Monday, 9 June 2008

Need maps? Look for junk mails.

My friend has been asking me for the direction to Standard Chartered Bank in Kajang. I am bad at giving directions and soon she was asking me again. So, I went through my pile of junk mails and sure enough, I found an advertisement of a shop near the bank and it has a map to it.

Most advertisements come with maps to the location of the shops advertised. I especially like the ones promoting new housing estates. These maps usually highlight amenities like shopping complexes, schools, hospitals, train stations, etc. In some maps there are also markings for commercial buildings, hotels, restaurants, clubs, police stations or prominent housing estates around the development.

Since I was looking through the pile, I decided to salvage some of the useful materials before I put them out to recycle. So, what else could I possibly find useful in junk mails? Here are my 7 useful ways with junk mails:

1) I keep maps of shops and places I would like my family to go to. That way their father will not have to crack his head wondering where we can go during the weekends.

2) Sometimes my children become very frustrated when they are not able to tell me the name of a product or a particular brand they want on the shopping list. So, I kept pictures of stuff and groceries that I tend to buy for the family. They are able to identify the items better by looking at the pictures. The ones for food and vegetables are used to label what I store in my fridge.

3) Advertisements printed on one side only. With price of fuel up, I am sure that price for paper product will go up too. Now my children can draw on the blank side of the paper or create cut outs with them. And, to inspire their creativity, I also collected advertisements with cute drawings on them.

4) I remember how upset I became when my children advised me too late that they need colour paper for their school projects and we are out of them at home. So I cut out coloured paper off advertisements that are of a large usable size. I also keep those colourful advertisements printed on manila cardboard thickness paper.

5) I also look out for advertisement of the toys and electronic stuff my children hanker for. That way they can use them to decorate the chest of drawers and file holders I have created out of cardboard boxes for them. I told them that I have informed their father of this project and they are not to bother their father about getting them again as he can see the stuff for himself. I told them that it will be their affirmation board in getting the things they want.

6) Items in pictorial advertisements that are printed in Malaysia are usually labeled in English and Malay. I find them very useful as a teaching aid for language and...

...maths. You can teach the children to judge the value of a product not on its unit price but also based on the volume and quantity it is supplied. They can also learn the different type of measurements used for liquids and solids.

7) Don't you hate it when you need to get things done but you do not know the name of the material or equipment you require? How are you going to tell your supplier or repairman about it? If this is the scenario you are often in, then it is time to collect advertisements like these:

If you have the time, you can read 5 more useful ways with junk mails that I have written earlier.

Among my box of junk mails, I found this label that was attached to one of the clothes I bought. I did not think that it would be useful until I took a closer look at it. It indicates on one side, women's tops in European and American size and on the other side, women's bottom. As it is small enough for me to slip into my purse, it will be very handy for me to decide the right size to buy when I come across one with European sizes. So, I am keeping that.

That's a lot of paper cuttings to keep and you maybe thinking that it is too messy a project to start on. But if you sort your cuttings out neatly in clear A4 size plastic holders, you can store them neatly on a book shelf.

And I do not see why your family members will not help you in this project since it will benefit them as well.

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