Organizationally Challenged


OK, I’m calling on all the neat freaks out there. The ones who can’t sit still and their houses are always clean, laundry is always folded and put away neatly, etc.

Please share your best organizational tips to keep the home in order even when both spouses work and there are 3 kids that all need to be in different places at the same time (or a similar family composition!)

OK, I know . . . Step 1: Get off the computer and do the dishes!


The only thing that keeps me in check is Flylady. Try

It is a free thing, I’m not trying to sell anything. She has you develop a small routine in the morning in evening and you gradually expand it. It really is the only thing that works and I’ve tried everything. You just improve in babysteps and do a little bit each day and before you know it you realize your house is clean. You can also sign up for her free emails. She sends lots of reminder emails during the day and also stories of people who’ve been successful. If you don’t want to get a lot of email, though, you don’t have to sign up for that. She has a good book too, Sink Reflections.

Good luck. I am so with you on being organizationaly challenged.



This is a good place to start. Lynn


I didn’t like flylady :slight_smile:

The only way I get things done is a list! In my planner, I write what I want to accomplish each day. Whether it’s cleaning the bathroom, going to the post office, making phone calls etc, I get it done if I have a check list.

Just keep it reasonable - not too lofty. --KCT


Thanks for this thread, I often need serious help getting organised in this and some other areas of my own life :yup:


we just had this organization thread someplace last week, and I did sign up for flylady (again), but there are already a dozen emails in my inbox I don’t have time to look at, and I never got past, shine the sink (well I did it maybe, Friday) and do the bathroom (which I do Fridays anyhow), and I don’t plan to do much tonight, and I have 12 hr days planned all next week. I think I will purge my inbox and wait for DH to get home, he does pretty good with this stuff, he does the floors which makes him worth keeping.

I did haul a bunch of stuff to St Vincent (lost another size 1/2 folks) and organized bathroom clutter, and have stowed all like objects on one place (all nail stuff in one box/drawer, all sox/stockings in one drawer, first aid stuff together etc). O also took a couple boxes of books to library book sale, and 2 boxes to my brother for those long winter nights in the cabin up north.

Pared down shoe warehouse to one pair in each color, dressy classy sneakers, wash the car sneakers, walking shoes, and cross trainers (down from 8 pair of athletic shoes). also kept sox/stockings that go with each style of shoe, and dumped those that don’t work/fit. cleared an entire drawer, also dumped no-fit underwear (another drawerful).

cleaned out kitchen cabinets (as part of hurricane preparedness) found the canned food I had stockpiled for the last storm, also batteries, which are still good, flashlights etc. and found microwave cookware I forgot about. Kept 2 tablecloths for round kitchen table, and 2 for when the center part is in, dumped the rest, will use the stained ones for ground cloths when painting, trimming shrubs etc.

got nasty linens and dishtowels to the rag bin, washed and folded the good stuff, put it in matching bathrooms. that’s good cuz we had no rags when we moved here, now DH will leave my towels alone.

pared down from 12 bibles to 5, took the rest to work for the parish library (DR, RSV-CE pocket size, huge NAB Oxford study bible, and Spanish bible), kept a smaller NAB for my husband’s small-faith group. also finally put bible tabs in the 2 I use most.

sorted all pens, pencils, office supplies, dumped stuff that doesn’t write, doesn’t work, cleaned scissors with goo-gone so they cut again, dumped scissors that don’t cut (cheepy dollar store kind).

organized kitchen drawers, that took a day, but well worth it, I found so much lost stuff, including 2 essential sets of keys. took 3 olds cell phones to recycling, and actually got a rebate to use for an in-car charger.

got rid of CD jewel boxes, two boxes full, folks at work took them, too. I have all the music I want on computer and mp2 memory chips, and CDs stored in sleeves in binders. That freed up a whole shelf in this office.

finally got office storage boxes and containers assembled and stuff put away, entered financial data in computer up to July, filed paperwork (again in plastic bins for hurricane protection, the will go in the garage attic, sealed with duck tape). Essential papers are in waterproof plastic bin ready to go in the truck if I evacuate (have been invited to stay with nuns in San Antonio).

discarded old meds, cleaned up first aid kit and bathroom drawers, also have a bin for evacuation with meds, diabetes stuff, prescriptions etc.

got rid of old purses, kept one in each color, and got rid of tote bags I don’t need (every activity I have is in a tote bag, but I still have too many).

completed my CCD and personal planning calendars–color coded by type of activity–for the school year, desk and pocket.

entered all phone numbers, business cards etc in outlook, printed hard copy, backed up computer, will store CD’s in safe place.

have everything non-essential unplugged, will leave fridge and computer till last minute. cooked and ate most of the food, just have enough cooked food in fridge to last til next weekend, will take in cooler if we leave.

nothing like expecting a hurricane to get you organized in a hurry.


