LITTLE things that help keep you organised?

(542 Posts)
starrychime Mon 16-Apr-12 18:27:47

There's a lot of threads about cleaning routines, 15 min sessions etc which I love to read but never get round to following (one day, one day I will!)
Wondered if anyone has some little hints and tips that make things just a little bit easier about the house?
I use paper plates blush for morning toast, lunchtime sandwiches etc as I HATE washing up (no washer) - and it keeps it down a little bit.
Also keeping a small Ikea drawer sorter in the bathroom with DD's bobbles and clasps so they're to hand in the morning helps a bit.
Anyone else have any little tips?

Feckbox Mon 02-Jul-12 00:45:18

Stop sending Christmas cards

rednose Mon 02-Jul-12 09:11:41

I Iron while I talk on the phone- its surprising how much u can get through in a 30 minute call!

From an early age I have nagged my ds to put shoes & coat & jammies in same place so he & I can find them- it all helps.

Online grocery shopping is a must saves time & money & makes u look in cupboards & fridge as u shop

MushroomSoup Mon 02-Jul-12 12:27:40

I would say a big fat NOOOOO! to storing junk models (however beautiful!) in boxes. Who is really going to keep looking at a stored Easter Bonnet?! It will end up taking up space in a bedroom/attic. Take a photo of it for the scrapbook and then let it be worn/played with/displayed for a week until it falls to pieces and then bin recycle it.

FreelanceMama Mon 02-Jul-12 21:25:49

I have read all 21 pages and lots of great ideas here. We live in a one bed flat with our 5 month old baby so space is at a premium and as someone about to start working from home again, chaos is not an option. My favourite trick is using cheap, wicker fabric-lined baskets from ASDA to maintain order. Nappy changing stuff in one, toys in another, Muslins and towels and blankets for the baby in another, etc. And they fit on shelves of deep, narrow bookshelves (30 quid from Argos)

FreelanceMama Mon 02-Jul-12 21:33:44

Also...we rent a 5ftx5ft storage unit which is a lifesaver, and I have a 'handbag bowl' into which I empty keys, purse, phone, etc. from the bag I've come in with, and then scoop into whatever bag I'm taking with me when I leave the house. For years now I've scrunched clothes before trying them on - if they stay wrinkled, I don't buy them...so no ironing! Also, I only watch TV when breastfeeding or when our son's gone to bed which helps me get things done..

FreelanceMama Mon 02-Jul-12 22:41:13

Also...we rent a 5ftx5ft storage unit which is a lifesaver, and I have a 'handbag bowl' into which I empty keys, purse, phone, etc. from the bag I've come in with, and then scoop into whatever bag I'm taking with me when I leave the house. For years now I've scrunched clothes before trying them on - if they stay wrinkled, I don't buy them...so no ironing! Also, I only watch TV when breastfeeding or when our son's gone to bed which helps me get things done..

queenofthepirates Mon 02-Jul-12 23:01:03

I painted a square of blackboard paint on the wall next to the loo so that in the two minutes of peace and quiet I have I can jot down anything important to pops into my head before it runs away, never to be seen again.

DH works nights so tends to be out or goes to bed when toddler DD does.

Once I've got the house to myself I do advert challenge in the evenings.
-Run round like a loon doing as much as possible every time the break comes on.
I still get to be as telly addict, but
for an average hour long programme thats a decent 20 minutes per hour.
It makes laundry/dishes/filing mountain less daunting to get stuck in.

Andie20521 Sat 07-Jul-12 13:49:12

Love this thread.

I am messy by nature, so I try and do small things as I go along.

The biggest thing I learnt from Flylady was not to bite off more than I can chew. Don't get hung up on perfection! I was constantly waiting until I had the time to something properly.

I always went into manic overdrive (Pulling everything out, cleaning & organising) then I crashed and burnt not wanting to do anything, until the house looked like a slum and so the cycle began again.

So I started so do lots of small stuff each day, putting things away not down, when you leave the room take something with you etc

Straightening the duvet takes 30 seconds in the morning, but it looks like the room is tidy.

