A place for everything, #(@&$(!!!!!!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 04-23-2006, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This phrase, while it makes soooooooooo much sense to me, drives me batty.

To dissect de-cluttering even more, what is your thought process while this event is taking place. It's my biggest dilemma, I believe. I want to accomplish this so badly, so I will go through, sort, and then stuff stays on top of counters or in inconvenient places until I find the perfect place for it, which has not really happened yet. What are your solutions for this process?
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#2 of 27 Old 04-23-2006, 03:27 PM
 
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Subing because I want to know too! My DH is int he habit of finding things that are not in a proper place and stacking them up usually in a space I use, so there are piles of stuff everywhere with no proper "home". I have had a little luck in just getting rid of things that stay in those stacks for too long.
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#3 of 27 Old 04-23-2006, 03:38 PM
 
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Get some containers. My boyfriend's house is very cluttered, no place for anything so everything is just piled on counters, tables, etc. Sometimes I am lukcy enough to be able to organize and neaten it.
CD's go on the shelf under the TV. Magazines and books go on the bookshelf. Coats that were piled on chairs go in the coat closet. Pictures and cards go in the nice boxes I convinced him to buy for pictures and cards. THen the boxes go on the book shelf.

There really can be a place for everything. To make space for things in the kitchen you might have to take everything out of the cabinets and drawers, and then put them back in an orderly fashion (after you get rid of stuff you don't use, or store elsewhere things you only use once a year.) Then there will be more space in the cabinets and drawers for the things that are on the counters.

Start with just one space. Once you have the stuff organized, don't stop and leave it on the counter or some inconvenient place, figure out where it should go and then put it there. Get furniture that doubles as storage: extra blankets could go in a dresser that is used as a sideboard, or in a flip top ottoman.

What exactly are you having trouble finding a place for?
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#4 of 27 Old 04-23-2006, 10:02 PM
 
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Right now that is driving me nuts because i SOO want to go out and spend more money on storage solutions for both our hosue adn the playroom (I do hoem daycare), we really don't have the money right now. I know what I want to do, but I don't want to go with cheapo stuff to save a few bucks, I want stuff that will last. I want it organized NOW!!

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#5 of 27 Old 04-30-2006, 02:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DTmama1
Right now that is driving me nuts because i SOO want to go out and spend more money on storage solutions for both our hosue adn the playroom (I do hoem daycare), we really don't have the money right now. I know what I want to do, but I don't want to go with cheapo stuff to save a few bucks, I want stuff that will last. I want it organized NOW!!
cheapo stuff that matches is better than fabulosity that will take years to acquire. i just got four matching baskets at dollar tree for my bathroom crap (i have ZERO storage). four bucks, & it looks really nice. the two 'better quality' non-matching baskets are going to goodwill. matching wouldn't seem as though it is important, but it simplifies & lets A.D.D. minds relax.
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#6 of 27 Old 05-01-2006, 03:28 AM
 
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A couple of years ago I put a large basket on the counter with a sign that said, "If you don't know where to put it, put it here." My dh used to pick things up and pile them on any flat surface. When the basket got full we would both put the things away. If we couldn't find a place we either discovered a home for it or we tossed it. I wish I had kept up with that system! I'm back to decluttering.

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#7 of 27 Old 05-01-2006, 10:11 AM
 
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I have a "gathering" room for the things that I am not sure where to store. Sometimes I decide we really don't need them - other times I come up with a really good place to store them or get rid of something else and put them in its place. But with major decluttering, if you have one area of the house where you put things you're not sure what to do with (ours is the bedroom in the basement that we hardly ever use), you can go through things without having to stare at a big mess. The only down side is that you get tired of clearing out that room because it seems like you do it over and over and over again...but really, that's what it's there for.

Tana, wife to Steve (5/02), mom to Ben (7/03), Joey (10/06) and Caroline (9/09)
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#8 of 27 Old 05-01-2006, 11:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TigerTail
cheapo stuff that matches is better than fabulosity that will take years to acquire.
I second that--and if it doesn't show, then even matching isn't so important. When I first "found a place for everything," I used ANYTHING I could find--shoeboxes, empty cottage cheese containers, whatever. Now that we're in a nicer place I'm slowly upgrading these, but a ton of my drawers are full of empty check boxes and other improvised dividers.

Two further thoughts: a) having places out of sight not only means that you don't have to worry about how your containers look but also means you have nice uncluttered surfaces, which I find very motivational (and easy to dust) and b) using what you have on hand is a great way to declutter in and of itself--I found that in my pack-rat phases I tended to accumulate all sorts of containers and this was a good way to put them to use.

