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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Control It" Kids Space at the "Organize It" Party

Today at the "Organize It Party" we will continue to " Control It" when it comes to our kids stuff with some great ideas on organizing their space - bedrooms. Be sure to enter to Win today's Gift giveaway), and read the Real MOM tested tips.

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The Dollar Stretcher asked moms for their own ideas on "how they go about organizing their kids bedrooms?" and has offered to share those great ideas with us at 24/7 MOMS.

Organizing Kids' Bedrooms
By: The Dollar Stretcher http://www.stretcher.com/index.cfm
How do you go about organizing a bedroom for a nine year old with lots of stuff? Yes, we've given to charity and we've passed on hand-me-downs, but we still have a ton of stuff to fit into a pretty small bedroom. Sample problem Clothes crammed into drawers so that only the top two or three pieces get worn over and over again, and everything is wrinkled. Thanks.

Crate It
Have you ever thought of colorful, stackable, crates? You can line the walls with them and use them for clothes, and toys. Also, for the closet, to free up floor space, get some cheap shelves or wire racks that stack (got ours from a kitchen store - or you can make them) and line up shoes, toys, etc... To get the max space in the closet, put all the short items (tops etc.) on one end, and long items (pants, skirts, dresses) on another, this will allow you to get maximum stacking capabilities.
LMN in The Woodlands, TX
We encountered the same problem with our three children. We traded out their old twin-size beds for loft beds, which is basically the upper bunk of a bunkbed. This freed up a lot of space underneath for their school desks and bookshelves. Plus the kids never get tired of sleeping on the top bunk! We also moved their toy boxes into the closet. Since most of their hanging clothes don't reach to the floor it was a perfect fit. As for the crammed clothing, are you sure all of those items still fit? Make sure! Also try storing seasonal clothing in marked boxes in the crawl space. When the season is over pack up all the clothes that will fit again next year, get rid of the clothes that won't, and bring out the boxes for the current season. It's a lot of work at first, but once everything is separated it's a snap the swap out the clothes.
Tips from Tight Spaces
I live in a small trailer so I have learned a little about organizing my child's things to maximize space. As far as clothes go, I would look for a sale (or at a thrift store) for a Rubbermaid-type locker) or a rolling wardrobe. I would hang a sweater bag from it and use that for the clothes and a shoe bag for shoes. Then use the drawers of the dresser for books, toys, etc. If you don't want to move the clothes out of the dresser, why not try flipping over the pile every couple of weeks. That way the unworn clothes will be on top.
I take all the smaller toys (action figures, blocks, etc. and put them in a box up out of the way). This way my daughter only plays with them when she thinks to ask for them and they are not always strewn throughout the house requiring extra cleanup time and (sigh!) aggravation. I try to make books and larger toys accessible.
Natalie B.
Under-Bed Storage
Instead of having a traditional bed, get some of those particle board storage "cubes" (in quotes because the double cubes are cheaper) and plywood to build a platform bed with lots of storage. Ours is one level (16" to base of mattress) high, and you don't need a box spring, but you could take it anywhere from two levels (about 32" to mattress base) to about 5 levels (about 80") high and add a safety rail and a desk space underneath with a light for a homework nook.
We use inexpensive plastic laundry baskets and "milk crates" bought at garage and dollar days sales (need to make sure they fit the approx. 15" by 15" opening in the cubes) to keep clothes, toys, books and papers in place.
You can paint the cubes to whatever color you want -- we found it easiest and best to use a spray primer first because latex paint, which we preferred to use, raises the particulate grain on the boxes. If you stack them high, be sure to bolt or screw them together and/or use framing wood -- preferably both -- for stability. Bolting -- with oversize washers to keep the bolts from pulling through the soft particle board -- are better if you think you might be taking it apart and rearranging or moving often.
One other thing that we have found useful, especially with over stuffed drawers is to roll T-shirts and things instead of storing them flat. If they were folded smoothly before rolling, they don't get anymore wrinkled, but you can also see more shirts and so forth. If you use the crates, you can also store the rolled items (shirts, jeans, sweats, and pajamas in our house) "on end" and be able to see quickly all the ones you have by pulling out the crate.
The last thing we did was to reorganize the closet so that a narrow part of it was "doubled" with one of those chain and rod things so both our boys had about two feet of hanging space, the nine year old's on top and the four year old's on the bottom. Then we used the rest of the closet for storing infrequently used items (winter clothes in summer, off-season sports clothes, etc.) in boxes (also sleeping bags and suitcases!).
As for toys and books, we currently have a policy. If mom and dad have to pick things up, they go in a trash bag and will be donated to charity or the taken to the resale store. This has to happen about once a month, but most of the time, it's amazing how much better the 9 year old is about things!
How Many Clothes
I have 5 kids crammed into 2 small bedrooms, so I know where you're coming from! Here are some things that have worked for us If your son has so many clothes that he can't shut his drawers, he has too many clothes. That's assuming, of course, that his clothes are folded in his drawers and not wadded into balls (I have a 9 year old too!) Take some out and either give them away, or store them in some of those large plastic bins in your attic or basement and rotate them occasionally. How many clothes does he really wear in a week's time? Keep only that much in his room.
We took our kids' nice clothes (the ones that need to be hung up) out of their rooms and made some space in another closet. Their closets are now filled top to bottom with shelves, which hold toys in more of those handy bins. My organizationally-impaired children just toss stuff into whatever bin, while my congenital neatniks have things labeled. Either way, it gets stuff off the floor.
Big, huge tip My kids must pick up their rooms every day! Everything must be off the floor and their clothes put away with drawers shut before they watch TV or whatever. This keeps the mess from accumulating for an entire week and making it an all day project to straighten up. On the days when we really clean the room, we fish out all the stuff that's migrated under their beds, etc.
Finally, we've let our kids have a big part in determining what we do with their rooms, and we've allowed them to find a system that works for them. We realized early on that one of our daughters was never going to become an everything-in-its-place kind of kid. It's just not her personality. Rather than fighting it, we've allowed her to do what she likes as long as a minimum standard is met.
Try Shelves
I've found that drawers are the worst place to keep clothes. The solution? Shelves. I placed a tower shelf in the closet for clothes that need to be folded. Everything is visible, accessible, and easy to put away.
Shelves also work for other belongings...books, toys, memerobelia. I sort my son's belongings (balls, blocks, books, little people, dress-up clothes) and put each category into its own container (plastic shoe box, larger see-through plastic containers, and plastic crates).
Even with shelves, an organized room can still look cluttered. To help minimize the cluttered feeling of my son's room, I'm planning to use tension rods to put curtains on the shelves.
Rotate It
The key to uncluttering your kid's bedroom (if you don't want to reduce) is "rotation". Before you put away their clothes after laundering, take the clothes in the bottom of the drawer out, then put away the freshly laundered clothes and put the clothes you took out on top. For toys...put an assortment of toys in several boxes and each week rotate the boxes your child plays with. Your child will think he's being given new toys each week!
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Here are more great ideas on how to "Control It" when it comes to our Kids stuff.

