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What's your biggest challenge?

Moms View Message Board: Get Organized: What's your biggest challenge?
By Cat on Thursday, December 23, 2004 - 10:48 am:

I'm trying to get organized. I've joined Flylady again, but find myself deleting most of the emails and reminders. So let's help each other. :)

What do you find is you biggest challenged area/thing to keep clean or organized?

I think for me, it's the "flat surface syndrome." Especially my kitchen counters! The kids bring things (papers) home from school and they get stacked up there. Mail gets put there and starts to multiply! Things we need to do and reminders end up there. I clean it off about once or twice a week and it's still hard to keep up! I'm trying to stay on top of it.

So, post your biggest challenge and maybe someone will have a suggestion to overcoming it. :)

By Amy~moderator on Thursday, December 23, 2004 - 11:32 am:

I have a spot that I keep all clothing that needs mending, all toys that need battery replacement, books that needs pages reattached, etc. I have everyone in the house put things that need to be "fixed" in that spot. I get around to it about once a month or so, but sometimes it gets so piled up that it looks ridiculous. I try to keep it in a visible area so I don't forget about it, but that it starts to become a major eye sore. Anyway, that is my biggest challenge.

By Tink on Thursday, December 23, 2004 - 04:49 pm:

Definitely laundry! My house can be clean and ready for anyone to drop by but my bedroom (which is clean otherwise) will have Mt. Washmore off to one side. They all need to be folded! They ARE clean, just cold and wrinkled! Oh so romantic! I have to do three loads most days and it just seems overwhelming.

By Palmbchprincess on Thursday, December 23, 2004 - 07:55 pm:

Flat surface syndrome here, too. I am HORRIBLE about piling papers and other crap in spots. Oh, and I HATE filing papers, as a matter of fact I've got a ton to do since I was pulling court stuff out last night. This means a ton of junk to put back!

By Feona on Friday, December 24, 2004 - 07:47 am:

Toys are my biggest challenge.

Also my dining room table is a paper dumping ground. (I clean it every day or two.) Constant hassle.

I put two leather boxes by the door for john and for me to try to control paper clutter and keys and stuff.

I like to keep my kitchen counter clear too. That needs constant attention.

Laundry I have pretty under control. I don't fold anything. I hang the pants and shirts on top of a laundry basket. (Large hamper) If something need ironing, I give it to charity.

By Pamt on Friday, December 24, 2004 - 10:02 am:

Tink, I am incredulous. How on earth do you have 3 loads of laundry a day?? I would be overwhlemed too!!! I have about 4-5 loads a week and I only have one less kid than you, but both of my boys wear uniforms to school and change when they get home, so that's 2 outfits a day. I knock all of my laundry out in 2 days a week---Fridays for clothes (wash, fold, and put away) and Mondays for linens (washed and hung back out or on the bed).

My biggest issues are tidying up before bed since I usually doze off on the couch and can't muster the energy to do it and also the flat surface hotspots. I still have big issues with paper, but I will share something that helped with my boys' school stuff. I did make a control journal and it has a big plastic folder in it for each family member. When the boys bring home papers for school the trash is immediately thrown away, the papers with important dates are immediately calendared, and the "hold onto for later" papers are put in the folders in my control journal binder which stays by the phone in the kitchen. I also have a before school, after school, and before bed "to do " list for my boys. One of their after school chores is to give me all the important notes and papers. I sit down then and there to deal with it. If I don't get handed a permission slip after school and am handed it in the morning as we are rushing around, then it doesn't get signed until the next afternoon. The boys have gotten pretty good about getting their important papers to me now :)

By Amy~moderator on Friday, December 24, 2004 - 02:49 pm:

Pam, I do the same thing with my 5 year old. As soon as he walks in from school, we sit down on the sofa, and he gives me all of his schoolwork and school memorandums, and I calendar them right then and there. :)

By Tink on Saturday, December 25, 2004 - 02:33 am:

Pam, part of the laundry issue is my own fault. I wash all our sheets a few times a week and that is three loads each time. My dks and dh also have uniforms so that is two outfits a day. I have gotten much better about it but I dread folding it ALL the time. Just one of those chores I hate.

I also do the school paper thing. Everything gets signed, calendared, or applauded immediately. It's so much easier for all of us. I also like this because it gives us a chance to sit and talk about their days. Right now, they come home at different times so we get some one-on-one time.

By Feona on Saturday, December 25, 2004 - 07:29 am:

You don't need to fold sheets if you change them that often. I just leave then clean and dry in the hamper. Big deal they are wrinkled. I have to sets of sheets in circulation. If they aren't on the bed they are in the wash or sitting in a clean hamper waiting to go on the bed unfolded.

If you get over wrinkles you save yourself alot of time. The pants and shirts are hung up of course. Can't have them wrinkled.

I fold nothing. My laundry is put away in 15-20 minutes - that is a weeks worth. Just throw in drawers or hang up.

By Dawnk777 on Saturday, December 25, 2004 - 03:00 pm:

I hate clearing off the kitchen table, because then people see it as an open spot for dumping stuff. Argh.

I'm also bad about folding laundry and putting it away. I'm trying to do better. The 15 yo this past week, brought her own clothes down and took her own clothes upstairs to put away. I think she wants to be a little more organized, with her stuff. Also, she's old enough to take more responsibility for her own laundry. She will be in college in a few years.

Feona, I like my 100% cotton scrub tops, so I do iron them. Sometimes I would wash several at a time, then iron them all at once, to be all set for the week, in the summer. My winter print tops, all must have some polyester in them, since I haven't had to iron for a while, but I have two leftover from Halloween that should be ironed and put away, for next year! LOL!

