It is relatively easy to purchase all sorts of plastic or paper boxes, lazy susans for that corner cabinet or shelf, bottles, filing boxes, filing cabinets etc and etc when we take on our de-cluttering and organising projects. Once we make up our minds to ORGANISE, we excitedly make a list of things to buy to get started. Please take a breather and look round your home for items which can serve as containers. Bear in mind that once you sort your things into different piles (a) keep pile; (b) give away pile; (c) temporary pile; you will be creating more space in your cupboards, drawers and cabinets.
My sewing basket had grown old over the years and I was on the look for a replacement. In Singapore, there was a period in recent years when the banks were making good profit and they sent their clients boxes of mooncakes in very presentable gift boxes. I kept some of them for future use. Looking at the photo above, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect sewing box if I had designed one myself!
I do have a habit of keeping those gift and shoe boxes as long as they are solidly made and look durable. It makes me feel good that I am helping to re-cycle! Here are some examples of how I have used them.
Instead of purchasing a fancy Bloom system for the inside of a large drawer or a cutlery tray, I create sections using gift boxes. Within each box, I organise similar type of items. Tip – Keep as many things visible as possible for ease in finding them.
Shoe boxes are a good size for packing all sorts of things. Use a thick permanent marker pen to mark the contents on the top and both sides of the shoe box for easy future identification.
I had a roll of Contact paper with a pretty print. I wanted the opportunity to teach my daughter how to cover a shoe box (introduction to understanding 3 dimensional concepts), making it pretty and even more durable. A few stickers also identified those boxes as hers. Hmmm….these boxes were covered more than 18 years ago!
Shoes boxes like carton boxes are fodder for your creativity. A pair of good sharp scissors and blades, strong glue and thick clear tape, some inspiration and voila! the kids have new toys. When my older child was about 3 to 4 years, I started these projects with them. What great fun these projects were!
Airlines provide their customers with eye shades and socks during flight. We had plenty of those. I decided to use the pouches for keeping mobile phone chargers and all other electrical or electronic wires and gadgets that relate to travel. Those metal pins in the chargers easily make holes in Ziplock bags and yet they need to be kept with their wires. Since they are not see through, mark them clearly with a thick permanent marker.
Yes, I went to the extent of making a camera case for my portable digital camera using a lining and some Velcro. I wanted something thin and light to protect the camera so that it didn’t weigh my handbag down. Now mobile phones are great substitutes for such cameras. Just use the idea for something else.
Here is an example of the use of a cutlery tray for organising stationary; Chinese take out plastic containers and a pink plastic box file holder used for organising all sorts of stationery.