Kids are like little hoarders in training, and if you don’t get a handle on their clutter, your house will soon look like a scene out of, well, a movie where there’s a lot of stuff everywhere. Part 4 of The Ultimate Guide to Staying Organized: Must-Read Solutions offers some very creative ideas for organizing your kids’ stuff!
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If you have kids, are planning to have kids, have grandkids, or have ever had a kid at your house, this post is for you! In all seriousness, Part 3 in our four-part organization series is the bomb for those of you who have kids living at your house. (Check out Part 1 and Part 2 for tons of creative organizing solutions!) Of course, different season of life, will call for different types of organizational solutions, but many will transcend the age of your kids! If you are just joining us, I have collaborated with a friend of mine (Jenna), who is a Home Organizer, to bring you some VERY creative ways to keep you staying organized!
I have a one-year-old daughter and an almost four-year-old son, so I basically have a “Put it and Pray” method to my organizing. Does this sound familiar to any of you!? I’m not talking about how you ended up with kids in the first place! 😉 I’m talking about putting things away, ANYWHERE, and praying that your kids don’t dump more things all over the floor before you’ve even finished putting the first things away!
My son is finally old enough to clean up some of the messes that get made, but with my limited organizational methods, a lot of things just end up anywhere. Some of you might say that cleaned up is cleaned up, but I want all of the animals together, and all of the Mr. Potato Head things together! My husband is even worse. When my he picks up the mess, forget about ANY organization! He just throws things wherever he wants! I hear some of you saying, “He picks things up! Be happy!” but it drives me crazy that he doesn’t even try to categorize things!
Having a clean and organized home is a habit and something that you have to create. It’s not the easiest thing for me, but I want my kids to take pride in their organization. It sounds so obvious, but you have to teach your kids to clean up and to put things back. I am guilty of putting things away for my son because it is SO much faster, but he’s not going to learn if I continue to do that! I am trying my best to turn this into a long lasting habit! I just bought some new storage bins for both of my kids’ rooms. You can see the post I wrote on looking for some unique storage bins HERE!
Although you can tell that Jenna has children by looking around her house, every-kid-thing has a place and every-kid-thing is in it’s place. Jenna is realistic and recognizes that kids are collectors and hoarders. I just can’t stand those houses that look like kids don’t even live there! So to provide some inspiration and prove that you can have a kid-friendly home AND an organized home, here are a few pictures from Jenna’s gorgeous house!
Here’s a cute story, this toy car was Ryan’s and Jenna’s wedding cake topper! When Ryan and Jenna were dating, Jenna mentioned that her dream car would be a vintage baby blue convertible VW bug with a white top. After hearing that, Ryan searched online, found one in California, and had it restored! He surprised her with it as a gift about a year after dating! The even bigger surprise was when he told her to get in the car, opened the glove compartment (where the ring was stashed) and proposed!
Let me add that even though Jenna is super organized and neat, her house is also the place where all the kids come to get messy and creative! Her basement playroom is the perfect place for the kids to let loose! They are always painting, drawing, creating with the rainbow loom, building Legos, making slime…and the list continues! That’s where her daughter started her online ETSY shop Slime Kingdom by Reagan!
Since she has two kids of her own, she knows that the struggle is real! She already has touched on the “stuff” that kids come home with from parties, school, take-out lunches, etc. that ends up on the counters and floors of your home in Part 2: Empty Storage Space. She has cracked the code for keeping the kid clutter under control!
The Ultimate Guide to Staying Organized: Must-Read Solutions Part 3
Kids Organizing Solutions
by Jenna (Home Organizing Solutions)
Part 3: Kids Organizing Solutions
Kids have lots of stuff, there’s no getting around it! The ideas I share with you below ultimately all come from me having a mini-meltdown about the kids’ stuff just screaming to be organized…enjoy!
Matching Storage Bins Throughout Your Home
One way that I have managed to keep our house kid-friendly without looking like a three-ring circus is by using storage containers that coordinate nicely throughout our entire house. We are lucky enough to have a separate playroom in our basement, but that doesn’t mean that all of our kids’ things are contained only in that space. We store their toys, games, and books throughout our entire home, but you might not know it by looking at our living room and family room bookshelves where we use these seagrass baskets!
