Thursday, October 11, 2012

{31 Days} Day Eleven: And snap! The job's a game! aka kid organization.

Did you miss a day in my 31 Days series? Click the tab above for my 31 Days of easy organization.

I obviously don't have children, but I've been a nanny/babysitter since the last century.

You know what's funny? I meant to write that as a joke, but 1996 technically was last century so... anyway... I've been watching children forever.

I love cleaning their bedrooms and play rooms. This makes the parents incredibly happy, but I think I get the happiest. There is something about a well organized kid space that makes me smile. As much as most people think it isn't true, kids LOVE a well organized space. Have you ever been into a preschool class room? All the toys and supplies are labeled and arranged. The kids know exactly where their items are and how to find them. They know where their backpacks go, and where to put their jackets. A kid can be neat when there is a permanent place for everything.

Have you ever read The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room? It's a great book to share with your children when you start organizing and cleaning their spaces. For older kids, encouraging them to help you with an organizational system for their rooms may get them more interested in picking up after themselves. For little ones, you may need to do the work yourself. If all else fails, kick 'em out of their room for a day and get busy!

I gave you a few tips in my second day post. Here are a few more:
- Keep seasonal clothing out of sight. Put it in a plastic tub in the attic or basement or at the very top of their closet in an opaque box or bag. There is nothing more frustrating than dealing with a preschooler who wants to wear snow boots in July or shorts in December.
- If you have kiddos who want to get dressed on their own, but you're short on time in the morning, keep matching outfits in the bottom drawer of their dresser. Then in the morning you can pull out two outfits (keep the decisions down to two or else they'll never make up their mind) and see which they like best.
- Sort out their toys. Keep like play items in separate containers. Take a picture of each item (cars, ponies, play food, etc) and tape it to the outside of the container. When it's clean up time, your kids will put things in the right bin.
- Make sure your bins and baskets are on the same level as your child. It's hard to put toys away if the boxes are too high for them to reach.
- Use under the bed storage bins (the plastic/cloth kind with a zipper top) to store blocks, legos and small stuffed animals.
- Keep markers, color pencils, crayons, and stamps in separate lidded containers. That way you can control the mess factor by only giving them one type of coloring tool.
- Only keep a few toys in your living room. If you notice their toys are creeping in, make sure they know to bring them back into their room.
- If you have babies and older kids in your home, keep tiny toys (squinkies, hexbugs, etc) in containers higher in the closet. That way they have to ask you to play with them, and you can make sure they're all put away.
- Switch out the toys every couple of months. Move some lesser played with toys to the top of the closet, move living room toys to their bedroom and bedroom toys to the living room. It keeps things fresh.
- When storing outside toys like balls and sand tools, put them in wire baskets. It allows the kids to see what's inside and keeps the bugs from finding a safe place to nest/make webs.
- If your kids are crazy about sports, mount yard tool racks in your garage or storage area to hold bats, hockey sticks and racquets.
- Use a clean trash can to hold footballs, soccer balls and basketballs. Use a smaller bin to hold tennis balls, baseballs, etc. Keep everything in one area that is easy to get to.
- If they have large sports bags, use heavy duty hooks screwed into the wall. Label each hook with their name and/or sport.
- If your kid does sports, put a mesh laundry bag in their gym bag. When they change, they can throw their dirty uniforms/workout gear in the mesh bag and leave it in the laundry when they get home. All you have to do is wash, dry and throw it back into the bag.
- Keep medium duty hooks in the same area as their sports equipment to hang their cleats, sneakers and skates.
- Take the organizing to the kitchen. I wrote a post a million years about about organizing your snacks. Keeping healthy snacks within reach for your kids means less, "Mom/Dad, will you make me a snack?"

Most importantly: if you use bookcases of any kind to organize their stuff MOUNT THEM TO THE WALL! You don't want your kids climbing up the bookcase to get something and have it fall on them.

I want to share with you some really cute kid/teen organizers from a few blogs. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE click through and pin from their blog.

Adorable book slings are great for small children and don't jut out as far as a shelf or ledge.

This jewelry organizer from TaterTots and Jello would be excellent for your tween or even your little girl who loves dress up time!

Marigold from Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! got her boys' legos all organized using two IKEA organizers. I just love that these could be multipurposed for blocks, cars, train sets, etc.

I love how Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick put her son's dress up clothes where he could see them and use them.

I hope some of these ideas help you with organizing your child's space. Also, if you're in the Albuquerque area and will spring for the materials, I'd LOVE to come over and help you clean and organize your kid's space. You think I'm kidding, but it's actually a ton of fun and would give me a great chance to write for my blog. Who knows when I'll ever have my own kiddo. :)


Jenn said...

These ideas can be great for the classroom too! Oh how I love organization!

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