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Organizing on the Cheap: Sports Equipment

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Money-saving products for organizing all that sports equipment.  Organizing on the Cheap: Sports Equipment | organizedartistry.com

 

Who plays sports in your family? You? Your kids? All of you? Even if there’s just one person in your household involved in sports, it can be a challenge to keep the equipment organized. Sports involves equipment and equipment has the potential to become a disorganized mess.

Stumped as to how to store it all? Try some of the following systems for keeping your sports equipment organized:

• Group by type
Example: baseball bats with the baseballs, mitts, and cleats

• Group by need
Example: all equipment needed for lacrosse practice

• Color coordinate
Each family member gets assigned a color. Place a dot of that color on their equipment and accessories. You’ll always know who didn’t put away their gear!

• Make a trade
Switch out off-season sports equipment. In the summer, have tennis rackets, water wings, and fishing poles at arms reach. In the winter, be able to find your skates, skis, and sled at the first sign of snow.

You’re already spending big money on sports gear–you don’t want to spend much more trying to keep it all organized. Here are a few free and low-cost products to keep your equipment ‘grab-and-go ready’ and safe from damage:

FREE:

LARGE CARDBOARD BOX

Everyone gets packages delivered–keep your eye on your neighbor’s front stoop for the delivery of an item in a large cardboard box. I’m sure they won’t mind you taking the empty box–it’s one less thing for them to have to recycle! You can use that box to corral medium to large sized balls. Have the kids decorate it with sports pictures and stickers to make it look like it’s more than a cardboard box. Giving them ownership of it will help when it’s clean-up time.

GARBAGE CAN
Changing your home’s décor? Don’t throw away that old garbage can! Repurpose it for holding sports equipment. Use old garbage cans to store tall items such as hockey sticks, baseball bats, ski poles, and lacrosse sticks. You may want to wash it out first…

WINE BOTTLE BOX w/SEPARATORS
You need a box with compartments. Liquor stores are dying to get rid of them. It’s a win-win situation. Look for a box with cardboard separators still inside. These separators will divide the box and create spaces for items such as whiffle ball bats, baseballs, tennis balls and rackets.
* Tip: Whether it’s a box or a can, don’t store anything more than twice the height of the container you use, or it might tip over.

LOW-COST:

LARGE, EXTRA-LARGE and XXL ZIPLOC BAGS
I hope the person at Ziploc who came up with the L, XL, and Jumbo bag concept got a promotion and a raise. Genius!
With built-in handles and a double zipper seal, they’re perfect for storing and toting balls, skates, protective gear, and uniforms. They’re made of a heavy-duty plastic making them moisture, dust, and pest-proof. The fact that the bags are transparent is an added bonus—you’ll know exactly what’s inside, saving you time and brain space. Find them in the supermarket or in your local home improvement store.
Cost: Approximately $5.49 and up per box

POP-UP MESH HAMPER
Pop up mesh hampers are the perfect receptacle for storing large balls, lightweight equipment or protective gear that needs ‘airing out.’ These round or ‘squarish’ shaped hampers are lightweight, easy to open, and come in breathable fabrics. Consider purchasing a different sized or colored hamper for each person in the family or one for each sport.
Cost: $7.99 and up

BALLGANIZER
Do you find yourself tripping over balls in your home? Trip no more with The Ballganizer. This hanging 5-ball capacity organizer offers a home for large balls such as footballs, soccer and basketballs. Hang in the garage, your kids’ bedroom or the playroom.
Cost: $14.95

*BIG SPLURGE*
You’ve saved a few bucks by using the ideas above–that’s great! If you are a multi-stick sport playing family and want to spend those extra bucks on something to organize them all, the 12-Compartment Utility Storage Unit is the organizing product for you. It’s perfect for holding bats, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and other tall sporting items. Maybe even a few fishing poles, too!
Cost: $59.99

Now that your equipment is organized, searching for it all is no longer your pre-sports warm-up. Do some stretches, grab your gear, and go have fun!

My Top Ten Organizing Posts

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It’s hard to believe but Organized Artistry is heading into it’s 11th year in business. The time has certainly flown! In that time, I’ve written organizing tip articles for my website and almost four years ago, I started this blog.

In honor of 11 years of organizing, I share with you the top ten most popular posts of this blog–plus one bonus post to make it 11. I hope at least one of them will offer you an idea or a resource for creating and maintaining an organized life.

Curious as to what readers liked most?

Top 3 blog posts:

Best Products for Organizing Your Car
This post was the most popular by a landslide! Maybe I need to add ‘car organizing’ to my list of services…

Organizing Inspiration from Curious George
Who would think that a mischievous monkey could teach us a lesson on organization?

Peter Walsh Organizes Rachael Ray’s Kitchen
She’s got a smaller kitchen than one would assume. Peter Walsh makes cooking at home a more stress-free activity for the famous cook.

Cool Product blog posts:

Cool Product – Jewelry Organizer
Not your usual jewelry holder…

Cool Product – Cable Turtle
Wires! Wires! Wires! No more unsightly wire messes thanks to cable turtles.