I have a thing for wide horizontal stripes, as well as patterns with black and white. These rugby bins from The Container Store coordinate with the decor in just about every room in our house. Some of them contain kids’ stuff and some of them contain ‘regular’ stuff….we have them in our family room entryway for the family’s shoes, hats, and mittens, as well as underneath an end table for magazines. There’s one in our powder room to hold extra rolls of TP, and several in our laundry room as well. But most of them live in the kids’ playroom!
When the kids were really little, I was tempted to buy cute, kid-themed storage bins for their playroom, but now that they are older, I’m glad I didn’t….their playroom is functional and the decor will last as they grow. That space will eventually evolve into a ‘teen’ space that won’t need to be redecorated. They might grow out of their toys, but those bins can be used to hold new items as their needs and wants change. And as they begin to have fewer toys, I can use those bins somewhere else in the house.
Nerf Gun Storage
Does anyone else have kids who are obsessed with Nerf Guns? I found a way to contain and display them in a fun way…on a shoe rack! Some of the larger ones rest right on top of each ‘shelf’, and I used S-hooks to hang the smaller ones. I also hung little buckets of Nerf darts along the bottom, and, of course, safety goggles. The best part of this is that when my son grows out of Nerf guns, he (or someone else in our family) can use it for…a shoe rack!
Stuffed Animal/Beanie Boo Storage
Beanie Boos have taken over my daughter’s bedroom. If you don’t know what Beanie Boos are, consider yourself lucky! Ha ha! They are small stuffed animals…a.k.a. dust-bunny magnets. As my daughter’s collection grew (and grew…and grew…), she really wanted a fun way to store them so that she could admire all of them, without just throwing them into a basket, which is how we used to store them. I came up with this idea by accident – my daughter came into my closet with one of her Beanie Boos while I was hanging up a scarf in one of those scarf hangers. She poked its head through one of the holes, and it fit perfectly! So one trip to Target to buy a few more scarf hangers, and we were on our way to creating “stadium seating” for her Beanie Boos! We used command hooks attached to her IKEA Kallax bookcase to “hang” each scarf hanger, and now she can admire her entire collection without some of them being buried in the bottom of a basket.
Art Display/Bulletin Board
Both of my kids love to display their art, photographs, postcards, and other random tidbits of paper. I have found over the years that any store-bought bulletin boards I found were just way too small, and way too expensive! I found two different ways to display my kids’ art.
The first way is a DIY “bulletin board” made out of insulation foam board.
1. 2 ft. x 2 ft. insulation foam board (I used 4 of these)
2. Fabric (enough to wrap each 2 ft. x 2 ft. board)
4. Velcro command strips (to hang onto wall)
6. Decorative ribbon (optional)
7. Pins (optional – to attach ribbon)
I wrapped each of four insulation foam boards with fabric (wrapping like a present, but leaving the back uncovered) and secured with packing tape. I then attached Velcro command strips to the backs of each board, and attached to the wall. You can use as many or as few as you want – I decided I wanted a huge square, so it is a whopping 4 ft. x 4 ft. space! Once it was attached to the wall, I used pins to attach decorative ribbon to the perimeter. Using pins (as opposed to glue) allows you the option to swap it out for a different ribbon if someone decides they change what their favorite color is! Same goes for using packing tape to secure the fabric – it can easily be swapped out. Another idea would be to create a “nailhead” type trim (instead of ribbon) by putting thumbtacks around the edge of the board. The best part about this project is that it has a big impact in the room, AND it’s not something I worry will fall down when my daughter and her friends are pinning pictures to it…the insulation foam board is super lightweight!
The second way is to use an oil drip pan from an automotive supply store. In my son’s room we installed two!
1. Oil drip pan
This one is a bit easier, as it involves no craftiness whatsoever! Oil drip pans are about 24” x 36”, magnetic, and only cost about $11. Hang them on the wall with Velcro command strips, and all that’s left to do is hang your art with magnets! My son has two in his room, hung side by side.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my ideas and are inspired to get your kids organized!
Thank you a million times Jenna! This gives all of us parents, or anyone living with kids, the hope that if not now, eventually our clutter can be tamed and our house organized like it is in our dreams!
Jenna swears that her house did not look this clean and organized when her kids were real little. I think she’s just being humble! But only time will tell. In a few years I’ll get to see if it actually IS my kids or if it’s me!