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These Home Organization Ideas Belong in the Trash -Have you found organization tips that really work?

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These Home Organization Ideas Belong in the Trash

Posted by Amy Keyishian on February 20, 2012 

playroomI would dearly love to be organized. I go to friends’ houses and think, “Everything has its place.” By contrast, in my home, everything has its place, and that place is … everywhere.
I'm a sucker for articles on sites like about getting clutter under control, but they always show magazine-ready rooms bathed in gentle morning light with hardwood floors and plenty of room. When Remodelista starts putting out a weekly newsletter called “closet-sized rentals with ugly carpeting made to look kinda cute despite themselves,” I will jettison the self-flagellation and sign right up.
And then sometimes, I just get snarky and sit around thinking up obnoxious comebacks for perfectly nice organizing tips. Cue my mom: “If you spent this much energy following those Flylady tips, your house would look like Gwyneth Paltrow’s!”
Maybe so. But this is what you get from Sister Slacker-Snark. So enjoy.

Terrible Tip #1: “Sort by activity.”
Oh my God. This is like saying, “Step one: Get completely organized.” I want to stab myself in the face even THINKING about the day of hell this tip would entail. First, I’m supposed to sort EVERYTHING into “keep, trash, donate.” When that’s done, I allegedly sort yet again by activity, so I know what kind of storage to get. News flash: The storage I get is called “what’s available on Craigslist,” and every single activity (my kids are 1.5 and 3) is “hurl things randomly around the house.”
Oh God, God help me, this woman just told me to get the kids to help me sort. I want to die.
Terrible Tip #2: “Find a place for everything.”
This advice seems to make sense: Put little-used toys on higher shelves, much-used ones on the lowest. And get increasingly smaller bins for the increasing number of smaller items that seem to overrun every playroom.
Well, sure. Every once in a while I get a wild hair and go nuts trying to organize things. I’ll run to Marshalls and buy some cute $5 bins, and voila! The living-room-basted cuddlies and plastic toys finally have a home. But by the end of each day, there’s still an indeterminate pile of stuff that seems to fit into neither place that takes much too long to sort. What is all that stuff? I need some kind of home archaeologist. It’s like this: weird, scary mound of broken crayons, boxes that something is supposed to go in, and single dolly shoes.
I think that’s the basic problem here: My storage bins, in a strange twist of ironic fate, become part of the parade of clutter. And the Pile of Mystery continues to haunt me.
Terrible Tip #3: “Label, label, label.”
Amy’s response: “Bite me, bite me, bite me.”
Terrible Tip :4: “Pay attention to comfort and style.”
This is the kind of advice that makes me wonder who is having kids these days. Really? Stain-resistant carpeting is a good idea? Play mats are nice on hardwood floors? The hell you say. I thought I was supposed to litter a sisal mat with broken Pfaltzgraff and novelty thumbtacks.
Then again, I did recently post a recent article on Facebook, asking, “Why is this child so glum? Maybe because she lives in a walk-in freezer.” Clearly not all rooms ostensibly designed for children are actually, you know, designed. For children.
Terrible Tip #5: “Create a cleanup system.”
Lady, if I could create a cleanup system, I wouldn't have this problem. And I’ll make a chore chart just as soon as I can figure out what one looks like.
Have you found organization tips that really work? How mad do you get at decluttering articles obviously written by people who already have OCD?

by on Feb. 21, 2012 at 10:57 AM
Replies (11-17):
by Linnette on Feb. 21, 2012 at 8:28 PM
We've added shelves to Kyle's closet and we have shelves that hold plastic bins but what it all boils down to is he needs a playroom! LOL
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by Member on Feb. 21, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Lol I could have written this....especially the part about storage bins becoming part of the clutter. I always feel bad because none of the parts for the toys seem to stay together.
by on Feb. 21, 2012 at 11:48 PM

Lately my way of organizing has been closing doors. As in toss all of Wyatt's toys in his room and close the door, then toss all of DH stuff in the office and close the door. I have OCD and am bi-polar. About once a month I get into a clean everything mood. Usually I send my son to my mom's for the day and just start gathering up to toss or for a garage sale. I try to have a sale 2x a year.

by Bobbie on Feb. 21, 2012 at 11:54 PM
I enlisted these two rules when ds got old enough to clean up after himself.

#1- If your room is so messy I fear rats or opossum may live there then I will come in with a big black trash bag and sing while I chunk your shit in it.

#2-If something of yours is left in any room that isn't yours at the end of the night I will kidnap it and hold it for ransom. If he wants it back he draws a ransom card from my envelope and follows the demand. Then and only then may he have it back.

It works better then you would think.
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by on Feb. 22, 2012 at 8:49 AM

i've made peace with my somewhat disorganized home.  the only thing i ask is for dd to clean up  her toys.  how dhe cleans up is ok as long as it's off the floor. 

i used to freak out over the house being disorganized but i would rather have a disorganized home and more time to spend with my family. 

check out pinterest - they have lots of great organizing ideas.  some blogs aimed to help you organize are too over-the-top; i work full time and don't have time to organize every little thing or put them in a specific place in my house.  while it looks great, it's hard to maintain since we have so much other stuff to do in addition to raising kids!

by on Feb. 22, 2012 at 9:53 AM
The best thing that ever worked for me with playrooms is never keep everything out. I am a single mom of 6 and I really don't have time to clean all day and I love everything to be neat. I keep some things out and the rest is organized in covered bins in the closet. Then every month we alternate toys aand stuff. I mean kids can only play with so much at one time. They love it cause they get different toys to play with instead of having everything all the time then they will just get bored with it all and end up with a mess.
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by Nannerz on Feb. 22, 2012 at 10:52 AM
When my boys were young, 2-3, I taped pics of clothing items onto the drawer they were for. It helped them learn where to put each thing when they put their own clothes away. It also worked when with their toys too.
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