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Stuttering Shell: decluttering & organization - it's child's play.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

decluttering & organization - it's child's play.

i confess: i'm a pack rat. unfortunately, so are my children. take into consideration that we live in a small house and, well, clutter can spiral out of control and the next thing i know we look like we're living in an episode of hoarders.

okay, so it's really not that bad. but still.

we don't have a playroom. well, we did. but now it's more of a computer/craft/catch all space. {the intended use of the space should have been a formal dining room, but...} nowadays, i do my best to keep my children's clutter confined to their bedrooms.

remember, i said we live in a small house. very small.

despite my best efforts, i still find that my kids' toys, junk and other random items infiltrate my living room and even my kitchen. seriously, why are there lego men in my kitchen? why are there silly bandz all over the coffee table? do i really need a justin bieber cd next to the toaster?

here are ten of my strategies for keeping my children's rooms {you know, where they sleep, play, sulk...} in tip-top shape {otherwise known as decluttered & organized}:
  1. stay on top of things. okay, so this seems like a no-brainer and, yes, in a perfect world we would all be living in sparkling clean homes with no dust, no clutter, no mess. such is not the case. but, it is wise to keep on top of things. it's easy to "let it all go." once you do that, you've lost. sort of.
  2. get your kids involved. about once a month or so, the kids & i will go through their room - armed with garbage bags - and we decide what to keep, what to toss & what to donate. i did this last month in my son's room and wound up donating three garbage bags full of toys to one of our local shelters. three bags. and, by involving my son, it didn't feel like i was just throwing out his things. he actually decided what to keep & what to let go of.
  3. label, label, label. if it has a label on it, then there's no reason why it should be put away somewhere else. i've even gone so far as to label my children's dresser drawers. {because, let's face it moms, it's frustrating to see freshly cleaned & folded laundry end up in a pile in the corner of the bedroom.}
  4. two words: closetmaid cubes. okay, so maybe that's not what they are called, but you know what i'm talking about. those cubby things you can get at tar-jay. they require some assembly and you can buy colorful fabric bins to coordinate with your decor. they also come in various sizes. both of my children have the 9-cube organizers in their room. the fabric cubbies store everything from hot wheels, transformers and bakugan cards to nintendo ds games, cds and barbie doll clothes. i most recently purchased a mini cube organizer for each child's dresser. it's the perfect size for dvds. oh, and to conserve floor space {if your rooms are small} you can hang these bad boys on the wall {just remember to use brackets for extra strength}.  these cubes can be mounted to the wall {like dressers & bookshelves} for extra safety peace of mind, too.

  5. when in doubt, throw it out. this goes along with staying on top of things, but sometimes it IS easier to get into your kid's room while they're at school and give it a good cleaning yourself. i recently did this in my daughter's room. she's ten and she keeps everything. and, i mean everything. two trash bags later, she had a nicely organized, clutter-free room. {her closet, however, is a different story...i haven't gone there. yet.}
  6. storage, storage, storage!  take advantage of every last space available and use it wisely. in my daughter's room, all of her craft items are found under her bed. they are housed in two under the bed organizers that were originally intended for shoes. speaking of shoes, both children have shoe organizers hanging on the back of their bedroom doors. this keeps shoes off of the floor. shoe organizers are also great for storing smaller toys, craft items, etc. i also use colorful storage bins in their closets. this is a great way to hold stuffed animals, barbies and other fun things that you don't necessarily want strewn across the bed at all times.
  7. make the bed. whether it's your child's bed or a futon or daybed in the playroom, make sure it's made daily. a neat bed will make the messiest of rooms seem a little less chaotic.
  8. one new thing in, three old things out. so this principle goes along with getting your kids involved & the whole "when in doubt, throw it out" thing. for every new toy or fun item that is purchased, gifted, etc., your kiddo has to get rid of three things. seems fair, right? now, if only i could apply this principle to my own closet...
  9. have catch-all bins. the $1 of tar-jay is a great place to get cheap metal bins or buckets. you can personalize them with your child's name, too. keep it in the living room or wherever else you need it and use it as a way to corral your kiddo's things. then, make them take it to their room or playroom to put away.
  10. relax. there is no such thing as a perfect home. not in my opinion, at least, especially if you have children. 
so there you have it. my top ten tips for decluttering & organizing. it's not a perfect list, but it's a list that works for me.

what are some of your decluttering & orgazining tips?
share them with me!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hot Wheels® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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Blogger MommaKiss said...

ok, so that's YOUR kid's room? I scanned, I admit it. But that is AWESOME. We're always looking for ways to keep the shit up off the floor. Pardon my French.
Making the bed, so key. I hear ya. Weekends, tho? A messy bed is just so inviting for naps.

Sep 28, 2011, 2:19:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Wow, you are an organizing genius! Right now, with two kids 2 and under, I do all of the cleaning! My two year old is working on helping me, but sometimes that's more trouble than it's worth! Sent your tea today!!

Sep 28, 2011, 7:41:00 PM  

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