Cool Product – Fridge Binz
If your fridge need organizing, check these out…

Other popular blog posts:

De-Cluttering Tips
Simple, basic steps to follow for de-cluttering…

Top Ten Helper Shelf ‘Hot Spots’ for Your Home
This was a popular post, too. I love helper shelves! See how they can transform your closets and cabinets.

Organizing Up and Down–a Vertical Makeover
My motto: “If you can’t go outward, go UPWARD!”

Organizing on the Cheap: Target Dollar Spot
Love the Target Dollar Spot. You never know what organizing products (or other goodies) you’ll find there.

New Baby? Time to Get Organized
These little people have a lot of stuff and require a ton of organization!

Bonus post: Some organizing humor…

Professional Organizer Humor
Yes, there’s a bumper sticker for our profession, too!

My blog posts are written with the intention of providing information, tips, resources and sometimes a good laugh. I hope they have provided you with all that and more. Thanks so much for supporting Organized Artistry!

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Organized Artistry is on Pinterest!

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Do you love social media? Are you also a visual person? Then unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know about Pinterest.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Pinterest (according to their website) “is a ‘virtual pinboard.’ Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.”

I first noticed it when a few of my organizing colleagues began posting their Pinterest boards on their Facebook Pages. It looked interesting so I checked it out and was immediately hooked (it can be very addictive)! I’m a visual person with an art background–I find it to be a great way to collect and share ideas with others.

You have to request an invite to ‘join’ (which could take a few days or a few weeks) or ask someone already on Pinterest to give you an invite (that’s what I did). Once you’re ‘in’ you can start creating boards of topics that interest you and ‘pinning photos and videos to them.

Tip: Load the ‘Pin it’ bookmarklet to your browser–it allows you to ‘pin’ any photo/video from the web to your Pinterest boards.

I have a bunch of boards on the topic of organizing and I’ve created a few on the topic of weddings related to my book and the manuscript I’m working on. If you look in the right column of this blog you’ll see a button that says ‘Follow me on Pinterest.’ Click to follow me but if you’d like, first take a quick glance at my boards…

Organized Artistry’s Organizing Boards
Organizing Product I’ve Blogged About
Helpful Organizing Books
My Favorite Organizing Products
Organizing on the Cheap
Kitchen Organizing
Quick Organizing Tips
Get Ready for Spring Cleaning!
YOUR Favorite Organizing Products

Organized Artistry’s Wedding Boards
Organize for WeddingPlanning
Stylish Wedding Thank You Notes

Then there’s my board called ‘OMG–So Cute!‘ There’s a lot of cute stuff on Pinterest–can’t be about business ALL the time, ya know…

To learn more about Pinterest, here are a few articles that will be helpful to beginners:

Beginner’s Guide to Pinterest Basics

Pinterest: A Beginner’s Guide to the Hot New Social Network

Pinterest Tips–A Tutorial Guide for Beginners

Happy pinning! Anyone need an invite?

Organizing on the Cheap – The One Dollar Bin

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A few weeks ago, I was in Target and came across some organizing products in the Dollar Spot. I was so excited to blog about my finds!

That day, many of the $1 organizing products I found were office products–file folders, to-do list pads, etc. But, as I was about to leave the Dollar Spot, I spotted this blue bin below.

It looked like a bin I was already utilizing in my pantry to hold my son’s snacks. The $1 one was bigger than the one I already owned. My son is getting bigger and so are his snacks–I needed a larger receptacle for them. Just by looking at it, I knew it would fit.

I brought it home, filled it with pre-made snack bags (that concept is a blog post for another time…) and replaced the old bin with my new $1 find. Voila!

Now, I have so much more room to store the snack bags my son goes through every week. I can prepare them in advance which saves me time in the morning and reach my hand in and grab one when I need one. All for $1–Three cheers for inexpensive organizing products!

Hip hip hooray!
Hip hip hooray!
Hip hip hooray!

I think I made a good investment. What do you think?

Organizing on the Cheap: Target Dollar Spot

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I love Target. I find it to be a very enjoyable place to shop. Stores are always brightly lit and clean. Staff in red shirts are ready to help and price scanners are plentiful.

Last week I stopped by my local Target for some random items–cleaning supplies, picture hangers, strawberries–a typical day of one-stop shopping. The first thing I did when I walked in the store was check out the weekly sale circular on the wall. Then, I headed straight to the Dollar Spot.

According to the Target website, The Dollar Spot was launched in 2004. If you haven’t stumbled upon it, it’s usually the first shopping area you see when you walk in the store. All of the items in the Dollar Spot cost $1 with a few costing $2.50. It’s a great place to pick up items for holidays, kids, pets and organizing.

Really? Organizing products for $1?

Yes–you’re not going to find elfa shelves here but you if you check the bins from time to time, you will find a few organizing products mixed in with the socks, books, and Hello Kitty paraphernalia.

Here’s are some organizing products I found at the Target Dollar Spot last week:

Magazine Files – for storing papers, folders and of course, magazines.

Decorative File Folders – Although it’s only a 2-pack, it’s an inexpensive way to brighten up your desk or file cabinet.

