Showing posts with label decluttering. Show all posts
Showing posts with label decluttering. Show all posts


An Organised Printer Unit

There is a place in every room where you just tend to leave things down.   True?

I know that happens in our house and I am pretty sure it happens in your house too.

But the Printer Unit in my Study really is not the place I think that should happen but that is exactly what has been happening.

I think it was because it was the place that had shelves that were not so full of things - well to start with!

Then it just seemed like there was space there so something (and everything) could just be set down there until I had time to put it away or indeed decided where it should go.

Hence it became one big mess.

The only way to do the job properly was the usual Sandra method of

"take everything out and only put back what needs to go there"

But Fred calls it

"take everything out and make a mess somewhere else"

Well what else can you do until you have decided where all the "stuff" will go?

So I cleared the shelves and left only 3 things:

  • the printer on the bottom shelf
  • my containers for various sizes of laminating pouches on the second shelf up
  • the A3 laminator on the middle shelf

The printer goes on the bottom shelf with plenty of room above it for the back feed tray and also a better position for lifting out unto the floor when needing to get at the connections and plugs.

The second shelf up is a pull out shelf and I keep the laminating pouches there handy for use with the laminator just above on the middle shelf.

I love the containers I have for the pouches because they hold the different sizes (except for A3 but what could hold A3 size?) and they sit on top of each other taking up less space.
They were a good buy but now I don't remember where I got them.

There are three containers

The first is A4 size so holds the A4 pouches and then there are two A5 size, one for the A5 pouches and one for the A6 and A7 and business card size pouches.

At the moment I have run out of the A5 size which explains why one is empty.

These two smaller trays sit on top of the larger one

supported by the shape of the sides of the larger tray.

It is very handy to grab the pouches as I need them and just lift the front top tray to get at the A4 ones in the bottom tray.

So these were the essentials for the printer unit.

Then the decisions had to be made about what other things I should keep on the other shelves.

The most obvious thing would be to have anything else that I would normally want to use with the printer at close to it so immediately you would think of paper


I already use the two Ikea drawer units immediately to the right of this unit for all my paper and card and I see no reason to change this because there is a drawer for each type of paper and card so that is all well organized.

All I had to do with it was tidy up the top of it to make it neater  -  easy job.

So what should go on the other shelves in the Printer Unit?

Well I decided that I should consider how to make the best use of the space.

Firstly I knew that would not be to store my A3 white, black & coloured cardstock because that could mean losing out on the height allowance of the shelves by putting in something large and flat.

In the end I decided it would be best to store my various boxes some with old greeting cards, some with note paper & cards and some with more miscellaneous items.  These are boxes which I will not be lifting out and in too often so it doesn't matter that some are on top of others but look how well they fill up the two top shelves - good use of space here.

Then I remembered something else which definitely should be kept in the unit and these are the new ink cartridges for the printer so I grabbed an old small black box I had kept (knowing it was good and sturdy and would come in handy for something) and put the cartridges in it and placed it at the back left corner of the middle shelf behind the laminator.

Another item that made sense to be in the unit because of it's height and what it is used for was the Photo Negative Scanner so I placed it at the back right corner of the middle shelf again behind the laminator.

I have a small metal case which came with a shaver or something for my husband a couple of years ago and I decided straight away when I saw it that it would be ideal for keeping things to do with my phone and mp3 player and bluetooth gadget and charging leads so it was put back on to the shelf beside the laminator pouches where it had been previously so not much change there.

Well with the printer unit and the drawer units done I thought I might as well finish off with the metal & wicker shelf unit that stands to the left.

This is now the place for most of my other books that I need to read and then after that decide to give away or keep - they are in the wooden crates with the chalkboard fronts.

The other nice boxes and files are for
  • my recipes,
  • greeting cards for use throughout the year,
  • old letters
  • A4 Overhead Projector Song Sheets for when we are working with the Kids Club in the school.

Did you notice the little bit of decoration I had hanging on the printer unit?

Yes the heart that had hung on the key before

Well it is back again - it is a heart and I love Hearts and it is dark red which ties in with other decorative things in the Study.  Plus I love that old "Home is where the Heart is" phrase.

