Look at these two photos. There is a "technical" organizing error in the one on the left, can you spot it?
When you organize a space, you select solutions that work now. Some time in the future, it is likely that the solutions you selected will no longer work. The spaces in our homes are not static. They are always changing as items are added, moved, or removed. You will need to go back after a period of time to tweak/edit what you had previously organized. With good maintenance and upkeep habits, your work will be minimal (and may even be fun!).
Organize those Polly Pockets and other small dolls and accessories in a clear, snap-shut case. My favorite part of this project was watching my daughter devise her own system as to what goes where. If you empower your kids during the organizing process they will be more likely to maintain the system.
Fall is quickly approaching and if you have a garden, it's almost time to pull out those mason jars!
Here are a few ideas for using mason jars for organizing small unruly items:
-In the bathroom for cotton balls, q-tips, make up sponges, and make up brushes
-For art supplies such as crayons, pom poms, and buttons
-In the kitchen for cooking utensils on the counter
-In the pantry for pasta, rice, oatmeal, and quinoa
-In the office as a pencil holder
-For cupcake wrappers
-In the bathroom as a toothbrush holder
-In the kitchen for spices
-In the workshop for screws, nails, and nuts/bolts
-For sewing supplies like spools of thread, needles, and ribbons
-As a match holder with a piece of sand paper secured above the lid for striking
-As a keepsake holder
-In the basement for leftover paint
I saw this very clever and very easy-to-make ski rack at a client's house and couldn't resist taking a picture. To re-create: buy 2 long pieces of wood and some dowels, drill holes in each piece of wood (the size of the diameter of the dowels), and insert the dowels. I am inspired to do this in my garage! See, you really do learn something everyday :)
Here are some out of the box scarf storage ideas:
If you are a visual person, like me, and want to see pictures, find me on Pinterest (search Elizabeth Bremer) and view my closet organizing "Board." Good luck wrangling your scarves!
The holidays are over and it's time to look forward to the new year. How can you turn dread into ease and enjoyment next December when it is time to pull out your holiday decorations? Before you just shove all your decorations in a box (tangled/non-working lights, broken ornaments, and all), organize and pack them like a pro now. It doesn't take that much more effort and you will thank yourself later, I promise.
Holiday decorations can get out of hand if you buy them every year and never purge. I suggest getting some large plastic bins (one for each holiday.....ok maybe two or three for Christmas) and labeling them. Now you have a size limit on the quantity of decorations you can keep. As you pack up your Halloween decorations, let the damaged, faded, and no longer loved items go and make room for new items next year when it's time to unpack the bin. When you are purchasing decorations, remember how much room you have in your bin and that you have a size limit.
Legos are a great learning tool but boy can things get nutty with all those pieces and parts! There are a million ways to store and organize legos but my biggest recommendation is to KEEP IT SIMPLE. The younger the child, the simpler the lego storage system should be. Older children should be involved with the "design" of the lego storage system. Here are a few ideas:
-Keep a dustpan with your legos to assist with pick up.
-For young children, designate a play area. Lego tables are great but if you don't have the room for one you can always use a mat that rolls up and is stored under a couch or bed or use a bed sheet (the latter makes pick up even easier because you just scoop up the entire sheet and pour the legos into a bin).
-Legos don't need to be sorted for young children, unless you have multiple sets that contain different sized legos that don't fit together (in which case they should be kept separately).
-Older children like to work on projects that may span over a few days. In this case, the project of the week can be kept out on the play area and its pieces can be contained in a tackle box. (Consider giving each child their own tackle box with their name on it.)
-Older children may like their legos sorted into categories. Some children like to sort their legos by color. Others may prefer categories like "just legos", "Pirates of the Caribbean", and "Toy Story" or "heads", "weapons", and "vehicles". Categories can be stored in clear plastic shoe bins (or larger bins, depending on the size of each category). Don't forget to have a bin or binder for manuals.
Photo organizing can be very time consuming. Consider storing them in photo boxes and arranging them by year, month & year, or event. (The easiest way to subdivide photos inside the box is to use a 3x5" index card turned on it's side, labeled, and slid between your categories.)
Start a toy rotation system. Pack up and store approximately half of the toys. Keep one of each kind out and store the others (e.g., have 2 shape sorters? keep one out, store the other). Every change of season (or when the kids start to complain of boredom), pack up the toys that are out and pull out some of those previously stored. A toy rotation system is a wonderful thing. It keeps kids interested and keeps parents happy because it saves money and reduces clutter. A win-win.