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Post your number 1 organizational tip here! - Page 3

post #41 of 103
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post #42 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penelope View Post
Get a decent vaccuum that you can easily tote around (a rechargeable little upright is great.) If vaccuuming is a chore, you won't do it. If you can just zip the vaccuum out and clean up spills or vaccuum the carpet, your whole house will look tidier.
I have to agree.

Dh and I have always lived in a one story house.

Then we moved 4 months ago into a 2 story. There is nothing more annoying IMO than hauling a vacuum up the stairs to do a quick job

I just have convince dh of this
post #43 of 103
Hmmm...some cool ideas.

Here's one of my favorites: hang a bulletin board near the washer/dryer. Pin stray socks to it. When its mate comes through, you know where the first one is!

Like so many others have said, though, I didn't get anywhere with all my Herculean organizing efforts until I got serious about owning LESS. Putting laundry away is easy if the closets and dressers aren't crazy full. I've learned to think of a closet as "too full" if more than 75% of its space is used. When my grandma moved last summer, she gave me four HUGE boxes of precious family photos, some going back 5 generations. I was so happy that I easily found room for them, in a safe place, without a big production! Now that's the kind of stuff I want in my home, not all the junk we used to have piled to the ceiling.
post #44 of 103
Everything - EVERYTHING - must have a place where it belongs.

If you find something that doesn't have a place, ask yourself if you really need it and if not, toss it. Then find a place for it, even if it involves tossing something else.
post #45 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmvh View Post
When we renovated our house, I had my husband put an outlet in the closet in which our vacuum lives. We have a canister vac and an entirely open downstairs with wood floors so the vacuum stays plugged in and just rolls right out, ready to go. Fortunately the cord is long enough to reach the entire space (no, it's not a long cord, it's a small space!).
Great idea! We just renovated our bathroom, and had a 4 recepticle outlet (GFI) installed inside the vanity cabinet, so the hairdryer, rechargeable toothbrush, dh's rechargeable razor, can LIVE in the CABINET and NOT ON THE COUNTER!

I have a container of basic cleaning supplies for each floor of the house.

DD (turning 3 in May) is figuring out that I am serious about her cleaning up her stuff before she can play w/ something else (she lost her crayons this morning for 24 hrs, very traumatic, but immediately started putting the puzzle away that I had been bugging her about for 2 days). we are a family and need to live together and respect the family space, so she can do whatever she wants in her room, but the common spaces are to be kept neat (i am hoping neatness in the rest of the house will spill over into keeping her room neat, well, and mine!).

i have small laundry baskets on each floor to collect little stuff like socks, rags and cloth hankies.

I have two areas (the dining room buffet and a dresser in the extra bedroom) whose drawers are full of stuff, I have no idea what is in there. BUT I have allowed myself to not worry about it because it is out of the way and there are much more important organizing/cleaning jobs, so I guess I would say prioritizing what to clean/organize by frequency of use and allow yourself to not stress about a few areas in the house until they are the priority.

Hmm, I guess my last one is finding the perfect spot for extra pillows/blankets, and cutting down on the amt. they are hard to store, take up a lot of room and need a well planned spot to live so they don't fall on your head when you open a closet door. I love the idea of having a daybed w/ storage futon as coffee table to hold the necessary bedding for the bed, I am trying to apply that to our pull out sofa and guest bedroom.

Great thread, full of great ideas!
post #46 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by sedalbj View Post
Great idea! We just renovated our bathroom, and had a 4 recepticle outlet (GFI) installed inside the vanity cabinet, so the hairdryer, rechargeable toothbrush, dh's rechargeable razor, can LIVE in the CABINET and NOT ON THE COUNTER!
Oh, I just love this! Several people have mentioned putting outlets inside cabinets and closets. We're planning to buy a new house in about a year and I'm so going to get creative with where I put outlets! For starters, I'm thinking I want one in a lower kitchen cabinet, behind a pull out drawer, so the toaster can stop living on the counter. And I can set the toaster in a big cake pan so crumbs don't escape (can't do that on the counter; it looks too ugly).

