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Challenge: Get organized!

Tips for Cutting Clutter and Keeping Organized at Home and On-The-Go

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Are you obsessed with storage containers? Do you spend hours dreaming up ways to tidy up your house so you can stay perfectly organized? Being organized gives us a sense of calm and peace in our hectic lives. I would not necessarily call this being obsessed because I am right there with you!

There are several opportunities throughout the year to exclaim, “I am throwing everything out and getting organized!” Fall seems like a logical time because the kids are back in school and those lazy summer days are gone. Life gets crazy and time consuming with making school lunches, packing backpacks with school essentials, class schedules, extracurricular activities, doctor appointments, tutors, playdates, birthday parties, etc. Staying on top of it all means staying organized. Being committed to your tasks throughout the year will help you achieve organizational bliss.

VIRTUAL ORGANIZATION

One way to stay organized is to set up a family calendar. You can do this by hanging one on the wall, but I find it easier to use an App on my phone. This way the appointment or event immediately goes onto the calendar no matter where I am. We use Cozi, an online calendar to keep everyone in the family up to date on everyone’s activities; from school events, doctor appointments, my business travel, etc. No one has to ask what’s going on. If they do, I just holler, “Check the Cozi!” It’s my favorite new battle cry.

HOUSE ORGANIZATION

For items like backpacks, shoes, coats and hats, a drop zone is designated in the house. It is located in the hallway just inside from the garage with a bench, some storage bins and hooks. It’s the dumping ground, but at least it does not end up in the living areas of the house. Having one designated spot for these items is a great idea. It doesn’t have to be perfectly kept, just enough space so you do not have to dig for items when you are trying to walk out the door.

Paperwork tends to clutter up our counters. I have had small and huge island counters in a kitchen. The bigger they are, the more papers and other items seem to magically gather on the kitchen counter. To combat this, one thing I do is not collect junk mail to read later; it goes immediately into the recycle bin. Secondly, I keep smaller bowls or containers to gather things. I used to keep a larger bowl, but that just collected more stuff and my good intention of cleaning it out weekly never happened.

VEHICLE ORGANIZATION

Many of us spend a lot of time in our vehicles. Now that my kids are older I don’t have to worry about what I left in the house for those “just in case” scenarios. I know they will survive without it. Way back when, I wish I had something like the Diono Travel Pal to keep books, toys and other items in easy reach for my kids. The Stow N Go would have been great to hold items like extra wipes, band aids, pencils and snacks. I still have one child in elementary school, so extra booster seats are essential for my car in case I pick up unexpected passengers or if my youngest has a friend coming home with him. Although he is eleven and doesn’t need a booster seat anymore, most of the kids in his 5th grade class still need a booster seat; they just don’t fit in the adult seat belt properly. We live only two miles from the school, but I do not take the chance of having them hurt in a car crash since most crashes happen close to home. Which reminds me, keep a first aid kit in your glove box or trunk. They always come in handy.

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