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#1 of 120 Old 12-19-2005, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There was some interest expressed in TAO of having a household organization thread for Mamas to support one another in their efforts to get their households running smoothly. Here's a thread for Mamas who want to get their houses in order - decluttering, cleaning, organizing - all that.

I for one really need to figure out a system for getting chores done and keeping our house in general neat and organized. I feel like my house is always such a disaster area - it stresses me out so much!

So ... post your story, your small and large successes, and if you're an organized Mama - !


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#2 of 120 Old 12-20-2005, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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All right yous! Well ... maybe interest will pick-up later. In the meantime, I did join the Flylady list and have been checking out her website. Looks interesting, though I'm not sure I'll be able to keep up with the emails (a problem I've noticed a lot of people have when they try that system). I'll give it a try though.

I'm set and ready ... got my shoes on and laced up . Really not a bad idea, and it did totally help me change my morning behaviour. I made a list last night of the house stuff I want to accomplish this week (yeah, on a holiday week). I am on winter break and I really need to plan to make things happen over break.

If anybody wants to join in .... I'll be over here organizing my recycling.

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#3 of 120 Old 12-20-2005, 10:21 AM
 
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I'll join if anyone else does....

I think I'll take this time to go clean out the huge number of replies from MDC in my email box...

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#4 of 120 Old 12-20-2005, 10:28 AM
 
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You'd be horrified at the level of disorganization in my house. I didn't find flylady so helpful but that's partly because I'm not at home full time I think. Printing out her routines and sticking them in a binder and looking at that everyday is probably more useful than her email list, IMO.
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#5 of 120 Old 12-20-2005, 01:47 PM
 
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I'm in. I am pretty organized but right now, my normal decluttering is kind of on hold. Baby due in June and also we might sell our house so I am waiting to see- what we are having next month (if boy, I am selling, donating, giving all girl stuff away since we do not know if we will get another girl after that if we even have any more, if girl- got everything yay!) plus we might move stuff around for the baby's room in this house or move so I have to get the house ready to sell.

As far as organizing- what area are you looking for help?
$$
groceries, meals, pantry
laundry
paperwork/office stuff
toys
planning your day
keeping things and home clean
frugal tips
decluttering
storage
children
clothing
errands

Whew didn't realize it had that much to it! I too have done flylady and I took some great ideas from it. That started my decluttering two years ago and it has helped. But all those emails and having a control journal were not for me. Also, shoes on in my house is too germy for our tastes. But yes it streamlined many tasks and this house runs well.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#6 of 120 Old 12-21-2005, 12:34 PM
 
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Hey mamas, I made it over from the TAO thread. So where to begin?! I second the suggestion made on that thread about taking it room by room. For me, the smallest rooms were easiest to start with and the easiest to keep up with. So, generally when I want to begin an overall clean up, I go to my bathroom closet and re-organize. Another tip that comes to mind... nothing goes under our beds unless it's in a container. I could never stand having odds and ends stuffed under my bed. Makes me crazy to find half a toy shoved up under there!

I'll be back as I think of more things or I see specific questions posted. Someone said on the other thread that they're a professional organizer and I would LOVE to know how you got started. My DH & I joke about my doing that frequently, but I don't really think there's a market for it in my area. Maybe I should delve deeper into it.
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#7 of 120 Old 12-21-2005, 12:40 PM
 
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Hi - I'm subscribing.

I'm in the process of moving, and my goal for the new place is to be more organized in setting up house and keeping things clean and decluttered. I think the only way I'll stick to it is to write out a plan or schedule. I've tried flylady but couldn't keep up with the emails - but I have adopted her clean sink principle - I'm still working on putting shoes on in the morning tho, it's 10:30 and I'm not showered and dressed yet : I'll go do that now.
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#8 of 120 Old 12-21-2005, 06:58 PM
 
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I work as a professional organizer so I would love to join this thread.

My favorite thing is the clear plastic drawers. I have them in my linen closet, kids toy closet and for their clothes in their closet. I have all kind of sizes for different areas of the house. You can see what's in the drawers, but it makes everything so much neater. I lover to label the drawers with my handy dandy electronic labeler (an organized womans best friend).

My biggest challenge is keeping up on laundry, but we have pared down to the bare minimum of clothing and we wear things more than once unless it is visibly dirty or smelly and that has helped.

