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I love looking through old books full of hints that worked beautifully well in the past (unlike many of the expensive and chemical-full things we have on the market today). Here are several I thought you would enjoy (and laugh with me about the "typewriter" hint!):
Source: From a book published by Fawcett Crest in 1960
By caseye from Plano, TX
I have known many friends and family that have had problems with getting their home as nice as they wished. There was not a parent around to teach them, due to work or illness. The plan is to make a list of the kinds of areas in the home and the things the family needs and wants. I helped a new mom by visiting her 2 to 3 times a week. I taught her to organize using a basket, big garbage bags and sticky notes.
To collect and clear things, first take the garbage bag around and pick up garbage and waste. Some people throw away bottles and cartons but we are encouraged to recycle them. Do this collecting in every room. Next, the basket is for laundry to be collected and put in laundry area to do later. After that, take the basket again and this time collect toys to return them to the rooms so the children can put away their toys. Once the basket is empty again, it is time to collect the dishes. Most homes have cups and glasses all over the place so do not do the dishes until collecting is done.
The sticky pad is for reminders where some things go back to, mostly major items. Start with tools, games, cords, first aid, pet items. There are always things like this that get around and lost if there is not a dependable return place.
Now look around the home and see how much you have cleared away and how easy it is to clean now. You will be happy to see how 25 minutes can get most of your home clean. The organizing slowly improves with the spots named and the family can see how things are supposed to be. This is leading by example. There are many young people with a family that get feeling sad about the home and need some slow simple instuctions to reclaim the nice things and feelings about home life.
I used to be very disorganized; that wasn't the problem. The problem was I had no way to sort things out that felt comfortable to me. But in 1991, I was unemployed for a few weeks and decided to occupy myself by solving the problem once and for all. I had my bedroom in a large family room with all my hobby stuff, intermingled with my personal things. It gave me a headache to approach the mess and I felt inadequate. But this one day, the light bulb went on, and life has been better ever since.
I started to gather my hair things and felt overwhelmed by all the categories. I had three sizes and types of bobby pins alone. Even that felt like too much. So I picked the medium brown ones, and literally went around the room and gathered each one I found until I had them all and put a rubber band around them and put them in a small box. Then I picked the second kind, searched them all out, rubberbanded them, and added them to the box.
I found I needed to break the categories down to one at a time, taking it through the gathering, securing, and placing, otherwise I felt overwhelmed. I had been postponing this day of reckoning for a long time. I let my feelings be my guide. If I didn't feel confused or overwhelmed, I continued. I went by size, category, attachment, conflict, etc. If I felt conflicted, I put it down and worked on something else or broke the task down to yet smaller tasks.
This room contained sewing things, a knitting machine, two spinning wheels, wool, yarn, dyes, a loom, clothing, books, and all the equipment which went with these hobbies. It took me two long, long days, probably 8-9 hours per day, plus a bit of a 3rd day to get things hung up, sorted and given a place, categorized, thrown away, and so on.
Afterward, I let things go for a while again until it got messy, perhaps to test myself. When it reached a degree of clutter I couldn't abide, not as bad as the first time, I did the same thing. I had to break it down, just as before, to get the job done with any degree of inner peace. But after that second round, organizing anything was never a problem again, and in fact, I do it to relax. I am more than happy to help clean up disorganization in my grandchildren's houses when they are at work, and very little dismays me. I have been lost, and found my own way out.
Chaos does not unnerve me anymore, as long as I can help do something about it. So I suggest being the feeling creatures we are, use your feelings as your guide and break it down until you feel all right, and clutter just magically disappears.
By pikka from Westminster, CO
Like most people, I went through a frenzy a few years ago to organize everything. A major task was the kids rooms! I bought nice plastic stacking drawers on wheels in fun colors - and it worked! For a while.
In my efforts to control clutter, I like to make it into a game of sorts which I call 23 Skidoo. I have to find 23 items to put away or throw away every day. Sometimes I get very inspired and play 23 Skidoo twice.