Okay, three thoughts: if you can just get the entire house like this just ONCE, it will be so much easier from there on out.
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#9 of 27 Old 05-01-2006, 11:51 AM
 
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Right now, I'm trying to make a place for library books, which tend to get scattered all around the house and end up cluttering up surfaces and baby stuff (which is mostly all new to us -- baby is due mid-May). We got a dresser for the baby stuff yesterday, now I just need to wash and sort the stuff into drawers.

Library books are hard... I'm a huge reader, and I LOVE going to the library, and I've *never* in 31 years had a really great system for where to put them!
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#10 of 27 Old 05-01-2006, 12:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alexisyael
Right now, I'm trying to make a place for library books, which tend to get scattered all around the house and end up cluttering up surfaces and baby stuff (which is mostly all new to us -- baby is due mid-May). We got a dresser for the baby stuff yesterday, now I just need to wash and sort the stuff into drawers.

Library books are hard... I'm a huge reader, and I LOVE going to the library, and I've *never* in 31 years had a really great system for where to put them!
I have picnic baskets. One under each end table in my living room. One holds DH's collection of magazines (and any I'm waiting to read), one holds DD's and my library books. I go the library weekly and get a pile of books each time, and I just throw them directly from the tote bag I use into the picnic basket. I almost always read sitting on the couch next to that end table anyway, so it's easy to toss the book back into the basket, and since it has a lid I can keep it neat. Everyone knows that's the home for library books, so when we find one it always goes there. The printout they give me at the library stays in my tote bag, which folds up and also goes in the picnic basket, or under the couch (our couch has a skirt to the floor). When I go back to the library I can check and make sure all the books are going back. The lid also has a little leather loop thing to hold it shut...which I'm hoping will help keep baby out for a while!

Loving this thread...

Mom to Liz (14) and Dillon (3) and Mitchell FINALLY born 7/11/10!
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#11 of 27 Old 05-01-2006, 12:20 PM
 
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One thing I do is watch where things seem to collect and just put a container there (usually a basket). Like there's a bookcase beside the chair where dh often sits in the living room so all his books and papers were getting thrown on one shelf and it always looked so messy. So I put a big basket on the shelf and now all that stuff goes in there. I never go through the basket - it's his stuff but as long as everything is in there it (looks) tidy.

Same with things on the shelves by the front door and all those miscellaneous papers that collect that you aren't quite ready to throw away yet but aren't terribly important either. I have one basket that sits on a shelf that all that stuff goes into and I go through it every once in a while.

What sorts of things do you have lying around?

Allison
ds 5/8/02

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#12 of 27 Old 05-01-2006, 01:57 PM
 
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it's not perfect, but i have two leather bags that i keep the library books in- in & out (read & unread). they are by my dresser. i USED to have a stool i kept them stacked on there, but since dh broke the office chair it has been called into service.

i was keeping them on a shelf in the office, but for whatever reasons (inaccessibility most likely; i'm reading in the bedroom, not the office!) it wasn't working for me. leather bags on the floor by a wall is not perfection, but it is better than scattered all over the rooms.

progress not perfection!
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#13 of 27 Old 05-01-2006, 02:59 PM
 
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ITA with the improvised containers! We have tons of accumulated baskets all over the house, along with old diaper cartons, wipes boxes, etc. It really doesn't look all that junky, and it actually helps the kids know where things are. The "ball basket" is totally different from the "guy box" which is different from the "playmobile basket", etc. I never liked those racks-with-bins deals anyway, even if I could afford a nice one, because all the little bins look exactly the same to the kids, and they just dump whatever wherever.

One other trick for getting everything in its place is to sort first by ROOM. Even if you don't have a specific place for something, you usually know what room it should go in. Don't make yourself crazy when decluttering - if you're sorting through a pile of stuff that belongs all over the house, first sort into boxes by room. Then take each box into its correct room, and you'll find that the smaller pile is less overwhelming. Plus things will begin to naturally resolve themselves into groups, and before you know it you've got a category looking for a "place", at which time a place will usually announce itself!
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#14 of 27 Old 05-01-2006, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Phewie! I was hoping this thread would kick in and that I didn't offend anyone with my @(*$&#&^$.

I love all the comments and suggestions. They might be simple, but I just couldn't get over the hump. Here are some things that are laying around.

*Dh has way too many shirts, socks and shorts (undies). We have a dresser for them that SHOULD hold them all, but they are squished and so when he gets one, he's messy, he pulls it out and 5 others come with it that don't get folded back up ('cause I'm not gonna fold it again). He won't get rid of any. Now I don't put them away, he's a big boy. They go on his dresser, stacked & messy. He doesn't put them away either. Instead of butting heads, maybe suggestions on another system? or what's worked for you?

*Ds books with no book shelf.

*Romote controls for TV

*Computer gear - paper, pens, stapler, bank doc's, etc.