Whilst waiting for the microwave I'll have a quick blast in the kitchen- it's surprising what you can get done in 2 focused minutes! The same for boiling the kettle etc.

I realised that pile of permanent junk in the bedroom, (which was growing) made me feel guilty everytime I tripped over it. I decided to spend 5 minutes each day putting stuff away/chucking it out. It only took 3 goes and I realised that I'd spent more time stressing about it/feeling bad about it than it had to deal with it! So I took that approach with other areas, drawers and cupboards and they shrank then vanished.

I spend no more than 20 mins on house work a day, (Although I do have a Roomba that I luuuurve) with a full clean which only takes an hour at the weekend.

Laundry is DH's job, but now we have laundry baskets in each room, and it took a while but I've learnt not to strip, drop and flop as I'm too tired to be arsed putting stuff away or in the laundry basket in the bathroom. I guess it's an extension of the do it now principal.

Now paper clutter is a different thing!

MushroomSoup Sat 07-Jul-12 16:12:25

Queen are you saying you don't even get time off in the loo?!
I don't know whether to feel sorry for you or be super impressed!

Chinwag Sat 07-Jul-12 21:54:45

I got this from MN. When I sort the washing, I have 4 baskets for each family member. When I do the ironing or sorting, it all goes straight into the baskets and then they all ignore it until it is overflowing until I yell at them pick up their baskets and put it all away beautifully!!

3duracellbunnies Mon 30-Jul-12 08:26:50

Love the ideas on here. Most of my life is far less organised than you folks!

One tip is at begining of holidays put washed PE kit and cleaned/new school shoes into their rucksacks ready for start of term.

Off to put bedding in pillowcases and look at steam mops, taking something in my hand from room to room as I go!

rubytubeytubes Mon 04-Feb-13 15:28:11

I am loving this thread.
Things i find helpful:
be realistic about what you can sell - weigh up the small amount of money you might get vs the pleasure of gettimg.rid of it.
I have a holiday toiletry bag always ready in my flight bag with packing list.
Always buy stamps in bulk at costco so they last me a year.
Very tiny hanbag diary as back up with to do lists and appts. seperate work diary.
I have cheap concertina files that were £1
From.home bargains - use these for reciepts and quickly filibg paperwork straight into by year so can find something quickly!

tinygreendragon Wed 06-Feb-13 17:18:58

I wrote a list of 52 things that need to be cleaned or 'done' once or twice a year like...
-cleaning out the cupboard under the stairs
-clearing out the drains
-washing the patio
-descaling the kettle
-washing the curtains
-sweep and mop under the fridge/washing machine
-dusting down the radiators
-rotating clothes in the drawers
-defrosting freezer

Then picked a job once a week and ticked them off the list so I kept track of everything that just needs to be maintained but forget to be done because I can't remember when I last did it.

HollyBollyBooBoo Thu 07-Feb-13 14:27:37

Amazing list tinygreendragon, care to share anymore if you have time to type them?!

tinygreendragon Thu 07-Feb-13 17:00:32

Sure no problem smile

-Wash down the front door and outside window sills
-Quick wash down of all the walls with sugar soap (Not the whole house at once, just 1 room at a time)
-Clean washing machine filter and do an empty boil wash
-Clean blankets, sofa throws and cushion covers
-Replace moth repellent bags in wardrobe
-Clean out make-up bag, wash make-up brushes and throw away old make-up
-Clear out shed and wash up any dirty tools and empty plant pots
-Clean out guttering
-Clean the oven
-Turn over and hoover mattresses
-Treat anything that needs waterproofing (tents, raincoats, walking boots)
-Wash net curtains
-Descale the iron and wash ironing board cover
-Unclog the U-bends
-Sort and file any paperwork/payslips/bills that need archiving
-Wash duvets and pillows at laundrette
-Take the computer apart and dust inside (DH does that one!)
-Clean windows inside and out
-Treat/clean leather furniture
-Dust ceiling lampshades
-Wash doormats and rugs
-Dust out extractor fan
-Clean on top of kitchen wall cupboards
-Clean the bikes
-Wash the bins, recycling bins, paper baskets out
-Clean patio furniture

These are just a few I can think of the top of my head. At first if you write down all 52 jobs the list looks huge, but its not that much spread over the entire year. Some of these jobs are pretty quick, some however take a bit of time so I pick and choose a job that fits in with what time I have spare that week. Plus some things get done twice or even three times a year if they look like they need it. However I at least know it was done at least once in the past year.

