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Monday, February 23, 2009
Simplify and Organize
Chalene, over at My 7 Passions, wrote a post on Simplifying and Organizing our Homes. She "tagged" a few of us, and asked us to write posts with our tips and tricks. Since I recently wrote another post, and tagged a few of my blogging friends, I am not going to tag anyone this time ... but would love it if you would write a post on this topic, link it back to this post, and let me know you wrote it. That way, we can all read each other's tips and tricks for organizing our homes and/or simplifying our lives. If you leave me a comment, telling me you've written your post and linked back to this post, then in a few days I will write another post, listing all of you who joined the fun. This way, everyone can read everyone else's tips and tricks.
Here are a few tips from the Big D Family ...
1. We have a monthly calendar with all breakfasts and dinners listed for each day of the month. At the beginning of the month, I do all of the shopping necessary for each of the meals. This saves us MUCH time each day, looking through the cupboards and wondering what we might be able to throw together.
2. We use our extra-large crockpot several nights per week. We LOVE our crockpot cookbook, which has added many hours to our days. Quick and simple ... nutritious and inexpensive. My kind of meals!
3. We have a suction hook in each of the showers, which holds our microfiber cloths for cleaning the bathrooms. This way, our kids don't have to look all over the house for the missing cloths, when it's their turn to clean the bathrooms.
4. We have a shoe rack (made for closets) right next to our back door (in our dining room). This keeps all of our shoes neat and tidy; and it keeps our carpets clean. (No shoes allowed in the house.)
5. We have an "over-the-closet-bar" organizer, made for storing pairs of shoes in your bedroom closet. However, we use it in our hall closet, for hats, scarves, gloves, mittens. It has 10 "slots", and we have 10 people living at home right now. So, the youngest child gets the bottom slot, and it moves right up the line until Papa gets the top slot. We have had the best winter yet, of not losing all of the winter "stuff".
6. Mama has an "in-box" on the kitchen counter. This is where any of my "to-do"things go ... papers to sign, bills to pay, etc... When the box gets to overflowing, Mama knows it's time to take an evening for paperwork.
7. We have little gold cup hooks screwed on the inside of one of our high kitchen cupboard doors. This is where we store all of our extra car keys (we currently have 6 cars living at home), and the keys to our trailer, shed, etc... It keeps them organized, and out of the way of little hands. (We did, however, have a 2 year old climber once, that got big brother's car keys out of the high cupboard and went out and started his car for him. Yikes!)
8. Instead of trying to keep all of the children's homeschool workbooks organized on the bookshelves (with many of them using matching books), we bought each child a rubber tote that fits on the shelves. Then, each child keeps their books and pencil boxes organized in their totes. And, the totes can be carried to and from the dining room table (for school time), while the bookshelves are kept in the front hallway. Works great!
9. While I love the LOOK of a pretty shower curtain, I love the CLEANNESS (and lack of water spillage) from a glass shower door. So, I just hang my shower curtain rod over the top of the glass door, and my shower curtains always add a bright and cheery look to my bathrooms, without getting wet, mildewy, yucky, etc... My latest bathroom decorating project will even use a shower curtain in a bathroom without a tub or shower. (I'll post pictures when we get to this project. It has an African theme.)
10. While I love the LOOK of a pretty table cloth ... I have 13 children. For the past 20 years, I have accumulated a variety of pretty table cloths for our extra-large dining tables. I have different ones for each season. And, to keep them looking nice ... I cover them with a clear plastic "fabric" from Wal-Mart. It comes on a roll. I buy just the amount that I need for my extra-large table. It costs about $6 (compared to very expensive table cloths for that size table). It wipes right up after every meal. It covers the table for all of my children's arts and crafts projects. And ... it can be replaced very inexpensively whenever it gets ripped or stained. I LOVE my clear plastic, and I LOVE all of my table cloths, which keep my dining room bright and colorful. (I LOVE color ... my table cloths can match any of the 4 colors of the purple and green walls in my "L" shaped kitchen/dining/living rooms.)
I look forward to reading your tips and tricks for simplifying and organizing your lives. Let me know when you get your post written.