*Our entrance goes into a stairwell that has no room for stuff, exept for a bend at the top. Hats, gloves, coats, shoes.

*kids toys, clothes. No dresser, only shelves in very small closet.

The whole apartment is small. Not alot of storage, but plenty enough I guess. We might find enough room to put shelves (ideas on really cheap ones or makeshift ones?) We can't hang stuff on walls and we still haven't brought out the baby stuff yet. Swing, pack-n-play, bouncy seat, stuff babies come with.

I'm not helpless, I just need help. I'm better at giving advice to others, other than myself.
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#15 of 27 Old 05-01-2006, 03:37 PM
 
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*Dh has way too many shirts, socks and shorts (undies). ... Instead of butting heads, maybe suggestions on another system? or what's worked for you?
My dh is like this too. I eventually asked him to sort out a box to keep that he wasn't wearing on a regular basis and we'd keep them where he could get them but not deal with every day (under the bed at first). So we took out 2nd or 3rd string shirts. Some of which we now can give away because he hasn't worn them in 2-3 years.

Quote:
*Ds books with no book shelf.
basket for books, maybe two if you need it or a large underbed storage drawer/box.

Quote:
*Computer gear - paper, pens, stapler, bank doc's, etc.
we have a box we keep under the desk, behind where you put your feet.

Quote:
*kids toys, clothes. No dresser, only shelves in very small closet.
keep it simple -- few clothes, few toys. We keep most of them in the basement. Dd2 doesn't have a dresser and I've taken to hanging everything except pants. DH hates it, but I really like it.



baby stuff: I've really come around to the idea that it is temporary. So although I am walking around the exersaucer to go to the door (or couch), it is there for 3-4 months and then done.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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#16 of 27 Old 05-01-2006, 04:15 PM
 
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On dh's clothes, I had him do a seasonal clothing change and set him up with a big suitcase to put his winter clothes (this was last year), a basket to toss any sweaters he would never wear again and had no sentimental value, and a huge pile of his accumlated sweaters (most of which didn't fit anymore). Then when winter rolled around, he pulled the sweaters out and got rid of a few more that he decided he didn't need (all by himself! I was sooo happy!) and went through his summer clothes. The system also helps me purge my clothes. It's all very well to say "if you haven't worn it get rid of it," but for me it helps to set aside two evenings (well, more like 2hours each time) a year to just go through everything and decide "do I feel like taking the effort to fold this and put it in storage?" or "do I feel like taking the effort to fold this and put it back in my drawers?" Since folding clothes is my least favorite part of laundry (well, actually hanging things up is, but I've already eliminated most items that have to be hung and keep my skirts in a drawer) my wardrobe no longer has anything I loathe.
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#17 of 27 Old 05-01-2006, 04:16 PM
 
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There was a thread about using gutters for a book shelf. It was a really nifty idea since it allowed the books to face forward and was easier for children to put books on themselves. I'll see if I can find it. http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ghlight=gutter
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#18 of 27 Old 05-01-2006, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I love this idea!!!!!!!! I don't know if I can use it because we rent, but I will take the idea with me to the next place we can hang stuff. Thank you for pulling that archive thread for me and everyone!
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#19 of 27 Old 05-01-2006, 05:33 PM
 
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It could be worth asking your landlord. In our last apartment dh and I mounted a shelf and hung pictures up with nails all over the place and when we mentioned to the leasing office that "of course we'll repair any holes in the walls from pictures" they said not to worry about it because their standard policy on getting an apartment ready to rent was to repair any holes and put a fresh coat of paint on the walls. "As long as it can be fixed with spackle and covered with one coat of white paint, don't worry about it."

Plus, if you can mount stuff to the walls it'll open up lots of other possibilities for you.

Incidentally, an ordinary sewing needle is strong enough to hold most pictures and leaves an invisible hole, so if there is a "no holes" policy, you can still hang some things up. (More of a decorating tip rather than organizing, but it's just a good thing to know when renting.)
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#20 of 27 Old 05-01-2006, 05:42 PM
 
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we are in major declutter mode at my house right now -- our town has a village-wide garage sale in two weeks that we are getting ready for. I am amazed every year that we have stuff to sell. I think a huge part of the problem is accumulating too much in the first place and then just hanging on to everything. I've really gotten into the mode of if I haven't used it in recent memory (say a year or 6 months) - it goes - garage sale, goodwill, somewhere other than my house. I have kept clothes because I can still fit into them (but they are out of style) even though I won't ever wear them again. Not any more - well, I do have a few of my most favorite shirts from college (classic oxford shirts that I spent too much money on) and I will never get rid of my wedding dress even though dh rolls his eyes at me.

