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Thread: Organizational Tools/Tactics?

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    #1

    Organizational Tools/Tactics?

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    OK...so I am NOT a naturally organized person by ANY means. I like budgets and organizing schedules but as far as actual organization I tend to have clutter everywhere and an inability to throw things out even when I never use it...

    What are some tricks/organizational tools people use to keep their house uncluttered? I really want to make this the year I master keeping my house uncluttered...I don't leave dirty dishes laying around or anything, just always seem to end up with stuff that collects on countertops and end tables...
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    Welcome to the wonderful world of mise en place. This is a kitchen thing that I use at work, but it applies at home as well. It’s one of the very first things young cooks have drilled into their heads. I know people who quite literally have this phrase tattooed somewhere on their body, because it’s practically an article of faith.

    Mise en place is a French term, like much kitchen language is. It means “putting in place, setting in place”.

    Have a place for everything, somewhere where it always lives. The countertop does not count as a “place where things live”. Don’t randomly leave things on the counter just because you don’t know where else to put them right now. That’s a workspace, so it stays completely clear at all times unless you’re working. If you ARE working, you have all the things you’re going to need for this task laid out ready to use where you can get at them...but absolutely nothing else.

    You either have something out because it you’re using it right now and it needs to be out, or you put it away back where it lives.

    What this means in real terms is that when you’re working (whatever it is you’re doing) you can do it without looking. You can do it without stopping, because everything you need is in front of you and ready to use but there’s no clutter or random extra items to confuse your hands. It goes as far as having a specific place for one sharpie, so you can always find it even when your attention is somewhere else.

    Your mise is your brain. If you do it right, it will think for you.
    If I cannot move heaven, I will raise hell
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    #3
    Make it easy for yourself, like be an organized mess. I'm not good at this btw, I leave crap everywhere. My main issue has always been keeping my bathroom counter uncluttered because I use too many things every day that it just takes me too long in the morning to put it all away or drag it all back out every night. So I bought a little basket from target and I keep all that shit in there now, so now instead of putting 50 bottles away I just have to put the basket away! It's the best idea I've ever had in my life. The basket itself is a disaster, it's literally facewash, a hairbrush, contact solution, various serums etc, just all thrown in haphazardly but it's *contained* so it takes zero effort. I'm working on applying that to the rest of my life lol.
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    That’s exactly what I need a place for everything - and in some cases a basket to easily put away everything and hide the chaos lol im the same with the bathroom counter :s im going to try that basket idea!
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    Make it easy for yourself, like be an organized mess. I'm not good at this btw, I leave crap everywhere. My main issue has always been keeping my bathroom counter uncluttered because I use too many things every day that it just takes me too long in the morning to put it all away or drag it all back out every night. So I bought a little basket from target and I keep all that shit in there now, so now instead of putting 50 bottles away I just have to put the basket away! It's the best idea I've ever had in my life. The basket itself is a disaster, it's literally facewash, a hairbrush, contact solution, various serums etc, just all thrown in haphazardly but it's *contained* so it takes zero effort. I'm working on applying that to the rest of my life lol.
    Our linen closet, bathroom stuff, and cleaning stuff has all been pseudo-organized into baskets because of this. Way easier to corral everything into the basket than try to balance the stupid bottles of stuff. We also got stacking basket things, so more of the shelf space is used (we have oddly spaced & pretty deep cabinets & shelving).

    I also have Command hooks set up for blow-drier, straightener, curling iron, etc, so the cords are kept mostly out of the way. For me personally, who is super organized at work and the opposite at home, I like things to hang up because it bothers me if there's a bare hook, and I know that'll prompt me to hang whatever it is back up rather than leave it wherever I got distracted and put it down.
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    #6
    My problem is every item has it own place, and then my boyfriend will throw down a whole new load of crap items every couple of days...as he cleans out his truck, his rack, his work space...its maddening!!! I think he enjoys having a clean space just so he can add more crap too it and doesn't realize I'm working my ass off to keep the clean spaces clean!! LOL sorry for the random rant
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by AMP1984 View Post
    Thatís exactly what I need a place for everything - and in some cases a basket to easily put away everything and hide the chaos lol im the same with the bathroom counter :s im going to try that basket idea!
    Google the term mise en place and put it to work. Chef it. This, my lovely, is how we crank out meals for everyone and their mother every night

