Extreme Organizing Ideas
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  1. #1
    Registered User monkeywrangler71's Avatar
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    Default Extreme Organizing Ideas

    Lately I feel like I living in an episode of Hoarders - Buried Alive. Those of you who know me will understand how far out of character that is. I'm usually the extreme minimalist; my idea of the perfect decor looks something like this:










    (yes, that's an empty white space )

    Now that I'm back to work I just can't keep up with keeping tidy in a small house. I feel like I'm tripping over everything and everyone. I'm in a rush in the morning, I'm exhausted at night. I'm getting a little cranky.

    One thing that I'm going to start this week is getting out 5 full changes of clothes for the kids and putting them in little zip bags. That way there shouldn't be any drawer opening and clothes spilling during the week.

    What else can I do, what can I set up, to save time and space and minimize the running around?? Share some other ideas.

    Please note, I'm looking for actual organizing ideas, not the usual advice to purge/declutter or join flylady.

  2. #2
    Registered User pinecone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeywrangler71 View Post
    ...
    Now that I'm back to work I just can't keep up with keeping tidy in a small house.
    One thing that I'm going to start this week is getting out 5 full changes of clothes for the kids and putting them in little zip bags. That way there shouldn't be any drawer opening and clothes spilling during the week.
    Get a routine going. On Monday I ____, Tuesday is _____ day etc. When Sunday night rolls around make sure the work week is ready to start. IMHO having 5 days of clothes set out will just add to the visual clutter. How old are you children? Can they help in some way?

    Hate to say it, but if the clothes are spilling, it might be time to thin the selection.

    piney

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    Registered User Stacia's Avatar
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    Get a clothes hamper for each bedroom and one for the bathroom. Put a small trash can in every room as well. I once saw an article that said to keep a big empty tub or laundry basket around, that way if someone unexpectedly came over or called and said they were you could run around and grab everything, and put it in the closet.

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    Registered User Stacia's Avatar
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    You could try putting all the spring and summer clothing that no one is wearing right now in large tubs and put them away till summer. That way they are not rummaging through piles of clothes to find what the need. (If they are anything like my kids..lol)

    Do you have a wet jet mop? I hate to mop, and this is the best invention ever. So easy and quick, and you can just throw the pads away (If the get too bad).
    Last edited by Stacia; 02-11-2012 at 08:14 PM.

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    Registered User Ramona's Avatar
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    Set the breakfast table before bed. Make ahead breakfasts, ie breakfast burritos, muffins, egg mc muffins. Stored in the freezer and defrosted then microwaved. Of course, if everyone eats cereal, it's easier .

    Are your children old enough to put their dirty clothes into the hamper? Can they fold their own freshly washed clothes? Put their stuff away when they finish playing? Load and unload the dishwasher? Do chores?

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    Registered User Stacia's Avatar
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    I have two kids so I take 2 separate laundry baskets and put all their clothes for the week in them, socks and all.

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    Registered User NikoSan999's Avatar
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    From someone who works 6 days a week I feel your pain.

    Along with the ziplocs for the kids YOU have to get ready. Have your clothes, makeup etc laid out before bed to take the guess work out of deciding what to wear. I know, believe me I know, you're tired at night but this will help if you're running behind.

    I can't remember if you're against paper plates but it sure would take a load out of the dishwashing equation, washing, putting away, not to mention electric. A 100 is less than a couple bucks and saves a ton of plates. Lot of time involved there especially on a really tired day like the end of the week.

    Laundry, load/wash in morning and sometime during the evening throw them in the dryer early enough to put away. Rinse and repeat. Even a couple 2-3 loads thru the week will help on the weekends. I'd rather take a beating than laundry thru the week.

