Organization…start them young.

Organization…start them young.

January 6, 2011

I think we may have discussed the topic of organization at least once or twice before and you know, it’s something worth striving for.  Being organized saves time and money.  How many times have you rebought something because you’ve misplaced it?  And how often are you late because you can’t find that one item that you thought was right where you left it?  Hopefully not very often.  I’m usually a fairly organized person but in the past little while, things have gotten out of hand!  And it makes me a little grumpy.  Like the other day when the girls and I were putting away all the toys that were strewn across their playroom floor, I may have been a teeny bit grumpy. But it did get me thinking about how important it is to teach children how to tidy up and organize their things.  I’m hoping, that once I’ve formatted their little brains, their organizational skills will help them later on in life and my sanity now.  You do have to be realistic though.  You can’t really expect a young child to give two hoots if their room is clean or not and big messes are very overwhelming, so I’ve heard. Why not set it up in the first place so they can manage on their own or with a little help from time to time.  I found a whole bunch of great ideas to share with you.

My girls love art and at the moment we use our kitchen table for all our art activities.  It isn’t the most convenient spot but right now it’s the best spot.  I would love to add a little corner like this in their playroom so they can work on projects and not have to clean them up for mealtimes if they aren’t yet finished.  With the help of shelves and bins to store their supplies, some within reach and some not, they could create until their heart’s content.  What do you think of these recycled storage containers?  I love the idea of using a coffee table or a small kitchen table with the legs cut short.

1. tin cans via Storage Glee 2. art table 3. milk jug bins

I’ve had my eye on one of these Expedit shelving units from Ikea for awhile now.  Bins and baskets on the bottom make everyday toys easily accessible and high shelves mean less to clean up later.  Since my girls were babies, I’ve been regularly swapping out their toys.  Old toys become new again.

My good friend, Vicki, just started making these storage bins.  Aren’t they great?  They are durable, soft and stylish.  The handles make clean up easy as you carry them from room to room gathering toys as you go.  Her large sized version just might fit in the Expedit too.

For those of you who are limited on space, you may need to be creative.  You probably have more space than you think and if you don’t, why not do a big purge and just keep what you need.  Kids don’t really need as much as we think they do.  In fact, I’m pretty sure they will play more with “special” toys if there isn’t as much to choose from.  I think I might have to install one of these in my closets first but think of all the real estate for clothes and toys!  All in one closet.

Vintage crates are so useful, why not use them to store books too?  Or toys?  Or stuffed animals?  Whatever.  And they look so much better than the Rubbermaid version.  To make them a little more child-friendly add a set of castor wheels.  Just beware, they may turn into “cars”.

It might be the Early Childhood Educator in me but I’ve always loved wall shelves for children’s books.  I appreciate a quality book and it’s illustrations.  Not only is it a great storage option but also a way to incorporate a little art into your decor.  I was attracted immediately to this one because it’s a little smaller in scale than they usually are.  And then I realized it is made out of three Ikea spice racks!  Brilliant!

The Style Files via Ohdeedoh via Domestic Simplicity

And this idea wins the prize for crate useage!  Holly Mathis came up with this idea to contain all her sons’ Lego and wooden blocks .  I love the “work in progress” crate and especially the sign for siblings or clean freak mamas. The swivel wheels make it easy to hide them under a bed at clean up time.  We don’t have any Lego in our house yet and I’m sure we will sooner or later.  I can think of many other toys that could live in these crates…Playmobile, Barbie clothes and accessories, Polly Pockets, Littlest Pet Shop, Matchbox cars, crayons, hair pretties, and on and on.  I came across stacks and stacks of these soda pop crates and I think Lily and I will have to go and stock upLet us know if you’d like one or two and we’ll see what we can do.

And of course, I have to mention lockers again… What more can I say?  We love lockers.  I love the industrial metal against that pretty pink wall with the vintage curtains.  I wish there were pictures of this room.  Anyways, closed storage means that at least if it isn’t organized, you can just shut the door.  Right?

And last but not least, two very clever ideas indeed.  If you have a little (or big) person in your home who loves toy cars and if they happen to be metal, this idea is for you!  A wall mounted magnetic knife strip to park them on when not in use.  And how about this fun storage bin?  Two old tires retrofitted with a bottom, a lid and a set of wheels for ease of use.  Go ahead and make a few more while you are at it because I’ve heard they fill up fast.

1. car magnet 2. tire bin

Phew…and that’s your lesson on storage and organization today, folks.

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