Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Organizing the Kitchen/Homework Area/Family Central

I've said before that it's not that I'm not an organized person as much as I am a huge procrastinator.   That is an understatement really.  Why do today what you can do in a rush tomorrow? 

But that's why this happens.   
That is my kitchen table covered in about a week's worth of life. 

I actually like being organized.  I even have systems set up for organizing.  But I learned recently that because of my personality type they often do not work.

I need to see the things I need to do.   If I don't see them, I forget to do them.  

Often when people organize, they put things away.   That makes sense - part of the beauty of organizing is to cut down on clutter.  So you organize the clutter away.

Which is just not good for a person like me.  Out of sight out of mind.  It can be frustrating.

So, I decided this year that I had to figure out some systems that worked for me.  Because things are starting to get busy around here and I don't expect them to slow down with another child coming this Summer.  

A couple things have helped me so far.

Google Calendar - I update it weekly and print off the month. I color code it, highlighting things that are new to the week like doctor appointments and such, and magnet it to the fridge.  Daily reminders on my computer help me to remember what's going on.   On busy days, I can even print off an agenda.  I can also check my calendar and add items from my phone via texting - without internet connection on my phone.  Love it!  Now, if I could only find away to get this new Palm Pre I could have it with me all the time.  Hubby?

This homework station for my kids helps A LOT!  Everything is neat, organized and still cute but also practical and in plain sight for them. 

 Colored Pencils, markers, crayons, pens and pencils are all handy.


Hubby finished this bench to match our kitchen table and I can stash games and other miscellanous things the kids need out of sight.  And I can seat a bunch 'o kids at this table if needed. 

A calendar, school lunch menu, neighbors phone numbers on the inside of this cabinet door where phone books, medicines, vitamins and such are also stored.    There are my pens, Sharpies, scissors, hand lotion on the charging station for our phones. 

This is the side of my fridge with a memo board, paper to make lists, photos, and file holder with cute file folders for all of the kids paperwork.  The little Ritz envelope actually has coupons I can just grab on my way out the door.    The kids track out calendar is there, extra keys, nails, tacks and all kinds of stuff in those little magnetic tins. 

   That is how I made my table look like THIS!  Ta-Dah!!


Oh, and as a little sidenote here:  this table used to have SIX placemats.  One day my son spilled his milk on his and I set it aside to take it to the laundry.  Elmo found it and it looks like this now. 
What this dog will eat never ceases to amaze me. 

The last thing that helps me not to forget things is the garage door.  It is metal and for things that I absolutely cannot file away and need to have right in my face for a short time - I place them there with a magnet.  I don't have a picture, though.   It's stuff that you might put on the front of your fridge.  I personally like the front of my fridge uncluttered so the door works for me. 

Check out more tackles at Tackle It Tuesday at 5 Minutes For Mom

Also, great weekly lessons learned at What I Learned This Week at Musings of a Housewife.  

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Tania said...

Looks great! I love some of your ideas as I am the same type of personality. I have been struggling with organization for years but I just may steal some of those because they really look like they would work.

April said...

You are amazing! I love all those organizational strategies...esp the homework area. Hmmm. Makes me do some thinking...thanks for the ideas!

Stefani said...

It all looks great Janel! I also use my garage door for hanging stuff. I usually put the art projects that the kiddos bring home on there. The original idea was so that I could keep the front of the fridge clutter free, but somehow the art work was just replaced with other stuff. guess I still have some work to do!

Upstatemomof3 said...

Wow!! That is awesome!! What great ideas. I totally need to do something like this.

Susie said...

Awesome tackle!! I LOVE Google calendar. I couldn't live without it and I can sync it with my I-Touch:-)

Kelley said...

Awesome.... I love your table... I am feeling a kitchen table re-do in my future. Great tackle!

jen@odbt said...

Looks fantastic. Great idea about printing out the calendar. I might have to start doing that. I'm giggling over your "let it snow" sign only b/c I don't want anymore snow :)

Janel@Dandelion Dayz said...

Oh, you all are too kind. You know I cleaned it up really nice for the pictures. It hasn't looked like that much since. But at least I know it can and that makes me feel organized.

I love printing out the google calendar - SO helpful.

I also hang artwork on the door, Stef. BUT I have another great project for artwork that I should post soon.

I should also post the kitchen table re-do Hubby did. I do love my "new" old table.

LeAnn * ~ See Great Things said...

I never thought of using Google calendar like that, what a great idea! I love how you have organized everything. It is inspiring. ~

sheila said...

It must be that time of year. I am feeling the need to organize. I am working on turning a little area into a coat rack/mud room type area.

For art, I have a big old gold frame with nothing in it hanging in our den. I attached gold wire from side to side and use clothes pins to attach art. In the girls' room, I just humg long tie dyed looking ribbons horizontally on their wall to clothes pin art there. It holds a lot and both look pretty neat.

Do you have an idea for all the shoes, boots, etc? I finally got garbage bins and put them in the laundry room, but it definitely ain't the best set up :)

Musings of a Housewife said...

I think I am just like you with the organizing. I wish I had a better system. And if you want a Palm Pre, come on over and enter my contest! And enter the other 8 bloggers' contests too! :-)

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