Love it when I come here and get cool ideas!
post #47 of 103
I would have to honestly say my #1 organizing tip is to *only* buy what you use & use what you have.
post #48 of 103
You guys have such great tips!
post #49 of 103
The sheets under the mattress idea is brilliant! We too have no linen closet. That was a tough transition when we first moved into this house as I had multiple sets of sheets for each bed and a TON of towels. We are now down to two sets for each of our beds (winter and summer) and one set for the guest bed. I used to feel like we needed more because when you have small children, thinsg get peed on. But I found that it was easier and much less fuss in the middle of the night to whip out a sleeping bag after an accident. No messing around with making the bed and then I could get rid of all of those extra sheets. Plus, it was another use for the camping bags that sit there all winter otherwise. Airs them out a bit

Also, it has been said before, but we really try to encourage people to give us "consumables" for gifts. Fancy foods we normally cannot get, wine, beer, candles, incense, tickets to events, gift certs to restaurants, college savings bonds, soap, bubble bath, etc...... Then we USE it ASAP. We used to be all about saving stuff for "special occasions". No more. We drink that nice bottle of wine and every bath can have bubbles.....until we run out anyway.
post #50 of 103
I'm massively unqualified to offer advice here...but the one thing that does help me is that you CANT organize clutter- it's CLUTTER and it shouldnt exist- no amount of containers or gadgets will help.
post #51 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmaze View Post
I'm massively unqualified to offer advice here...but the one thing that does help me is that you CANT organize clutter- it's CLUTTER and it shouldnt exist- no amount of containers or gadgets will help.
That is SOO true and I'm realizing this when trying to redo the guest room. Tooooo much stuff in there!
post #52 of 103
[QUOTE=uptownzoo;7273556]Hmmm...some cool ideas.

Here's one of my favorites: hang a bulletin board near the washer/dryer. Pin stray socks to it. When its mate comes through, you know where the first one is!

I think Ihave to try this. I have been known to dance around the house when I complete a load and all of the socks have their mates!

Yes, I too am still in culling the clutter land, little by little, and it is already helping.

Someone here said that a good way to get rid of a pesky object "that may be useful someday" is to imagine that I will never have to deal with it again. After I started looking around, with that thought in mind, I found lots more stuff that I am happy to never deal with again.
post #53 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmaze View Post
I'm massively unqualified to offer advice here...but the one thing that does help me is that you CANT organize clutter- it's CLUTTER and it shouldnt exist- no amount of containers or gadgets will help.
I'm going to quote this again because it is SO true.
post #54 of 103
I have to admit I'm kind of obsessive-compulsive about having a tidy home. Dh and I are both minimalists, so I don't really have knick-knacks around. I don't even like having curtains... just blinds.

A few things that I can think of that help me keep my house neat and tidy:

- Every morning, after I get dd ready and off to school, I get done what needs to be done... I don't put it off until later. Always, first thing is to make the bed. If I ran the dishwasher the night before, I put away dishes. If I have clothes on the line, I put them away. If the bathroom need scrubbed, I do that. Every morning. Sometimes everything is already done and I don't have anything to do, but if I get it out of the way first thing in the morning, I don't have to worry about it the rest of the day.

- If something needs to go upstairs, I put it ON the stairs, so it's in front of my face the next time I go upstairs. If there is something on the stairs, I don't go up empty-handed.

- I once timed how long it takes to put away a basket of folded clothes... about 3 minutes. Once I fold the clothes I layer them in order of how I'm going to put them away. I can go around to each room one time putting things away instead of running back and forth.

I really enjoyed reading this thread. I'm pretty organized already, but it's always helpful to read these tips and tricks.
post #55 of 103
I recently bought some smaller wicker baskets for laundry. I can pile three across the w/d and then load up by separate areas. My boys are upstairs and one of our boys and us are downstairs. It makes it easier to do laundry. Plus, I can just give a basket to the boys and let them carry it. They aren't so big and bulky for them to carry.
post #56 of 103
We recently downsized our home, by about 700 sf (and we're adding two people in a few months ). So organization is key! Donate boxes are numbering 12 and counting!!

Love the bulletin board by the dryer!

My biggest piece of advice...get RID of the junk drawer! There is no human way to organize the thing and keep it organized! We use this instead (got ours at Target for less than $10)! It hangs over the door in our entry way closet. Things that get stored in it change by the season, but generally we keep:
* Hats, mittens, gloves, lock deicer in the winter.
* Sun hats, sunscreen, bug repellant in the summer.
* My pair of cheapie flip flops for quick trips to get the mail or the neighbors.
* Umbrella
* Up high we keep pet meds, nail clippers, etc. Also store pet combs/brushes, leashes and doodoo bags for walks.
* DH has a pouch of his own for his work id, wallet, keys, sunglasses and cell phone so they don't end up on the counter or table.
* Cell phone and PDA chargers.
* On occasion we'll store batteries and single light bulbs for quick changes.
* Lint brush
* Flash light

We have no storage in our bathroom other than a small medicine cabinet. I've started using a second organizer in our hall linen closet. It's not full, but contains:
* Extra bars of soap
* Bottle of vinegar/water for quick clean ups as well as a few rags
* DD's comb and detangler
* Spares of any products we use
* Lint brush (pets shed A LOT)
* Hair dryer and curling iron (these don't get used a whole lot )

I love this idea so much that even if we had bifold doors, I'd screw the holder onto the side or back of the closet. It's been a lifesaver!
post #57 of 103

Laundry tips

For socks: It seems like everyone gives us cute little patterned socks to match the kids' outfits. I don't use them. Each kid has approx 10 pairs of identical white socks--different from one another. (adults get a little more variety, but not much.) I don't pair socks, just dump them into sock drawer, they are all the same anyway.

For little tiny socks, breast pads, etc. I put them all in a lingerie bag before washing/drying, then dump entire bag into my dresser drawer and put lingerie bag into laundry hamper for transport back to laundry room w/dirty clothes. This means that the baby socks are stored in my underwear drawer, but heck, they are not sifting through the load of laundry to be picked out one by one!

-dflanag2
post #58 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
I have to admit I'm kind of obsessive-compulsive about having a tidy home. Dh and I are both minimalists, so I don't really have knick-knacks around. I don't even like having curtains... just blinds.

A few things that I can think of that help me keep my house neat and tidy:

- Every morning, after I get dd ready and off to school, I get done what needs to be done... I don't put it off until later. Always, first thing is to make the bed. If I ran the dishwasher the night before, I put away dishes. If I have clothes on the line, I put them away. If the bathroom need scrubbed, I do that. Every morning. Sometimes everything is already done and I don't have anything to do, but if I get it out of the way first thing in the morning, I don't have to worry about it the rest of the day.

- If something needs to go upstairs, I put it ON the stairs, so it's in front of my face the next time I go upstairs. If there is something on the stairs, I don't go up empty-handed.

- I once timed how long it takes to put away a basket of folded clothes... about 3 minutes. Once I fold the clothes I layer them in order of how I'm going to put them away. I can go around to each room one time putting things away instead of running back and forth.

I really enjoyed reading this thread. I'm pretty organized already, but it's always helpful to read these tips and tricks.
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post #59 of 103
My very best organization tip: lists. I find if I don't have a list of "things to do" or "errands to run" or "things to fix in the house", I lose my mind. sometimes things stay on the list for a while, even past the point of even being relevant anymore (i.e. fix fireplace--I'm replacing it after looking at the list for so long). I also declutter a lot, and find that if I'm trying to find a place to put something, I might not really need it. (like extra linens) (just got rid of enough to do bedding for 10 beds). also, I'll share an idea a friend of mine uses. About twice a year, she makes her kids do their 25 favorites (25 toys or toy sets that are their very favorite) she allows a couple more for family sharing toys, but everything else goes bye-bye. She noticed that she had a much easier time getting the kids to clean up, the kids were more mindful of their toys and playthings, and, since hobby materials are exempt, they tend to spend more time developing creative skills with hobbies and projects than with plastic dinos. (oh, but she does keep a couple toys from each kid as they outgrow them for when they're older and nostalgia and whatnot.)
post #60 of 103
When I know I need to clean a room, like the living room, I get frustrated because I don't know where to start, then I procrastinate because it seems like such a big job. But if I just get all set up to vacuum, the job usually gets done in the process. I have to pick everything up off the floor and put it away (usually to the laundry hamper, the garbage can/recycling bin, or the kitchen). Then I vacuum, and all I have left is the coffee table and couch. Ds likes to clean off the coffee table for me anyway (throw everything on the floor), so it's really just taking the blankets and coats off the couch. To recap, my tip was, vacuuming a room goes a long way. Wait, was that an organizational tip? Well, hopefully someone can use it :
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