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By AMY KEELING WALTON
When I was growing up, we used a rock for a hammer and five-inch “barn nails” for getting things done around our house. My dad often would take the house tools “to the barn,” which must have been code for Bermuda Triangle because once these tools left, they never came back.
The right tool for the job not only makes the end result turn out better it also makes the job-doer a much happier being.
Because I hope to make you a happier being in 2011, I am bestowing my favorite organizing tools to you.
It is a symptom of my condition to enjoy a stellar label maker. I started with a Dymo label maker and soon learned that those labels do not always adhere well to plastic storage totes in hot and cold temperatures, so after some online research I bought a P-Touch label maker made by Brother. This machine uses laminated tape which has performed well in all temperatures. It also allows me to change the letter width which is good if I need to fit a long word on a small space.
The only negative to this machine is a lot of tape is wasted on each label printed if you leave the margin setting to normal. I set it to chain print which means I print all the labels I need at once then use the built in label tape cutter to remove the long strip of tape from the label maker. Then I cut between each label with scissors.
Other easy to use features are the QWERTY keyboard and easy to navigate function keys.
Plastic zip ties
I buy a variety pack of different colors and lengths at my local discount store. I use them to secure cables and cords of TVs and computers and to tame Christmas tree lights and extension cords.
Note, don’t wrap too tightly because you could damage wires inside the cords.
Other uses are to attach paper label tags to containers, hang something that needed a larger loop in order to hang from the desired hook, use a different color for each person in the house for their coat hook, toothbrush, etc.
I guess if you got desperate you could attach several together to make a belt if your pants kept falling down.
Super Sliders or Movin’ Men
These things are awesome. I can move a lot of things without damaging me, the piece of furniture or the floor with my Super Sliders.
This is an incredible time saver because I do not have to wait until the homeowner or I can round up suitable help to move the heavy stuff, thus helping me get things done and I love getting things done.
Post-it Notes and a Sharpie
I buy the name brand Post-It notes in different colored stacks. Not the stacks that alternate colors in the same stack but a stack of yellow, a stack of orange, etc. If you’re feeling frisky you could even buy the “super-sticky” ones.
These are my temporary labels. If I rearrange someone’s cabinets, I write the new contents on the Post-It note and stick it to the outside of the cabinet. When they are ready they can move the note to the inside of the door to use as a reminder for maintaining the new system, and then when they feel comfortable it can be removed with no damage to the surface.
I also use Post-It notes when I organize paper or photos. I have a plastic crate which holds hanging file folders that I take with me when I know I am going to be dealing with a lot of paper. As the client starts going through the paper, I create file folder label for each category using a Post-It note.
So load up the wagons friends, with the right tools for the job. It’s time for the journey to begin. Better yet, just give me a call and I’ll bring my wagon to you. It’s already loaded and ready to go.
Amy Keeling Walton is owner of The Neat Freak Professional Organizing in Bardstown. If you have a question for this column, e-mail email@example.com.