I need organization help!


#1

Any type of organiztion tips there are, I probably need them–organizing time, chores, closets, routines, the whole lot! So please share your tips for staying organized! :slight_smile:

Here are some things that have helped me:

  1. Having a mail “landing” spot that is cleared off by the end of the day each day.

  2. Having a multi-folder plastic portfolio to file my bills and papers into, with dividers for bank, utilities, tax, health, car, house, charity, work, etc. Each year we get a new folder and the old one goes up into the attic. After a few years we plan on tossing out the old papers and recycling the folders in the coming years.

  3. Making a dinner menu for the coming week to help me organize my shopping list and to know what’s for dinner each day instead of scrounging around for something to cook.

Alright, I’m ready to start reading some of YOUR tips for staying/getting organized. :slight_smile:


#2

Good thread. Hmmm…My tips are:

  1. Every few months or so, I walk through each room with a notebook and write down what doesn’t work. I just brainstorm. Later, I sit down and figure out a plan to fix those problems.

  2. Declutter. Once or twice a year, I go through storage boxes of old clothes and other items and throw out what I’m not using/won’t use. It’s amazing how my perspective changes after 6 months about something I thought I wanted. Also, rearrange furniture, knick-knacks every so often to keep things fresh. I find that whenever I do this, I do so much better at keeping that room clean.

  3. For organizing instruction manuals, I sort them in file folders by rooms, so that I can find something quickly. For instance, the tv/dvd manual is in the living room folder.

  4. I don’t know how, because we don’t have that much $$ and there’s not too many new things coming into this house, BUT, I do have one area in my house that seems to accumulate things that don’t have a home. So, to clean this up, I put everything in a laundry basket and find a home for each item. I suppose I end up doing this every few months or so.

I’ll have to think of some others. I love stuff like this…but right now my brain is not cooperating. :rolleyes:


#3

Great ideas! I especially love #4! I have a whole room devoted to that purpose, it seems :frowning: It used to be the “office” when we were a family of 3. Now it’s going to be one of the kids’ rooms, so basically everything in there is homeless (since all that office stuff doesn’t belong in a kid’s room!).


#4

I store things in the room where they are used, or as close to it as I can. Bathroom cleansers in the bathroom, kitchen cleansers in the kitchen etc. Towels in the bathroom, sheets in the bedroom closet, storage bench or bottom drawer. Sewing supplies where I sew. that means getting multiples so you don’t have to search and tote. I have a half dozen pair of scissors, in the desk, in my dresser drawer, in my sewing basket, in the kitchen drawer etc.

Kitchen is organized to dishes, pans and utensils are closest to where they are used, glasses by the fridge (where water, ice and drinks are), pans next to or under the stove etc. For the kitchen it is important not to have more than you use. For 2 people and 8 piece silverware and dinnerware set is fine. I cook with the same 3 pans most of the time, so kept the best, got rid of duplicates, and store infrequently used things in the back of the cupboard, or in those high shelves I can’t reach.

i don’t do holiday entertaining anymore so I gave that stuff to my daughters–the big turkey platter, the divided relish dishes etc, the Christmas design mugs etc.

De-clutter. If it is not used, get rid of it. If you have doubts, box it up, open the box a year later, if you never missed it, get rid of it. That goes for household items as well as clothing and linens.

I have to sort mail once a week, pay bills, file, enter info onto spreadsheets etc. Takes about an hour but if I miss it quickly grows into a mountain of junk. Handle each piece of mail once. Toss it, scan and toss, take action appropriate (write and mail a check, make a phone call etc) and file.

I rely both at home and in the office on color coding–my calendar, my storage and filing, my linens, and my clothes. Each bedroom and bathroom has its own color so you don’t have to guess what fits what bed or where it belongs. Filing is color coded–green for financial data, red for medical and so forth.

