Thursday, June 4, 2009

Zip Locs- Who Doesn't Love 'Em?

Before I begin today's featured blog, let me share this great comment a reader sent in to me:

"Hey Camille, I have to let you know that your blog has motivated me to get organized! I organized my pantry and now I'm actually getting rid of Cooking Light magazines from 2007 and 2008 that I keep thinking I will read! This is just the first step, but it feels soo good:)" --*Mia, May 2009

Please let me know what blog posts have inspired you to simply organize anything! Feel free to email me your organizational achievements or challenges to or leave a comment on my blog post!

Today's Featured Blog:
One of life's simplest pleasures is Zip Loc Bags, don't you agree? The uses are almost endless. Let me give you some great ways to utitlize these handy bags! You can label the bags with a Sharpie pen and see their contents--a very nice cost effective way to organize junk drawers, bathroom drawers, pantries, laundry rooms and car consoles, loose change and even your suitcase--all with the goal of keeping your life simply organized with little to no investment.

Small sandwich or quart size bags are great for:
1. Hair ties, elastic bands, hair clips, banana clips (tell me you don't still have these!) and bobby pins all in their own bags. Then place all bags in one container perhaps a hat box.

2. Junk drawers-place all like items in one Zip Loc such as paper and binder clips, rubberbands, pencil erasers and loose change.

3. Prepare your snacks a head of time. Place your chips, cookies, sweets, veggies, fresh fruit in handy snack size (pre-portion your high calorie items in packs). The benefits of doing this are endless. One, it will save you calories if you tend to be a "snacker." Two, you will grab what is prepared when you are hungry. If you have fresh strawberries already cleaned, sliced and ready to eat, then your kids have the freedom to grab a bag of their favorite snack on their own. So simple--one less you have to do for them as you are walking out the door to soccer practice.

4. Batteries! Who doesn't have miscellaneous sizes and types of batteries floating around your junk drawer? Save your piece of mind by placing all batteries in one spot. Batteries are sold in packets of 4 and you normally need 2 on any one item. So, that leaves you with 2 batteries that will fall out of the carton and disappear into the junk drawer abiss. Get used to throwing the extras in a Zip Loc right away and you will save yourself a few bucks on batteries each year!

5. In your pantry, put your ready mixed seasoning packets in one bag. For example, throw all of your Mexican Seasonings (such as Fajita and Taco seasoning) in one bag. I always seem to have more than I need at any given time, so I keep them all together in one bin next to my seasoning bottles.

Large Gallon sized bags:
1. If you have a lot of combs and hair brushes, you can place them in larger bags in your bathroom drawers

2. When traveling, take your shower bottles and everything you use in the shower and put in one large Zip Loc. Label it shower stuff with a Sharpie. This will keep your shower stuff all in one place and in the event something spills, it will spill inside the zip loc and not on your other items you have packed.

Likewise, do this for all of your personal items. I have a bag that I use for my morning and night routine (cleanser and moisturizers), another bag for what I need to style my hair including shampoo, conditioner and styling products. I found it handy to put all toothbrushes and toothpastes, floss and mouthwash in one bag. Additionally, you can also place your jewerly, medication, vitamins all in seperate bags.

If you are the main suitcase-packer for the family such as I am, this will make your packing (and unpacking for that matter) mindless! Once your family understand your simple system they can look for those items without too much thought. I don't know about you but if something doesn't jump up and bite my kids on the hand (ahem, and husband) they can't find it! It's all about making it easy for them to find on their own!

3. Large sized bags are great for storing crayons, colored pencils, markers and craft items that you may have in your pantry or toy closet. When I am vaccuming I find miscellaneous puzzle pieces and keep them in a bag in my junk drawer. This is the first place I look when the kids are missing that last piece of their puzzle.

4. In the diaper bag, I used to put new diapers in one large bag with the wipes. That way when I went to change the baby, I could just pull that bag out of the diaper bag and have all that I need in one spot for a fast change. Now, I still use zip locs to put an extra change of clothes in my toddler's bag. I almost never carry a diaper bag with me from errand to errand but have my "back up" back in the trunk of the car at all times!

Likewise, you can also put formula, bottles, bottled water (or spoon, baby food and bib) all in the same Zip Loc so at feeding time you can hurry and feed your starving baby!

5. If you buy items in bulk such as fruit, chips or cereal, take a portion out of the bigger box and place them in a bag and re-fill that bag as you need more. I do this in my pantry when I buy big boxes of cereal from Costco. This saves on valuable pantry real estate--if you have a large pantry--consider yourself lucky!

Let me know what your favorite use for Zip Loc's are! I look forward to your comments! husband and I are working on a garage makeover, finally! We are transforming a very unorganized space to a very functional and organized area all the while keeping our costs very minimal.

Organized and cost-effective...makes for one happy Kooi couple! As soon as the transformation is completed, I will post the before and after photos!

Check out this great comment one of the readers sent in to me:

"Hey Camille, I have to let you know that your blog has motivated me to get organized! I organized my pantry and now I'm actually getting rid of Cooking Light magazines from 2007 and 2008 that I keep thinking I will read! This is just the first step, but it feels soo good:)" --*Mia, May 2009

*Mia is not her real name!

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