10 must-have organising tools

By Marcia Francois

There are some things in life I just can’t do without. These 10 organising tools are a must in my house and really help to keep us organised.

I have notebooks all over the house, one next to my bed, one on the entrance hall table, one in my handbag, one in the car, etc. It is easier to jot some notes down immediately without losing the thought than to have to try to remember it.

Plastic display folders (or flipfiles, as we call them in South Africa) are so useful. In the kitchen alone, I use two – one for my favourite recipes and one for my household organising file. You can buy your own household organising file at http://www.marciafrancois.com/?page_id=4. We also use a flipfile as our travel file and put all our printables from the internet of tours we want to take, checklists, etc.

I got this excellent tip from Confessions of an Organized Homemaker. I use masking tape for labels everywhere. The tape is really easy to write on with both a pen and a marker. Use in the kitchen to label your leftovers in the fridge and also on your storage containers in the cupboards.

Use a permanent marker to label virtually everything. This is one of the main tricks to keep your home organised. It is all good and well to have everything nicely sorted but if you can’t remember what’s in each container without having to look inside then it’s a bit useless, isn’t it? My house has a permanent marker in the kitchen, one in my handbag and a couple in the study.

I use post-it notes for labels on storage boxes. If you use the proper branded ones, they stick on everything and last forever. Don’t waste your time with the cheap stuff. My fridge is also labelled with Post-Its – the same ones have been in there for about 6 months now and are as good as new. There is no sign of non-stickiness. Use in the fridge, on shelves, shoeboxes, trays, magazine holders, etc.

Once you start using clear containers, you will never go back to the opaque stuff. You’ll always know what’s in there and find your food doesn’t waste as often. You can pack more stuff into a space if you use square or rectangular containers than if you use round ones. Use them in the kitchen for food and in the study for paperclips, staples, etc.

Use Ziploc bags for sandwiches, freezing food, holding vegetables, for toiletries when travelling, for all your camera or MP3 player attachments, if you’re going on a day trip and need to take some sunblock and mosquito repellent, etc.

I use Prestik to stick up shopping and menu lists in the kitchen, a recipe on the cupboard when I’m baking (so it doesn’t get dirty), Christmas cards on the side of the wall unit (so they don’t take up space on a shelf) and to stick up a pen and my goals list in my wardrobe.

Use to close bags of chips, sweets or vegetables or to keep your gift wrap in a neat roll. They are easier to use on freezer bags than those clips you get in the packets.

Set it up once with all the birthdays, anniversaries and special events, and you use the same one, year in and year out. Set a reminder to check it around the 27th of every month for upcoming birthdays and you are all prepared!

I’ll tell you a secret – I even set up all my birthday emails beforehand and then postpone them to only deliver on the person’s birthday.

If you want to see pictures of these tools, read the blog posts below…

My favourite organising tools

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Marcia Francois is a time management and organising coach who empowers small business owners and other busy professionals who want to make the most of their time. You’ll get simple, practical organising and time management secrets to help you work less and enjoy life more! Visit http://marciafrancois.com for your free Organising Success Pack.