Printable Planners

Martha Stewart Living, Volume 2004 Late Summer 2004

This year, we're helping you keep your promises. Print our Resolutions Planner for organizing ideas, tips on healthy living, a handy birthday reminder chart, and more. Here's an excerpt:


To create a multitasking yet visually appealing bookcase, try these tactics: Instead of pinning up loose papers, clamp together like items, such as dry-cleaning slips or concert tickets, with metal clips from an office-supply store. Choose ones with holes so you can hang them from tacks. Arrange reference materials in magazine holders labeled with titles and dates. Handsome boxes printed with transfer labels conceal manuals, warranties, and loose photos, while a wire in-box and mail sorter help manage day-to-day corre- spondence. Save space by placing a calendar in a blotter on your desk.


BOOKSHELVES When it comes to arranging your books, it helps to know yourself. Books don’t belong in trunks under the bed, or stuffed three deep on a shelf; most of us want them accessible. The trick is to respect your particular reading patterns and tastes.


Once the books are in the right locations, organizing them should be easy. You don’t need the Dewey deci- mal system, and simple alphabetizing may be beside the point. Usually, it is better to organize by subject or category (nature, American history), and then either chronologically or alphabetically by author within the subject. Martha organizes her art books alphabetically by artist and subject matter, and the others by topic and then by author. It works. “I know where everything is,” she says, “and I can always find the books I’m looking for.” Others organize first by topic, then by size: tall to short, left to right.


Once they’re organized, the care of books is straight- forward. You should keep them clean; an old-fashioned feather duster will do the trick nicely. Once a year or so, take everything off the shelves, dust thoroughly, and vacuum. Don’t subject them to extremes of heat or humidity. Dampness is the worst enemy of books, so if you think they might be getting mildewy, buy a dehu- midifier, and keep it running. Be sure not to cram books too tightly on the shelves, or you will harm the bindings. If you have piles of books, don’t stack them too high, and make sure to rotate the volumes so that no particu- lar book is subjected to too much pressure. Rare books should be covered in paper or Mylar or, if they’re fragile, kept in a specially made cardboard box.



A few organizational tricks will result in a tidier drawer. First, a drawer isn’t necessarily the best place for socks; if your drawers are small, lining up plastic bins on a closet shelf may work better. If you do use a draw- er, placing a sectioned plastic tray inside is an easy way to divide it. One idea is to sort socks by type (sports, casual, dress) and then place them in different compartments. That way, when you need to grab a pair of dress socks for work, there’s no need to dig through piles of all kinds. Another smart way to stay organized is to start by buying several pairs of the exact same socks—they are easier to match, and with fewer choices, you won’t spend as much time rummaging around in your drawer.


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