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Make your life easier with these tips to get organized



Our readers share the ways they keep their families on track

Readers share tips for keeping their family organized


We asked our readers to share their best organization tips with us. The tips are divided into six categories. Read on to see if yours is here.

Cleaning 

  • Keep a garbage bag in your car to keep your car tidy from trash that could accumulate. Bethany, Milwaukee
  • Clean up as you meal prep! What a difference it has made for my time spent in the kitchen. Stacie, Goshen

Decluttering   

  • First, out with the old! Then able to organize. Denise, Bronx
  • If you haven't worn it or used it in a year, get rid of it. Kevin, Newburgh
  • When organizing take everything out and start with a clean slate. Lauren, Springfield
  • Organize one drawer or cabinet each weekend. Marissa, Liberty
  • Go through closets each season and donate, donate, donate. Renee, Warwick
  • Making sure the desk is clear of paper at the end of every day...start with a clean slate tomorrow! Todd, Albany

Labeling

  • Using labeled bins to organize the pantry. I watch a lot of hacks online to organize my space. Andrea, Hopewell Junction
See what our staff had to say about this great 

Planning

  • Make a plan and stick with it by setting goals. Albert, Poughquag
  • “Visual schedules, 1 minute rule: if you can do the job in a minute or less, do it now instead of putting it off!” Allison, Putnam Valley
  • I am a family of 4. In my calendar we each have a color to indicate which one has something going on every day. That way I know who to prepare for the next day. Amy, Middletown
  • “Collect all the data! Make note of where all the schedule updates come from - different email lists, texts, apps, etc. and make sure you’re subscribed and get notifications/alerts to see when there are new dates, changes, etc.” Anneliese, New Paltz
  • Set reminders on your phone or set a timer when you have time constraints and need to move on to other tasks. Annemarie, Clinton Corners
  • Meal Planning! No more scrambling to figure out what's for dinner or last mute trips to the supermarket. Bethanne, Fishkill
  • Keeping my schedule on my phone on a widget that can be seen every time I open my phone. Heather, Saugerties
  • “Color coding with markers for chores, points, and bathtime schedules.  Kids pick random markers, each marker color has a corresponding chore. Points are given (and taken away) as colorful pompoms to fill a jar for a special outing/toy/request. Bath time schedules are done with self-decorated by children popsicle stick to rotate.” Jennifer, Hopewell Junction
  • My kids put any school-related paperwork that needs parent attention or approval in a special basket. The basket is right near where they keep their school bags so that they can remember to take out any important notices. They’ve gotten into the habit so that now I don’t have to rummage through their school bags or continually ask them every day if they have anything for me to review. Margaret, Pelham
  • “I have 5 children and organization is a MUST in my home. I label all my children’s things by color. Each child has their own favorite color and that is what we go by. Colored baskets, colored chairs, colored bags and colored LISTS. Each child’s chores are listed based on their favorite color and all they have to do is follow the color list and do what is stated under their color. We have fun with it and the children LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it this way.” Stephanie, Middletown

Sorting

  • Making a list on your phone on your phone notes app do you don't forget. And adding bill due dates to your calendar. Jennette, Poughkeepsie
  • I use hanging shoe organizers for weekly outfits. One for each day of the week for my kids. Karen, Hopewell Junction
  • Our Winner “This might sound crazy but laundry at my house is insane. We just moved our two girls into their own bedrooms and gave them their own hampers. So, my 8-year-old now does her own laundry. We toss it all in one wash - wash it on cold. Nothing too complicated. I help my 5-year-old because she’s young and too short, but trying to show her how so she can handle it as she gets older. It shows them responsibility and helps ease up the never-ending laundry for me. It isn’t super organizing but it helps keep me on top of the laundry better which means less laundry in the house which means a more organized house.” Liz, Wappingers Falls
  • “Organization is subjective. If clutter being out of site out of mind is what best suits you then it’s ok to have a junk drawer or messy closet. Let those be the places you can easily store something until you have the time and energy to thoughtfully rehouse. If you donate as much as me, you’ll want to keep a box in a closet or in the garage to quickly tops the outgrown clothes and toys. Never forget the power of purging. If you haven’t used it yet you probably won’t ever. No need to organize items that just move around the house.” Maureen, Wappingers Falls
  • Everything should have a home! If things are sitting out in the open and they don't have a home - find a home for it or get rid of it! Helps majorly with clutter. Michelle, Poughkeepsie
  • “Labels are a necessity. Donate, sell or throw out anything that hasn’t been used or worn in the last two years.” Tracy, Lagrangeville
  • “Documents & receipts are the biggest challenge in keeping things organized in our family. Anytime I get new papers that may or may not be needed in future, I try my best to scan them right away using CamScanner App, convert it into a PDF file, and save them in my computer into categorized folder. I then shred the originals. Make sure to have a backup copy in an external hard drive though!” Umesh, Poughkeepsie



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