The Nadel family- Enjoy reading our everyday adventures!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

WFMW: Organizing tips

On this Works for Me Wednesday, I have a few organizing books that I like to read every once in a while, and I leave them in an accessible place... the top of my bathroom toilet! :-D So when I have a minute, I can grab a book and find some great tips for helping me get more organized-- and believe me, with four kids and a busy house, I need all the tips and ideas I can get!

One of my favorite books is The One Minute Organizer: Plain & Simple by Donna Smallin. It is loaded with great ideas, and my copy is dog-eared and filled with little paper bookmarks. Some of the ideas are not easy and may "hurt" a little... like this one:

To keep or toss? Ask yourself:
Have I used this item in the past year?
Will I need it on a definite date in the future?
DO I need to keep it for legal or tax purposes?
Would it be difficult to get another if I needed it again someday?
If you answer no to every question, toss it.
See, not easy to do--some things I know I keep for sentimental reasons, and I just need to toss it! This book is good inspiration for that!

Then she says on the next page...
Still undecided? Ask:
What useful purpose does this thing serve in my life? It is isn't something you use, is it something that makes you feel good? If not, it's just taking up space. Let it go. 

Here's another of her tips:
Establish a household rule: Whoever makes a mess is responsible for cleaning it up-- now, not later.
I love that one! We do try to do that around here...

Another one:
Consider creating one or two clutter-free zones in you home. Pick a room and declare it off-limits to clutter. Establish rules for that room:
-If you bring it in with you, take it out with you.
-If you take it out while you're in here, put it away before leaving.
We do try to do that one with our bedroom. When the kids bring toys in, they have to take them out. We have minimal clutter on our bedside tables, but it is MY books, not the kids', no toys or little girly hair clips. It helps to have a place to get away from the kids' stuff sometimes.

And a few more that I really like:
When it seems like you need more storage space, it's probably time to eliminate some stuff. Schedule a decluttering session.
-Put a wastebasket in every room.
-Put a litter bag in your car.
-Make it clear that leaving personal belongings unattended may result in their being held for ransom. If a family member wants his or her stuff back, he or she will have to do an extra chore. If anyone chooses not to do the extra chore, you know that the item isn't important enough. Give the item away to charity without guilt.
We do this last one with our kids, and we call it the "buy-it-back-box". When the kids go to bed and leave their toys/ belongings out, we put it in the buy-iy-back-box. Then they have to do a job/ chore the next day to get it back. I love that- and it's amazing how it motivates them to grab their toys and clean up before they go to bed. There are some things that have stayed in the box for a while, and... off they go to Goodwill!

That is enough for now, I could quote her book and go on and on... But you'll just have to buy or borrow your own copy! Hope it helps you! Let me know what you think... It works for me!

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