A Space-Saving Way to Organize DVDs

Here’s an easy and inexpensive way to get your DVD collection organized and corralled. We don’t have tons of DVDs, but they were definitely taking up more space than I liked (read: the entire cabinet below, with multiple rows of stacks). It was difficult to find what we were looking for, which made watching movies less than enjoyable. When I came across this solution on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to do something similar in our space.

how to organize DVDs
We now have plenty of space in this cabinet not only for our DVDs, but also for video games and the controllers for the Xbox and Wii systems.

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I started off by going through our DVD collection (while watching Friends on Netflix, natch). We had them stored in their cases, as well as my college DVD collection, which were in two CD cases that were filled to capacity. I pulled out anything that we no longer watched (highlights included the entire first season of Laguna Beach) to donate, which immediately freed up some space.

I then took DVDs out of their cases and slipped them into these sleeves, placing them in alphabetical order into our new storage bin. All of the old cases went into a bag to donate to The Scrap Exchange, a local nonprofit here in the Triangle, but they aren’t currently accepting this type of donations, so they’ll be recycled instead.

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Once all of the DVDs were in sleeves, I pulled out my handy label maker so that we would know which DVD  was missing if one was ever empty. I decided to go with labels instead of writing on the cases in case we ever wanted to reuse the sleeve after getting rid of a DVD.

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I then made section dividers so that we can easily find what we’re looking for when searching for a particular title.

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And there you have it! A simple and inexpensive way to organize DVDs. Since I purchased two containers, I used the second one to store Kate’s video games, as well as my exercise DVDs. I’m so happy with how this turned out and hope you’re able to implement something similar in your own space!

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Product Sources
Gray bins: Target (these but solid gray)
CD sleeves: Amazon
Card stock, stickers, chalkboard labels: Michael’s

The post “A Space-Saving Way to Organize DVDs” was written by Hillary Bruce and first appeared on Honey Hive Home’s blog. Honey Hive Home is based in Chapel Hill, NC and provides professional organizing in North Carolina and across the U.S. via virtual organizing.

5 Things to Organize on a Snow Day

chapel hill professional organizer_5 things to organize on a snow day

 

Whether you’re enjoying a snow day here on the East Coast or are somewhere with warmer weather, I thought it might be helpful to put together a list of things you can organize with a day, or even just a few hours, spent at home. Think of the following ideas as a choose your own adventure of sorts, but with each of the options resulting in a more organized and less cluttered space!

Option 1: Pantry

  • Toss anything expired
  • Make a bag of foods your family isn’t going to eat + put them in your car to donate to a local shelter or food bank
  • BONUS: Host a ‘Chopped’ competition with your significant other, kids or roommate to use up foods that are about to spoil

Option 2: Clothes Closet

  • Try everything on (or have your spouse or child do this; there may be some bribery involved if it’s not you trying the clothes on!)
  • Toss, donate, or sell anything that doesn’t fit, isn’t your style, or hasn’t been worn in the last year
  • Post anything you want to sell online (here’s a great article from The Everygirl on how to sell clothes on EBay)
  • Put back everything that remains in an organized fashion (I prefer organizing clothing in ROYGBIV order by category, with white + tan coming before those colors and gray + black coming at the end; it makes finding a white top or a black skirt a breeze!)

Option 3: Paperwork

  • Go through that pile of mail
  • Pay any bills + automate them so you will have one fewer piece of mail each month
  • Shred any papers with sensitive information (Don’t have a shredder? Put all of these papers into a bag or bin and research local stores that provide secure shredding or community shredding days in your town!)
  • Create file folders for anything new that needs to be put away
  • File everything in its place!