To organize more than one thing of different or the same sizes is not always so easy. Although it's all in where you go shopping. When we started to go to Aldi's I was impressed with their prices, although what REALLY caught my eyes were the boxes that I could take home for FREE!
Here's a great use for that sturdy cardboard tube in which new carpeting is rolled. Decorate any way you choose to match your rooms decor.
After years of not being able to find things in our home, I have created an Excel spreadsheet which I call "Where Everything Is".
My mother was not one to have a lot of devices for storage or organizing clutter. Here's what she taught me:
I read in a book written by Don Aslett (the great cleaning guru) something that made so much sense that I am sharing it with everyone.
Here are some tips for getting organized for the New Year:
I've been organizing and reusing items as much as possible. I have a laminated white cabinet made of particle board with holes drilled along the inside for shelves but the shelf pins I have didn't seem to work.
I try to keep a memo pad and pen or pencil by my chair in the living room, close by. You never know when a commercial might be for a certain store offering a special sale on specific days.
The best tip is one you have heard a million times ... A place for everything, and everything in it's place. This really works if you make sure you find a spot in your home for anything and everything you will not have clutter - that is if you put it away.
When you bring mail into the house take an extra moment to look through it. Immediately take bills to bill location, magazines to their area, coupons to theirs, etc. Junk mail can go straight to the "round file" - trash.
The annoying thing about clutter is it becomes really tough to find things you need when you need them. That said, you don't need every surface to be barren of objects to be truly organized.
This is a tip for decorating and organizing at the same time. I love to decorate meaningfully. I recently scanned a garbage collection schedule distributed to households by the government, divided the image into two parts, printed each on a standard photo paper and put the photos in a nice picture frame.
Here are a few small tips for getting and staying organized.
I use Land O'Lakes egg containers to store jewelry, office supplies, bathroom items such as barrettes and bobby pins, buttons, etc. I can see what I've stored and they can either stack or trifold close.
I have a calendar in my kitchen and absolutely everything I need to remember has to be written on there! I check it every day just to make sure that I don't miss anything.
To get organized, use empty big cereal boxes in the pantry to group similar things together.
If you're short of room around your house, try using clear vinyl pocket organizers in: In the linen closet to hold items such as lip balm, thermometer, band-aids, sample sizes of medications, tweezers, nail clippers, etc.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I personally have a really hard time keeping anything in my home organized. My husband and I got married and moved from KY/IN area to Northeast GA 6 months ago and still have boxes everywhere. Now we are talking about starting a home business as well. We need ideas for a multitude of books, keepsakes, pictures, clothes, dishes, food, etc. for the home part and it needs to be something that can be done cheaply but not look cheap.
We have people in and out of the house sparaticly due to my husband being a Youth Minister. I would love to get my house organized and not go out of my mind trying to organize a home office as well. Also, any ideas for kids stuff would be a blessing too. (Trying to plan ahead.) Thank you so much.
Jeggie from Elberton, GA
Two of my favorite tv shows are "Mission:Organization" and "Clean Sweep." Both are full of wonderful ideas. You don't have to buy the fancy-schmancy organizing stuff, but you can get some great ideas.
Do you have shoeboxes? They're boring--but if you cover them with pretty paper or fabric, then you have a nice place to store things. Keep your eyes open for pretty boxes and containers at garage sales and discount stores. Garage sales are a great place to look for shelves, too! Target sells boxes to store photos that range in price, but IMHO, the lesser expensive ones (which I use) look really nice.
If I were you, I'd pick one category and start there:organizing your photos, for example. If you try to do too many things at once, you'll be overwhelmed.
And don't be afraid to get rid of things!
I love using the Flylady system (www.flylady.net). A few of her tips....Work on the organizing and unpacking for 15 minutes at a time. You will be surprised at how much you can get done in a week if you do several 15 minutes a day. Also, I would decide what you really want to display. Just because you have something doesn't mean that you have to display it. If there are items that you aren't sure if you want to keep, put them in a box and store in a closet or garage. If you haven't missed the items in 6 months or a year, you could consider giving the items to charity.