I've always believed regular maintenance of your belongings will make them perform better and last longer smile

HollaAtMeBaby Thu 07-Feb-13 21:32:42

If I have to take something out with me (letter to post or whatever), I lean it against the inside of the front door so that I can't leave the house without picking it up!

trixymalixy Thu 07-Feb-13 21:37:20

One thing that has made a difference to our mornings is to attach a house key to each set of car keys, we could always find car keys,nut were scrabbling around for house keys every morning. We also put a key rack up in the hall, and tried to out the keys on it as soon as we came in. We still have the odd morning scrabbling around, but things have definitely improved.

Note that the key rack is not in sight or reach of the front door!

PoppyAmex Mon 11-Feb-13 17:07:34

tinygreendragon that list is a really good idea!

Can you add a few more items whenever you have some free time? I would love to see them and add them to my annual task list.

tinygreendragon Mon 11-Feb-13 19:26:30

Absolutely Poppy grin Sod the spring cleaning if you can do little bits at a time.

-WD40 on all hinges, locks and bolts
-Wash a pair or two of trainers in the washing machine
-We have a clay chiminea in the garden that needs a weatherproof treatment
-Bleach the cleaning cloths
-Throw away old socks and pants that have holes in them
-Wash/clean handbags/rucksacks/suitcases/purses
-Wash winter coats/hats/scarves/gloves at the end of the season
-Bleach the teapot (and wash the teapot cover)
-Dust out the speaker holes/covers on laptops and tv's with a dry paintbrush
-Hoover and dust out the car
-Reorganise and throw out any scrap bits of rubbish from any arts n craft boxes/tool boxes that can't be used
-Clear out ice cream tubs/butter tubs/take away tubs that you've managed to collect over the year (they'll always be handy but I always seem to collect a mountain of them over the year and you always get more)

Take note of whenever you say to yourself "I really must remember to do that at some point" and just put it on your list so it will get done at some point. Then after a few years you'll realise you don't need to remember to do it.

PoppyAmex Wed 13-Feb-13 15:23:50

Thanks tiny, it's such a brilliant idea!

I love lists and am a big fan of doing certain things seasonly, so I don't know how this hadn't occurred to me before. Thanks a million.

DanJay Thu 25-Apr-13 14:36:02

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

HoneyStepMummy Thu 25-Apr-13 18:33:39

Brilliant, BRILLIANT thread! Some of these great tips I do already, some I can't wait to try!
Painting and decorating? I get paper/plastic plates and plastic cups for the pound/dollar store. First of all it's a pain trying to locate and wash plates and cups in the middle of painting, plus I also use the disposable plates under a roller or brush when I want to put it down. Pour a tiny bit of paint into a plastic cup when you are touching up a spot. I also get showercurtains from the pound/dollar store to use as drop cloths. Great for protecting your floor for other messy jobs too!
I use disposable plastic knives as paint stirrers. If I'm done painting for the day but I'm still using the same paint and brush the next day, I put the roller or brush into a ziplock bag with the handle sticking out and seal it tight.
When my 7 year old wants a drink of water by his bed I put it into a 'to-go' coffee mug so he doesn't spill it over the sheets in his groggy state.

I have six Ikea laundry baskets which fold up flat when not in use so I sort lAundry into VErY specific categories - small whites / pastels / greens and blues / dark small / dark larger / sheets / red - and then collapse down the basket when that wash is done. Means I can bung a wash in and it all takes less and less space as week wears on.

southpacific Thu 02-May-13 15:27:19

Nothing to add but really pleased to see this thread back on the first page of Good Housekeeping!

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