previously posted in april 2006
This week has not panned out the way that I’d expected or hoped it would! Much more company, many more phone calls than I’d anticipated. Five trips to the three doctors and trying to catch up with last week’s to do list, as well as keep up with this weeks! Gracie fell halfway down the stairs this afternoon and has been pretty achy all evening. She’s sleeping with a hotpad tonight and took her first pain meds in days. ZJ has been having sympathy pains. Her foot has been hurting for two days now. (I realized after we took her to the doctor that her sister had gotten all of the attention and she’s feeling that she needs some too.) What a week!
In the midst of all this insanity, I did manage to make the switch of the girls bedrooms but the painting has yet to happen. I’m back to debating on paint colors again but that’s no problem because I’ve not had a minute to even begin taping, let alone painting! But, I’m committed now because the girls know! Oh! The best thing about this switch has been that ZJ, our early riser, has slept later than she has ever slept in her life because she’s at the quite end of the house now!
Switching rooms brought lots of de-junking, as well, which always makes me happy. The closets are still mid-transition. Organizing is what’s on my mind this week! So, I thought. I’d share a few organizing ideas for kids rooms that have worked for me over the years:
- Kids rooms are the messiest in the house because of the amount of "stuff" that has to be contained. From Legos to Barbie clothes, the tiniest toys can make the biggest messes! IRIS Carts have become a huge HUGE favorite of mine for storing toys. They’re clear and things can be seen without opening them. Less reason for the babes to dump while looking for something! As my scrapbook room has become more Pottery Barn look, the plastic drawers and containers that I used to use have made their way to the babes’ closets for Barbie stuff, dishes, baby clothes, Coloring and markers, dress-up stuff, Legos, robots, art supplies and and and...
- NUMBER ONE RULE FOR AN ORGANIZED KIDS ROOM: No more toy boxes! Toy boxes invite a mess. Kids always want the toy at the bottom of the box! The rest of the toys end up scattered and thrown in the pursuit!
- Games... If a game has a broken box, all of the pieces can be contained in gallon-size ziplock bags and the boards are stored together in one place in the game closet.
- Label everything possible. If your kids aren’t old enough to read, laminate a newspaper ad or catalog photo of what goes into what container and attach it to the front. When things are labeled, kids are far more likely to put them back where they belong. (Think kindergarten classroom... organized and put away by five year olds because they know where things belong!) Again, use see through containers!
- Rotating toys has been a wonderful practice. Use that toy box that you removed from their room in the storage room or garage to store toys that are out of rotation. Then every other month or two, pack away what’s in use and pull out the stored toys. It’s like Christmas all over!
- Something as simple as a decorative basket or bowl can be placed on a dresser to hold hair clips, ponies and bows. It’s pretty, it’s easy, it’s cheap. A one inch ribbon hanging or tacked to the wall behind the bedroom door is perfect for hair clips that "snap" shut. This was a lifesaver when my big girls were little!
- Scrapbooking organizers work just as well in a kid’s room... magnet boards for art work, floss containers for beads and bobbles and jewelry, plastic drawer organizers for small games and toys.
- Store video games in CD wallets. The covers can be placed in the sleeve opposite the actual disc so that your kids know where to place it. This also helps with keeping an inventory. You’ll know what games are missing.
- If you’ve read my blog for long, you know that this one is my pet peeve! SHOES need a home! For $5 at Wal-mart, you can purchase a canvas hanging shoe rack that will hold 8-10 pairs of grown-up shoes. These are perfect for two pairs of tiny kids size shoes. They also are great for storing things like soccer knee-pads, baseball gloves, little girls purses... you get the picture!
- Something as inexpensive as a dollar brass closet hook inside your child’s closet hook can be "home" for your child’s jacket and another for their backpack after homework is completed. They hang them at school, every single day of the year. Why not at home too!
- Quayd’s closet has two sets of the large drawer tilt-bins. Inside the bins are marbles, tiny action figures, race cars, parts to electronic games, mangetix, you name it.
- Childrens’ rooms need trash cans and the same type of items on their night stands or headboards as adults... a reading lamp, tissues, a nearby trash can and even a water bottle helps keep them in bed at night! This encourages them to stay in bed, to read and in our house, it’s even helpful in the mornings as well. They’ll just turn on their reading lamp and stay in bed instead of getting up to turn on the TV or wake everyone else.
- Utilize your space under the beds. We store a futon mattress under Gracie’s full-size bed and a foam mattress under ZJ’s twin bed. The mattresses are out of the way, dry and protected from garage dust and don’t take up valuable space. But, my favorite reason for this suggestion is... Toys, laundry and everything else under the sun doesn’t end up under the bed because it won’t fit!
- And last but not least... Don’t let your babes go to bed without taking that minute to put away their clothes and toys. That five minute pick-up can save many tears in the morning... no more last minute frantic searches for the other shoe, the lost back pack or the perfect hairbows.
Teaching a child organization is really teaching them responsibility!
Order is the sanity of the mind, the health of the body, the peace of the city, the security of the state. Like beams in a house or bones to a body, so is order to all things.