    The only difficulty is that you have to consistently do it. All the time, not just sometimes. Have a place for everything all the time, have everything you need for a given task prepared and laid out ready to use before you begin all the time. And for Godís sake clean as you go, itís much easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Love7 View Post
    My problem is every item has it own place, and then my boyfriend will throw down a whole new load of crap items every couple of days...as he cleans out his truck, his rack, his work space...its maddening!!! I think he enjoys having a clean space just so he can add more crap too it and doesn't realize I'm working my ass off to keep the clean spaces clean!! LOL sorry for the random rant
    See, if it were me I would just throw all his shit out. Heíll learn pretty quickly not to be a pig if the mess he makes keeps disappearing when he thinks he needs it.
    If I cannot move heaven, I will raise hell
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    #8
    I'm a huge fan of a household purge. I basically forced myself into being organized and living minimally a few years back. I don't hold on to stuff, I'm not sentimental at all, so it wasn't a difficult transition. I got rid of extra shit I didn't use, old dishes/mugs, and clothes that didn't fit. I basically asked myself if I'd used/worn/needed the thing in the past 6 months and if the answer was no, it was donated, sold, or tossed. It was basically the best thing I ever did for myself and now I do a mini-purge every four months or so. Everything has a place, and everything I use during the day is put back when I'm done. This was the part that was the hardest for me, but once I realized that taking the 30 seconds to put that shit up, my life improved so much because I felt organized.
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    #9
    I still struggle with this but make sure you have enough shelves/boxes/drawers. With DH and I, I've noticed if I make sure to buy storage devices, he is good at actually organizing into them, and I'm good at keeping up with it once it's organized. Team effort

    We recently got a new coffee table that has a hidden storage spot and a bunch of crap got shoved in there. So I measured it and bought 6 small wicker baskets to fit inside the storage area and yesterday DH organized all of our usual "coffee table" stuff into them (remotes, coffee table books, DH's camera accessories, etc). Now there's no clutter at all and each category of item has it's own basket.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Matchbox View Post
    Welcome to the wonderful world of mise en place. This is a kitchen thing that I use at work, but it applies at home as well. It’s one of the very first things young cooks have drilled into their heads. I know people who quite literally have this phrase tattooed somewhere on their body, because it’s practically an article of faith.

    Mise en place is a French term, like much kitchen language is. It means “putting in place, setting in place”.

    Have a place for everything, somewhere where it always lives. The countertop does not count as a “place where things live”. Don’t randomly leave things on the counter just because you don’t know where else to put them right now. That’s a workspace, so it stays completely clear at all times unless you’re working. If you ARE working, you have all the things you’re going to need for this task laid out ready to use where you can get at them...but absolutely nothing else.

    You either have something out because it you’re using it right now and it needs to be out, or you put it away back where it lives.

    What this means in real terms is that when you’re working (whatever it is you’re doing) you can do it without looking. You can do it without stopping, because everything you need is in front of you and ready to use but there’s no clutter or random extra items to confuse your hands. It goes as far as having a specific place for one sharpie, so you can always find it even when your attention is somewhere else.

    Your mise is your brain. If you do it right, it will think for you.
    This is the problem. It does not take into account those people whose minds are so disorganized they can not think about a place for everything.
    Additionally, I suffer from "out of sight, out of mind." If I do not have every file out that I need to work on, it never gets done.
    I will post photos when I get back to the office.

    I hate drawers. Drawers are a black hole for stuff you never see again.
    Lists are wonderful. Except I always lose or forget to look at my list of lists.
    Calendars are great. Each day it reminds me that I forgot to look at my calendar the day before.

    My solution Dr jour? I have gotten rid of lots.
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