Organization tips and ideas?
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March 3rd, 2013, 01:56 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western Chicago Suburbs
I definitely don't have the most organized house in the world. Right now, my priority is using systems that the little kids can work with, so it doesn't always look pretty, but everything has a place that is easy for them to remember. For example, when they were tiny, they had these cute shelves and bins and everything was perfectly ordered in there (by me). Now, I don't have time for that anymore and I think they're getting old enough to take some responsiblity for their own things. So, Baby toys go in a big basket in baby's room, Evelyn's room has the doll houses and my little ponies in bins, Matilda's room has 2 drawers full of Barbie and Barbie's stuff and a big toy box for the baby dolls and stuffed animals. They know where all their stuff goes, so it gets put away. However, "put away" really just means uncerimoniously tossed into a deep container. So, often it's not pretty, but they can do it themselves and the toys are't left out everywhere. And, if they are left out, I come around with a garbage bag to "throw them away" and that usually gets them hoppin'. If they still need another nudge, I'll actually toss the toys in the bag and let them earn back one toy per day by doing an extra chore.
I keep a large portfolio for each of the kids who are in school to store their artwork in and I have a tray on my desk for all the bills. The trash can is between the mailbox and my desk so junk mail is sorted out before I even put the bills down. I pay the bills online so I have a record, but, just in case, I write the date and amount paid on the stub and store them for a year. Each type of bill (water, electric, credit, etc) is stored in a separate manila business envelope in my desk drawer so it's super simple to file them every month. And, at the end of the school year, I scan the artwork, pick out the favorite pieces to decorate the playroom with for the summer, if there's something REALLY special I'll put it away in the kids' special items box and I print the scanned drawings into a shutterfly photo album with some pictures and stories about their school year over the summer, then that big portfolio of artwork hits the circular file and we start again in September.
I use Amazon Prime (and Mom) and have subscription for things like soap, toilet paper, diapers, wipes, dog food, etc, and our milk is delivered every week so we never run out of the essentials. And I menu plan to make the rest of my shopping easier and more organized.
And, for chores, I keep a schedule so I know what type of laundry/baking/cleaning needs to be done on each day so it all keeps moving and so I can ask for specific help if I'm sick.
And DH and I rely on planning meetings to keep all the shuttling to and fro handled, especially now that we have his full time job, kids with classes and appointments, his MBA work and my OB appointments. We meet weekly to discuss the next week's schedule and events to make sure someone is assigned for each of the driving tasks and quarterly we have a longer meeting and hire a baby sitter or send the kids to the grandparents so we can review our finances in depth, look at our investments and revise our budget as well as discuss our goals and next steps to make sure we stay on the same page.
So, I have systems we've worked out that make things run more predictably for us, but my house certainly isn't ready to be in a Real Simple magazine spread or anything! I'm working on my Spring Cleaning/repairs/improvements list right now and I can't wait to check back on this thread for some great ideas I should include! I just recently found a pin about organizing the medicine cabinet (mine is a MESS!) and it's already on the list, that bad boy is going to be managed! lol
Mom to four beautiful girls
Matilda (6), Evelyn (5), Adelaide (3), Cecily (20 months)
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