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How Are You Getting Organized in 2013?

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How many of you have made a resolution to more effectively organize your finances and/or life in general this year? I am guessing that quite a few of you are looking to improve your organizational methods, as I have received many emails in the last few days regarding this topic. As a result, I decided to put together a post with some organization tools to help you get started. Please feel free to mention other organizational tools that you are fond of in the comment section below.

* FREE Coupon Savings Tracker Spreadhsheet
Head over here to download this spreadsheet for free (available for Microsoft Excel 2010, Microsoft Excelย  2003-2007, or Open Office). Just go in and enter the information from your receipts and you can keep track of how much you are saving and how much you are spending.

* FREE Online Money Management Tool
Head over to to create a budget, categorize your purchases and more – for FREE!

*FREE Downloadable Calendars, Meal Planners, To Do Lists, and More
– Head over to where you can download lots of free (and super cute!) schedules, checklists and more to keep you organized in style!
– Also, be sure to head over to IHeartOrganizing to check out her adorable and free printables. The Morning School Routine Printables and Bedtime Routine Printables are great to print and hang up for your kiddos.

* Consider joining FlyLady for FREE
Join FlyLady and you’ll receive daily FLYmail with lessons that will guide you through babysteps to help you set up routines, get rid of your clutter, and put your home and life in order.

How about you? Do you have any organizational tips and tricks to share with all of us?

Join The Discussion

Comments 65

  1. J

    How about credit karma? It’s a great way to keep track of your credit score and gives you tips to improve it.

  2. Jennifer

    My husband and I use Out of Milk app on our phones to keep track of shopping lists. It automatically syncs our lists together so that when one of us stops for at the grocery store or walmart etc, we know what we need to get. I was always leaving the shopping list home so this is great since its on my phone

    • Jane T

      I looked for this but can’t find it… Can you tell me the exact name?

      • Samantha Buente

        I think she may be referring to Remember the Milk…

      • Jak

        Out of Milk Shopping List or Out of Milk Pro Unlocker by Capigami, INC.

      • Jennifer

        the app is called Out of Milk, we use the free version. I typed Out of Milk in google play and it comes right up.

  3. Valerie

    Thanks!! I pinned them all, so cute!

  4. Kristen

    I’m actually building shelves in my room now, building in my desk and dresser and I love the desk in the picture above! I might just actually use this idea!!!!!!

  5. Jen B

    I have been using Astrid (free Android app) to help me remember to do household chores, budgeting items, entering coke rewards points, doing my swagbucks, etc. It allows you to set up repeating tasks, reminds you if you haven’t done it, and gives you praise when you check off an item.

    • Brandy

      Thanks for sharing this idea. I have been looking for an app like this but was never able to find one! I am great at making lists, but I am very bad at actually remembering to do the things on my lists, so this will help tremendously!! My husband is going to be so happy! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Sarah

    Last year I was looking for a way to stay on top of cleaning my house and couldn’t find anything online that fit our household. Finally, I figured out the perfect system for me! First, I made a list of all the cleaning tasks that need to get done, and I mean ALL! Daily type things like wiping the kitchen counter and things like cleaning ceiling fans and baseboards. Then I wrote down how often I wanted to do each one. After I got that list completed I went to the calendar on my computer and started entering the tasks. If I wanted to vacuum 2 times a week, I set it to repeat every two days. If I want to do the fans once a month, I set it to repeat just once a month. At first it looked like a daunting list on paper, but once I got it into the calender it really is just a couple of small things a day. Sure, some days have more, but overall I found it to be VERY manageable. My house is always clean and I never have to dread doing the baseboards or what not because they never get too bad anymore! I hope this system will work for someone else!

    • Debbie Fisher

      Are you willing to share your lists/schedules? So much easier to grab ideas from someone else!

      • Sarah

        Sure! Tomorrow I’ll come back with my list ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Jennie

          Thanks! I’d like to see that list as well!

    • Sandy

      Oh, fabulous! I’d love to see your list!