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#9 of 120 Old 12-21-2005, 07:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrie43
I work as a professional organizer so I would love to join this thread.
Now there is a recession proof job. You could work 24/7 365 days a year if you wanted.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#10 of 120 Old 12-21-2005, 08:47 PM
 
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I'm so joining this thread! I'm always working on this. I complain that our house is too small for us, 1700sqft for 6 people, but I really think we just have too much stuff. I've been trying to get it together to freecycle stuff and I'm going to make a big donation of stuff to GW before year end, but honestly I need to have a focus daily to stay ahead of the game.
Oh...what's TAO. Is this in TAO as in chinese philosophy Tao?

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#11 of 120 Old 12-21-2005, 09:10 PM
 
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Dh is up town picking up a couple of books I requested from the library on home organization. Cant remember the titles am looking forward to them. Both are by the same author.

I would love to be organized but have a fear that if I get super organized I wont be able to be spontaneous which is a must IMO. Which really is silly because running an organized house would mean I would be able to go because everything would be ready. And because the house would be so clean I could skip that days ‘to do list’

Also dhs day off rotate every 2 weeks which makes it hard to say Monday is laundry day for example. On his days off we like to do things other than inside work.

Anyway I will be this thread.

One book mention how to get your kids on board keeping a clean, organized home.
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#12 of 120 Old 12-21-2005, 09:31 PM
 
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I used to have set laundry days- Monday and Thursday but now I have a more frugal way of laundering so its much different.

In the summer we hang dry outside- sheets, cloth napkins, cloth dipes, clothing and in the dryer goes- socks, undies, towels etc.

In winter months we hang dry tops/shirts etc in the bsmt and throw everything else in dryer. Since we have gotten several dish rags and napkins at clearance there are a lot to last. So I do a dryer load when its overloading the laundry bag- every 4 days or so.

I also wash and hang dry dh's khacki work pants. Dry clean his dress shirts though- at a dollar per, I will do that!

So now I might only do it once a week or twice and not on set days. It works easier and it seems to save on the dryer.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#13 of 120 Old 12-22-2005, 12:18 AM
 
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I'm in. My biggest challenge is my ds who loves to undo everything I do. As soon as I organize one area of the house, he tears it apart. I let him, because he loves it, but it really puts me behind, and I spend all day picking up after him.

I also need a good paper system. DH is incharge of the paperwork, and it's a total wreck. I need to clean it up one of these days.
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#14 of 120 Old 12-22-2005, 12:48 AM
 
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I really loved Amys1st 's list:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st
$$
groceries, meals, pantry
laundry
paperwork/office stuff
toys
planning your day
keeping things and home clean
frugal tips
decluttering
storage
children
clothing
errands
This list alone helps me get a grasp on what all I need to do - if everyone likes the list (or maybe we could prioritze a few) should we focus on one area each weeK? Or one room / area of the house (i.e, toys, paperwork, pantry) each week - that kinda overlaps with the list.

In the process of our packing to move we have brought over 20 garbage bags to goodwill, and you know I have to work really hard to remember what was in most of them. One was filled with stuffed animals - we cut our supply down by half - and I cannot picture one of those toys in my mind. I get sentimental about everything, so I thought it would be hard to get rid of so much, but it really does feel good. We had some boxes still unpacked from the last time we moved, 4 1/2 years ago :.
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#15 of 120 Old 12-22-2005, 12:55 AM
 
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Me!!!! Me!!!! I want in!

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#16 of 120 Old 12-22-2005, 01:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABand3
I really loved Amys1st 's list:

This list alone helps me get a grasp on what all I need to do - if everyone likes the list (or maybe we could prioritze a few) should we focus on one area each weeK? Or one room / area of the house (i.e, toys, paperwork, pantry) each week - that kinda overlaps with the list.
.
Glad you liked it! It made me realize what I have to do here all the time. MAybe I should present this list to hubby!
I think focusing for a week or so on one list might help everyone get a handle on something and get control or at least find out what you need to do.

Since we talked about laundry- should we continue for a few days???

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#17 of 120 Old 12-22-2005, 01:29 AM
 
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Ok - let's start with laundry.

When we were a family of three, I could do all our clothes one day a week, and all the sheets & towels another day. Now that we are five, I have realized that this just won't work any longer. Two things that have helped me tame the laundry beast:

1. acknowledging that I have to do at least one laundry-related task every day (i.e., day one - wash and dry two loads, day two - put those clothes away, day three-iron, day four -two more loads, etc.

