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Organized Households Support Group - Page 2

post #21 of 120
I am so in.

I became a SAHM about a year ago, when dh and I moved and he started his career as a minister and we had our first child. Before this we never really bothered to clean / organize, because we lived in a suburb and both commuted to work every day and spent a lot of time out of the house on weekends, so the mess didn't really bother us because we were never home. But now that we live in a small town and dh is a recognizable face everywhere, we must have a relaxing and organized home to retreat to. So I've spent the last year decluttering and figuring out how to keep the house clean and relatively tidy every week. But things are still pretty disorganized, because we don't really own any organizational stuff. For example, for the longest time we had one clothes basket, that we also used as a hamper, even though there were three of us. Now we have 4 - one for our room, one for ds' room, one for towels and dish cloths in the laundry room and one for clean clothes. So my big task for the year is to get all that organizational stuff (hooks and hangers and bins and baskets and shelves and wracks) so that we can get organized. Also to keep refining the clean and tidy routine. And to pick up after my very busy 15 mo old.

I do general laundry about twice a week, usually Thurs. or Fri. and Monday, and then I do diapers one other day, too. I'm really good at starting laundry, but I often leave it in the dryer or the basket (folded or unfolded depending on my mood and degree of incentive) indefinitely. So dh will ask "Where is my green shirt?" and I"ll be like, "Oh, its folded up in the clothes basket in the middle of the living room". But I hate trying to fold and put away laundry with ds in tow because he thinks its hilarious to pull everything out of the basket and unfold it again, so I wait until he goes to sleep, and then by the time that happens and I get the nightime tidy / clean done I really don't feel like folding laundry and / or I don't want to wake him up (we co-sleep, too). So I guess I just have to fold and put away the laundry immediately despite these obstacles.

ETA: I always set my subscriptions on the "no email notification" setting so I don't get my inbox cluttered up with MDC stuff. Just a thought.
post #22 of 120
Originally Posted by corrie43
We don't own any clothes that need to be ironed. If they are wrinkly a quick dry in the dryer with a damp rag takes care of it. That helped a lot.
We have a great iron and it was very expensive and a wedding gift. But I can count one one hand how often I have used it in a year. We do not do much iron clothing for the reasons mentioned.
post #23 of 120
post #24 of 120
my bathroom is driving me nuts (kitchen as well). i don't know what to do with it. we have a good sized closet, vanity and upper cabinet but I like things within easy reach, which means I like them on the counter and that just doesn't work with three other people using the bathroom. I should put a laundry hamper in there, we have one, just lazy. i can do that tomorrow and streamline the toys that seem to migrate in there. girls take all things into the tub (if they were able to) even dd's ducky.
now laundry is another matter. I never seem to have time to get it all put away without dd (15months) pulling it out. oh well...she will only be this age once.
post #25 of 120
Oh, I love this thread!!!! Count me in! This is my situation:

Shortly before we moved into our house a couple of years ago I read up on flylady and set up my notebook with all of my routines. The notebook is lovely with clear sheet protectors and tabs for each zone, etc.! I have never followed it! Just today I was thinking that I should give it a shot. (I am home for 2 weeks for winter break.) I don't subscribe to her emails.

What I hate about our house is the clutter. The problem is that it almost all belongs to DH. (I'm really not trying to blame and I'm far from perfect, but it is a fact that it's his stuff that's out!) He has zero organizational skills and leaves everything out so he won't forget about it. He writes important notes on envelopes (that haven't even been opened yet) and other scrap paper, so nothing can ever be thrown out. Ugh!!! Our coffee table, kitchen table, and kitchen island are all covered with his papers and other stuff and he gets very irked if I move it. And I won't even talk about the office. : So, even when I clean, the place is still a mess. We've been married 10 1/2 years and have been round and round about this and I don't see it changing. I can't stand it, but don't know what to do. Any ideas????

About the laundry, that is the ONE thing that I stay fairly caught up with. I used to be able to just do several loads on weekends, but now that we have ds I have to do it more frequently. We have 2 hampers in our bathroom (one for colors and one for whites), a hamper in ds's room, a hamper in the laundry room (for things that never make it upstairs), and the diaper pail. Diaper laundry gets priority. After that, it is whichever hamper is the fullest. I'm pretty good about throwing a load in before I leave for work. I often just let it soak all day, then finish the wash and dry it in the evening. I ALWAYS fold the laundry as I take it out of the dryer. I used to be great about putting it away right away, but now the folded laundry often sits in the basket until I need the basket again for more dirty clothes.

