Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Organized Part II

{thanks, Martha}

I'm pleased to report that the organizational bug that bit me earlier this month is still buzzing around. Unfortunately, it hasn't been the only bug buzzing. I went away with my lovie this weekend and caught something ugly. Feeling mostly better, but a little behind on life. And frustrated at the number of projects I'd like to tackle, compared with the tiny margin of spare time I have to do them in. You can relate? And when I say projects I'm not talking about superfluous needlepoint or unnecessary redecorating - I'm talking about cleaning out my pantry and organizing my over-rummaged cupboards. So I had slumped to actual self-pity about this predicament tonight (dumb, I know) and I was all a dither with eye rolls and huffy sighs, and then I thought ... wait.

I may not have half-a-day to organize my kitchen top to bottom, but I have six minutes right now while the bread is kneading. And I started working. One cupboard. And by the time the six-minute buzzer was buzzing, I was done. And then I had 20 minutes while the bread rose and the oven heated. So I moved on to the pantry. And by the time I put the loaves in, my pantry was nearly ship-shape. So my organization tip to you is this: just start. Even if you only have 5 tiny minutes, choose one tiny space and start sorting. You'll be surprised at how much you can do. And how motivated you feel to put the crumbs of your time towards productivity.

Here are a few more tips from some friends of Bloom:
(see Getting Oragnized Part I here)

Abbie on playroom organization:

My mom is going to laugh when she reads this because my room was an epic MESS growing up. But I've learned a few tips that have helped keep my kids’ room/playroom clean (until they grow up and I have no control, but for now…).
  • When they get new toys for Christmas or birthday, we get to donate some old toys.
  • A table! Get an old kitchen table for your playroom. Seriously, best idea ever! Great for working while they play and great for storage.
  • Organize like with like, and keep it that way. I know, this is a duh, but it's the foundation of any well organized space.
  • Give them little places to put those random little toys they’re really attached to (and throw away the other random little toys).
  • Keep all the toys in their room. I used to have a small basket in our living room and it drove me crazy. Now we have a rule: all toys stay in their room.
  • Hide toys! I love this idea the very most. Hide toys that don’t get played with everyday, but you’re not ready to part with. It’s like Christmas when you bring them back out.
Jordan had this to say about motivation for cleanliness:

"one thing I wanted to share regarding keeping a tidy home: Have people over! It is the only way I ever feel motivated to really declutter, deep-clean, and make my home presentable and comfortable. Do it over and over again!"

Gina (Lettergirl) offers this helpful tip for self/life management:

A few months ago I started something new to improve my time management – I got the idea from a tip given to me by one of my blog readers, and then I tweaked it over a couple of months to make it work for me. The idea is pretty simple: a regularly scheduled personal “staff meeting.” My blog chum holds her own meeting once a week; I have found that monthly works best for me. I sit down early in the month (preferably at a local coffee shop: there are fewer distractions, and it feels like a treat) and write out all the things I need/want to accomplish that month. I have developed a little chart with sections for work projects, work administration, personal stuff, shopping list, and an extra column for “if I have the time.” Because I am self-employed, and work from home, it is easy for my work & home life to overlap; I like to go grocery shopping during the day, and I don’t mind doing work at 6am. But that can also wreak havoc with my time management! By writing everything down at the beginning of the month, from projects at work to buying a new thermos for my son’s lunchbox, I get all the details down on paper, which gives my mind the freedom to actually get things done. I’m not dwelling on the small stuff, and hopefully I’m forgetting less too (or at least making fewer trips to Target). And I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from crossing items off the list! (For the record, I have restrained myself from designing a pretty chart for my monthly meetings. I use an easy-to-carry-around notebook…granted, it is a pretty notebook.)

Kerstin offered the following tips:

Use the space you have

1 year ago we moved into a bigger house but my kitchen is considerably smaller in storage space. I have 4 drawers and 2 of them are really deep awkward spaces! I had to get really creative on how to store my kitchen items (not to mention food!) On my pantry door I hung wire racks to hold some of my spices and foil, wax paper and plastic wrap. These were just cheap white racks from Wal-Mart that I spray painted with brushed silver nickel spray paint (1 coat of spray primer in gray first). I bought a plate organizer for my cookie sheets and a stacked spice rack for my peanut butter, syrup, agave, etc.

I have a lot of holiday platters and plates and it always makes me nervous to put them in a tote in the garage or attic so I store them on top of my cupboards. There is a little groove and you can’t see them at all!

A cleaning tip: I set the timer for 10 minutes, put on some music, and see how much I get done it 10 minutes. I am always amazed at how much I can accomplish and it goes fast! It works because as moms we often don't get more than 10 minutes of uninterruption!

We have an Organization Overhaul going on at my house right now. I am cleaning out one cupboard per day. I am getting rid of things we don't use and getting things back in order. It's quick and painless. Next I am moving on to closets!

We've still got more helpful ideas to share, so be sure to check back...
In the mean time, we'd love to know what's helping you get/stay organized.


Michelle said...

One great thing to organize kids toys is to take a picture of each toy. Then put one copy of the picture on the storage bin and one copy on the shelf where it is stored. Then kids can see what bin the toys go in and where the bin goes.

Abbie said...

Oh, this is very good. My little home is going to be excellently organized by spring b/c of these tips! Thanks ladies!

Joan said...

How about "thanks, Martha for making us all feel crappy about ourselves and our homes as you show us unattainable home perfection!?" haha. No, I'm not bitter b/c I know one boring day when my kids are all gone and I'm an empty nester I will have more time and more money to make my home look like a magazine...but I know it won't be as satisfying as it now seems with the chaos of young children.
I want one of those tiered shelf thingys, Kerstin. Where did you get it? :)
Thanks for the tips Bloomers! said...

Great tips!

Joan-all of my organizers came from Walmart. They are by the rubbermaid totes. The tiered tray is intended for spices I think. They had chrome and white ones. It works great!