Monday, October 12

A week of organizing/cleaning ideas: my philosophy

This week Barb asked me to share a little about fall organizing. As much as I really like organizing, I realized that I tend to do most of my major organizing/cleaning in the spring. So this week I thought I would just share a few of the systems/routines or tips I use when organizing. I will try to focus on fall-related projects. I am someone who loves a new tip or idea relating to organizing/cleaning, and I am always looking for better ways of doing things. My best systems change and grow with me as my life and priorities change with the girls. It will more than likely be a little random, but my hope is you can find one new idea to put into place in your home to make your life just a little bit easier.

Today I will share my basic philosophy about organizing. Something my mother taught me (through her example) that I am very grateful for-maintenance cleaning. I think this is why I hesitated when Barb asked me to share about fall organizing. I am not a once or twice a year organizer. When I see a problem arise, I deal with it right away. I pick up as I go so the mess never gets out of hand. I do a load or 2 of laundry everyday so I do not have to do all the laundry on one day. I do the dishes as I cook and right after dinner so they do not sit there and get even harder to clean. I think this is probably one of the most important things I hope to teach my daughters. Life is overwhelming enough and everything seems to be easier when done in small pieces. I will admit this requires a little bit more work on the front end for you as the mom, but it will pay off in the long run. When the kids are done playing with a game, make them put it away right after they are done before they get another game out. Yes, you have to check on them and hold them accountable, but before long you will see the benefits as they begin to pick up after themselves instead of you doing it for them. There is nothing more overwhelming than going into a room that has every toy and game strewn all over the floor. No one wants to play in there and no one wants to clean it up. The project seems too big.

So my tip for today is start looking around your house for things you can do right away to help maintain the order in your home. You will be surprised that most jobs you put off doing will take less than 5 minutes. Find a home for your things and put them back right when you are done using them. I know it may seem overwhelming in the beginning, but I think you will be surprised at how quickly it can become a habit. Happy maintaining!


Stacy said...

Here is an organizing question I would love help with Betsy!

What did you/do you do to keep your kids clothing organized? I am completely overwhelmed with trying to stay on top of clothes for the kids. What is a good system for their clothes that are too small? Clothes that I borrowed from people? Clothes that will fit in a few months but not right now?

I have bins labeled by size, but seasons change, they grow, sizes vary, etc.

Love your input, advice and what you did when the girls were younger (and are doing now). No hurry in responding....whenever you have time!

Betsy said...

It's so funny you asked this question because I was planning on sharing how I change the girls clothes both for the season and size changes. . .great minds think alike. . .thanks for asking my opinion!

Annie said...

If you borrow clothes from other people could you just take digital images of them-label the files on your computer and reference them later? I envision putting several items of clothing in one shot so that later when you look through it you have to check fewer photos.

Maybe every time they grow out of a size you could do a quick scan of your photos, pick out the borrowed outfits and return them? It seems like a ton of work to put clothes back into individual bins each time, even if you are keeping clothing minimal. (especially with 2 kids and potentially multiple borrowers) I think this would be much quicker than it sounds!

I have 3 children and can't imagine keeping track of individual items of clothing from memory regardless of the reason. If I took the clothing on a vacation, pack a spare outfit in the diaper bag and not use it for a a few weeks,etc etc. I would be sure to forget who I borrowed it from and would like to have a record to refer to later. Apparently my life is just not hyper organized in my own head!