Monday, October 28, 2013

Simple Changes to Get Kids Organized

The following is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.

Big Brother has been dreaming of the day when he could once again have his own room.   As the boys have gotten older, we've discovered that the personalities of our 7-year-old and our 5-year-old aren't really conducive to them sharing a room, so we decided to switch things around and see how they go for awhile.  Currently, our 5 and 2-year-old are sharing a room, our 7-year-old has his own room, and our 1-year-old is in the sitting room off the master bedroom (not an ideal situation, but he still doesn't sleep through the night reliably).

Getting and keeping all four boys organized has been one of my biggest goals for this year and I thought I would share some of our simple solutions as we're working toward that goal.

My main thought during this process has been to SIMPLIFY as much as possible!  We are constantly decluttering toys and trying to streamline our routines.

For example, we have our Morning Routine posted to the back of Big Brother's door.  These were originally in the room that he shared with his 5-year-old brother, but he loved them so much he asked to keep them.  They have pictures for each step so that even my 2-year-old can follow along.
We've also simplified their closets as much as possible.  Granted, it's not the closet design of my dreams...
 Photo Courtesy of California Closets

But, it gets the job done and stays within my budget.  Their closets all contain hanging organizers labelled for each day of the school week and Sunday.  They typically get to wear what they want on Saturdays.  Each weekend, I consult the school newsletters for special dress-up days and fill their organizers accordingly (keeping in mind PE days).
Big Brother is now in the old nursery so he also has a hanging organizer of shoes divided by size.  These are primarily for his youngest siblings and has been a huge help to me.  Before we use to keep them in a large tote and every time one of the boys needed new shoes, I would have to go digging through the tubs to see what we had in that size before heading out to purchase new ones.  With them organized, I can see at a glance what we have in each size.

I also keep a supply of baby clothes/toys ready for baby showers and birthdays in this closet.  The top of the closet holds baby blankets, extra quilts, and a handful of "just in case" presents that really need to find a new home.

I keep totes in the bottom of the closet to store clothes as the boys outgrow them.  As the totes fill up, I label them and take them to our storage room in the basement where they'll wait until the next child needs them.  I know many people who don't like to hold on to this extra "clutter", but since I KNOW that we'll be using them again in the near future, it makes sense for us to hold on to these boxes.  I can't tell you how much money we've saved by "shopping our basement".

For his books, we repainted an old bookcase and added some baskets from my old classroom days.  He likes to organize his books by series and keeps his library books in one basket.  Having the books displayed this way also makes him more likely to pick them up because he can see their covers.  It's also easy for the boys to pick them out and put them back in.  The bottom shelf holds his journals and larger books.  To complete his reading corner we added a comfy rocking chair courtesy of our wonderful neighbors.  

The kids are permitted to keep one pair of shoes in the basket in our foyer.  These are the shoes that they wear most days.  All other shoes are kept in their own closets.

I also picked up a cheap cubby organizer to house our mittens, hats, and scarves this winter with the hopes that it will save us from digging through the foyer basket and keep them from being scattered all over the living room.

I repainted a small coat stand from my Mother-in-law and placed it in the foyer for the boys to keep their jackets and shoes.  It has done wonders for my stress level just to have the jackets and backpacks off the floor.

I'm looking forward to the day when our youngest will move out of our sitting room and we can reclaim that space.  Once that happens, we'll be looking for lots of home office design ideas.  Until then, I'm just going to keep finding ways to make things run smoother as a family of 6!

If you're looking for more ways to get organized, I hope you'll check out our Organized Living with Kids series for lots of simple tips and ideas!  You can also keep up with our recipes, kids crafts, and daycare activities by following us on our Facebook or Pinterest pages or signing up for emails

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  1. This is great! I mounted a 5-hook rack at my son's level by the door so he can hang up his own coat (or sweatshirt), hat, and school bag immediately when coming home. It helps tremendously! He also has a shoe basket to keep those corralled.

    1. Margaret, thanks for sharing! I've also contemplated adding hooks to the wall, but things change so much around here I can't commit to anything, yet. I'm sure it's coming :)

  2. The doorway area is one of our big problem areas. We all have more than one coat and no coat closet. The coat stand helps but we had to move it with baby brother getting to that climbing stage! I can relate to your "not my dream closet, but it gets the job done," sentiment! Ha!

    1. Laura, thanks for sharing! We're fortunate to have the coat closet so the stand is more for the little ones who can't reach their hangers, but I definitely understand about those baby brothers :) I'm sure we'll have to keep adjusting our systems as they get older.

  3. The corkboard idea is such a cute way to display artwork, schoolwork...we need to try that!

    1. Thanks Tara! My son really loves being able to change out the artwork on there and it's been great to have somewhere to keep those special awards from school safe. He's so proud of it! :)