    • MommySpendsLess

      I’d like to see it too. Maybe if you emailed it to Collin she’d be willing to feature it as a guest post…?

    • Sarah

      So glad others like this idea too! Here is how I do it for my family (two adults, a 3 year daughter, and Siberian Husky (aka a furball!) dog. Our house is 2 bedrooms and one bath. My standards might be higher or lower than yours, but it’s easy to adjust to your needs. Just put stuff in the calendar so it’s spread out to how you like it. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to schedule all the every other month things on one day since you’d be more likely to not do it. Make sense?

      TASK (occurance)
      Bathroom sink and counter (daily)
      Kitchen sink and counter (daily)
      Pick up + de-clutter one room of the house (daily)
      Dry mop (4x a week)
      Vacuum (3x a week)
      Mop (weekly)
      Toilet (weekly)
      Brush the dog (weekly)
      Bathtub (every other week)
      Edge the floors with the vacuum hose (every 3 weeks)
      Dry dust with Swiffer cloth (every 3 weeks)
      Wipe off kitchen appliances (every 3 weeks)
      Dust with dusting spray (monthly)
      Ceiling fans (every other month)
      Baseboards (every other month)
      Window & door woodwork (every other month)

      • Jennie

        Thanks so much! It helps to have it all mapped out. I appreciate your sharing!

      • Margie

        Don’t have to do laundry huh?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • Sarah

          Ha! I wondered if someone would notice laundry isn’t on my list! I just do laundry whenever I feel like it or need to…as long as my husband is home to put it away! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Caroline

    Beware- 90% of FlyLady emails are promoting their cleaning products (which aren’t worth the money!) follow it online and save yourself from 10 emails a day!

    • Betsy

      Agree! I signed up several years ago and had a hard time getting off the list since there were SO many (15+ a day) emails it was very overwhelming and discouraging to me. To me Fly Lady was a pest buzzing in my ear ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Michelle C

    I am not naturally organized but I love iheartorganizing and I can’t get enough of their creative, beautiful homes that just happen to use budget friendly ideas! We recently made a desk nook in my kitchen that I made after being inspired by these ladies. The only thing that we spent money on was the drywall! My husband made me some shelves out of scraps that look exactly like the desk space at abowlfulloflemons! Happy organizing, hip2savers!

  9. Lisa

    My husband and sons redid my storage room and added more shelves floor to ceiling like a grocery store and I am in Heaven! More room for COUPONING! YAY! They put metal drawers in my kitchen for my pots and pans and dividers to stand up my cookie sheets. Oh that is sweet as chocolate. Finally, my ONLY wish for Christmas was a Neat Desk because we own three businesses and the file cabinets and paperwork for the three businesses is making me nuts. I am super excited to statr this year more ogranized.

    • Rebecca

      Ooooo, I am super curious about how you like this. I am interested, and would love to get rid of my trunk of receipts!!

    • Sandy

      Oh, you have a very good husband and sons!

  10. shannon

    I think once I take down all of the Christmas decor and tree next week-end I will be able to start thinking about organization for 2012. Great inspiration!


      me too

  11. shannon

    *2012* ha! that just proves how not prepared for organization I am for the coming year.

  12. Amanda

    It’s not exactly frugal, but we bought the Rubbermaid closet organizing kits for our closets and are working on organizing them. My 4 year old’s room is always a disaster so any toys in her room are organized into clear bins with a label and the shelving units were installed at a level where she will need to ask an adult to reach a bin. Hoping this will cut down on a cluttered floor. Either way, the new shelving units make the closet look nice and organized ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ash

      I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that has a problem with keeping my kids room clean. It’s a constant source of frustration for me. I try to keep toys to a minimum, I have all the organizing bins for them to put the toys in them, etc. I would live to hear anyone else’s tips that have worked for them.

