Need organizing Tips to keep you sane? I’ve got you covered.
Life can be hectic. With three kids, a therapy practice, a website and another book in the works – I have noticed that I have developed some
neurotic habits mad skills to keep my life organized and maintain my sanity. I am here to share my crazy with you (along with my organizing tips).
If you have some organizing tips – I hope you will share your wisdom with us in the comments at the end. We are all just surviving one day at a time, right?!
Here are 25 quirky organizing tips to change your life:
1. KEEP A STAIR BASKET
No more shouting, “put your stuff away!”
I discovered the stair basket a few years ago and it has become my new best friend. If you have stairs and kids – this is an awesome invention.
How many times do you find yourself shouting, “pick up your stuff!” or “take that upstairs!”
Make a new rule – if it is in the stair basket and it is yours – bring it up the next time you are going upstairs. If your kids struggle with listening you can make a rule that whatever remains in the basket after 24 hours gets taken away.
2. ACTION BASKETS
No more “oh shoot! I forgot!”
Apparently I love baskets – because I am not done with basket ideas! Have some baskets in your kitchen. I have three baskets. A basket for mail, a basket for follow-up and a large basket for things I need to bring somewhere (e.g. snacks for snack day at school, papers for work etc.). Because the baskets are near the coffee maker – I don’t miss them…most of the time!
3. STICKY REMINDERS
No more, “I forgot…again!”
If you have something you must remember – sticky notes are your friends! Keep some bright pink sticky notes by your baskets (love those baskets) and post the notes around the house when you need to remember something.
This has helped me remember many forgotten loads of laundry that would have sat molding in my wash as I sat at work.
I place the notes where I am sure to look – by my toothbrush, on the fridge or on the garage door etc.
4. GROCERY AND TO-DO LISTS THAT SYNC TO YOUR COMPUTER, TABLET AND PHONE
No more, “I forgot we needed milk!”
There are some free To-Do lists that can sync with all your electronics. I have a To Do list and a grocery list that I can access at any time on any of my devices. You can also have your partner sync to the same list – keeping your grocery list and To-Do list up to date.
5. PRE-SORTED LAUNDRY BASKETS
No more sorting laundry – yay!
Every minute in your life counts. Therefore every small short cut counts as well. Get a 3-bag rolling laundry sorter – use one bag for colors, one for whites and one for towels. Prompt your family to put their clothes in the appropriate bag.
Have laundry baskets in your children’s rooms and have them bring their baskets to your laundry-sorting bags. Have them sort their own laundry into the three bags.
This will teach them good life skills, boost their independence and help a mom out. Who can argue with that?
6. COMMIT TO ONLY ONE CHORE A DAY
Keep your house clean and get rid of your guilt – bonus!
This was a life changer for me. I was constantly feeling guilty that I could be doing more to keep my house clean. Ironically when I was cleaning, I felt like I could be spending more time with my kids. And so it goes with parenting, never a guilt-free moment.
With three days at work – I was left with only four days to do everything I wanted to do with my kids, my house, my website and this book (that I will eventually get finished)!
I decided I would assign a household chore for each day. Dishes, laundry and a quick vacuum are an everyday event at my house. We have two fluffy cats that literally coat our house and clothes in white fur. They are lucky they are cute. I added one additional task each day and boom – my house is clean enough.
Monday – Bathrooms
Tuesday – Dusting and wiping everything down
Wednesday – Floors
7. DEFINE RESPONSIBILITIES BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR PARTNER
No more “you don’t help out at all!” and spend your money on things other than marriage counseling.
Besides finances, sex and parenting – couples have the most conflict around household responsibilities. This doesn’t have to be a battle. Divide up the responsibilities so you and your partner know who will be doing what in the house. No more, “I thought you were going to do it!”
8. KEEP AN ONGOING BAG FOR DONATIONS
No more sorting through old clothes and toys.
Keep a garbage bag in your closet or laundry room (if you have one) with clothes and toys you no longer need or want.
If you see your kid wearing pants that second as unintended capris – make her change and throw them into the bag.
See a toy that no one touches or that is the root of all your suffering – throw it into the bag. When the bag gets full – donate it.
9. WHEN RUNNING LOW ON HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS, BUY A BACK UP
No more we ran out!
Being proactive is the key to my sanity. I have too many balls up in the air to be reactive. I need things to go as smoothly as possible. I am sure many of you live like that as well.
When my husband and I see that we are half way done with something – we add it to our grocery list and buy a backup. We have a drawer full of backup toiletries, a shelf with backup condiments etc.
10. BRING A GARBAGE BAG FOR LAUNDRY WHEN TRAVELING
Get back to normal quickly after a trip.
Pack several garbage bags when you travel. Have everyone put their dirty clothes into the garbage bag throughout the trip. When you get home throw whatever is in the garbage bags straight into the washer.
This will help reduce the amount you wash. If you over pack like I do, you don’t have to figure out what is still clean and what needs to be washed.
11. KEEP A SNACK SHELF FOR THE KIDS
No more “What can I eat?!” a zillion times a day.
Keep a low shelf in your pantry that is designated for the kids. Have boxes already open and organized for the kids to just grab a snack on the go.
If you don’t want them to eat it, don’t put it on their shelf. If you want to control snacking, put a lock high up on the pantry door. Let your kids know that the kitchen is closed when it gets close to meal times.
