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Tidying/Organising Tip

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Sounds simple but it really works - everything in my house has a "home" or place where it belongs. Whatever it is, if it is not in use, it has to be in its home.

Half the clutter is probably a result of having nowhere to put things or being unclear about where it should actually go. Things just sort of "hang around" and get shifted from place to place don't they.

If you don't have enough space to allocate a home for everything then you have too much stuff. Simplify.

I'll admit kids toys are a nightmare when it comes to staying tidy but I found that the kids actually preferred to just have a few toys out at any one time. Too many just overwhelmed them and they couldn't focus on what they were playing with. Just keep half a dozen or so out and rotate them with the rest weekly or something. That way they are sort of getting new things to play with all the time and the six you have out at a time can be kept tidy in a play box in the corner.

For everything else - decide on a home for it and be vigilant about just putting things away if they are not in use.

The system is made much easier by really sorting through your stuff and getting rid of a lot of things that you really don't need. Maintenance of less items is obviously easier.

It works! What could be simpler?
post #2 of 8
This is my downfall....I can not decide on where each things home should be :
post #3 of 8


your totally right! this is what i was telling dh but it doesn't sink in. i said if we haven't used <insert object> in the last two years, then it's very unlikely that were going to use it in the next two years.. and so we should give it away. my dh is from the "but what if..." catagory of people. nothing wrong with that, unless you live in a two bedder that is already packed, including the double garage, and are a mom to a toddler who loves to throw and rip up things that are just hanging around while you are asleep in the morning. :LOL my house is a disaster.
post #4 of 8
[QUOTE=mamamelia]
your totally right! this is what i was telling dh but it doesn't sink in. i said if we haven't used <insert object> in the last two years, then it's very unlikely that were going to use it in the next two years.. and so we should give it away. my dh is from the "but what if..." catagory of people. nothing wrong with that,

My dh too. The only thing that helps us is to think about the cost (time, effort, space) or keeping it vs. gettting it when you need it later.

I think it's okay to keep some things that you don't use everyday. But it's good to have a storage system of some sort. Things you use once a year don't have to be readily accessible.

FWIW my house is a mess too but I'm getting there. :LOL
post #5 of 8
Shortly before this thread was posted I was telling my dh that this coming Sunday was going to be the day to find homes for all the little lost objects in the house. :LOL

My next goal will be to tidy their little homes (i.e. drawers) so they can be comfortable and other little objects can live with them in the future.
post #6 of 8
Hear, hear. Once I figured this out, my housekeeping got exponentially better.

I'd also add a corollary, however: if you can at all, try to keep some space for expansion. Not too much space, as the OP said--in general I try to throw something out for everything new I buy--but that's not always practical.
post #7 of 8
I agree! Wholeheartedly! It's my recipe for success. One recent clutter-monster was the incoming mail - now I've got a basket in the office, it all goes in there until I go through it to pay bills. (I do throw out the junk mail when it first arrives.)

Woo hoo for tidyness!
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Yes the paperwork can be a real drag can't it and it builds up so quickly!

I have four storage areas for paperwork:

(Rule 1 - I throw store junk mail and obvious rubbish letter mail (offers for credit cards etc) away as soon as I clear it from the mailbox. It never hits the bench = 2/3 of problem gone immediately!)

Area 1 - On the kitchen bench where I can see it every day if I need to do something with it. ie. a bill, form for signature to go back to kid's school. etc

Area 2 - In largish wicker basket on top of microwave for things that don't need anything done with them and I don't need right now but might need in the next few weeks/months. ie receipts from stores, paid bills etc in case I have to return something faulty or there is a dispute about an overdue bill. They stay in the basket until it is full then these things are bagged, year labelled and held for one year in the attic then tossed out.

Area 3 - Large A-Z binder held in the kitchen cupboard for one year for things I must keep but probably won't need to refer to regularly. ie that year's paid insurance renewal, paid car registration, taxation returns, school reports, warranties and instruction books for new electric items etc. Transferred to filing cabinet after a year.

Area 4 - A-Z Four drawer filing cabinet in attic for things I also must keep but are old. ie contents of past years full A-Z binders.

Works for me! It's lovely starting each new year off with empty storage areas (except the four drawer filing cabinet) and knowing I know where things are and can lay my hands on what I need in the future.
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