How to organize all the little stuff you have around the house.

The Problem: How to organize all the little stuff you have around the house.

We all do it – stashed in drawers, cans, jars, cups and just about anywhere are those little items we just can’t seem to do without. For anyone that likes to fix things in the garage this picture is the perfect example of what I mean.


 

The Solution: The great thing about finding and fixing problems is that we usually end up solving more then one problem at a time. For example we are going to use containers that we rescued from the recycle bin. Here’s a little back history. My family likes to get Chinese food every once in a while. Some of the dishes come in these nice plastic containers that have snap on lids. I’ve also seen similar containers in the grocery store at the self serve food areas.

I hated to see these being thrown away into the recycle bin so I started to save them. A good washing like any other serving dish and they are ready to go. That brings us up to date.

Using these salvaged containers I can now stash the small stuff that’s been collecting in cups, jars, boxes and other miscellaneous containers. I started in the garage as this is where most of my small stuff gets in the way and is hard to find when needed. But it will work just as well in any room in the house. Take for example the bedroom, my wife likes to sew so she has cans of all different sizes stuffed with buttons, thread, and all the other little stuff that goes along with sewing. Using our new found containers she can sort all those buttons by color, size type or however she needs them.

Using a small strip of painters tape I create a makeshift label and stick it on the end of the container – painters tape comes off easy when I need to re-label them.


 

These stack nicely as well as you can see in the picture below. Organizing them alphabetically makes it easy and fast to find what I’m looking for. The nice thing is that you can start by putting multiple items in one container and then subdivide it into two when it gets full. I did this by first putting both nuts and bolts together. Then as the container filled up I split them up one for nuts and one for bolts. I’ll further break up the bolts into hex head, flat and phillips-head when this container is full.


 

This is not going to be a fast fix. It will take a fair amount of your time to collect, organize, sort and otherwise get a handle on all those items. Just get started and in no time you will see how much space you can free up in your drawers, on your desks, workbenches and all those areas where you have small stuff stashed away. Not only that but you’ll find things that you forgot you had (always a good thing) and will now have a central place to look for them when needed.

You can use any type container that you may have in quantity that lends itself to this type of application. I in particular have a ton of those little medication bottles lying around from my prescriptions. These work really well for super small stuff like mini-machine screws and nuts, push pins, tire valve caps, cotton swabs that I use around the garage and more. They stack nicely in a short and wide shipping box.


 

Step-by-Step

  • Start saving those nice plastic food containers with snap on lids
  • Ask your friends and co-workers to save them for you
  • Once you have a few collected continue on with the rest of these steps
  • If you don’t have any yet don’t be afraid to get a jump on the sorting process
  • Pick a room to start in
  • Pick an area or location in this room to start with
  • A desk or chest of drawers is a good place to begin
  • Find all the miscellaneous containers with small stuff that you want to organize
  • Sort the items into like categories and put them into a container
  • Consolidate items as you find them in other rooms
  • When a container gets full split the items up by size, type or use and put in a new container
  • Take some painters/masking tape and make a label for the container
  • Make space on a nearby shelf or in a closet and stack em up
  • Repeat above for all other areas and rooms in your house

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