SparkPeople Organization Secrets http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets-category.asp?category=organization Learn some of the secrets of success for Organization from SparkPeople members. SparkPeople Organization Secrets http://www.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/nav_logo_v3.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets-category.asp?category=organization How Spring Cleaning Helps! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42304_how_spring_cleaning_helps One doesn't have to spring clean all the time ........ in fact LESS if you are vigilant about picking up after yourself and having a place for everything. I find I can clean as I go on a daily basis, minutes here and there ........ and find extra time for workouts, and fun in general! (wrote blog: Spring Has Sprung" on 3-15-14) Hope you come read. Mon, 17 Mar 2014 10:18:00 EST How Spring Cleaning Helps! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42303_how_spring_cleaning_helps One doesn't have to spring clean all the time ........ in fact LESS if you are vigilant about picking up after yourself and having a place for everything. I find I can clean as I go on a daily basis, minutes here and there ........ and find extra time for workouts, and fun in general! (wrote blog: Spring Has Sprung" on 3-15-14) Hope you come read. Mon, 17 Mar 2014 10:18:00 EST Sticky Tack http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42300_sticky_tack Sticky Tack (also called Museum Putty) is great for holding things in place. I've just used it to fix some desk organizers in place (they were sliding all over whenever the drawer was opened & closed; now they stay put)! <em>88</em> Sun, 16 Mar 2014 22:41:00 EST Organize by Category: Plastic http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42266_organize_by_category_plastic Oh those nagging, messy cabinets that have mis-matched plastic ware (maybe never used jars, too) piled high because they are assorted sizes. <br><br>Throw out/recycle all the ones that are not PBA free. Toss the ones without lids or bottoms for that matter. If possible, replace them with PBA free or glass storage conttainers that nest and have interchangeable lids. <br><br>Mason jars also make excellent storage containers. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 07:18:00 EST Organize by Category http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42240_organize_by_category One room at a time, one category at a time.<br><br>Today's focus: anything made of cloth. Pillows, linens, clothing, curtains, dish towels, etc. Even rugs!<br><br>Save, throw away or donate? Taking care of this one area will make a big difference in how you feel. Thu, 20 Feb 2014 07:59:00 EST outfit http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42066_outfit I put a shirt and pair of jeans one size smaller to encourage me to stay on track <em>386</em> Mon, 6 Jan 2014 16:25:00 EST Declutter and Help Others http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42062_declutter_and_help_others Once a month I fill a plastic egg crate with items I don't need and donate it to the Salvation Army or another local thrift store. It's a good way to get rid of clothes that no longer fit (hopefully due to weight loss) and it helps those in need. Other items are also helpful - the towel with the bleach stain on it can help a shelter animal, the duplicate blanket or coat you got for Christmas can help a homeless person, etc.<br><br>If you keep track of it, you can even get a tax write off! Sun, 5 Jan 2014 13:05:00 EST No Worries/Decisions For the Week: Sunday Snack Prep http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=41625_no_worriesdecisions_for_the_week_sunday_snack_prep Prep my snacks in portion sizes for the week. Freeze the first two as 'back up' snacks for when you are busy, craving, or starved. <br><br>1. Freeze portioned snack bags of dried fruit and nuts. <br><br>2. Portion frozen edamame and season with Mrs. Dash, garlic powder, freeze. <br><br>3. Bag up portions of fresh fruit/veg.<br><br>4. Roll up pieces cheese and sandwich meat with mustard and bag. <br><br>5. Portion out cottage cheese in plastic containers.<br><br>6. Boil eggs.<br><br><br> Thu, 22 Aug 2013 22:27:00 EST Pet Back Pack http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=41588_pet_back_pack We keep a backpack in the car filled with dog supplies. When we take our dogs hiking or on trips, or even on errands, everything they may need is in one place ready to go.<br><br>The back pack includes: Bottle of water, bowls for food and water, leashes, can opener and canned food (one dog only has a few teeth), dry food, towel and plastic bags for cleanup. Thu, 15 Aug 2013 09:29:00 EST help with grocery planning http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=41361_help_with_grocery_planning I tape the grocery store receipt to the outside of the refrigerator and highlight all the perishable items. that way I have a list of all the items I bought and also reminds me to use up the perishable items within the week, Fri, 28 Jun 2013 18:43:00 EST Making measuring foods accurately makes food prep much faster. http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=41286_making_measuring_foods_accurately_makes_food_prep_much_faster I keep measuring tools, cups and spoons in many containers. Many foods are used in specific amounts often So I have 1/4 cup measure in my oat bran. 2 tablespoon in m flax seed. I tablespoon in my grape nuts. I bought inexpensive cups and spoons and instead of cluttering the drawers I open the lid use the tool and throw it back in for the next time you want to use that dry food again. no need to wash till it gets wet. Make certain the utensil is dry before you drop it back in to the glass jar... Fri, 14 Jun 2013 22:24:00 EST Get ready for the next day before going to bed. http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=41220_get_ready_for_the_next_day_before_going_to_bed Each night before I go to bed, I fill my water bottle for the next day and stick it in the fridge. I also fill up sippy cups for my kids so they're ready in the AM, and pull out what we're having for breakfast (I'll put the Cheerios box on the counter, the PB jar, and my pkg of English muffins). Before crashing for the night, I lay out my workout clothes or pack my gym bag, depending on my plan. It takes the guess work out of weekday mornings! Thu, 6 Jun 2013 09:03:00 EST Tracking Ahead http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=41169_tracking_ahead This is what keeps me from getting off track. If I wait until it's time to eat to see what I can or can't eat, I get stressed and have a very high potential of screwing up. Fri, 31 May 2013 13:59:00 EST I use the 'Do More" living system http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=40987_i_use_the_do_more_living_system From book, 'Out of the Crayon Box' (living vibrant, organized lives). They have a website. Their philosophy is "Do more living, not more work!". They simplify everything into 6 steps (Declutter first; then Organize, Maintain, Observe, Refrain and Enjoy!). Biggest steps Declutter & Organize, are easy the way they do it. Then it's putting things back where they go, with a simple (not complex or tedious) system which they teach. 'Observe' teaches to evaluate what works for you personally. Mon, 29 Apr 2013 00:36:00 EST I am an Electronic Horder on Pinterest http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=40962_i_am_an_electronic_horder_on_pinterest I love clipping healthy recipes when I'm dieting but not good about organizing them so that I can use them. Pinterest is a great way to keep them where I can get at them easily. <em>224</em> Tue, 23 Apr 2013 22:04:00 EST Weight Loss Binder http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=40960_weight_loss_binder I am creating a weight loss binder to keep my success in one convenient place. Every week I print off the weekly reports that are important to me and add them to the correct tab in my binder. I'm a visual person and it's very easy for me to compare one week to the next to see my successes and struggles. I also have a place for my monthly pictures of myself to compare before and afters. Tue, 23 Apr 2013 21:23:00 EST Broken crayon container http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=40954_broken_crayon_container This came about as an Earth Day project for my son's 1st grade class. We found that an old Crystal Light packet container (the long tube-like ones with a cap) can be great holders for all of those broken crayons we have lying around! You know, the ones that still have a lot of life left, but can't be found in the bottom of the box anymore. These could also hold small pencils, markers, highlighters, etc. You can peel off the outer packaging to decorate the container any way you'd like! Mon, 22 Apr 2013 11:38:00 EST Paprika App http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=40916_paprika_app After much research, I'm loving the recipe management app "Paprika". It lets me capture recipes from sparkrecipes as well as many other recipe sites & my own personal recipes! With all my recipes in one place, I can build the week's meal plan & hit a button for a grocery list. The big plus for ME is that I can have everything offline, since I'm not always on wifi to use sparkrecipes. It costs $20 for MAC, $5 for iPad, $5 for iPhone or iPod and uses a cloud to sync everything together. Awe... Sat, 13 Apr 2013 19:08:00 EST Organizing the night before http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=40738_organizing_the_night_before Before I go to bed each night I get things ready for the next day my snacks and vitamins and my workout clothes so all I have to do is get up and get to my day Tue, 12 Mar 2013 22:11:00 EST You tube organization http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=40736_you_tube_organization Need to learn how to organize watch it on you tube. I'm not an organized person but by searching on yt I've learned a lot of tricks that keep me on track. It helps with my weight loss. Now I know what's in my pantry Tue, 12 Mar 2013 00:07:00 EST Less Is More http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=40629_less_is_more I use the seasonal changes to assess whether or not I really need items. I think about whether I used an item in the previous season, and if not, then it goes. I've found several organizations that will take items from me. I try to keep this process as a continuous one. I'm not constantly clearing, but I keep they cycle going. I only need a certain amount of "stuff" to function. I feel better when I'm not surrounded by junk. Sun, 24 Feb 2013 09:43:00 EST Makeup setup for Mommies on the go http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=40603_makeup_setup_for_mommies_on_the_go Before I organized my makeup area, I was always flustered trying to get my self ready and get the kids' breakfast and ready for school. Now I have a spot in the kitchen where I stand to do my makeup (a little pedastal mirror and a small basket of neccesities). Now I can serve breakfast and get my "face" ready. Kid spills something or needs more food... no problem! I take can take care of business and step back into getting pretty mode. <em>212</em> Thu, 21 Feb 2013 16:19:00 EST Put it back http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=40340_put_it_back You will fight cluter of anything and everything if only you will "put everything back in its place", it is my new watch word in the house. I hope to stick with it. Tue, 15 Jan 2013 02:48:00 EST clearigng out a cloths closet without guilt http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=40274_clearigng_out_a_clothsvcloset_without_guilt This isn't my idea I read it some where. At the beginning of the year take all your hanging cloths and turn them around (hanger facing the other way) as you wear and wash the cloths replace them facing the way you usually place them in the closet. At the end of the year what ever is still facing the opposite direction can be thrown out or better yet donated because you haven't worn it in a year. Wed, 9 Jan 2013 22:47:00 EST secret to my organization http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=40104_secret_to_my_organization I like to visit websites for organization and I buy what I need for organization my items at home, for vacations, beach trips and car trips, day trips. You should always try to be prepared Sat, 29 Dec 2012 10:06:00 EST linen closet http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=40088_linen_closet my closet can become chaotic very quickly, in order to tame the nightmare I fold my sheet sets and tuck the complete set into one of the pillow cases. they stay together,stack neatly and eliminate the need to rummage through to find matching pieces - and even the kids recognize "THEIR" bundle and can help fetch new sheets Tue, 25 Dec 2012 00:18:00 EST linen closet http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=40087_linen_closet my closet can become chaotic very quickly, in order to tame the nightmare I fold my sheet sets and tuck the complete set into one of the pillow cases. they stay together,stack neatly and eliminate the need to rummage through to find matching pieces - and even the kids recognize "THEIR" bundle and can help fetch new sheets Tue, 25 Dec 2012 00:18:00 EST Make A List http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=40039_make_a_list When I arrive at work, I make a list of what I need to get done that day. I then work according to the list. There are times when other demands pop up, but I am able to explain my situation and then the new demand can be prioritized or reassigned. Tue, 11 Dec 2012 07:11:00 EST Add pics to help organize http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=39878_add_pics_to_help_organize Regardless of what you are organizing, take a picture of it, and put in on the outside of the container for an easy visual of what is there. This works well with shoes, crafting supplies, and decorations! Sun, 4 Nov 2012 22:24:00 EST Create a Grouping http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=39837_create_a_grouping If you live a busy schedule like me this may help a lot with time management. Grouping some of your favorite meals has a couple of benefits. One, time management. Two, the grouping becomes a recipe holder. Three, its quicker than looking through your favorites. <br><br>Keep Sparking!! Wed, 31 Oct 2012 20:00:00 EST Using a Timer http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=39828_using_a_timer My very favorite way to stay on top of clutter or get myself to work on a task I'd rather not is to use a timer. I set it for 15 min. & see how much I can get done during that time. After it goes off, I can either do it again or often do something else for 15 min that is more fun & then repeat again. It works! Sun, 28 Oct 2012 19:36:00 EST Stop Junk Mail from Taking Over http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=39826_stop_junk_mail_from_taking_over I keep my paper shredder and recycle bin in the garage, so when I come in with the mail I can immediate sort, shred, and deal with my mail all at once. (I pay all of my bills online, so it's rare to receive REAL mail now!) <br><br>It's saving so much frustration and clutter, since only the mail I want is coming in the house! Sun, 28 Oct 2012 16:33:00 EST A Neater Space http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=39795_a_neater_space To cut out the usual clutter caused by tossing clothes and jackets on the floor at the end of a hectic day or having tons of papers, books and magazines stacked everywhere, designate a place for everything. When you see your self about to recause the clutter, try to stop yourself in your tracks and place the item(s) in its proper place to begin with. That may seem hard to begin with but trust me it will save time and sanity in the long run:) <em>224</em> Mon, 22 Oct 2012 14:01:00 EST Another use for a dish drainer http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=39576_another_use_for_a_dish_drainer This isn't original with me--I saw it in a book somewhere--but if you have a bunch of coloring books, you can use a dish drainer rack to store them in, with the holder that silverware would normally go in now being for crayons. Clever, no? Mon, 17 Sep 2012 21:59:00 EST Meal Planning http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=39504_meal_planning I use organization to help with cooking dinner! I keep a box with cards, one for each recipe, near my fridge, and pull out a few of them each week. The ingredients I need are listed on the back of each card. I can hang the recipes on my fridge so I know what I will be eating, and making my grocery list is a breeze! Any time I try a new recipe and I like it, it goes into the box so my dinner rotation never gets old. Tue, 11 Sep 2012 07:24:00 EST spicy! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=39401_spicy Saw on pinterest the most wonderfully simple way to organize my spices! Mop and broom hangers!! Anyone else see this?!? You stick them on the inside of your cabinets and the little bottles just pop right in there! Love this and I will be able to see right away what I have and find things much more quickly! I have put them on my shopping list for my next trip to the store. Spices are my key to healthy cooking, so this will make it so much nicer. <em>302</em> Sat, 25 Aug 2012 18:13:00 EST Owners Manual: My Do Over (I wish) http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=39388_owners_manual_my_do_over_i_wish Write on the Manual Cover: purchase date, where bought, warranty info, service plan. Instead of a box or file for all manuals...tape the packet to the item or keep in the same room as the appliance in a designated spot. TOSS the old manual when you toss the item. Staple the receipt to the booklet. Mail registration form right away! This will make life SO MUCH easier when you have to downsize or sell or give away the product. Attach hardware: allen wrench, brackets. <em>148</em> Thu, 23 Aug 2012 16:24:00 EST Do I Keep this Outfit? http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=39364_do_i_keep_this_outfit Sometimes an outfit stays in my closet for a long time because I can't decide if I still like it or not, so I have adopted a new method. Now, if I can't decide I wear the item(s) at the next available opportunity, and ask myself how I feel wearing it. If I don't love the way I feel , it goes straight in my donate box. Mon, 20 Aug 2012 23:09:00 EST One Bag In, One Bag Out! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=39279_one_bag_in_one_bag_out i have a large family, and things always pile up, to the point where we are overrun with things. now, for every bag of items i bring INTO my house, one bag of equal size of items has to go out that same week. this is the RULE. this includes clothing, food, toys, even electronics! outgoing items can be donated to charity or given to family/friends. this helps us keep our home clutter free, make room for new things and to share with others. Fri, 10 Aug 2012 23:38:00 EST Shoe organizers are for more than shoes! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=39278_shoe_organizers_are_for_more_than_shoes i purchased hanging shoe organizers with clear pockets (the vinyl kind) and hung them on my children's closet doors. in addition to keeping shoes in there, the pockets are perfect for socks, stockings, hats, scarves and gloves, belts, and even small toys. the clear pockets allow me to see what my children have available for use and allows them to learn organization as well! Fri, 10 Aug 2012 23:27:00 EST Carry Less http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=39276_carry_less when I go to work out I carry my water bottle in an insulated carrier,and put my fitness card,and phone in the side pocket,and clip my keys to the key ring Fri, 10 Aug 2012 22:26:00 EST key keeper http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=39272_key_keeper I put a key ring on the strap of the purse I always use. Unless my keys are in my hand or the ignition of my car, they are on that ring. I never have to search through my purse to find them now! Fri, 10 Aug 2012 19:13:00 EST Evernote to the Rescue http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=39182_evernote_to_the_rescue I have a notebook in Evernote with a separate note for each restaurant I visit and what the best options are for my diet plan in each. I don't write down the "best options" that I wouldn't like either - just what I'd actually order. With my smart phone, I have that custom reference to keep me on track. Fri, 3 Aug 2012 16:00:00 EST Food Storage http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=39156_food_storage When I bring groceries home, I organize my pantry in categories of the food type; soups, canned veggies, ready mixes, pastas, rices, beans, Mexican...it's easy to then go to the closet and pull what I need rather than search the entire cabinet moving things around. I also do the same in my refrigerator. Sun, 29 Jul 2012 06:18:00 EST shopping for food http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=39001_shopping_for_food To stop any temptations when I 'food shop' . I never shop when Im hungry, I make sure I have some veggie or nut snack on hand just to take the hunger pang away before shopping. I avoid the lanes where all the biscuits, cakes, crisps and choclates are located ! Sun, 8 Jul 2012 12:08:00 EST NOT NEEDED- DIAPER HOLDER http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=38968_not_needed_diaper_holder I had a grandson born in 2011, who lived with me. We would stack his diapers in a diaper holder/bag (Ones with the hanger inside) We no longer use the diaper stacking bag, so I hung it up in the laundry room, turned out to be a great place to store outgrown clothing that I took out of the dryer. Didn't realize this until we had a garage sale and I had the bag full of clothing items and all matching pieces were in the bag as well. Turned out, I didn't want to sell the diaper holder/bag. ... Tue, 3 Jul 2012 01:03:00 EST Easy Peasy Organize http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=38966_easy_peasy_organize SAVE clear plastic jars... esp the big ones from BJ's and other warehouse stores. Use for storage. We have various size jars with adhesive tape, pet supplies, pens, small toys, xtra spices, batteries, play jewelry in EVERY room of the house. Dust free, water & pest resistant, easy to find and look nice when lined up together on a shelf. Eliminate furniture, gain floor space. Win Win. Ask friends who work at day care, church etc to save containers. Easy peasy when its time to move or declutt... Mon, 2 Jul 2012 08:35:00 EST Buttons! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=38919_buttons From now on, I'm going to sew the extra buttons that come with clothing onto an inconspicuous place on the clothing! That way, if a button gets lost, I'll immediately know where to look for a replacement!<br> <em>188</em> Thu, 21 Jun 2012 07:57:00 EST Planning ahead http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=38871_planning_ahead After working a full week, Friday nights are my time at home to plan my menu for the workweek. Saturday is grocery shopping day, Sunday morning is for church, and Sunday afternoons are for prepping foods for the work week, and cooking a main meat to eat off for a few days. Fri, 15 Jun 2012 08:16:00 EST Break Each Task into Manageable Chunks http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=38836_break_each_task_into_manageable_chunks When I break a task down into manageable chunks, then I don't feel so overwhelmed. Only a few minutes a day keeps junk mail curbed, keeps the kids' toys in the box where they belong, and keeps my desk drawers from getting too out of control. I set the timer for 5 or 10 minutes and go until the time rings. It's amazing how much I can get done in a short burst of time! :) Thu, 7 Jun 2012 18:51:00 EST Save time by preparing vegetables when you bring them home http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=38680_save_time_by_preparing_vegetables_when_you_bring_them_home I have recently started to prepare vegetables when I get them home or shortly after. I have found that I can cut up bell peppers, spread them on a lined cookie sheet, freeze then put into zip type bags to freeze. I can then take out what I need when cooking. Also can work for onions.<br>I cut up my celery so that I have sticks available for a quick bite. <em>128</em> Thu, 10 May 2012 17:39:00 EST weekly Menus and recipes binder http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=38666_weekly_menus_and_recipes_binder I have over time put together a binder of recipes and menus for quick reference. I made sure to include some things that will freeze well here and there to double and add to my freezer for days things don't go as planned. I also try to use the crockpot once a week on busy days. This has been wonderful for adding variety to our meals and making them more enjoyable. It really got me out of the rut! We are eating better and it is actually cheaper! Wed, 9 May 2012 14:07:00 EST Corner the clutter http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=38466_corner_the_clutter When my house gets messy and it starts to feel overwhelming, I don't try to clean it perfectly right away. I designate one corner of a room (or big laundry basket) to hold all the bits and pieces that need to be put somewhere else, and clean the rest of the room. It saves a lot of running around the house in circles putting things away and makes "most" of the room feel organized quickly. Then I can deal with the pile of stuff more easily. Mon, 16 Apr 2012 06:40:00 EST Timing Reality http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=38409_timing_reality After baby #2 came along, it seemed I was always flustered and running late. I realized my day planning needed a reality check!<br><br>The solution? For 2 weeks I timed routine activities whenever possible. For example, I tracked:<br>-The average time of morning and evening commute<br>-Average time per night to bathe kids<br>-Average time to dress kids<br>-Average time to cook dinner<br>-Average time to clean up each night<br>-Average time per grocery trip (still tracking) Sun, 8 Apr 2012 01:56:00 EST Kids can help! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=38406_kids_can_help We have 4 children and getting lunches ready needs to be fast! I bought 3 bins at Walmart and designated a shelf in my pantry for them. 1 bin holds baked chips/pretzels 1 bin holds healthy snacks(raisins/fruit chews/graham crackers) 1 bin holds desserts/fruits (they must rotate). When making lunches all they have to do is grab something from each basket and lunches are made (other than a sandwhich). I keep a variety in each bin and I cut off the tops of all the boxes too! Sat, 7 Apr 2012 09:38:00 EST 5 Minute dishes. http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=38384_5_minute_dishes We are a busy family with 3 kids in sports. We put our good dishes in a different cupboard for when we have company over. All other days I bought each family member their own color plate, bowl, cup and mug. We are a family of 5. Now dishes are done quickly because everyone keeps track of their own dishes and it ends the idea of dirtying every dish in the house. It has helped a lot in our house (with no dish washer). Mon, 2 Apr 2012 22:26:00 EST Everything has a home http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=38383_everything_has_a_home Tackle clutter! Start by putting similar things together in a catagory, such as art supplies, or hair products, hobbie items, etc... Then find a home for each catagory (a shelf in the closet, a drawer in a desk, a container in the study, etc...). If your items all have a "home" you will always remember where to put it and where to find it. Example: Our art supplies "home" is in a storage container on the top shelf of the cabinet in the study. Mon, 2 Apr 2012 22:04:00 EST baby steps to organize http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=38366_baby_steps_to_organize Flylady.net is a wonderful site to help you organized everything from your home to your office/desk at work, even your finances. She really seems to understand that unorganized people have similar problems, like wanting to take on too much at once and getting stalled, that you lose your bills, forget lots of things. It's a great and free site. Sat, 31 Mar 2012 23:55:00 EST Plan Your Day :) http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=38331_plan_your_day_ I organize my day (sometimes the whole week) hour by hour. This helps me stay on track & be sure I get my workouts in <em>9</em> Wed, 28 Mar 2012 13:09:00 EST Write it out! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=38278_write_it_out If you're having trouble keeping up with everything you're supposed to be doing; exercise, all the water, daily chores, how many times you want to eat throughout the day, even just little things like remembering to put moisturizer on your face, type it up and print it out! Once you get something done, initial the date on there. It really helps you to remember to do everything, and helps you feel like you're staying on track! <em>306</em> Tue, 20 Mar 2012 15:35:00 EST Get them in there http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=38191_get_them_in_there When I go shopping I come home and line up the 'new to my house" food items. I take them to my computer and add the nutrition information to my list. I try to detail instead of just listing as a serving.Any way once everything is logged in, all I have to do is look it up instead of eating it and then putting the info in. Sat, 10 Mar 2012 11:26:00 EST Photo Grocery Shopping List http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=38050_photo_grocery_shopping_list Take photos of the packaging of the products you buy. Smartphones now usually have apps where you can put notes on the photos so you can jot down when you bought it and how much is left. That way, you'll be able to track how long it takes you to consume 1 unit of that product and in the long run, you can use that info to plan out your menu to avoid wasting food. It also helps you remember the brand/details of the product which makes shopping faster and easier. Sat, 25 Feb 2012 00:02:00 EST One House - Once per Week http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=37937_one_house_once_per_week On my weekend, (Thurs & Frid), I spend one hour late on Friday afternoon, washing, peeling, chopping & shredding up a colorful array of as many veggies as I can get hold of, & then I measure & bag them up so that I have my week night veggies already prepped & ready to go for my evening meals. Believe me, it's worth spending that one hour, once a week, it feels so good to just grill a chicken breast & stir fry the veggies, hey presto, fast food - deliciously nutritious too. <em>4</em> Sat, 11 Feb 2012 23:38:00 EST Batch cooking http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=37931_batch_cooking I love to do a lot of batch cooking and freeze meals ahead of time..really saves time and calories later. Sat, 11 Feb 2012 21:09:00 EST never forget your lunch / water bottle again http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=37863_never_forget_your_lunch_water_bottle_again A simple thing I do every time I don't want to forget something that needs to be refrigerated - put your keys next to it in the fridge. If need be, leave a sticky note where you'd usually find your keys so you don't go crazy looking for them. Tue, 7 Feb 2012 08:37:00 EST Life with 4 children, sick dad, work and more http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=37827_life_with_4_children_sick_dad_work_and_more I use the everything has a home method, as soon as you are done with it put it away- if it doesn't have a place then toss it! ALSO I use this method in my calendar- every school play, every pto meet, dr appointment, work schedule, vacation, everything gets put on my master calendar along with who is babysitting and what's for every meal! my life is in a detailed book so I never miss a step. Fri, 3 Feb 2012 08:56:00 EST Donate, Store and Consign Boxes in the Laundry Room http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=37790_donate_store_and_consign_boxes_in_the_laundry_room I keep three large cardboard boxes in the corner of my laundry room. One is labeled "donate", one "sell", and the other "store". When I take my kids' clothes out of the dryer if I come across something that doesn't fit, I toss it into one of the three boxes. When the boxes are full, I bring the "donate" box to the Salvation Army and drop the whole thing off. I take the "store" box up to the attic where I sort it into bins to be stored. Then I consign or ebay the last box! Tue, 31 Jan 2012 14:14:00 EST Using Ipad as reminder to "drink H20 and move" http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=37663_using_ipad_as_reminder_to_drink_h20_and_move I use my Ipad with Alarm App to remind myself to drink water and do a few stretches or jumping jacks throughout my workday. Sat, 21 Jan 2012 12:14:00 EST put it away http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=37534_put_it_away If you put things away after use it saves time tidying up later Fri, 13 Jan 2012 14:04:00 EST cook for the week http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=37463_cook_for_the_week on weeks that i know will be nuts, i cook for the entire week on sunday afternoon. i love to cook so i don't find this to be a chore. Mon, 9 Jan 2012 08:29:00 EST Chore Chart for Grown Ups http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=37460_chore_chart_for_grown_ups Both my husband and I work full time. We also have two young children. Because things around the house were not getting done, or having to be done all in one day (ruining weekends), I created a chore chart. This allows both my husband and I to do just one thing around the house in the evening (ex. he will do two loads of laundry one day and I will clean the bathroom, the next day my chore will be to put that laundry away). It makes for organized more relaxed evenings with the kids! <em>334... Mon, 9 Jan 2012 08:16:00 EST Realizing what is in your way! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=37305_realizing_what_is_in_your_way I am over worked, harried and a little frazzled at this time. I know it is the holidays but it is hard on the system. There must be a way of getting what I need to do done in a the day even though it is stressed. Sun, 1 Jan 2012 04:05:00 EST daytimer http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=37110_daytimer I plan out everything I do, chores, homework, workout, cooking and so on, including what I'm going to eat. I do better when I know what I'm supposed to be doing. I right out the week every Sunday, tape in appt. cards, work everything around work and don't be so strickt I don't leave time for friends. Tue, 6 Dec 2011 00:40:00 EST freezer http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=37074_refrieratorfreezer use a plastic dish pan in the freezer . It helps keep food easier to get to and easier to empty and clean the freezer. Its easier to take 4 containers out instead of 100 . Its also easier to rotate and keep meat fresher longer by placing meat in baggies and have a date on each bag yu put in the dish pan. Showing dates. Then Layer meat with new meat on the botton, & inside each baggie have each meat labeled as well as dated. Wed, 30 Nov 2011 18:47:00 EST Dinner then lunch for the next day http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=36870_dinner_then_lunch_for_the_next_day Every time I make dinner, I make enough extra to fill two reusable containers (one for me & one for my husband) to reheat for lunch the next day. There's nothing like a tasty hot lunch instead of a boring sandwich. Mon, 7 Nov 2011 00:05:00 EST What to do with free return-address labels http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=36799_what_to_do_with_free_returnaddress_labels You probably receive hundreds of return address labels in the mail. (I had enough to wallpaper a large room.) While watching TV, I cut my name and address off the labels and then give the remaining images to children in my family or leave them in the break room at work for others to take home. I keep ones I think won't interest them, but pass on images of flags, animals, flowers, and other colorful designs to the kids. Sun, 30 Oct 2011 02:17:00 EST grocerys http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=36792_grocerys after grocery shopping, it takes longer but is worth it. I bag all of my fruits up in proper proportion sizes in snack bags and put in fridge, along with any multi grain crackers or whatever healthy snacks i have..I put on the bag the calorie count, so when I am hungry, all i have to do is grab a bag and snack healthy.. <em>3</em> Sat, 29 Oct 2011 11:26:00 EST Keep it simple http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=36622_keep_it_simple If you havent touch an item for over year it just might be time to donate it. I'm in the process of going through the entire house and off load stuff we "simply" do not use! I have a truck full of craft stuff for our local school Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:14:00 EST Creative people see things differently http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=36439_creative_people_see_things_differently Being organized and living in a pleasant environment, your sanctuary, is important! Creative people tend to be able to "see things differently" and end up coping with unwanted clutter, a bad living environment, etc. because they can see it in another way, instead of seeing it for what it is. If you can be aware of this, you can prevent years of being sad, living with clutter, or even living in a substandard environment. Wed, 21 Sep 2011 21:16:00 EST Lunch for 1 to go http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=36426_lunch_for_1_to_go Single Serving Containers (like those from the deli that they put potato salad in) are great for both storing, freezing, and taking to work as single service containers. The small size is great for small sides, and the mid size is great for soups or larger portions. They freeze well, and I even use them in the microwave if I don't have an alternative bowl. They are cost effective too. I also send left overs to other peoples homes after a party or dinner. Wed, 21 Sep 2011 09:33:00 EST The Fridge List http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=36283_the_fridge_list When an item is "almost" empty (ie vanilla extract, windex, TP, coffee) I add it to the shopping list hanging on the fridge. Ask family members to do the same, instead of telling you "we need more..." I copy the list to a note on my phone, or take a pic. No emergency runs to the store for this or that by planning ahead...great lessons for kids...plus I get to look for sales...and we always have TP!<br>We call it the "Fridge List". <em>148</em> Wed, 7 Sep 2011 09:09:00 EST Organizing Calories http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=36242_organizing_calories I was having trouble trying to figure out calorie distribution for my 1500 calorie diet, when a friend made a suggestion. Have 300 calories for Breakfast, 400 calories for Lunch, 400 calories for Dinner, and 2 Snacks that are 200 calories each. The Nutrition Tracker is also a big help. Sat, 3 Sep 2011 12:14:00 EST Creative solution for keeping socks together from washer, dryer to drawer. http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=36219_creative_solution_for_keeping_socks_together_from_washer_dryer_to_drawer Socks now stay together through the washer and dryer with a Sok a lok. No more sorting socks! Wed, 31 Aug 2011 21:25:00 EST Veggie Care http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=36153_veggie_care I put plastic "bins" in my veggie drawer to help keep the veggies separated and easy to see, quick to grab. I wash and dry the veggies before I put them away in the refrigerator. Saves so much more time later. Then I put them in their specific bin, which is actually a large food storage container. The fruit that I keep in the fridge is also in it's own bin. Keeps them from rolling around and being shoved out of sight out of mind darkness in the back of the fridge. Fri, 26 Aug 2011 13:09:00 EST laundry secrets http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=36127_laundry_secrets Across the road from my work is a laundromat; when I know I don't have the time to do my family's laundry (I work 5 1/2 days a weeK) I bring a couple of loads a week and have it washed, dried & folded for about $10 a bag (garbage bag size) and it really is good value. It saves me time and money . Fri, 26 Aug 2011 06:06:00 EST Holiday & Birthday lists computer style http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=35999_holiday_birthday_lists_computer_style I have a computer file listed with the names of family & friends.Every time I hear them mention certain things they like or books they are looking forward to read, I type it in . When Christmas times come or birthdays I have a list of items to choose from. It is real neat to see their expressions because they probably thought no one was listening to things they like. Saves a lot of time searching for something for them,& gives pleasure in knowing you gave them something they will enjoy Sat, 13 Aug 2011 22:01:00 EST LABEL http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=35996_label My mother in law always labeled everything. I now do the same,I label what is in each tote, even my manila envelopes that I store special papers in.All my Christmas things are stored in totes & each one has what is in them, I label them by room also,because certain things go in special rooms of there own. I no longer rip everything apart trying to find just one thing, keeps me from getting frustrated like years gone by Sat, 13 Aug 2011 20:14:00 EST Solve the lost lid delema http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=35953_solve_the_lost_lid_delema So....you have containers with lids that constantly get lost in the deepest recesses of your cabinet. You have to go on a search mission every time you want to store leftovers. Buy a large plastic tub or basket big enough to fit easily in a cupboard. ALL lids go in the tub (I put mine in order of size). Now whenever you need a lid, you pull out the tub find the correct lid and you are done! Whenever you put cleaned lids away, they all go in one neat tidy place! Life just got a little bit easi... Thu, 11 Aug 2011 17:30:00 EST Eating Fruit and veggies http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=35700_eating_fruit_and_veggies Eat a fruit and a veggie for breakfast and for lunch that way if I don't feel like eating them at dinner at least I fit a few in early in the day. Thu, 28 Jul 2011 09:34:00 EST Predicting grocery shopping totals http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=35558_predicting_grocery_shopping_totals When I grocery shop i take my shopping list, I track how much it's costing me, and then compare my estimate with the actual bill. I'm generally within $10 on $100-200 bills.<br><br>I use the 5 tick system (4 vertical & 5th is horizontal) and I round to the nearest dollar. This is easiest, and the rounding takes care of the taxes. <em>334</em> Fri, 22 Jul 2011 18:21:00 EST Planning Weekly Food Shop- Never forget a thing! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=35542_planning_weekly_food_shop_never_forget_a_thing I have a list of every item I ever buy on our computer. From food to loo rolls to sundry items I buy occasionally, listed in groups (fresh fruit and veg, meats, sauces, toiletries,cleaning items, frozen) according to where I'll find the item in the supermarket.<br>Once a week I simply adjust the list and print it off. The Original List is saved as "read only" so remains unchanged.<br>As a package becomes empty (or near empty) I make a note to replace it<br><br>Very rarely to I forget anything... Fri, 22 Jul 2011 03:35:00 EST Keep pictures, not stuff http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=35499_keep_pictures_not_stuff If you keep stuff you don't use because of a sentimental attachment, take pictures of it and put it in an album (online is OK) with a note explaining what it was, why you cherished it, and why it should find a new home. That way, you can keep the memory but recycle the item to a new home. <br><br>This worked for a friend of mine who was a major hoarder. She enlisted a friend to take notes and pictures while she reminisced. Sharing memories in person made it easier give things away or recycle ... Thu, 21 Jul 2011 02:12:00 EST A Journal for Traveling http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=35396_a_journal_for_traveling When I travel, especially on overseas trips, I journal my memories in a pretty notebook. BUT, to really make it easy, I prepare a few things in advance. First, I tape a very small calendar of the month in which I am traveling on the inside cover of the book. In addition, I tape an envelope, open side <br>out on the inside cover. ( I use it to put family photos or little notes or receipts. In the back of the book I make several pages of sticky notes. I stick one at the bottom of the page, move... Mon, 18 Jul 2011 23:25:00 EST A Journal for Traveling http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=35395_a_journal_for_traveling When I travel, especially on overseas trips, I journal my memories in a pretty notebook. BUT, to really make it easy, I prepare a few things in advance. First, I tape a very small calendar of the month in which I am traveling on the inside cover of the book. In addition, I tape an envelope, open side <br>out on the inside cover. ( I use it to put family photos or little notes or receipts. In the back of the book I make several pages of sticky notes. I stick one at the bottom of the page, move... Mon, 18 Jul 2011 23:25:00 EST FLYLADY.org http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=35291_flyladyorg This web site is FREE and is all you'll ever need to find your way into organization and peace <em>30</em> <em>249</em> Sat, 16 Jul 2011 19:27:00 EST Planner http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=35277_planner If I don't have my Franklin Covey planner with me at all times I'm absolutely lost! You can put everything in it...all your info, your todo lists, your shopping, appointments, work schedule. I look at it every night to see what's coming up the next day...I even use it to schedule my workouts! Sat, 16 Jul 2011 11:39:00 EST EVERYTHING NEEDS A PLACE http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=35269_everything_needs_a_place I BELIEVE EVERYTHING NEEDS IT'S OWN PLACE! I TRY TO PUT STUFF WHERE IT BELONGS AFTER I USE. WHEN I NEED IT I CAN FIND IT. NOT THAT I'M PERFECT BUT, I TRY. WHEN I'M COOKING I GET EVERYTHING OUT & PUT IT AWAY AS I USE IT. WHEN COOKING ESPECIALLY LG. MEALS I WASH DISHES AS I GO. MUCH EASIER WHEN WE'RE READY TO EAT. GOD BLESS ALL LUV & HUGS CONNIE <em>247</em> <em>220</em> <em>4</em> Sat, 16 Jul 2011 09:01:00 EST putting dishes away http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=35262_putting_dishes_away To save time putting dishes away after they have been washed in the dishwasher, I take the dishes out according to their size,stack them together then put them up in the cupboards. First I start with the largest size dish then do the next largest size down to the saucers. Then work on the soup bowls and their sizes and then the cups. I find this systems makes easy work for putting dishes away. Sat, 16 Jul 2011 02:23:00 EST IF YOU HAVEN'T WORN IT IN A YEAR, DONATE IT http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=35225_if_you_havent_worn_it_in_a_year_donate_it Get rid of anything in your closet that no longer fits or you don't wear because you don't like it. Make a list, donate it to charity and get a receipt for an income tax deduction. Fri, 15 Jul 2011 06:51:00 EST Begin organizing on the left side of the room... http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=35219_begin_organizing_on_the_left_side_of_the_room I learned this secret from a professional organizer (PO) who specializes in helping hoarders declutter. She had a client who would not let go of a ratty old sweater lying on the right side of the room. After several failed attempts PO tossed the sweater to the otherside of the room and they took a well deserved break. They began again this time on the left side. When the PO held up and asked about the same sweater the woman said, "Yea, get rid of that old dirty thing." Fri, 15 Jul 2011 00:34:00 EST 15 Minutes a Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=35214_15_minutes_a_day This may gave already been posted--15 minutes per day keeps the clutter away, one way to beat the clutter is set the timer for 15 minutes and start putting away items in one room, when the timer rings, you're done for today. Do this each day and you will be caught up before you know it. Know this you can do a lot in 15 minutes when you are focused on only one task.<br> Thu, 14 Jul 2011 22:21:00 EST Taming Magazine Articles http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=35124_taming_magazine_articles I rip articles, which interest me, out of magazines before I dispose of them. I buy 3 ring clear plastic pages put an article or two in each and pop it into a binder marked as gardening, sewing, patterns, crafts, projects, organizational, recipes, decorating, Christmas, or whatever. Thu, 14 Jul 2011 07:15:00 EST Put a date on that battery! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=35022_put_a_date_on_that_battery I have a battery in weight scale/body fat scale! And I DON'T like having to replace it as one MORE thing on my to-do list!But I have found that writing the date [with a permanent sharpie marker ] on the battery helps me to see when I last replaced the battery! And though it may be a year or so, it SEEMS faster! Tue, 12 Jul 2011 12:33:00 EST Where did I park? http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=35009_where_did_i_park Ever spend a day at the amusement park and then forget where you parked? Me too. I learned this from someone at Hersheypark this past weekend. Using your cell phone or digital camera, take a picture of the parking sign closest to where you park. Easy, right? Tue, 12 Jul 2011 09:48:00 EST A Place for Everything, and Everything In It's Place http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34964_a_place_for_everything_and_everything_in_its_place This is so true. The only way that I can be organized on an on-going basis is to set up an organizational system. I now have a to-be-filed bin. I never let it get too big or too daunting. If I did, I wouldn't want to bother with it. This way I find things when I need them (95% of the time). I have a bad memory, so this system is especially helpful for me. Just find an organization method that works for you, and stick to it! Mon, 11 Jul 2011 13:10:00 EST Quick Sort of Clothes after Vacation http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34888_quick_sort_of_clothes_after_vacation When we go on vacation, my family puts the dirty clothes for the day in one pile. I put it in garbage bag (or Walmart plastic bags) and take home in one suitcase. Clothes we don't wear go in another suitcase. <br>Then when we go home, the plastic bag(s) full of dirty clothes get quickly unpacked and thrown down the steps to the basement. Easy unpacking, and clean clothes a lot faster! Sat, 9 Jul 2011 23:53:00 EST Laundry http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34829_laundry When I take clothes off of the hanger to wear, I put the hanger in the laundry basket. This way when it comes time to hang up all of the clean laundry, I know I have enough hangers! Sat, 9 Jul 2011 03:40:00 EST Declutter & help a family http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34817_declutter_help_a_family I found a family that needed money to pay bills. I am giving them all my good, usable clutter to sell in a garage sale. It is a win-win situation for both of us. Fri, 8 Jul 2011 16:51:00 EST Make that bed! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34815_make_that_bed A simple way to relieve some stress is to make the bed. There's something about climbing into a made bed at night that is much more satisfying than getting into a messy one. An organized environment has been proven to relieve stress - a messy one is more likely to lead to toxic moods! Fri, 8 Jul 2011 16:21:00 EST Veggie Run http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34745_veggie_run When you make everything from scratch, it's sometimes difficult to get groceries put away on the same night as produce. Produce not prepped before going in the fridge, usually spoils which is such a waste. Over time I evolved to a system of having 2 stores that I visit mainly because of produce - selection & prices are good, tho I don't do my other grocery shopping there. This lends itself to having a "Produce Night", where I wash all lettuce leaves & make a salad, peel all carrots & (Cont'd... Thu, 7 Jul 2011 12:30:00 EST Clean Out Your Storage Areas First http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34704_clean_out_your_storage_areas_first I started with my pantry. <br>1. Took everything out of pantry<br>2. Threw out all out-dated food items<br>3. Put items I never use and never would use in giveaway box.<br>4. Painted pantry shelves white (makes items easy to see)<br>5. Put items I use the often in the most handy place.<br>6. Put rest of items in place.<br>Nothing like a clean pantry. Much easier to find what I needed. <em>306</em> Wed, 6 Jul 2011 17:17:00 EST Clean sheets http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34691_clean_sheets After you wash and dry your sheets, fold them then take one pillow case and store the sheet set in the pillow case. That way everything that matches is together. no hunting in the linen closet for matching sheets and pillowcases. Wed, 6 Jul 2011 13:09:00 EST Go Clean Your Room!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34645_go_clean_your_room "Go clean your room" doesn't always get the best results. Give your kids a list of exactly what you expect and let them check off the tasks as they are done. MUCH less nagging!!! Tue, 5 Jul 2011 06:25:00 EST Cleaning House http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34634_cleaning_house When I clean house...I move from the back of the house to the front of the house--I will dust and clean glass in every room first, then put down a rug deodorizer--vaccuum and then hit both bathrooms. I save the kitchen for last and go thru the fridge, sink, counter cleaning ..saving mopping for last. I usually can knock it all out in under 2 hours. I do maintenance cleaning about every 2d or 3rd day and it's really paying off in my waistline and in how my house looks <em>236</em> Mon, 4 Jul 2011 19:52:00 EST Repairs http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34541_repairs Create a repair center for clothes that need mending, toys that need batteries, things that need gluing, etc. That way unusable items aren't in general circulation, and you know where to look when you have time to tackle a project. This can be as simple as a basket in a closet. Sat, 2 Jul 2011 07:04:00 EST Veggie Prep http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34540_veggie_prep No this isn't where I went to school! <br><br>It's how I make sure I always have fresh fruits and vegetables ready to use when I need them.<br><br>When I return from the store with fresh produce, I immediately draw a dishpan of lukewarm water with a tiny bit of dish soap in it. I trim off stems or brown spots, then I wash and rinse the produce, then dry in the drainer.<br><br>Then I wrap the items in a clean tea towel, place in a zipper bag and pop in the fridge.<br><br>They stay fresh for... Sat, 2 Jul 2011 06:50:00 EST Scan and email important documents http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34499_scan_and_email_important_documents I've moved overseas 3 times, and many times in each country - scanning important docs like degrees, indefinite leave status number on passport, passport number, drivers license number, etc and emailing them to myself has decreased chances to go mental. also I buy the e-book option when possible so I don't cry so much having to leave all books behind. Fri, 1 Jul 2011 09:58:00 EST Think hard before bringing it into the house in the first place http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34495_think_hard_before_bringing_it_into_the_house_in_the_first_place When tempted to buy, bring or keep something at home ask the following: Do I have one already? If I do, is this one better [if so get rid of other item immediately]? Is this another thing I need 'just in case' that will most likely collect dust? Do I really have a place to keep it? Could I get access to one if/when I need it without owning it? Fri, 1 Jul 2011 08:48:00 EST Regarding mail... http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34390_regarding_mail In the words of professional organizer, Peter Walsh: OHIO...<br>Only Handle It Once! Wed, 29 Jun 2011 00:20:00 EST Commit to Completing Just 3 Things a Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34356_commit_to_completing_just_3_things_a_day I often ignore things on my to-do list for weeks. So I try to accomplish just 3 things every day. It can be whatever 3 things from my to-do list I want; it's an easier target than doing everything; if I get them done early it motivates me to do more; It sets me up to over-accomplish and feel good rather than disappoint myself. Tue, 28 Jun 2011 13:56:00 EST Developed a Check off Table http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34335_developed_a_check_off_table I created a check off table on my computer to guide me through each task or goal I must meet on daily basis. This includes my meals, water intake, homework time, time with kids, spiritual time, date night, etc. Tue, 28 Jun 2011 07:26:00 EST Prioritization: Important First http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34283_prioritization_important_first Covey followers will recognize this one. Always concentrate on the IMPORTANT. If you only schedule time for the URGENT, you will always be at the mercy and stress and tyranny of the URGENT. In the beginning everything will be seem to be urgent; put urgent & important first, and then deliberately schedule important next. Over time keep carving out larger and larger blocks of time for IMPORTANT, and the tyranny of the URGENT will fade, along with stress. Mon, 27 Jun 2011 14:09:00 EST eating better and saving costs! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34244_eating_better_and_saving_costs I keep a file with menu ideas for dinner with a list of the ingredients. This takes away the need to make decisions after work. I do all of my shopping on Sunday and everything is ready to go for the week. We eat what I buy so less waste! I usually have one day that is a left over day or ready made pasta. Sun, 26 Jun 2011 20:18:00 EST Prioritizing http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34227_prioritizing Every morning, I make a to do list. Then, I prioritize items I must get done today as 1's. Urgent, but not today as 2's, all the way to 5's. I use yesterday,s as a starting point and add to it. It keeps me motivated and focused. <em>334</em> Sun, 26 Jun 2011 10:54:00 EST Use your sink for other things than dishes. http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34171_use_your_sink_for_other_things_than_dishes I am not a tall person and my counters are just a little bit too high. I love to cook. Often after I had been stirring mixtures,my shoulders ache. I do have a new stand mixer but not everything can be mixed that way.<br>My solution is to go to the sink. I can whisk with bowl down over the lower surface and any spills goes down the drain. Try it you might like it. Pat in Maine. <em>306</em> <em>250</em> Sat, 25 Jun 2011 08:35:00 EST Big Ticket Item Receipts http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34153_big_ticket_item_receipts Whenever you purchase a big ticket item (ie:TV, etc.) staple your receipt to the owners manual. That way, it will always be on hand if you ever need it. Fri, 24 Jun 2011 20:24:00 EST Mark your food http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34146_mark_your_food I am single and live with 3 other girls - plus I am forgetful. I label all my food items in fridge freezer and cupboard with my initial - otherwise I forget it's mine and to eat it. I hardly throw any food out now! PS before doing it I explained i was going to mark the food cause I was throwing out too much food due to forgetfulness, not cause I thought they were stealing! Fri, 24 Jun 2011 19:10:00 EST Fun Planners! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34076_fun_planners I like to make my planners as fun as possible, to make sure that I stick with using it. I use a million different color highlighters, stickers, and post-it's, and each month I like to make it a different color theme. It's fun to look at, and allows me to be creative while staying super organized. Thu, 23 Jun 2011 20:25:00 EST Use an upside down wire hanging planter to display hanging ornaments http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34037_use_an_upside_down_wire_hanging_planter_to_display_hanging_ornaments Buy a decorative hanging basket that can be turned upside down and hang your dangling ornaments like crystals, sun catchers and small wind chimes etc on it. Christmas tree bauble hooks are ideal to hang them up with.. Arrange them around the edge and if possible hang a main one in the centre. Looks attractive and you only have to pull down the whole basket to clean them. Thu, 23 Jun 2011 10:38:00 EST Always have a to-do list http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=34018_always_have_a_todo_list Keeping a to do list will help you stay organized throughout the day. Writing it down on paper on purpose helps you to get everything you set out to do done. Thu, 23 Jun 2011 06:57:00 EST No Mail clutter http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=33994_no_mail_clutter When the mail comes in, I stand by the bucket and go through it right then and sort it. The bills get put in one area for the day of payment; junk mail gets tossed right away; and then another pile for the things I looked at and want a longer look (magazines, catalogues, etc). I toss all envelopes and unnecessary paper right then and there Wed, 22 Jun 2011 17:26:00 EST clutter free car http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=33906_clutter_free_car I empty my car of anything I put in it as I get out of it. I have a small box in my trunk that I keep fixaflat, armour all, oil and glass/leather cleaners etc. Tue, 21 Jun 2011 10:43:00 EST Touch Something only Once http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=33784_touch_something_only_once Trying to get myself organized, I have implemented only touching an item once so I use it or look at it and then put it away. I am ending up with a ton of clutter because I don't do anything with mail, bills, filing, or items used and not put away. Sun, 19 Jun 2011 09:33:00 EST Declutter... Throw Away One Item Daily! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=33774_declutter_throw_away_one_item_daily Toss or donate an item a day or 7 items a week.<br>Get rid of the jeans/top you don't wear often, cause you love others more. <br>Clear needed space in your home!<br>Sort through a drawer, clean out closet.<br><br>Designate a box or spot, to throw unused items. Donate end of week. Sun, 19 Jun 2011 00:34:00 EST WOODEN PEGS http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=33757_wooden_pegs Once you have opened a bag of frozen veg, etc; to stop the rest of the contents spilling over the freezer. Fold the open end over and secure with the peg. <em>41</em> Sat, 18 Jun 2011 17:33:00 EST Nighttime Diaper Disasters? http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=33693_nighttime_diaper_disasters I have a toddler that wears a Size 4 diaper. I have found that by putting on a Size 5 for nighttime sleeping greatly reduces any chance of leaks! The increased size seems to hold more while still fitting properly. A girlfriend of mine also found that putting a maxi-pad inside the diaper works well too! Fri, 17 Jun 2011 11:02:00 EST Easy way to go through mail http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=33601_easy_way_to_go_through_mail I have a 3 part system set up when I receive mail that consists of a 9" x 12" box, a reusable bag, and a crate of 9" x 12" yellow envelopes. When you open mail, for example those pesky credit card offers, separate what has no personal information and that which does. No personal info in the bag then later to my library which has a dumpster for recycling paper. If the personal info is only in one spot I tear it out and put it in the box to be shredded and recycle the rest. Thu, 16 Jun 2011 03:27:00 EST Containers reused http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=33600_containers_reused I reuse containers like crazy. Old jelly jars are great for chapsticks. An old round cookie tin holds the chargers I use most often. I keep my smaller batteries in a bottle. A plastic tea bottle is great for cotton balls. An old jar, bottle, or large water container make a great place to put spare change. Old buttons in a baking powder tin. Screws, nails, nuts, bolts can be thrown into old baby food jars, coffee jars, etc. I look at a container before recycling to see if I need it for somethi... Thu, 16 Jun 2011 03:16:00 EST Jewelry Untangled http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=33599_jewelry_untangled I have a drawer with all of my jewelry that I had to untangle everything to get a necklace or bracelet to wear. After untangling everything I got cheap snack size ziploc bags from the dollar store and used one bag per item. I then put these small bags into a gallon size zipper bag, one for bracelets, another necklaces, etc. They also sell bags that are smaller and made for jewelry (I saw them at Walmart) but this is a cheaper way to go. Thu, 16 Jun 2011 02:57:00 EST FlyLady http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=33535_flylady I use FlyLady to keep up with the house chores. I receive weekly and daily plans to keep my house organized and clean. Simple! Tue, 14 Jun 2011 22:31:00 EST Marinate and Defrost All In One http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=33514_marinate_and_defrost_all_in_one When I get a "family-size" container of meat from the store, I separate into "recipe-size" freezer ziplock bags and I put the marinade sauce in with it. Stick it in the freezer and when it's time to defrost, it's well marinated by cooking time. Tue, 14 Jun 2011 12:46:00 EST To Do List http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=33449_to_do_list I make "to do" lists that include things I want to do and things I need to do. I use a timer for 15 minutes and if I beat the clock, then I get to spend the next 15 minutes on something I want to do. It is amazing how much more fun getting stuff done is with these little "prizes" along the way. Sun, 12 Jun 2011 23:04:00 EST One Room at a Time http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=33398_one_room_at_a_time Clean one room in the house a day leaving the floors for your last day. Sat, 11 Jun 2011 18:27:00 EST Freeze your meals - Thaw out your time! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=33313_freeze_your_meals_thaw_out_your_time Panning your meals in advance is a success, and this tip will help you one step further. I like to buy the family packs of meat and the separate them into meal appropriate portions. It's extremely economical. Before freezing, season your meat with whatever seasonings and/or marinade. As the meat thaws out they will marinate as well and you can have so many meals prepared in advance this way. It also saves you time because you are doing all the seasoning at once. Thu, 9 Jun 2011 23:20:00 EST Organize your day and your life (home and professional) in one place! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=33263_organize_your_day_and_your_life Get a Moleskine (or similar knockoff) journal and divide it into 5 sections. FIRST a calendar: take the time to draw in a monthly calendar for the next 12-36 months. This will take a big chunk of the book. SECOND Section: To do list. This is a running list that you add to and tick off as you go though your week. THIRD section: Meeting Notes. FOURTH section: Buy list (the lowest cost of an item...happens about 6 months, so you know when to stock up. FIFTH section: Random. Separate eachwith ta... Thu, 9 Jun 2011 08:34:00 EST Throw Away One Thing Everyday http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=33218_throw_away_one_thing_everyday Toss or donate that book you've just finished, the jeans you never wear or those shoes that you just don't love as much as you used to. Free up space in your home! Wed, 8 Jun 2011 09:29:00 EST Never Keep a Todo List for more than a day http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=33160_never_keep_a_todo_list_for_more_than_a_day Todo lists tend to grow, and grow, and grow, until you finally get disgusted and throw it out and start fresh, and so the cycle repeats. Instead, write down the stuff that you didn't do at the end of the day, and still want to do on a separate page. Now throw the todo list out. Wait a while, or until the next morning. Create a new Todo list, put the things on your mind in today's new list, check yesterdays list to see if any of those items are still worth doing; throw out yesteday's list. Mon, 6 Jun 2011 22:47:00 EST Ziplock Magic http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=33112_ziplock_magic When traveling, ziplock bags really help organize. from small clips, gum, mints, etc. too camera safety and electronic cords - really made a difference. Sun, 5 Jun 2011 13:26:00 EST Why Keep It? http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=32838_why_keep_it If I have not worn an item of clothing for a year, I give it away to charity. I believe that someone else needs it more than I do. Mon, 30 May 2011 11:26:00 EST Uses for Vintage Planters http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=32799_uses_for_vintage_planters Vintage planters with figurines make handy holders for desk items like pens/pencils, scissors, and letter holders. These old ceramic collectables from the 40's and 50's are the perfect place to hold reading eyeglasses. I keep a lamb on my kitchen counter, a guy with a bowling ball on my desk, and girl with a flounced skirt and parasol on my bedside table. Sun, 29 May 2011 11:00:00 EST Big Goal? Fast track yourself by getting help! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=32735_big_goal_fast_track_yourself_by_getting_help When you have a really big goal - like cleaning out the garage or basement - you'll get more done faster with help. You will be surprised how much you can get done in one day. PLUS that second person will motivate you to keep going. I paid $10 an hour for 12 hours and it seemed like a lot...but finally got the entire basement done! 20 bags of garbage...10 boxes to the Goodwill. 12 months later it still looks great and finally getting it done feels great! <em>244</em> Fri, 27 May 2011 18:17:00 EST Clothes Closet http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=32685_clothes_closet Each January 1st, turn all hangers in one direction and as you wear that item, when hanging back in the closet, put the opposite way. Then on the next January 1st, before turning the hangers again, take a good look at the ones that have not been turned. Do you really need it if you didn't wear all year? Donate. Thu, 26 May 2011 13:23:00 EST Disposable Cup Oatmeal http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=32598_disposable_cup_oatmeal I use the disposable coffee cups with lids that you find in the papergoods aisle to make oatmeal at home on the go. I was spending about $4.00 per morning going through the drive thru ordering oatmeal with fruit and milk. I now make instant at home in take out cups adding dried fruit and milk., at a fraction of the cost! Tue, 24 May 2011 14:42:00 EST Tiny Shampoo Bottles and Toiletry Samples http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=32532_tiny_shampoo_bottles_and_toiletry_samples Sort hotel size toiletries and manufacturer samples in shoe boxes stored in a bathroom closet or under the bathroom sink. Share the tiny products with overnight guests who forget an item. Pack your choice of small items when spending a weekend visiting relatives or friends. Mon, 23 May 2011 12:16:00 EST Moving? http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=32507_moving Go to www.flylady.net for moving help & tips.<br><br>Also don't waste this opportunity - you will be touching all your stuff anyway, don't keep anything that does not bring you joy, that you don't consider beautiful, that you haven't used in the last 6 months (or seasonally, in the last year), or that you have duplicates of.<br><br>1st purge is easy; when it gets down to "the good stuff", use your feelings of uncertainty/confusion/torn as a signal to donate. Call Salvation Army, they pick up ... Mon, 23 May 2011 02:57:00 EST Pre-procrastinator RUSH! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=32465_preprocrastinator_rush I used to procrastinate on EVERYTHING. But I learned in college, that the rush from the original assignment was just as adrenaline pumping as the last-minute adrenaline rush - So if something needs to get done - I hang on to that initial rush and do it before the rush runs out! Now, if it's something mundane I can't do right away, I write it down on a short list and add something exciting to it, like "buy toothpaste AND get a new magazine." It's a little Pavlovian but it works! <em>224</em> Sun, 22 May 2011 02:04:00 EST Schedule http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=32363_schedule I'm a procrastintor so I've decided to made a daily schedule each morning. I'm not going to obsess about completing my list but I think it will help. I sometimes write things in my planner but never get around to do them. <em>249</em> Thu, 19 May 2011 09:40:00 EST 6 Month Rule http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=32313_6_month_rule Twice a year, I have a total household cleaning overhaul. I go through closets, drawers, cabinets, etc. I throw away or donate anything that I haven't used in 6 months. This keeps me from accumulating massive amounts of stuff that I thought that I needed at the time but never got around to using. Wed, 18 May 2011 12:04:00 EST Nuta, Bolts & Scews http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=32272_nuta_bolts_scews Is your husband a do-it-yourselfer? Are there nuts, bolts, nails and screws in every toolbox, old coffee can and drawer in the garage? But when you ask him to help fix something he never has the right size and just has to go to the hardware store? If your WalMart has a craft section, buy one of those plastic frames that has little drawers -get the largest you can buy, Clear out a toolbox and a drawer of all of the miscellaneous nuts, etc.,separate them out. Surprise him when you're done, act ... Tue, 17 May 2011 17:04:00 EST Labels http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=32168_labels Tear the return address label off of an envelope and tape italphabetically in an address book and you will always have it Sat, 14 May 2011 19:21:00 EST Batchcook Once a Week http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=32140_batchcook_once_a_week Pre-plan 7 breakfast and dinners, using up things in your freezer and pantry first, then get all the rest at once at the grocery store. Then on your day off cook, fill up the crockpot, roast a chicken, make freezer meals, and prep veggies in snacks bags. Use planned leftovers for lunch. Sat, 14 May 2011 03:56:00 EST oranize http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=32119_oranize Try to keep everything in its place Fri, 13 May 2011 14:24:00 EST Organize your breakfast! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=32095_organize_your_breakfast Keeping most things for breakfast in the same spot makes it easier/faster to get in my nutritious first meal of the day! So I reorganized the following into one place near the coffeemaker: coffee, tea, oatmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon, dried fruits, toasted walnuts, Kashi granola bars (for an extra fast take-off), several mugs, measuring cup/spoon, and a few cereal bowls. This keeps my prep time to a minimum and I am not wandering around the kitchen getting the different items I need. Fri, 13 May 2011 08:04:00 EST Toolshed shapeup! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=32032_toolshed_shapeup After seeing the beautiful toolsheds in the garden mags recycled as reading rooms or crafts rooms, I am working on mine! I have rolling carts below the counter for the gardening supplies & hung a bright pretty shower curtain with pretty rings to hand from an extendable curtain rod! Cleans up & brightens up the place! Painting the inside a pretty color too! Other side will be the same for crafts! <em>137</em> Wed, 11 May 2011 18:26:00 EST in the car http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31991_in_the_car leaving work was often a rough spot for me... kids are gone..so I was stopping for fast food on the way home... I now keep a box of special K chips, or pita chips in the car with a bottle of water so on the way home.. I have an afternoon snack on the way home... I never even think of stopping or failing at the dinner choices Wed, 11 May 2011 00:38:00 EST Get your Tupperware together! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31973_get_your_tupperware_together Use clear plastic storage bins to keep your Tupperware organized. Anything that doesn't have a pair (bottom, but no lid), toss it! Put all of your Tupperware in the storage bin and it slides perfectly in & out of the cabinet. This will eliminate taking out everything in the front to get to things in the back. Tue, 10 May 2011 15:59:00 EST Meal planning http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31964_meal_planning When its time for plan my meals and make a grocery list, I tak out my dinner notebook. My dinner notebook contains, pages of dinners that my family likes. Under each dinner, I include a list of the items I need for each meal (not the recipe). That way when its time to make my grocery list, it cuts the time in half. Tue, 10 May 2011 14:17:00 EST Meal planning http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31957_meal_planning I plan my meals for the week ahead when I make my grocery list. I write the list of meals I'm going to make on a paper that I keep on the fridge. On the back of that paper is a list of what I have in my 2 freezers, which I look at while I am meal planning. Tue, 10 May 2011 13:08:00 EST Be prepared!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31899_be_prepared Pre-plan your meals for the ENTIRE week, including the weekend. This way you don't get caught in the all too familiar "I didn't take anything out, how about you just take me to dinner or we order a pizza?" As a mother/step-mother of 5, I make it a habit to sit down and plan meals for the week and do all of my grocery shopping at once. It cuts down on the gas used to make multiple trips to the grocery store & it also locks me into a plan for the week as far as meals go. Mon, 9 May 2011 12:08:00 EST Settle for "Good Enough" and/or "Much Better" http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31863_settle_for_good_enough_andor_much_better I sometimes try to plan the "perfect" solutions for storage/organization. I see it in my mind's eye; see-thru storage containers, in all shapes & sizes, perfectly labeled, stacked impeccably on perfectly placed shelving, in a conveniently located, oversized closet. <br><br>Nothing wrong with the fantasy, but in the meantime, my time may be better spent doing an "imperfect" job of it all, as opposed to browsing thru "The Container Store" website, and pricing out every labeler known to mankind... Sun, 8 May 2011 13:41:00 EST Control Journal http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31800_control_journal I have a control Journal which came from the fly lady plan. In the journal I keep my budgets, to do list, shopping list, menu plans, and other helpful information. I decorated it with all my favorite motivational quotes and it keeps me going. Decorating it makes it more fun to carry around and all information I need to remain focused and accountable are in it.<br><br> <em>150</em> Fri, 6 May 2011 22:43:00 EST dinner plans http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31797_dinner_plans I write out my meals for the month on a calender and the whole has say inwhat is eaten. I tweek it if it is not healthy. This help me with grocery shopping and stops all the "Ma, what for dinner". <em>4</em> Fri, 6 May 2011 21:18:00 EST Freezer List http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31757_freezer_list Get a dollar store white-board w/magnet & marker to stick to outside of freezer. Keep a list on what you have. How often have you over-bought or thrown out food bc you don't use or know what's in there? This has saved me time and money. Also, mark down when you froze it or for pre-packaged goods, their expiration date, esp. if stuff tends to hang around in your freezer. Works for the frig, too! <br>I also keep a grocery lister on there, to write down what I use up or need. Thu, 5 May 2011 18:33:00 EST Time in Between http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31750_time_in_between If there is time in between food prep, I'll load or empty the dishwasher, set the table, or any quick chore I can do in five-ish minutes. Thu, 5 May 2011 14:37:00 EST Keepsake sweater http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31748_keepsake_sweater To keep a memento of your child's favorite sweater or sweatshirt, put it on a teddy bear!! Now everyone can enjoy it and it is out in the open being remembered!! Thu, 5 May 2011 14:28:00 EST 30 Second Rule http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31733_30_second_rule If it takes 30 seconds or less, then do it RIGHT AWAY. You will be surprised how many things take less than 30 seconds to do!!! <br> <em>211</em> Thu, 5 May 2011 09:05:00 EST FLYlady routines really help defeat CHAOS http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31696_flylady_routines_really_help_defeat_chaos I happened upon the FLYlady.com website. What a help it has been to achieve an orderly, peaceful household. No more being embarrassed when unexpected guests arrive or running around like crazy to clean before someone gets there. I also love the fitness links. They mesh well with SP. Wed, 4 May 2011 14:03:00 EST Where is the TV Remote? http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31684_where_is_the_tv_remote I hope this is the LAST time we lose the remote for the television! I have SECURED each remote to the lamptable with a piece of heavy-duty velcro and a matching piece to each remote! I cannot get hearing aids at this time right now [as I NEED them] but have a preschooler and don't want to lose my hearing althogether [he gets loud ~too loud~ sometimes as preschoolers do!] so I NEED the remote for the subtitles for the movie or whatever we are watching [we don't subscribe to regular tv ... Wed, 4 May 2011 10:19:00 EST Phases http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31583_phases I've mentaly organized my weight loss into three 20 pound stages. Stage one is complete and I am 1 pounds lost in stage two. Mon, 2 May 2011 12:22:00 EST organizing my life http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31558_organizing_my_life I need organization to success Sun, 1 May 2011 20:14:00 EST make it easier to snack healthier http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31530_make_it_easier_to_snack_healthier when you go shopping try to buy only the foods that are good choices. i know from experience that this can be very hard. so what i do is if i purchase some cookies that are very tempting i will put them in serving size portions and put them in the back of the shelf so when i grab them i only retrieve a small amount instead of the whole package. good luck Sun, 1 May 2011 03:20:00 EST Organize that Grocery List http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31519_organize_that_grocery_list Most of us shop at the same stores for groceries, so we know how they are laid out and even have a routine when we shop. Organize your grocery list based on how you go through the store. It's a great time saver!