      • Ash

        *love* to hear

      • MommySpendsLess

        Ash – As an only child and the only grandchild on one side, my daughter has a TON of toys. I’ve managed to conceal all of them throughout her 10.5’x11′ bedroom. I tried modular cubbies, similar in size to the Expedit with storage boxes but I found it was wasting a lot of space (small items, like Zoobles, would only fill about 1/3 of the bin while larger playsets, like Little People would only fit in one way).

        What worked for me was getting a big TV armoire off Craigslist. It has two large drawers on the bottom for all her medium sized toys. The large TV compartment holds her little 19″ TV, plus it has enough room left over for a stack of clear bins for toys with little pieces. The clear bins are great because they’re cheap and they come in three sizes so no more wasted space. There’s another shelf above the TV section that holds more bins. I also purchased two collapsible fabric toy boxes from Target. They’re 12″x24″ and right now they’re being sold in blue or pink at $17 each – they’re surprisingly durable and double as benches. One holds all her Barbie stuff and the other dress-up/pretend things. Large items, like her shopping cart, doll house and doll stroller are in her closet. All her dolls and stuffed animals are stored in zippered bags under the bed.

        I also used a lot of vertical storage. A shoe organizer on the back of her door hold shoes as well as her dance tights, headbands, sunglasses, etc. Hooks on the wall insider her closet hold backpacks and tote bags. A hat hook system (under $5 at Walmart) in her closet holds dress up hats and crowns. I also got a closet doubler for her clothes (it’s a second rod that hangs from the first) – I remember how messy and frustrating my dresser drawers were a a child so I hang up all her clothing. That also eliminates a need for a dresser which leaves space for the amoire and a book shelf without the room feeling cluttered. (Socks and undies are in her nightstand which has two drawers).

        Because she can’t reach the bins of smaller toys without help (she’s 3.5yo) we can insist she clean up one bin before getting out more. The larger items in the drawers, toy bins and closet that she can reach on her own tend to require less time to put away. I’ve also tried to make sure cleaning up just requires scooping and dumping – it doesn’t matter how she puts the toys into the small bins or how she sets the medium-large toys in her drawers/toy bins.

        I purge her toys regularly – and definitely before Christmas and her birthday. I’ve also re-organized them a few times as her toy collection changes. I’ve found keeping a pretty little basket or pail on her nightstand helps too. We can easily put loose items that are found around the house in there then sort it out when it starts to get full.

  13. Kelley

    I’m looking for a great shopping list app that will sync across iOS devices. Any suggestions?

    • Jamie

      I love ziplist for shopping lists, but it has much more than that. It’s also recipe storage and you can meal plan from it. It’s awesome, I use on my ipad and iPhone.

    • Kelsey

      We use Cozi. It is designed as a family organizer with calendar, to do lists and shopping lists. We don’t use the calendar but the lists are great.

  14. nancyrsavesalot

    This is just a tip I’ve used to help along the way each and every day to stay on top of things. As soon as I get something, whether it’s from a purchase such as groceries, drug store necessities, or if it’s mail, a gift, anything, I immediately put it where it belongs. If it goes in my stockpile, pantry, bathroom, donation box, garbage, whatever, I put it there immediately. I found this really helps to really stop the clutter and be more organized. If I get a bank statement, I immediately file it in the appropriate folder in the filing cabinet. If I get junk mail it goes into the shredder and then to the recycling bin. Those couple of seconds of doing something immediately with whatever you receive, bought, etc. really cuts down on time that would be spent later on going through everything on the table, counter, etc and trying to do it all at once.

    • nicole

      I need to train myself to do this, I’m positive this is 99% of my problem, I don’t take those few seconds to put something away right then! Thanks!

    • Sarah

      I try to do this, but my 3 year old and almost 2 year old always seem to find a way to stop me from making it to the destination of where the item goes. :/

    • Jenn

      Thank you! This is a huge thing for me bc i always say I will get to it later and can’t. Starting this immediately! So simple too. ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks!

    • Leah Truckenbrod

      I read an organizational book for executives that recommended immediately doing any task that required less than 2 minutes to complete. It takes longer to avoid, shuffle or use up “mental energy” having it on your mind repeatedly.

