Near the front door of our home, we have what is usually known here as a “coat closet.” However, since we live in south Louisiana (and always use the back door of our home anyways, never the front door), we do not need this closet for coats! However, our home does have a lack of storage areas, so I’ve changed the use of this closet to what our family calls the “Gift closet.” You may have seen pictures of the door of the closet here, when I discussed how I organize our gift wrap supplies, but I have never yet shown a picture of the inside of the closet.
Last week I shared what I kept in the cooking zone of my kitchen. This week I will share what I call my serving zone. This is where I keep the things that I use to serve the meals and snacks that I prepare.Read More »
Today I will share with you how I organize my cooking zone. The cooktop and oven are obviously the center of my cooking zone. The cabinets and drawers nearby are where I like to keep the items that make my cooking time go faster and easier.Read More »
I hosted a wedding reception at my home last week, so the weeks prior to this, I have been cleaning and organizing. I hope that sharing this with you will encourage you.Read More »
Have you searched Pinterest for all the cute little weekly cleaning checklists? Or maybe you jumped on board with a program like Flylady? I’ve been there, tried that. You know what? It didn’t quite fit in my real life. I was either always cleaning instead of enjoying my family and downtime, or I felt lots of guilt whenever I couldn’t keep up with the “prescribed list.” Life is too short! I’ve finally found what works for me, at this particular phase of life. Read More »
September is here, and so is the new school year. For our family, that means our calendar is now filled with activities and events almost every evening. In order to keep ourselves organized so as not to miss anything, I use a dry-erase calendar on our upright freezer, located in our family room / den. (More of an app person? We also use the Cozi app on our phones, but that’s another post…)Read More »
The school year has begun for us and this year I decided I would implement something that I have been meaning to do the last few years since my oldest began preschool. When our children are little, we, as parents, want to keep every single thing they do (so many firsts!) to show their progression, or simply to remember these days. However, it all adds up so quickly, and if you keep too many things, you never do take the time to look through it and stroll down memory lane.Read More »
We have had our home listed for a few months and are actively looking for a new home in a different community, so I have been very motivated to get my home organized. In fact, over the past year or so, I’ve probably gone through my entire house 2 – 3 times, decluttering, organizing, etc. And to be honest, it’s probably time to do so again. Why? Because I really like the results of decluttering. I end up with more room for the things I truly do love and use, which also means that I end up using them more! Did I mention it is much easier to find things now that there is less “stuff” to look through? Decluttering also makes the rooms of my home easier to keep clean and organized after I’ve gone through them and put a system into place. Once things have a home, it’s easier to put them away when we are done with them. Hence, a cleaner home. Win-win!
Hi all! You may be thinking that this post is a little late, seeing as it is February and this type of post is typical for January with the start of the new year, but I believe that there is no better time to start organizing than now (whatever part of the year that ends up being for you).
I know that the idea of organizing a home can be overwhelming for most people, so I want to give you some Little Ways to prepare and then get started. This is something that can be done quickly and all-at-once if you have the time (stay-at-home-mom with the kids back at school) and/or the motivation (like when you are moving to a new home), but if you are like most of us, you are super busy and have only a few minutes here or there. If that’s you, complete one step at a time anytime you have a few extra minutes in your schedule. If you have lots of time available, you may be able to do multiple steps all at once.
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and was able to visit with family and friends! The days right after Christmas day always leave me antsy to go through my children’s toys, get rid of the things they rarely play with and organize all the new toys they’ve received. If you have little ones, you know that their toys take up lots of room since they can’t have many little pieces. I have one child who is old enough to handle toys with little pieces and one child who needs to be kept away from small pieces, so we are in an interesting middle ground. After a few years of trying various organizing strategies for their toys, the following setup is working really well for us and wasn’t hard to incorporate the new toys received at Christmas into the mix.
First of all, our children do not have a “play room.” I know many parents who do this and it works for them because all of the toys stay in one centralized location (and you can close the door when it gets too crazy in there haha). I found that one room with all the toys was simply overwhelming for my children and they didn’t actually play with their toys much. We also do not have the luxury of an extra room just for toys now that we have two children in a three bedroom home. As with everything, find what works for you and go with it.
What has worked well for us is to rotate out toys. Sometimes it is parent-led rotation, sometimes my son will ask to swap out toys. By doing so, I find that my children feel like they’ve received new toys since they haven’t seen the stored ones in a while. So how do I keep everything stored whether it’s being played with or put away? Ikea to the rescue! We purchased this awesome sofa table (IKEA Hemnes Console Table) and the boxes that go in it from Ikea and had it shipped to our home (along with various other furniture purchases to save on shipping) instead of driving 5+ hours to our closest store.
The baskets on the top shelf come from Homegoods (another one of my favorite stores). They hold mostly books and puzzles, with a basket or two for the random little toys children acquire that don’t really fit into any other categories. The boxes, from Ikea, are perfect because they have lids (to contain and hide all the “mess” of toys) and can be taken out and brought to whichever room the kids are playing in at the time. They also limit the amount of toys that can be kept – if it doesn’t fit in the container, it needs to go or something else needs to go to make room for it. (This is a great opportunity to teach your child about donating to those who have less.)
As far as the toys that are out of rotation at the time, they are kept in clear plastic containers (that can easily be found at Walmart or Target) at the top of my son’s closet. He also has a few bins at the bottom of his closet for some of the larger accessories. For example, all the superhero action figures and their small accessories are kept in the box at the top of the closet (or the gray box in our living room if he’s chosen that set at the moment), but the bat cave, bat car, etc. are kept in the orange bin at the bottom of his closet because it just doesn’t fit in the clear container at the top. If you have the room for it, you can simply buy larger containers to keep it all together, but we are working with the setup we have currently.
Another advantage to this system is that its easier to say “you have to pick up all the toys from this box before taking out another,” if you chose to do so. I don’t usually, however, simply because I like the creativity that is encouraged by mixing the types of toys. Maybe my son has chosen his box of Magna-tiles and his box of cars at the moment. He may build a garage for all the cars with the Magna-tiles, for example.
My daughter is still young, so she has less collections of toys (although they are growing), so she has a few toys in the gray boxes and then the rest are in a toy box (from when I was a child) that is in another room in the house. I’m sure in the next year or so, I’ll begin to set up a system for her similar to the one I have for my son.
How do you organize your children’s toys? What works for you? Let us know in the comments below.