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#1 of 36 Old 12-07-2007, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There may have been threads like this before.............

We all have limited time and energy so what is your best trick for saving time and staying somewhat organized on the nessesary daily tasks so you don't lose your mind?

Here's mine: I don't remember where I got this from but I can't take credit for the idea. When I put sheets away I fold the top sheet around the bottom sheet and pillowcase. That way when I go to make the bed I pull out one bundle with everything I need in it! Based on this idea I started putting my and my kids clothes away in "outfits". Shirt, pants, undies, socks stacked on top of each other. I reach in the drawer bleary-eyed in the morning from being up with the baby in the night and pull out a complete outfit ready to go.

What tricks do you have up your sleeve?
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#2 of 36 Old 12-07-2007, 06:02 PM
 
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It is unrealistic to expect to put/file away everything immediately like we should. So, I make "buffers." So, there is a box we toss papers into and file them when I can. There is a set of hooks to hang clothes that have been worn some, but aren't really in need of a wash, so that if I have space in a load I will wash them but if not they are there to be worn again.

Intermediary or buffer zones. Saves me a huge amount of time.

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#3 of 36 Old 12-07-2007, 07:46 PM
 
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We layer sheets with waterproof pads (usually big chux pads) so should the need to change sheets in the middle of the night arise, we just pull of a layer and go back to sleep.

I stuff all pocket diapers right out of the dryer so it's ready when I need it.
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#4 of 36 Old 12-07-2007, 09:28 PM
 
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My problem with "buffer" zones is that I never actually get to cleaning them out... we have several buffers in our house lol...

I have two organization tricks that are helping our sanity right now. The first is a laundry schedule. One day is my stuff, next day is DS's, next day is towels, next day is DH's, you get the drift. One day is a "catch-up" day.

Everyone has their own laundry hamper and there's one in the hall for towels. It makes sorting faster and easier, the laundry already IS sorted, it just has to be returned to the room from whence it came.

The other is meal planning, which I'm just starting to really get into. With our crazy schedule it was really necessary to plan out when I could do up a larger meal for leftovers, and what days we needed quick leftovers ready, etc.

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#5 of 36 Old 12-07-2007, 10:56 PM
 
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It's not really a trick but.... BABYWEARING! I can't rave enough about it. I don't know what parents who don't wear their babies DO to get stuff done. When DD was a little babe I would but her in the hotsling and she would sleep or watch what I was doing and my house was SUPER CLEAN (it was also on the market so that was some good motivation!). Now she's a lot more mobile so I don't wear her quite as much, but we definitely but her in the mei tei if I want to get things done and she is being clingy or just wanting some mama time.

We do meal planning also like mentioned above. I plan my meals for the week and go grocery shopping once a week for the ingredients. So much easier than scrounging for food every night and the dreaded "what are we going to have for dinner?"
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#6 of 36 Old 12-08-2007, 02:01 AM
 
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i love love love my crockpot (:no flames, please) for easy dinners. I also have 1 1" notebook with dividers and lots of pockets, that holds all my "stacks" of papers. i only keep what can go in it, nothing else. it really keeps all horizontal surfaces from breeding papers of all kinds. my fav tip/trick is the unfinished basement. i keep all the extra stuff down there. i love clean, clear spaces and clutter drives me nuts.

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#7 of 36 Old 12-08-2007, 04:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by abharrington View Post
i love love love my crockpot (:no flames, please) for easy dinners.
Oh, no.....are crockpots bad, too??

Rebekah , single working mom to Micah (04.12.2007)
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#8 of 36 Old 12-08-2007, 12:58 PM
 
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True, when using a crock pot there are no flames involved.

:nana:

Leigh, mama to Rostislav homeborn Aug 9 2007, and Oksana homeborn Feb 24 2011.
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#9 of 36 Old 12-08-2007, 09:43 PM
 
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Moving to the organization forum

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#10 of 36 Old 12-08-2007, 10:22 PM
 
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I do a version of your sheet trick. When I fold mine, I actually fold them and place them into one of the pillowcases.

I have a little motto: "Erase the Evidence" that I try to keep in mind as I am working. I learned that on another mb.
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#11 of 36 Old 12-09-2007, 12:14 PM
 
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Less stuff. Have less stuff. Get rid of stuff. Have only one of everything, or whatever minimal appropriate number you need.

Okay, it's not organizational, but it helps me SO much. We each only need one pair of rain boots. We have eight plates - one for each person and two for serving or guests. Two sets of sheets per bed, period. One broom, not two. Etc. It probably sounds silly, but going through our stuff and banning the duplicates and triplicates has helped me stay more organized.

Along with the obvious - everything must have a place, or it cannot help being Clutter. If it doesn't have a place, it needs one, or it needs to go. If it isn't in its place, it needs to be put in its place, or it needs to GET a place, or it needs to go. Etc.