    I can't think of anything else right now. I know you're a very organized person. In all my years of working tho the laying out of clothes, even for myself, makeup and paper plates saved a TON of time.
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    Registered User NicJean's Avatar
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    I've tried doing a couple things each day until they become habit, then adding more. I'm by no means perfect, nor do I live in a minimalistic space (I love lots of stuff). I am trying to cut down on the flotsam, for sanity's sake. Some things I've been working on daily/weekly:

    Friday morning, or if I'm real good, Thursday evening: I scan the fliers for dinner ideas and/or peek at the stockpile to use up stuff- shop Friday or Saturday (really early!), list my dinner ideas for the week on the inside of a kitchen cabinet with a page protector hanging in there(along with magazine tear outs or cookbook names and page #'s), I get ready for trash and recycling Friday night, Saturday do trash, recycling, group together outfits in my closet (everything for one day on one or two hangers - even necklaces and nylons!).

    Every day (mostly) I put a load of clothes to wash, and dry the previously washed one and put it away. Before bed every night, all water is filled (filter, ice cube tray, Keurig machine, and fridge water), Kitchen floor swept - at least, chickens tucked in, unload my bathroom vanity (I'm not here all day, and it's always piled high . . .), wash all dishes (Put away in morning), figure out breakfast, write myself a note - "Use up the bread for toast," set out my mug and cocoa or chai mix with spoon, and before turning in for the night I look at what's for dinner the next day - do I have time, or the inclination to chop green peppers or thaw meat in fridge overnight, prep-stuff (mise en place) so dinner's real easy? I also look areound, make sure I do/did my 3 things a day, and choose the next day's tasks.

    I've worked on making things habit, adding to these "everyday chores" with declutter, organization and deep cleaning "3 things a day". The house is much better, although I could probably draw in the dust on the TV, and I know the living room needs vaccuuming - maybe tomorrow. . . it never ends, but it no longer seems an unbearable burden. I just need to work a bit, every day.

    I grew up an Army brat - and Saturday was to be dreaded - ALL Day cleaning, scrubbing, laundry UGH!! It got so bad I revolted, in a big way, and have always been a bit of a "messie" - not dirty really, just clutter, stuff not put away, and I felt stressed out!! This is much better, for me. Hope some ideas help. ((hugs))

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    Sounds like you're busy organizing others and picking up/cleaning up after them.

    Is it possible for them to clean up themselves? That is, are there laundry hampers in each room and can they reach and use them? And, more importantly, can they easily move clothes from their room to the laundry room?

    Are there clothes racks at their height on the back of the door maybe, or the wall, where they can hang their clothes for the next day before they go to bed? Or where they can hang frequently worn items like belts and sweaters, or casual clothes for when they get home from school? Better a rack on a door than a heap on the floor!

    Can they get into their dresser drawers? Or are they all too high for the kids? Put the undies and socks drawers down low, so they can get in them themselves without help. Put less used clothes and best clothes in the top drawers they can't reach.

    Are the clothes racks in the closet at child height or adult height? Can you put a second rod in at child height and put frequently worn clothes on it? And put the Sunday best clothes on the higher rod?

    Routines are your friend. Have an hour before bed set aside to tidy up before bed and prepare for the next day. This is not a deep clean, just a pick up time. Set priorities. Public areas first (entry, living room, bathroom, kitchen), then a clear path from the bed to the door in all bedrooms in case of emergency. Get each child to deal with their bedroom.

    Have a set bedtime for the kids and train them to start their bedtime routine with plenty of time to get themselves organized before bed. Get them to pick up their toys before bed. If they don't pick up, you pick it up and keep it for a set period of time before giving it back to them. They will learn to pick up real quick if you do it that way. You may want to help them pick up, and that's okay. Sometimes it works better that way. But they need to learn to respect their stuff by putting it away. Otherwise it can go to a child who will appreciate it more.

    Saturday morning should be reserved for deep cleaning/laundry. Saturday afternoon for groceries and meal prep for the next week. I used to carry this into the evening on Saturdays. Sunday is a break...period... Take the whole day off, do family things. Crock-pot supper. In fact, crock-pot can be your new friend in making your days run smoother. Use it lots to prepare meals on the days you work.