Option 4: Books

  • Go through book by book
  • Ask the following questions:
    • Have you read it?
      • If yes: will you read it again? When?
      • If no: will you ever? When? (for both of these, if the answer isn’t very specific (i.e. next month for book club), it’s time to let it go!)
    • Is there someone else who could make better use of it?
    • Is it available electronically?
  • For all books you’re getting rid of, decide whether to donate, sell, toss (if they’re moldy or mildewed) or recycle (best for old editions of textbooks, since most donation centers don’t accept them)

Option 5: Linens

  • Take everything out of the closet/cabinet
  • Sort like with like by the place they’re used (i.e. twin sheets for Jane’s room, twin sheets for Noah’s room, queen sheets for guest room, hand towels for powder room)
  • Create the following categories for items:
    • Keep
    • Donate (in good condition)
    • Donate (in poor condition; these are often great for local animal shelters!)
    • Rags (I’ll use old towels or cut-up fabric to clean our home)
    • Toss
  • For each space, think critically about how many items you actually need for each space.
    • Don’t host guests often? You can probably get away with having just one set of sheets + two sets of towels (depending on the amount of space you have). If you have more people, you can always give them extra towels used by you or your kids!
    • For main living spaces, I think it’s perfect to have one to two sets of sheets (two for kids or if you have seasonal weights like flannel for winter), one to two sets of towels per person, and a few extra blankets that can be used when it’s chilly (we usually just grab the throw blankets from our living room when it’s particularly cold!).
  • Refold everything you’re keeping neatly, keeping like with like
  • If you can, keep these items where they’re used so they’re easier to find + access (i.e. extra towels in the bathroom, kid’s sheets in their bedrooms)
  • Label items accordingly so you won’t have to guess what’s what in the future

The best part about all of these? They’re totally scalable! Organize your entire pantry or just one shelf. Go through all of the clothes closets in your home, or just stick to one. Go through the pile of books on your bedside table, or your entire library.

I’d love to hear: what are your plans to get more organized (snow day or not!)?

 

How Do I Organize… Business Cards?

how do i organize business cards

 

Even though many things are done electronically these days, I still get the question of what you should do with business cards. I love handing out my business cards at events and frequently collect them from folks I meet so that we can connect afterward. If you aren’t careful though, they can quickly take over your work space! This is particularly true if you don’t have some sort of database to store contacts, but even if you do, it can be difficult to make the time to do this on a regular basis.

Here are some ideas of ways to store business cards to keep them organized:

  • Enter the information into a database and then recycle them
    • Schedule 15 minutes on your calendar to do this every week (or once a month!) so that you won’t have a backlog
  • Scan the cards into your system and recycle them
  • Hole punch and store on a binder ring (as pictured above) or ribbon
  • Enter into your phone contacts and take a photo of the card as the image for the contact

Any other suggestions I should hear? I’d love to know how you manage your business cards!

How Do I Organize… Keys?

how do i organize keys

One thing that seem to be floating around in almost any home I organize are keys! As people move, change jobs, buy and sell household goods, keys seem to accumulate and be tossed into random bins and drawers. Here are a few quick tips to help get them streamlined and organized.

  • Toss
    • First, gather up all of the keys that you can find. Test them out where you think they might work. If you find ones that are to old locks (i.e. you’ve had the locks changed) or to vehicles that were totaled or sold for scrap parts, go ahead and toss them. They don’t have a function and are just taking up space!
  • Return
    • If you find keys to old offices, to homes of friends or relatives that you no longer need, or to an item that you gave to someone you know, go ahead and send it their way. This will make their lives easier and yours, too.
  • Donate
    • For locks that come with keys that are no longer needed, go ahead and donate them. Perhaps you had a storage locker where a lock was required, and you no longer use it. Donate the lock + key so that someone else can use it. This is the same for combination locks. Just make sure that you include the combination!
  • Label
    • With the remaining keys that you’re keeping, label them! I’m a big fan of these key tags from Avery, since they are durable and easy to use, but you can use whatever you’d like. Clearly label all of the keys, from spare ones to your home and car, to the one for your bike lock, so that you will easily be able to identify them going forward.
  • Store
    • There are so many ways to store your remaining keys, but here are my two biggest tips:
      • Only keep the keys you use every day in your key bowl or on your key rack or console table. Store the rest in a place that is accessible but out of the way. This will make things feel much more streamlined and also help you to find your everyday keys more easily!
      • Use a binder clip to keep the rest of your keys organized. We use a large binder clip to store all of our spare keys. You can easily pop off the metal arm, slide keys on or off, and then reattach it. This way if you quickly need to get a spare key, you can grab the binder clip holder and go!

What about you? How are you keeping your keys organized? I’d love to hear! Also, please let me know if you have any other trouble items that you’d like tips on how to organize.