<br> <em>12</em> Sat, 30 Apr 2011 18:52:00 EST hey http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31437_hey let's get organized Thu, 28 Apr 2011 15:29:00 EST a way to sesafeguard your keys http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31411_a_way_to_sesafeguard_your_keys Keys are expensive to replace and it can be really stressful losing them. Thu, 28 Apr 2011 04:37:00 EST Touch it once http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31298_touch_it_once My wife has a touch it once policy on everything. Especially the mail, but work for anything. If you touch it put it where it goes and there will be less clutter...except for my garage she stopped going in there! Darn it!!<br> <em>103</em> Tue, 26 Apr 2011 11:29:00 EST write it down http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31292_write_it_down write down whatever you eat or drink. its not really a secret but it will bring success <em>306</em> Tue, 26 Apr 2011 10:33:00 EST Scan/Shred/Recycle http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31266_scanshredrecycle It's really hard for me to throw away paperwork - always afraid I'll need it. I'm using a free pdf maker program on my pc and scanning documents, filling them on a portable hard drive, and then shredding the paperwork. Periodically I backup onto DVD's. I also recycle the shredded paperwork to get it out of the house.<br> Tue, 26 Apr 2011 00:52:00 EST Plan to Plan It http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31245_plan_to_plan_it I organize time in my schedule to plan out my meals and workout routines. I'll typically plan out workouts as far as 1 month in advance & I use 1-2 hours on Saturday to plan my weekly meals, about 2 hours to shop, and 3-4 hours on Sunday to cook. It leaves me SO much more time during the week to get to other chores. Mon, 25 Apr 2011 16:57:00 EST organize while watching tv http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31239_organize_while_watching_tv When tempted to snack while watching tv, bring your basket of unmatched socks, junk drawer or purse etc. and match up/clean out. Keeps your hands busy and mind off of food and gets something organized all at the same time! Mon, 25 Apr 2011 15:27:00 EST Organizing your plastic container drawer http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31205_organizing_your_plastic_container_drawer Take a peg board and cut it to fit on the bottom of your drawer. Get the right dowel rods to fit in the holes. Cut the dowels as high as you need them to keep things in place. Put dowels where needed to make compartments for the different size containers. Sun, 24 Apr 2011 16:54:00 EST What I do about the many recipes I find in magazines.... http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31189_what_i_do_about_the_many_recipes_i_find_in_magazines I've decided that, altho, I want to try several of the magazine recipe's I find, I don't have to clip it out and save in a pile of clipped recipe's. What a mess! Plus, I discovered that the pile of clippings frequently gets forgotten about, anyway. This is how I "organize" AND discipline myself in not continually fixing the fancy dessert recipe I may've found, etc. If it's NOT a dessert and the recipe ends up being a keeper...I will copy it to my file of recipes. Sun, 24 Apr 2011 10:00:00 EST Replace, Not Add To http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31036_replace_not_add_to When purchasing toys for the kids let them know that when they get a new toy they have to give away an old toy (or more if you really have an over-abundance to start with). This keeps the toy pile from getting too far out of hand. Works with clothes as well. <em>343</em> Wed, 20 Apr 2011 16:34:00 EST Make a transition place for clothes http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31024_make_a_transition_place_for_clothes When I get home at 11pm after a late hospital shift, there are 2 options for where I put the clothing I was wearing. The items that need laundering after each use go right into the laundry basket in the closet. The other items are ones that can be worn again (like jeans, blazers, bras, or items that were only worn for a few hours). These items go into a cloth-lined, decorative wicker laundry basket. The next morning or afternoon, I put these items back in their homes in my closet and drawers. Wed, 20 Apr 2011 13:02:00 EST organization http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=31013_organization That's the ticket! Wed, 20 Apr 2011 09:59:00 EST Electronic Cords http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=30971_electronic_cords I put all of my cords for my electronic devices in baggies and mark them, i.e., camera, iPod, camcorder, etc. I keep them all in a drawer by the computer. Tue, 19 Apr 2011 17:24:00 EST Getting ready for a garage sale http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=30866_getting_ready_for_a_garage_sale As you start putting things together for a garage sale ( I usually start piling things into a spare room or downstairs), I price everything before I put it in a pile. Then, come early saturday morning, I just take it out to the driveway and organize it. One less thing to do! Mon, 18 Apr 2011 08:32:00 EST Running Late in the Morning? Set an Alarm. http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=30687_running_late_in_the_morning_set_an_alarm I always lose track of time in the morning and end up running late, so I set an alarm about 5 minutes before I needed to walk out the door. When the alarm went off, it was supposed to alert me to hustle and get out the door, but I found that I became motivated to 'beat the clock' and be ready before the alarm goes off. I wish I would have discovered this years ago. <em>128</em> Thu, 14 Apr 2011 19:56:00 EST Delegation is Not a Weakness http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=30659_delegation_is_not_a_weakness I have a friend who won't let her children or husband help with the housework because they don't do it as well as she does. She's tired and stressed a lot! I send my kids an e-mail from work every morning with some praise, love, and a short "to-do" list. It's so nice to "see" the kitchen table or an empty trash can or vacuum "lines." when I come home. It may not be perfect, but it's a start! <em>244</em> Thu, 14 Apr 2011 13:08:00 EST Reduce magazine clutter http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=30576_reduce_magazine_clutter Don't buy the magazines! Take them out of the library! They don't really go "out of season" in the one month that you can't take them out. And even the ones that are a year old are still useful. Then you return them when you are done and they don't pile up! Tue, 12 Apr 2011 15:49:00 EST Ever Loose Your Car? http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=30547_ever_loose_your_car When parking in a large or unfamiliar parking lot, use your cell phone to snap a photo of the row or space number. It beats wandering around attempting to set of your panic alarm to find it. Tue, 12 Apr 2011 09:05:00 EST Take a before and after picture http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=30521_take_a_before_and_after_picture When tackling a big organization project, before and after pictures are a great motivation tool. Also, whenever organizing a closet, remove EVERYTHING and put it into 3 piles: keep, toss, donate. Go to http://nomorecounting.blogspot.com<br>to see how to organized a disaster linen closet. Mon, 11 Apr 2011 19:52:00 EST Being prepared http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=30518_being_prepared Everyday I prepare for my next day at work, and for the meals I will eat, by making sure that all the foods that are healthy and good (fruits and veggies) are at hand and already prepped. That way when I am packing my lunch I can just grab and go, and I don't get discouraged with lengthy prep time. <em>267</em> Mon, 11 Apr 2011 19:15:00 EST Electronic gadget organization & Ziplock Bags - HEAVEN! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=30454_electronic_gadget_organization_ziplock_bags_heaven So, I have headsets, charges, earbuds, etc. all over the place.<br>I sat down...well, i tried to sit down, and took the pile that sits on the counter and decided to organize with snack sized ziplock bags and post-it notes in each bag so I know what is what. It is such a smarter, cleaner system. Now, all the bags are in one catch-all box, with labels. Sun, 10 Apr 2011 12:14:00 EST Using the "SMIT" List http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=30375_using_the_smit_list One of the best things I learned during my years as a Mary Kay Sales Director was to make a list of the Six Most Important Things that need to be done each day, and to make that list before I go to bed each night. Fri, 8 Apr 2011 11:18:00 EST No more excuses... ;) http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=30305_no_more_excuses_ After I'm done with my grocery shopping I wash all my fruits and greens, so I can just pick them up and enjoy them. This is especially good with lettuce - just keep it in a Tupperware in your fridge so you can pick it out and make yourself a delicious salad. Thu, 7 Apr 2011 07:19:00 EST Label Maker Wonder http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=30132_label_maker_wonder The use of the label maker is just not for the office Mon, 4 Apr 2011 12:04:00 EST organizing meals http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29972_organizing_meals Organizing my meals helps me to stay on track and lose weight! Fri, 1 Apr 2011 13:29:00 EST Stacking glass food containers http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29891_stacking_glass_food_containers I recently switched to glass food containers for left overs. I hated to stack them because they stuck together sometimes and I was afraid they would break. I bought a package of coffee filters and now I put a paper coffee filter between the containers. It works great and of course they are reusable.<br> <em>30</em> Thu, 31 Mar 2011 03:37:00 EST 15 minutes http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29850_15_minutes I posted this before but reminded myself again so..... There is a web site that is called flylady that helps you get organized and their motto is - "You can do anything for 15 minutes" set you timer and work in 15 minute increments. It is amazing how much you can get done when you know you only have to do it for 15 minutes. <em>306</em> Wed, 30 Mar 2011 12:39:00 EST Recycle magazines differently http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29829_recycle_magazines_differently While waiting in my doctor's office there are only a few mags and they are often quite old, so instead of taking my mags to the recycler, I take them to the doctor's office. Wed, 30 Mar 2011 07:52:00 EST Organize... Save Time... Designated Place for Everything! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29821_organize_save_time_designated_place_for_everything A place for everything, everything in its place. <br>Easier and Quicker to clean the house, if each item has a designated place. Wed, 30 Mar 2011 00:45:00 EST Start Small - Just START http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29796_start_small_just_start Do something small. <br>Organize that pile of mail, find a place to keep your keys so that they are always in the same spot, organize your pots and pans, throw out an old prescription.<br>Do something small, it'll give you the push you need to get more done! Tue, 29 Mar 2011 16:06:00 EST Easier Button Matching Later http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29794_easier_button_matching_later When I buy a new piece of clothing, I use a Sharpie to write the name of the clothing item on the envelope containing the extra buttons ("blue jacket", "black Macy's pants" etc.) before putting it my sewing box. Saves a lot of time finding a matching button later, and If the clothing item goes to Goodwill later, I pin the envelope onto it. Tue, 29 Mar 2011 15:03:00 EST Get Rid of Paperwork http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29780_get_rid_of_paperwork I scan all important paperwork into a separate hard disk drive so I can get rid of all the paperwork that accumulates around the house. I create folders for each category, i.e., car, house, bills, medical, job, insurance, my son's report cards, etc. (whatever you need). Tue, 29 Mar 2011 10:50:00 EST Try and declutter one thing each day http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29741_try_and_declutter_one_thing_each_day Every day pick one thing to declutter, be it a drawer, a counter or your desk. Get a paper shedder and shred old bills or papers you no longer need, toss out anything you have not used in a year and give away any old clothes you no longer wear (like your old fat clothes), In no time at all your house will be less cluttered and look great! Mon, 28 Mar 2011 11:33:00 EST Recycle and reuse for better drawers http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29729_recycle_and_reuse_for_better_drawers I cut the top part off an eggcarton to be used in my utensil drawers as liners and separators. Many utensils fit right in these and they keep the bottom of my drawer clean. I can change them as often as I finish a dozeen eggs. Mon, 28 Mar 2011 06:08:00 EST Saving time in the Morning http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29644_saving_time_in_the_morning I plan meals for breakfast the night before. We pick out what we will want to eat and than that way we just dont grab the not so healthy breakfast foods. I make sure to have healthy choices( oatmeal,fresh fruit, ingredients for smoothies,etc.) on hand. Sat, 26 Mar 2011 10:57:00 EST I got a Hangup... http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29555_i_got_a_hangup As I was unpacking I came across a cloth shoe organizer that I had not used in 18 months because I lost the hooks. Well I decided to use it substituting tea cup hoops & stored odds and ends sewing items for my art supplies. They are just big enough for photos, thread, beads, ribbons you name it! I hung it on the back side of my closet door. I think it could be used for belts, scarves or whatever catches your fancy. The best $2 I spent and it did not go to waste. How 'bout that for repurp... Thu, 24 Mar 2011 17:20:00 EST Chore lists aren't just for kids. http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29553_chore_lists_arent_just_for_kids If you have a hard time learning how to organize and clean making a chore list for yourself (as an adult!) can help keep you on track and break up what seem like daunting tasks. Thu, 24 Mar 2011 16:03:00 EST Make a 2DO list daily http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29541_make_a_2do_list_daily Make a to-do list everyday with important things that need to get done. Refer to the list often throughout the day to stay on track. Thu, 24 Mar 2011 11:27:00 EST Meal Planning once and for all! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29529_meal_planning_once_and_for_all Sit down and do a meal plan for the next 3 or 4 weeks. Enter your favourite family meals. We have Pasta Tuesday, Chicken Wednesday, Beef Thursday, etc... I have 3 weeks of meal plans along with Grocery Lists prepared, and then rotate.. Week #1, Week #2, Week #3, and then back to Week #1. Add in a night for trying a new recipe.. and a date night out. I've also started a week#4 with new recipes that we tried and liked.. No need to do this every week. Just once and then use the same pl... Thu, 24 Mar 2011 07:52:00 EST A Way to Help Me Keep Track of the Sparkrecipes I Have Tried! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29465_a_way_to_help_me_keep_track_of_the_sparkrecipes_i_have_tried I have 8 Sparkrecipe cookbooks. I like to comment on the recipes in my private cookbooks so I will remind myself of helpful hints like what special ingredients others used that would help my hiatal hernia. I found if I DID NOT comment on a recipe that meant I have not tried it yet and that IS HELPFUL TO ME in keeping track of which recipes I have tried and which still remain to be tried! Wed, 23 Mar 2011 09:30:00 EST Make FlyLady's Habit of the Month Your SparkStreak http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29453_make_flyladys_habit_of_the_month_your_sparkstreak Every month FlyLady, who's system is free on www.flylady.net, has a monthly habit we work on all month long. It's also posted in the FlyLady Peace is Mine SparkTeam. How do you eat an elephant? One habit (bite) at a time. If you already have the monthly habit down, substitute something else you're working on. Wed, 23 Mar 2011 05:31:00 EST COOKING http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29429_cooking Love getting organized and cooking good healthy meals! Tue, 22 Mar 2011 14:53:00 EST T shirts in your drawers http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29395_t_shirts_in_your_drawers My husband has a lot of t shirts and I used to fold them up neatly and stack them on top of one another. My husband would mess up the drawer with each use. Now I fold the t shirts in half (length wise), fold in the sleeves and then finish by folding the shirt one more time. It gives me a perfect display of the logo and I stand them up so you can see all the shirts like cd covers in a box. And for his Guy Harvey shirts with the pictures on the back, I just fold them backwards so he see them. Mon, 21 Mar 2011 23:44:00 EST Recycling to save your dollars http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29367_recycling_to_save_your_dollars Reuse your ziplock bags until they can be used no more Mon, 21 Mar 2011 13:39:00 EST FLYLADY http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29316_flylady IF you are not familiar with flylady.com or spark people flylady teams, you need to go and check them out.<br><br>They will help you get organized and stay that way and make it fun.<br><br>it is free.<br><br>go check it out.<br><br> <em>104</em> Sun, 20 Mar 2011 12:53:00 EST Husband away; time to clean out closets! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29302_husband_away_time_to_clean_out_closets My husband hates to throw anything away... while he is off on a ski trip; I'll go through his closet and get rid of some things that he will never miss! Sun, 20 Mar 2011 09:26:00 EST Just Five Days http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29278_just_five_days Many companies send out bills that are due on the 1st & 15th. Like a number of companies, mine PAYS on the 1st & 15th. Sometimes money going into my account wouldn't get in before the bills were due and I'd have a penalty or have to pay more interest.<br>I contacted ALL the people who bill me, including my mortgage company, & they have all agreed to make my bills due on the 5th & 20th. I had to climb a few "Customer Service" ladders, but now my bill paying doesn't cost me penalties or interes... Sat, 19 Mar 2011 17:18:00 EST Cleaning out closets http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29128_cleaning_out_closets When going through closets, keep several boxes or baskets at hand labeled "keep", "toss", or "give away." The "keep" boxes can be further labeled "winter," "summer" and "year-round." Then as you are going through your stuff, just put in the appropriate box. The "give-away" stuff can go to Goodwill or charity for the homeless. The "toss" will be for stuff that is too stained, worn, etc. to be used. Put a lid on the box of stuff that is out of season to store away. Rest goes back in the closet. Wed, 16 Mar 2011 13:29:00 EST Schedules, not just for school kids http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29077_schedules_not_just_for_school_kids I used to work as a before and after school program leader. Every year I would write out our daily schedule on a poster and post it for all to see. It helped all of us to know what was coming and therefore we were ALWAYS on-time and usually stress free. I decided today to make a schedule for my family! I hope it works as well for us here at home, I think it will!! I wont have to wait for my daughter to get grumpy before I start our nap routine and I will eat snacks so I dont binge later! Tue, 15 Mar 2011 14:10:00 EST cozi app keeps me organized http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29060_cozi_app_keeps_me_organized i use the cozi app to keep track of my todo lists, shopping lists. it also has a calendar but i don't use that. it's free and they also have an online version too. Tue, 15 Mar 2011 08:45:00 EST 3x5 card system is saving my life! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=29048_3x5_card_system_is_saving_my_life I have been learning and using a 3x5 card system that was created by the Sidetracked Home Executives, sister Pam Young and Peggy Jones. It takes a bit to set it up, but now that I have been using it for a few weeks, I am learning to customize it for myself, and my apartment. In the meantime, my home is much cleaner and I am feeling much less stressed out! With the goal-setting skills I am learning here at sparkpeople.com, I am finally getting it all together! <br><br> <em>104</em> Mon, 14 Mar 2011 20:49:00 EST Beds made,now I can check THAT off my TO- DO LIST! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28875_beds_madenow_i_can_check_that_off_my_to_do_list Making the bed up in the morning may sound like a silly secret,but it has made a difference in my FEELING better as to having one thing checked off the list of MY daily TO-DO list,but also I FEEL MORE ORGANIZED if I pass by one of the bedrms. and see the bed made!Plus my hubby noticed and commented on how nice it was to see the bed already made! Thu, 10 Mar 2011 21:05:00 EST Preparing for the Day Ahead http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28864_preparing_for_the_day_ahead I find it very useful to take 10 minutes out of my day in the evening to start preparing for the next day. For instance, fixing my kid's clothes for the morning, preparing what items I am going to use for breakfast, and quickie to do list for work. Thu, 10 Mar 2011 14:33:00 EST Power of 10 minutes or Ten items http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28840_power_of_10_minutes_or_ten_items For people overwhelmed with too much to do and not enough time. Either set the timer for ten minutes to clean as fast as you can or choose to toss, donate or put away ten things. When not faced with trying to complete the whole task it is easier to get started. Thu, 10 Mar 2011 01:21:00 EST Organizing For Dummies website http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28735_organizing_for_dummies_website This is a good site for organizing ideas<br>http://www.dummies.com/how-to/con<BR>tent/organizing-for-dummies-cheat-shee<BR>t.html Tue, 8 Mar 2011 19:36:00 EST 3 Box Rule http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28722_3_box_rule When you're cleaning out any space, gather 3 large boxes to put items in. <br><br>Mark them: "Keep", "Trash/Recycle", "Donate". <br><br>Everything goes into one of those three boxes until the room is clean. Once it's clean, put away the "keepers", toss the trash/recycling, and take away the donations! Tue, 8 Mar 2011 17:04:00 EST downsizing and organizing http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28670_downsizing_and_organizing to keep our dvd's and cd's put away and cut way down on the space they take up I bought 24slot carriers for them. Now we have 3 "books" of dvd's/cd's that take up 6inches of space instead of 2 shelves full! Plus I got them at dollar tree for $1each! Mon, 7 Mar 2011 21:10:00 EST Other Uses for Baby Wipe Boxes http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28556_other_uses_for_baby_wipe_boxes I recently tore off the lid of a box of fabric softener and placed it inside standing up so it's labeled and the rest of the sheets. It keeps the smell longer and looks better.<br><br>This idea also works well for kleenx. Cardboard boxes usually get smashed, wet and/or dirty in vehicles.<br><br>They make cheap neat craft storage containers that stack well. Sun, 6 Mar 2011 03:15:00 EST Are you drowning in paper? http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28454_are_you_drowning_in_paper Yeah, me too! At least I used to be before my brother taught me to "touch each piece of paperwork only once." This works especially well with that unwanted mail. Why stack it to sort out later? Now I take those circulars and offers straight to the recycling bin before they have a chance to pile up! It's made a big difference in our house. Maybe it will work for you too? Good luck! Fri, 4 Mar 2011 06:55:00 EST Cleaning and Organizing - Just do it! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28425_cleaning_and_organizing_just_do_it I have to say...I took to the floor last night and went through three piles of paper and who knows what.<br>What a great feeling!<br>Just do it. Stop looking at it and saying you'll get to it.<br>You will fee so much better. Thu, 3 Mar 2011 15:49:00 EST Like a free Life Coach http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28419_like_a_free_life_coach Flylady.net <em>252</em> Thu, 3 Mar 2011 14:44:00 EST Benefit of Organizing http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28417_benefit_of_organizing I find that being organized equals less stress. Thu, 3 Mar 2011 14:19:00 EST Something bad turn into something good http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28410_something_bad_turn_into_something_good A burning smell was emitting in my kitchen, and noticed it was the dryer, and that it cut off in the middle of the cycle. Procrastination did not help the lint hose that blocked up and overheated motor. After hubby taking the whole unit apart, it inspired me to organize the space. WISHED I did this sooner. So much nicer to see that done and not having to live with procrastination and dread of doing it. Had to have a fire lit under me to get it done. <em>20</em> Thu, 3 Mar 2011 12:44:00 EST Freezer organization http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28362_freezer_organization A few months ago I bought a chest freezer. They are notorious for their ability to swallow things and hide them in corners! I was able to find some baskets at Wal Mart that fit perfectly into the freezer. I used magnets to attach a white board to the top of the freezer door. I drew a rough diagram of each basket and labeled what each basket contained. I have seafood, cooked grains, breads, raw meats, ready to eat meals, nuts, soups, bean burgers, chicken broth packets... Wed, 2 Mar 2011 21:53:00 EST Scheduling & Keeping Appointments on the First of the Month http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28300_scheduling_keeping_appointments_on_the_first_of_the_month Another calendar tip that I've been doing for years is avoiding scheduling appointments on the first of the month. If the calendar is flipped to the next month on the first, you might have already missed your appointment. <br><br>Also, I try to turn the calendar on the LAST day of the month right after the morning review. That way I have a clear visual of what's ahead for the whole family. Tue, 1 Mar 2011 16:21:00 EST Make a daily list http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28276_make_a_daily_list A daily list of the tasks that I want to accomplish helps me get things done and it also gives me a great boost of self-esteem. It can be as short or as long as you like (be realistic, 20 large tasks will probably not get done and then you'll feel like you didn't succeed). Tue, 1 Mar 2011 10:16:00 EST Just 20 minutes http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28223_just_20_minutes So I have ADD and I have it bad! I decided that I want to have my garage clean. I am going to clean my garage 20 minutes a day. That way its not overwhelming and I am still accomplished! Mon, 28 Feb 2011 10:35:00 EST Fridge http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28217_fridge We keep a magnetic dry-erase board on the refrigerator. It lists everything from Doctor's appointments to groceries. Mon, 28 Feb 2011 07:47:00 EST Just the right amount http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28216_just_the_right_amount Got the best tupperware to take my lunch on the go. Serving sizes are measured out so that I can pack just what I need. Mon, 28 Feb 2011 07:37:00 EST Busy Family Schedules / Appts - How to keep Track / Don't Forget http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28195_busy_family_schedulesappts_how_to_keep_track_dont_forget Through four kids sports schedules and then work schedules at the local amusement park, my secret through the years to keeping track and also not forgetting appointments is a calendar. Sounds basic, but it's the location. Hang a calendar in the bathroom! Everybody looks at it as they are on the throne or drying their hair. You look over and think," Hey what's that written in the box". Also, as a bonus, save those calendars after the year's over for a history of your family's activities. Sun, 27 Feb 2011 18:02:00 EST cleaned out the old food http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28078_cleaned_out_the_old_food Today,i finally cleaned all the outdated,nutritionless and sugary foods from my pantry!It made me feel proud and powerful!! Fri, 25 Feb 2011 11:05:00 EST Piles of Papers http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28073_piles_of_papers I have four kids (three in school) and a husband...need I say more?! To help control the many papers (permission slips, fliers, calendars, etc.) that arrive on my kitchen counter daily, I keep a slim, free standing file folder box/holder on the counter next to the phone. Found this one at Target for $4! Each member of the family has a clearly labeled file and the kids put their own important papers that they might need later in the file all by themselves. Every night, I go through the file... Fri, 25 Feb 2011 09:55:00 EST The Essentials of Organizing http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28061_the_essentials_of_organizing 1. Sort<br>If you have a ton of stuff and/or clutter, with closets and all spaces crammed full, realize from the outset your goal is to keep ONLY the best 10%. Someone needs & can use the stuff you're hoarding - give away the good stuff, & you'll be blessed. Call a charity who picks up.<br><br>2. Containerize<br>What's left needs to be organized in a functional, unclogged, easy to maintain way with good free space. At this point you might find you need to purge again. Use containers, shelve... Fri, 25 Feb 2011 04:18:00 EST Organize to Your Strength http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28047_organize_to_your_strength Of all the organizational tips on Spark, no one mentions what is my best desk organizing method. Keep your work in stacks. When one of my first bosses saw my cluttered desk, he said, "A cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind". My response to His method was, "So what does an empty desk tell you?" That jammed him for the few minutes I took to explain. I do my work, and if it's not complete because I'm waiting on someone else, I put it in a stack and I Know where it is. I go straight to ... Thu, 24 Feb 2011 19:15:00 EST Handle it Once http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28025_handle_it_once Handle it Once-This tip has saved me soooo much time!<br>When you have a multi-task project-or anything you want to accomplish-Stay with that to completion. Thu, 24 Feb 2011 14:36:00 EST basket are my best friend http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=28006_basket_are_my_best_friend Getting organized helps lower stress in your life go through house whenever you have time and get rid of all that stuff you don't need. What is left decide how you want to store these items. I have a small house with little storage space so decorative baskets are perfect for me. I have beautiful baskets with lids that we store movie cases, cords, craft items, etc. Make you life more organized and love the way it looks too. Thu, 24 Feb 2011 08:29:00 EST Make a list http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27991_make_a_list It's an amazing feeling of empowerment to check things off of a list. It gives me incentive to get things done when I can do a job and cross it out. Bonus points if you do the worst job first, and then not have to think about it for the rest of the day. Having a list will see me get more done than not having one. And yes, I put exercise and strength training on it! Wed, 23 Feb 2011 21:48:00 EST Record Your Debit Card Usage http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27906_record_your_debit_card_usage I don't carry my checkbook with me much of the time and I use my debit card for purchases.<br>I got an extra check register and record all debit card purchases, or withdrawals from the ATM, in this.<br>When I get home I set down and record all the transactions so I don't have to keep track of all the receipts.