Category Archives: Organizing Tips

Getting organized doesn’t have to mean spending the entire weekend tackling the piles around your house and going through every closet.  Here are some quick and easy habits that you and your family can implement every day to keep the clutter and chaos at bay, saving more time for fun and relaxation!

businesswoman with a note-book in a cafe drinking coffeeWrite It Down
Get one notebook or calendar with notes pages to jot everything down.  Take the time to unload your brain onto a sheet of paper.  Be specific and include everything that you have floating in there.  It might sound silly but clearing up this space in your brain can make a huge difference in your mental clutter and allow you to be more present each day.

Pick It Up
Never leave a room empty-handed.  If you pass by something that doesn’t belong where it is, pick it up and take it with you.  Dirty dishes, mail, toys…..take the time to address the mess now, don’t wait! Doing a little each day can help avoid hours of work later.

Let It Go
Create a ‘donate and returns’ station at your house.  This is the place that collects any and all items that need to leave your home.  Put the items (with receipts) near the door or in your car so you don’t have to spend time locating them when it is time to leave.  Make sure everyone in the house knows what the bin/area is for and encourage family members to add items as needed.

Male hand holding a cell phone and writing sms message Delete & Unsubscribe
Don’t let your email get out of control!  Take 10 minutes every day to delete unwanted emails and unsubscribe to mail lists that are not of interest.  The unsubscribe button isn’t always the easy to find but once you do, a few clicks and you are done! 

Look Before You Buy
Take time as you are making your grocery list to check to see what items you already have.  Add a meal to your schedule that you already have the ingredients for and cross things off you don’t need!  Be sure to check expiration dates as you look through the pantry and toss food that has expired!  Apply these same strategies to all purchases. Look before you buy, then donate or toss an old item to make room for the new.

Purge With The Season
The weather has changed and so should your closet.  Donate items you don’t see yourself wearing this season and shift out of season items to the back/sides of your closet saving the prime real estate for the this season’s items.  Remember to do this with children’s closets too!  Donate or sell the items you don’t love, then label and store the remaining clothes for the future.

Don’t Wait
Do things immediately as often as possible!  Whether it be going through the mail, paying a bill, or changing a light bulb….do it now!  Don’t waste time and energy adding items to your to do list that can be done quickly.  You will find your mind and calendar less cluttered when you take the time to tackle small tasks often.

10 Minute Chores
Create a chores schedule (ie: Monday: vacuum, Tuesday: dust, Wednesday: errands, Thursday: groceries, etc).  Spend a few minutes every day cleaning up the house so that your evenings and weekends can be used for relaxation.  Use the weekend to plan for the week ahead and then sit back and relax!

488621Form A Team
Assign tasks to children, no matter their age.  A family that works together, can play together!  Pick something from your list for each family member to be responsible for.   Teach them how to do it correctly and then let go!  They might not do it as quickly or even as well as you, but it is done and they are learning valuable skills for the future.

Be Patient
Give yourself time to make changes to your routines and habits.  Pick one of these suggestions and give yourself a few weeks to implement it.  When you’ve got it down, try another.


With the start of a new school year fast approaching, it is the perfect time to get your family organized! As a teacher, I know all too well that early morning alarm clocks, shorter days, piles of papers, and after school activities can quickly make you feel out of control!  Use these time saving tips to help prepare your family for the busy days that lay ahead!

Family Command Center 
Whether big and beautiful or tiny and functional, every family needs a command center!  This is the space where everything important and relevant lives . . . 

  • family/school calendar
  • household chore checklists
  • frequently called/ emergency phone numbers
  • school lunch menus
  • shopping list, coupons & receipts
  • notes & reminders
  • mail & bills to pay
  • storage for pens, pencils, paper, markers and erasers

Find a high traffic area for your command center so that each family member passes by it regularly.  If we don’t see it, we won’t use it! Allow everyone their own space to add notes, important dates, or even encouragement for the coming days. “Check-in” as a family regularly to help avoid headaches later on. Sharing this skill with your children will also help to create healthy habits as they mature.

Teamwork
Set up a kid-friendly home so that everyone can take responsibility for their belongings and help out.  This may require some planning and rearranging up front but will save you a lot of time in the long run.  Find ways to incorporate your children into meal preparation and household chores.  Have a homework station with age appropriate supplies that each child can easily access to cut down on the number of “Moms” you’ll hear during this time.    The more we work together, the more time we have to do the things we love.

Set up your pantry in a way that even young children can help themselves to a healthy snack or even pack their own lunches!   Find a low shelf, cabinet, or drawer and place snacks in a small container without a lid. Label bins “take 1” or “take 2” for packing lunches to be sure each child has a well-balanced meal.  Use this same model in the refrigerator for veggies, fruits, dairy, and hummus!

SnackBins

Plan Ahead
Meal planning can get a little boring and predictable at times, but it always ensures your family is eating right and saving money (and calories).  Planning ahead saves time making decisions or running to the store and helps avoid the last minute runs thru the drive-thru! Find a great website with fresh ideas and recipes or make a girl’s night out of cooking freezable dinners with your friends! Using leftovers efficiently cuts food waste, while buying in bulk makes it easy to stockpile freezer meals at reduced prices.

Find a great website to help you think outside of the box when it comes to packing lunches.  This way, kids are not getting bored with the same old brown bag and everyone is more likely to eat healthy!  Here is a great one to try http://www.creativegreenliving.com/2014/08/easy-back-to-school-lunch-ideas-sandwich-free-packed-lunches.html

Don’t Wait
Mornings can be chaotic and rushed for time.  Plan ahead to get everyone started on the right foot!  Take time after school to unpack backpacks, complete homework, and update the family command center with any changes for the following day’s schedule.  Use your command center as it is intended!  Important papers, lunch money, and permission slips should be kept here until they are packed be sure everyone gets out the door with what they need.

In the evenings, take a few minutes as a family to lighten your morning load.  Pack lunches, lay out clothes, place musical instruments or sports bags at the command center and even consider setting the table for breakfast!  Remember to keep everything at an appropriate height for your family’s needs to encourage independence! You know your children, allow your late sleeper to shower the night before or set up a schedule so that everyone gets the time they need in front of the mirror.

Prime Time
Amazon Prime can be dangerous for some shoppers, purchasing items at the click of a button but has personally saved me hundreds of hours, gas, and headaches!  For a $79 yearly membership you get free two day shipping on thousands of items.  Take a quick second to compare prices as you familiarize yourself with the service, not everything on Amazon is the cheapest option but prices are typically competitive with major retailers.  Look here first for pantry and toiletry replacements as well as gifts for any occasion.

Thanks for visiting my blog!  Check back soon for some tips on starting the school year on the right foot!

For more inspiring family command centers click on the image or visit poofycheeks.com.

For more ideas on how to make packing lunches a breeze, click on the image or visit iheartorganzing.blogspot.com.

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