Thursday, June 21, 2007


I was asked to share a few of my organization tips so I shall oblige but I certainly hope some of you will also share! I have a long way to go and many of these are wishful plans but I’m not doing a great job of implementing them at the moment. :)

- Always say yes to donating – even if you only donate a few things.
- Use organizing helps and label things (I’m a sucker for clear plastic tubs – they make everything look so nice in closets and are easy to stack).
- Get rid of old magazines – only save ones that you will read again. I love cooking magazines and have begun the process of copying and cutting out recipes that we will use and throwing the rest away.
- Sell books you will not re-read.
- If you haven’t used something for 1 year or more, let it go.
- Donate clothes that are outdated, don’t fit, are worn out, or you don’t like.
- Evaluate the kid’s clothes and keep only if they are in good condition – if you are like me, you will want to buy (or make) some new clothes for any other children.
- Put a couple of special outfits and toys into a keepsake box for your child.
- Keep toys that are good quality and/or that your children love(d) (ones that you would use for other children) – consider donating the rest.
- Try rotating toys – children feel like it’s Christmas when they haven’t seen a toy for awhile and you will have less to clean up and keep organized.
- Let them enjoy Happy Meal toys for a few days or weeks and then throw them away when they have been cast off in favor of other toys. (Don’t let them catch you! :)
- Go through things frequently – it won’t be quite so overwhelming. :)
- Don’t feel guilty for passing things on – know that you will bless someone else.
- If you tend to be sentimental (as my husband is) think about ways to repurpose things. I’m in the process of making a quilt with shirts that my husband loved but shouldn’t wear anymore. :)

I do not have garage sales – the last one I did was for two days and I made about $12 (literally!). :) It was obviously not worth it but I will sell things on someone else’s sale. We have sold books to used book stores and we donate clothes and get a tax write-off. There are so many creative ways to get organized and stay organized! What are some of your tips? We can all learn from each other! Happy simplifying and organizing everyone!


Kevin & Amy said...

I agree with you--dejunking is key. When in doubt, get rid of it. Good tips.

EmilyAnne said...

Recipes confound me. I have digitized and electronically updated about every aspect of my life, but recipes are the worst! I finally, in desperation, bought a picture album with those 4x6 slots to slide pictures into. I am in process of going through magazines and cookbooks in which I like only a few of the recipes (or actually trying the ones that I've collected). If they're good, I type them onto the 4x6 cards (you can fit more writing on that way), print them out and slide them into the album, which is roughly organized by food type. Any better suggestions?

Andrew & Alaina said...

Hey Emily,

The only thing I don't like about the album style is that I always end up needing to pull them out to read the back...maybe the typing elminates that. I use the plastic recipe slip covers from Current and a recipe box divided by food type (not sure this is a better suggestion just different). But I now have too many recipes for my box; I need to start making some of them. :) It's an endless cycle!

I hear you are coming to Indiana for awhile - let us know if you are in our area. We would love to see you and the girls...zoo, children's museum?! :)

Catherine said...

Great tips, I especially like your idea about the quilt (I also have a husband who likes to keep things, if you have any ideas on how to handle a bulky and very dirty collection of old GI Joe stuff, let me know!).

Andrew & Alaina said...

Catherine, Good luck with the GI Joe stuff - I have no idea what you should do! I would probably ask for a few memorable ones to be kept and the rest e-bayed. :)