Alright ladies, inspire me!
post #26 of 120
Thread Starter 
: I got distracted and forgot to check-in on the thread. :

Oooh yeah laundry is a huge problem in this house. It gets piled-up on the dresser or : thrown on the floor much, much more often than it gets put away. It was mentioned in the other thread as well about paring down the overall amount of clothes - I immediately mentioned it to DH and he's totally on board. We're planning to clean-out all of our closets prior to Spring semester starting (when things *really* get crazy), I think we'll start with our closet since that's the biggest PITA.

My other priorities in terms of household organization/things I really need help with:

*Daily routine to get chores done
*Organizing my crafts (specially since the dog/yarn incident!)
*Keeping clothing put away
*Keeping bills / finances organized and paying things on time (as in, before the shut-off notice appears on the front door) - this one is HUGE for us.
*The. car. is. always. a. MESS. I think I need to put together some sort of over the seat trash catcher.

Hmm ... I'll have to come-up with a definitive to-do list.
post #27 of 120
Swimmin'mamma -- Check out MyMessyHouse.com (you may have to Google it to find it). They have great suggestions for daily routines.

Trini -- My dh used to do the same thing, but he also likes things to look tidy. So now about once a week I take everything that belongs to him from around the house and I put it in the middle of the computer desk in the office. Then it is not cluttering the rest of the house and it will drive him crazy until he deals with it. .

Before, when he was worse at cluttering things up -- he is as organized as the rest of the house is, it seems -- I would periodically file everything in a file marked "Dave's Stuff -- May 2004" or whatever, and put it in the fileing (filing?) cabinet. Again, that way it is out of sight, but he can still "find" anything he needs.
post #28 of 120
well I did it, I organized the bathroom and I feel so much better. I decided to put the hamper in the hall instead of the bathroom, since it seems that everyome drops stuff off there anyway. I also found my desk again. I got things filed and eveything is not only tidy but i know where it is.
post #29 of 120
Trini, The book I am reading now has a section on keeping a day planner with a section for notes and all that good stuff to get rid of the paper clutter. I wonder if that would be helpful for your dh?

The book is Totally Organized by Bonnie McCullough. Its an older book but so worth the read IMO.

Or maybe some type of PDA would keep his notes all together? Or maybe he would just loose it
post #30 of 120
Thread Starter 
So, I finally tackled that pile of laundry which was threatening to eat us and overthrow the government (not that I would mind someone overthrowing the government, just don't want it to be done by my pile of laundry ). I took it all over to my Mom's house (swearing and cursing myself for letting it pile up again) and it took almost a day and a half to finish it all.

Crucial time here, folks! Five baskets and one bag of laundry. One woman. One decision.

So I came over here to try and get some motivation.
post #31 of 120
JIll and mom to l&a, thanks for your suggestions.

Jill, sometimes when I get totally disgusted, I stack it all up and put it in one place like you suggested. Usually it just sits in the stack, sometimes he deals with it, or more often he just complains that he can't find stuff now. Sometimes I leave things out, too, but the difference in our clutter is that my stuff has a system and I just haven't put it away. He has no system and therefore no place to put the stuff. I do agree that the more organized the house in general is the more organized he might be. So I'm going to get in gear and hopefully motivate him!

mom to l&a, Thanks for the book suggestion. I will look for it at the library. Years ago I read "Taming the Paper Tiger" and it had some good ideas, too. I've offered, but so far dh isn't into reading the books or even having me use the ideas to help him set up a system. However, I think once ds gets mobile and into all his stuff he may change his tune. Let's hope! Maybe I'll get him a day planner to get him started. Oooh! A PDA! Maybe the technology aspect would appeal to him.

brendon, a thought about your bathroom counter clutter issue. You say you have plenty of storage, but like things within easy reach. How about set up a little basket for each person with their "toiletry items" in it. Then when that person is using the bathroom they can have their basket on the counter and it can be put away when the place is tidied up.

