Storage Ideas for Children’s Things

School holidays are the perfect time to organise children’s things. You can engage your children in sharing the toys, books and clothes that they’ve out grown and learning important organising skills for themselves.

You can read more about decluttering with children in my previous blog. Here I share ideas for organising clothes and common toys:

Children’s Clothes

Store clothes that you want your child to access easily to get themselves ready, in drawers at their height. It’s a faff the first time, but if you fold everything into small chunks (Marie Kondo style so that they stand up in the drawer) and use small boxes or dividers to separate the vests, tops, leggings etc. It’s really easy to see everything and choose outfits quickly. It’s also easy to maintain.

Hang coats, dresses, things that crease easily in a wardrobe, putting items you rather they didn’t get hold off to the edge, out of the way.

Given that children grow so quickly, I find it’s unusual to have more than a few seasons worth of clothes out at one time, so I tend to hang things in sections – q) starting to grow out of, 2) fits, 3) need to grow into. Use high shelves to stash a clear plastic box of hand-me-downs and clothes you’ve bought in sales ready for them to grow into.

Lego

Lego and other construction toys can be tough to store because there’s so much of it and it gets everywhere. If you’ve looked at storage ideas before you’ll have seen there are lots of ideas from Lego tables, walls, drawers and so on. I think your approach to storage works best when tailored to the way your child likes to play with it. Your main aim is to make it as easy as possible to put away for everyone.

If your child likes to build the individual kits then store in individual bags or boxes of a suitable size and include the instructions too.

If your child likes to create new things from their kits, and you don’t see value in having different coloured sections, a large crate works very well. Everything can be swept into it at the end of a session and new things created next time. We keep the instructions in a magazine file but a clear pocket book is a good alternative.

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Books

Create a cosy book corner or library area where all books live. Store books on little shelves, in book cases or boxes depending on the volume, size and age of your child. Add cushions, a comfy chair or bean bag and maybe a canopy to make it feel like a safe and special nook for quiet time. It’ll give them the freedom to choose their own stories, read independently and be a great place for your child to sit quietly and relax. Also, it’ll be easy to keep the house tidy – all books are returned to this place.

Crafts things

I love to use clear plastic crates with lids for craft items so that the contents can be easily identified. Large ones work for papers and coloured card. Smaller containers are good for beads, feathers, goggly eyes and the like.

If you have a cupboard to pop these boxes away that close to the table or messy area that works well.

These trolleys are also cute and enable craft materials to be moved around as needed. Pots are fab for storing pens, glues sticks and scissors and making them easy to access and tidy away.

Whatever you choose…

Whatever storage methods you choose, containers, whether clear plastic crates with lids or colourful boxes make sure to choose the shapes and sizes to suit your space. Aim to keep similar items together, creating zones for different toys close to suitable space to play and label as much as you can. Perhaps have a baby nursery in the bedroom and leave craft materials for a downstairs space, where you can supervise their use.

If you can engage your child in creating the labels and use colourful images this will be more meaningful for them and will help them remember where to tidy things back to.

About OrganisedWell

Would you like help getting organised?

Laura Williams, Founder and Professional Organiser

If you need guidance, ideas and practical support to make more of your home, organise your possessions in a way that supports your best life or to get started with your decluttering project, then give me a call.

I provide tailored advice and practical support to clients looking to make changes, to create calm, ordered space and free up time and money to focus on the important things in life. I specialise in organising rooms, garages, wardrobes, paperwork and much more; see my services or get in touch.

The Perfect Time to Organise Children’s Things

The school holidays are the perfect time to review your children’s toys and clothes.

As you all take a breath after the chaos of the term-time routine, you will start to spot the things that your children no longer need, have grown out of and fallen out of love with.

The holidays provide a great opportunity to remove those old toys, unloved items, out-grown books and clothes. Whilst you could whisk some things away while your children are at nursery or school (and I have done this myself occasionally), it’s good to involve them, engaging them in the task, methods and reasons why it’s good to pass things and important to help them create healthy habits that will stay with them into adulthood.

You will help your growing child to make room for new hobbies, new toys (as birthdays come along) and  new interests and it’s a great activity to keep everyone entertained on a rainy day.

A good organising session will also mean you’ll all go into the new term feeling lighter, clearer and better prepared.

Organising our possessions is a valuable life skill we can teach our children - Laura Williams

It can feel daunting but involving your children in the activity gives them:

  • A joint activity to do with you
  • The ability to find what they want to play with easily
  • A sense of responsibility for their own things
  • Skills that will stay with them as they grow
  • Some appreciation of the toys they have
  • Ability to share their things with other less fortunate children
Baby dolls

In the same way you want to be engaged, enjoy activities and understand why you need to do them, so do your children.

