Controlled Chaos

Kid clutter can ruin a house! Yes, we love and adore these little people. However, they can be messy. Manage their mayhem and calm their chaos with these ideas and maybe the living room will be ready when your mother-in-law unexpectedly visits.

DIVIDE & CONQUER

Kids and organization typically don’t go hand-in-hand—especially if you live in a home with active boys and girls with a lot of toys and gear! However, with problem-solution thinking tailored to your kids’ lifestyles, closets can be orderly in less than one weekend. Start with five bins, each with a label pocket for the day of the week. Put M-F outfits in the bins and refill them on laundry day. Activity gear, such as soccer or swimming items, can be stored in bins labeled by activity. Keep a tall laundry bin on the closet floor to capture dirty clothes. Because kids grow fast use a clear, lidded bin, also placed on the closet floor, for receiving outgrown clothing—when the bin is full remove it and store or donate the clothes.

Drawers: Keep dust bunnies at bay and instead use rolling under-bed storage drawers to corral small toys and extra linens. Chalkboard labels identify what goes where. Extra divider bins can move in and out for play.

Labels: Identify bins with easy-to-read tags so kids know where things are stored.

Sports Pack: Separate play and/or sports clothes—the gear they’re allowed to get dirty, such as cleats, shorts and jerseys.

fun zone

The number of books and toys in a kid’s room increases every birthday and Christmas and can overwhelm their space if not edited and controlled. Follow these tips to keep playtime orderly:

Edit It’s a good idea to assess the toy box and reading area for items the child has outgrown and no longer needs. Allow them to keep a few items as keepsakes and donate the rest to children in need.

Book Ledge Book ledges are a great way to display favorite reads so the covers show. Try stacking multiple shelves or place them side by side for a custom book ledge that holds the number and sizes of books your child has.

Toy Cubbies Putting favorite toys in open storage makes it easier to take them out and put them away. Place a bin in one or more of the cubbies for loose items such as large puzzle pieces, building blocks, doll clothing and play-sets with small pieces.

Play Perimeter Create a special spot in your child’s room that teaches how organization works. Anchor a rug with a reading chair next to the book and toy storage pieces to define the space. Keep toys confined to the rug for easy cleanup.

Pick-up Time Use an alarm clock and set the timer for when it’s time to pick up and put away toys and books. Make it a race to beat the clock.

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