Showing posts with label Organization. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Organization. Show all posts

Monday, May 29, 2017

Washing and Organizing Reusable Bags

It took us several weeks to get used to ( I mean, to remember) using reusable bags. California finally banned the use of plastic bags . What's not to support, it is very important in reducing litter and ocean pollution. I am not sure about you BUT we are a product of our own habits. I do forget to bring them inside the stores. Good news is that we are getting good at remembering to bring the bags.

Using the reusable bag to help save our mother Earth ( one of the many ways) is so great , however..When was the last time you washed them? It is not about being freakishly clean . It is very important to wash those bags too!

Confession time :  I also do not remember to wash them. I keep them nicely organized in our car and some neatly folded here at home. I mean, out of sight out of mind right? And that is very true with germs lurking in your bags. You don't see them BUT it is there and it will make you sick. A  study from scientists at the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University found  97% of shoppers with multi-use bags said they DO NOT regularly wash them. Only 3% remember to wash their reusable bags.

The same study found bacteria in 99% of bags tested; half carried Coliform bacteria while 8% carried E. coli, an indicator of fecal contamination. Fecal contamination - Did I get your attention now?

 Ryan Sinclair of the Loma Linda University School of Public Health, a co-author of the study said "I classify them as pretty dirty things, like the bottom of your shoes,". You wouldn't lick the bottom of your shoes right? Nor give your shoes to your little ones so they can gnaw on it. Okay, I may be exaggerating , my point is. Reusable bags are dirty!!

Just reflect on this..

"The researchers found that bacteria thrived and multiplied on bags stored in the trunks of cars and that machine or hand washing reduced bacteria on bags by more than 99.9%. A separate study published in 2012 traced a norovirus outbreak among a girls' soccer team from Oregon to a reusable bag stored in a hotel bathroom used by an ill team member.Source HERE.

We own bottles of hand sanitizers and wipes. Tucked inside our purse , even inside our Suv's, cars and vans. It means that we try to stay away from bacteria, germs that can make us really sick. So why don't we wash our reusable bags?

Luckily , there are steps to avoid cross contamination. Here are the steps according to FoodSafety.Gov 

  1. Wash reusable grocery bags often.
  2. Always put raw meats into a disposable plastic bag before putting them in a reusable bag.  
  3. Keep meats, fresh produce, and ready-to-eat foods separated.
  4. Store reusable bags at home in a cool, dry place, not in the car.
  5. Do not use reusable grocery bags for other purposes.

How to Clean the Reusable Bags?

For Canvas bags ,toss them in the washing machine and launder in hot water with detergent. You can run them through the dryer but I air dry them.  If you use insulated shopping bags for meats and eggs, you should always wipe them with sanitizing wipes. I also wash them on cold , gentle cycle and then air dry the bags. For nylon bags , flip them inside out and wash them by hand in warm soapy water and then air dry.

Ways to Organize the Reusable Bags

Here's a very tidy and easy way to organize the bags. This is a frugal way to keep those bags organized, just a trip to the dollar tree!  See I am Homemaker's post about reusable bags HERE.

 Photo Credit

This one is very cute! A Tote Buddy, who knew. Check out Organizing Junkie's vehicle organization HERE. Pretty impressive and as a matter of fact ..I am inspired to clean our SUV now.

Photo Credit

I also love this from Organising to Make Life Easier . You probably own a lot of baskets already, so this may not cost you anything.

Photo Credit

I know it's quite hard to remember to wash the bags regularly. So I would suggest to set your alarm or calendar.  Or write a reminder note and post it by your laundry room. Soon , it will be a great habit. A habit that will prevent us from getting sick.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Simple Organization for the School Year

Organization is a constant process.  As our family grows, as our needs and space changes..we constantly change our ways to stay organized. It is not about the perfection but it is about being efficient. It saves you time when you know where your things are, saves you money by knowing what you have and you don't end up buying things you did not know you already have. I do not know about you but me stresses me more when I feel disorganized.  We have a new role in our lives now as our Lucy started school last week. It was a roller coaster week for us.. So happy and excited for her experiences , for all the new things she will learn and for the new friendship that God will bless her. At the same time, I end up oh man..where did the time went? I can still recall the days she was born. Now , here she is!

