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mom2more March 3rd, 2013 11:18 AM

Organization tips and ideas?
I feel like my house is clean, but not organized if you know what I mean. I have been looking at pinterest and getting some ideas to help organize with things I already have.

Wondering if you all have any organizational tips? Any organized closets or areas you are willing to take pics of an post to give me ideas? I pretty much plan on tackling a project a week around here from bathroom cabinets, to hall closets, to kitchen cabinets, to bedroom closets till I am done!

Jenilope March 3rd, 2013 02:56 PM

Re: Organization tips and ideas?
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

MIL2lissy8 March 3rd, 2013 08:49 PM

Re: Organization tips and ideas?
wow - I always thought I was organized but you guys put me to shame.

a few things I do: I have a two-drawer plastic Rubbermaid-style cabinet in my closet that hold our bath towels and our sheets. I have a linen closet upstairs that holds same for those two bedrooms and the bathroom.

I also have a 5-drawer rolling cabinet (again like Rubbermaid) that I put all the family meds in. I label each drawer; colds, pain meds, band-aids etc, asthma meds, and general supplies. that way I can keep most of the stuff in my closet in one place. I have a tin bread-box on my kitchen counter with my daily meds in it as well as Wyatt's for when he is here (that way you cant see all the bottles and it looks tidy but its handy).
things have changed so much now that all the kids are gone. one thing I used to do was have one of those big Rubbermaid (see a pattern here?) rectangle containers with a lid -- big like a suitcase I guess. I labeled one for each kid and then I went through and put photos in, school work, report cards, anything special. I kept them stacked in the garage and added to them when necessary. when they moved out, I gave them each the box of their memories/stuff.

aside from that, I can't think of anything special.

Repti.Mom March 4th, 2013 08:19 AM

Re: Organization tips and ideas?
Everything has a place here. I don't keep clutter at all. There is one drawer here that is messy, and that is the one that we keep all the little household tools, extra cords etc in.

As for papers and school work, I don't keep the stuff. Ceramic things the kids make I keep unless (until) it breaks. Other really special things I take a picture of and post it on FB so it's kept there forever. I don't really get any paper bills either. I pay about 98% of stuff online.

There really isn't any special organization by color or anything. Shoes and coats go in the hallway, towels are in the bathroom etc.

MIL2lissy8 March 4th, 2013 09:11 AM

Re: Organization tips and ideas?
oh yeah, beth, you reminded me of something. I DID used to color-coordinate my kids. they each had their color of glass that sat out on the counter all day long so I didn't have a million cups to wash, their plates matched. their easter baskets, same thing. when the boys got shirts, I knew whose was whose by the color, for the most part. toothbrushes same thing too. and on and on...

#5in2005 March 5th, 2013 08:04 AM

Re: Organization tips and ideas?
My calendar is in the kitchen and everyone has a color, so that's how we know who is where and when. I write sleepovers and everything on there.
I know it's helpful to limit stuff and "a place for everything and everything in it's place but I'm sitting in my office and can barely see the floor or more than a square inch of clear surface space, so I'm not really any position to offer any advice.

This does make me want to go to Ikea!

MIL2lissy8 March 5th, 2013 03:02 PM

Re: Organization tips and ideas?
last year i bought a calendar at target that was amazing. it was basic black and white, 16 month but it had 5 pages of stickers, each page a different color. i gave each person/family a color and then when i was responsible for getting someone somewhere, i could look on that and see who's color was there. the best part was that if plans changed, the sticker came right off the calendar and you still had all the space left to add other stickers. now if i could only find another one.

mom2more March 7th, 2013 07:20 AM

Re: Organization tips and ideas?
Thanks for the ideas!!

I already do a calendar for everything. I have one of those cork boards hanging in our kitchen. On it is a calendar with EVERYTHING written on it. Each of us has a different color highlighter and I highlight everyones stuff in their color. I have the kids chore charts, highlighters, and any important papers for stuff pinned onto the cork board.

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