- Magazines: I love to read magazines but I have a serious panic attack when they start accumulating in my house. Most of my magazines are about parenting (ok - 4 subscriptions here because I need all the help I can get), knitting (no subscriptions but lots of individual purchases, cooking (2 subscriptions) and just general life stuff (2 subscriptions). The knitting and cooking ones are easy. Me, who hates clutter, keeps all of them. They have nice tables of contents that make finding a recipe or pattern easy, so why mess with it? Also, if you are looking for something you know where to start. For example, you are much more likely to find a pumpkin recipe in a Fall issue than a Summer issue. The others are much more complicated. Potty training doesn't have a season. So, as I am reading my parenting and general life magazines I clip the articles I find interesting and might want in the future. As soon as I am done reading the issue it goes in the trash. The clipped articles go in a binder separated with labeled dividers. Some of my labels include: gardening, crafts, potty training, learning to read, and peer pressure. It works for me.
- Toys: Wow. Wish someone had told me about this before I had a kid. They overtake the house. They are everywhere. Here is my method to combat the clutter. In the playroom everything has an area...the kitchen area, the art area, the music area etc. Within each area are small baskets for the toys. Since I live in reality and realize that a clean playroom is my fantasy, not my children's, I have one BIG bucket that holds all of the toys that don't make it to the right home by the end of the day. A few times a week we make a game out of putting everything back in it's right place. I try and only keep a few toys in the living room and rotate them. The bedrooms are really just a smaller scale of the playroom. Except for the bookshelves which are sorted by category (holiday, Dr. Suess, Princess stories etc.)....C'mon, I warned you at the beginning that I was crazy.
- Paperwork: I think I hate the paper that the bills generate even more than paying them! I have a filing system where we throw out the old bill as soon as the new one comes in. Those are all in one folder. I then have separate folders for insurance, tax information, nursery school, student loans, bank statements and medical records. Yes, I admit that they are color coded. And yes, I admit that I am a little bit sad that in real life you are not graded on notebook organization.
I hope those were helpful...feel free to share your favorite organizational tip with me. You know I want to hear it :)