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#12 of 36 Old 12-09-2007, 04:45 PM
 
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Making lists... the night before, or in the morning, I write down all the stuff I have to do that day. Then I go through and tick it off--not rocket science, but it helps me not to forget stuff. Depending on how 'with it' I'm feeling, I sometimes write down the bleeding obvious--'take vitamins', 'feed chickens', 'brush hair'--also embarrassingly helpful!

And what's the goss with crockpots? If loving mine is wrong, I don't wanna be right...

If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

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#13 of 36 Old 12-09-2007, 04:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Vanessa View Post
I have a little motto: "Erase the Evidence" that I try to keep in mind as I am working. I learned that on another mb.
This could be a whole life motto!

Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

 
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#14 of 36 Old 12-09-2007, 06:57 PM
 
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I never leave a room without leaving it neater than it was... I look around and take something with me that belongs in whatever room I'm going to (or if it's along the way). I set stuff that belongs upstairs on the stairs and then take it all with me when I go up.

I bake, therefore I am.
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#15 of 36 Old 12-09-2007, 07:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Penelope View Post
This could be a whole life motto!
Because I'm not sure what your emoticon meant, I just want to clarify that I mean evidence of things like the fact that a PB sandwich was made or diaper changed or groceries brought in, not something bad.
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#16 of 36 Old 12-09-2007, 09:42 PM
 
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That is how I took it.

Leigh, mama to Rostislav homeborn Aug 9 2007, and Oksana homeborn Feb 24 2011.
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#17 of 36 Old 12-09-2007, 10:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplemamaaz View Post
There may have been threads like this before.............

We all have limited time and energy so what is your best trick for saving time and staying somewhat organized on the nessesary daily tasks so you don't lose your mind?

Here's mine: I don't remember where I got this from but I can't take credit for the idea. When I put sheets away I fold the top sheet around the bottom sheet and pillowcase. That way when I go to make the bed I pull out one bundle with everything I need in it! Based on this idea I started putting my and my kids clothes away in "outfits". Shirt, pants, undies, socks stacked on top of each other. I reach in the drawer bleary-eyed in the morning from being up with the baby in the night and pull out a complete outfit ready to go.

What tricks do you have up your sleeve?
What a great idea! Thanks!
I dont have too many tips, I do plan to do all errands I need to do when I go out, so I dont have to make multiple trips and I can save gas and time.
Like I will take the recyclables in, the library books, the videos, go to the P.O. etc. all in one day, if they are near each other. If I know I'm going on a further trip to another town, I always plan something to do there with the kids along with the errand so I dont waste my gas or my trip there.

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#18 of 36 Old 12-09-2007, 11:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Vanessa View Post
Because I'm not sure what your emoticon meant, I just want to clarify that I mean evidence of things like the fact that a PB sandwich was made or diaper changed or groceries brought in, not something bad.
Um, I was kidding. My bad. :

It's just a funny way to phrase a cleaning tip, yk?

Nothing to see here... carry on.

Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

 
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#19 of 36 Old 12-10-2007, 02:18 AM
 
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ok... so this maybe something that everyone does... but I felt really smart for figuring it out.

I 'dry pail' my kitchen/cleaning rags. I have a bunch of them, upstairs and downstairs. I use them through out the week, and stick them in a bucket by the washer when Im done. After super-cleaning saturday I just throw them all into the wash!

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#20 of 36 Old 12-10-2007, 11:23 AM
 
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It seems inefficient to me to get out the step ladder and climb up to reach the top shelf of closets to take down new sheets/towels only to do it again when the used sheets/towels are cleaned and ready to be put away. So, instead of doing that, I tend to take the sheets off, wash and dry, and then put the same ones back on. Same with towels. All but one hand towel go into the first load. When I put them back up, that hand towel goes into a later load.

Leigh, mama to Rostislav homeborn Aug 9 2007, and Oksana homeborn Feb 24 2011.
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#21 of 36 Old 12-10-2007, 01:30 PM
 
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"Don't put it down, put it away."
..........................
"One thing in, two things out."
..........................

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#22 of 36 Old 12-10-2007, 02:00 PM
 
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If you haven't used a kitchen item in the last month you don't need it.

Anything clothing that doesn't get worn in its season you don't need.

Line things up. ie put all your cans of tomato sauce in a row like at the grocery store. Its SO much easier to find things and take inventory before grocery shopping. Bring the old ones forward and put the new ones behind.

Any spices not used in two months aren't going to be used. And really they lose their "spice" after 6months anyway.

Canning jars aren't just for canning. They are great for storing spices, nuts, teas, etc. They work great in the refrig for leftovers, all you need is a canning funnel. They can be used for drinking glasses when company comes...they look great with water and a lemon slice. They can also make great candle holders.

Bulk isn't always best. Never buy bulk anything until you are sure you use it enough to use it up. Never buy bulk in a product you haven't tried previously. Only buy bulk for staple items..sugar, flour, oatmeal, etc.

