Thursday, January 20, 2011

Going through the archives

Today I am trying to go through some of my archives to label posts, which should make it easier to find what I am looking for later. Although, I am finding that there are just so many categories that I could almost do a few different blogs pertaining to things I am interested in. At some point in the near future, I will be starting a blog for my doula business, so I'll be doing most of my writing about childbirth and breastfeeding on that one. I'll let you know when I launch it, but for now I will be working on getting this one more organized.

Speaking of organized, some of you may know that I'm quite a perfectionist when it comes to being organized. I don't know for certain when this evolved, since I didn't really keep a clean room when I was growing up, but I think it started to take shape when I got my first apartment in my early twenties. And I find now that I have a family of my own, being organized is the key to a peaceful home. As peaceful as it can be with small children, anyhow. Being organized has helped me get though my toughest terms at school as well, because cooking and cleaning is so much easier when there is a plan and a place for everything. I like it that way. It works for me.

Some things that make my life easier:

*Storage bins of all sizes. Large ones for all the kids clothes are a lifesaver. I keep a bin for each size of clothing in both girl and boy. These stack in the kids' closet. Having them clearly labeled makes for easy storage and easy sorting as they grown out of things. I also try to keep the girls' clothes in their drawers folded together into outfits. This helps especially if we are packing or dressing in a hurry, since nobody has to ask if this shirt goes with those pants. It's a breeze!

*My 3-bin laundry sorter that I got from Target. It has removable bags that are just perfect for a load so that when one gets full, I just take it to the washer and dump it in. Easy peasy! I use one for darks, one for mediums, and one for whites. All of my kitchen towels, cleaning rags, cloth wipes for hands/faces, and bath towels, etc. are white so that I can throw in a capful of bleach with each load to keep them white. This assures me that everything is clean, too, since a lot of the whites are used for germy jobs.

*A home organization notebook. I have a wide 3-ring binder that I keep everything in. It has tabs for menu planning, grocery lists, packing lists (for camping, outings, etc), schedules, and budgeting. I also have a notebook for recipes, although I am needing a bigger one. When I find a recipe that I love, I print it out and put it in my book. Lists are my friend. I puffy heart love them. I have a master grocery list of every item I like to keep on hand, including all over-the-counter medicines and vitamins. It's always a work in progress, but it's so helpful!

*Toys are the tough one, especially since we now have a boy in the house, too, so we're adding more to the mix. We now have baby toys, big girl toys, books, and art supplies. All these things are in bins as well, although most are in medium ones instead of large ones. We have a bin each for blocks, ponies, barbies/other small dolls, baby dolls/clothes, dress up, legos/mega blocks, dishes/food, and our most recent addition is potato head sets from Christmas. The dollhouse furniture/dolls was going to go in a box as well, but I decided to keep them in the house to save on space. We also have medium bins for art supplies like paints, paper, coloring books, and crayons, as well as a small bin with play dough containers and accessories. When a bin is at capacity, I sort through to get rid of some things so the kids (or I) don't get frustrated trying to cram a bunch of toys into a box that they won't fit into. The bins also keep things easy to pick up. I'm going to be working on labeling them with pictures so the kids know what goes into the bins when they're cleaning up. Most of the bins get stored under the futon in the living room. Their books and kitchen are in the girls' room and William's toys are all sorted into something similar to this.

There's so much more, but I'll save it for another time. Those are my biggest sanity savers around the house. What do you do that makes life easier?

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