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Sunday, 18 May 2014

Organising Series: Part 3: Notebooks

Today's instalment in my mini organising series is all about my shopping organisation.  I have only recently started using this system because the way I used to do my shopping was very chaotic and inefficient.  I would go out into town with a vague idea of what was needed and come back without the very things that I went for! Not to mention unused discount coupons and offers that would have been useful, had I remembered them before they went out of date!

So, armed with information gained from Pinterest (I have a useful board on organisation here) and after watching a few youtube videos, I set about getting myself an efficient shopping system.

First of all, I put a notebook & a pen in lots of different rooms in my house so that I can write down what I need immediately that I think of it.  I have notebooks in my craft room, my bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen and the lounge and when I need to go shopping I go into each room in turn gathering all the lists together.

Kitchen Notebook

I list all the items on my iphone using an app that I've recently discovered called Cozi.  It's linked to my husband's phone and either one of us can get the items needed when we are out and about.  When we cross the items off it crosses them off both our lists which I think is super duper clever as it saves us getting duplicates.

Back onto the Shopping Organiser...
This was bought from Staples and is called an 'Arc' organiser.  What I like about it is the pages are punched so they can be moved around, unlike a normal notebook.  This is a useful facility when you have changeable content.

Opening it up, you can see I keep my store cards in the front:
 ..and all my vouchers in named plastic wallets in the back.
This is a sample page of store cards in the business card wallets:
The business card organiser was bought separately and made by Adoc. They have the same size of punched holes as the arc. 
The A5 plastic wallet pages I use are made by Adoc but Arc make them too.  
I've labelled each shop I get discount vouchers for and put everything I have to do currently with that shop in its own wallet page:
I highlight dates, to make sure that I know to use them (if I need or want to!) before they expire.  I can also see when I need to remove them.  (The plastic wallets are useful for seeing both sides of a voucher too).
In the back pages I have some lined and graph paper for various notes. Here I have put all the Opening Hours of  my local supermarkets, just in case the need arises to go to a certain one for emergency bread or tea bags at 6pm on a Sunday!:
 This is page 1 of 3, we have a whole set of local supermarkets and luckily I'm not loyal to any!

So, this is my system, hope you found it useful (and not just a tad obsessive?!...) Join me again soon for some more organising tips,
{Creative Flourishes}


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Organisation Series Part 2 Handbag

I have loads quite a few handbags and with the weather warming up I thought I would be brave and start to use one of my 'good weather' cotton handbags.

Since I've been on a bit of an organising frenzy lately, I thought I'd show you a few of the ideas that I have found that are working well for me at the moment.  I say 'at the moment' because I do switch about if I find a technique that I thought would be perfect simply isn't working.  

OK, let's start with the contents as a whole:
Here we have the bag, a Shopping Organiser (containing all my shop cards plus other interesting info, I'll tell you about that in my next post), my pencil case, umbrella, 'gubbins' bag (details to follow), glasses case, coin purse, charity craft magazine, notebook (closed with a hair band) and my notes & cards wallet. 

In detail, we have my pencil case, which is a make up bag that is in clear plastic so I can see which pen I want (I have moods which dictate which particular pen I want to write with at any given moment.  Hopefully I'm not alone in this..?)
My glasses case:
...which isn't exactly glamorous, but really helps me find it in the darkness of the handbag's black lining. 

My coin purse:
Again, clear plastic.  I love seeing at a glance whether I have the right change for something.  Before I had this I used to hand out notes at the cash desk, rather than struggling to count out the correct change which meant that I ended up getting lots more unnecessary and heavy change in return.  I'm really pleased I changed (groan!) to this type of purse.  The purse, incidently, is called a 'Clippy'.

This charity magazine was in my bag because I just happened to have bought it from 'The Stroke Association' when I attended one of their open days recently:
It has some interesting items to make and includes the instructions.  A useful item to peruse in a coffee shop, preferably with a cake...

