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Post your number 1 organizational tip here! - Page 5

post #81 of 103
I love doing the "if it needs to go upstairs, put it on the stairs" thing. It works so well!

Also, one of my favorite tips for keeping things clean is to tidy up a few times a day. This helps a lot when it comes to kids' toys. In the rooms where they play, I keep a large pretty basket (one is an antique laundry basket, and there's a smaller one in the living room). A couple of times a day, I go through the room and toss all the toys into the basket. It keeps the floors clear, and makes for easy "tidying up" when people come over.

In their playroom, we use bins and shelves.
post #82 of 103
I LOVE the bulletin board idea for the socks! Gonna do that one for sure! So many great ideas here.

I'm usually a pretty messy person, but over the past week I've been doing very well and here's what has been working for me:

I set aside 45 mins a day for cleaning. I split them into 30 mins for the kitchen, and 5 minutes each for any three rooms in the house. I set the timer and go. If DD interrupts, I just stop the timer, take care of her needs and then start it back up again when I can. I find that the 5 minute thing REALLY works well. I'm amazed at how much I can do in that small amt of time. When the timer goes off, I stop and move to another room, no matter how much momentum I have in the room I'm in. This way, I get something done in all the rooms: so instead of one clean room, and several messy ones, I have a "lived in" but completely acceptable look to all my rooms. I'm also finding that even though I started with some very messy spots, that the 5 minutes a day is letting me really get those under control.

One other thing I've started doing is putting a hand towel on my vanit to use to wipe my hands after toothbrushing, makeuping, etc. , and every three days or so, I use it to wipe down the vanity and the sink, put it in the wash pile and get a clean towel to put on my vanity. I also do something similar at the table. We have a community cuptowel on the table during meals instead of napkins, and after that meal, I use it to wipe off DDs messy hands, then the table, then the blast area she's created under the table.
post #83 of 103
My fridge is covered with lists! I rip scrap paper into little squares and use as needed. Currently I have:

--a shopping list
--a list of 'Things I need to get done today'
--a list of 'Household tasks which need completing at some nebulous future date'
--a quick-reference list of vegetarian meals, to inspire me to cook meatless more often
--a quick-reference list of vegetarian, dairy-free meals, for when my sister visits twice a week (I can never think of anything on the fly!)

My fridge also contains a Braille alphabet, a notice about the White Elephant sale at a neighboring school (hopefully to inspire me to dejunk) and a chart with daily food servings which is supposed to help me keep track of how much dairy, grains, fruit, veggies, meat/protein and water I consume. The latter would work a treat if I actually remembered to DO it (and if I could figure out how to categorise things like 'trifle'!).

But anyway. My 'to do' list today has 8 items, thusly:

--Make brownies for MIL
--Make chicken stock
--Get rust stains off teatowels
--Wipe down appliances
--Email A. (a friend)
--Make dinner (with remains of the chicken meat used for stock)
--Ring Dad to ask if he has a few theological tomes I want to borrow
--Make yoghurt

I accomplish such tasks by timers and rewards. For instance, I'll probably make myself put the chicken stock on to simmer before I get to dance to music and then have a shower, get dressed etc. Then I'll set the timer for maybe 15 minutes and accomplish as many of the tasks as possible before letting myself surf the web/have a lolly/chat to DH online. (Yes, I bribe myself with lollies!).

Call it childish, but it works for me.

Oh, my other organisation tip is re. the stock. I've taken to saving all 'stockable' veggie trimmings in a ziplock bag in the crisper. Celery trimmings, the ends of onions and carrots, that sort of thing. It's taken a while to get DH onboard--he's a kitchen klutz and occasionally forgets, throwing away good stuff or putting moldy carrot tops in the stock bag; but that's okay, learning process and all. Then when we (rarely) have a roast chicken, I just add the bones and the contents of the stockbag to water and voila. Or I make just plain veggie stock, which is much nicer than I expected. I freeze it either in big quantities for soup, or in one-cup quantities to jazz up a cheese sauce, etc. I know it's not the most original tip in the world, but it's one of the few things I actually DO; and it works!
post #84 of 103
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
Oh, my other organisation tip is re. the stock. I've taken to saving all 'stockable' veggie trimmings in a ziplock bag in the crisper. Celery trimmings, the ends of onions and carrots, that sort of thing.
Fantastic Idea!!
post #85 of 103
Such great ideas on here!

I am not exactly one to be telling others how to organize!