Children's Spaces
By: Paula Constable

Keeping a child’s room in order is a challenge of almost every parent. But there are ways to make it easier. Below are a few examples:

* Tackling a messy room can be overwhelming for children. Give you child specific directions. Instead of saying “clean up your room”, try “please make your bed and put your dirty clothes in the hamper.”
* Just by making the bed, a bedroom is 50-70% cleaner. Consider making this a daily chore. Younger ones will need help, but by the age of six, most should children be able to do it on their own.
* Add shelving and use clear storage containers. Just by adding clear containers labeled with its contents, make it easy for kids to see what is inside and it helps make clean-up time easier.
* Create activity zones. For example: In a reading zone the books should be next to the bed, with good lighting. A chair or soft blanket might be near by as well.
* Contain books in open baskets rather than on a bookshelf. Kids can flip through the books easily.

About the author: Paula Constable, professional organizer and speaker, works with families who want to make their daily lives easier through organization. She is the owner of Stuff 2b Organized, LLC and she brings understanding, support and solutions to help calm the busy lives of the families she works with.

As The Organizing Expert for Moms, Paula provides her organizing services both in-home and virtually. She holds her teleclasses and Virtual Workshop, Paper Organization for Busy Moms, on a regular basis.

To receive her free reports, 5 Must-Know Organizing Tips for Busy Moms and The Clutter-Free Gift Giving Guide, you can sign up for her free newsletter by visiting Stuff2bOrganized online or her blog, Organizing Tips and Thoughts for Moms.