How do you find a place for everything? Shelves, pegs on the wall, baskets, bins. My dh (the most anti-clutter person on the earth - I swear) reworked our pantry closet so that my pans each have a peg on the wall and made racks for the lids -- yes, I'm lucky to have space but space is not necessarily equal to organization. Right now we're redoing the closet in the toy room so that the kids can hang up their own coats and the toys will be in small bins instead of a big box where you don't know what's in it.

whew - that was a ramble. sorry
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#21 of 27 Old 05-01-2006, 06:19 PM
 
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Subbing because I really need to do this also, LOL. I'm supposedly working right now, so I'll be getting back to you about stuff I have questions about, but wanted to jump in real quick regarding DH's clothes

I have a DH like that also, and when I waited for him to box his stuff up it just wasn't ever happening. So I put his socks I didn't think he needed in a ziplock, sucked the air out of it, and then threw it up on the top shelf in his closet in the corner where it's hard to get to. Did the same thing with 2 more ziplocks of socks and undies, and now his drawer is super easy to close.

For shirts and pants that he didn't need, I had permission to dump pants, so I did. Shirts either I got permission to dump, or the ones that were still 'good' but I knew he'd never wear I rolled up and put in a duffle bag, and popped that up on the top shelf in the closet. His dress clothes ( class A uniform from the army, of which he's been out since 2001 but it's a losing battle) and other stuff he doesn't wear went on one side of the closet. Stuff I don't like went over there also

Technically it's all in his closet or dresser, I've just arragnged it so it's easy for me to put clothes away and we're not dirtying 28 pairs of undies at a time.


Cara
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#22 of 27 Old 05-01-2006, 07:37 PM
 
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I the title of your thread

This is currently an issue in all of our bedrooms.
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#23 of 27 Old 05-02-2006, 03:26 PM
 
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I have been trying to remodel our condo (forever) and we are getting started on building a new house this year, so everything is in flux, but this is the system I've started. It's based on how we organized the stockroom at a store I worked in a couple of years ago.

I bought dozens of really basic white cardboard boxes from the container store for less than a dollar a box. I assembled each box (about the size of a shoebox), and folded the top into the box. I used a black marker to neatly label what should go in each box, and I alphabetized the boxes. I put the boxes on a tall shelving unit with wheels (less than $100, which I'd bought for something else earlier), and then just started sorting all the clutter. I now have boxes for candles, batteries, cat grooming, sewing, photos, shoe shine, craft projects, office supply overstock, etc. I had to add categories as I sorted, of course. After sorting (and purging a lot as I sorted), I rolled the shelves into the back hall. It doesn't look too bad, and it's fairly easy to re-sort things when they end up all over the place again. Since everything is labeled, my husband doesn't have to ask me where things are. And it's portable, so he can just grab the box he needs and return it when he's done. It's also helpful to see exactly how much room each category takes up, so if I move to more durable bins I know what size or quantity I'll need for each category.

I have a bin next to the TV for borrowed and rented videos and dvds. Library books end up all over, but I put a large wooden box on my dresser and most books make their way there eventually.

Paper is what really does us in. My husband is a self-employed attorney, and the paper just pours in.

And then there's laundry. Ugh. I can't wait until I have a washer and dryer of my own!
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#24 of 27 Old 05-02-2006, 04:40 PM
 
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Subbing to get ideas!
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#25 of 27 Old 05-02-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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Thanks to this thread, I bought some simple wire containers while I was at Target today and so far, I'm LOVING the fact that stuff looks more put away! The shoes are in the same place they were before (by the side door) but since they're in wire baskets, they *seem* more put away And I got another basket for my library books... haven't decided exactly where that basket will live yet (I read all over the house) but it does look better to have one basket sitting out than to have lots of books scattered all over a counter!

THANKS!
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#26 of 27 Old 05-02-2006, 07:06 PM
 
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Proud mom to superhero.gifds2 (7/05), angel2.gif ds 1 (born into heaven at 38 weeks 11/03), and 5 more angels angel.gif (4/02) angel.gif (7/10) angel.gifangel.gif (11/10) angel.gif (11/12)

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#27 of 27 Old 05-03-2006, 11:10 AM
 
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Our library books tend to end up scattered all over, too. I often take mine to work and read at lunchtime or they are beside my side of the bed. But there are certain places that books tend to end up - in the living room I just have a specific pile on the floor for library books (and yes, I'm constantly putting them back there!), in the bedroom we have a basket for library and non- books. Dh's are usually in that basket on the bookshelf beside "his" chair that I mentioned earlier or on the floor on his side of the bed. Any that I finish with and are ready to return go on the shelf by the front door that is for "things to return/give to other people". We do sometimes end up running around the house looking for a specific item to return but at least there are only like 3 places to look, depending on whose item it was!

Allison
ds 5/8/02

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