Posts Tagged With: Storage and Shelving

Reorganize Your Home Office and Make Tax Time a Breeze

Every year at tax time you promise to be better organized. We’re here to help you make that resolution a reality. Getting ready for the tax deadline (April 18 this year) isn’t about rounding up receipts and files. It’s about embracing a different way to approach the piles of paperwork we all have. Creating a well-organized home office is the first step in eliminating the clutter from our lives.office area

Think about how your office or work space is laid out. Do you have enough room to work on your desk? Can you easily find documents and files? Decluttering your office is the best way to get organized. Purge your papers by dividing them into three categories:

Shred, File or Review

  • Items to Shred – Junk mail or papers containing personal info.
  • Items to File – Papers to keep for taxes or that relate to your house or car.
  • Items to Review – Papers that need a response like bills to be paid.

Establish Work Zones

Once you get your papers under control, think about how you use your office. Often the layout can promote clutter build-up as soon as it is cleared. Establish work zones – desk, files, supplies, and electronics. Give items a specific place where they are kept.

Improve Your Work Flow with DIY Projects

Being the handy DIYer that you are, here are a few ideas that might improve your work flow and free up space:

  • Clear your desk – Keep only what you use regularly on it.
  • Box it up – Storage boxes and stackable trays keep supplies and files out of sight until needed.
  • Build shelves – Organize materials up and away from desk with containers that are clearly labeled.
  • Think peg board – Mount it on the wall to hold pockets and containers for supplies and papers.
  • Invest in a label maker – Keep files and bins clearly marked for easy retrieval.
  • Use a fold down desk – If your office is in an open area, a fold down desk will allow you to shut it away from sight.
  • Closet it away – Convert a small closet into a supply/ storage area. Hide printers and other electronics in there.
  • Build a mail center – Stop clutter as soon as it arrives. Hang files as you enter the room to sort mail into. Place a trash can, shredder, and recycle bin close by. Go through each hanging file weekly.
  • Paint – Brightly colored walls energize an office and help stimulate your creative juices. Coordinate your filing cabinets with a new fun color.

Go Green with Electronic Bill Pay and Storage

Think about revising your filing system. By going green and keeping copies of your bills and important papers electronically, you eliminate the hassle of filing papers. You will still need to back up your computer files monthly, to a separate hard drive for security or possibly to a cloud storage.

Designate a Tax Area in Your Office

Get in the habit of putting all tax papers in an ongoing file bin as they come in. You will only have to sort through them when you are ready to begin tax preparation. Designate an area in your office for tax file storage, either in its own filing drawer or a hanging file box.

No Stress Tax Time

Say goodbye to those endless searches for lost tax forms! A fully functioning office saves you time and money. Reorganizing your home office will keep you prepared for tax time and make April another glorious spring month on the calendar.

Expert Advice

From drills and circular saws to nail guns and belt sanders, our expert staff is always on hand to help you find the right equipment to reorganize and redesign your home office. Want to build some unique shelves for your office? Here is a project from our blog, How to Make a DIY Wood Palette Shelf in 5 Easy Steps,that you may want to try. As always, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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Reorganize Your Attic and Reclaim Needed Space

custom installed closet 3

Afraid to look in your attic these days? Spring is the perfect time to purge items that are just taking up space and collecting dust. Organizing your attic will boost your storage capacity and make finding items you use once a year (like holiday decorations) much easier.

Sort Your Stuff

Tackle the attic using the same principles you apply to reorganizing your closets. Sort everything into these three categories:

  1. Keep it – stuff to put back into the attic in its own section
  2. Donate it – items to give to charity
  3. Toss it – things that will be trashed or recycled

Divide and Conquer with a Little Help

Organizing the attic doesn’t have to be a dreary job. Work always goes faster if you divide and conquer; round up family and friends to help go through stuff. Set up a table and chair (if space allows) to make sorting through boxes and papers easier. Make sure you have good lighting, access to additional garbage bags or boxes, permanent markers and labels.

Keep Only What You Need or Use

Edit your “Keep” pile further by labeling items into subcategories like “tax papers”, “holiday decorations”, or “sports equipment”. This will also give you another chance to whittle down these items so you keep only what you really need or use.

Six tips to help get your attic organization underway:

  1. Use clear plastic bins rather than cardboard boxes – They make seeing what’s inside easier and protect contents better.
  2. Label each bin clearly – You want to be able to determine what it is at first glance.
  3. Install shelves or cubicles – Sectioning off parts of the attic for each category will help you find items faster.
  4. Don’t forget to go up! – Use hooks or pegs to hang items from the walls or ceiling.
  5. Keep a large trash can available – Instead of dragging one in and out of attic, leave one up there and just remove the bag.
  6. Be safe – If working alone, have your cell phone with you. Accidents can happen and you may need to call for help.

Keep Your Newly Organized Attic Neat

Once you have your attic set up the way you want it, keep it neat by putting things back into their sections. Dust and vacuum regularly to keep the cobwebs at bay. Leave an old clock radio up in the attic so you can enjoy music while you work and keep track of time. (Why waste your cell battery!). Post a map of the different sections in the attic as you enter to let others know where things are kept.

