18 December 2009

Organising question 4

Hilarie of From Our Front Porch Looking In asked two questions:

1-i would like some/any helpful ideas for organizing/doing an inventory of pantry, fridge, deep freeze, and food storage (we try to do about a year food storage). Doing the inventory is probably the most baffling part for me.
Well done for getting your food storage in! We are nowhere near a year's supply and to be honest I've kind of stopped stocking up due to our impending emigration. When I was building up our storage the thing that kept it manageable for me was to keep it simple.

To find out exactly how much of each item to store for your family (after all, if you don't store what you use you won't use what you store) keep a log for a few months. Jot down the item and date every time you open something - a jar of mayonnaise, a box of cereal, a can of beans.

After 2-3 few months you will have a real idea of how much of each item to store for a year. There's no point storing 10 bottles of ketchup if you only use 4 in a year - they won't be rotated quickly enough.

Then, store your items in a place where you can remove (for use) from the back and replace at the front. This keeps your items rotating. It doesn't help to store 25 packets of something in a big garbage can - how can you get to the ones at the bottom?

To keep your food storage in place, every time you use an item put it on the grocery list. One can of beans in your meal? One can of beans gets bought next time you shop. You will keep your 1 year supply intact.

If you are building up your supply, buy two replacement items for every item you use, as and when you can afford it.

I am hardly the food storage guru though, so try Google for some fabulous tips from much more experienced storers.

2-Organizing my 5 year olds ribbons, loose and on a spool. I use ribbon mostly for her hair, but also for wrapping gifts. So maybe keeping them in two different locations. I don't know, just something I always wish I could organize better.

I have only recently come up with a ribbon storage system that I am happy with. I use ribbon for scrapbooking and other crafts, so perhaps my lengths vary from the lengths your daughter uses, but hopefully my system would work for you.

I used to store my ribbons on plastic bobbins in a floss box, like this but I didn't like the kinks it left in my ribbons. You can buy a ribbon iron which basically looks like a small hair straightening iron but I couldn't be bothered with the expense or bother of ironing ribbon.

I went to Google Images for some inspiration, of which there is plenty.

Loose ribbons

Wind your ribbons wound onto cardboard like this or like this or like this.
Advantages: you can see all of your ribbon at a glance.
Disadvantages: not suitable for very short pieces of ribbon; kinks left in your ribbon.

Make (or buy) a ribbon box out of a shoebox or any other kind of box or container or even a bag, like this or like this or like this.
Advantages: closed storage means the mess is hidden inside; cheap and easy to make
Disadvantages: you can't see how much of a particular ribbon you have.

Wind your ribbons onto wooden clothes pins and store them in jars or in a drawer like this.
Advantages: colourful and pretty to look at on the shelf
Disadvantages: costs add up for all of the clothes pins and jars; rummaging necessary to find just the right ribbon you have in mind

Spools of ribbons

Make ribbon spool storage out of an old container like this.
Advantages: cheap and easy to do
Disadvantages: only a few spools fit into each container

Add dowels to existing shelves or create or buy a purpose-built dowel storage unit like this or like this or like this.
Advantages: wall storage frees up shelf and desk space
Disadvantages: you'll need to be careful when adding / removing spools, especially if one in the center needs removing; drilling into wall may be required

Buy or make a vertical dowel storage system like this.
Advantages: cute and colourful
Disadvantages: takes up desk space; limit to how many spools it will hold

Make shelves for your spools out of plastic rain gutters like this.
Advantages: cheap to make; wall storage frees up shelf and desk space
Disadvantages: takes up quite a bit of wall space; drilling into wall required

I have mainly loose ribbons but am building up my collection of spools too. It was mainly my loose ribbons I wanted to find the perfect solution for. I was excited when I saw the Ribbon Ring online - it seemed to be just what I was after.

I decided to make my own by purchasing a large bookring and making little plastic tabs:

It was a bit of a pain making the plastic tabs - I wish I'd seen this blogger's solution: Judith Mara simply stapled the ends of her ribbons to cardboard tabs instead of creating or buying plastic thread-through tabs. The advantage is that they are easily labeled.

But I didn't like the ring hanging around - I like my storage to be closed and out of sight. In the end this is what I came up with and I love it! I stuck a bunch of 3M command hooks hooks inside my craft cabinet and hung the ribbon from the plastic tabs I had made.

When I ran out of tabs (I've been on a bit of a ribbon buying spree lately) I started using paperclips. Genius! It is so quick and easy.

I either thread the ribbon through like a buckle, or if it's a wide ribbon I simply clip the paperclip onto the folded ribbon like this:

My spooled ribbons are in little plastic punnets on a shelf in my craft cabinet.

Hopefully amongst all of those links and pictures there's an idea that you can use!

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