And now

I am pleased with the difference in looks and the better organisation of the unit and the shelves.

compared to the before

This was more Housework than Funwork this time and more housework to come very soon with the sorting out of the other stuff that had been left on the printer shelves in the past


then eventually it will be more Fun because I will take some time to read my old letters and look at the old cards and enjoy memories  with a nice cup of coffee on several occasions yet to come.

This project also brings another project to my mind

How to imaginatively keep old greeting cards - might need a bit of research time on Pinterest for that!

But for now this job is finished and the pull down door can be closed on it when we want to but if it remains this well organised we won't need to try to hide it.

So another part of the Study has been overhauled and organised but we still have many more parts to tackle.

For the other parts of the Study already overhauled and organised click below

An Organised Craft Armoire

Organised Bookcases

For More Posts on Organising please click below


Organised Bookcases

I was still working at organising the study this week and I finished the Bookcases there.

Now I know I have a lot of ebooks on my kindle but I still have loads of ordinary books and that is one area I really find hard to tidy up and organise because I take ages to decide whether or not to get rid of some books.

The bookcases were really out of hand, completely cluttered and such a messy sight that I had to cut down on the number of books and move off a lot of things that should not really be there.

I love these 4 bookcases which we bought over 20 years ago when we were living in America and they are still in good condition after the move back to Northern Ireland and then the move to Belgium and finally back to Northern Ireland again.

Even though I decided to get a white desk 2 years ago I could have been tempted to paint these white to match but either I'm too lazy or I still love the type of wood in the bookcases and I think it truly is the latter.

The 2 bookcases on the left are full length shelved and the other 2 are shelved on top and have a cupboard on the bottom.

So taking them one at a time I decluttered and organised the bookcases and the cupboards.

Working from the left

This is the bookcase which contains our Christian Novels on the first 5 shelves.
They are in alphabetical order by author (yes I'm a bit fussy and like to be able to find my books easily - and now it is even easier without the clutter in front).

The bottom shelf is the hardest to get at so it contains all the bible study books we have had over the years working with youth groups and homegroups and personal ones too.

The second shelf has all my Davis Bunn physical books and then my kindle has the rest.  I have practically every book he has written and was also privileged to be part of his launch team for one of his books last year and got to review it on my blog - The Strait of Hormuz

The ornaments on the shelves are mostly little personal items and from previous blog posts you will know that I love Arks, and I love Bears, and I love Boxes.

The second bookcase continues on the Christian Novels in alphabetical order again for the first 5 shelves.

The bottom shelf this time is full of nonfiction Christian books.

If you look closely at the fifth shelf you can see a thick book (black & white cover) by Elizabeth Elliot who died very recently.  Sorting out these shelves made me want to read a lot of my books again and this is definitely one of those to reread soon.

Also on the 4th shelf are all my Penelope Stokes novels (as far as I know I have all the novels she has written plus her book about writing novels and her book about faith).
My favourite is The Blue Bottle Club which was the first book I reviewed on this blog.

The third bookcase has the top two shelves devoted to Bibles, commentaries, dictionaries and information books on the Bible.

Then the third shelf contains all my Agatha Christie books.
The red hardbacks are my complete Herron Collection of her books including the Who's Who and then there are two paperbacks of the two books that for some reason were not included in the Herron collection.  As you can see they are in two rows - 37 of them with two books in each.

I love to sit with these hardbacked books to reread the Christie stories before I review them on this blog.

The last bookcase has some photo albums of the kids (someday I might tell the story of those and why Linda always goes on about how you can tell she is the third child).

Then it also has some cookbooks and other miscellaneous books that are special to me, my journals from when we lived in America and in Belgium and some Dutch Novels.

The Bottom shelf just has some ornaments for now but I bet that later on it will be filled with other books because I just could not make up my mind about all of my non-Christian books yet.

Then there were the two cupboards under the shelves of 3 and 4

This is what was in cupboard 3 - Stationary but rather mixed up.

At least it wasn't as bad as cupboard 4 where lots of things tumbled out unto the floor when I opened the doors.

