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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've decluttered. We got rid of a TON of stuff. Did every room. Only keep what we really needed or loved. We live in a decent sized house for our family, and now we don't have that much stuff, but a good amount. We do have empty space in the house. However I STILL find myself not being organized! I can't find a place for everything even though I have shelves in my desk that are empty, empty closet storage, garage space, etc. I just can't see why I don't have a place for everything when we have plenty of space and adequate things.<br>
Am I just not organized enough? Should I implement some "systems"? If so, what? Do we need to declutter more???<br><br>
Please help me get myself organized! I feel like we've done so much work and gotten rid of so much and have all this space but still its not being propertly utilized and I'm not sure how to do it!<br><br>
If you need more info feel free to ask questions!
 

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I've used a professional organizer a couple of times, and this is how she does it:<br><br>
1. Put everything you want to organize into categories (books, DVDs, clothes, etc.).<br><br>
2. Put everything in one category together.<br><br>
3. Estimate the size of the pile, or measure it, or count how many.<br><br>
4. Decide where you want to keep it (near the point of use, preferably) and find or buy the right size and shape containers or shelves that will fit in that space. For that you can get ideas from any of the organizing books and websites out there, or from The Container Store website.<br><br>
5. Put the containers where they go and put the stuff in the containers. If you care to, you can alphabetize or color-coordinate or whatever makes sense to you, or you can just dump everything in.<br><br>
That's it!<br><br>
For papers, I have a 3-part system. Our mailbox is out our back door, so right inside the back door I have a big basket for incoming mail. Then I have a chest of clear plastic drawers with the following labels: Action (bills to pay, letters to answer, etc.), Stationery/ stamps, Banking (checkbooks, bank-by-mail envelopes), Instruction manuals, and School (DH and I are both graduate students). The mail all gets sorted into either the Action drawer, or my accordion filebox which has standard filing categories.<br><br>
I won't pretend things don't get messy, but at least it's because I don't put things in their places-- not because they don't have a place.
 

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What kinds of items are you finding are still not organized? This might help point to the problem. If it's everyday stuff, then maybe a daily decluttering (usually only takes a few minutes <i>once you've decluttered your home</i><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> ) would do the trick. But if it's office supplies, books, DVDs, etc. then maybe you need some more adequate organizing system. The pp posted some great ideas. I'm a basket fan myself. Having baskets/organizers within shelves helps to keep everything in it's place, so you don't end up with the avalanche in the hall closet or all the toys together in one box so the kids have to dump them all out just to find what they're looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks!<br><br>
Well lets see. Toys are a problem. The house looks totally destroyed at the end of the day. My son likes toys with lots of pieces like match box cars, magnetic train sets/track, pots and pans, dishes, wood play food, etc. So its lots of little stuff everywhere. We do rotate toys but these particular toys I listed are ones he plays with every day. Oh and books, tons of books and he LOVES them.<br><br>
Paper - it never seems to end. I definitely need a better system for incoming/action/filing that I will actually follow. I've had many "systems" but we never follow through with them because they aren't easy enough I guess.<br><br>
The kitchen - it gets nuts. Stuff on the fridge w/ magnets, to do lists, calendars, my camera (I always want it near by and also have a food blog), then the diaper bag is in there since we come in and go out that way its the best place to keep it. Stuff on top of the fridge (we don't have a big pantry or enough cabinets even after major decluttering). Dishes are always piling up even though I do them regularly, seems like if I miss one meal it just explodes. I'm also big into meal planning and need a place/system to keep my binder with my recipes and plans in it. I can't seem to find a good place in the kitchen.<br><br>
Our master bedroom seems to be a catch all for stuff I don't know where to put it. Just random stuff that doesn't have a home. And our closet has empty space up top but I don't know what to do with it.<br><br>
Our linen closets - I don't know what to do with them either. They should be plenty big enough but we store things like our bulk paper towels, toilet paper, extra pillows for guests, etc. in there and its filled up. Our other one has some board games and "gift" basket in it (I save things people give me that I think someone else in my family may like - bags, christmas ornaments, etc. I do use this regularly so don't see it as clutter, and my family enjoys it).<br><br>
Anyway you get the idea. We have adequate space and stuff I just don't have proper systems in place or a place for everything. I'd really like to have this mastered by the time the baby comes!! Well, before that! Oh and that's another thing, new baby coming so all of DS's outgrown things are back out of the attic and we are trying to figure out what to do with them and where to put them and everything. Clothes, gear, etc.<br><br>
Ahhhhhhh!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wife&mommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8996296"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks!<br><br>
Well lets see. Toys are a problem. The house looks totally destroyed at the end of the day. My son likes toys with lots of pieces like match box cars, magnetic train sets/track, pots and pans, dishes, wood play food, etc. So its lots of little stuff everywhere. We do rotate toys but these particular toys I listed are ones he plays with every day. Oh and books, tons of books and he LOVES them.<br><br>
Paper - it never seems to end. I definitely need a better system for incoming/action/filing that I will actually follow. I've had many "systems" but we never follow through with them because they aren't easy enough I guess.<br><br>
The kitchen - it gets nuts. Stuff on the fridge w/ magnets, to do lists, calendars, my camera (I always want it near by and also have a food blog), then the diaper bag is in there since we come in and go out that way its the best place to keep it. Stuff on top of the fridge (we don't have a big pantry or enough cabinets even after major decluttering). Dishes are always piling up even though I do them regularly, seems like if I miss one meal it just explodes. I'm also big into meal planning and need a place/system to keep my binder with my recipes and plans in it. I can't seem to find a good place in the kitchen.<br><br>
Our master bedroom seems to be a catch all for stuff I don't know where to put it. Just random stuff that doesn't have a home. And our closet has empty space up top but I don't know what to do with it.<br><br>
Our linen closets - I don't know what to do with them either. They should be plenty big enough but we store things like our bulk paper towels, toilet paper, extra pillows for guests, etc. in there and its filled up. Our other one has some board games and "gift" basket in it (I save things people give me that I think someone else in my family may like - bags, christmas ornaments, etc. I do use this regularly so don't see it as clutter, and my family enjoys it).<br><br>
Anyway you get the idea. We have adequate space and stuff I just don't have proper systems in place or a place for everything. I'd really like to have this mastered by the time the baby comes!! Well, before that! Oh and that's another thing, new baby coming so all of DS's outgrown things are back out of the attic and we are trying to figure out what to do with them and where to put them and everything. Clothes, gear, etc.<br><br>
Ahhhhhhh!</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Here are a few suggestions:<br><br>
1. Get dishpans or something (whatever fits, wicker baskets or plastic boxes or whatever) to hold each "set" of little bits of toys. And LABEL them! Everything gets dumped in its own dishpan for quick clean-up. Then the dishpans go on a bookshelf.<br><br>
2. Get another bookshelf for the books. Maybe one like this: <a href="http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=1272&parentCategoryId=85182&categoryId=85213&subCategoryId=86195" target="_blank">http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/...tegoryId=86195</a><br><br>
3. I told you my paper system and don't have any better suggestions than that. Sorry, no ideas there.<br><br>
4. Can't help you on the dishes-- I suck at the dishes. Maybe bribe DS to help with them?<br><br>
5. As for the rest of the kitchen, and the linen closet, it sounds as though you need an extra freestanding cabinet somewhere in your house, wherever you can fit it. You could use the bottom to store your bulk paper towels etc. and the top to store the extra stuff that is currently on top of your fridge. Also a basket for incoming paper, as I mentioned, has made a big difference in keeping our kitchen counters clear. Then your binder can go on top of the fridge I guess.<br><br>
6. Not sure what to tell you about the master bedroom closet and baby's stuff. When you say space up top, do you mean a shelf or plain empty space? Do you plan to co-sleep with the new baby and keep the baby's stuff in your room? Does your DS have his own room? What I am going to do (probably Tuesday or so, when I get a chance) is put a small bookshelf underneath where DS's little clothes hang in our master bedroom closet, and put some of our stuff there.
 

