keep more than one of two of these tubes stuffed with plastic bags.  Please take the remainder of them back to your grocery store for reuse.

If you have a small foot-print solution that you would like to share, please add it as a comment and I’ll consider including it in a future post.

Barbara Nichols 2011

Clothes Hanger Trap

Empty hangers just BEG to have something hanging on them, or so some people think.  Don’t fall for this trap!  You will end up with too many clothes because you couldn’t stand to see an empty hanger and went shopping, or you’ll have a mass of empty hangers that grab each other creating a tangled mess.

This clutter trap can create excess spending, create lots of frustration, and can be a huge time waster.

Save your money, your sanity, and save some time.  To stay organized and de-cluttered, don’t put additional clothes hangers into your closets without a pre-determined plan for them.  Unless you are building an inventory of clothes (see my previous post on “Why Do I Want to Buy It?”) I am dead serious when I say, NEVER hang empty hangers in your closets.

Now, you might be thinking, but when I bring home my new clothes, what will I hang them on?  As mentioned in my earlier post, before you paid for the new clothes at the store, you should have already determined what old clothes you are replacing with new ones.  When you get home with the new clothes, simply take the clothes you decided to discard OFF of their hangers, fold them up and put them into a bag for transport OUT of your house, and then hang your new clothes on the now empty ones.  Viola…Instant Clutter Control!

For you guys who wear sport or dress shirts regularly and have them dry cleaned…listen up!  There is a reason those wire hangers you get from your dry cleaner are free…they are for TRANSPORT only!

Many dry cleaners place cleaned clothes inside...

When you get home with them, you have two choices; 1. hang your shirts in your closet and immediately remove the same number of hangers that you are putting in or 2. remove your shirts from the wire hangers and put them on your specialty hanger, and then throw out the wire hangers.

If you have designer, padded, or non-slip hangers like I do, you sure aren’t going to discard any of those!  It’s okay to keep a small handful of them stowed away in case of need.  The trick is to NOT hang them empty in the closet.  I keep mine in one of the cube spaces in my closet ready to grab for when I am increasing my professional inventory of clothing.

Try it…it works!

Be sure to check out my other blog on clutter: http://preventclutter.wordpress.com/

All Content Copyright Barbara Nichols 2011

De-clutter when?

Always de-clutter BEFORE attempting to organize.  That is unless you enjoy running around in circles, wasting your precious time, repeating the de-cluttering process over and over again, and frustrating yourself to no end.

De-clutter when you are ready to dedicate yourself to the task, you have cleared your calendar, and have set aside an appropriate amount of time to begin and end the task.  It is impossible (and frankly I think masochistic) to attempt to de-clutter an entire home, or an entire garage all in one fell swoop without the assistance of a professional organizer at your side.  Since I love empowering people, following my time-tested plan you not only will learn how to de-clutter, but also how to prevent re-cluttering.

To reduce the risk of becoming overwhelmed or discouraged, digest small bits to work with. Choose only one (1) space to de-clutter at a time.  This could mean you have decided to de-clutter the tool box in your garage or the space you want to designate as the sports equipment area of the garage.  Or it could mean the linen closet in your home or the cupboard underneath your kitchen sink.

As I mentioned in a previous article, getting organized is a process.  Check out my article called, “De-clutter, how?” for the next stage of the de-cluttering.

All Content Copyright Barbara Nichols 2011