But, I do have a tip that has helped me. Earlier in my marriage, before I let clutter take its grim hold, I loved to collect various glazed vases, bowls and pitchers (nothing fancy, just yard sale finds). Then as time went on, I noticed with great sadness that they were sitting neglected, dusty and unused on shelves. I could no longer enjoy their beauty in such a state, and they were taking up space.

Then it suddenly came to me one day that I could use these items to hold other things...

For example, I used a lovely old blue pitcher to hold the bottle of dish-washing liquid at the sink. That way, I got to see and enjoy that pitcher every day, and it had a function! Likewise, I use a vase that my husband gave me as a Mother's Day gift to hold cooking spoons and spatulas on the kitchen counter. Previously, it had been languishing away on a shelf, collecting dust and only noticed when I had picked the occasional bunch of flowers. I needed something to hold the utensils, so instead of buying something new, why not use the beautiful gift that just happened to be the right size and shape? My husband was so pleased to see it utilized in such a way, and I smile each time I pull a spoon from it. I have another item, a beautiful glazed bowl, that sits on the counter to hold snacks and clothespins for closing all of those half-eaten bags of animal crackers and the like. A Hull pitcher holds pencils, and a small, squat little piece of pottery is great for loose change. An interesting old metal pitcher that my 96-year-old great aunt-in-law gave me is used to scoop chicken feed (it is too pitted and rusted for indoors). A coffee cup that my husband was given at work as an award is used to scoop laundry detergent (we already have plenty of coffee cups, and no one here even drinks coffee at home!).

Several of those pieces I got in years past are still unused, but as I de-clutter, I am thinking of more ways to make them a functioning part of my household instead of just more clutter.

I guess that seems kind of obvious, but for years I put such items on a shelf to "showcase" them, which ultimately led to their neglect. Now they are no longer uni-taskers... they can be enjoyed for beauty and function!
post #86 of 103
All of my drawers and shelves are labeled (on the inside, when closed the house looks normal. Really.) It helps me and my husband both put things back in the same spot vs when we each thought things went in different spots. The garage shelves are also labeled and it is the only way to maintain any sense of order in there at all.
post #87 of 103
this thread has so many great ideas i just cant wait to dive in headfirst and get rid of stuff....like my 2 year olds clothes...hes got 2 dressers and a closet full of clothes : he probably doesnt need that many and hes also beginning to outgrow a lot of them too so now is a great time to thin down.
i already went and put my 1 spare set of sheets under my mattress and it emptied out the trunk in my closet floor. now i can have a roomier closet
post #88 of 103
This thread has soo many ideas!
post #89 of 103
Making a schedule for the week and sticking to it! Every day I give myself one big cleaning task and one organizational task. For example Mondays, wednesdays and saturdays I clean the floor. Tuesdays are bathroom, thursdays are bedroom and friday is living room. Then each day I choose something on top of that... reorganizing a cupboard, for example. I also schedule errands for the week. For example friday is my market day, which means it is also my day to pre-chop veggies and organize the fridge. Then saturdays I do any bulk cooking or baking for the week. Sunday is my day off, but I still do all the necessary cleaning like the kitchen and I make the bed every day for example. I don't let myself go to bed with a messy kitchen. I try to do dishes and clean the kitchen after every meal. If I don't do that, it piles up, so I have to do it.

One thing I find helpful is to have an easily accessible place for things. DD's toys are stashed in stackable crates that she can get to. At her change station on the bed, I have everything organized and ready... I get this done in the morning. Blanket to change her on, toys for her to play with in a basket, cloth dipes and wipes, spray bottle all on hand in a little basket... all which are easy to move at night time. In the bathroom we have a place for evrything, including a colourful bucket for DD's bath toys, where I throw them all after she's done. Clean, easy and looks nice.

In our cupboards I have a shelf for things.... cleaning shelf for laundry stuff, cleaning agents, rags, buckets, iron, etc. Craft shelf. Towel and extra toiletries shelf. And for laundry, I'm going to get this thing from ikea that has three storage bins... so one will be for whites, one for darks, one for colours, and when one fills up, I do a load.

I just try to think of ways to make it easier to be organized. Keep it close on hand and put it in something pretty like a basket or colourful bin
post #90 of 103
Originally Posted by Lilcrunchie View Post
Store things near their point of use (cups near sink, coffee and coffee supplies in cabinet near coffee maker on counter if you leave it out, etc.)

