*The animals are trained to know that they get fed only after my alarm has gone off. This means that they don't beg for food before I'm ready to get up and that they NEVER let me sleep past my alarm.
*The kids earn video game minutes every morning (well, every morning they wake up at Camp Dad) by being ready to go to school before 8:50 am. They have a checklist of things they have to do and can't write down their final time/minutes earned until everything is done.
*I keep a message board on the fridge and freezer to list the perishables inside. This way Mike knows when he needs to use up the broccoli even though he refuses to look inside the crisper drawer.
*I plan easy meals for Monday and Tuesday nights because those are our nights with the kids when they have homework (a.k.a. crazy nights filled with cranky kids. Friday and Saturday are homework free!). The rest of the week I have time to just wing it and cook whatever sounds good.
*I NEVER put unmated socks into a drawer. Single socks go in a bag until they find their match. If they don't get matched, they become dusting socks.
*The kids earn money for chores, but also lose money for naughty things like throwing shoes at their brother or playing with Pokeman cards after bedtime. Most chores and offenses have prices assigned on a spreadsheet (duh).
*I always pack the kids' lunches and my own right after dinner. My lunch is usually leftovers, anyways, so that means it's easy to pack up at night. Making lunches in the morning is darn near impossible for me to accomplish.
*We don't cook things for breakfast (besides toast), unless it's a special occasion or a weekend. It's plain soy yogurt with a touch of maple syrup and homemade granola (made on the weekend) for the kids every morning that they're at our house. I like toast or an apple with peanut butter.
*Bedtime routine is essential in our house because our boys are as night owl as they come. We start with a 5 minute warning. Then they take a bath, drink sleepytime tea (chamomile or one of the bedtime teas) and eat a little snack (graham cracker or toast). Then they go to the bathroom, get water, and clean off their beds. I read them 2 chapters of a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys mystery and then it's time for sleep!
* I try to do laundry by room rather than by color. None of us wear white anyways (that would just be ridiculous to even try), so I don't really see a point in sorting by color. If I sort by the room it goes to, then putting away folded clothes is simple- They all go to the same place!
*I do sort my towels and rags on shelves, though. The nice towels go on the upper shelves. The okay towels are in the middle. They're okay for various not-too-nasty purposes. The bottom shelf is for the rags we use to clean everything nasty (dog pee, spills, cleaning the bathroom, etc.). The kids are pretty good about using the right towels. This system is perhaps a symptom of my not-clinically-bad-anymore-OCD. Actually, this whole post probably is.
*I keep a grocery list template (in Excel spreadsheet form, of course) on the front of the fridge. When we run out of something, we just check it off the list. This way I'm always ready to shop.
Hope some of these tips/tricks are helpful. What are your favorite "staying organized" hints?