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My husband and I will be moving into a larger apartment in a few weeks. It has 3 bedrooms and this will be the first time we have had any kind of space since we have had children. Our spaces with kids have always been crowded and cluttered, mostly due to the lack of room. Since my kids are so small I'm finding that I get very easily overwhelmed by mess, and I want to be proactive in keeping my new home clean! My question is: what have you found to be most helpful in terms of keeping your home organized?? I already have a clothes hamper for each of my boys and one for us, a basket for our mail, a bucket for tub toys and a toybox, shelving and some baskets for ODS's toys. (We also have all of the obvious furniture for storage etc). What are some of your favorite organizational and cleaning tools???
 

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My organization tip is to check areas every six months...and then de-clutter and re-organize. Organization is a process not a one-time project.
 

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Congrats on finding a bigger living space. How exciting!! I recommend that you de-clutter before you move. Only take the things that you & your family love. Let the rest go. I also like the idea of de-cluttering every 6 months. It is amazing how toys and clothes multiply. Have fun moving.
 

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I keep two bins in each of my children's closets -- one is for clothes they have grown out of and one is for clothes that they will grow into.

My daughter wears a size 5, so I have a size 5 bin in her closet (that is almost empty since most of the size 5 clothes are being worn right now) and a size 6 bin in her closet.

That way if she puts something on in the morning and it doesn't fit I can put it immediately in the bin and be done with it. And if she comes running in saying she can't find her swimsuit or whatever, I can dive into that size 6 bin and produce one. It might be a little big, but often I'm suprised to find that it is not. They grow so fast!

Keeping clothing sorted and put away is a big challenge around our home.

Congratulations on your new living space!
 

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I agree with PPs that the key to getting and staying organized is to declutter constantly.

I keep a bag for clothes to donate in the hall closet and go through the kids' clothes regularly to weed out ones we don't want to keep for whatever reason.

I also like to to do a few larger decluttering projects during the week, like going through a few kitchen cabinets or a a closet and straighten/declutter. The kids' toys get combed through about once a month to get rid of broken stuff and reorganize the rest.

Just look around on a regular basis and tackle something that looks like it's been neglected. That big pile of paperwork collecting in the basket - go through it and toss/file everything. The bathroom closet starting to look junky - straighten it up. Just doing one or two little things like that a day will keep the house neat and organized.
 

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We rotate bins of toys. Then you only have a portion out at a time (no more than we can put away in 10 minutes). And on a rough day, we can trade bins and it is like Xmas!
 

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When you move in, hang all of your clothes with the hangers facing forward. As you wear and launder them, put the back facing the back of the closet. You'll know in 6 months what you're not using and will be able to more easily pare down from there.

I've been hanging the kids' clothes in outfits and it has been AWESOME! I put a top, bottom, and underwear on a plastic hanger with clips. It takes less time for me to hang outfits than fold and put them in drawers; you can easily see what is clean; kiddo can pick his/her outfit for the day and you know it matches; no more digging through drawers looking for something and leaving clothes all over the place. I wish I'd done it sooner!

Here's a picture of my kids' shared closet:
https://flic.kr/p/3527936331
 

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Congrats! I would look around for inspiring pictures to help you out. I have a Pages file on my Mac with pictures of inspiring organization and decorating ideas. It's priceless. I organize it by room or area to keep it under control. There are lots of organization blogs out there and then there's apartment therapy which always has good stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all of the good ideas-I especially like the one about the two bins for clothing-I have 2 very close in age so my YDS will be wearing ODS's clothes this fall. I've got clothing sort of organized but not so much lately-I want to get some bins or just boxes even so that I can sort it by size.
 

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A place for everything and everything in its place.

and third the idea it is an ongoing and never ending process

doing little jobs all the time

need to work on all of these myself!
Kathryn
 
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