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Saturday, April 6, 2013


*This post is part of a series about getting organized in 2013, 
from our new Moms On a Mission = M.O.M. project , 
see February 2013 posts for more great ideas!*

If you've been following since February you are getting yourself organized in this Moms On a Mission to get organized in 2013 adventure we've been on. We've gone through the entire house so far. Just a few last minute items that may need some help in getting organized.

KIDS' TOYS - I keep my kids' toys in bins that are labeled. Like things together (trucks, animals, balls, etc.). All figures and people go in a bag together. All the Mr. Potato Head stuff together in another bag. All the baby toys (for less than a year old, like rattles, etc.) go in its own bucket so they are kept nice together and last longer. My husband thinks it's silly that I keep all toys in like order together, but honestly it's made my son happiest when we do that. He can ALWAYS find what he's looking for, and pieces don't get broken or lost this way. We keep puzzles up high on a shelf and take them out to work on together instead of just allowing our son to use them whenever, because we found this way we don't lose the pieces. I go through my son's kitchen set and organize the toys in there every couple of weeks so we again don't lose things.

At least 3 times a year (once before Christmas to donate toys to needy families, and then once in the fall and once in the spring before kids' consignment sales I work at for a local school) I go through every single bucket of toys our kids have. I go through all books, too. We get rid of things we see our kids haven't even touched or have duplicates of to make room for more coming in from the holidays and birthdays. We have a small house so can't store it all.

I know another great trick my sister uses is to rotate through toys. She will pack up tons of toys and put them  in storage, take out other ones that have been packed away and her son thinks it's Christmas all over again with new things to play with!

We've also been strategic in where we put certain toys in the house. We have music (aka loud and possibly will wake up the sleeping baby!) toys in the back of our house in a play area. We also have blocks in there because it's the best place in the house to leave toys out and not worry about anyone stepping on them.

ADULT CLOTHES & SHOES - Go through everything you have every season or at least a couple of times a year. Get rid of whatever doesn't fit or hasn't been worn during this past season. Don't hold on to things for random reasons. Donate them and make room to get more if you want! Shoes, I keep on a shoe rack hanging on the back of my bedroom door. Such a great space saver. Keep them in order of season, when you intend to wear them so they are easy to locate when getting ready.

For our kids' shoes we have a large plastic bin of their old shoes. I try to wash them first before putting them in there so they are ready for the next kid to use when they fit.

MAIL STATION -  Update your address book. I have many friends who move a lot so I started last year writing in pencil the date that I put that address in the book so it reminded me if it was a new address or not. Have supplies available -s tamps, everything in one place, blank envelopes and paper, etc. You must have a desk space designated for bills, etc. Go through mail DAILY, don't let it pile up. Get rid of flyers and junk mail ASAP when you walk in the door. Better yet, sign up for online bills instead of getting paper copies.

PHOTOS - Update and organize frequently on your computer. Make photo books of your year by adding to them monthly instead of waiting until the end of a year to go back through 12 months of pictures. This is something I'm still needing to get better at. Upload your pictures from your camera often. Don't wait months to get those pics off the camera. Delete them while they are still on the camera, after an event. Whatever way you choose to showcase your photos - albums where you print the pics and put them in, digital photo books online, frames, etc. just do it!

CAR - You spend a lot of time in your car probably, so make sure it's comfortable and stress-free in there! Take out what you brought in the car that day. Have a trash bag and empty it every time you get gas. Keep a first aid kit, sun hats, etc. in there at all times for just in case adventures. We also keep a stroller all the time and a full diaper bag.

Check out some more ideas for organizing at my Pinterest board, get organized, mama!

I hope you have been able to use even one of these last couple of months of organization tips to organize yourself a little more. Organization = happier, less stressed, more money, more productive lives! One final piece about organizing coming next.... spring cleaning!

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