There were obviously too many books shoved in badly to the top shelf of this cupboard.

But then of course as Fred always says - I need to make a mess when sorting things out and that is what I did here because I pulled everything out and sorted it all there on the floor and replaced more than half of it.

It is now so much neater and better organised

with the top shelf dedicated to the books that I use to do the Sunday School Curriculum and the bottom shelf for all our Dutch notebooks and grammar books and exercise books.

Notice there is also some extra space on both shelves - wonder how long that will be there!

Well I also got everything out of cupboard 3 and sorted that into piles on the floor as you can see here when I remembered to take a picture half way through the job.

We love notebooks and files and folders as you can see above.

And the finished cupboard didn't end up completely full either.

Now I can see better what notebooks and journals I still have and can get at all the envelopes and files better.

You may have noticed something on the inside of the left doors of both of these cupboards too.

Gripping Stuff:
It is sticky on both sides so it sticks to the door (or other surfaces and then paper or card can be stuck to it.

It comes in sheets which can be cut to any size and I had cut two pieces just a little smaller than A5 size for the two cupboards a couple of years ago.

Then I had used 2 pieces of A5 card and written on them the contents of the cupboards with the intention of marking off things as we used them so that I would always know how many we had of things and where they were but I started that and then got lazy or forgot and after a while it was no longer accurate.
So not too sure what to do about this but that can be a decision I make when the Study is nearing completion.

Besides that small ongoing thought I am really happy with my

An Organised Medicine Cabinet - Organising My Home

Yes I do like to keep my Medicine Cabinet organised so that I can get things quickly and easily.

It is probably one of the best organised things in our home.

But then that kind of storage space is one of the things I enjoy working on when it comes to Organising my home.

I didn't always have a medicine cabinet so I had to think of other easy to get at and easy to keep organised places.

In one house we used part of a vanity unit in the ensuite


in another house we used a couple of shelves in a kitchen cabinet

but this time when we moved back to Northern Ireland in Dec 2010 we moved to a house which had a medicine cabinet over the wash hand basin in the back toilet.

Yes a real medicine cabinet just like I always saw in the films and TV programmes - you know they are tall and shallow out from the wall with a mirror door.

Now if this had been our main bathroom I suppose I would have been tempted to think I would need to use it for Bathroom things - but it is in the back toilet.  This is the small room that is off the utility room and I really think it would have made more sense to use the space as a pantry or large storage closet (because you can never have too much storage space and I do not have enough storage space).

We have an ensuite off our bedroom and an ensuite off the guest bedroom as well as the main bathroom so let's face it this back toilet is never really used as a toilet and who wants to have to clean 4 bathrooms and toilets when mostly there are only two people in the house?  -  NOT ME!

Anyway back to my Medicine Cabinet which makes me happy again.

Twice a year I do an overhaul of this cabinet

and because I do it regularly you can see it is not in bad order.

I check all the dates of the medicines etc. and throw out the ones that are past their date.

(NOTE:  A doctor did tell me once that many medicines can be used for up to 6 months after the date written on them but that it is definitely okay to use them up to 3 months after the date.)

I used to have to literally check each packet for the date every time I would do this but now I use my "Things" app on my ipad to keep a note of the expiry dates (typing these into the app when I put the product into the Medicine cabinet) so I only have to go into the app & use my tag of "medicine cabinet" and I get the list and the dates all in one go.

These will each show in my Todo list 14 days before they are up so I normally will be ready and throw them out as they expire and don't even have to do it all at the overhaul.

I do an inventory of the cabinet.

I have the list of all the items I like to keep in stock, shelf by shelf

I had used ( my other beloved iPad app for making lists) the "Pocket Lists" App for making a full list of everything I would like to have here and because I did it shelf by shelf it makes it really easy to go through.

Which means that now each time all I have to do is tick off all the things I can see on the shelves and whatever is left unticked is obviously missing.  This is due to not knowing when the hubby finishes off something or just something being taken out and not returned.

This happened with the scissors - to cut a long story short they ended up in a bin at a foreign airport.

