Monday, March 21, 2016

Organization secrets: Kid edition!

I'm am known for my organizational and cleaning skills. I can create space out of nothing...or so I've been told. I have had friends and family contact me to help with them with rearranging and/or helping them de-clutter. Do I mind? Absolutely not! I LOVE organizing and cleaning! It's therapeutic for me. So when I had a child I was ecstatic, because I knew that with all the clothes, toys, and extras that would soon overtake my household, I would have to opportunity to organize EVERYTHING! 

I will admit, when it comes to my home, I'm a bit picky. I arrange and rearrange to get the specific "feel" I think a space needs. I know I've gotten the perfect layout when I can kick my feet up and not think about it, otherwise it's always on my mind. Now that I've finally accomplished that goal, I though I'd share some of my favorite ways to organize kids stuff! Out of all the places in my home, my son's room was the first to get finished. I was determined to fit his bed, clothes, shoe, toys, a play kitchen, books, stuffed animals, a rug, Legos, musical instruments, and his pet hermit crab into the room, while still ending up with space to actually play. 

I knew it was going to be tough and that made it all the more interesting. The first thing I did was create a "design" in my head on how I wanted his room to more or less look. I also knew that if I was going to tackle this, I was going to have to get a toy storage. Where is the first place I went to? That's right, IKEA! I found a 6 cubby bookshelf and six blue bins to fit. It was normally meant to stand up right, but I turned it on it's side to create a toy storage "bench". This not only allowed me to categorize my son's toys into separate bins - even though they end up disarray after a day - I was also able to provide a great "play table" for my son. The top of his sideways organizer, works perfectly for Lego's, Playdoh, drawing, painting, mini villages, and of course racing. At the end of the day, you can put the BIG toys on top for storage. All in all, it's by far my favorite buy. 

Another organizing tip is regarding clothing. I used to fold everything flat in stacks, like most of us do. Alas, there is another way! Fold the clothes and place in the drawers SIDEWAYS! (I've provided a picture for reference.) Trust me, you will be able to fit 3 times the amount of stuff you were able to before! Plus, it gives easy access and allows you to see all the clothing items in the drawers. 

If your kids are as loving to every cute and cuddly stuffed animal that comes in their peripheral, you'll soon be dealt with an overwhelming amount of pretend fur. I don't like the idea of my son being covered at nighttime with his friends, so I've devised a plan. He's able to pick out a few specific stuffed animals he absolutely can't sleep without and then the animals he just uses for play, go into a giant zipped elephant. Ikea sells these toys called "Air Element". It's basically a solid "balloon" type material, where you fill it up with air, then cover the "balloon" with one of the animal themed covers they sell separately. My son got a "circus" themed tent for a past birthday, so in keeping with the theme, I purchased an "Air Element" circus elephant cover, without purchasing the balloon. Instead of making a bouncy toy, I filled it with the extra stuffed animals that seem to cover the entire room, creating an almost "bean bag" like chair. My son absolutely loves it and uses it as a place to do Look and Find's and ISpy's. 

For my son's shoes, I found these 3 bins for recycling. They can be hung on the wall, stacked tall, or placed side-ways. I use two for myself - one for socks and one for shoes - and one for my son, which is amazing for his shoes. He's now able to put his own shoes away, grab the pairs he needs for the day, and not be thrown about. 

My last big tip would have to be concerning kids books. We are a bit of a bookworm family duo and I've saved quite a few of my old books, so when it came to building my son's book collection, I had to figure out how to display them with easy access for him. I found a short tv stand/nightstand, with 6 cubbyholes. It turned out to be absolutely perfect, because not only was it sturdy and short (avoiding anything toppling over), but it held every single one of his books with room to spare! It allows him to go through and easily see what he has in his "mini bookstore" as he calls it. I truly feel like displaying his books has allowed him to be consciously involved with reading. Gotta start them young!

Hopefully these little tips will help you keep the pile of toys from overtaking your child's room, inevitably creating a mountain climber out of your little one. I certainly don't want a daredevil on my hands. 

What are some of your favorite organization tips?

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