Oh My puzzleannie…thats terrific…I wonder if I could do it:eek:


My problem areas are my office and my closet…I have a problem getting rid of things…I’m always sure I need it all…which I don’t…something I need to work on:rolleyes:


FlyLady works in principle. I can’t follow the guidelines exactly.

But my sink shines on a regular basis and my main living areas remain clutter free for the most part.

The most important thing that FlyLady taught me is that it doesn’t have to be an all day thing.

I went out and bought cleaners for both of the bathrooms and the kitchen and put a roll of paper towels in each location. There’s a toilet brush and three bottles of toilet bowl cleaner (gotta love Costco) by each toilet. So every so many nights while I’m standing over the sink and swishing my listerine around, I put cleaner in the toiler, I spritz the mirror then wipe down the counters and then give the toilet a quick brushing.

Walah! I just brushed my teeth AND cleaned the bathroom! Woohoo!

In the mornings when I shower I have a cleaning brush that I scrub over the surfaces while the conditioner soaks in my hair. It keeps the soap scum a littler farther at bay between deep cleanings.

The hardest room for me is the kitchen. Every time I get ahead, we just dirty it up again. :sigh: But I made it somewhat easier by sweeping every day but only mopping every two days. It cuts my time down. I also try to keep the dishwasher empty so there’s no excuse for putting a dish in my sparkly sink!

Clutter is my enemy though. Books and stuff just somehow… appear.


Well, I usually browse this forum, but somehow I missed the earlier discussion on the same subject. Thanks, to those who pointed it out to me, and thanks to those who responded here! For more info, the first thread is here:

I’ll have to check out flylady, too!


Neat freak checking in here. My strategy is called “picking up clutter all day long, every day.” Almost everytime I pass through one of the main living areas I can collect an arm-load of misplaced things–usually dropped by the kids–that I put away. Yes…I do get the kids in the act, too. I do most of the family laundry–which is everpresent–fold everything but expect the kids to keep their own drawers/closets neat-not overflowing. I have cleaning help weekly (which includes stripping our beds, washing/replacing soiled linens/towels and re-making the beds) so that saves me time and sanity.

Big organizing projects usually come at the change of season and mean emptying then sorting all contents of closets, drawers, sports equipment/uniforms, garage, etc. and making a donation run. Home office is an ever-present, ongoing challenge. Accesssible storage space/containers are essential…though the more space you have, the more you fill.

My advice…skip the books, web-sites, organizing scams. Pick one room each week and empty it, organize the stuff in it and get rid of non-essentials. It will take you a couple of months to get through your whole house…but it’s worth it. For daily clutter…take 1/2 hour in the morning when you get up (and preferably before the kids do). You have lots of energy that time of day. Make another sweep before your husband arrives home. If you have a “deadline” you will be more motivated and efficient. And by all means get your kids to help…if they have some “skin in the game” they are less likely to be oblivious about the messes they make.


Holy ****! How long did that take? Will you come to my house?



the only thing that helped me with this issue is clean it out, use 4 boxes for Belongs Someplace Else So Put it Away, Garbage, and Take to Goodwill, and Hmmm I Don’t Use it But May Need it Someday. Take care of the first 3 boxes, seal up the last box and store it for a year. If you don’t open it for a year, take that to Goodwill too.


Thanks, I know I need to get with it…:blush:

my closet is probably worse than my office:blush:


good, start with the closet, and don’t forget to dust and vacuum when you get everything out and watch for spider sacks. the office will go better if you have a place to put things that don’t belong in the office. be ruthless with books, esp. computer manuals to machines and software you don’t own anymore (like anyone want a full set of Windows 95 Office books)


My primary mantra: “Like things together”

My secondary mantra: “The garbage can is my friend”

And, yes, I’ve thrown away, sold, given away things that I later regretted. But, I got over it.

A fellow I work with (who is highly organized) took a weekend and made it his mission to throw out 100 things from his house. And, a stack of magazines counted as one. I sure he did some major culling out.


I’m a neat freak.

Monday - Gardening (my personal favorite)
Tuesdays - Fridge / Stove / Closet (Whichever is worse)
Wednesday - Dusting and 1 or 2 bathrooms
Thursday - Vacuming
Friday - remaining bathrooms & Laundry
Saturdays - Groceries
Sunday’s - Rest and visiting

Quick polish to bathroom when I go.
I keep cleaning supplies on all floors so I don’t have to go up or down.
Keep nicknacks to a minimum.
Sweep daily and Mop a few times a week depending on level of dirt.

Constantly pick up after my kids, but nag at them to put their dishes in the sink/dishwasher, shoes and coats in the closet. I have taught them how to make their beds, but sometimes I find myself doing it. My DH backs me up on this.

And constantly remind myself that it’s the inside that counts and not the outward appearance.

closed #18

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit