Tuesday, January 4, 2011

More Organizational 'Techniques'

This is a continuation of my Organization Series (just started yesterday, LOL)...

In an effort to keep up with coats, jackets, boots, shoes, sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, etc I put up a metal garment rack, right behind my front door, with a small shelf under it. I don't have a mud room or closet in the living room, formal entry way or anything else of that nature...you walk in the front door and there is the living room.

Shoes are thrown on the shelf. I have many many hangers on the rack itself for coats, hoodies, jackets, etc as well as a few extra hangers for guests' coats and jackets. The garment rack has a wire 'shelf' across the top, complete with hooks at the ends. From the hooks hang items such as my purse, laptop bag, diaper bag, backpacks, etc. On the shelf I will soon be putting a small storage basket for items like gloves and hats. I also put packages up there that I plan on mailing out (one of these days). Just past the garment rack I have a key organizer screwed to the wall...where keys are supposed to be hung after walking in the door....

I am also a firm believer in 'everything has a place'...now I have not yet practiced enough to get into the habit of 'everything goes in its exact place, neatly, immediately' but I do attempt to keep like items together. Bills, school stuff, etc all go on my desk, or on the filing cabinet. Items needing mending, scrap fabric, non-scrap fabric, etc all go on the sewing table. I have a small tote for my knitting & crocheting items...hooks, looms, yarn, scissors, etc. I have a trunk for crafty things, inside that trunk I do have a small tote for the kids' crayons & craft items, but mainly just because I can latch the trunk and Mikaila hasn't figured out yet how to get into it.

The chifferobe that I am using as a TV cabinet has two drawers - in the drawers I keep some drawing paper for the kids as well as all our board games (or at least the pieces to the games as I run across them in the floor). The shelf above the TV that is supposed to just house the Wii and DVD player is also the 'catch-all' for the video games & recently watched DVDs, often not put back in their cases, but in a pinch all I have to do is shut the doors and 'hide' the clutter. The kids have a separate TV & DVD player that currently resides in my dining room. It sits on a shelf that is supposed to be used for the VHS tapes, of which we only have 4, and I'm considering moving their books from the shelf in the playroom to the shelf below the TV.

In my dining room I also have a small cupboard type thing where I store all 'extra' blankets...I really need to go through it and donate a lot of the baby blankets in there, but I'm torn.

I have a large tote upstairs, in the storage room, that I put clothes in that are too big for the kids right now, or that are off season that I don't have room for in their dressers. Every season change I go through each of their dressers and closets and throw out badly worn clothes and make a donation pile for everything they've outgrown and in decent shape still. I then sort the donation piles into different bags to different people who could use the clothes and one bag for Goodwill. I mark each bag before I start stuffing them and generally immediately put them into the car, in the front seat...in sight so that they're not as easily forgotten.

In my laundry room I have a sorter hamper, with 3 compartments. As I bring laundry down I sort it according to color/type. I have an additional hamper for towels or sheets. I also have a garment rack stocked full of the empty hangers from everyone's closets. As I pull laundry out of the dryer I put the hanging clothes immediately on the hangers before hauling the basket of clothes to be folded upstairs. I have a small dedicated basket for socks that need to be mated and folded, then fold everyone's clothing. Each person over the age of 4 is responsible for putting their own clothing away. I start the teaching process when they are 3 (or 30 in the case of my husband). Laundry is to be put away in the dresser or closet before bed.

Sheets are washed every Sunday. I have found that if I skip a week or two we all suffer from allergy type symptoms. Pillows are washed on the first of every odd month; blankets and comforters are washed on the first of every even month.

Right now I don't have a dishwasher and my hands crack and peel if I do dishes too often, so dishes are done every afternoon...unless I can get Mikeal to do them after dinner too.

I have all hardwood floors in my house and only two utility rugs, so I sweep everything on average once a day. Everything gets swept into one big pile in the middle of the dining room (central room of the house) and from there the pile is sorted into baskets/boxes and I have my trashcan right there with me...a basket for laundry, basket for shoes, box for toys, trash into the trashcan. Then everything in the box or baskets gets put away where it belongs.

In the bathroom I have a small wastebasket (most of the time...lost it at some point over the last month) and a hamper that hangs on the door. All dirty clothes are to go in the hamper before leaving the bathroom after showering/bathing. All wet towels go on one of the two towel rods on the wall or door...still working on getting the 33 year old to realize that a shower curtain rod is NOT a towel rod. I have a small closet in the bathroom that is a GODSEND! On the top shelf I have all medications in a plastic storage drawer, every 3 months I go through the drawer and restock on bandaids, OTC meds, etc and throw out any medications we no longer take. On that shelf I also have extra bottles of shampoo, body wash, etc as well as my bathroom cleaning supplies. I have a small basket for all of my make-up that sits on the shelf with the towels dedicated to mine & Brian's use. On a lower shelf I have all the kids' towels, the hand towels, and wash cloths. I also have a 7 drawer storage bin with dedicated drawers for sample & travel size items, a drawer for hair bows, a drawer for bathroom electrical items (razors, hairdryer, curling iron, etc), a drawer for personal hygiene items, a drawer for bath toys, a drawer for miscellaneous items, and a drawer for bar soap. Under the sink I keep a few extra plastic shopping bags to use as trashcan liners and the toilet bowl brush. Over the toilet I have a wire kitchen organizer things that I screwed to the wall, then lined the base with a piece of cardboard to keep magazines in, every few months I change out all the magazines for new ones.

In my storage room I have sturdy boxes or totes for everything to be put away in. Curtains in a box. Seasonal items separated into a different tote or two for each season...this year my Christmas items expanded from just one medium size tote to include a larger tote. Everything in the totes are put back in their original packaging when I put it away or if I'm unable to get it back in it's original packaging I put it into zipper bags. I put it exactly where it goes as I take things down, and immediately into the tote. The tote is then put back into storage, labeled.

All totes in my storage room are labeled so that I can glance at it and know what is in it without having to dig or open everything.

Lets see....

Everyone's clean/extra bedsheets are kept in their individual closets or other storage space in the bedroom folded and completely together. In the event of accident or sickness there is no hunting down to find clean bedding and its always right there on sheet washing day to replace the removed sheets immediately.

Upholstery cleaner and Febreeze is kept in the living room, on the previously mentioned garment rack in the living room so that they are always handy. All other cleaning chemicals are kept on the top shelf of the pantry shelf. I have a large drawer in the kitchen dedicated to cleaning cloths, dish towels, cloth napkins, placemats, etc...

I also have small 'catch-all' baskets throughout the house...one on top of the fridge, one on top of the tall bookshelf in the dining room, one on top of my desk...you get the idea. The baskets are an eyesore quite often, which prompts me to put all the stuff away that has accumulated in the baskets on a regular basis...no set regular basis, but keeping the 'junk drawer' stuff out of drawers and in these baskets helps to keep me from letting it all accumulate and losing items.

I'm hoping to soon find a large rolling tool chest that I can give to my husband and then, HOPEFULLY, he'll be able to do a better job at keeping his tools put away...and maybe he'll quit stealing my tools that I *had* in my bucket that is lined with a tool organizer... The only tools I can count on being in there are my gardening tools, and even then I have to hunt them down once in a while when the kids think they're fun toys to play in the yard with...

That's all I can think of at this time....I'll add more as I think of more.

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