I need to first say that my laundry life has been transformed!!! It is amazing when you add a few changes to your laundry system how well things can actually work. I think the reason I can keep up on my laundry is because I don't just take it out and throw it in a basket to sit and sit until we are all almost naked because most of our clothes are waiting to be put away.
Now, I actually do all of the folding and hanging RIGHT OUT of the dryer. This works perfectly, because I can do it while the kids are awake. They can't reach the clothes I am working with, so things stay folded and where they need to be. The folding and hanging seems to have been my biggest challenge with kids around. Now, I can get it all finished while they are running around and it can sit in the laundry room until I am ready to put it away.
|Tension bar added to hang clothes. Used a table runner and tension rod to hide the toilet paper/diaper/paper towel storage above the cabinet. WAY better!|
Putting it away has been a dream too. Since all of the folding and hanging work is done, I can get all the clothes put away in no time, which means I don't wait until I am overwhelmed to finally do it. Major success!
|Bought these at Joann's for everyone's folded stuff. Small enough so that I have to empty them more often, rather than piling more clothes in. Also, light enough that Belle can carry it up to her room to put her own stuff away.|
My next step was to add a shelf to my laundry cabinets and add some small LABELED storage. Lynn and I both discovered that my preferred way of organizing was labeled bins. This was a system seemed to function best for me. So far, it has been a success! So many items have a spot, AND I have been very disciplined and diligent at taking an extra 30 seconds to put them in the right place, rather than shoving them in whichever bin was closest. This system has also helped Paul. He now knows where to put all of the bows, hair ties, bobby pins, combs, and brushes that seem to take over the house!
|Small bins from the Dollar Store.|
My front closet was another issue we needed to deal with. Paul put in shelves and now all of my shoes have a home that is easy to access and doesn't clutter the entire floor. He took of the door that was taking up too much space, and we added this curtain! I found a LOAD of this fabric at an antique shop for only $6! I love it!
My next bit of homework is with my toys and my yarn. I am currently looking for more Expedit shelving from Ikea....again, more labeled bins :-) I am working to sell a bunch of my crocheted items to save money to get these.
Speaking of crochet, my yarn was a mess. I made myself purge the yarn and get rid of what I didn't need. Lynn suggested I put cute little tassels on each bin to make it easy to know which color was where. Genius!! I still have a long way to go with this area, but hopefully I can post pics soon of the final product.
We also discussed my loose papers, mail, etc. I have many items that are needed, but I don't have a good home for them. Per Lynn's suggestion I bought each of us a folder to keep papers organized by which person they pertain too. Eventually, I am hoping to purchase the NeatDesk system, so I can scan items, save them on my computer, and then throw out the papers I don't need to keep. That is another expense...so we will be saving for that too!
Paul and I also have a cabinet with things we want to save that kids do not need to get into. Lynn suggested making this off-limits and finding another door for it (it only has one, and I can get one at Ikea), and then locking it. This would keep kids out of the electronics, cords, pictures, etc. I am also thinking of putting our games in here. We tend to lose a ton of pieces because all the games get brought out at once and the pieces are thrown everywhere. If I only had access to them, then there would be a bit more control over the pieces and how many games were brought out at once.
So, there ya have it! Hopefully I will post again when I have my second bit of homework complete! Lynn's help and advice has been worth every penny. Paul was a skeptic at first, but he has been more than thrilled with the changes it has made for me and our home. It's amazing how a little system change, some labeled bins, and discipline can change how a house is run (and relieve my anxiety)!!