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?

mcfee Wed 18-Apr-12 12:49:44

I love the bedding in the pillowcase tip! In this house if something hasn't been used for a year then out it goes. (except baby stuff which may be secretly being stored just in case)

Britchic Wed 18-Apr-12 13:07:19

Something I read here was a mantra: "Don't put it down, put it away!". I say that to myself as I'm about to plonk stuff on the kitchen table, on the bed etc... and it makes me put it away!

sherbetpips Wed 18-Apr-12 13:19:46

You are already starting to do it with the bobble drawer. You must have a place for everything and everything must be in it's place. You get something out you put it away back where it normally lives as soon as you have finished with it. Don't let things drift into rooms they shouldn't be in either. Bathroom things stay in the bathroom, kitchen things in the kitchen.
All the paperwork in one file is a good tip too, I used to separate it but there wasnt really that much of it so no point.

mogs0 Wed 18-Apr-12 13:19:59

I love the bedding in the pillowcase tip, aswell! I nearly always sometimes put mismatched bedding on the beds because I can't find the correct pillowcase.

I can't think of any tips to share at the moment but will have a think and post again if when I think of some.

The 15 min blitz is actually the best tip ever imo, it's the one you see most mentioned on here for good reason! (works for dc too, they get all competitive about it grin
I have two in trays, one for nursery/school paperwork and one for the dc's artwork. Easy to chuck it in, and I always know where the latest newsletter/masterpiece is. I go through it weekly and recycle much of it. But I do permission slips & add dates to my diary on the spot otherwise they'd get forgotten. I keep a box with pens/pencils/change/envelopes near the in-trays for that job.
Also have several cheap brushes, which are stashed in hallway/car/my bag/changing bag so I can attack groom dc wherever they happen to be. If I had to go looking, they'd run away!
With 4 dc have found the most organised way to storing out of season or outgrown clothes is plastic underbed storage on castors (but you must label them clearly!). Should you happen to have an ikea wardrobe, those pull-out wooden drawers are the business too. Both work because they're shallow & wide so easy to find individual things rather than empty the entire bag in search of jeans.

LieInsAreRarerThanTigers Wed 18-Apr-12 13:34:26

Have a couple of washing baskets/bags and sort laundry by 'owner' as you take it off the line/out of the drier - (I learnt this tip from a woman with 10 children - she had a laundry bag for each person and had trained any child old enough to put their own clothes away. DS (7) has those big IKEA slide-out plastic boxes for all his clothes and knows which one is which. It's very easy to put stuff away, and if he can pull one out to look through it - even if he doesn't put it back it's not a problem.
This and determination has encouraged me to sort out clean laundry much more quickly than I used to - I would have piles of it in my bedroom but no more!

MrsLetchlady Wed 18-Apr-12 13:39:41

My children have a simple ringbinder that they use to keep any wanted artwork in. They get a warning and then it goes out for recycling. Anything they haven't put in their art files gets recycled.

In my kitchen, I have a big magnetic noticeboard. On it, I keep the organised mum type calendar with a day for each of us and a column for birthdays and other important reminders. Then at the bottom, I have a couple of bulldog clips. One is used to hang all the notices I get from school, the other is used for their extra curricular hobbies. Then, if I need to find any paperwork I always know where it is.

Clothes, bags, and everything needed for the following day (school stuff, stuff for hobbies etc) are laid out of an evening in the same place so the children can just pick it up and it is always ready to go.

I keep an activities bag in my car, which contains toys, magazines, colouring in etc... so whenever we go out, I can just grab the bag and there's always something to entertain the children.

I'm organised but very messy. So can't comment on house tidying ones blush.

RosieBooBoo Wed 18-Apr-12 13:42:18

I keep cleaning wipes, bleach, hoover etc upstairs to save running up and down stairs when doing a tidy. I also dont have a dishwasher so rather than let dishes pile up i fill the basin up when cooking, put the pots and pans in, after dinner rinse them off and quickly do the plates. I also do the morning dishes whilst the kettles boiling.

ninedragons Wed 18-Apr-12 13:46:18

Buy all of your work clothes in colours that go together, so you can get dressed in the morning without thinking about it, or running around like an idiot because you haven't done a dark/pale wash in a few days. And get rid of clothes you don't like or don't fit you. My aim is to be able to blindfold myself, stick my hand in my wardrobe, and wear whatever comes to hand.