I have moved many times, my best tip is hire
a helper. It could be a niece,nephew, teenager
who needs a little cash flow. They will help you organize and label. I sit in front of tv with boxes and purge old stuff to trash or shred at that time.
I was going to tell you to visit www.flylady.net, but then noticed that someone already gave you that hint. I used to be so unorganized but now I'm following Flylady's instructions and I just love it! It has really saved my mental health! You can start doing some task 15 minute a time, and at some point you'll have it all completed. Have fun!
I heartily recommend www.flylady.com ! Marla Cilley, the Flylady, will show you how to get a handle on your clutter.. 15 minutes at a time... You only need to work at it for 15 minutes. also, she includes a Weekly Home Blessing that I appreciate. She is a Christian woman who did this for herself and it has become so successful shes been asked to share it with others.. There is no charge.. It is free... She only wants to help others... Please give it a try... You wont be sorry...
You may possibly have too much stuff and not enough space in which to put it. So don't blame yourself!
I need tips to help organize my home.
Hi Elizabeth! Here's a great site to help organize. Good luck :) :) http://www.flylady.net/
Yes Flylady is the best site to get organized. It worked for me.
Another great site is:
You can get a great intro package and it is free.
As soon as I saw your post, I looked for the FlyLady website address. LOL. It's a great site, and you get daily emails giving you a quick 15 minute 'job of the day' to do. One step at a time, and you will get there!
I was in the same place you are. I just knew that any day the Health Department would arrive and I'd be cited for having a dangerously cluttered home.
Then for, I took a good look around and discovered for the first time exactly what my problem was.
I'd known all along that I didn't have too much stuff, I'm a thrower. But...what was the problem?
Duh! I didn't have ample shelving. It was a simple as that. I had a garage sale before moving, sold all the shelves, but brought the clothing, books, dishes, etc. to the new home. But now I had a super home, but the items didn't!
So...VERY cheaply and some help from super male and female neighbors who are skilled at installing shelves, everything has a home!
Now, if you're a "hoarder" that's a different issue. I've reviewed Fly Lady and think it's a great site. But you might not need it, if you find, like I did that you were missing shelving - not forgetting to put things in their designated spots. Before you can put things away - they have to have an address!
Now that I am almost organized (Thank you Thriftyfun)..
I decided to take down the stuff off my walls. "Stuff" being pictures, stickers, movie tickets, song lyrics, anything and everything you can imagine that looks kinda neat. I have taped it up there for years now.
I have so much stuff. I orginally started this because I am a pack rat, and I love to save all these pictures and memories, so just throwing them away is not an option.
I thought about buying a scrapbook and trying to scrapbook it all, but thats an expensive hobby, and I'm beyond broke.
Since I will be moving soon, this needs to be portable, and I'd like to look through it every once in awhile.
Does anyone have any ideas?
you can do it the "old fashioned" scrapbook way, or just collect it in a binder.
Exactly. Tape things into a spiral notebook and use the lines in any remaining spaces (or on the facing page) to write down why you like it or when you got or some story related to it. That's may favorite, and it only costs the price of a notebook, a roll of tape, and a writing implement.
Or you could use a three-ring notebook and paper. Then some of the larger items could be folded and put into pocket folders.
If you have a filing cabinet, you could make some file folders to store things. Or you could find a box with a lid to store things in. Or label some large envelopes, put things in the envelopes, and store the envelopes on a bookshelf, between books.
You can scrapbook fairly cheap by using construction paper and sheet protectors in a binder. Use a sheet of construction paper for the background. Then use scrap pieces for a 3-D effect behind the picture or memory item. You can use acid free pens or markers for journaling. It will add a special touch too versus buying stickers.
i have so many pictures and love to save everything. i use a binder that has sticky pages , and clear report covers , you can find them at wallmart. i put things that are too bulky or multiple sheets in 1 page, old 8x10 pics too. then for all your old wallet pics you can pic up the clear sheets used for football cards. very cheap. hope this helps
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We made a organizing center out of boxes that Christmas presents came in. We covered them with contact paper and taped them together. Now my son has somewhere for all of his school supplies.
By snagglebuddy from LaGrange, KY