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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Secrets of Organized Homes

I try to keep my home clean, but let's be real. I live here with my small children. It's not perfectly clean all the time. (I don't think it's actually perfectly clean any of the time.) And I've mulling over and searching for cleaning hacks to share, but when it comes down to it, I think the best secret to have a clean house is to have everything organized. (Easier said than done.) We've all heard it before, but it's true. Recently I read an article in Family Fun Magazine called "Secrets of Organized Homes", and here's what they suggested, plus a few of my own.
  1. Go paper-free.
  2. Make an art box for each child.
  3. Reduce the amount of stuff you need to organize.
  4. A place for everything and everything in its place.
  5. Don't aim for perfection.
  6. Get your kids involved.
  7. Spend a little time every day cleaning and organizing.
  8. Maximize your space. Things that aren't used often should go in the basement or the attic. Store somethings on wall hooks.
  9. Use reusable shopping bags so you cut back on the number of plastic grocery bags that you keep around.
  10. Create a "Family Owner's Manual" with schedules and important numbers.
  11. Get rid of unused toys.
  12. Get rid of unused anything. Clothes, books, AP European History Notecards, whatever.
  13. Choose smart storage options for your children's toys.
  14. Store toys and games near where they are typically played with.
  15. Improvise.
  16. Make a back-up box, to have all computer program disks in one place.
  17. Get rid of cd cases and just use a disk folder.
  18. Create separate computer user account to keep the desktop uncluttered.
  19. Group things together. Helmets with bikes, etc.
  20. Make a charity bin.
  21. Assign each family member a basket for essential items such as wallet, keys and phone.
  22. Make a temporary dumping container that must be emptied daily.
  23. Create a system for your pantry. If you have the space organizing ingredient by recipe can make your life easier.
  24. Assess your 'stuff' at least monthly. What have you not used in the past year?
  25. Make lists. To-do lists. Grocery lists. Goals. Things for the man to do. Christmas gifts. Whatever. (If you guys haven't noticed yet I am a serious list junky. Lists are how I survive in life.)

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