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Secrets of an organised home?

(28 Posts)
DraggleTailedWench Tue 16-Oct-12 22:11:18

I have 2 days to spend in the home generally sorting and finding order among the chaos.

So, good people of the Good housekeeping board, what is the one thing that you feel is your organisational secret in the sense of keeping a tidy home? What should I spend my time doing if nothing else?

Good ideas please or it'll be off to the coffee shop with me!

BeingBooyhoo Tue 16-Oct-12 22:26:57

ok, i am by no means a good house keeper or flylady etc but i have learned a few things.

keep things in the room or as close as possible to the room that they will be used in. for example, my bathroom is downstair with the hotpress directly opposite so i keep the dcs vests and PJs in a plastic drawer tower in the hotpress. it is very handy at bathtime. all bedlinen is stored in a plastic underbed box in the room that it belongs, so ds1's is under his bed, mine is under my bed etc.

keep on top of dishes and washing and everything else can wait. so a wash done a day, washed , dried, folded and put away and dishes done after every meal (or put in dishwasher if you have one)

dont collect your post from the box until you are actually ready to deal with it. ask your dcs for any letters from school as you are collecting your post. open it all at the same time over the bin so all junk and envelopes go straight in. have a box/basket/intray with envelopes, stamps, chequebook and pens near to the bin for the stuff that has to be paid/posted/responded to etc write the cheques, sign the forms and put them all in the relevant schoolbag/handbag etc so that they can be posted/returned the next day/time you leave the house.

sit down and work out what things need to be paid in cash every week. lift this amount of money from the bank and sort into envelopes with the name of the bill/activity/fee, the amount and day it has to be paid on the front. have a box/tray where these are stored in day order. put them in the relevant bag/schoolbag the night before they are due to be paid. for example, my son has afterschool club fees and scouts on a monday, hurling on thursday and football on saturday. it has saved me loads of time running round the house looking for £2 for this 5 minutes after we were due to leave the house.

there are more, i'll think on it and get back to you.

Tobermory Tue 16-Oct-12 22:31:25

I hardly dare watch this thread.
I need to learn lots some tips.

Try as I might our house is too frequently the very opposite of organised. So hoping to find some answers here....

Inneedofbrandy Tue 16-Oct-12 22:35:13

I do one major day of housework every week. The rest of the days I use wine to help me do the basics on a night. I never go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink and I have a place for stuff like pens/envelopes/cards/sellotape.

Everything you can do the night before helps the next day. I lay out all dc and mines clothes down to underwear, coats and school shoes next to the door.

I have a blackboard on my fridge that I write on any items I run out of straight away. My organiser is a god send to, I like writing down stuff but sure theres lots of apps if thats not your thing.

BeingBooyhoo Tue 16-Oct-12 22:37:18

meal plan and batch cook. put plan on the fridge. have a list on a dry wipe board of the things that you buy every week and just add to it what other things you need as you think of them. mine is on the kitchen wall, the pen sits on top of the fridge.

i also have two other whiteboards on the wall beside my shopping list, one is my to do list and the other is my calls to make list.

go through your wardrobe and put 3 or 4 outfits together. hang them on hangers in the outfits (does that make sense?) so that every morning you have an outfit ready to pull out and put on (this one is a really big help for me as i hate waking up when i know i have to go looking for clean clothes that will go together)

make lunches the night before and put in the fridge

set breakfast things out the night before

have all sports/swimming kits sorted into individual bags so they can be grabbed when needed.

BeingBooyhoo Tue 16-Oct-12 22:41:52

get the dcs into the routine of putting their things in the same place. when mine come home, it's shoes off at the bottom of the stairs, leave bag and coat in the cupboard understairs, go up and change, hang uniform (or bring down to wash if dirty) get a snack, give me letters, do homework, GET HOMEWORK SIGNED, put homework in bag and put bag back in cupboard under stairs.

