Organization

Organizing Toys

Category: Organization

Having a 3 year load and an 18 month old, the toys and books can be overwhelming. We have a rack of bins in the living room and the boys can choose one bin each to play with at a time. When they want something else, the first bin gets picked up and put away before new toys come out. On the bookshelf, the bottom shelf is empty for "returns.". Since it is hard for them to get the books back onto full shelves, they stack their used books on the bottom shelf rather than leaving them everywhere. This keeps them in one place to put away before bed! It makes clean up at the end of the day so much faster.

Family Calendar

Category: Organization

On my family calendar (which is displayed for all to see on the refrigerator) I color code it so that things are easily found. So, for example: For me, I put all my stuff in red, my husband's in blue and our son's in green. Then anything that is for the whole family is put in black. This simplifies our calendar and makes things easily found.

School Papers

Category: Organization

In order to keep track of school papers that are still "in progress" (ie. hot lunch calendar, instructions for long term projects, homework that isn't due until the end of the week, weekly reading log, spelling lists, etc.) we keep one clipboard for each child hanging on the wall in our kitchen. This prevents papers from getting lost or left at school and also is a good reminder to keep working on current school assignments. As assignments are completed, the papers come down and new ones go up. The end result is less piles of paper on the counter!!

Calendar

Category: Organization

One of the most simple tips that I use is to make a blank calendar and then put my own things that I have to do on it. We have a family calendar, but I am a wife, mother of two sons, and I work full time, teach as an adjunct faculty member and am enrolled in Graduate School part-time. I am also involved in my church and am a Secret Shopper. Putting everything from preparing breakfast for family, shower time for me, workout, study time etc, gives me a good look at my calendar and helps me maintain an organized schedule!

Organizing the Closet

Category: Organization

In your closet (and your kids) try hanging clothes that are in the same color family together. This gives the closet a more organized appearance but also makes it easier when you're trying to put together your outfit in the morning. Put clothes that are out of season towards the back of your closet (or store them) so they don't take up valuable space in front where your eye tends to gravitate when you're in a hurry and trying to get ready. This works well for kids who are starting to dress themselves. They can coordinate their outfits more easily on their own & won't need as much of your time in the morning trying to figure out what they're going to wear.

Bringing in Mail

Category: Organization

When bringing in the mail, stop first at your recycle bin and get rid of all the junk mail, open all mail and throw away the envelopes. All you have left is what need attention. This creates less stacks of paper around.

Sorting Closets

Category: Organization

When sorting through the closets at season change, I will mark items for a garage sale and place them in marked totes so when it's garage sale time everything is already marked and ready to go.

Mad Dash Madness

Category: Organization

Never Leave a room empty handed. Make sure every step you take is intentional and more efficient. Also MAD DASH MADDNESS! Every commercial break on television make a race with your family to see how much you can put away before the show comes back on.

DVD Organization

Category: Organization

With 7 people in the family, DVDs can cause a huge mess. My wife and I were getting tired of finding loose DVDs sitting on the shelf and having little finger prints all over them. So, I eliminated the DVD cases and put every DVD into a simple DVD carrying case (holds 96 DVDs). By doing this, we can quickly take our collection of DVDs with us on the road, allow even our 4 year old to browse through the entire collection, all while not ever needing to get the DVDs damaged. It also made it simple for them to return the DVDs to the case because they didn't have to "find" the original box again. This literally has saved us money, time, and made our living area much more organized.

School Papers School Papers

Category: Organization

I have 2 kids who bring home LARGE quantities of papers from school each night. What used to happen was they would get set on the table with the thought that these might be important. After about a week of pile up I would end up throwing them away and it never failed an important paper was in that pile!Now, on a side counter in my kitchen I have 2 baskets on top of 2 tubs. The kids know to put anything that needs signed or taken care of immediately in the basket. I then sign and return to the basket which they pick up before going to school the next morning. The tubs are fo the artwork or papers I want to keep.
This has greatly reduced he clutter on my table and counters. Plus my kids seem to really like it, too.