How you engage them twill depend on their age and their personality, so here are 10 ideas to try:

  1. Explain what you are going to do together and why
  2. Make it fun with a game, playing music or having a race
  3. Create a competition with a prize for the most well organised room
  4. Talk about children less for fortunate than themselves and get them to imagine what it might be like
  5. Get them to make a list of their most favourite toys so that you can ‘protect’ these
  6. Show them that they will be able to find the things they want to play with more easily
  7. Explain that you’ll be able to store toys close to where they want to play with them so it’ll be easier to play
  8. Ask them to look around a messy room and ask them how it feels, get them to imagine what it would be like if there was clear space to play on the floor, do crafts or dance about 
  9. Show them videos, pictures from websites or leaflets from charities that support children, explain that these children don’t have any toys and will love to receive one of theirs that they no longer need
  10. Explain that there is not lots of room in the house so it’s important than when we no longer need something we give it to someone else to enjoy. Give examples of things you’ve managed in this way

Before you embark on your organising session make sure that you are ready for a declutter first:

  • Get boxes ready for charity donations, recycling and rubbish
  • Choose a room or area (such as area of room, a cupboard) depending on the time available
  • Think about how you are going to remove the items you’ve sorted out from your home before someone find them and changes their mind

Once you’ve decluttered and know what you want to keep, organise items by category, storing them where they’wll be used.

See part 2, coming soon, for storage ideas for children’s clothes and toys.

About OrganisedWell

Would you like help getting organised?

Laura Williams, Founder and Professional Organiser

 

If you need guidance, ideas and practical support to make more of your home, organise your possessions in a way that supports your best life or to get started with your decluttering project, then give me a call.

I provide tailored advice and practical support to clients looking to make changes, to create calm, ordered space and free up time and money to focus on the important things in life. I specialise in organising rooms, garages, wardrobes, paperwork and much more; see my services or get in touch.

Five ideas for staying motivated!

Now that January has come to a close is it starting to feel really hard to stay motivated? Here are my five ideas to keep you on track.

January is the ultimate month for new starts, but is your motivation waning?

Now that January has come to a close is it starting to feel really hard to stay motivated? Thirty-one days of good intentions and tested willpower can take their toll. Could those new plans, resolutions and amazing transformations you wanted to make be at risk as we head into February?

Well they don’t have to be! If you’re struggling with your motivation, I hope that sharing the little things I’ve tried to keep me motivated will help you keep going to achieve your 2019 goals. I’ve been inspired by my fitness journey over the last year but I think there are some valuable lessons for getting started and keeping going with home organisation projects too!

I hadn’t worked out for a while and I was feeling lazy. The problem was; I’d stopped my routine and had lost all motivation. I’d fallen into a routine that was comfortable; I quite liked being in with my family every night, hanging out in front of the TV and not having to get up early for gym classes. At the same time, I felt guilty for not doing anything to stay health but it felt like a big task to try to fit workouts into my schedule again. I didn’t really want to get out there in the cold or get up stupidly early for a class and I couldn’t really face it.

Go on, Eat the Frog!

I knew I needed to get creative, dig deep and just get on with it before I regretted my decision to not take action forever! I tried the following tactics to get motivated and you can too:

Accountability – I committed to a personal trainer friend before Christmas that I’d follow a schedule and although I’d stopped, I recalled my commitment and this really helped. If you want to start an organising project tell someone, tell everyone, what you intend to do and by when. If you feel ok with it (you may be not be entirely comfortable) make a public declaration on social media or contact someone you know will hold you to your commitment.

Get clear on your goal – when I get stuck, I think about why I want it, what will I gain and what the end result be, I visualise the finish line, the crowds and the amazing sense of achievement I’ll feel so that I know what I’m aiming for. For your decluttering project, you need to see the result – imagine the room you want to work on without the excess stuff in it. Walk around the room in your head, what will it look like, what will it feel like to be in that room, how will you be able to use that space? Why do you need this now and what difference will it make to you and your household?

Get inspired – 

Believe you can and you're halfway there! InspirationalQuotesGazette.com

I’ve watched documentaries about amazing people who run ultra-marathons. I don’t ever intend to do that myself but if it’s possible to achieve such amazing things with the human body surely I can manage to run for 25 minutes!

Read a book, find images or quotes that make you feel positive about your process or watch a film or TV show like Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up series to see what’s possible.

I love sharing beautiful quotes – follow me on social media by clicking on the links above and here.

