Organization has always been important to me. Now that I have three children, and the five of us live in a small space, it is even more important. Here are some tips that have helped me.
- Clean Out It is time to evaluate what you really NEED. Anything that you haven’t used in the last year- get rid of it. Those jeans that haven’t fit you since high school? Buh-bye. I know that sometimes it’s nice to hang on to smaller clothes in the hopes that you will get to wear them again. I have found that seeing those types of clothes causes me to get really down on myself. Get rid of them!! Don’t get caught in that trap. The one thing that I refuse to get rid of is clothes for the girls. I have SO many different sizes boxed up right now, but it is worth the lost closet space to save that money.
- Baskets Kids= little stuff. Little stuff makes me crazy when it is scattered all around the floor. I have baskets for EVERYTHING. Probably too many. I love baskets that fit on the cube shelves, or in our TV stand (which is a neat bookshelf from Ikea turned on it’s side). I have baskets for all of our toothpaste, deodorant, hair stuff, etc. in the bathroom. They are just so handy. We have baskets to hold chips, snacks, etc. since we don’t have much cabinet space. Plus, when you have specific places for things to go, clean up is a breeze.
- Simplify This goes back to cleaning out, I guess. Before we moved, we got rid of A LOT. I had two garage sales and donated a ton more. However, once we got settled in the apartment, I realized that the girls were STILL overwhelmed with toys. They would play with something and move on to something else without putting anything away. I think they just didn’t even know what to do with it all. I know that everyone means well buying toys for their grandchildren, etc. Their room was such a disaster, and they refused to clean. I ended up bagging up and taking away EVERY toy. Literally. They had to earn them back through obedience. Now, they have just their favorite things (legos, train tracks, blocks) and things go so much better. I love how much lighter I feel (and they feel) without all of the STUFF around.
- Under-the-bed Take advantage of the nooks and crannys that you have. We used to store our suitcases in our basement. Now, they are tucked underneath beds. There is a dress-up clothes box that fits under the bed. Our electric griddle is under the bed. Since our closets don’t store as much, we have just had to get creative. Sometimes these spaces slip our mind. Flat things can even be stored behind the couch or headboards (kids pop-up-tents, home school posters, etc.).
- Compromise Ultimately, I would rather not have my desk crammed up against the side of my bed. Would I rather deal with that, or have the girls messing with my pens, post-its, and tape in the living room? Sometimes you have to compromise and do what works best over what you really want. I would rather not have our homeschooling materials in the kitchen (in baskets), but we don’t have a good place for it anywhere else. Do what WORKS.
- Command Hooks hang up coats, pot holders, purses, etc. so that they don’t take up as much space in the closet or on shelves. I am a huge fan of these hooks because they don’t damage your walls and come in several styles, colors, and weight limits! Winning!
The media baskets on the left hold most of our movies. We don’t have cable, so we have a lot of kids’ shows and movies on DVD that we have collected over the last 6 years. The baskets on the right hold bathroom supplies. We have three of those small baskets, and the large one holds my hair drier (obviously), straightener, curling wand, and other hair things. I got them on clearance (like $5 a piece) with free shipping, so I was pretty excited!!!
What are your organization tips?