Here are simple ways that we did at our home to stay organized. Yes , it will need your little time but trust me is worth it.

1. Prepping their school outfits.

You might think..okay ..that's a lazy woman's work. How hard it is to go get an outfit every morning. No, not hard at all ! However , I prefer to have a relaxing school day mornings, I don't function well on rushed mornings ( ask my hubby) . Choosing an outfit for me , Lucy and her little sister every morning is one of the things that I choose not to do every morning to save time.  Every Saturday or Sunday after laundry , I do choose 5 outfits for Lucy's School. I just grab a complete outfit in the morning and encourage her to get dress by herself. Right beside the outfits are her shoes.

I used cardstock papers for the inserts. I just simply glued the labels on each hanger inserts.

Click here to print it for free :  Closet / Hanger Labels

2. School supplies

 Do you stock up on school supplies? If you don't , I do suggest on stocking up on great deals on school supplies. A sale combined with a coupon  will save you money. Specially this back to school season, you will see a whole lot of great deals, offers and coupons. If your school provides most of the supplies, it is still a good idea to buy a few extras. We can always offer and ask their teacher how we can help with the supplies at the classroom. After all, educating our children is a partnership between the teacher and parents. If school supplies is one way of supporting educators, I am all in.

We use this pantry cabinet ( closet maid in alder) . These cute crates are from Walmart..only a dollar each.

3.School documents, forms, artworks or homework

We got this bin / container from Office depot. It will hold all school stuff such as enrollment forms or documents . school packet info, homework, artworks. The bin uses the legal, regular hanging folder type so separating each category is easy. Since, Lucy is just on Pre K , we only started with 3 category. We plan on using one bin per kid, so we could keep all of the paperwork under control. Someday , we will categorize it by grade ( pre k, kindergarten, first grade ..etc) and someday Lily will have one too.

4. Information Center

 We are a traditional family, while COZI is awesome, however a good calendar method works for us.  The left side calendar is just an old frame that we converted into a dry erase calendar. It is where we write all of our appointments , events we plan on attending, birthdays and some schedules like Rob's overtime dates. The right side is a push board , where I put some info from school that I'd like to remember , a guide schedule for us , a chore schedule for me and maybe some info or message we like to be reminded.

What is a guide schedule?  we call it a guide schedule because while having a daily routine is beneficial, however..we believe that  a schedule is not written on stone. It is there to guide us to stay organize with our time or planning but we should be flexible enough if there are sudden changes.

What is a chore schedule? Well, while we keep our house "somewhat" clean and organize. Our home is not squeaky clean, I do schedule my chores so my chores don't rob my time from myself and my family. For example  on Mondays..I clip coupons, laundry..Tuesdays..I clean the bedroom and bathroom. That doesn't mean that we just keep the rest of the house messy in between days. We do a quick clean up before we go to bed. If we just simply can not do quick clean up..Oh well..mess will be there tomorrow. Family time and kids don't keep :)

5. Snack list

I downloaded this WEEKLY LUNCHBOX PLANNER  printable from $5 Dinner Mom . Love it ! So I can plan her snacks for school for the whole week. It makes my menu planning and shopping list really easy.

6. A homework catchall and homework caddy.


 The homework catchall holds the homework folder from school and some educational books to supplement with her lesson or study time.  

The homework caddy as you can clearly see holds crayons, markers , scissors, glues/paste, sharpener , colored pencils and pencils. Things that we will use for her homework. So when we study and do a homework, I just have to grab this caddy.

How about you? Do you have more ideas to share to make the school year fun and organize? Leave me a note !