      • JoAnn

        Yes! I need to make a poster and hang it above my desk with those words on it. I feel like I nickel and dime so much time away wasting “mental energy” on stuff. That is such a light bulb moment for me! Thanks for posting.

  15. nicole

    Plastic bins….they sell the smaller ones at the dollar store, I have a bin for adult meds, kid meds, nail polish, etc. Also have the larger Rubbermaid type bins with craft stuff, gift wrap stuff, etc. Makes me feel super organized with stuff I can never find and always end up buying again when I need it. It’s still a new concept but we are working on it, and it has been great! Also use those Rubbermaid drawers (the small ones that can fit on the dresser) for hair ties, clips, safety pins, bobby pins, etc. also made a flower hair clip & headband holder for my daughter that hangs on her walls, which she loves and actually puts stuff away after she uses it (we made it for all her friends for Christmas. For about $3 per girl!) With an 8 year old girly girl that has come in very handy and gets her excited to stay organized!

  16. Shalane Koon

    I’m using Thirty-One’s great new “Your Way” organizational collection to get my home in tip-top shape! Love it!

  17. Alicia

    I love and I’ve only been using it for 2 months! They have an app and it works awesome. My bank is Chase and I’m able to sync my credit card and debit card to track my purchases. It places all your transactions into categories and allows you to set a budget for each category! it definitely opened my eyes to how much I was spending on fast food. I love that it breaks things down into subcategories like shopping- clothing, hobbies, books, electronics, sporting goods.. there’s a kids category for allowance, babysitter, child support, kid activities, toysetc

  18. Michelle

    I was just going to mention Thirty-one. I’m a sales consultant and was going to say that the new “Your Way” collection is a great way to get organized. The best part is that Jan. 4th – Jan. 31st you can purchase any of the “Your Way” organization products for 50% off with a $31 purchase. You can check out my site for more great products.

  19. Geri

    I’m also a thirty-one consultant and LOVE our new “your way” collection that will premiere on January 4th! If you are interested in previewing the new items early, you can send me an email through my website.

  20. cathy

    I went to happymoneysaver and downloaded the spreadsheet, but cant quite figure out how to bring up a blank spreadsheet to get started on…can u help me?

  21. Angie

    Cozi is the best app that I’ve found. It has shopping lists, calendar, to do lists, etc and it syncs between phones. So, at any point, my husband and I can see what is on the calendar and what we need at the grocery store. We also used it to keep our Christmas lists, so we could add to them and see what the other wanted any time.

  22. Jenn

    I keep a very clean house. It can get cluttered yes BUT my garage is awful!!!!!! Any suggestions for me? I park in the garage so I pass that huge mess constantly and it is driving me nuts! It is really bad right now bc my husband started having seizures a few months back. Praise God it is under control and he is doing great! Then we have bdays, holidays and I am whipped!!! Help!

  23. alicia

    Need some help…seriously in organizing my life. I think one of the problems is my children have way too many clothes! Please help me get into the mind set of getting rid of all the extra clothing. I purchase at garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops for soooo cheap that I can’t resist, now clothing is everywhere and I can’t keep up with laundry. Any advice, please please post!

    • Jenn

      I know you said you BUY from consignment but do you SELL? I do this and it has cut down a ton and the $ is sometimes more than selling at a yard sale. I also just save some special clothing. I put them I. A vacuum sealed bag which creates a smaller need then a storage box. I also donate to my sweet niece.

      • Jenn

        I guess I should also say unless your kiddos need it try not to purchase it. It seems like it becomes a big issue for you later soooo is it worth it? I get it though. I have girls myself. ๐Ÿ™‚ maybe limit when you go to the thrift shops or yard sales. If you go weekly start going biweekly or monthly. Good luck!

    • Joan

      A quick fix is to bag up the extra and immediately deposit them into the donation bins or donate to the Salvation Army. Your donations will start you in a “giving” mode for the new year and you can concentrate on your new organization with a light heart!

