Keep It Clean
In general, the lives of most American families move at a frantic pace. From work inside the home to work outside the home, plus school, sports and everything in between, keeping your home organized can be hard. These 10 must-haves for getting and keeping your home organized will help put an end to the clutter and disarray and bring Zen back to the home.
Planners and calendars
Charged with running an organized house, keeping track of family members' activities and keeping appointments of their own, moms can hardly do without some type of organizational planner. It might be a color-coded calendar on the refrigerator where everyone can see the day's activities, or maybe it's a portable planner for going out and about. Use it consistently, and everyone in the house will know what to expect each day.
Sticky notes and memo pads
The versatility of sticky notes and memo pads makes them a must-have for home organization. Use them to jot down names and numbers, errands, directions or even ideas. The key to keeping the notes organized is having a place to put them. Use your planner, calendar or even just a basic spiral notebook to post and adjust as needed.
Who knew that a nursery rhyme could hold the key to home organization? Baskets come in all kinds of styles, sizes and colors and can be used to keep papers, books and laundry organized. Make the basket investment and watch your return come in the form of less clutter.
Zipper-closing plastic bags
Think outside of the kitchen for these home organization gems. For packing your suitcase, use small bags for your jewelry and makeup. Use larger bags to store clothes when you're putting them away for the season. Store Lego collections and other small toys in them and never lose pieces again. Make your own wipes by placing paper towels inside along with your solution. Whichever way you decide to use them, zipper-closing plastic bags are an organized home's must-have.
Get yourself a good vacuum cleaner and use it more than a few times a month. When the floor is dirty, the whole house seems dirty, so try to vacuum at least twice a week. In addition to minimizing the amount of dust and allergens in your home, it will also force the family to pick items up from the floor and put them in their places.
Label everything -- especially items with uses or identities that are not obvious. Use markers to write on plastic bags, sticky labels for your files or cool chalkboard placards for your baskets. Feeling crafty? Try designing your own label system to showcase your creative style.
CDs and DVDs
Part of keeping an organized home is keeping your electronic files organized. Transfer important files, like tax returns and bank statements, from your computer to a CD for safekeeping. Keep your photos and videos from accidental deletion by ensuring they are backed up onto DVDs.
Color-coded notecards are a great way to keep your to-do list in check. Try using the three-color method: one color for items that need to be done today, another color for this week and the last color for monthly goals.
Keep your recipes for meal ideas all in one space. If you're using a cookbook where not every recipe may be an option, use sticky notes or bookmark some pages to note those that have been tried and accepted by the family. This way, you don't have to guess the next time you're scouring through the pages looking for dinner idea!
Smartphone or PDA
Activate your phone's calendar and task features, or download an app to help organize your schedule. The iPhone, for example, currently has endless for organization and productivity. Try out a few and see which works for you.
Make home organization more than just a resolution or seasonal activity by using these must-have items.
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