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Toys: yes, the bin system is the only thing that has worked for us. We've been using it since before DS2 was born (when I was about 28 weeks, I installed shelves into DS's closet and sorted all the toys out into bins <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">), and they are JUST NOW getting that it makes things easy to clean. REALLY EASY to clean. Your DS is young, so you'll have to help/set the example. When you start to see stuff getting everywhere, say "let's take a break and clean up so there's more room to play." Then start divvying up the tasks: "first, lets clean up trains" and clean them up. Then choose the next item and clean it up. I'm so very proud to say that my DS 2 cleaned his disaster of a room the other day without me telling him what categories to clean up...and it was so clean it looked like I'd done it!! DS1 (SIX YEARS OLD!) still needs me to dictate the categories, though, so there's definitely a bit of personality at work there too.<br><br>
Paper: I have found that the most basic system is the only one that works for me, and even then, it just barely works (ie, I keep the clutter down enough, but I'm sure I'm not keeping everything I'm supposed to keep!). By our main entrance, we have a console table (sofa table?) that has two drawers in it and a trash can next to it. One drawer is for bills. The other is for "other important items." The trash can is for EVERYTHING ELSE. When the "other important items" drawer gets too full to open, I go through it and file/shred until it's empty again. Everything that would normally go on the fridge (coupons, takeout menus, pictures, whatever) goes into the "other important items" drawer. I end up cleaning it out about once a month, but never before its too full to function <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">.<br><br>
Kitchen: I can't help with this one much because I have a huge kitchen and DH and I are always trying to outwait each other on the dishes (I always lose this game <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">).<br><br>
Master Bedroom: the only way I keep it under control is to keep it clean. Find a place for the random stuff or get rid of it. If I let my bedroom go one day w/o a cleaning (make bed, pickup clothes), it explodes. It is the most rewarding and relaxing room in my house when its clean, but it is also the hardest to keep that way.<br><br>
Closets and baby stuff: I agree, I need more information to help with this. I find that I like dressers, a LOT because I hate messy closets. However, as I type this, I can't even walk into my own closet, which should have more than adequate space. So I won't tell you how to clean yours when I can't get mine there <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">.
 
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