My calendar is color coded according to what type of activity it is. I have only one planner, school year, July 2007 through December 2008, and I start a new one each July, transferring dates I need. It has a full month grid, and full page for each week with plenty of room to write, but fits in my purse, so I always have it with me. I buy my purses to fit my planner and other things I need to carry.
I use colored pencils or highliters for a tick mark on the monthly page, and put the details on the daily entry. Whenever I get a new contact I write it in the planner, or put business cards in a pocket folder stapled on the back cover. Receipts go in a pocket stapled in the front cover and filed as soon as I get to work or home office.

I have an index card file in one of those photo albums that holds one 4x6 print in each plastic sleeve. I have 4 sets of weekly menues and shopping list, also color coded, so I just repeat these menues each month. I have cards with daily chores, weekly chores, monthly or quarterly chores and annual chores. They are also color coded. i keep my place with a big paper clip, and I try to do the chores on time (keep it under an hour a day). That way I don’t forget to clean the fan blades or wash the curtains.

my wardrobe is color coded, based on the same 4-5 color families, (black, khaki, sage green, dutch blue, with some white and navy) so each piece usually goes with at least 6 other pieces, and with my shoes. I hang clothes by color to make picking outfits easier. When something needs mending I wash it and hang it in one particular spot, and tackle these once a month or so.


#5

Wow, there are some fantastic ideas here! I am so organization-challenged so I would have never thought of some of these!


#6

Wow, Puzzleannie! :bowdown2:


#7

ONe of the best things I ever did was join flylady.com. Another CAF member, Teakafrog, told me about it in May. I joined, and I have been following the “plan” all summer. Although I am not 100% where I want to be in my cleainging and organizing, I am much, much better. We even have a flybaby support thread going here, so please feel free to join us.


#8

ONe of the best things I ever did was join flylady.com. Another CAF member, Teakafrog, told me about it in May. I joined, and I have been following the “plan” all summer. Although I am not 100% where I want to be in my cleainging and organizing, I am much, much better. We even have a flybaby support thread going here, so please feel free to join us.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=157958


#9

I had to make a spiritual change first before I could make changes in being more organized. I read every housekeeping-organizing-household-hints book I could and bought file cabinets and drawer organizers…etc…you name it. It has been a lifelong struggle for me. However NOTHING helped me for the long term until I looked at it from a spiritual standpoint.

Envision yourself as a God-appointed steward for the things you have been given. Even the “small” things. It is your moral obligation to be a good steward of these things. Tossing paperwork into a pile or stashing an item in the closet only to be lost or broken later…makes a person no better than the billionaire that lights a cigar with $100 bill just because he can. It is important that we are all careful to be organized because it makes us more effective and less wasteful.

My disorganization has cost me plenty in my life. I paid bills late and wasted countless hours searching for lost items. I squandered time cooking at the last minute because I didn’t plan. I was frazzled often.

I am suggesting prayer for you as it helped me more than any tip I was ever given. You probably already know what to do, it is the discipline to do it and keep at it that haunts you. I started by making my bed everyday but instead of a chore I made it my prayer. I thanked God for the soft pillows and the matching sheets and that I had a safe place to lay my head. Then I extended this philosophy of life into all areas. Pray pray and pray. God wants you to be organized, Satan wants you to have a frazzled and disorganized life. This is a spiritual issue, not a housekeeping one. I fight this fight daily. I will pray for you, please pray for me. I hope this helps a little.


#10

DD got plastic shelving units from home depot, the plastic ones you assemble, and put them on either side of the door from the garage to the mudroom (their usual entrance). Everyone has a shelf for shoes and boots. the closet inside the door is for outerwear. Everyone is allowed one jacket, one dress coat, and one hoodie or sweater. gloves, mittens, scarves go on bags with plastic pockets that hang on the 2 closet doors, everyone has their own color coded slot so even the little ones can find their things.