Large coupon file – use for Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons, receipts, anything on large slips of paper.

Small coupon/receipts file – good too, for storing gift cards and photographs.

Weekly Menu/Shopping List To-Do Pads – useful for getting thoughts out of your head and onto paper.

I bought the above bin for my pantry–I’ll show you how I’m using it to organize food and save time in a future blog post.

Next time you go to Target for hairspray, light bulbs, or a garden hose, be sure to wander over to the Dollar Spot. Be on the lookout for products to help you get and stay organized. You never know what you’ll find!

Organizing on a Budget

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It’s 2012. You’ve made a resolution to get organized in the new year. That’s great!

But, I’m getting the feeling there’s something bothering you…

What’s wrong? Low on cash after the holidays? Got a pink slip for Christmas?

OK–I get it. You don’t have a lot of money to put into the organizing project (or projects) you’d like to tackle this year.

Not a problem. Organizing doesn’t have to cost you a lot. In fact, getting organized SAVES you money long-term. Getting there doesn’t require a whole wad of cash.

You need time, elbow grease and some free and low-cost products to help you achieve your organizing goals. There’s no need to max out the credit cards when you’re organizing on a budget.

For inexpensive (or FREE) ideas on how to declutter your space or create places of order in your home and life, read my article, Organizing on a Budget. In the article, I talk about products and resources for getting organized on a budget. Here’s an example…

Some of the best organizing products are FREE!

Boxes
Boxes from the liquor store, shoe store, jewelry store or from your bank shouldn’t cost you anything and most of the time, they’re happy to hand them over to you. So when you buy jewelry, ask for a box and when your checks come in the mail, don’t throw out the box they came in. **It is best to not use boxes that might have had contact with any type of food product.

• Use boxes from liquor store as temporary file holders and for storage of infrequently used items.
• Use shoe boxes as deep drawer dividers (Ex. to separate different colored socks, scarves, etc.) or to hold shoes.
• Use check boxes (from your bank) or jewelry boxes from a department store as drawer dividers in anything from a desk drawer to a junk drawer.

For more ideas and ways to keep costs down while getting organized, take a look at Organizing on a Budget. Even if you use just one of my tips, it will bring you one step closer to your organizing goal and keep your financial status ‘in the black.’

Organizing on the Cheap

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One of the first posts I wrote a year and a half ago was called ‘Organizing on the Cheap.’ It focused on organizing products that cost very little money or nothing at all. Organizing products don’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, many of them can be made from recycling an item already in your home.

I have two little kids and I’m always in need of a plastic bag. Most of mine live in a bag holder in my kitchen or in the garage but when you have a dirty diaper or need to bag up things before nap time is over, believe me–you need them handy.

Today’s Organizing on the Cheap Award goes to: The Empty Tissue Box

It’s original cost is approximately less than two dollars–that’s pretty cheap. Once you’re done with all the tissues, don’t recycle the box. Stuff it with plastic bags that you wish to keep. Here’s a picture of one from my home. The yellow bags are from ShopRite but dig deep enough and you’ll find bags from Target, Marshalls, and other stores:

I realized that there were many spots in my house that needed plastic bag storage. I have one of these tucked away in both bathrooms as well as the laundry room and both of my kids’ rooms. Not only have they been convenient, these plastic bag organizers only cost me what I paid for the box of tissues. Have tons of bags? Buy a larger box of tissues.
I don’t wish anyone the flu, but if you happen to finish a box of tissues anytime soon, consider stuffing them with plastic bags. It’s a great way to organize them, keep them tidy, and all in one place. 

Organizing on the Cheap

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A few years ago, a fabulous magazine was born called ‘Organize.’ During most of it’s short life, I had the honor of writing the ‘Organizing on a Shoestring’ column. I would write about ways to organize items inexpensively or for free based on an organizing challenge that most people have such as keeping children’s artwork or gift wrap from taking over the home.

In light of today’s economy, I thought from time to time I’d share some very inexpensive organizing products with you. Sometimes it will even be free stuff you can find around your home!
Today’s Organizing on the Cheap Award goes to: The Key Cover
What is a key cover? A key cover is a piece of plastic that slips over the top of your key. It can function as a gripper for those who have difficulty turning their keys and/or as an organizing tool for those with many keys on one ring.
I have a bunch of keys on my key ring and I needed a way to quickly locate my front door key as reached for them in my purse or coat pocket. When it’s cold out or you’re carrying heavy packages, every second counts!
I took a stroll into my local mom-n-pop hardware store and found a fishbowl filled with key covers of different colors–29 cents a piece. I took a red one (easy to spot in my purse, too), handed the cashier my quarter and four pennies, attached it to my front door key and have had very easy entry to my home ever since. This is what my key covers look like–pretty simple…
For those of you who would like to spend a few dollars more and put a little of their personality on their key chains, you can get key covers that look like monkeys, Pac-Man, Hello Kitty and guitars for the musically-inclined…
Whether it costs you a few dollars or a few cents, a key cover will save you time at your front door and free you from forever fumbling for the right key.

What area of YOUR life needs organizing?

Contact Stacey to Get Started!

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