By Women’s Day Staff
The Fashion Designer
51. Allow only one outfit—tomorrow’s—on the hook outside your closet door.
52. Buy a closet organizer instead of just dreaming about it.
53. Start each season by arranging clothes hangers so the hooks face out, toward the room, says Kim Cosentino, owner of the De-Clutter Box, Inc. in Westmont, Illinois. When you wear something, turn the hanger in. At the end of the season, get rid of anything that hasn’t been turned.
54. Vacuum-sealed storage bags. Enough said.
55. Free up drawer space by stacking jeans, sweaters and gym clothes on closet shelves. Slip-on shelf dividers keep them from falling over.
56. Keep a stepstool in or next to your closet.
57. To free up your dresser, put plastic stacking bins with drawers inside your closet for socks, underpants and bras.
58. Bring order to scarves and belts with an “accessory ladder,” a chain of shower curtain rings—one for each item—trailing down from the top of a hanger, says Donna Smallin, author of Organizing Plain and Simple. Clip purses to a second ladder.
59. Keep ponytail holders on shower curtain rings, too.
60. Hang a flat jewelry organizer with transparent pockets inside your closet door.
61. Pare down your cosmetics to fit in one portable bag.
62. Make a Just for Me pampering kit so lotions, scented candles, nail polish, etc., aren’t scattered in three different rooms.
63. End key confusion with new, decorative keys: Use stars-and-stripes for the house, flowers for the garden shed, psychedelic for your office at work.
64. Removable key rings let you leave work keys at home on weekends, the car key with the valet and the house key with your pet sitter.
65. Line car-door map compartments with shallow, narrow organizing pockets to keep pens, notepads, hand lotion and lip/eye pencil from sliding around.
66. Use a clothespin to clip to your purse strap those “Can’t Forget” notes: Get allergy shot. Pick up kids early. Tell mechanic about squeaking brakes.
67. To avoid “senior moments” with the dry cleaning, library books, videos or packages to mail, put outgoing items on the passenger seat, not on the kitchen counter.
68. Slide a local phone book under the front seat.
69. Pens with fuzzy animal heads are easier to find in the car.
70. Get a key chain–size Swiss Army knife with pullout pen.
71. Free up glove compartment space: Stow owner’s manuals in the passenger seat’s back pocket.
72. Stock glove compartment with takeout menus, napkins, nail file, car registration, tire gauge, first-aid kit and a roll of quarters.
73. Create a “just in case” box for the car trunk: umbrella, cheap rain ponchos, scissors, big black marker, tape, paper towels, plastic bags, extra kids’ socks and a one-size-fits-all T-shirt, sweatshirt and pair of sweatpants for adults, another for kids.
74. Keep the charity box in your trunk, not your closet. When it’s full, drop it off.
75. Keep an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses, pantyhose and other emergency gear in your desk.
76. Sort your day by activity, not project. Check the stack of phone messages only twice a day. Tackle the correspondence pile right after lunch, and head to the copy machine just once.
77. Use your datebook to keep projects on track. Block out times to tackle each bite-size segment.
78. If you don’t need it every day, get it off your desk.
79. Don’t just shift remaining papers around your desk. Flip the stack—oldest papers now on top—for a fresh perspective and quicker action, DeBroff suggests.
80. Tame the file frenzy with broader file names, such as one for “Employees” rather than two for “Personnel” and “Evaluations,” Waddill recommends.
81. Use desktop or wall-mounted vertical file racks for an instant cleanup of your tornado-zone desk, Smallin says.
82. When you have a project with a lot of paperwork, stay organized by using a three-ring binder instead of flimsy file folders. List everyone involved and their contact information on the first page.
83. For smaller projects, write contact details on the front of the file folder.
84. Move finished project folders from your office into storage.
85. One credit card per grownup. Period.
86. Create a Receipt Depot: a folder near the door that everyone drops receipts into as they come home.
87. Bite the bullet: Computerize your finances.
88. Stick to a budget. Then you’ll never have trouble covering those unexpected expenses.
89. Slip incoming bills, a pen and a thin calculator into a three-ring binder’s inside pockets. Make a list of all your usual bills and expenses, and print out a fresh copy each month for your binder. Then mark the bills off monthly as you pay them. If a creditor isn’t crossed off, call for a duplicate statement to avoid late fees.
90. Make sure your list includes automatic withdrawals for utilities and bills you pay online so you don’t pay a bill twice or lose track of your checking account balance.
91. Ask creditors to shift your due dates to lump them all together or to split them between the two pay periods of each month.
92. Keep a Phillips and flathead screwdriver in a kitchen drawer to avoid a trek to the toolbox.
93. Affix baby food jar lids to the bottom of your workroom shelf. Sort nails, screws and bolts into the jars, and twist them onto the lids.
94. When you adjust your clocks each spring and fall, also weed out expired medicine, sunscreen, food, coupons and smoke detector batteries.
95. Hang a spray-painted Peg-Board for tools, coats, baseball caps; use wall hooks for blow dryers.
96. Store all car wash products in a bucket in the garage.
97. Keep a large, sturdy garbage can on wheels next to your car to toss candy wrappers or other trash, says Waddill.
98. Aim for easy access, not neat storage, for lawn equipment. Shift your tools the way you
shift your clothes: In the winter, put the snow shovel in front and the rake in the back.
99. Save space on rarely used equipment by coordinating a borrowing system: You’ll have the fertilizer spreader, one neighbor will have the extension ladder, another will have a chainsaw, etc.
100. Install a hook above the kitchen sink where just-watered hanging plants can drip.
www.StLouisHomesByGina.com The Gina Koerner Team