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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Organizing Tip Thursday - Great advice from a fellow working mom!

Welcome to Organizing Tip Thursday! Next week I'd love for you to join me in a little Mr. Linky fun - with the hopes that there is enough interest to keep it going weekly. I have a lot still to share from my organizing research and product reviews, and so much to learn from all of you! (The fact that my month long organizing series is now stretching into March should be proof of that, but who is counting, right?!)

So this week I am excited to share with you some great tips from a fellow "work outside the home mom" I met while soliciting information on organizing. Laura has a husband, two little boys and four pets under her roof, so she has a lot going on. She's totally speaking my language when she says: I hate it when people ask "how I do it", because the answer is pretty much "just the best I can"!

Here are Laura's favorite organizing tools and services:

1. Gallon size zip lock bags. These are great for organizing and storing food, sure, but they also work for crayon storage, packing for trips to keep outfits together, toiletries for trips, lining for my pocketbook since I carry juice pouches around on the weekends, and as a hat for when it rains and the umbrella is by my office door instead of in my car.

2. A "passport" hard drive. I have two, and I back up my personal photos on one at home, bring it to work for safekeeping, take the one from work home, and go back and forth. That way I have photos in both places if I need them, and because I do marketing and take a lot of photos at work for my job, I have work photos at home (handy when working from home). I also back up my music and all of my kids school documents on them. Which leads me to -

3. A scanner. Forget having lots of little pieces of paper with every PTA event on a different piece. I scan all of that stuff and calendar it on my Outlook calendar, so all of my PTA, Room Mom, and Dentist appointments are on my work calendar. I also scan the class directories and the school annual calendars. It is so much easier to find it in my documents than it is to find it in a huge pile of clutter.

4. Dream Dinners, Super Suppers, A Girlfriend's Kitchen, etc. I love the whole meal preparation industry. I bought a freezer just so I can keep it stocked. I find that fewer foods are thrown away because I actually thaw and cook the food, versus the "good intentions" of going to the grocery store, buying ingredients, and then getting too busy to make the dish. That used to happen a lot to me, and so the "crisper" in my fridge is now called "the rotter."

5. The Charger Station. We use one of these for our cameras, phones, camera/phone combo thingy, ipods, bluetooth, and anything else that has to charge. We also put our keys on it. I used to spend lots of time looking for the keys or the charger, and having and using one of those stations has been a time saver.

6. Flylady I use the routines I learned on this website to get rid of big clutter in the spots where it collects (like my dining room table).

7. Clear plastic storage bins with airtight lids: Like the Ziploc bags, I use them for everything. A makeshift cooler. The "goodwill" basket. Christmas decoration storage. The place to pile sweaters in the bottom of my closet.

Aren't some of these suggestions genius in their simplicity? One extra note, we talked a bit about Flylady, because most people love her methods or hate them...Laura suggests getting the digest version of the newsletter so you don't get inundated with emails.

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Brooke said...

Great tips! Thanks Laura and Steph for sharing. I use a charging station, and that has helped with lots of the counter clutter!

HeatherPride said...

LOVE the charging station! I got one for the hubs for Christmas last year because I was so sick of seeing his change, wallet, and cell phone scattered all over the kitchen counter. It's so much nicer now that it's all contained!

Mel said...

ok those are awesome!!!

ConversationsWithACupcake said...

FAAAABUlous! I, too, am a ziploc bag junkie. They are good.for.everything! And, all the other tips were loverly to read. Thanks so much for sharing.

It was So good of you to stop by my blog today. THANK YOU!

All the better because...your kind comment led me to your blog. Holy BE-A-UTIFUL! Keep up the beautiful bloggin' (and cookbookin') and feel free to stop by anytime!

Happy Weekend!

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

That scanning idea for all of the school papers is absolute genius. It made me just think - can you imagine how much paper would be saved in schools implemented that, by emailing important paperwork out to parents, or emailing it to teacher and having teachers email the parents or something? Can you imagine!?!

Totally awesome!!!!

Jen said...

We really need a charging station...badly!

I was thinking of starting some type of Working Mom tips day, too. If I do, maybe I'll do Thursday also and link over to your organizing day...we'll see if I ever move from "idea" to "action"!

CC said...

I really, really need to use my scanner more for things like this. Thanks for the remidner!