I find it near impossible to declutter and maintain my kids’ things.
But like any mom knows, my best resource to solve this dilemma is another mother. So, for some tips to organizing my children’s countless belongings, I turned to one of my mom friends who just happens to be a professional organizer.
Here are some pro tips and realistic solutions from April Felkins, Owner and Professional Organizer at First Coast Organizing, and Lead Professional Organizer, Mandy Howard.
Regardless of the room you’re about to tackle, the experts agree that when it comes to keeping kids’ items organized, keeping it easy is key. Part of keeping it simple is involving your kids in the set up so they understand how to use the system on their own.
If your playroom is like mine, there are Legos, pieces of action figures or dolls, and blocks and random kids’ meal toys in every single container. Your first move in here is to purge all those bits and pieces. This includes your broken toys and crayons, cheap toys, and really anything that just doesn’t belong. I would highly recommend doing this when no children are around to dissuade you from pitching their precious treasures.
Now that you have the toys that your kids can actually play with, set up a cube storage system. Print out pictures of what is in each cube so your child knows where each item goes. Many of my friends call this giving the toys a “home.” Remember to rotate toys often so the kids feel like they have new items.
Just like the playroom, closets can become a wasteland of mismatched items. If you have younger kids, the experts recommend using hanging shelves where you can set out outfits for an entire week. Each day, your lovely littles can just pull out an outfit with ease.
Another great tip is to learn how to file fold so you can see which item is which without having to pull out a huge pile of clothing. Check out this video from the master, Marie Kondo, so you too can begin utilizing every inch of space in those dresser drawers. Bonus points if you can teach your children how to file fold, too!
Remember that rotating your children’s wardrobe based on the season also saves a lot of space. Using plastic bins or cubes that can be stored high in the closet or under the bed will do wonders. If you’re saving clothes for future children, remember to separate items by size and season. Vacuum storage bags make large piles manageable for easy storage.
Ah, the pantry. The keeper of the all important snacks. The key here is to keep the snack bins easily accessible—either easy for your kids, or for you. When possible, utilize door space for storage. You can use a mounted spice rack or hanging organizer to provide additional space.
If you also store your children’s vitamins, medicines, and first aid items in the kitchen, consider using a Lazy Susan or purchase clear plastic bins to categorize your items. You can find these at the Dollar Store, Amazon, Walmart or Target, and they usually come with lids making them easily stacked to save space.