Ok so I have continued with my organizing. I have now designated an area for each 'event'. Kitchen stuff in the kitchen, office items in the office space, crafts tucked neatly away in bins and 3 drawer tupper-ware containers........you get the picture.
1) The boys' room is clean and organized... their toys sorted in appropriate see-through tupperware bins. Trains. Cars and trucks. Blocks. Littlest Petshops.....you can see where I am going with this.
*See-through bins are key so you can see exactly what is inside.
Everything else that doesn't have a spot goes into the massive Tupperware container I bought, lid removed. I figure the problem that we had before was that we didn't have enough space for the toys, but now I can see that the bins were too small. This way they can take 1 bin out ( already sorted and ready to play) and cleaning it up is seconds of refilling the bin. Each bin for each type of toy collection is big enough to hold all the items and the lid is closeable.
I have no eliminated over 90 % of a chance of a huge mess because the majority of the toys are stored away in closed bins. My 3 year old will have to now ask to get into these toys...which he can see is inside...and allows me to 'control' the toys.
Now they can be stacked neatly in the closet. I found that using the same bins, even if they were a little bit too big for the toy collection created a more uniform and stackable system. It looks neat and organized, and almost like I had to spend a lot of time making it look that way...I didn't.
I don't know about you but when I was a little it took hours of sorting through to find missing Barbie items, and when we got to finally playing, the day was almost over.
NEW HOUSEHOLD RULE: You want to take out a bin of toys, you have to pick up the bin of toys out and trade it. It has been working FABULOUS!
2) All paper items that come in the mail go directly onto the kitchen table and are sorted immediately. Of course I want to see what we got in the mail but I also found that it was the fastest way to get through the clutter. Flyers get recycled along with the grocery flyers that I won't be using. If I don't shop there, or don't have the money or want for 'couches' it goes in the recycling pile. All bills are opened, and envelopes to the recycling pile.
* One of my biggest pet peeves is my husband's need to slice the end of the envelope open and read his mail, only to replace it in the envelope and add it to a pile of clutter later. Of course it looks like we have a bunch of unopened mail and I have no idea what is inside.
Bills to be paid go on the fridge. Magazines in plastic wrap are opened. We have a vertical accordion file that paid bills go in by category. Genius! When it comes to tax season I can pull each category out and lump together in write-off categories for my tax report ( which I use against the income made with my home based businesses).
I don't know how we couldn't figure out that placing items in a horizontal pile was making more work for us. You have to literally flip through every piece of paper in the stack...only to usually not find what you are looking for. Vertical filing....amazing. Fast. Organized.
3) END OF THE DAY PICKUP
This has saved so much frustration for me, and so much time cleaning.
At the end of the day I go around to each area and remove all the items that don't belong and put them in a laundry basket that I am carrying. I start in the living room for kids toys, abandoned clothing articles, magazines/ books and then move through the house...ending in the rooms where most of this stuff goes. When you get there you take all the items that belong in that room, out of your basket, and put them away.
3 Reasons why this is an amazing idea?
1)No more clutter for the next morning and if someone stops by, your house is fairly clean
2)Cleaning literally takes only minutes because you cut down on the foot traffic. How many times in the past have I returned to the same room, over and over, to put away a bobby pin, a hair elastic, a crayon, a missing game piece.
3) You KNOW WHERE everything is!
I NOW UNDERSTAND that organization is not about looks or how many fancy bins you have, or waiting until you have the perfect organizing cupboard set up....but it is about the system in which you have in place. Routine cleaning. Creating systems that work and save time. When you are a busy mom, the last thing you have a lot of is TIME.
I was WASTING so much TIME going back and forth from room to room cleaning ( before using my basket trick) that before I knew it, the day was over, and the house still looked like a tornado hit it. Time management. Something that a Supermom must become a pro at!
Remove all items that don't belong and make sure that they go somewhere else that they do. If they don't...might be time to start looking to let them go :)