Inneedofbrandy Tue 16-Oct-12 22:44:44

Batch cooking is the best tip! It's so easy the next time you make a spag bol make double and freeze, same with chilli. YY to Daily To Do Lists to, with a reward at the end. I find a daily, weekly and monthly to do list works best for me!

The more organised you are the more easy your life will become. I read on here about a year ago someone saying the reason they are organised is because they are lazy, and that is so so true. You get time to laze on your sofa reading a book/MNing in a tidy clean uncluttered house.

DraggleTailedWench Tue 16-Oct-12 22:50:58

Wow fab ideas already! Beingbooyhoo I love your outfits idea. It would save so much time!

BeingBooyhoo Tue 16-Oct-12 22:53:29

as for cleaning i do a 'zone' a day and it takes about 30 minutes, not even that most days unless i get stuck into the kitchen cupboards. the dcs know to keep their rooms tidy and cleaning their rooms basically consists of stripping and remaking bed, window, dust window frame, bookshelf, door and frame and bedframe, hoover and mop. they have very small rooms so it is very quick to do.

mondays is bedrooms and landing/stairs, downstairs windows and dusting. the rest of downstairs gets hoovered and mopped everyday because of the dog hair and the bathroom gets cleaned everyday as we use it. it really doesn't take long to wipe the sink or toilet with a bathroom wipe or spray and wash the bath after you get out.

BeingBooyhoo Tue 16-Oct-12 23:04:53

"the reason they are organised is because they are lazy, and that is so so true. "

totally totally agree! i am the laziest person i know and while all these things i'm writing may seem like alot they really aren't when you are doing them daily. they become so routine that you dont even have to summon the energy to do them as you dont think about it. you will get to a point where you have free time and cant actually find anything that needs done. i know that is hard to believe but honestly if you had seen my house 4 months ago! i have only really started doing all these things since i moved in july and the effect on my mood is amazing, i get up in the mornings and dont have to panic because i know where everything is and we can all just relax and take our time over breakfast. it is nice. far better than our horrible mornings used to be, i was so stressed and the dcs were always getting shouted at sad

another thing i thought of is to stick your DC's school calendar up somewhere where you will see it with important dates hi-lighted. i have mine by the back door, along with, the school dinner menu, the schedule for my son's afterschool club, and the school rules (because he has been misbehaving and i make him go over them every morning before he leaves)

i have on my shopping list ATM to get one of those wall planners that i can see at a glance. i do have a diary but i want one on the wall so i can see the whole month ahead. (yes my kitchen walls are hardly visible under all these pieces of paper and white boards! grin)

Chrestomanci Tue 16-Oct-12 23:09:48

You can't clean clutter - be ruthless chucking stuff out.

I see a lot on here that houses are untidy but clean. IMO it's actually far easier to have a house which is tidy but not been cleaned recently. Floors & surfaces which are clear look about a hundred times better, plus when you do clean it takes no time at all, as it's already tidy.

Have some hooks on the back of the door in your bedroom for clothes you're worn but are still clean & you will wear again - if you are lazy like me then this is far easier than hanging them up & means they don't end up on the floor...

When you absolutely cannot be bothered, put away 5 things, or eg wash up just 5 things then leave the room. Do that every time you go into a room & it makes a big difference & doesn't feel like you've done loads.

I am a reformed untidy person, as said above, because I am lazy and in the long run, it really is easier.

Chrestomanci Tue 16-Oct-12 23:14:02

Forgot one: Time how long it ACTUALLY takes to do tasks you hate. It's probably less time than you think. If you know you can vacuum downstairs in 10 minutes, then you're more likely to do it.

If not, and it does take ages then do the bits that show most, and think in terms of doing little and often, not a massive spring clean - your house will be tidier and look better.