      P.S. I have a huge pile on my dog crate that will be leaving with me when I return to work tomorrow, I’m making a pit stop at the donation bin outside a local church that is on the way to my son’s school!

  24. Amy

    My favorite app for keeping up with cleaning chores is from Home Routines:

    I spent about a 1/2 hour customizing the daily list and now it’s pretty easy to keep up on housework. Works on several platforms but I use on my iPad and iPhone. Hubby has no excuses for not helping because he can sync up to the chore list, too.

  25. Gil

    Timing is everything!
    During this long holiday vaca, I spent half in Hilton Head and half doing a “winter-cleaning”, room by room. I knew if I didn’t get it done these last few days (I return to work tomorrow), it wouldn’t get done for who knows how many months down the rd.
    There’s something so freeing about going thru each room, slowly-cleaning down to the baseboards & picking up every single item and finding a place for it-do I donate it, pitch it or put it away-like WHERE IT BELONGED IN THE 1ST PLACE?
    Organizing your home gives you this weird peace of mind. It feels great!
    Now my biggest challenge is to discipline myself to maintain all this hard work by being consistent in putting each thing away I handle on a daily basis so things don’t build up again!
    With this well in hand I can begin to plan a spring vacation! ๐Ÿ™‚ SWEET!

  26. Joan

    This room is AMAZING, it is exactly what I’ve wanted to do with our perpetual junk room! I’m running to show hubby! Mothers Day/Birthday pressent maybe???

  27. Sandy

    Every January, I do my “January Sweep”. I go through every drawer, cabinet, cupboard, and closet in each room, clean it, and rid of anything I haven’t used in a year. I try to accomplish it in under 15 minutes a day. Some days take less time, others the full 15. I have a smaller home (1400 sq feet) so, I can easily tackle one drawer, cabinet, cupboard or closet each day. I usually save the closets for Saturday mornings when I have more time to devote to a bigger project. By the end of January, I’ve gone through my entire home. Then, in February, I start my super clean. I take on one room each week, cleaning it from top to bottom. Having gone through all I did in January makes things far more manageable. I start with the rooms I use least and try to maintain those rooms as the weeks go on. Usually, it just picking up, dusting and vacuuming. By the time I get to the kitchen, the house looks great! It’s a project I like to take on in the colder winter months here in Wisconsin, when the snowstorms, blizzards and super cold temperatures are more than I care to deal with.

  28. Melinda

    My family uses Cozi Family Calendar app to keep us connected. Its available on Android and iPhone/iPads. Cozi is a free app and website that helps you manage your busy family calendar. Plus it keeps track of everything from school schedules to sports activities, meals, grocery lists, and chores, all in one place. Any family member can update the calendar and it updates on everyone’s device. All users can add to a shopping list, add an event on the calendar with reminders, add to a To-Do List. My kids each have a Kindle Fire with the app and it has revolutionized our Family Calendaring and Planning. Sunday evening, we sit down together and go over the calendar, with everyone looking at it, and we make updates, changes, and coordinate schedules. I can’t imagine life with busy teenagers without it! Best part, its FREE! There is a premium subscription, but we haven’t found a reason to pay for the upgrade. I HIGHLY recommend it!

  29. Sherrie

    I went through my closet this weekend and became emotionally detached from a lot of clothing when reality hit me that some pieces of clothing were from 1990-1994 – it made me laugh to think that I held on to it for that long and don’t wear, can’t wear, shouldn’t wear and it made it much easier to ditch knowing how old it was instead of the memory of wearing it!

  30. alifeunsweetened

    Another program I use is Evernote. Auto updates across all platforms – my android phone, ipad, and Macs at home and work. You can create folders for work, home, each child, etc. And because I’m terrible at uploading my photos, you can use Dropbox for free. Auto uploads all my pictures from my phone and computers. I can grant access to certain folders for my parents so they can easily see all the photos of the grandkids.

  31. Diane

    Love all the ideas but would love to know where I can find the desk in the picture, did I miss that somewhere? I am looking for a corner desk & love that one. Thanks!!

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