Vertically challenged, full-time mama of two children; a boy and a girl. Wife to a husband who knows me too well. Past work experience includes interactive marketing, public relations, and teaching. Self-proclaimed worrier and over-thinker. Loves the sun, cookies & cream ice cream, and lounging on the couch with a good foodie magazine.

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De-Clutter in the New Year: Part Two of Two

Since you are reading this, you must have taken a tour around your home and rid yourself of all that excessive stuff, right?  I took another lap and found two boxes worth of things we didn’t need and the donation truck is arriving today.  When you have growing children, managing toys and clothes is a constant need.  You will drown in sippy cups and stuffed animals if you don’t.  No lie.

Once all the excess has bid you farewell, now you must organize what you do have.  Kids do a much better job at cleaning up when they know where things go.

Step 1: Look at your storage space in a new way

A few weeks ago, my hubby decided that we had too much wasted space in our linen closet, so we went through everything and after removing old towels and sheets that we couldn’t remember using in the last five years, there was so much room!  The top two shelves are now reserved for linens and the bottom few are now devoted to board games, puzzles, and oddly shaped toys.

Sometimes we just keep putting towels and sheets away in a closet that is overloaded with items we don’t use anymore.  We really don’t know why we still have them, but they are taking up valuable space that could be used for something else.  Forget the, “But, I MIGHT use them someday” excuse and free yourself!

Step 2: Invest in some storage solutions

We have a bonus room (also known as the kids’ playroom) and some sort of order is a must in there.  We have tried stuffing everything on bookshelves and it does the job, but it isn’t pretty.  I have purchased baskets and bins, tubs and cubbies.  Your needs change as your children grow, so look at what makes the most sense for you and your space.  Sometimes it really is as simple as a few tubs for your baby’s toys, and sometimes you have so many books that a larger unit is unavoidable.  There are, however, solutions at all price points if you keep your eyes open.

Here are some of my faves:

Land of Nod - Storagepalooza Collection


Land of Nod - Strapping Collection


One Step Ahead - Closet Organizer


Ikea storage - Expedit unit


Step 3: Decide where things go

Let the kids help you with this step.  They can put their special toys and games in specific bins or tubs.  Color code them or put pictures of the category (i.e. cars, crayons, blocks, etc.) on the front of the bin so that children can identify what goes inside.  Be sure that your younger child’s things are on lower shelves so that they can get to them easily.  We do this with books, making sure that sturdy board books are on the bottom and hardbacks and more fragile ones are up top for my older child.

Happy Organizing!  Would love to hear some of your tips!

Land of Nod heaven!


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