By Ginny~moderator on Sunday, December 26, 2004 - 09:24 am:

For the flat/kitchen surface issue, at least for school papers and mail - I have a couple of baskets - tallish rather than flat, and mail that I want to deal with but not right now goes in there. I suppose you could do the same with school papers. For me, one of the solutions is to have ONE place that certain things are always placed so that I can find them. I haven't had to search for keys since I put out an attractive container on my breakfront shelf that I dump my change in every day (I have to walk right past it to get to the closet to hang up my coat) - and my keys. Keys go in the container and no where else. When I look at the mail any bills stay in my hand until I put them in the unpaid bills folder, also so I don't have to search for them.

Folding laundry - I fold stuff as I take it out of the dryer. That is the only way, for me, to get laundry folded. Now, getting it out of the baskets and into the proper place - that's another story.

But really, one of the keys for me in keeping things looking reasonably neat is to have containers for specific purposes. I try to find containers of an appropriate size that I can stand seeing twenty times a day, and that works for me. Some of it is dictated by the members of our household - we have this 110# appetite known as Sascha, the Rottweiler, so anything edible gets put away immediately. And the really attractive stuff - like candy and cookies, either goes into a high cabinet (cookies & crackers & other snack stuff) or in a basket on top of the frig (candy).

By Dawnk777 on Sunday, December 26, 2004 - 09:46 am:

Gary and I have a small key rack. It is a good place to put keys and most of the time, they get put there. Now, since I'm wearing a winter jacket, I tend to just leave them in the pocket.

For my work ID badge and pens, etc., I have a small margarine container on my dresser for that stuff, so that I can always find it! If I forget to put it there, I usually can't find it at all! LOL!

By Sue3 on Sunday, December 26, 2004 - 09:42 pm:

The laundry for me.It gets cleaned but never put a way .
I really have to get better organized with that. It all ends up in our bed room !

By Conni on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 11:46 am:

My biggest challenge is my closet. It is always unorganized. It is too easy to close the door and forget about it. lol

By My2cuties on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 10:47 pm:

Ok, I don't have a huge problem with any of my house, I can always manage to get it clean..but, I am at the end of my rope with my girls bedroom. Right now they share a bedroom (one of the reasons we HAVE to get a house before the baby gets here or shortly after), and there are toys everywhere! They have 2 power wheels (a large one and a smaller one), my oldest dd has a bicycle, and recently got a Barbie doll house and a pop up princess youngest dd has a wagon and a tricycle..that alone is 6 large items in their room (7 when the tent is up), then you have a toy box with toys in it, a dresser and a crib, and a toy box is also under the crib with toys in it too, I had to put 2 rubbermaid clear containers in their closet for the babydolls and accessories. What am I going to do? To make things worse, I JUST went through all their toys and got rid of a whole garbage bag full. Since their room has so many toys in it, it tends to leak into the livingroom during the day and I have to continually pick up toys out of the livingroom. HELP!! I know the answer is to probably get rid of more toys but they really do play with these toys at least once a week, and I would feel bad, any other suggestions? Thanks a bunch in advance

By Yjja123 on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 11:17 pm:

My daughter has a bookcase with shoebox size bins throughout the entire bookcase (around 12 bins) and also under the bed storage bins. The bins are labeled: Barbies, pollys, etc. One type toy goes in each bin. I have found that by seperating her toys in smaller (more manageable) bins she
1) puts her stuff back away when done
2) it is easier for her to find the toy she wants so she isn't dumping a ton of toys trying to get what she wants to play with.
The power wheels, bikes, etc (outdoor toys) are too big for a bedroom! I would store those outside.

By Karen~moderator on Friday, December 31, 2004 - 06:01 am:

Sometimes I think it would be easier to blow my house up than to organize things! UGH!!

I used to be SO good at organization, everything had a place and everything WENT in it's place.

I'm a disaster now. I don't seem to be able to keep up with any of it. If I get one room decluttered and cleaned, the clutter turns up somewhere else.

Flat surfaces are a problem for me as well, and I then end up putting the stuff into boxes to *go through later*, and I end up with boxes of this stuff.

I start to feel so overwhelmed, but I think basically I'm just tired and lazy. LOL

By My2cuties on Friday, December 31, 2004 - 10:48 am:

Outside is not an option for me...we have an extremely anal Landlord and no out side anything, it was pushing it to ask him if I could have a little seesaw for the girls in the summer and a grill, but I could only imagine the fit he would throw if I had 2 power wheels and a bike with it outside. :( Maybe I will take the bike to my MIL's until the summer. I am stuck with the power wheels inside for now.

By Palmbchprincess on Friday, December 31, 2004 - 01:31 pm:

For they toys we just bought one of those standing organizers with the open bins, like Yvonne was mentioning. This is slim, so it fits nicely in their room, but holds their toys in some semblance of organization. They also have 2 Trikes in their room, only because we don't want to store them outside, 2 toddler beds, a Little Tikes table, and a basket for all their stuffed animals. They don't use a dresser, all their clothes are in 2 hanging dividers in their closet. My mom made a great point about dressers for little kids. They often end up broken from kids climbing on them, or otherwise ruined, they can be dangerous at worst, and help kids get into things at best. The hanging dividers I bought at Kmart for less than $10 each, and they hold everything well. You can even buy some with the days of the week printed on them, though I prefer to divide clothes by type... underpants and socks, light shirts, heavy shirts, shorts, pants, matching outfits. HTH

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