Tips For Organizing Kids Rooms

August 7, 2008

What’s the messiest room in the house? It’s probably the kids rooms. Here are some great tips for organizing kids rooms and keeping them clean as well.

When you are working on organizing your kids rooms it can seem like a big challenge, in fact these have to be the most difficult rooms in the home to get and keep organized. You’ll have to take some time and train them, but your kids can be taught to keep it neat and organized all by themselves after you’ve gone in and done some initial set-up. Things will be a lot easier this way.

The first thing to do is go through the room and take an inventory. If your children are old enough to do so they can help you out with this. Get boxes and start labeling them for clothes (too small, out of season, keepers) and toys (favorites, too old for, missing pieces/broken) and make a game out of it. Give everyone a box and see who can fill their box up the quickest. Don’t stop until you’ve gone through everything and gotten it all sorted.

Now comes the fun part, going through and sorting out the toys. Find out which toys have missing or broken parts and decide if any of the toys can be saved and if you want to try to find the pieces or fix it later on. If you choose not to find the parts or fixed damaged toys, then just throw them in the garbage.

You’re going to have toys that your children have outgrown, you’ll have to sort through these and decide what you are going to do with them. Often, you may have a cousin or younger brother or sister that the toys can be given to. If this isn’t the case you can see if your child would like to donate the toys that can be used again to a local charity. It will delight and surprise you to see how giving your child can be when given the chance and told how much they can help.

Now, go through your child’s favorite toys. A decision will have to be made weather or not these toys will reside in the child’s room, a playroom or possibly in the living room.

As you go through your child’s favorite toys, decide if you have room to store all of them in the room. Plastic storage bins are great for kids’ rooms, especially the stackable ones with drawers. You can get containers with wheels that can be stored in a closet and then rolled out when the child wants to play with something from the container. Here’s a great technique to keep things tidy; make a rule of only getting out one toy or activity at a time. This will save on your child bringing out every toy they have at once, which children tend to do.

Finally, it’s time to tackle the clothes. Children grown out of their cloths so fast that you want to be careful about this and make sure you know what you’ve got and keep it organized. A good plan is to go through the clothes at the beginning of every season. Again, let your child help you decide what will happen to the clothes that you don’t keep, the piece that are in good shape and won’t be thrown out. Many charities are very glad to receive children’s clothing.

Under the bed storage boxes are great for out of season clothing. Then as the weather changes, swap what’s in the dresser for what’s under the bed. When you swap out the clothes, again check for things they’ve outgrown. It’s also good to have a designated place for the kids to put the clothes that are too small, so when they try something on, they don’t just put it back in the drawer.

Once the room has been organized, teach the child to keep up with it on their own, with a routine every day of putting things where they belong.

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Tips For Organizing My Closet

August 7, 2008

I do my best to keep the bedroom clean at all times, which usually results in stuff getting tossed in my closet. Here are some tips for organizing my closet that might help you as well.

If you’re like everyone else, then you just never seem to have enough room in your closet. It also seems that the longer you stay in any one house you tend to collect more and more stuff and you’re closet appears to get smaller, not bigger. One of the best ways to create more space is to get your closet cleaned out and organized so you can figure out what you want to keep, what you want to maybe sell, and what you’ll give away or throw out.

Don’t try to do every closet at once. Start with one and work your way over to the next. After you clear out your first closet, put things back in it for the time being. Then go on to the next closet, taking inventory of what is in it. You’ll then need to decide on a plan to get things organized and decide if you need to switch things around and move items from one closet to another. Closets often end up a storage area for all kinds of things that we don’t know what to do with and leave for ‘later’, then we never take the time to decide what to do with them. Now’s that time.

There are plenty of ideas and options available for your closet storage. Do you want shelves that are permanently in place or ones that you can move around? Or maybe you are looking at getting a type of system where there are baskets, bins and rods to keep everything organized and in a specific place. Stackable storage baskets made of plastic always come in handy for a ton of items. When you know where everything is you may even want to make a master list of what each closet contains to keep track.

If you’ve got a mudroom then this room can be challenging since it is the room that will be a busy area with lots of dirt and stuff passing through. Often things are just dropped in the mudroom as people are passing through. Because it’s an open room it is more difficult to hid the mess and clutter as it builds up. First thing to do is make a decision on what you want to keep in the mudroom. Items like tools, boots, winter coats, sports equipment and outdoor toys often find a home in the mudroom so a boot pad and a good array of hooks on the wall will help to keep these pieces out of the walk way.

A storage rack is helpful for tools. You can get shovels up and out of the way by hanging them on the wall. A basket with handles is helpful for storing small garden tools, you can then easily take them wherever you need to.

If you have space, think about creating a ‘locker’ for each family member where they can store things they want easy access to and let them know whatever doesn’t fit in the locker has to find a home elsewhere.

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Organizing Your Living Room

August 7, 2008

Keeping the chaos out of your living room or den can be quite the challenge. After all, this is where all the family action goes on. Here are some tips for organizing your living room that will make the task of keeping it somewhat clean much easier.

The living room, or den, of a home tends to be the center of family life. It’s no surprise as this often ends up the room where everyone goes to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Since there is so much time spend there, a lot of things tend to accumulate in this room as well. Kids bring in their toys, the adults have work that they bring into the room, and it starts to add up and create clutter.

The first thing to do is make a decision on what you would like to keep in the room permanently. Most often the entertainment center is located in the family room, and you’ll need to decide how to store your family’s movie and music and keep it organized. You can find plenty of multi-purpose entertainment centers that will hold all of your electronic equipment and also have a place for your movies, CDs and whatever else you need to keep close to the TV. If you won’t be changing your room around at all, a large unit is a good choice, but if you are the kind of person who likes to move furniture around a lot then you may want to consider smaller, easily moved furniture.

If you need to store your movies and CDs outside of the entertainment center, then you have plenty of opinions for storage racks. There are wood racks or even shelves and bookcases and also you’ll find many metal storage units. You can find storage racks that stand up separately, and those you can attach above or near the television on the wall. If you’ve got a closet in the room it is also a great place for storage because it keeps the kids from using them to stack up and move around, as they always tend to do.

Let your children have some of their favorite toys in the living room. One idea is to get a clear container and allow each child their own container in a favorite color or their name on it. Whatever they can fit in the container is all they are allowed to have in the room. If the toy doesn’t fit in the box, then it needs to stay out of the living room and be kept in another room like the playroom or the child’s room. Toys can always be rotated to keep it fun; they’ll just need to take some toys out in order to fit the new ones they want to play with in that room. You will also need to set a rule that when they are finished playing with their toys, or at least at the end of that day, they need to put everything back into the container to clean up.

Finally, create a home for the newspapers and magazines that will invariably accumulate on the tables and on the floor. A simple rack against the wall will make a nice home for these print items and this can be cleaned out on a monthly basis.

The living room is for living in so you don’t want to create a sterile environment but you don’t want things to go wild either.

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