I am a professional organizer, and I love working for families with kids. When you work with kids your day is never dull. Kids are honest, funny and great judges of character. They also come with a lot of “stuff”. Art projects, schoolwork, toys, clothes… Finding room for all that can be very challenging, even daunting. Especially during summer vacation when the kids are in the house, constantly creating more and more clutter which you need to – obviously – declutter.
In this post I would like to share some tricks of the trade I learned over years of experience in the field.
This handy product sorts magazines, but it does so much more. In every home with kids, I organize, I incorporate at least one. I use it for board games and puzzles. Standing boxes on their end instead of stacked on top of one another allows kids to pull their own games, and avoid the “Jenga Effect” of grabbing a box from the bottom of the pile and causing the entire thing to topple, scattering random game pieces all over the place. I love this acrylic one from the container store because the openings are larger than other magazine storage pieces I’ve found.
Color Block Bin
The secret to well organized drawers is dividers. These are especially important for kids whose clothes are smaller and sometimes hard to keep track of. My favorites are these brightly colored ones from the Container Store (they also come in a square version.) Of course, any type of container that fits in your drawers will work but I like these for their use of bold color and their ability to grow with the child, plus once you use the smaller bins for the interior of drawers you can use the large one for toys, craft projects or even in your own closet, making this set a really great value.
Sometimes it’s appropriate to think inside the box. This product usually comes in sizes for women’s and men’s shoes as well as boots, each size comes in handy for storing many types of toys. So if it’s ponies or play food you need a home for, then use a shoebox. And if you have recently stepped on a Lego or almost broken your neck on a matchbox car, this item is going to save you a lot of grief When looking for women’s shoe boxes find them in a pack and buy the biggest pack you can find. They are also useful for organizing bathroom and pantry supplies. I usually label them as well, to cut down on confusion.
To be organized you have to be tidy. A great way to lay out your expectations is a chore chart so whether it’s paper, dry erase or a magnetic board you choose, this chart is a must to keep the kids enthused about doing what needs to be done. There are also calendar charts, and for schedule oriented kids or those in transitions this chart can really help to cut down on the confusion that causes upsets.
It’s time to get hooked on hooks. Organizing for kids is all about creating systems that are simple for them to maintain and there’s nothing simpler than hanging items on a hook. Whether it’s a winter coat or a backpack full of homework hooks can be hung in your mudroom, the inside of closet doors or anywhere you have space that’s underutilized. I like to err on the side of heavy duty hooks to make sure things stay put. Make sure you hang hooks low enough so little arms can reach then look around at how much extra floor space you have!
Rolling Organization Cart
Children are creative by nature, and if you’re like a lot of moms I know, there are art supplies all over the place, so I love recommending this versatile caddy for children of all ages. It’s very sturdy but light weight so you can even carry it outside for a painting party, a sidewalk chalk extravaganza or even an al fresco lunch. It’s attractive enough to display and because it’s on wheels, you can easily wheel it to a closet for hiding or as needed for extra floor space. As your little one gets older it transitions beautifully from a home for art supplies to a great vessel for homework supplies. So get Rolling!
Tiny Snack Containers
I can contain plenty of stuff with these adorable order-makers, but I can’t contain how excited I am about how handy they are! A must for children and adults, I fill them with nuts or granola for an on the go snack. They are perfect for a group of kids because each child gets their own individual portion and there’s no complaining that “So-and-so has more than me!” AND the small size allows you to control portions. You can also use them for small craft supplies like beads and sequins.
Happy organizing and decluttering!
About the writer
Kaylee Whitworth has a degree in interior design and a decade of experience in the design industry. After 5 years of organizing part-time she launched her full-time San Francisco based business, Closeted, in 2014. Her passion is helping people create order out of chaos. She especially enjoys working for families with children because “When you work with kids your day is never dull. Kids are honest, funny and great judges of character.” Kaylee enjoys spending time with her husband, Robert and their Jack Russell Terrier, Sam. To find out more visit closeted.net