I make a list of the things that will need to be replenished soon.

In my "Things" App I made a Project list and it just gets changed each time.

Well the list here is not too long this time because on one of my last trips to the chemist I knew roughly what was getting low so had already got some things.

I tidy up what is in the cabinet and decide if I want to make any changes to the position and order of the items.

Sometimes there are different things that have been added if someone needs to have a new medication or you decide to start taking a new vitamin etc.

An Organised Medicine Cabinet in Organising My Home at Sandra's Ark

So the finished cabinet was just a little more uncluttered than to start with and neater.

Of course the few spaces you see will be filled up when I go and get that list of items next week.

You know when you have a cupboard you can easily fill it?

Well I have done that of course and then needed more space so I had to use part of the vanity unit below.

Mostly the things here were really the items that were too large to put in the shallower medicine cabinet or would not sit so well piled up on a narrow shelf so I would have needed another location for them even if the medicine cabinet wasn't filled up.

So bandages etc. in the left hand drawer, extra cotton buds and hand sanitizing wipes in the right hand drawer and the larger heating pad and creams in the right hand cupboard.

And just a wee reminder of my "MUST HAVE" in any kitchen or bathroom

it is

the packet of wipes (and a sponge) in the left cupboard, 

nothing is handier for quick clean ups than wipes.

An Organised Sun Room

The Sun tried to come out on different occasions this month but was terribly hindered by the wintery conditions that kept butting in like winds and rain and sleet and hailstones.

I was tackling the Sun Room but this fact about the weather did not encourage me at all.
Though as I write this the back garden is brightly lit from the sun after another lot of hailstones yesterday.

The Sun Room

The Sun Room in itself did not need much work as there are not too many places for items to be kept.

But a few tips are always useful to keeping it organised.

1.  Think about what you want in your Sun Room
2.  Think about what you want to be able to take outside quickly
3.  Think about how to make things HANDY!

The only cupboard we have in the Sun Room is in the TV unit and it is useful for storing light bulbs which I sorted and made a note of the types we did not have a spare one of.

Also in that cupboard we keep the 3D glasses that the kids got at various times just in case we need them to go see a 3D film sometime - which really is a very faint probability as Fred & I have not ever gone to a 3D film.  Perhaps the kids should have each kept theirs for wherever they are?

Then the other main things in that cupboard are
  • a few puzzle magazines,
  • Sun Tan lotion,
  • Sun Tan wipes
  • After Sun Wipes
  • and some pairs of sunglasses.

This is a useful spot to keep these as the Sun Room opens out to the Patio and when the sun appears (for the short periods that happens here in Northern Ireland and let's face it we need to make the best opportunity as we can of those short periods of time) we can grab those things on the way out to sit on the Patio or Deck area.

The bulbs were already in a basket but these Sunny Day items were just lying in the cupboard so I got one of my favourite small Lakeland Storage Caddies for these items that we need for hopping out to sit in the sun.
You can see in the pictures above & below that it is ideal in size and that handle makes it so easy to grab.

What else might I want in that cupboard if I am going to use it daily during the next 5/6 months?

Well I decided to add
  • a post it pad 
  • a notepad 
  • and a pen 

 because those are always useful things to have at hand instead of having to run to the study.

there was still room for the three remotes that are needed in that room.

There are two other things that I like to keep in the Sun Room but they will not be in that cupboard.

A navy fleecy throw 
which is very handy if it gets a bit cooler in the evenings 
or even if I just feel like curling up on the sofa to read .

The 4 cushions for the Patio Chairs 
which I keep in a jute type bag pretty much out of sight behind the chair which sits beside the door out to the patio so that any time we are going out for breakfast we just grab a cushion on the way past.  
With our climate the cushions never stay out!

I have already written about how much I love Arks and pictures of Arks last year but now I had decided that some of these may go soon!!! but some will stay here in the Sun Room.  Some of my favourite Ark pictures just match in nicely with the style and decor of the Sun Room.

Here are two on the bookcase that holds most of our CDs

And here is another one above a window

That does not mean that some other Ark decor items will not be found in other rooms in the house of course.