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Space saving tips for Organizing your childs stuff

Soon after we had a child our home became cluttered with stuff. Our open floor plan presented some additional issues since the living room and dining area were essentially the same room with no physical partition. At 1st it was pretty manageable but by our 2nd Christmas our open space was filled with clutter. One thing that I think I would do different is to limit the type of stuff we purchased avoiding toys with a lot of pieces or small pieces. I have made many an impulse buy that I later regretted because I was endlessly picking pieces up off the floor.(Or worse yet stepping on them if you ever stepped on a lego you know what I am talking about) In an effort to regain some order to the chaos we put up floor to ceiling shelves in the living room. Books and items that don't require as much supervision are on the 1st 3 levels and items that we want to keep out of reach are higher up. This has helped to keep books, games and some toys more in order. It is somewhat safer as well because items that are not to be played with unsupervised are more difficult to get at and are out of sight. We have also started to implement a rule where you need to put away one toy before taking a new one out. This is not too rigid she can take out multiple toys if she is playing with them all. However if she was playing with Legos and then wants to color, the Legos would need to go away. We help with the put away but want her to be involved. The goal is to eventually have her be completely responsible for keeping her belongings in order. I have purchased some clear stackable drawers and am looking at some other storage ideas. Stuffed animals and smaller toys are problem areas. Books and Games Stack away easily and our video shelf has helped to keep Videos and DVD's in pretty good order. Art work is another problem area. I cannot bring myself to throw away my daughters artwork (Did I mention that I was a pack rat) Last year I got an art Folder which is a big accordion folder and can hold poster sized paper. This is a good option for paintings and drawings but things that are pasted together or have glitter on them do not fair well. I know some people who have used filing cabinets for artwork, cards, etc. you can also use the wider Rubbermaid type clothes storage bins which can be Hidden under a table or bed. If you want you can make this an art project, decorate a box or storage bin and keep it out in the open. (Some fabric, glue, and a little time can transform any box into a decorative storage bin.
For art and craft Supplies a hanging shoe organizer can keep craft supplies in plain sight yet neat and out of the way. You can fill the pockets with everything from Markers, crayons, pencils, pipe cleaners or anything else your child needs to build their masterpieces. The organizer can hang on any door or wall as long and should be near a table where little ones can sit down to work.

If you are fortunate enough to have a basement this is an ideal space to turn into a child's play area and help to keep or regain your own living space. You can make the area more safe by putting down foam flooring or carpet and should wrap metal columns. Depending on how creative you want to be you could transform this area into whatever your child is into. If they like Pirates you could Theme the area that way and even build some props. I know some people who have had there children's room turned into a room within a room They built castle with a loft bed on the 2nd level and Storage for Clothes, Books, and Toys on the 1st level. Your Living space is what you make it your home should be a place where you feel comfortable and at ease not a main stressor in your life.


Michael said...

I didn't do too good of a job editing the last article so I reposted with changes


Some random thoughts about clutter:

Fist, Legos- quite possibly the most sadistic toy ever invented. Why, you may ask? You wouldn't have to ask if you ever found a misplaced one in the middle of the night in the middle of the floor...not only are they PAINFUL to the 3rd power to step in, they also wind up stickng to the foot giving the wonderful excrusiating sensation over and over, the toy that truly keeps on giving.
My other regret as far as gifts for the kids is ANYTHING larger than a breadbox that is not foldable, stashable or otherwise able to be moved out of sight. I always cringe at around thanksgiving time or a few weeks before b-days when I see a toy that will inevitably take up more than 1.5 cubic feet of living space. Buy wisely, young Skywalker!

Michael said...

Some additional Tips
10 ways to improve the organization of your kids’ bedroom closets
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Keep a consistent inventory of your child's belongings and regularly purge old or damaged items. If you find unused toys, books or clothes, then consider donating them to a children's center or hospital. Belongings that are outgrown but in good condition can always be passed down to another friend or family member.

Have we mentioned the beauty of using bins and baskets to store toys? We have. But such storage containers can also encourage your child to appreciate the fine art of careful organization. which has long-range academic and personal benefits.

When you design the organization system for your child's bedroom closet, try to create one that he/she can maintain with the greatest of ease. For example, if the closet space is large enough for double rods, then you can hang school and play clothes on the bottom and dressy and seasonal garments on the top.

To encourage older kids to organize items that are stored on higher shelves, then make sure to provide them with a stool for easier access.

If your kids are budding artists, then install a tactile board to display their masterpieces.

To promote proper kiddie room organization, label every storage bin so the children of the house will know where to put toys when they're finished playing with them. For kids who can't read yet, then you can label containers with pictures of, say, stuffed animals, toy cars or books.

High closet shelves are perfect for storing infrequently used items or things that your kids still need to grow into.

While curtains add a certain decorative flair to any bedroom, some folks also use floor-length versions to conceal piles of tangled toys. Not a good idea, since concealing clutter doesn't make it go away. Opt instead for storage containers labeled for toys, books and DVDs.
Include a laundry basket/drawer so kids know where to put their dirty clothing.

To prevent shoes from littering the floor of your child's bedroom, install shoe shelving

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