Clean House Part I: Organization Tricks

“Honey, could you pick up some food on the way home?  I didn’t have time to cook anything because I spent all day looking at recipes on Pinterest.”

I love that joke.

On a related note, three friends have fairly recently asked me how I keep my house so clean with a toddler and two infants at home.  There are really only three things that work for me (and none of them is having a schedule of when to do the laundry or clean the sinks).  It feels a bit self-indulgent, nevertheless, I decided to post about each of them separately in ascending order of importance.  The least important of the three is:

3.  Organization Tricks

If you can’t find it, you don’t really own it.  Whenever I think it would be easier to go to the store and buy a new one than find the one I already own, I know it’s time to up my organization game.  I have picked up some great organization gimmicks on Pinterest or people’s blogs (wink).  I have a bit of an obsession with back-of-the-door shoe organizers.

When the boys first came home from the hospital, I used them in the  baby’s closet to store all that baby stuff that you don’t want to get mixed together in drawers.  One pouch contained diaper paste and other ointments.  One pouch was entirely devoted to clean pacifiers.  One held all the baby washcloths.  You get the picture.

As they’ve gotten older, we’ve outgrown a lot of that stuff, and now I try to keep full outfits of accessories in separate pouches.  The top right pouch for example has two sets of suspenders, socks and hats for their twill suits; the one next to it has two sets of hats, bow ties and suspenders for their peppermint stripe outfits.  I do have a few pouches of mixed socks, but it is so much easier to get the kids dressed if the ensembles stay together as a unit.
Fluffy’s closet has French doors, so I bought the same organizer from Target and carefully cut it in half with scissors.  I use the pouches on one side to keep berets/headbands, tights, purses and jewelry together in outfits.  There are still times when we have to go hunting for the right tights, but not nearly as often as before this system.
On the other side, most of the pouches are not in use, but the ones that are house hairbows and headbands.  The bulk of the hair clips, though, are color coded on ribbons.  The ribbons are not very glamorous.  I just used what I had on hand.  I cut a small hole in the top of each ribbon, melted all the cut edges with a fire starter to keep them from fraying, and hung them on the hooks of the shoe racks.  I keep matching bows together, and the color coding makes finding them an easy task for either me of Fluffy.
I do use one of these shoe racks for actual shoes.  The church shoes are in the coat closet.  All other shoes are in cubbies in the garage.
I recently found these back-of-the-seat organizers for the car  which are exactly the same concept as the shoe holders, and I had to have two of them immediately.  I already feel such a weight lifted with the snack traps, toys, and some gear tucked in these instead of tumbling around in the foot wells.  And they may have solved our cupholder dilemma, further postponing the inevitable and dreaded minivan purchase.

There are still more closets that don’t have shoe racks on the back of the door yet.  Pantry?  Laundry?  I might rather have the cleaning supplies in pouches well above the kids’ height than trust the safety locks on the cabinet below the cooktop.  Hmmmmm.

This is the first pose in a three part series.  Here are the other two:

Clean House Part II:  Storage to Stuff Ratio

Clean House Part III:  The  Shocking Conclusion

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5 thoughts on “Clean House Part I: Organization Tricks

  1. I totally needed this post today! I've fallen under the dark influence of the minimalist movement, which tells me that instead of purchasing storage solutions, I should just get rid of all my stuff. But I can't get rid of it all and I don't have a good place for everything because I feel bad buying more storage stuff, so it just spills into our living space. Ugh!

  2. Pingback: Clean House Part II: Storage to Stuff Ratio | Put That On Your Blog

  3. Pingback: Clean House Part III: The Shocking Conclusion | Put That On Your Blog

  4. Pingback: Clean Carseats = Clean Car For Real | Put That On Your Blog

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