Organizational Tips

There’s a great thread here called Clean Fast, Knit More, however, I am more interested in how/what you organize, because I’ve found that a home can’t be clean until it’s clutter-free and organized. I’ve become an organizational wild-woman:woot: My pantry is organized and the shelves are labeled, so are my spices in the kitchen. All yarn is organized into bins (1 for yarn for projects I plan to start, 1 for socks, 1 for all the Vanna White for my afghan, etc.).

I can’t TELL you how wonderful it is to be able to tell someone exactly where to go to find the padded envelopes, or the labelmaker :teehee: (I’m trying to get my mom and DH to be more organized too).

All my clothes are separated into different color hangers (white=summer tops, blue=slacks & jeans, purple=leggings, green=cover ups or winter tops).

There’s plenty I have yet to organize, BUT the old adage A [B]PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE[/B] sure helps me not only know where it all is, but know where something should be so I can put it there instead of leaving it lying around.

:shifty: My organizational plan was to marry my DH. :oo:

He’s a very organized, anti-clutterer who cleans and organizes when he’s stressed out. We have a 1-car garage, and we have more military gear than would fit in the bed of a large truck, a full work bench, tools, two bicycles, unused luggage, 2 dining room chairs, a freezer, a weight bench and weights, extra canned goods and water, AND could fit my Jeep in there until we got the heavy bag (punching bag) and stand.

He’s the only man I ever saw who got excited about Space Bags and storage bins.

He’s not here right now, and I miss the cleaning gremlins. Now I have to do laundry all by myself! :pout:

You mentioned garage…
Thanks for reminding me that mine is a disaster area! Salvation Army is coming AGAIN this Wed. to get a large TV, large hardwood dresser and nightstands, coffee table, and about 20 boxes. They’ve been here probably 6 times or more in the last year :woohoo:

When you merge 2 households (mom moved in with us last year) it’s hard to make it all fit, but also EASY because you HAVE to get rid of stuff.

Like I said, step 1 to being clean and organized is de-cluttering first…we’ve ALL had to stop being attached to THINGS!!!

You’re so lucky your DH is that way. Mine aspires to be but works long hours. His library is the last frontier in our de-cluttering and organizational efforts.

Hi! :waving:

Ariel, you’re absolutely right about clutter, cleaning and organization! The last two don’t happen over lots of clutter, for sure!

There are several dictionary definitions for the word “order” and once I cleared up a major confusion between two of the definitions I was on my way to a much more organized life.

The two (paraphrased) definitions I’m talking about are 1. Objects arranged neatly according to a plan and 2. A state of effective operation.

Many years ago, when I read the definitions of the word “order” I had a big revelation and decided to test it out.

I loved to sew but hadn’t been doing a lot of it. I had all my fabric, notions, etc. neatly stored in containers and boxes and those containers were spread out over three closets. Yes, they were neat and everything was labelled but they were not in a state of effective operation.

If I wanted to sew something I had to root through boxes and containers to gather my materials, look for pins, cutting board, scissors and whatever else I needed. It could take up to an hour just finding the things I needed and by that time I didn’t feel like sewing!

So I pulled everything out and went to work putting it all into “a state of effective operation.” I had a deep cupboard with shelves and I put a sheet of pegboard on the inside of the door. Armed with pegboard hooks I arranged all my sewing tools on the hooks so that I didn’t have to root around to find them. The shelves held everything else - fabric, labeled containers of trims, one for zippers, etc.

IMMEDIATELY after doing this I was running the sewing machine at Mach 3 and having a grand time. I pieced two quilt tops, made a couple of dresses, a robe for my husband and finished all the mending. Everything I needed was right there and my set up time was zero - it was already set up! Of course, as soon as I finished, everything was put away in its appropriate place. Neat and tidy, yes, but also a very effective way to operate. And my sewing production soared.

I’ve followed that criteria ever since. I don’t care how neat something looks, if I can’t put my hand on it as soon as I need it, it’s not “orderly”. Grasping this one concept has made my life much easier and so much more productive. Hope this helps!

And thanks for starting this thread! It’s great!

Happy organizing!

Ruthie :clink:

I’m married to a packrat who fortunately is also good at organizing. Friends can’t believe how much he can stuff into a small space and still put his hands on anything he wants at a moments notice.
For me a good part of being organized is to thin out items that have been stored for too long and not used. I find it’s too easy to accumulate things you no longer need or want if you don’t need the space for something else. As I put things away I also look for other items I no longer want or need. They either get packaged for charity or thrown away. It makes it way easier to find what you want and to have space for new items (yarn, yarn, yarn).

My daughter came up with this tip, and I’ve found it to be very effective at helping to de-clutter. I keep a large box in the garage. whenever I go through a drawer, closet, etc. I pull out anything I no longer need or use and place it in the box. The box goes to the DAV or other charity when full. So much easier than doing it all at once. You could do the same thing and list the items on eBay or have a yard sale.

Awesome, I do that too, it helps get the family in the mindset of getting rid of it as soon as they touch it and deem it clutter.:woohoo:

I have 3 cloth bins (from Walmart) with labels in the utility room next to the back door. #1 is for stuff I need to take with me somewhere (i.e. a return or book to donate to library, etc.), I ALWAYS look in this bin before leaving the house & as soon as I get anything in my hands that will need to go sometime it goes in that bin!

#2 is for garage/giveaway, because even the giveaway stuff gets “stored” in garage first…thus the state of my garage.:eyes:

#3 is a hamper basically for any washables, so I don’t have to walk all the way to the back bedroom to throw some cloth I just used IN the utility room.

Another thing I do (which I mentioned in the cleaning post link above) is to put dishwasher detergent in the DW as soon as even 1 dirty dish is placed inside. This way it’s ready to go, I won’t forget the soap and, best of all, no one will yell at me from kitchen to ask me if the dishes in the machine are clean or dirty :eyes:.

I also have a filing cabinet with one drawer for financial and investment paperwork and a second drawer with all household info.
I file my booklets for appliances, yard equipment and electronics after stapling the receipt on the inside front cover. All vehicle paperwork, repairs and maintenance etc. Basically any piece of paper I might need again.
It’s nice when selling something still usable down the road when you can hand over all relevant info on the item.
I try and go through my files every 2-3 years and remove any outdated paperwork so my drawers don’t get too crowded.