organization ideas

Natalie - posted on 02/09/2009 ( 27 moms have responded )

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So, I have 5 kids and seem to never be as organized as I would like to be. If you have any great ideas, please share!! My favorite ideas are: I keep a sweater hanging thing in each child's closet and after doing the laundry, we put our an outfit in each opening (there are 6 openings in the one's I own) and this helps us get ready quickly in the morning. Also, no one argues about what they are going to wear, they just pull out an outfit and go.



My other favorite organization thing has to do with laundry. We were always taking hours sorting and mating socks. I bought each person 2 laundry bags at Walmart and they take off their socks and throw it in the bag. When they are ready to bring down their laundry, they zip the bag shut. I throw the bag in the washer and dryer and each child gets their own bag back to mate. The second bag stays in their room while I am doing laundry (since I usually take more than 1 day to wash, dry, fold, and put everything away). My husband has an extra bag for dark socks versus white socks. I hope this helps someone!! Please share any good ideas!

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Natalie - posted on 02/17/2009

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I did a point chart and tallied it on a daily basis.  We gave points when they did what they were required to do...chore, respect others, etc.  I had 6 expectations written out clearly and posted next to the point chart that I recorded them on.  If they had 5 of 6 points at the end of the day, they got 1/2 hour tv, stay up until 8pm whatever.  If they had 4 or less points, they went t o bed at 7:30, no tv, etc.  This worked really well for us.

Courtney - posted on 02/17/2009

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Oh theres definitly name calling and the occasional he hit me. Or a lot of the times its just aggravation from one talking. I have one who loves to bug everyone! But theres no time limit it's just if we notice how good someones been and something sticks out ...like doing good in school.... then I go to my husband and say hey....so and so has been doing really good I think we should get him that bionicle that hes been talking about....then when he gets it I make it well known why hes receiving this toy. Then usually that day and the next I've got a lot of a$$ kissers. The thing is I would love to give an allowance but financially were not able too. I really don't have much in chores for them just because I have issues and like things done my way.... something I need to work on. But most of the time my boys are pretty decent surprisingly. You learn when you see them starting up is when you need to nip it in the butt... I do a lot of seperation, because sometimes two of them just will bug and bug until something greater breaks out. And everything they argue over seems to be about a video game! The one thing I do when one calls another a name, is I try and make them realize that it's painful to have someone call you a name and say how would you like it if someone called you an "idiot"..... also the bully thing.... my kids don't like bullies, and if one of the boys hits another or calls a name...I let them know, your acting how a bully does do you think bullies have friends, do you want ppl to not like you, this is not how ppl like to be treated.

Courtney - posted on 02/16/2009

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I forgot to mention I also have a "Responsibiltity Chart" Posted for the boys. How I figure is that they are part of the family and as a member of the family they have responsibilities they must take on ....and not be financially compinsated for..... But as time goes on and were seeing a child doing what's expected of him and going above and beyond we do buy them a gift, like recently one of the boys got a bionicle, and another backugans...that sort of stuff....



1. You will be kind to your brothers.



2. Always be respectful to your parents, teachers and elders.



3. Do your assigned homework everyday.



4. You will help keep the household and especially your own room neat and clean and make your own bed every morning.



5. Lastly do not interrupt adult conversation.



 

Courtney - posted on 02/16/2009

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I am a mother of 5 boys (age range 4-9). For socks I used to put initials on the bottom unttil I decided to buy all the same white socks. It is so much easier if their all the same, then you just split them up. My kids are also color coded for certain things..... We use primary colors. So each kid has their own bowl and cup that is their color. So that helps when one doesn't clear their dirty dishes. Or then theres no question whos food is this wheres mine type of thing. They have assigned seating in the van (which I have choosen for them according to who gets along with who and who needs to be away from the other). Especially for winter months with all the gloves and hats I have purchased a 5 bin clear storage on wheels thingie that I have in the closet at the front door. I put their name on each bin and when they get home from school their hats, gloves, shoes, etc get put in their drawer. So that takes the huge pile of mess away of them taking everything off and throwing it on the floor. ALSO A GOOD IDEA..... at the beginning of every school year we purchase a bristol board / Poster Board for each kid (of thier assigned primary color lol) and we fold them in half staple the sides and leave the top open... we put their names on them with the school year and teacher and all their art work and school work they bring home goes in these big ole folders. Helps keep clutter off the counters etc....I hope some of this helps!