And then there's my notes & cards wallet (the blue & green item on the bottom row).   I keep all my notes(£)  in there, along with my bank and library cards.  Store cards are kept in the Shopping Organiser, which as I said will be a whole new post.  

Finally, the gubbins case and its contents and they are:
1. Personal items 2.Tissue packet 3.Comb 4.Emergency pound coin holder, straight from the 1980's!  5.Teeny Paper knife  6.Pocket game called the 'Left-Right' game. We love playing this as a family whilst waiting for food in cafes and it's great for keeping the boys out of mischief too!  7.Hearing Aid Batteries for me  8. Pink Swiss Army emergency set, including scissors and tweezers  9. Photos of boys in Paperchase wallet. 10. Plasters. 11. A clothes stain remover pack  12.Lipstick and lipbrush  13. Anti Chaffing cream for when my glasses rub my ears 14. Mascara  15. Stylus for my phone and 16. Bubblegum flavoured lip balm.

Not much make up but then I don't wear it very often.   If I do, I put it on before I go out.

There are pockets in the front of the bag where I keep my keys:
This for me was a very useful tip.  The amount of times I've struggled in the rain outside my front door,  pulling all the stuff out of my bag to try and find my keys.  This simple idea has greatly increased my sanity levels.  (I have also put red tape on my car door key, it looked so much like the ignition and this alone has saved me countless minutes...)

Finally (phew! very long post), I have my phone and emergency chargers:
Again, kept so that the phone can be grabbed rapidly, if it rings.  That was another thing that used to get lost amongst the abyss that was my bag previously.

Thanks for stopping by today. See you soon for some more organising tips,

 {Creative Flourishes}

Monday, 12 May 2014

Organising Series: Part 1 Craft Bag

Hello again! This week I'd like to show you some of the techniques that I've been using recently to contain some of my everyday clutter.  Today's 'show and tell' is about my travel Craft Bag which is where I keep my every day Filofax (This one is from WHSmiths and called a 'Clipbook') and also my art journal, (not pictured), stored underneath the Filofax.

The bag itself I think is one that people normally use for beauty products and I was very pleased to obtain it for just £5 from my local Cancer Research shop.  It was brand new and in immaculate condition, yay! Being black, it doesn't look that exciting from the outside, but that doesn't really matter as it's what's inside that counts, isn't it?

And what a lot there is!  This is it all rolled out showing you (nearly!) everything I've managed to cram into all the nooks and crannies of the bag.  Hopefully you can read the labels OK, you may need to click onto each of the individual pictures though.  I've broken down each of the sections so you can see them in more detail.

I was also so pleased to find the label 'Stamping Up' punch (top right) at another charity shop for just £1.50! What a bargain!  I've never seen one before (at these places) and probably never will again.  You do have to get things as you see them though.

When preparing this post, it did make me realise that I've got an awful lot of glue in there, but that's OK, they are different types and I never know which one I'm going to need so 'it's all good'.  I do love having some of my favourite art products all in the one place, and this system makes it so easy to just grab them when I need to. 

The main compartment was a bit difficult to photograph as it contains loose items, but you should be able to get the main idea.

A bonus tip for you:  If you wrap some 'Press 'n' Seal' around your opened packet of baby wipes they still stay moist when the sticky goes. 

I have put some more pens in the Derwent Pencil Wrap which rolls up and that is sealed with velcro.

Lots of lovely colours!

I love washi tape and use it to decorate my filofax diary entries, it's great for adding a pop of colour onto a boring black and white page. 

...and Supaclips are a much more fun and colourful alternative to staples too! 

Not forgetting the side pocket:
...and finally, in the outside zip pockets (see top picture) I keep my magazine cuttings & stickers that I also add to my journal and filofax. 

Please join me for the next episode in my organising series where I will be showing you the contents of my handbag,

Nicky {Creative Flourishes}

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