Be Careful What You Store Up There

When storing items in the attic remember that the temperature can get 40 degrees hotter than the rest of your home in the summer and a lot colder in the winter. Electronics, delicate fabrics, photos, or other temperature-sensitive items will not fare well in the attic.

Reclaim Needed Storage Space by Organizing the Attic

Don’t just see the attic as a black hole, sucking up all unwanted items from your house. This is unclaimed space that you have now put to good use. Organizing an attic is an easy weekend project that can free up space and eliminate clutter. You may even discover a few “attic finds” hiding up there once you do!

Expert Advice

From drills and miter saws to staplers and wet/dry vacuums, our expert staff is always on hand to help you find the right equipment to tackle your attic reorganization. Didn’t organize your holiday decorations before stashing them in the attic? No worries, our blog, Post-Holiday Cleanup – 7 Ways to Bring It On! will help with that. As always, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week

Categories: DIY Projects, How-To's, Restore and Renovate | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Organize Your Garage with a Fool-Proof 5-Step Plan

When the weather outside is frightful, all dedicated do-it-yourselfers know what to do: take it inside. That’s right; it’s time to organize the garage. Call it what you will – the Man Cave, the Storage Room, the Personal Dumpster or even just the Garage – this open place is pretty important because it’s usually big enough to put anything and everything you accumulate over the years. The garage tends to be the catch all for what you may want or need or plan on keeping, but can’t fit into storage areas inside the living space of your home. Not to mention, using it for what it’s actually built to protect: your car.

In addition to storing your cars and your stuff, garages also house functional equipment like the water heater and furnace, so it really is a good idea to add maintenance steps into your garage cleaning process.

Clean Your Garage

1. Just get started. If you want the end result to be a clean, organized and presentable room, the best advice is to bite the bullet and dig in. Weather permitting, start by taking everything out and clean the space itself. Paint the walls, wash the floor, install shelves or cabinetry, as well as hardware that utilizes any vertical space. The trick is to get as much off the floor as possible, so don’t forget the ceiling space – it’s a great place to hang bicycles and seasonal items. Consider using a hoist pulley system that can be installed directly into ceiling joists.

Working with a clean space lets you decide where to put what – which areas of your garage are best suited for storage or for a workshop perhaps. Think of your garage as a room, take measurements and draw a floor plan just like you would with any other room in your house. If you can’t clear the room, this step can also be done by dividing it into quadrants, then clearing and cleaning one-by-one until you’re satisfied.

2. Change the furnace filter. Now is also a great time to check the furnace filter and either clean it or change it when it’s dirty. Typically, check filters on a monthly basis, which keeps the furnace running efficiently and saves on your utility bills.

Remove the filter, hold it up to the light and look through it. Filters are designed to protect the blower motor from dirt, so if it’s filled with particulate matter it’s doing a good job. It’s important to buy the right filter for your furnace, one that’s the correct size and type. Typically the filter part number is written on the access panel of the furnace. It’s also a good idea to have a few of them on hand for easy replacement. Or you may be able to purchase an electrostatic padding that fits into the filter casing and can be washed and replaced. These usually last longer, about five years. Wash it in soapy water about once a month during heating season and let it dry before replacing it.

Either way, install the new or washed filter in the same direction as the old one, because they’re made to work by filtering air in one direction. Okay, now that the space (and the furnace) is cleaned up the way you like it, turn your attention to your “stuff.” It’s time to decide what to keep, what to donate and what to throw away. And finally, how to organize what you keep.

3. Talk to yourself. Do I love it? Do I need it? Do I use it? Do I toss it? Do I donate it? These questions can help you categorize your stuff into piles that you can then act upon, whether it’s grouping them so they’re easy to find, how they’re used, if they take up huge amounts of space or if they’re nice enough to donate.

4. Label everything. Store like items in the same place, and label the place in the space! Labeling storage containers and shelves can be time-consuming and tedious, but it’s a good way to optimize storage options, big time. Using storage containers on shelving units keeps all your stuff clean. And keep in mind, if you use clear storage containers you’ll be able to see the contents, which can shave minutes off your search.

5. Remember safety. Place hazardous materials like fertilizers, pesticides, paint, sharp tools, guns and hunting equipment in locked boxes or areas where kids can’t get at them. Smaller storage sheds and containers are relatively inexpensive and can be assembled or installed outside, to increase your storage space and accommodate potentially dangerous stuff.

Organizing your garage can take the entire winter, but once it’s done, you’ll be proud to open the garage door!

About the Author

is the current Marketing Coordinator at Runyon Companies. She graduated from Butler University in the spring with a double major in International Business and Marketing, a minor in Spanish, departmental honors distinction and cum laude. She specializes in all things internet marketing, with an emphasis on content creation, website maintenance, blogging, social media, lead tracking and marketing strategy.

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