swimmin mamma, Go put away your laundry!!! I assume that is what you are seeking the motivation for now that it is washed. (Yay!) That way you can totally cross "laundry" off your to-do list (for now at least since it is one of those perpetual jobs - well, all housework is, I guess). I make lists just so I can cross stuff off. So, go write down "put away basket 1, put away basket 2" etc. Then do it! Then you'll have 6 things to cross off. Oh, if I really need motivation, sometimes I offer myself little incentives for each thing I accomplish (some fudge, perhaps?).
post #32 of 120

Time management tips

Over the 5 years that I've been married and starting my family, I have gathered up many tips for running an organized home. First, never under-estimate what can be accomplished in a 10 minute phone call. I usually try and clean off the kitchen counters and stove in a short call. Spray the stovetop with a cleaner (I used Citru-Solv, or you can make a vinegar/water solution) and let it soak for 5 minutes. While that soaks, spray your counters and start wiping down. This includes taking things off the counter and putting them away.

Another great simple tip I learned was that whenever you leave a room, take something with you that belongs in the room where you are going or next to it. If you have stairs, place objects at the bottom step. Everytime you go upstairs, take those objects with you.
post #33 of 120

More organizing

NEVER put objects on your dining table. They have a tendency to sit there. When I get mail, I automatically sort it. This takes about 2 minutes total. Bills get put near the computer in the slot where we keep bills to be paid. Almost everything else goes into the recycle bin. Magazines go in the bathroom magazine rack.

Try and keep your main room in your house tidy. When people walk in, they will judge the rest of your house based on the main room. Always do a quick pick-up before bed or early in the morning.
post #34 of 120

Kitchen tips

I have so many kitchen tips. When I ran a catering business, I thought about writing a book or teaching time management classes. Here is a great tip for those of you who are into "fresh" produce. I love fresh herbs and use them frequently, but how many times have you bought them only to use them once and have them mold the next week. $3 down the trash. When you come home from the store, set aside 10 minutes to chop all your herbs. I use a food processor and then place them in a snack size LABELED ziplock in the freezer. Whenever you need a quick garnish or cilantro for your soup, viola, take out your zip lock and then stick it back in the freezer right away. These unthaw very quickly, so if you let it thaw and refreeze, it will become a lump of parsley instead of individual pieces. Enjoy!
post #35 of 120

Save your Veggies

No more rotten veggies in the deep abyss of your fridge...

I keep small tupperware or glass containers for chopping veggies when I bring them home from the farmer's market. I bought peppers when they were really cheap and abundant, then I spent about 15 minutes chopping them all. I sort them into 3 different colors, then a I made a big freezer ziplock with a 3 pepper mix to throw into stir fry. Take out what you need now and freeze the rest. I'm still using my peppers and eggplant that I chopped and froze this summer. I try to do this with all my veggies.

I find that if I have the veggies cut and ready to go in the fridge, then we eat A LOT healthier that week. I shred a small container of carrots, cut tomatoes, green onions, red onions, whatever you like. At the end of the week, whatever is left usually goes into the soup pot! Bon Apetit!
post #36 of 120

Paper mess

If you have little ones in school, you know what kind of paper can accumulate around the house. I use their kids size suitcases, and they keep their projects and scribblings in those. Every two weeks, we go through the suitcases, and I make them decide which papers are really special. Those we keep in the suitcase, the others, they put in the recycle bin. I must admit that I usually go through the cases once a month and toss some of the others. Then we store those away in the scrapbook or in a box. This way, it's not always you throwing away their creations...they are learning an important lesson about our natural resources (assuming you explain it to them).
post #37 of 120
Is my mom giving me a hint or what...one of my Christmas gifts was "Clutter Control"
post #38 of 120
Thread Starter 
post #39 of 120
I have added a small heavy duty cardboard box under our island for paper clutter and that has helped. hubby grabs it before taking out grabage and adds it to the recycling or we use it in the fireplace. dd brings home from daycare at least 4 paintings a day....4x3=12 at least....*ugh* we pick out what to keep and send, then we throw out or recycle the rest.

and we ahve added a bench with storage for shoes underneath, that has helped.
post #40 of 120
Great tips MontrealMom...
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