some tips for organizing
Take a minute to think about what's important to YOU in regards to toys in your home. What is your threshold of 'too many' toys?
Communicate your values. When it comes to birthdays and special events, let your family know if you're trying to manage the amount of toys that your child gets, or that your child already has too many toys.
Assess, Reassess, Donate. Every few months take stock of all the toys and determine which toys are being used the most and which ones are no longer being played with. If your child is old enough, have that conversation about donating, and involve your child in picking out and packing up the toys to give away.
Maintain a wish list. Having a wish list that you maintain online (like Amazon), is a great way to keep track of what you want and need for your child.
Share toys with friends. Many toys are age specific and kids will grow out of a particular toy after a certain time. Talk with your friends who have kids about doing some sort of an exchange.
Don't overwhelm them. When you do buy toys for your kids, don't give them everything at one time. They can't play with multiple toys at one time, & the more toys they're bombarded with, the more distracted they'll be & the less appreciative they'll be as well.
Include them in clean up, Help your kids be aware of cleaning up and organizing. Involve them in the process of deciding what should go where, and then come up with some rules about cleaning up.
Create a toy rotation system. Manage the influx of toys from birthdays and holidays. Perhaps when a child gets a new toy, one of the old ones should go. It keeps the toy count to a minimum and teaches the child the value of decision-making and efficiency. Or save some toys/gifts & keep them in a container in an out-of-the-way place. On a rainy day bring out the container & swap out some of the toys they're currently using.
Organize bottom to top. Start organizing from the bottom of the room, and work to the top. Most used toys and belongings should live on lower shelves, in lower drawers, or on the floor. Higher levels are designated for less-frequently-used possessions.
Contain & Control. Contain and control toys & other belongings before you put them in organizing bins/containers. Especially those involving many tiny parts. If you have the space, store out-of-season clothing elsewhere.
When space is a concern. If you don't have a lot of floor space, look for taller units that use the height and wall space of the room. Get multifunctional units like beds with drawers or stools with storage.
When siblings share a room, It's imperative that each child has a sense of his own personality and space. Have each child pick a color he/she likes and shop for storage bins and boxes in that color.
Give your kid permission to let go of stuff they really don't want.Volume can be very overwhelming for children. Most kids don't know that it's OK to say no to stuff they don't want or need. Does your child really need 15 blue T-shirts or 4 sets of chalk? If you approach that with “We're giving the items a new home, not just getting rid of them" that’s a learning activity as well.
Labels. When it comes to keeping kids' rooms organized for the long haul, labels save the day. If you want larger, easier to read labels this Brother 2.5" labelmaker is a good one.
Devise a simple daily checklist for maintenance. Help children stop the cycle of lots of clutter by building maintenance routines into the family's day.
Organizing Artwork/School Papers
You can't keep every piece of artwork or all of the homework your child does in his/her lifetime. And if you do decide to keep a lot of it, you need to store it appropriately. Work together with your child when they are old enough to choose a few of his/her favorite pieces of artwork each year & important school papers they want to keep. If you keep every single piece of artwork or homework assignment your child brings home for the next 15 years it will crowd you out of your home.
During the year
1. Hang some pieces—line a wall with cork tiles for an ever-changing gallery.
2. Frame a few favorite pieces.
3. Get some mailing tubes & send some pieces to relatives.
4. As new pieces trickle in from school, take down older pieces that your child has grown less attached to.
5. Store everything else during each year in boxes/storage binders/folders/folios.
6. At the end of the year SORT EVERYTHING. This is the time that you will decide what to keep—& what can ‘disappear’.
7. What you MUST keep—store it in binders/folder/folios by year.
8. A great idea is to think about digitizing your child’s artwork into artbooks.
Organizing the Baby's Closet & Bath
From clothes to stuffed animals, organizing your baby’s closet can be very time consuming & challenging. You’ll need to have a plan before you start putting items into piles for starters.
Sort the clothes first. From Newborn to 12 months, you’ll need some closet dividers to start to place each onesie & each outfit into the right spot. This will make it easier for you to find the right sizes & find the outfits before your baby outgrows them!
Think about what else you need to fit in the closet and create spaces for them. From extra books to storing extra stuffed animals, you’ll need to figure out which shelf will be for which item.
Get some baskets, boxes or canvas cubes to help with organizing your baby’s accessories.
Get some roll-out drawers for extra linens such as swaddle blankets, crib sheets and burp cloths.
Use the back of the door to keep extra changing table supplies, bibs and more. It's an easily accessible area and you can keep like-minded items together without creating chaos.
Think about shoes whether you throw them in a labeled bin to fit on the shelves or whether you place them in an over-the-door storage piece, find a place for them. Because they’re so small, they’ll easily be lost and you’ll constantly be searching for them.
For the bathroom Not a bad idea to hang up some of the tub toys.