Monday, February 16, 2009


So...  I have a question...

How on earth do you stay organized and keep your houses relatively neat in the day to day? 

Maybe it's me being dead tired with two small kids and one on the way that makes it so darn difficult to keep my life in order, but whatever it is, it's frustrating the heck out of me not being able to get things done.

And I know that when this new one comes, it's not going to get easier. 

So, that's where you guys come in!  Help a woman out and give me your best tips to keeping things neat and organized.  It doesn't matter if you have kids or not.  Or for that matter, it definitely doesn't matter if you're neat.  I know everyone has ways to keep some aspect of their lives somewhat organized.  My hope is that perhaps, maybe, um, possibly I can compile enough great tips that I'll make progress.

Because some progress is better than no progress.  



  1. Bins, bins and more bins! Because the house we are renting is not set up or conducive for organization, we've bought tons of bins in different shapes, sizes, colors, etc. Two bins by the back door. One for shoes, the other for coats, mittens, hats, etc. A bin on the countertops, mostly for paper stuff or coupons or things I want to get to, but may never do it. Bins in the bathroom to separate toiletries for him/her/medicines/lotions, etc. Bins for toys - transportation, noisy, people, animals, balls, etc.

    I am living in bins!

    Hopefully one day I will have my own house again and I will have storage places all throughout, as well as a label maker to mark all the bins as to what is in it!

  2. I also use some bins and baskets. I converted one of our closets into a toy closet. I bought one of those cube things, placed, all his toys in bins, and slid them in the cubes. At the end of the day, I scoop up all the toys, and place them back in the cubes, and close the door.

    I also recently bought a roomba for my upstairs. I hardly ever drug the vaccum upstairs, but now it gets done, at just the push of a button.

    And what ever doesn't get done, don't stress about it. There is def. a diffence between messy and dirty. So as long as your just messy, its ok not to be perfect.

  3. Find a place for everything...and LABELS! Even for the girls...put the pictures of the toys that go in each bin so Bean and eventually C can put their toys away too!

    I'll come over one day and help you one day! :)

  4. A kept-up-to-the-minute to-do list is the only way.

  5. i just clean as I go. in my classroom at school (with 12 two year olds) constantly pulling everything out. just make it a habit to pick up. put things in the same place everytime so the kids can help too!

  6. No matter how tired I am and how much I don't want to I TRY to do a couple of things before bed.

    1. Clean up the kitchen - empty the sink and wipe it out, load and run the dishwasher, clean up and wipe off the counters.
    2. Pick up/put away the toys (or have the kids do it before THEY go to bed).

    I don't do this every night but when it happens then the next morning I come down to a more-clean house and it's MUCH easier for me to think about additional cleaning (vacuuming or mopping) when the house is already picked up and in order.

  7. me over to babysit.... ?


  8. When I go from one room to another I always try to take something with me that goes in that room. Cuts down on trips later when I am cleaning up.
    I have also been trying to teach my 17 month old to tidy up her areas before bed times. Takes a little longer now, but hopefully someday it will stick! :)

  9. Buy a timer. On those days when you feel you can't do anything more, set the timer for five minutes and work for just five minutes. Even the most daunting tasks (sweeping the dining room/kitchen, unloading and loading the dishwasher etc) will probably take you less than five minutes. :)

  10. I'm also a big fan of bins but mostly just having everything have a home-a place where it belongs. That way when I go to put things away (as I walk by it and it annoys me or when I'm intentionally cleaning) I know just where it goes. Ella and Chris also pick up on where each thing "lives" so they can put it away too.

    My other tip is making cleaning time enjoyable-during Ella's rest time I put on my favorite (usually funny) podcasts while I straighten up/clean the kitchen. I don't let myself listen to those podcasts any other time so I get excited about cleaning because I get to listen to "mom" stuff.

    The only other tip is doing a big clean up/organize day and then just having to maintain on a regular basis. I know all of it is MUCH harder with more than one kid so I just applaud you for thinking about cleaning :-) As you well know, being a great mom is much more about rolling around on the floor with kids than the floor being clean :-)

  11. I get rid of the things that I don't use anymore - it's great to not have to sort through stuff I'm not using and it frees up valuable space in my house. I also use bins for Layna's toys and it makes it much easier to just throw all her stuff in there. We are working on making sure the toys are picked up before we move onto another play area or level of the house. I also have a daily "assignment" that I try to get done (Mon: Laundry, Tues: Meal Planning, Grocery List, Pay Bills, Wed: Grocery Shoppping, etc...). With this list, I just have one cleaning goal for the day and that makes it much easier to tackle the job. If I miss a day, I can make it up later that week because some assignments are easier or take less time than others. Also, ask for help!!! If I am really overwhelmed with some project, I ask my hubby (in the sweetest voice I have) for his help or input. Hope this helps :)

  12. Honestly? If it weren't for Roomba, our house would never get vacuumed.


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