In my first post about organization I shared how I keep all my children’s keepsakes organized. Today I’ll share how we organize our home and KEEP it organized. Let’s be honest, keeping things organized is really the struggle and some of my children have made it obvious that they didn’t inherit my organizational gene.
So I frequently ask myself, how do I strengthen their organizational abilities, aka help me to not go crazy over their stuff scattered everywhere, while making my home a comfortable, livable space?
Here are some tips and tricks I have found to be helpful:
When seasons change, one of the first thoughts I have is “oh no, I have to change out all of their clothes!” The task of switching out clothes for each of my children is one of the most dreaded tasks for me. Naturally, I had to implement a plan to make this task a little less daunting.
We keep a basket in the top of their closets for clothes that become too small. Once the basket is full, I disperse the clothes to storage containers in the attic or we donate them.
When it is time to replace summer clothes with winter clothes or vice versa, I get the container out of the attic that is labeled with their gender and size on it. Then, my child goes through the bin with me to determine what they are REALLY going to wear. I have learned to respect their own personal preference because what one girl wore isn’t necessarily what the next girl will choose to wear.
Shoes seem to multiply around our house, especially when we’re in the midst of sports. Again, we had to create a space dedicated solely for shoes. There are bins in the bottom of their closets for shoes they don’t wear often or shoes that are out of season. However, in our garage sits the best shoe shelf I became the lucky owner of. Our kids put their shoes in the cubby before they enter the house. (Of course, we always have those who can’t take the extra step to actually put the shoes in the cubby.)
While I had all of our activities recorded on my calendar, my family was unaware of when things were happening and what to expect. So, I purchased a framed dry erase board and hung it in our kitchen where we spend most of our time. Every weekend, I write the activities for the upcoming week on the board. With a quick glance, everyone knows what is occurring that week.
I also have a menu board hanging next to it so I don’t get the “what’s for dinner?” question ten times a day. The menu board also helps me plan meals and stick to a grocery list without purchasing items I don’t need.
Toys, toys, toys, everywhere there are toys. Like most people, we have baskets and bins strategically placed throughout the house with toys. One thing we have done in the past, that we need to revisit, is rotating toys. We ‘hold’ some toys in the attic for a few months and then rotate them in the toy bins while putting some other toys in the attic. It helps keep them from taking over my home and my kids feel like they get ‘new’ toys every few months.
I spent who knows how long searching for drop-off ideas on Pinterest. Then, I found a set of cubbies on a consignment website. It was pretty banged up, but with a little sandpaper and paint, it was ready to be used again. Now we put school papers in the smaller cubbies and book bags and coats for school in the longer cubbies. Each child has their own cubby, so this worked out perfectly.
These are some of the most effective strategies we implemented to keep our house organized. When items have a specified place, we know exactly where to find them. One of the best things that has come from these systems is if something isn’t in its place, then the natural consequence of a child not having the item they’re seeking comes into play. The other bonus is we aren’t running around frantically searching for items … well most of the time.