If you enjoyed this post , share it and pin it ! It is greatly appreciated.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Manuals & Warranties Organization

Got married, two kids and a bunch of manuals and warranties. Sounds familiar? I never thought how annoying it can be when our vacuum broke down and we wanted to at least try to fix it. I couldn't find the manual! Not even the warranty card nor the registration info. It "gots" to be somewhere right?

I have been called a highly organized person. The truth is, I'm not. I try to be. I like an organized and clutter free environment. Everyday is a working progress. With a tiny person at home and a school aged kid, it's a challenge too keep a home tidy. I am happy to be able to tackle this problems of mine with all the manuals and warranties. Depends on the number of your paper works, this project is really easy. I suggest that you go over all of the manuals you got in hand. I did and I was laughing at myself for keeping manuals that we do not own anymore. Small appliances that probably got broke and toys that got donated. Stuff that had been thrown out. Why was I keeping this paper junks all these years!

I have tried other ways of organization.

I once gathered all the manuals , registration cards or warranty information did the hanging folder type of organization. Didn't work for me. I did the clear container organization, I mean how hard could it be..all in one box of container. Didn't work for me either.

This binder organization..This worked. This is just right for us.

We bought this 2 pack white binder at Costco, and forgive my occasional forgetfulness , I forgot how much exactly we paid for it BUT I am sure it is less than $7. The Avery sheet protectors are 100 pcs. for $10 at Walmart. It comes really handy for when there are  recalls on our kid's car seats , strollers etc. We can check the model number quickly.

It is also where I keep all the gadget softwares and instructional DVDs.
(like the instructional DVD for the sewing machine)

and any protection plan or insurances..

Manuals of course, you just never know when will you need it.

I separated all the paper works into two categories only. 

  • Kids ( car seats, strollers, toys etc) and Gadgets ( cellphone's, tablets etc.)
  • Home ( appliances..big and small)
Of course I have to make them look pretty.. I bought this scrapbook papers at Micheal's..

Now. here's are the other binders I have ...

"Organization isn't about perfection. It's about efficiency, reducing stress & clutter, saving time & money, & improving your overall quality of life." - Christina Scalise

Don't forget to pin and share!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Hair Bows and Hair Accessories Organization

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I used to make and sell bows. We have two girls , and I just couldn't help myself making bows for them! On top of that , they get hair accessories gifts from relatives and friends , dollar stores have A LOT of cute hair pieces for little girls. I LOVE..fixing their hair do's and dressing them up with cute outfits. With that , these lil frills can be everywhere! Luckily too ,  I have a patient hubby who ends up picking  those dainty trinkets and hair pieces from the floor, under the bed , and other nooks and crevices.

Having a designated area for all the frills , will keep the clutter under control.  Here's a few ideas on how we organized ( and try our best) and keep it from being messy.

This is a fabric message board that we purchased at Michael s ( most stores sell this) . I just inserted several pieces of ribbon ( different widths , colors and designs) , diagonally at the opposite side. This is to accommodate  more hair bows and clips , as well as for the different sizes.  For hanging it on the wall  , I picked out a good wide ribbon , a staple gun and a hook.

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We also purchased this at Micheals , could not remember how much but I am sure we used a 40 % coupon with it so it is cost effective. Those small pouches holds small pair of clips , claw clips and bunches of pony tail holders.

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I made this using a regular plastic shoe organizer , purchased at walmart for $12 . It was very long , so I cut it in half (using the other half in our kitchen to hold pouches of kid snacks , granola bars , oatmeal / breakfast packets etc) .  I used a regular wooden hanger , some fabric scraps & felt fabric .

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This holds their necklaces , bracelets , hair brushes , hair detangler spray.

Lastly , this is a just an empty oatmeal container. I covered it with a nice scrapbook paper . It is where we hang all the headbands and inside it is where we put all the crochet / stretchable headbands. Frugal isn't it?

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Lots of Love ,

Check this other Organization Tips :

Organized School & Study Materials 

"Organization isn't about perfection. It's about efficiency, reducing stress & clutter, saving time & money, & improving your overall quality of life." - Christina Scalise