Batch cook and freeze. I aim to have dinner on the table within 15 minutes of getting home - frozen soups, pasta sauces, curries etc. It makes the evenings so much longer if someone isn't stuck in the kitchen cooking until 7.45.

ivykaty44 Wed 18-Apr-12 13:47:51

Pee and Poo in work time - this helps as you will have spare time at home and get paid for peeing and pooing.

Keep your car keys and phone together by the front door in the same place - then it will save time looking for them each morning.

rather than paper plates - just get the children to lick them clean or run a bowl of water and leave for the day to clean of plates and drip dry - as much hassle as collecting plates and opening bin and place them inside.

MrsLetchlady what a fantastic idea, my kids are getting a ringbinder each tonight for their "artwork"

Allready do the pillowcase one but tons of other great tips here.

I always keep the change bag full, topping it up when i get in and rehanging it on the buggy.

I have a shopping list app on my phone which I add to every time I finish something.

Tuesdays is crap tv evening so I use that evening to tidy the bedroom and sort clean laundry (usually stick a movie on the laptop)

I keep a little basket in the liunge with change stuff for dd and chuck all her toys in there too

BiddyPop Wed 18-Apr-12 13:55:37

I keep my "shopping list" on the fridge door (fresh sheet of a notepad every week) and as things get used up, the user is supposed to put it on the list for replacement. Means I have a start on the list of needs before I think about the meals for the week to come. I also try to pre-plan the meals before shopping (so I have the list done, and also can change things in the supermarket if I see a good offer - knowing what was planned rather than an "oh, when could I do that and what would I need rest of the week?"), and take into account the plans for the coming week from the desk diary we keep in the kitchen (wall calendars don't work).

I make Monday's dinner on Sunday when I am making a Sunday roast anyway - half to just reheat on Monday and half to freeze and use another worknight the following week.

Lay out clothes the night before for everyone, and make lunches the night before too.

grin at ivykaty peeing and pooing in paid work time!

Fizzylemonade Wed 18-Apr-12 14:01:27

Have a wipe board in the kitchen so when you use something and you realise it is running low, write it on the noticeboard to add to your shopping list.

I am a big believer in not "double handling" something. So my friend makes a coffee then puts the spoon in the sink, she will make her child a snack, puts knife etc in the sink. Later she then picks them back up and puts them in the dishwasher. Argh, why does she handle stuff twice???? Spoon should go straight in the dishwasher. And breathe grin

Laundry wise I have stacking boxes from Ikea these and each one is labelled (is this where I confess they are printed labels and I laminate them blush ) everyone knows to sort their clothes as they take them off, darks, lights, whites, blacks, uniform etc etc so I don't have to rummage through a laundry basket getting all the whites together.

Am totally with ninedragons batch cook something, I have an huge cooking pot and make 6 lots of chilli for 4, freeze, label, consume when you are feeling lazy. Do this on a regular basis and you will have a freezer full of food ready to go.

If I have a consent slip from school, if it is in my hand I will find a pen, give my consent, put it back in the child's bag.

Small things can make a huge difference. The 15 minute hotspot thing transformed my house a few years ago. Amazing, got to love Flylady.

SkinnyVanillaLatte Wed 18-Apr-12 14:17:57

I never watch 'real time' TV and only answer the phone when it suits me.

I use series record and the answerphone so I can do things at times that suit me.

londonlottie Wed 18-Apr-12 14:28:29

I keep my ironing board up and iron up in the utility room and now iron every load of laundry as it's dried... so no more laundry mountains growing ever bigger. Learn to fold clothes properly so even those which haven't been ironed look good when you put them on.

Buy a cheap Dymo label machine and always have a stack of folders so that all paperwork can be quickly labeled and thrown in the filing cabinet never to see the light of day again

Yes to blackboard in the kitchen, also get proficient at online food shops, they are a lifesaver.

