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Adapt this interior designers' trick to your own purposes: Fill a mesh case (a ring binder or a folder works just as well) with a complete set of room and furniture measurements, fabric samples, and paint colors for different rooms in your home. Include ideas for projects planned or in progress -- and, of course, a wish list for those only dreamed about. Keep the information in your car or your bag, and you won't have to regret another spur-of-the-moment purchase.

Comments (17)

Anonymous
August 27, 2008
I have a mini version of this for clothing. I use a small ringed address book with pages of swatches/yarn samples/buttons. so that when I am out window shopping that adorable belt that is just not quite right doesn't come home with me.
Anonymous
August 26, 2008
I've been doing this for years. I use an accordian case (designed for coupons). Each section contains information for each room in the house. I use index cards to note room size, window size, etc. I even note types of light bulbs and wattage for light fixtures according to room. And I put the appropriate paint and fabric samples in each slot, as well.
Anonymous
August 26, 2008
I reuse the clear plastic zippered pouches that sheets or duvet covers come in. They are very sturdy (I even have a small tape measure in mine) and you can see all of the contents easily. I can just grab the whole pouch if I am shopping for some renovation project.
Anonymous
August 26, 2008
Thank you Martha and staff. This has come at the right time for me. My husband and I are remodeling the first floor of our home. I have been walking around with a floor plan, cabinet style books, window sizes, door styles appliance specs and models # etc etc... Another blessing from your wise staff and daily emails. Charlotte C. Nelson
Anonymous
August 26, 2008
A great idea for the those scrapbook pages you're planning but haven't got to yet. Insert page design, embellishments, etc. Then when you're ready to put it together, everything (except possibly paper-because of size) is there. No more searching. Brads, ribbons - any small items could be placed in small zip lock bags.
Anonymous
August 26, 2008
I've done this for 3 houses and have saved myself a lot of unnecessary "running around". I use a 5 inch 3 ring binder and have pocket dividers for each room to hold pictures, measurements, paint chips, fabric samples. I have found the pictures very helpful to show the sales person, so he/she gets a feel for the look I want. I also include a zippered pencil case to hold tape measures, pens, pencils, etc. A business card page is also helpful. Put YOUR contact info prominently in it also.
Anonymous
August 26, 2008
As an interior designer, I know what items I need in this kind of kit. But, this can be a challenge for someone who is not. One of my favorite gifts to give is a kit that's published for Home Depot available in their paint department titled "Color Solutions Journal, Ultimate Paint Project Organizer." A binder complete with color wheels, 8 tab dividers with paint/fabric/photo pockets, and gusseted storage pockets (carpet
Anonymous
August 26, 2008
I usually carry a credit card wallet with paint chips, small fabric samples, and some room measurements in my purse. This is a great idea that would expand on what I have.
Anonymous
August 26, 2008
Where can I get a mesh case? A source would be very helpful. Ann
Anonymous
August 26, 2008
Do this!! Having the paint colors, samples and even the warantees for your laminate flooring, water heater etc. to give to the person you sell your house to....Wow!! What a gift! I've seen a well done notebook with samples actually increase the value of a well decorated house!!
Anonymous
August 26, 2008
Cool! I already have a mini-version of this in my purse, in a small pouch...comes in handy. If I am needing something specific for the house, I write down the measurements and pop them in the small, clear zipper pouch that I keep in my purse, and I am ready whenever I have a few minutes to shop. I also keep some paint color strips of my colors (or a magazine picture that I like) in there, too.
Anonymous
August 26, 2008
A good idea for any info you need kept together-do this for taxes. File all receipts needed for tax purposes in your office area. At tax time, you'll have all the info needed to do taxes. File them by what form the deduction was entered on
Anonymous
August 26, 2008
What a grand idea! I have worried myself crazy at the store trying to remember the size table cloth, rug, curtains I need. Thank you. thank you. Who thinks up all this wonderful stuff, anyway?? Chuckle.
Anonymous
August 26, 2008
I always keep a little plastic envelope in the car with paint swatches
Anonymous
August 26, 2008
I've been doing this for years. All of the folders are stacked in a hanging file holder attached to the inside closet door of my spare room. It's a great resource and the perfect place to store all of those clippings from magazines. It's also funny to look at them a few years later and say, "what was I thinking!"
Anonymous
August 26, 2008
I never realized this was commonly used by decorators! I use this method for all sorts of projects, and it works so well... every room, every quilt, every reno job all have their own little file (I'm going to get a pouch for shopping ease)... I thought I needed to do this just because I couldn't remember everything, and because we take our time with things. I prfer the idea that I am just organized! Thanks!
Anonymous
June 23, 2008
Another one to add to so many "how didn`t I ever think of this". Thank you Martha. Even if I don`t carry it about it is surely useful to have all this information gathered any time you need them.