Tuesday, November 18, 2008

FRUGAL TIPS - Organization

I am a very organized person. One who believes "everything has it's place and everything should be in it's place". I find life so much easier that way and you save so much time not having to "find" or "hunt" for something.

When I buy multiple items on sale I put them in the bottom of the closet in our computer room. I keep just 3 or 4 cans of various vegetables in the kitchen cabinet and refill from the "stash" as needed. This helps rotate the items by first in, first out process.

I keep a shelf and a plastic basket full of spices, plus my new 20 spice rack. Some of the spices on my new rack were duplicates of what I already had. That is where the basket comes in. I have a list taped to the front of the basket. The additional different spices I keep in one of the kitchen shelves. When I need a particular spice...I first look at the list on my duplicate basket, if not there I look on the spice rack, the last place to look is the list, taped to the cupboard door of the cabinet shelf. I will eventually use up the duplicate spices in the basket and use the basket for another purpose.

When a bill comes in the mail I immediately write out the check to pay for it. I seal the envelope and put an address label in the left corner but I don't stamp it. I write the date for the bill to be mailed (not the due date but the mail date) where the stamp goes. I keep all these "pending" envelopes on the top of the desk in my computer room in date order; earliest on top. I check this stack and if the date comes up to mail an item I remove it from the stack, place the stamp on it and put it in the mail box. This way I never forget to pay a bill on time or mail in a payment but I have use of the money in my checking account for a longer amount of time and the amount is already removed and my balance shows it paid.


A frugal tip and recycled item:

I use baking soda as a primary cleaner around my house. It is amazing how many things you can clean with baking soda.

I store it in a empty Parmesan cheese bottle and have one it both the kitchen and bathroom.

One side opens to get a larger quantity out.

The other side can be used as a shaker for a lesser amount.
Please leave me a comment. I'd love to hear some of your organizational, frugal or recyclable tips. I have learned so much from this blogging community.

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Lynn said...

I love the baking soda tip. I need to try that. I pay bills on certain day of the week.I do this with things like ironing to. It helps me make sure it gets done. My pantry needs some work. I like how you do it though. Great tips.

Frazzled Farm Wife said...

Love the baking soda tip!

My hubby does the same things with bills and the date in the corner of the envelope.

It's All Good! said...

Hi Susan, I started doing the baking soda while cleaning houses. It's one less chemical I'm breathing!
I recycle my ziploc bags (unless they previously contained any kind of meat) and also other product bags that have zip tops.
Since Grace doesn't like the crust of the bread, I cut it off and pop it into the freezer for future bread crumbs.
Use less shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap etc. Cut dryer sheets in half.
There's other things I do but my mind has drawn a blank!
Keep the tips coming! We can all use them.
God bless,
ps, I didn't get your em.

Shirley said...

Thanks for the tips. I am having a little trouble keeping "everything in its place" in the camper, but normally I do that, too.
Vinegar also has some amazing cleaning abilities. I still need to post about my coffee maker :)

A Hint of Home said...

I do the same thing in paying my bills. That is so funny.
How's your hubby doing these days? I pray getting stronger each day.

Great tips for cleaning.

Sharon said...

I love the baking soda tip. I will have to try it.
I never thought about putting the date to mail on the envelope. I just put them in my out box. That would save a lot of time.
We save peanut butter jars. Hubby screws the lids to his workbench and then when he needs a certain screw or nail or bolts they are just a twist away.

Anonymous said...

I love the baking soda idea... I definitely needed something to sprinkle it, and I never would have thought of a parmesan container, ingenious!! =)

My latest use for baking soda is cleaning the tub and shower walls with it!! I tried it in a pinch because I was out of cleaner, but I loved that there were no fumes, and I didn't have to worry about Jamey since he always hangs onto my legs when I clean!! =)

Michelle said...

Nothing makes me grumpier than having to hunt for something. I want it easy to find. I love the idea for the baking soda. Yes, it is a great cleaner and the container would make it so much easier to use.

Lauren said...

Michelle - don't be grumpy about looking for spices. Try a SpiceStack spice organizer for the cabinet. I use mine all the time! Can't believe how much time I used to spend digging through my messy cabinets (not to mention extra money spent on multiple purchases when I couldn't find something). Check out this cool spice rack at SpiceStack.com and Happy Organizing!

Pam said...

Oh I can't wait to finish up our current jar of Par. Cheese so I can use it for the baking soda. Since Jennifer's blog about cleaning with less chemicals, I've really been trying to be alert to that! So thanks for this nifty idea!
Oh and thanks for your sweet words about my recent blunder! You're such a sweet blessing, full of encouragement!

Scooterblu's Whimsy~Rhonda said...

Hi Susan! Great tip! How about doing a post on just what all baking soda will clean and is good for! I would really appreciate that one! :) Oh, and you can come on to NC anytime you like and help me do some organizing! I could certainly use it and your system sounds great! :) ~Rhonda

PEA said...

Such wonderful frugal tips! I thought I was organized but you're even more so:-) I should do what you do with your spices because too many times I think I'm out of one kind, go buy some more, only to find out I have another jar of it somewhere else!! xoxo

Maalie said...

Wow! Now that is what I call efficient! In England I pay my bills by direct debit. The bank pays them automatically for you on the required date, and saves you the trouble. Other bills I pay "on-line". It even save the time of writing the cheque and addressing an envelope!

Lisa said...

Eureka! I feel like I just struck gold...LOL!
The cheese bottle...grreeat tip!
I also use baking soda to clean with...I will save my next cheese container.
I did recycle the last one for the girls colored sand project.
Thanks Susan.

Wow...it's good to be online once again.
My goofy computer :o|

I'm off to catch up on reading your blog - and see what I've missed.
Have a blessed day.

Barbara said...

Every Thursday morning I sit down and write out my menus for the coming week. I then make a note in my household diary of anuything tht needs to be got out of the freezer the previous evening.
I then go through the menus and add whatever I need to buy to my shopping list which sits in a kitchen drawer where the list is added to as I use something.
I keep a spare of all non perishables in my store room so that I replenish from this when something is used. This stock also contains bulk buys of special offers and buy one get one free items. Lastly I go through these cupboards to see if anything is running low and add that to my shopping list.

I keep to my list basically b ut do make impulse buys if there is something new I'd like to try or some special offers. Works for me.

Alisun said...

I love the baking soda tip how cool to keep it in the chesse container! I am doing this too

I too buy extras of what I use most when they are on sale and keep just enough in the kitchen to keep it neater.

I like to buy the kids snacks in bigger pack to get a better deal and put them in baggies for lunches or snacks it saves me time and money to have them ready each day.

Momma Roar said...

We don't write out our checks immediately, but I write the due date on the bill envelope and then we keep them in a basket on the desk in order from soonest to latest. It's a nice and quick to grab the stack and see what is due next.

I'm a mess when it comes to organizing and I keep telling myself I must start cleaning on certain days to keep a schedule. I'm the type of person that gets frustrated when I don't follow the schedule to the tee - so I'm in a predicament with it all... :(

Sohailah said...

What do you clean with baking soda? I am intrigued and always looking for more natural and less expensive ways to do things. I love living on a budget. It makes me proud!