Getting Organized: From The Readers

February 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm 1 comment

Earlier this week, I asked for readers’ suggestions about how to get organized.  I got some great comments from several readers.  Here are a few I thought I’d highlight, for those of you who are starting to think about spring cleaning:

~Prairie says:
I store clothes in the bins, but I first put them in space bags. They take up less than half the space and keep them fresh and protected from moisture. A little pricey, but worth it if you ask me.

~From Tania:
My organization tip for the piles and piles of papers, paintings, projects and unidentifiable objects that will come home from school over the next 15 years: Get one clear, storage container per child. Find the largest expandable folders (11X14 are the biggest I think) that you can and label them starting at the year of your child’s birth to the year they will graduate. This is where the papers go. Only save the ones that you can’t bear to part with. BE PICKY! We saved bithday cards from each year, a 5X7 photo of each shool year, class pictures, etc. Oh, and if you really love a project they made but it can’t fit in the folder, then take a photo of them holding it, stick it in the folder, and then.. yes… throw the project away!

~And finally, this is from Shaunda, to whom I’m awarding the title “Queen of Organization”:
1. Even having five minutes, a person can put a couple of items away, don’t wait for large blocks of time because they typically don’t come with young children in the home.

2. If you have multiple levels in your home, then keep a container such as a basket or box near the stairs for putting items that need to go to another level. Bring the container with you when you’re going there.

3. I have a set of dish pans (one for each person in our home; these containers are handy because they stack well when they are empty) and use these when I am organizing things. For example, if I’m clearing out the living room, separating socks, etc, then I just throw the things that are for that person or needs to go to their room in their container. If I’m using the containers to organize a room, then I try to at least bring the containers to the proper rooms if I don’t have time right then to put them away. If the container is already in their room, then it’s a lot easier to find a couple of minutes later that day to put the items away.

4. I have an area where we put things that we need to give away. There are so many times that we are in a room, closet, etc that we see something that we need to give away, so I try to bring it to the give pile right away instead of waiting to organize that area later.

5. I try to have things in areas that they will be used. This makes it easier to access them when I need them and to put them away when we’re done. For example, in the kitchen we have our markers, crayons, coloring books, etc because we only let the kids use them at the kitchen table.

6. Is there a large package of an item, such as toilet paper, that I could just have a few stored in the bathroom cabinet, store the rest of the package in the utility room, and have more room in my bathroom cabinet to store other things that are needed there as mentioned in five above.

7. Clear plastic storage containers are great to be able to see the contents, but if you want to be able to stack them several containers high then they are more likely to crack. We have a lot of the solid colored containers (they will stack better and wobble less if you stay with the same brand and size) and we have written a large number on each side (if you only write it on one side, then you have to be careful every time you’re putting it away to make sure that side is facing out) of the container. Then we have an Excel spreadsheet with the numbers, general description of the contents and a note of how full it is. Then we can do a search in the spreadsheet to look for the item that we need to find and then we know which container to find versus having to go through so many containers to find it. If we have only numbers written on them, then it doesn’t matter if we are later changing the contents of that container. Otherwise if we write in permanent marker the contents of a container, then we would be marking it out if we needed to put different items in it. If items are stored in plastic containers, then they’ll be a lot safer than cardboard boxes if there is any moisture or water damage.

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Entry filed under: Life in general. Tags: , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Dad  |  February 18, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Ok, Pauia Jr., who said you need to get organized? Barely managed chaos is OK, your kids won’t be traumatized if there is something out of place. Quite the contrary, everything in its place tends to breed neuroses.

    Reply

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