<br>This has made balancing my checkbook a snap. Tue, 22 Feb 2011 13:33:00 EST Moving to a new town http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27858_moving_to_a_new_town We just moved cross country & to acquaint myself with places I think I'll want to frequent I've taken a small notebook into which I tape coupons, ads & other items of interest I cut out of the local paper. I have them in sections like Restaurants, Thrift Stores, Medical, Shopping, Pets, Attractions, etc. Mon, 21 Feb 2011 15:38:00 EST The "15 Minute" Rule http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27724_the_15_minute_rule When I have a pile of clutter that needs organizing, or a tedious job I dislike doing, I set a timer for 15 minutes. I tell myself I must only work that long. Every time I end up working much longer--sometimes even finishing the job! Sat, 19 Feb 2011 08:41:00 EST Organize your Desk http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27703_organize_your_desk Rather than trying to be super organized, try having a catch all that you can organize when you have more time. I have a pretty box that sits on my desk and any mail, bill, or coupons I get go in the box which I re-file once a week. My desk stays neater throughout the week and I don't stress so much about having to organize it "all the time". Fri, 18 Feb 2011 21:04:00 EST Clutter http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27678_clutter Everytime I bring something new into the house, something old goes out. Bought 2 new pairs of jeans recently and gave 2 pair to Goodwill. Fri, 18 Feb 2011 13:31:00 EST Organize For Success http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27659_organize_for_success I invest some time once a week to plan meals for the week ahead. Then the grocery list will be done, and when I get home from the store, I immediately enter any new food items I purchased into my favourites...that way I don't have to worry about it later or when I'm away from home and use my iPhone App. I also bag everything into 1 servings or into containers from Fit N Fresh. I love them!!! It's SOOO worth it to take some time to get it sorted. Fri, 18 Feb 2011 04:25:00 EST Proactive Weekly Plan http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27656_weekly_time_mgmt_plan_for_food_prep 2. CROCKPOT (CP) NIGHT: On eve of Groc Night, clean out fridge & serve Leftover Buffet. Put tomorrow's prepped meal in fridge, & put note on door: Remember To Plug In CP.<br><br>3. GROCERY NIGHT: Divide protein into meal-sized portions; freeze or marinate; put everything up, rotating stock FIFO. You have time to do this b/c dinner is ready in the CP when you walk in the door, & there is room in your clean fridge.<br><br>4. PRODUCE NIGHT: Usually day after Groc Night. Peel 5lb bag of carrots ... Fri, 18 Feb 2011 01:20:00 EST FlyLady http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27655_flylady Love the FlyLady.net website! She has taught me to that you can't organize clutter and to declutter 15 minutes a day. Babysteps and routines are key! Check it out! <em>250</em> Fri, 18 Feb 2011 00:21:00 EST Having food prepared http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27613_having_food_prepared To make sure that all my food is eaten and to make life a little easier each day I prepare all my food to be eaten the night before. I take breakfast, lunch and all snacks to work with me so that there is no debate over what to eat. That way when the food is gone I quite eating. Preparing dinner the night before makes less stress at dinner time. Thu, 17 Feb 2011 07:57:00 EST Organization means RELAXATION http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27588_organization_means_relaxation If you ever feel stressed out at home, look around you. If your like some people everything is thrown here and there so GET TO ORGANIZING. Organizing a place makes it seem bigger, more free, out in the open. It really makes you feel in order and less stressed, more relaxed. Wed, 16 Feb 2011 18:29:00 EST Losing Weight and Old Clothes http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27493_losing_weight_and_old_clothes Give them away on the SparkTeam, Weight Loss Clothing Exchange. You might even be able to get the new size you need.<br><br>http://teams.sparkpeople.com/<BR>WLCX Tue, 15 Feb 2011 09:23:00 EST LOSING WEIGHT AND OLD CLOTHES http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27460_losing_weight_and_old_clothes IN THE LAST 6 YEARS I LOST 108 POUNDS AND GUESS WHAT I DID WITH MY "FAT" CLOTHES?I STORED THEM IN THE GARAGE....JUST IN CASE!!WELL I'VE BEEN HEARING ABOUT WHEN YOU LOSE WEIGHT GIVE AWAY OR SELL THEM.BUT,I NEVER COULD! BUT TODAY IS VALENTINES DAY 2011 AND TO CELEBRATE MY 2 LBS DOWN I GAVE ALL OF MY CLOTHES TO MY NEIGHBOR WHO IS POOR AND SHE CRIED WITH HAPPINESS....IVE SHED THE OLD ME AND IF THOSE CLOTHES ARE GONE I WONT THINK WELL......MAYBE SOMEDAY! Mon, 14 Feb 2011 13:26:00 EST Hide incompleted projects http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27453_hide_incompleted_projects If I stack my desk with all of my in-progress, or to-be-started projects, looking at it all stresses me out. To reduce the stress, I keep a to-do list on the desk, but I put all of the papers, supplies, etc. out of sight in a drawer or closet. I only have my active project (bill paying, crafts, whatever) out in plain sight. Mon, 14 Feb 2011 11:58:00 EST Folding Sheets http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27414_folding_sheets Do you have a linen closet that explodes when you open the door? Here's my trick: Fold the fitted sheet as best you can to as small as you can. Place the folded pillow case on top. Fold the top sheet and wrap the whole bundle with it. A complete sheet set contained and all together! Sun, 13 Feb 2011 21:00:00 EST No time to clean out...buy some organizer bins http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27410_no_time_to_clean_outbuy_some_organizer_bins Put on some music and organize! Buy some bins/tubs and take that pile of junk, toss it in a bin...and at least it will look cleaner!<br>Then, when you have time, go through it bin by bin. Sun, 13 Feb 2011 19:32:00 EST Labeling your frozen meats/poultry http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27367_lebeling_your_frozen_meatspoultry When I come home from the supermarket, I wash and prepare the meats I want to freeze. Instead of buying prepackaged breaded fish or chicken, I do so myself and place them in freezer bags. I use a green marker to label fish and a black marker to label chicken. It helps me to identify my frozen chicken and fish easily.<br><br> <em>52</em> <em>53</em> <em>492</em> Sun, 13 Feb 2011 01:37:00 EST Never lose anything again! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27361_never_lose_anything_again Everything has a place, such as my keys go in my coat pocket in the winter. I put them there consistently, so I can find them when I'm looking for them and basically don't have to think about where they are.<br> Sat, 12 Feb 2011 22:45:00 EST Keep A Black Marker WITH the Masking tape for labelling leftovers! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27360_keep_black_marker_with_the_masking_tape_for_labelling_leftovers Whenever I have leftovers, I put them in plastic storage and label with masking tape & a black permanent marker when to "Eat By" and the date. I found it necessary to keep at least one or more black permanent markers RIGHT NEXT TO the masking tape in the drawer so I would be able to make "labelling leftovers" a habit! And now it has become one new healthy habit I have acquired !!! Sat, 12 Feb 2011 21:16:00 EST Keep stuff you use together - TOGETHER! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=27226_keep_stuff_you_use_together_together I've organized my kitchen cabinets, closets and cupboards so that things I use "together" are next to each other. Baking stuff is all in one part of the cupboard, staples in another, exercise clothes in a certain area of my closet, etc. I save time and frustration by not having to look for stuff. AND I keep only those things I use and love. Everything else gets donated, recycled or tossed. Thu, 10 Feb 2011 12:47:00 EST Kitchen Organization http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26976_kitchen_organization Want an easy way to:<br>Clean out freezer<br>Organize pantry<br>Clean out cupboards<br>Save a ton of money<br><br>Join a Pantry Challenge and eat down everything you have, stop eating out, homemade from scratch saves you so much money, calories, space, and organization. To save time and energy, use a crockpot which is very inexpensive electrically. Sun, 6 Feb 2011 18:55:00 EST more freezer space http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26959_more_freezer_space ever make a trip to costco only to have to throw out frozen food to fit your new purchases in your freezer?Here is a way to literally squeeze the most out of(or actually into) your freezer! Sun, 6 Feb 2011 13:43:00 EST clutter http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26906_clutter I have had success in reducing clutter this way. When I walk into a room and see something that does not belong there, or that is out of place I take care of it right then. It is easier for me than letting things pile up and then having to spend much more time returning items to their rightful places. Sat, 5 Feb 2011 11:48:00 EST Bill Reminder http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26782_bill_reminder I keep a small mail holder box hung up near a calendar. When a bill comes, I stick in the box and post the due date on the calendar. I keep the bills in order so that the next bill due is in the front of the box. The calendar gives me a visual aide to remind me when bills are due. Thu, 3 Feb 2011 06:00:00 EST Organizing Tools in Your Garage http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26745_organizing_tools_in_your_garage A new friend was visiting, & like a lot of guy visits we wound up in my garage. On entry, he became excited by how my tools were organized. Years ago I got tired of tracking down tools (sons, you know), so I bought a 4' x 8' pegboard, painted it gray & hung it next to my work table. I separated all my tools (screwdrivers, hammers, etc.) by category & hung them from the pegboard with hooks, from large to small. After hanging them, I traced an outline of each tool, then filled in the Wed, 2 Feb 2011 13:57:00 EST Thrift Store Junkie http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26717_thrift_store_junkie I LOVE shopping at thrift stores but found that my collection of clothing & other things was growing too big for my house. So now, every time I shop at the thrift store, I donate. For every item I purchase, I donate an item. Wed, 2 Feb 2011 09:23:00 EST Packing a healthy lunch http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26690_packing_a_healthy_lunch I am in the habit of packing my lunch as I clean up the dinner dishes and put away leftovers. This way the lunch is planned, and it's still early in the evening if I need to run to the store to get anything else for my lunch. If I wait till morning, it just doesn't get done! Tue, 1 Feb 2011 15:30:00 EST File Cabinet Color Coding http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26670_file_cabinet_color_coding Color code files to make it easier to find and file... ie put all monthly bills in blue, bank statements in red, auto insurance in orange etc... the rule of thumb: "touch it once" and file it away. Tue, 1 Feb 2011 11:10:00 EST Getting Organized http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26662_getting_organized I had a huge problem with organizing, and then I hired a professional organizer and she gave me a tip that is actually working for me.. After getting organized,when you bring some thing new into the house, eg..lamp, clothes, books, videos what have you, then one item must leave the house..It is a simple little rule but it actually works wonders, so now I have a box beside the door, and when I bring some thing new in, I take some thing else and put it in the box for donations.. Tue, 1 Feb 2011 10:02:00 EST Daily Planner http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26606_daily_planner I keep a calendar/daily planner. I track my spending for the day along with my appointments. I also write down mini successes for the day as they happen (Ie.. Ate a healthy breakfast, worked out, etc). <br> <em>86</em> Mon, 31 Jan 2011 13:13:00 EST Swap Box http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26585_swap_box I placed a swap box in my office for co-workers to put household items they do not want and/or take from... one person's junk is another person's treasure! In the Fall, whatever is left will be donated to a local Church fund raiser. Mon, 31 Jan 2011 10:12:00 EST Keeping His Study Area Organized http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26552_keeping_his_study_area_organized My husband like to study the Bible and his Sunday school lesson at the kitchen table. We have a small table that seats 4. He uses the study Bible , his regular Bible, a bible dictionary, a dictionary set that consists of two large dictionaries, a concordance and a couple of Sunday school books. To keep all of this in order I placed a small book case beside the table. It helps him to keep his material at hand, including pencils and writing material, leaving the table clutter free. <em>149</em... Sun, 30 Jan 2011 19:16:00 EST Organize Recipes http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26549_organize_recipes [This is what worked for me; customize to suit your life & family.] I'm a collector, so have a pile of all kinds of recipes, printed out, clipped out of Sunday's coupon section, and yes on cards. All shapes and sizes. Electronic does not work for me.<br><br>But when I want to fix something, it usually is based on food type. So what worked for me is buying sheet protectors, putting the recipes inside, mounting them with tape or staples on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper when necessary, and (cont'd... Sun, 30 Jan 2011 17:03:00 EST Organize Recipes http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26548_organize_recipes This is a duplicate, please click on the other one, thanks. SP site has issues sometimes! Sun, 30 Jan 2011 17:03:00 EST A place for everything... http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26501_a_place_for_everything Remember the adage, "A place for everything and everything in its place?" Put it into practice! It's the best way to keep your home neat and organized. Sat, 29 Jan 2011 20:02:00 EST How much can you do in a minute or two? http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26456_how_much_can_you_do_in_a_minute_or_two While waiting for the teakettle or microwave to finish, I use the time to wipe the counters, scrub the stove, or put things away. It's amazing how much you can get done in a minute or two, even after getting your cup ready for the kettle! Throw in the 3-4 minutes for steeping and you can do even more. Sat, 29 Jan 2011 04:15:00 EST Put it on the calender http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26436_put_it_on_the_calender I put my workouts on the calender the week before that way i'm more inclined to not skp them. Fri, 28 Jan 2011 15:45:00 EST Do it now!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26400_do_it_now Do your best to take care of the simple things as they come up instead of adding them to the "pile". Letting things pile up, and a stack of "to do's" become Mt. Everest! <em>198</em> Thu, 27 Jan 2011 22:54:00 EST setting a timer http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26384_setting_a_timer On the weekends when I'm feeling lazy, I set my phone timer for an hour to clean the apartment. I must clean the entire time and can't take any breaks (even to respond to text messages). Usually 1 hr is too much time to do the basics, so I end up doing some extra helpful organizing! Thu, 27 Jan 2011 15:48:00 EST Keep Workout Shoes Handy http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26381_keep_workout_shoes_handy I have a pair of workout shoes in my car, at my desk at work and, of course, at home. Cuts down on the excuses for not moving my feet. Thu, 27 Jan 2011 15:15:00 EST Use for spare buttons http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26355_use_for_spare_buttons Want a use for all those extra buttons? Always losing earrings? Pair your earrings and stick them through the holes of the extra buttons. Pairs of earrings are now easier to find and harder to lose! Thu, 27 Jan 2011 09:15:00 EST Take your shredder along with your cleaning tools. http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=26347_take_your_shredder_along_with_your_cleaning_tools When I got into Spring cleaning mode this year I was surprised the pieces of paper I found in my other rooms. I took the shredder with me and it sure saved time and trash space when I shredded things right away. I am getting better at discarding recipes and tips I have been hoarding. Pat in Maine. Thu, 27 Jan 2011 07:08:00 EST