BeingBooyhoo Tue 16-Oct-12 23:23:54

i'm having a real battle with my ds2 at the minute. he is making a spaceship and everyday for the past week he has been dragging all his materials out of the cupboard onto the living room floor. i wouldn't mind but he is 3 and his spaceship consists of lots of tiny pieces of paper sellotaped together. except he never sellotapes them all together. he cuts about 300 pieces the size of a 20p and manages to selloptape 3 together before he sticks the sellotape to itself and can't untangle it and gets bored. i have been going round every evening picking up all the pieces of paper but i am so fed up i have actually left it all sitting tonight as i know i am off tomorrow and will lift it then. that's if i dont get so pissed off looking at it tonight and bin it all. he wont remember. he'll jsut start again with more paper tomorrow.

BeingBooyhoo Tue 16-Oct-12 23:25:48

sorry for the hijack there. i feel better for offloading that frustration though grin

another one is that clean floors make a huge difference to the look of a room, even if the rest is cluttered.

Inneedofbrandy Tue 16-Oct-12 23:31:48

Bribe him to put pieces in a box/container or get him some glue. Or throw it all in the bin and distract him from doing it ever again.

BeingBooyhoo Tue 16-Oct-12 23:42:59

i am hoping he will just one day not remember that he ever started making a spaceship. glue would be the worst thing ever to give that child, he would find uses for it that have never before existed grin yes i think a tub or box is the way forward so he can just lift it in and out of the cupboard.

lolalotta Wed 17-Oct-12 06:58:01

Decluttering is the most valuable way you could spend your time! My sister has decluttered her house thoroughly and the results are amazing, her workload has been slashed by at least half regarding I just need to start on my home!!!! grin

Iheartpasties Wed 17-Oct-12 07:59:57

A few tips I have picked up from MN include. being organised with calendars/wall planners. Get the kids to help out where possible. Keep on top of things (I know these have all already been mentioned!).

I think you need to build up 'systems' of doing things and get your partner/husband/kids on board so that you are all doing roughly the same thing so that your system of doing things isn't being ruined by someone else!

I have just recently organised all my cupboards and everything is nicely put away into boxes/baskets etc so finding things eems easier, and eveything has a place. That way when you are perhpas just spending ten mins tidying up something you know where it needs to go, so do other people in the house.

sometimes tackling a big job is scary so just give it a go for ten mins, then switch to something else and then go back to it again, and then eventually you will get on top of it.

i will say the more organised i have got the less stressed i feel. sad but true.

sometimes just doing a quick ten mins before bed sorts quite a few things out!

good luck.

Shinyshoes1 Wed 17-Oct-12 08:06:22

I havent got time to go into too much detail but i'll start with

when going into the toilet, take spray or wipes or whatever you use and after you have been clean the loo......that's one job sorted.

I allow myself 15 minutes Laptop time then 20 minutes of cleaning. Until the jobs are done. This is set with a timer by the oven. I do this strictly

CarolynR Wed 17-Oct-12 13:10:03

I swear by stuffing all the paperwork like bills I haven't paid or school letters I need to read/do something about and party invites (there are endless parties at the mo!) in the pockets of my calendar. It's a school year one but it's I think you can get normal jan-dec ones too from here.

CarolynR Wed 17-Oct-12 13:10:55

P.S. I've just noticed they have some sort of sale - 25% off it looks like!

HappyAsEyeAm Wed 17-Oct-12 13:27:43

Loving the calendar Carolyn. I've just ordered one from amazon (free delivery).

Arithmeticulous Wed 17-Oct-12 13:47:35

Answers here!

CarolynR Thu 18-Oct-12 13:27:52

Hi HappyAsEyeAm - i know they're pretty good. Sooo many of my mummy friends have commented on mine in the kitchen. Going to get one for SIL too for xmas.

KeithLeMonde Thu 18-Oct-12 13:35:40

Routine is your friend. I have taught myself (naturally a complete slattern) and the family to do certain key tidy-ups. Before we leave for school, I know that all beds are made and the breakfast dishes have been washed and kitchen worktops/table wiped down. Before the kids get into the bath, they have tidied away whatever they've played with, and sorted their clothes into dirty (in the basket) and clean (folded to be worn again the next day). Before DH and I go to bed we've had a general tidy round and washed up from dinner.

Stops things getting out of hand.

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