the shrink ‘rap: issue 12

the shrink ‘rap: issue 12

In this issue:


10 Ways to Turn Trash into Organizing Treasures

You have watched all the organizing shows on television, read past issues of this newsletter and talked to your family and friends about clearing your clutter. You’ve heard over and over again that you should toss an item if you do not use it, need it or love it; and if something is trash, then fret no more, just throw it away! But what if you could use your “trash” to help you organize in some way?

Here are 10 Ways to Turn Trash into Organizing Treasures:

  1. Empty Paper Towel and/or Toilet Paper Rolls – Roll fabric tablecloths and napkins around the cardboard roll to minimize wrinkles and save space. Run a string through one end and out the other and tie the two ends together to hold the linens in place. To minimize knots, use these rolls to store extension cords and holiday lights as well. Run extension cords through the end of the roll and out the other side and repeat; wrap holiday lights around the roll.
  2. Empty Egg Cartons – (plastic preferred) – After sanitizing, egg cartons make great drawer dividers for small items like jewelry, hardware, office supplies, change, and hair accessories. The same can be said for old ice cube trays.
  3. Tissue Boxes – Empty tissue boxes are a great dispenser for plastic grocery bags. Store one in both your kitchen and car.
  4. Diaper Wipes Boxes – These plastic containers are great for small toys, makeup, cotton balls, and plastic cutlery.
  5. Plastic/Tupperware Containers with missing lids – Use these lidless containers to organize your kitchen cabinets. Put spices, small bottles, pudding boxes, tuna cans etc. in the container, store on a shelf and pull in/out like a mini drawer for easy access.
  6. Old Placemats, Sheets and Fabric Swatches – Cut fabric into small squares and use as dividers between your fine china pieces to prevent scratches.
  7. 35mm Film Canisters – These little containers are great stamp dispensers. Cut a vertical opening in the canister, stick a roll of stamps inside and pull one stamp through the slit.
  8. Baby Food Jars – Screw or nail the top of the jar to the underside of a shelf/cabinet. Store screws, nails, bolts etc. in the jar for easy access.
  9. Old Trashcan, Barstool or Hamper – Turn upside down for ski, baseball bat and fishing pole storage.
  10. Empty Matchbox or Altoid/Mint Container – These small containers are perfect for mini sewing or first aid kits.

Please note: Cluttershrink® does not advocate keeping items because they MIGHT have a use some day in the future. If something appears to be trash, it probably is. These suggestions are just a few creative ideas to help you minimize your clutter without spending money on organizing supplies.

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Water Cooler Rap

Simple Tips for Daily Living

Organizing Your Gems and Jewels

Oh, what a tangled mess we leave… if we fail to organize our jewelry. If you walk out of the house without jewelry because you cannot locate or do not have the time to untangle it, here are a few products beyond the standard jewelry box to help you organize your gems:

  • Egg cartons, ice cube trays, stacking jewelry trays – Check out the entire NeatNix Jewelry Stax collection at Bed Bath & Beyond.
  • Small hooks – Hang in your closet or on your wall for bracelet and necklace storage from The Container Store.
  • Acrylic necklace keeper – from The Container Store.
  • Jewelry Closet – Mount on the wall to solve all of your jewelry organizing dilemmas – from Stacks and Stacks.
  • Earring holder – from Stacks and Stacks.
  • Hanging jewelry bag – from Lillian Vernon.
  • Watch box – from QVC.
  • Needlepoint fabric or felt – Glue fabric or felt onto the back of picture frame (glass and frame backing removed). Push post earrings through the fabric or felt and secure with post on the back.

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Ask the Organizer

We’re excited to include another submission to The ‘Shrink Rap’s “Ask
the Organizer” section. Please continue to submit your questions by
e-mailing them to
Every submitted question related to organizing will be included in a future issue of The ‘Shrink Rap.

Q: What are your thoughts on metal vs. plastic vs. wood hangers?
– Ally, Wisconsin

A: Dear Ally,
Three words of advice – NO METAL HANGERS! Actually, metal hangers are okay IF they are covered in a fabric, padding or plastic. These slack hangers are a great example of an acceptable metal hanger. But if you are talking about those hangers you get from the dry cleaner, just toss them or take them back to the dry cleaner to be recycled. Metal hangers stain and crease your clothes and get tangled in your closet. Typically plastic vs. wood is a matter of preference. If your concern is space and cost, go with plastic. They’re cheaper and take up less space. If your concern is appearance and durability, go with wood.

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Need more help getting organized? Call Cluttershrink® for more information on receiving hands-on assistance organizing your home, office or relocation. Phone consultations, customized seminars, mentoring for new organizers and gift certificates are also available. Call 215.431.0590 or e-mail Crystal Sabalaske at

Posted in Accessories, Ask the Organizer, Budget friendly, Clothing, Organizing, Recycling, Storage, Storage bins, Tools