Kerri - posted on 02/15/2009

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We actually do the sock bag - I love it!  Before the sock bag we had them color-coded - we put a large colored dot on the bottom of each sock - each child had their own color so we knew whose was whose.  The bags work so much better. 



Our kids are older so they are responsible for hanging, folding and putting away their own laundry.  They have been doing this since they were 8!  It helps so much. 



Also, every night our children lay out what they are going to wear the next day to school.  After their showers every night they lay out their sleeping clothes for the next night.  We have a bin in the bathroom closet for each child.  When they fold their clothes they separate them into different categories:  Sleep clothes, school clothes and play clothes.  It helps a lot!  We also have benches at our front door that they put their bags in every day after school.  No running around looking for school stuff in the mornings.  We spend 5 minutes every night making sure they have pencils, signed papers, letters for school, etc. 



We also have a chore bowl.  We have random, age appropriate chores on index cards and each child has to pick one a week to do!  They earn privileges or money - they pick! It helps soooo much!

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Heather - posted on 02/23/2009

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corkboard!....and calendars....if you need to remember it, jot it on the calendar and throw the crap out....if you need the paper, stick it on the corkboard.....



Crap on my countertops is my major pet peeve. If the kids or hubby leave something there, they know it won't be there long!

Heather - posted on 02/23/2009

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My tip with a chart is to allot 'treats' such as 1/2 hr tv or computer time with a certain # of points - then you can truly reward the good behaviour without leaving a child out of a family treat - ie: ice cream.

Kristal - posted on 02/23/2009

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I have a filing cabinet in the kitchen and I made a file for everything that lands in the kitchen or on my desk...and one of the drawers is a catch all - that way I only have one thing to weed through every few weeks...

Natalie - posted on 02/23/2009

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Anyone have great ideas on how to keep clutter off the kitchen counters?  My Mother-in-law bought all these baskets for me, so now I have overflowing baskets of clutter all over my kitchen counters!  Any ideas would be helpful, thanks!

Kristal - posted on 02/23/2009

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I have 5 children age range 12 to 3

We all have our own "bathroom baskets" they are plastic rectangular baskets with a handle. each child decorated their own and they keep their own personal items in it -

brush, toothbrush, whatever...I also did the cube shelves over the washer and dryer and leave folded laundry in appropriate shelf - kids know where to look when they need clean clothing... my son just dumped out the mismatched sock basket and is filling socks with matchbox cars as I type - so I will try the sock bags...

Virginia (Jenny) - posted on 02/19/2009

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wow!  One lady who commented (Kerri) is really organized!  I don't think I can ever be that organized!  I so wish though.  LOL.  Another one I forgot.  I bought shelves for my laundry area. As I pull out clothes from the dryer, I fold them on the appropriate shelf.  Each shelf has a name.  The kids are responsible at the end of each week to empty their own shelf.  That way I am not washing, drying, folding, and then putting them away in each room.  It's already so much work.  :) This totally helps with my five.  Of course my baby can't do it yet.  LOL.   

Virginia (Jenny) - posted on 02/19/2009

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wow!  One lady who commented (Kerri) is really organized!  I don't think I can ever be that organized!  I so wish though.  LOL.  Another one I forgot.  I bought shelves for my laundry area. As I pull out clothes from the dryer, I fold them on the appropriate shelf.  Each shelf has a name.  The kids are responsible at the end of each week to empty their own shelf.  That way I am not washing, drying, folding, and then putting them away in each room.  It's already so much work.  :) This totally helps with my five.  Of course my baby can't do it yet.  LOL.   

April - posted on 02/18/2009

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Great idea! We have 5 kids at home, too. Our socks are always disappearing....thanks for the tip! I'm definitely going to try it and I think I'll try to find different colored laundry bags or make sure I use permanant fabric marker to specify who's bag is who's.

Trudi - posted on 02/17/2009

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That is a great idea.......it helps when it is on a daily basis. The entire week seems too overwhelming.