Create a plan – with target dates or deadlines – I decided I want to exercise 2-3 times per week but keep my weekends free. I plan ahead each week and put the time in my diary so I know when and what time I’ll be exercising. You could create a plan outlining the actions you need to take, decide what date you want to be finished and block out time in your diary for the activities (preparation, decluttering session(s), charity shop runs etc) you need to carry out to complete on time.

Gain Support – I agree with my husband the days that work well for him to do the school run, and what commitments he has, so that I can easily plan my exercise routine. I regularly run with a friend so am committed to helping her keep fit and I ask my husband to give me encouragement when I’m tempted to cancel a session. When planning your declutter task, ask for help – ask a friend, family member or find a local Professional Organiser to help you. If you don’t need anyone to help you, you may still want someone to give you encouragement, enquire how you are doing and give you moral support when the going gets tough is great help.

You don’t have to do this alone in-fact you’ll be so much more successful if you visualise your success and draw on others to support you. If you need expert advice or practical support, I’m here! Call me on 07970 989955.


About OrganisedWell

Would you like help getting organised?

Laura Williams, Founder and Professional Organiser

If you need guidance, ideas and practical support to make more of your home, organise your possessions in a way that supports your best life or to get started with your decluttering project, then give me a call.

I provide tailored advice and practical support to clients looking to make changes, to create calm, ordered space and free up time and money to focus on the important things in life.
I specialise in organising rooms, garages, wardrobes, paperwork and much more; see my services or get in touch.

How to start your New Year declutter!

It’s a New Year and a great opportunity for a fresh start. If you’re keen to be better organised this year you’ll need to start with a New Year declutter; let me show you how!

If you’re keen to be better organised this year you’ll need to start with a New Year declutter; let me show you how!

Welcome 2019; it’s a New Year and an opportunity for a fresh start! Clearing out the old, unloved items and things that are no longer useful is a great way to set you up for the year ahead. You will gain more space, greater clarity and focus, a calmer environment and become more conscious about what you bring into your home. You will also save yourself time, money and effort finding the things that you do need.

 

What is decluttering?

Decluttering is the process of removing the possessions that are piled up or stuffed in drawers and cupboards, filling your home and your head with physical and mental noise, but no longer adding value to your life. Think of the items that are no longer useful or loved, old or broken, that you know you should do something with but haven’t got to or can’t face making a decision about.
 
A great way to set yourself up for change is to tidy away the old and pass on the things that you no longer need.

My 5-step guide to starting your New Year declutter!

Before you start any practical work, you need to get clear on what you want to achieve and why. Try to visualise what you want your home to look and feel like. What benefits will this change bring you and your family? This vision will help to guide your approach and keep you motivated when it feels hard!

  1. Prepare your space; make sure you have some space to spread things out in front of you. Have bags ready for donations, recycling and rubbish.
  2. Start with a small task that will be easy to achieve or feel like you’ve made a difference. It may not seem worth it but starting small gives you the fundamentals for good organisation.
  3. Your pen pot is a great place to start. Pens clutter every room but you can never find one when you need it. It’s a quick task and will save you time everyday. Zip round the house and gather all pens in one place. Pick up each one (therefore connecting with each item) and test it’s value (does it still work/do you love it?)
  4. Practice your decision making skills – if it is no longer useful or you don’t love it, can you foresee needing to use it in the next 6-12 months? If not, someone else could benefit from it; do you want to sell or donate it?
  5. For items you choose to keep, decide where it should live in your home. Giving it a home will enable you to tidy it away easily and find it again when you need it
Congratulations you’ve achieved your first declutter task! It may not feel huge but you’ve started on your journey. Celebrate! Go for a walk, have a cup of tea, read a chapter of your book (guilt free). 
 
 

Now pick another small task and repeat! 

Here are 10 other quick declutter tasks you might like to try.
  1. Kitchen cutlery drawer
  2. Underwear drawer
  3. T-shirt drawer
  4. Under the bed
  5. Desk drawer
  6. Cupboard under the sink
  7. Bathroom cabinet
  8. Towel cupboard
  9. Shoe collection
  10. Coats
 
If you struggle to get started or staying motivated ask for help. A friend or relative may be able to help. If you need expert advice or practical support, I’m here! Call me on 07970 989955.
 

 

 

About OrganisedWell

Would you like help getting organised?

Laura Williams, Founder and Professional Organiser

If you need guidance, ideas and practical support to make more of your home, organise your possessions in a way that supports your best life or to get started with your decluttering project, then give me a call.

I provide tailored advice and practical support to clients looking to make changes, to create calm, ordered space and free up time and money to focus on the important things in life. I specialise in organising rooms, garages, wardrobes, paperwork and much more; see my services or get in touch.

Call me today!