    Having written all this, I forget the age of your kids. Sorry if none of this applies because they're all teens! In that case you need a family meeting with Dad to make sure everyone sees the need to carry their share of the load. Come to think of it, we had our first family meeting when the girls were 2 and 5, so yeah, no age is too young to start in my books! Check out Bettner and Lew's "Raising Kids Who Can" for a book on family meetings.

    Hope that helps. Good luck!

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    I suggest keeping your surface as clear as possible so it is just a quick wipe..
    strongly suggest paper plates this is so much easier than washing dishes ( no dish washer here)
    assign chores to kids even a 2 year oldcan pick up toys and feather dust..teaches them good habits....
    boxes are your best friend pretty boxes for mail, toys, junk everyone has it..
    love those totes for under the bed to store out of season clothes or clothes that they wear, or toys..
    write your self notes ex on fridge milk eggs tide,
    There are plenty tips here to help u so pick and choose what works for your family good luck and hugs.

  12. #11
    Registered User monkeywrangler71's Avatar
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    Lots of good suggestions.

    I'm not opposed to paper plates, I would have just never thought of using them. I'm not sure I would want to eat my supper off of them, but definitely a good idea for the kids' breakfast and snacks. Plus, I think I have some leftover from some parties, so it serves the double purpose of clearing something out of my cupboard.

    I have moved the laundry hamper into the hall closet - equally accessible from the bathroom and all bedrooms. There isn't enough room in the bathroom for one.

    I'm going to put up a chore chart for the kids. They are really slipping on picking up toys. The toys are an issue, they're too hard to put away.

    I should put out a box for the mail & stuff. Except I then have a habit of never dealing with it - but there is so much paper coming home from the school, etc. Perhaps if I commit to emptying the box every Saturday morning? That would certainly make a huge difference in the amount of mess that accumulates in the livingroom during the week.

    I definitely need to be getting my clothes ready ahead of time. I usually only have about 5 minutes to get myself ready. I love the idea of putting outfits together on hangers, I'm going to try that.

  13. #12
    Registered User Stacia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeywrangler71 View Post
    Lots of good suggestions.

    I'm not opposed to paper plates, I would have just never thought of using them. I'm not sure I would want to eat my supper off of them, but definitely a good idea for the kids' breakfast and snacks. Plus, I think I have some leftover from some parties, so it serves the double purpose of clearing something out of my cupboard.

    I have moved the laundry hamper into the hall closet - equally accessible from the bathroom and all bedrooms. There isn't enough room in the bathroom for one.

    I'm going to put up a chore chart for the kids. They are really slipping on picking up toys. The toys are an issue, they're too hard to put away.

    I should put out a box for the mail & stuff. Except I then have a habit of never dealing with it - but there is so much paper coming home from the school, etc. Perhaps if I commit to emptying the box every Saturday morning? That would certainly make a huge difference in the amount of mess that accumulates in the livingroom during the week.

    I definitely need to be getting my clothes ready ahead of time. I usually only have about 5 minutes to get myself ready. I love the idea of putting outfits together on hangers, I'm going to try that.
    Have you thought about going paperless for your bills? They will send you a notification to your e-mail or Cell phone. This has saved me from having a bunch of envelopes piling up.

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    Registered User monkeywrangler71's Avatar
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    We don't have any paper bills or bank statements. Most paper comes from the school.

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    Registered User Stacia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeywrangler71 View Post
    We don't have any paper bills or bank statements. Most paper comes from the school.
    How about a bulletin board? You can put it over the counter and tack up all the important papers like field trips, school activities, parent teacher conferences ect.. That way they are in plain sight and can't get over looked.

    I have a bulletin board and a dry erase calendar up in the kitchen.

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    Registered User nodmicks's Avatar
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    We live in a big old house but have a big lack of closets and don't have a useable basement. Dh built us a platform bed for about $30 and attached our headboard to it. He made it high enough that we could store plastic totes under the bed. I LOVE IT!!!

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