Grouping supplies by function. In our kitchen we have our hand mixer, whisks, measuring cups/spoons, baking spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.) all together in one dishpan. Got this idea from some book I read (either Confessions of an Organized Homemaker or Sidetracked Home Executives I think?).
I think you got these ideas from Confesions! I loved that book!!!!
post #91 of 103
here is something i do.....

when i have an item that i:
1. cannot bear the thought of going to goodwill BUT cannot use anymore
2. has some use left like half used lotion or shampoo that i changed my mind about
3. would like to see recycled between my friends

i make a FREE box at my house....sometimes it's a bag

for example:

my mom bought me the biggest bag of disposable razors ever (even though i have a more eco one that is not plastic with replaceable heads)
and they are not goodwill material so they went in and i made some friends really happy because they really needed them.

sometimes i put in supplements and bodycare (not expired)

clothing that i would love to still see but can no longer wear go to thinner friends

candle holders i'm tired of looking at but would love to see at friends houses

any double kitchen items (maybe a friends has no can opener but i have 3)

anytime a friend comes over, i tell them to "Check out the Free box" and usually they find something, then you must PUT IT IN THEIR BAG or they will forget it.

i like giving stuff away to people i know first then goodwill. HTH

post #92 of 103
Originally Posted by Spring Sun View Post
Okay, I need some feedback. I am the most unorganized person. It comes from my family. My sister's husband calls her huge piles of stuff "Amy avalanches" and the term has spread like wildfire through my family since all the woman seem to have "Amy avalanches" all over their house. I am breaking the pattern. Now.

I have sorted through all of Elijah's toys and put them into clear bins. I took a picture of each toy and taped it to the end of the bin so he can pick out the toy he wants when we pull toys for the day. I am extremely proud of myself.

I am on a kick. I actually bought a wallet. You know, one of those things that keeps your credit cards and money in one place. It is great.

So, what is one thing you did to organize that you would like to pass on? I can't wait to hear!
** I clean one drawer or shelf every day. usually only takes about 10 minutes .
** Never leave the room empty handed
** Join flylady - very helpful
post #93 of 103
subbing so I can come back and read when I have time!
post #94 of 103
Definitely - never leave the room empty handed -- helps a lot when you are short on time... I walk around with a laundry basket all the time putting things back

anyone else out there have great ideas they would like to share?
post #95 of 103
I learned this from taking tai chi - make every movement count.

So - how I apply this to my life is to try and make "mindful" movements - like, for example, what a PP said about never leaving a room empty-handed.

When I come home, I try to stop and think about my car - think about taking in whatever needs to be taken into the house, right then. Not waiting until later.

I wish I could apply this to my finances! LOL!!
post #96 of 103
My house is always messy but it is clean and easy to clean up fast.

I have a large box in the garage. When I don't need something I put it in there right away. Then call the vietnam vets to pick it up. I never regret donating.

My childrens rooms are very kid friendly ...meaning they know where everything goes and I can say to my 2 yr old put this in the "ball bin" or in the "airplane bin" and he know where.

I don't do a flat sheet. It takes up too much time to make the bed. I just fitted.

I have in my hall closet among other things a small diaper bag, a large diaper bag and a purse. The diaper bags are stocked and I can just grab what I need and go.

I clean the kid's bathroom everyday as they play in the tub. I just use a hand towel and vinegar I keep stored under the cupboard.

Before Christmas or a birthday I go through toys to donate...so we don't get bombarded with more toys and no space.
post #97 of 103
Originally Posted by mamasaurus View Post
I learned this from taking tai chi - make every movement count.

So - how I apply this to my life is to try and make "mindful" movements - like, for example, what a PP said about never leaving a room empty-handed.

When I come home, I try to stop and think about my car - think about taking in whatever needs to be taken into the house, right then. Not waiting until later.
This will help me tremendously!!! I swear, sometimes I end up at the end of the day, with no idea how I got there or what I did all day...just going through the motions and not even noticing what I'm doing.
post #98 of 103
I didn't read through the whole thread--so forgive me if this is a repeat. NUMBER ONE:

ORGANIZE AROUND YOUR HABITS vs. trying to change your habits to accommodate organization.

If you know your tendency is to take off your coat the SECOND you walk through the door--find an attractive way to hang/store the coat near the door instead of trying to train yourself to put it somewhere else (this might not be the very best example but you get the idea--right?). The reality is that it will take 21 days for the new behavior to become a habit--and in the meantime, you'll likely be working on more than one... this can quickly become a mess.

This has been, by far, the best mantra when I am trying to organize and the ONLY way to live organized in spite of dh.
post #99 of 103

post #100 of 103
don't waste time 'organizing' what you should be tossing
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