If your kids struggle with listening, set up a consequence for not following the rules.
12. WASH AND CUT FRUIT FOR THE WEEK
No more moldy and fuzzy fruit that gets tossed.
I start my week with good intentions, but as life gets busy those good intentions get thrown out the window. Fruit is one of those things. If I don’t wash and cut the fruit when we buy it – I may never feel up to the task – sad as that sounds.
Wash and cut your fruit and put it in Tupperware containers. Your kids can help themselves and everyone is more likely to eat the fruit throughout the week.
13. PUT CALENDARS IN YOUR CHILDREN’S ROOMS
No more “When are we going to…”
If your kids are like mine, they want to know what is happening and when. You can print off free monthly calendars from the web. Hang them in each of your children’s rooms and write significant things that are happening that month. Even young kids can benefit from a visual guide of what is happening.
14. PUT A SHOE ORGANIZER BY THE FRONT DOOR
Cleaner floors. Need I say more?
Shoe organizers are awesome. It helps keep the dirt and dust from traveling throughout your house and no one is ever screaming, “I can’t find my shoes!”
15. CREATE A CHARGING STATION IN THE KITCHEN
No more “my phone died” excuse.
Keeping a charging station in the family area does several things. It keeps all your electronics organized and charged. But more importantly, you can have your kids – especially teens- check in their electronics by a certain time each night. This guarantees they are not secretly on their phone or tablet when you go to bed.
16. CREATE AN ART CABINET WITH EASY TO REACH CRAFTS
Hear “I’m bored!” less often.
I am all about independence. Self-sufficiency boosts children’s level of self-efficacy and self-esteem.
Make an art cabinet with easy to reach crafts. I have paints already poured in no-spill paint cups. You can have plastic containers with various arts and crafts materials (googly eyes, sequence, glue sticks, tissue paper, stickers etc.) ready for little hands to grab. You can create small containers with different art projects that have all the materials already in them.
17. PUT EASY-TO-DO ACTIVITIES AROUND THE HOUSE
Keep kids entertained longer.
Do you have drawers and cabinets that are not full? Put little activities in them. My coffee table has a drawer in it that is filled with crayons and paper.
Some of my big girl, fancy furniture has scrap paper and puzzles hiding in them. I have a nice wicker basket that houses a mess of dress up clothes inside.
We have a closet that has been converted into a glow room. We painted one wall with chalkboard paint for the kids to draw on. The other wall has a black light that converts the room into a glow-in-the-dark paradise.
The more nooks and crannies your kids have to explore and play in – the happier they will be.
18. USE YOUR REMINDER APP ON YOUR PHONE
Pop up reminders will keep you on top of things!
With kids, meetings and extracurricular activities – who can remember it all? Most smart phones have some sort of reminder app on them. Use it. It is more than a little helpful!
19. KEEP AN EXTRA SET OF CLOTHES AND SHOES IN THE CAR
No more, “Where are your shoes?!”
Maybe I am the only one this has happened to – but you drive 30 minutes away and then realize that one of your kids isn’t wearing shoes. Yeah, it has happened. More than once.
So – now I have an extra set of clothes and shoes in the car at all times. Sadly, I have to admit, we have used the backup stuff more than once.
20. KEEP WIPES, TISSUES AND GARBAGE BAGS IN CAR CONSOLE
No more digging in your purse while driving.
Do your kids scream bloody murder for a tissue when you are driving? I have learned to be prepared. I keep tissues, wipes and garage bags in my car console. Boogers, sticky hands and smelly trash can be dealt with right away.
21. MAKE A BATHROOM CLEANING BUCKET
Cut down on how long it takes to clean the bathrooms.
Get a cleaning bucket and fill it up with everything you use to clean the bathrooms. This makes cleaning much quicker. It can also help your teens see what they need to use as they clean their own bathrooms.
22. KEEP KID-FRIENDLY CLEANING SUPPLIES FOR KIDS TO USE
Get a little help keeping the house clean.
Keep cleaning supplies that your kids can use. Teach kids independence and responsibility by having them clean up their own messes.
You can keep wipes in your art cabinet, so they can clean up their projects when they are done.
You can keep wipes, dry rags and a small, Kid size broom and duster in your pantry for those quick spills and messes.
23. KEEP A PLASTIC BIN BY LAUNDRY FOR MISSING SOCKS
Reunite your lost laundry and save on new socks.
Socks like to disappear. What I have noticed though – is that they eventually show up again. Keep a bin and throw in those unmatched pairs. Eventually they will find their match, as we all do.
24. ASSIGN LAUNDRY BINS FOR YOUR KIDS AND HAVE THEM PUT THEIR LAUNDRY AWAY
Cut down on the one-woman show and get some help.
Buy different color bins or baskets for each one of your kids. Fold up their laundry and then have them put their clothes away.
My youngest kids have bins in their rooms – so putting their own clothes away is simple. Even my 4 year old can put her own laundry away.
25. BRING A POWER STRIP WHEN TRAVELING
Lessen traveling frustrations.
Hotel rooms have limited power outlets. Bring your own power strip and create a charging station in the hotel room. This will keep all your things charged and organized.
Traveling with kids can be a major struggle. A well charged tablet will be much needed on the car or plane ride back home.
Those are all my organizing tips. What are yours? How do you survive? Moms have the best organizing tips!
Leave a comment and share with the rest of us struggling parents out there.
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