3 Tips for Organizing Kid’s Rooms

Effectively organizing kid's rooms is all about having a plan. What has helped us the most is to create an organizational system that isn't beyond the capability of our kids.

Even as my kids get older, maintaining order in their bedrooms is a constant project. My daughter, the reader, has an ever-present stack of books next to her bed. My son, the lego master, can’t seem to contain all the parts to his little creations.

I waver between the role of nagging mom, gently (or not so gently) reminding them to pick up their stuff, and prison matron, standing over them as they clean up what has become an out-of-control disaster area.

What has helped us the most is to create an organizational system that isn’t beyond their capability. It doesn’t make them want to pick up, but at least they know where to put their things when the prison matron comes calling.

Here are my three tips to simplify the process of organizing kid’s rooms:

make the closet kid-friendly

organizing kid's rooms - closet organization - kids room organization - closet storage - kids storage - kids organization

I updated my 9 year old daughter’s room recently, and we installed a closet system by EasyClosets. You can read about the installation process here. We love it and plan on installing a system in my son’s room in the future.

I designed the layout so that my daughter can easily put away her own clothes. The hanging bars and drawers are easy for her to reach. The shelves keep her shoes from ending up in a pile on the floor. There’s so much storage now that she even has room for displaying favorite items.

Use Baskets & Bins

Using containers and bins makes it easier for little ones to put away toys in a semi-organized way. Labeling bins is a great idea, especially for younger kiddos. The pictures on these labels from IHeart Organizing lets kiddos know where toys need to go.

We used to separate legos by color and honestly, it just didn’t work for us. Whenever it was time to clean up, my little guy was so overwhelmed at the thought of having to sort them all that it was a fight to get it done. We finally agreed that they didn’t need to be separated that way and it hasn’t caused any problems since.

Effectively organizing kid's rooms is all about having a plan. What has helped us the most is to create an organizational system that isn't beyond the capability of our kids.

teach kids what you mean by “clean”

Whenever I tell my daughter that she needs to clean up her room, she asks if I mean a quick tidy-up or “spic and span and spotless” (her words, not mine.) My answer helps her gauge how much work needs to be done.

Many times over the years, I’ve helped both my kids do a deep clean of their bedrooms. We go through every bin and drawer, toss or donate old toys and clothes, and clean every nook and cranny. But the day-to-day cleaning I ask them to do is far more simple.

I’ve learned that it helps to be specific about what I want them to do. “Put away your clean laundry and pick up the toys on the floor,” feels a lot more manageable to a child than walking into a messy room without any direction.

Organizing kid’s rooms is one of those jobs that starts out as yours and can eventually become your kids’ responsibility. By putting systems in place that they can understand, it’s more likely that they will actually keep their room in order.

Be sure to check out all 14 Days of Organization!

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Master Bath Refresh

Ever since the start of the new year, I’ve been on a cleaning and organizing streak. Between hosting over the holidays and the general busyness, our house felt like a hot mess. Cleaning helped, but also drew my attention to areas that really need some extra attention. As I focus on specific areas of the house, it’s helpful to have a plan to map out specific tasks. Today, I’ll share with you how I recently tackled our master bath.

master bath update | master bathroom | bathroom organization

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw my sneak peek of one of our newly reorganized bathroom drawers. Our master bathroom has a good amount of storage, but was so cluttered that the drawers were practically overflowing. The cabinets were just as bad. After gathering some inspiration for organizing the bathroom, I figured out my action plan. I spray painted a bunch of plastic containers I had on hand and got down to business .

Step one: empty all drawers & cabinets

The best way to refresh a space is to start with a clean slate. By taking everything out of the drawers, cabinets, and off the counter, I was able to thoroughly clean the vanity. I could also see everything that was taking up space in the bathroom and remove all the things that were out of place. I pulled a handful of things aside for donation and threw out anything that was broken, expired or unneeded.

step two: deep clean

After emptying the bathroom, I wiped down the mirrors, countertop and inside the drawers and cabinets. I had previously covered the insides with contact paper because the vanity was looking pretty grungy when we first moved in. At some point, we’ll replace the vanity and countertop, but for now the contact paper makes it feel cleaner and brighter.

Deep cleaning and reorganizing the master bathroom makes it a much more functional and tranquil space.

step three: organize the drawers and cabinets

Once everything was clean, I started by arranging the plastic containers in the drawers for the best configuration. As I put like items together, I moved the containers around to accommodate the storage I needed. It took a lot of trial and error, but eventually I found the right arrangement. Now our drawers are so much neater and more purposefully organized. How about some fun before and after photos  to really show the difference?!

Deep cleaning and reorganizing the master bathroom makes it a much more functional and tranquil space.

Deep cleaning and reorganizing the master bathroom makes it a much more functional and tranquil space.

Deep cleaning and reorganizing the master bathroom makes it a much more functional and tranquil space.

I’ve been so happy opening my bathroom drawers and seeing everything in its place. My husband was literally speechless when he saw the results. I still need to install drawer pulls and find something to put on the wall between the two mirrors, but I’m so excited about this updated space already.

For fun, I’ll show you what this bathroom looked like before we bought the house…

And now…

Deep cleaning and reorganizing the master bathroom makes it a much more functional and tranquil space.

Simple, functional decor keeps the counter top pretty and free of clutter.

You can see where I originally posted about this space here. It will be really fun to give this bathroom a full update someday, but for now I’m much happier with it feeling clean and organized!

 

{Linking to the Inspiration Gallery, the Creative Gallery, Show & Tell Link Party}

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Organized in the New Year

Happy New Year! The organizing nerd in me loves this time of year. After the relative chaos of the holiday season, however fun and magical it may be, I find it cathartic to put things back in their place once all the Christmas decor is taken down. Similar to the start of a new school year, the beginning of the new calendar year seems like the perfect time to get organized. It’s also a great time to make plans for the year.

