Organizing Your Kids Stuff – It IS Possible (Most of the Time!)

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Does YOUR house ever look like this? Come on – fess up. Really? Mine does – more often than I would like it to!! We’ll clean it one day, then it’s trashed a few hours later. It’s exhausting and frustrating to always need it cleaned – even if I do make the kids pick up their own toys! It takes time to ensure that they are actually putting the toys away instead of just dumping them behind a corner where I can’t see!! My solution? Have LOTS of room – easily accessible.

I know this isn’t always possible if you live in a small apartment, but one of our best “toy” investments we our kid’s play kitchen! I bought this playkitchen last year for Christmas mainly because of the tremendous amount of storage that it offers!! Look at ALL that storage! There is MORE than enough room for their play food, utensils, teapots, etc. as well as other toys that might just happen to get stuffed in there!

Another way I “create” more room for my kid’s stuff or items that I want to save until they’re older is by hiding it behind other decor. If you look carefully at the picture frames you can see behind them is stored some boxes of toys. I’ve got an older kids building kit and solar power kit hidden behind the frames. Yes, you can still see it, but it looks much nicer than piling it all up in plain sight. Get creative – maybe you can hide some things inside an ottoman, under a bed, in a closet. If you’re “hiding” too much though, you might want to rethink what you have and what you really need!

I’ve mentioned this before but above you see the bookshelf we invested in. Best use of storage in our house EVER! As you can see we have oodles of DVD’s and videos. It took us two years to save for our bookshelf from IKEA but I did not regret a penny spent on it! Another thing I’ve mentioned before is storage containers – no storage container goes unused in our household!

Again, anything can be used – old orchard baskets, laundry baskets, storage tubs, drawers, etc.
In our household, we don’t mind our house “looking like kids live there” – as long as it’s fairly tidy. Always always ALWAYS keep educational items within your child’s reach! Whether it’s paper, crayons, chalk, books, educational videos, kits, or educational toys. Your child will be MUCH more likely to use it if it’s within his/her grasp. Now I understand there is a certain age with some kids that the monstrosity of messes occurs from having these things within reach so leave only 2 or 3 items out instead of a whole shelf of books like I do until they get a little better about handling things.

Another suggestion is to have books in every room of your house (well, maybe not in the bathroom!). Below you can see our bookshelf – this is all within reach of my kids. There are educational games, there are puzzles, books, and toys – all which can be easily grabbed and used on a daily basis.

Trust me – my house does not look like this every day. In fact we had a lot of problems with my oldest when he was younger and to be very honest we were happy every day with just kicking everything to the side of the room to clear a path to walk – that’s how bad it was for a while. But it does pass. Make it simple. Enlist your kids help – even your 1 and 2 year olds can help!! If it really becomes that much of a problem remove the item(s) from within the child’s reach and make it a point to ask if they want to play with it often (puzzles, crayons, etc.)
There are a lot of tricky ways to store children’s items which is very much dependent on your house. Baby items for us are stored in the attic. Older or younger clothes stored in drawers and tubs in the bottom of a closet. Extra crib parts under another bed. Tub toys under the sink. I make it a point every 6 months to go through the house and get rid of small toys – or items that I have not seen my kids playing with in at least 1-2 years. Donate it, pass it on to a friend, find somewhere other than your house or your garage to keep it!! Just make sure your kids don’t see you getting rid of it because it will end up right back in your house!!

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One Comment

  1. A tech savvier girl would be able to send pics, but I have to gush about my $5 fix. My 'tween daughter, entering 6th grade tomorrow, is a slob. She drives me CRAZY! She is especially bad about the top of her dresser. Yesterday, I overhauled her room, and put a clear pocketed over the door shoe organizer on the back of her bedroom door. Now, her lotions, gels, lip balms, hairbrushes, and flat iron are neatly tucked away, and easily accessible. I don't know WHY I didn't think of it sooner, but it's the BEST $4.97 I've ever spent at Walmart!! I added a ribbon attached by a clothespin for her newest favorite accesory – flower hair clips!!

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