She also color codes linens, so each child has a color, so when they fold and put laundry away they can find the stuff for their own bedroom and bathroom without rumaging through the linen closet, and no guessing on the sheet sizes. Each child has their own plastic clothes hamper and is expected to bring it to the laundry room when full, and the dry load is returned to that child in hamper to be folded and put away. her oldest is now tall enough to operate the washer and dryer and is being trained in that task.

her laundry room is also well organized and she installed a hanging rack for clothes on hangers, and more shelving. cleaning supplies are in plastic totes with handles, so if there is a mess she tells a child “get the floor mess tote (pink)” so the child can help clean the mess, and you don’t have to hunt for cleaning supplies.

her kitchen has lots of specialized cupboard units and she has that well organized, so even if I unload the dishwasher I can easily see where everything belongs.

my favorite thing tho is the new refrigerator in oldest daughter’s new house. It is side by side but wider and flatter, so the stuff inside is only a single layer in depth. It takes up almost a whole wall, but there is gobs of room, and easy to find everything at a glance.

i don’t have space for file cabinets with pull-out drawers in my home office, so I got cheap plastic shelving (the build your own kind) from the dollar store, in white to match the walls, and colorful boxes with handles to match the colors in the rug. plastic bins holding hanging folders fit inside, so my files are accessible but the room is attractive and color coordinated. Medical files in the red box, financial in the green box etc. baskets from the dollar store in the same colors hold office items, filing supplies, stationery etc. I even found a lamp that coordinates. Entire outlay for storage and lamp about $30. I also got picture frames from the dollar store to match, and hung a lot of family pictures that had been in boxes since we moved, and got a thrift shop chair and rug which set my color scheme, and a thrift shop sturdy table for the computer, which I painted the same creamy white as the walls.

colors are bright and modern, and very invigorating for a work environment. this room has a closet where I put more plastic shelving for sewing and craft supplies, and seasonal storage for less frequently used items, such as Christmas decorations, purses, and tax files to be retained. with a couple of regular bookshelves from target, also in white, I am good to go.


#11

Monicad–Thank you so much! I will pray for you too! How wonderful to make your chores prayers of thanksgiving! :slight_smile:

Puzzleannie–sounds like your DD inherited (either by genes or example) your organization!


#12

I had to become a good organizer because I am ADD. probably why I became an archivist.


#13

Sam, I don’t mean to hijack here, but Annie, I’m very curious! What kind (brand/model) of wonderful fridge is this?! (Just dreaming…)


#14

Everything on www.flylady.net is awesome! She divides your home into 5 zones and you take care of one zone each week. After a month on her program your house is noticeably more organized, and you don’t burn out trying to do it all at once!


#15

what a great post!


#16

I am brutal with clothing. If it hasn’t been worn in a season, has stains on it, looks bad, doesn’t fit, outgrown, out of style it goes out. The good stuff goes to charity, the bad stuff gets recycled to rags. I go through my children’s clothes 3 or 4 times a year and weed out anything that is not worn, or has been worn too much. If I purchase any new items of clothes or shoes, something goes out. Having done this for about a decade, I really have a good grasp on our closets. I’ve found that once you have the space to display stuff, it’s easy to see what you need, or what you don’t need.


#17

Flylady!!


#18

It’s called a counter-depth fridge, and you’ll get a lot less bang for the buck with these. The cheapest one on sears.com is 1500, and you can get a low-mid end fridge for a third of that, easily.
Expensive Counter Depth Fridges at Sears Kind of thing that’s only worth the money if you have enough of it to waste, IMO, but that’s probably just me. They do look classy, though.


#19

Oooooh, pretty! :slight_smile: Thanks, vluvski. (So my dh and I have odd fantasies—he dreams up the most expensive computer system he could possibly build; I dream up expensive household appliances! And then we sit and laugh…)


#20

I read a great book about this a few months ago. I loaned it to my RCIA teacher so I am probably going to remember the title wrong, but it’s something like…

Making Room For God: Declutter your life

I can’t remember the author, but it was a great book!

Also…God must have led me to this question because I just learned of and joined Flylady and love it. But, I am having a hard time navigating through it. SO, it’s good to know that there is a thread here about it. Thanks!


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