2. not washing everyone's clothes together - I wash my two boys' clothes together, my DD's clothes alone, and mine & DH's together, so when I go to put them away, it's all in one room.

Also, my DS age five is responsible for matching and putting away his and brother's socks, and folding and putting away their washcloths, so I can leave all those little things in the basket and he takes care of it... usually.

Right now I'm getting stuck on putting things away - do you fold or hang on hangers in your laundry area, or just pile it in a basket and take it to where it needs to be put away? Also, ironing is slowing me down, but I'm hoping to get a new iron for Christmas (sad, huh?) so that will re-energize me for a while.

Now I'll go get the clothes out of the dryer....
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#18 of 120 Old 12-22-2005, 09:07 AM
 
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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.

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#19 of 120 Old 12-22-2005, 03:48 PM
 
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Subscribing!

My laundry routine is just to notice when the pile gets large enough - then sort, toss it in, transfer to dryer and fold immediately. DH sometimes gets in on the action - helping out by running a load, but for the most part, it's my gig. And I actually don't mind laundry. It's the ironing I abhor! I'm so thankful DH enjoys ironing. I have two shirts that require ironing, everything else I wear is pretty much ready to go when I pull it out of the dryer (as long as I do so in a timely manner.)

I suppose things will change CONSIDERABLY once the baby arrives and I have cloth diapers that need to be washed regularly... However, for the next two months, I'm okay with this quasi-routine.

If anyone has tips or suggestions for laundry with a newborn, feel free to pipe up!
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#20 of 120 Old 12-22-2005, 04:50 PM
 
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I'd like to subscribe, too! (Although after this afternoon I won't be at a computer until next Tuesday . . . )

I think I'm pretty organized - it's something I work hard at, though. I work FT in 4 days/week and have a 3.5 yo DD, so in order to be on top of stuff I have to be pretty routinized.

Since we're talking laundry, here's what I do to stay in control in that arena. First, we have next to nothing that needs ironing (it helps that DH is not in a profession where he needs those starched, ironed shirts, I guess). I might iron 3 times a year. Second, we try not to toss things in the laundry basket unless they need to be there (visibly stained or obviously dirty, or something you obviously would not wear twice, like undies). You would be surprised at how often DH would wear, say, a pair of socks and a T-shirt for 2 hours, then toss them into the laundry before I cracked down on him. Things like PJs can get worn for 4 nights in a row - they DO NOT need to get thrown into the laundry basket each morning. Likewise, pants and jeans can be worn several times before they are washed. Being stern about that has really reduced the amount of laundry that piles up in the basket. Third, I have 2 designated nights per week for doing laundry. I usually do 2 loads on those nights, and each has to get folded and put away before I go to bed. My mother would be appalled if she knew this, but I only wash sheets every other week - that happens every other Friday. We co-sleep, so there's only one set of sheets to wash (DD has her own bed, but spends so little time in it, I only wash her stuff occasionally). Finally, all of our socks are basically the same, either gray or white, so there is no scrambling to find a match. I keep mesh bags in our rooms hanging on the back of our bedroom doors, and socks go in that. I grab the bags, throw them in the laundry, and the socks are clean with no annoying need to sort. They can go right back in the sock drawer like that.

Not the most exciting conversation, but damn, it does feel good to be organized. OK, now I have revealed myself as an anal odd ball.

Mama to 2 mopheaded rascals
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#21 of 120 Old 12-22-2005, 05:33 PM
 
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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.

Jill , mom to Andrew (09/04), Aaron(01/07), and Emma (11/09)
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#22 of 120 Old 12-22-2005, 06:40 PM
 
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Quote:
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.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#23 of 120 Old 12-22-2005, 06:46 PM
 
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Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#24 of 120 Old 12-22-2005, 10:18 PM
 
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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.

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#25 of 120 Old 12-22-2005, 11:40 PM
 
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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!

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#26 of 120 Old 12-23-2005, 12:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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: 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.

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#27 of 120 Old 12-23-2005, 07:18 PM
 
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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.

Jill , mom to Andrew (09/04), Aaron(01/07), and Emma (11/09)
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#28 of 120 Old 12-23-2005, 10:23 PM
 
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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.

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#29 of 120 Old 12-23-2005, 11:00 PM
 
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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
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#30 of 120 Old 12-23-2005, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

Mooooom! to  guitar.gifDS (1/05) and whistling.gifDSS (11/05).  TTC fingersx.gifour "ours" after VR on 10/12.  

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