Time to open another Gift (giveaway)
1-2-3 book : Three Steps to Organizing Your Child’s Room

The 1-2-3…Get Organized series is written for the organizationally overwhelmed. Each book or workbook addresses only one area of organizing time or space. I want my readers to have the feeling of, “I can do that!” Once they have organized an area, they will be ready to move on to the next one.

Each book has three steps to accomplishing the task at hand. They are spiral bound so you can lay them flat, follow the suggestions, and easily return to your place.


The books are small, colorful, fun, and glossy. The colors are motivating alone! Even though they are small and short, they are packed with great ideas for getting your life organized – one area at a time. They are also available in ebooks.

Book titles:
Clever Cleaning
Organizing Your Office
Organizing Your Kitchen
Organizing Your Child’s Room
Time Management for the Stay-at-Home Mom
Time Management at the Office


The workbooks are 8 ½ x 11 with plenty of room for you to write your ideas, goals, whatever you are working on. Each printed workbook comes with a CD of reproducible pages so you can use the workbook over and over. Available as ebooks.

Workbook titles:
Time Management
Time Management for the Working Mom
Time Management for the Single Mom
Time Management for the College Student
Downsizing to a Smaller Residence
Planning Your Child’s Parties.

The Planning Dinner workbook comes in a binder so you can add your favorite recipes and start your own family cookbook. It includes a section of my favorite family recipes. It is available as an ebook.

Hassle Free Dinners

Hassle Free Dinners is a CD containing 52 weeks of dinner menus, instructions, and grocery lists. It is a marriage of professional organization and dinnertime, streamlining the time you spend in the kitchen while providing great meals. The menus are color-coded by days, so if you will not be cooking on Wednesday, you will know not to buy anything on the grocery list that is red. Recipes come in 2, 4, and 6 serving sizes so you don’t have to do any math!

Each meal contains a protein, a starch, and something red/orange/yellow (vegetable or fruit) and something green (vegetable or fruit). Each includes 1-2 chicken recipes, 1-2 beef recipes, 1-2 pork recipes, 1-2 fish recipes, and one meatless meal. Menus are seasonal, using fresh produce that is in season. Each meal usually has around 500 calories. Nothing is fried and I tried to use recipes that are not laden with fat calories.

Hassle Free Dinners also comes in down loadable form.

Coaching Package: Rethinking Life

Rethinking Life is for those who need to rethink priorities, passions, gifts and the legacy they want to leave to their children and/or future generations. We will use one of the time management books of your choice from my 1-2-3...Get Organized series, and we will come up with a schedule that reflects those things that are significant to you. 

The package includes two 30-minute coaching sessions with me via telephone and one of my time management books in a downloadable form so you can re-use critical pages in the future. You will have homework to do before our sessions. The final result will be an intentional life in which you are leaving a meaningful legacy!

Beverly Coggins is a professional organizer, speaker and author of the 1-2-3...Get Organized series. Her passions: to help people make home a refuge instead of a crisis center; and to help people live in peace rather than chaos, both at home and at work. Each of her books addresses only one subject of organizing one's home, office or time and is dedicated to those who are overwhelmed with the thought of organizing. They are available at http://www.1-2-3GetOrganized.com. Her blog containing organizing tips: http://www.1-2-3GetOrganized.blogspot.com. Contact info: bev@1-2-3GetOrganized.com.

1-2-3-Get Organized and 24/7 MOMS are giving away the book Organizing Your Child’s Room . To enter for your chance to win, enter your name and email address in the box below you will be signed up for today's giveaway as well as be added to the 24/7 MOMS E-list(if you are not already a 24/7 MOMS subscriber). Drawing to be held on February 1, 2009

Real MOM Tips

Bekah J from motherhood-moment.blogspot.com

Simplify It - Baby/toddler toys
If you have a baby or toddler in the house (or even older kids), you know that toys migrate. Although it's ideal to keep all toys where they belong, younger kids just aren't always able to bring toys back to the right room. One way to keep the clutter off the floor and make it easier to organize is to keep several inexpensive wicker baskets. At the end of the day, toss any toys into that room's basket. This helps make sure that babies and toddlers have things to play with in every room they're in. Older kids can help you sort at the end of the week, bringing the baskets to one central room and spending ten minutes re-organizing the toys

Stop by tonight after 6:00 for a chance to win a fun giveaway that your LEGO playing kids will love, and so will YOU!

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Anonymous legrape1@hotmail.cm said...

Great ideas. Definately helps with the mess of toys. Thanks.

January 21, 2009 at 7:10 AM  

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