Loving this thread grin

BoffinMum Wed 18-Apr-12 14:31:11

1. Lost property basket with a handle, where all rogue items go until claimed or returned to bedrooms/schoolbags.

2. Use a tray to set and clear tables, clear up rooms and so on, to save trips backwards and forwards.

3. Wash each child's laundry separately where possible, to facilitate processing and putting away.

sophe29 Wed 18-Apr-12 14:32:54

Ive got an app on my iPhone called Evernote. You can take pictures of important documents/ letters etc and send it to the app. You can then access this stuff anywhere, on any computer. You can also send webpages to it etc. So if you see an interesting article (or list of top tips on MN) you can just click and send it to Evernote. I love this for recipes I see. Also good to take pics of kids artwork and save for posterity, without hundreds of bits of paper cluttering up your bin fridge door! Everything is searchable so you can always find what you need! Love it

topbannana Wed 18-Apr-12 14:49:04

Ooh, must investigate this EverNote app, I am a sucker for apps, particularly those that purport to improve my organisation smile

I now have a birthday book and buy cards and gifts for the coming month (true this is not a big deal but for someone as eternally disorganised as me its a real buzz!)

School bags, sports kits, lunches etc. ready the night before.

I plan a morning of trailing about every two or three weeks. Start at the PO, vets, feed merchants, bottle bank, bank, car wash etc. A whole morning taken up but a vast amount accomplished in it (as well as a lot of money spent angry)

I try and deal with one unpleasant thing a day too, for example I have on-going issues with HMRC. Rather than spend the day tearing my hair out I make one phone call and then leave it, the next day I may write a letter and so on. Virtuous and calm in one swoop grin

ihatemycat Wed 18-Apr-12 15:02:38

Have a separate linen basket just for school uniform so that it's easy to find to do the wash rather than rooting through other washing baskets. (Handy if you're not that organised and leave it to the last minute!)

Smugfearnleyshittingstool Wed 18-Apr-12 15:04:24

Soup for tea twice week, it's easy and good for the busy, piano, beavers etc nights. We usually have a hot pudding at suppertime on those nights, bakery apply pie, not usually ho,mead as I'm not that organised!

I always put the washer on every morning at 8, and put it away at bed time, that keep the washing down.

Tidy wise, a weekly rhythm, see waldorf, really helps here, baking day is Monday, to make cakes for weeks lunchboxes, Tuesday we clean floors and do beds. Wednesday it's generally singing tots club, then we polish everywhere together, Thursday we clean bedrooms and bathrooms. Friday is shopping day. I always vac and sweep after dinner every night, and have a quick clear away when everyones in bed. Every toy has a place on the shelf or basket and as the kids all know where they belong, it's not hard to keep tidy. In theory!

AbsofAwesomeness Wed 18-Apr-12 15:47:00

for laundry, we have a basket for dark anda basket for lights which means you don't need to sort stuff before putting it in, you just shove in the basket when it's full. As soon as I'm taking laundry off the dryer it's sorted into it's "type" so hanging stuff together, folded stuff from the same cupboard/draw together. I'm also working on hanging up the laundry so the same stuff is next to each other.

I LOVE making lists, so I have about a million of them, and I'm constantly putting reminders in my phones calendar (which links to my email/google calendar) and most of the time I'll send an invite to my wrok address as well. So, if I need to call someone it then comes up on my blackberry and work thing. If I need to do any shopping type stuff during lunch, or make phone calls during lunch, the reminder is set for then.

loubielou31 Wed 18-Apr-12 16:05:58

to those of you who wash each persons washing separately have you found that you do more smaller loads of washing? Mine does seem to be on more now that I do that.
The filing one, I heard a tip once about putting all January's paper work in one folder, february the next. So each month you have a new folder and as you open the post you recycle, shred, reply or file. Put the files for this year all one box (rather like the filing one earlier in the thread I know)

littleducks Wed 18-Apr-12 16:16:12

I have dd's hairband/ribbons/clips/brush in an ikea cutlery tray (from the bargain corner grin) so I can see things that match clearly.

I have emergency chequebooks in the car and bottom of handbag for when I have to pay school a funny amount at no notice.

I buy stuff to keep in the cupboard now, after years of disorganisation, i always have spare toothpaste, washing up liquid, rice, tinned goods in the cupboard. A costco trip for these and loo roll every 3 months or so helps.

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