If you have exposed two by fours on the stairs going to your basment, unfinished, put cross boards between them and use them to store cans of food, boxed items, etc.
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#23 of 36 Old 12-11-2007, 02:57 PM
 
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That is how I took it.

Good. It's sometimes hard to tell online.
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#24 of 36 Old 12-11-2007, 02:58 PM
 
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Um, I was kidding. My bad. :

It's just a funny way to phrase a cleaning tip, yk?

Nothing to see here... carry on.
No problem. I thought so, but just wanted to be sure.
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#25 of 36 Old 12-11-2007, 07:59 PM
 
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I took Penelope's post as kidding too.

Leigh, mama to Rostislav homeborn Aug 9 2007, and Oksana homeborn Feb 24 2011.
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#26 of 36 Old 12-11-2007, 08:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by purplemamaaz View Post
Based on this idea I started putting my and my kids clothes away in "outfits". Shirt, pants, undies, socks stacked on top of each other. I reach in the drawer bleary-eyed in the morning from being up with the baby in the night and pull out a complete outfit ready to go.
From birth, when I fold DS's clothes, I sort them into outfits (I used to include socks, but not as necessary) and use diaper pins (unused due to wonderful dipe covers) to pin them together.

I recently got a few bins for toys. I only keep a few toys out at a time (he has way too many anyways).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommaof3boz View Post
Anything clothing that doesn't get worn in its season you don't need.

Line things up. ie put all your cans of tomato sauce in a row like at the grocery store. Its SO much easier to find things and take inventory before grocery shopping. Bring the old ones forward and put the new ones behind.
I do this. I periodically sort out DS's clothes (he's still young enough for me to do this semi-seasonally) and take a look at my own. I also put my clothes in the closet from one side (I tried sorting my clothes by type, etc., but I just don't have enough variety to justify it). If I notice that something has been stuck at the other end for some time, it's time to rethink keeping it.

I also keep foods, etc., in categories. I know when something is out and I know if I have enough of something.

I also keep daily-use stuff (my purse, planner, etc. and DS's daycare bag) in the same spot all the time. Grab 'n' go. I check each evening to see if anything needs refilled.

I keep a diaper bag stocked and in the car for short trips.

Gosh, now I feel really organized, but I'm not, I swear!!

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#27 of 36 Old 12-11-2007, 08:50 PM
 
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Lots of great tips here that I use too. My best organizational trick isn't necessarily about "organizing". I try to go through my house frequently (weekly or monthly depending on how much time I have/what needs to be done) and sort through items that can be donated or given to family/friends. Since I do it frequently it doesn't take much time. As I'm doing this I put them all in a box/bag and tidy up whatever cabinet/drawer I'm looking in. This keeps things like my kitchen utensil drawer, bathroom cabinet, craft supply armoire looking neat inside because it is being straightened frequently and unused items removed. Once I am done sorting I immediately take the box/bag to my van. Usually I drive straight to Goodwill or my fav consignment store right then. If there are items to give away to friends/family I put them in our entry so I won't forget to give them to the person when they are over and walking out the door. Since I see them in plain view it motivates me to get together with the person anyway Getting rid of the clutter actually *out* of the house ASAP is my biggest trick. It is much more gratifying to me to get rid of the items right away for some reason, plus less stuff = less to organize & clean!

My only other good trick is to always make sure that you get your house back to "zero" each day, as a friend of mine used to say. That way things can never get too far out of hand. I aim for toys put away, counters wiped, dishes washed/running in dishwasher, laundry folded/put away by the end of the night. I find that if I do this each evening then it is a pleasure to get up in the morning. If I leave out a basket of laundry to fold or a pile of stuff on the counter, it seems like I'm behind on what I need to do before I've even started! I always start a load of laundry and empty the dishrack/dishwasher each morning so that dishes have somewhere to go and at that I won't ever get way behind on laundry. This takes very little time, makes my house run so much smoother and if I need to clean or do some other project that I don't have a bunch of other nonsense to deal with.

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#28 of 36 Old 12-12-2007, 11:05 AM
 
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My only other good trick is to always make sure that you get your house back to "zero" each day,
this really helps me .............. lowers anxiety too .............

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#29 of 36 Old 12-12-2007, 11:09 AM
 
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I keep folders in a kitchen cabinet for easy acess.

Girlie School
Girlie Activities
Little Guy School
Little Guy Activities
Family
Menu

They have really helped clear out the piles of paper that come into my house!
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#30 of 36 Old 12-12-2007, 02:15 PM
 
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I also put my clothes in the closet from one side (I tried sorting my clothes by type, etc., but I just don't have enough variety to justify it). If I notice that something has been stuck at the other end for some time, it's time to rethink keeping it.
Great idea! I need to try this.
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