Trudi - posted on 02/17/2009

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I also have the toy bins, it is such a mess saver when they arent dumping the whole toy box looking for one item.

Trudi - posted on 02/17/2009

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LOL I will punish asap and take away a point. They will have a point system so they will have to be really bad all week to not earn the trip, everyday name calling and hitting, my middle boy really needs it, he disturbs the peace on a regular basis, so I feel the others need a reward for trying to make peace everday. I think it will give him a big wake up call. :) I hope I can pull it off lol

Courtney - posted on 02/17/2009

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Another thing is toy organization... which is almost impossibly to do and keep up. But I do find that it is helpful to have seperate bins for your big lots of toys. Like we have a Rescue hero bin, transformer bin, tmnt bin, cars, etc. And we cut off of toy packages like the name  of that toy and tape it onto the bin. So, I would cut off a picture of transformer off my kids box and tape it onto the storage box. So when their cleaning up they know where it goes. And I think its better then a toy box where you just throw everything in cause they will tear apart the whole bin to find everything to a set,,,...

Courtney - posted on 02/17/2009

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Kerri, Yeah I keep everything of my kids from school. I have many of these big makeshift poster board folders. At the end of the year I just staple them shut and put them in my storage area under the stairs.....



Trudi, that point chart sounds like a good idea. But how strong are you to not give the disturber a treat at the end of the week? lol I know that's something I would definitly struggle with. Anything I am taking away from the kids I have to do immediatly when I'm in a bad mood with what they have done. Otherwise by saturday I'm in a good mood taking everyone out for icecream and theres my baby all upset... lol .... yeah I definitly have to punish asap!

Kerri - posted on 02/17/2009

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Courtney, that poster board idea is GREAT!  We have plastic bins now for all of their school work but they take up some much room to store.  Even when you weed out the keeps and tosses you still end up with a bin, so now I have 12 plastic bins of school stuff.  I am going to use this idea! Thanks for posting it!

Trudi - posted on 02/17/2009

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You seem to do things the way I do, My oldest girl is great with chores. I also say the bully thing:) My house is so small that I have a hard time separating the one that likes to bug, and my boys share a room . I think I will put up a point chart and whomever really tries to work at building peace in the family will be rewarded on our super saturday with going out to icecream or whatever I decide that day. When the peace dissrupter realizes everyone will be going out to icecream for building peace except that child than that may motivate him to get along. I will see how well it works, it may take a few Saturdays of extreme tantrums but it may be very worth while.

Trudi - posted on 02/16/2009

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Courtney,



I would love to know how well the responsability chart goes for you with the "Be kind to your brothers" rule. My middle son (6 years old) is so tempermental. How long do your kids need to get along for before earning their prize, he can't seem to get through 3 hours without calling a name or hitting.

Erin - posted on 02/14/2009

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we love the sock bag we made ours for little kids out of one bag we already had for soccor balls. it has a zipper on it and then buttons down... we keep ours hidden in the shoe bin by the front door... lots or stick ups in that closet. we wash them friday night every week before pizza and a movie night. we took some ikea bins and hung them on the wall for each persons odd socks after a month we take them out and match or create sock creachers

Natalie - posted on 02/13/2009

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Yes, it is harder when your kids range from 21 months to 17 years old!  I doubt we will ever all fit the same size!

Jennifer - posted on 02/13/2009

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Socks have always been a thorn in the side!!  But now that all 7 of us can wear the same size socks, I try to buy one kind of white socks for everyone. It does make things in that area easier,

Sherri - posted on 02/13/2009

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I love your laundry idea for the socks - I hate socks!!!! Depending on the age of the kids, you should try having your kids help with laundry. My kids are responsible for a different chore each week and laundry is one of them. I also have 5 kids and the amount of laundry that goes through our homes is amazing. My 8 year old is awesome at laundry and proud of it. That way you aren't doing all of it. We usually get them to do 2 loads in the evening and that includes folding and putting in everyone's room to be put away. I also get sick of getting the kids to pick up after themselves so each child has a basket that I put things into as I find them. At the end of the week they are responsible for putting away everything in their bin. It cuts down on the nagging and keeps things looking tidy.

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