Setting Goals

I’ve been reading a lot about setting goals lately. I’ve always liked making resolutions at the start of a new year, but I have a hard time following through because a resolution is simply a starting point. Goal-setting is like making a plan of action for turning a resolution into reality.

One of my favorite bloggers, Abby, from Just A Girl and Her Blog, has some fantastic posts about how to set and accomplish your goals. One of her best suggestions in this post is to start with big picture goals and then narrow them down into monthly, weekly and even daily steps. She even created a goal-oriented printable planner for 2016 called The Intentional Life Planner. I’m a little embarrassed to say how excited I was to print it out and start filling it in.

A printable planner perfect for planning your day and setting goals.

I love the feeling that the week is a blank slate… even though it is quickly filled with the kids’ activities and all sorts of grownup responsibilities. #itshardtobeanadult There are two sizes available and I chose the smaller option so I could fit it in my bag easily.

Household Binder

In addition to my planner, I have a household binder that I use to keep track of bills, school info, and my cleaning schedule. I found the printables I use at Organizing Homelife. There are several that I use in my binder and there are many more to choose from.

daily chore list

I use a plastic sheet protector so that I can check things off without having to reprint them each week. Am I the only one who loves to check items off a list?? TIP: You can use a sharpie on plastic sheet protectors and it comes off easily with rubbing alcohol.

Cleaning Schedule

The daily tasks are basic housekeeping chores, while the weekly list maps out which area of the house gets cleaned on which day. This might seem incredibly anal to some people, but it’s so much easier for me to ensure that all rooms get cleaned regularly. I don’t follow this schedule to a tee, but checking things off gives me an idea of not only what needs to be done, but how much cleaning I might need to do on a given day.

monthly chore page

The weekly chore list helps me maintain a clean home for my family. The monthly zone list takes cleaning up a notch so that all the different areas of our home get a thorough deep-cleaning once a month. For example, I vacuum our living room often because we have two young children and a dog. I only vacuum behind the sofa once a month.

I use my planner to jot down the cleaning tasks I need to do so that time for cleaning is part of my daily schedule. This gives you an idea of how I’m making my goal to be more organized in 2016 party of my daily schedule.

What tricks or tips do you have for achieving your goals??

 

{Linking to The Creative Gallery, Work It Wednesday}

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Natural Cleaning Products

Do you use natural cleaning products in your house? Here are some common items that can be used for safer. less toxic cleaning.

I’m working on using more natural cleaning products in my house. After years of employing antibacterial products, disinfectants, and bleach-based cleaners, it’s hard to believe that the house can be just as clean using far less toxic cleaners. I’m pretty sure it’s not a good sign if you feel a little light-headed after cleaning the bathroom. Now that we’ve got a little one crawling through the house, I’m paying more attention to what types of products I use.

I’ve yet to fully abandon all my old cleaning products, but I’ve switched to green cleaners for the areas that my little explorer comes in contact with the most. I’ve been researching ways to use basic products that are both non-toxic and much cheaper than the standard buzz-inducing stuff. Here are a few of the alternatives I found.

Lemons

Cut a lemon in half to clean wood cutting boards or to remove stains on the countertop. Just let the juice sit and then wipe down.

Add 1/2 cup lemon juice to the rinse cycle to help brighten your whites.

Salt

Coarse salt can help remove stubborn food from pots and pans. Soak the pan with 3 tbsp salt in a few inches of water before scrubbing.

Vinegar

Mix 1 part water and 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle for an all-purpose cleaner with natural disinfectant properties (avoid granite because the acid can damage the finish).

Pour 1 cup vinegar into the toilet and let sit for a few hours before scrubbing to remove rings, deodorize and disinfect.

Add 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle to help soften sheets and towels OR to help remove the mildewy smell from clothes that may have sat too long in the washer.

Baking Soda

Mix 1 part water with 3 parts baking soda for a natural abrasive cleaner to remove stains on tubs, counters and sinks.

Sprinkle baking soda into the bottom of the garbage can or in the bag to help control odors.

Tea Tree Oil

Mix 15 drops tea tree oil with 1 quart warm water in a spray bottle for an all-purpose cleaner with antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Mix 2 tsp tea tree oil with 2 cups water for a more powerful spray to use on toilets or to kill mold.

I was pretty impressed by all the different ways to cut down on the junk that pollutes our home. It’s bad enough to have to clean the shower at all, let alone to have a hangover afterwards.

How do you use natural products to clean your home?

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Spring Cleaning

There’s something about the fresh air of spring that makes me want to open all the windows and refresh the house. Tsh Oxenreider from The Art of Simple has a great series on spring cleaning. It’s a practical approach, addressing the house room by room through a three-step process: declutter, clean and organize.

The first step is to do a quick sweep of all the surface clutter so that you can more clearly see just how much work you need to do. We actually didn’t have as much junk lying around as I thought. The whole quickie decluttering process took me about half an hour. Just for your enjoyment, here are some before and after photos, all in the name of motivation for me to keep working.

Living Room:

Before: (the toy basket has a removable cover that we put on when we have company to fool our guests into thinking our house is cleaner than it is)

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After:

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Kitchen:

Before: (this corner is the notorious dumping ground in our home)

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After:

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Kitchen Table

Before:

DSCF1121

After:

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Bedroom

Before: (this picture really doesn’t do justice to the magazine stack on the top corner of the bed)

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After:

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Sometimes small changes make a big impact. Just clearing surfaces of unnecessary clutter does a lot to make our house feel more comfortable and peaceful.

What are your tricks for spring cleaning?

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