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Now, let’s talk storage and organization hacks.
One of the biggest challenges people face when organizing kids’ spaces – or any room, for that matter – is budget restraints. It seems counterintuitive to spend money on new stuff in order to store old stuff… It’s a valid concern; sometimes home organization products become the clutter they are meant to tame.
My biggest advice for tackling this issue is to opt for multi-purpose items that get the job done just as well as specialty items; the difference, though, is that multi-purpose items and can be used in other ways once kiddos outgrow them.
Take the typical book caddy, for example. If your babies are anything like mine, they own enough books to last them a lifetime.
Book storage and organization is a common concern in kids’ spaces. Instead of shelling out $70+ on specialty book caddies, why not display the books on a dish drying rack instead? These racks are much more affordable than specialty storage options and just as cute, if not more!
Another example: A laundry rack makes for a great and super budget-friendly dress-up station. If you compare the costs of a wooden dress-up station with that of a wooden laundry rack – well, the difference is insane. Why would you pay $150 for something that you can get for less than $35? Look how cute it is, too!
How about toy storage – is that something you struggle with in your kids’ spaces?
Using a wooden shoe rack for toy storage is perhaps my favorite organization hack. Of course, this’ll be useless if your playroom has hundreds of toys, but that brings me to another very important point: Children’t don’t need as many toys as we make available.
Don’t take my word for it, research it yourself. Less is better when it comes to toys (and books too!). We as parents often think that if only we provide more options, they’ll play independently longer. Typically, the opposite is true. Kids play more when there’s less to play with.
So after you’ve decluttered your toys and implemented a toy rotation, you should be left with 8-10 toys or activities available at one time. Display them on a shoe rack for easy access, with a couple on each shelf and, if possible, space between each one. Ideally, activities like puzzles or stacking rings should be taken apart with loose objects placed in a basket to the left of the base. This is another way of inviting the child to play with the toys, because the unfinished activity encourages the child to complete the work.
Now let’s talk about arts and crafts supplies.
If you’re someone that makes arts and crafts supplies readily available to your toddlers at any point in the day, I applaud you. Really, I do.
I have learned the hard way (over and over and over again) that I don’t want to spend half of my day washing marker stains off walls and off the toddlers that left them on the walls. As a result, I keep arts and crafts supplies on a high shelf, away from curious little hands.
Janet Lansbury, who is a child development advisor and whose advice I share on the regular, has a lot to say on the topic of power struggle prevention. If you find yourself having the same power struggle over the same thing day in and day out – i.e. using art supplies how they’re intended to be used – a little prevention goes a long way. Simply eliminate the cause of this power struggle (AKA making supplies readily available), which helps reframe the activity in a more positive way.
In other words, this is why our arts and crafts supplies now live on a high shelf. The kiddos are happy, and mom is happy, and everyone can enjoy art projects with peace.
I love the idea of organizing arts and crafts supplies in clear jars of various sizes. Not only does the organization make my OCD heart oh-so-happy, but it makes art time a little less chaotic because I can control the supplies being used at a given time.
Speaking of artwork, when I shared an Instagram poll about organizing kids’ spaces, several people remarked on the issue of kids’ artwork storage.
“There’s so much that they won’t let me throw away,” wrote one mom.
I must confess: I am ruthless when it comes to my kids’ artwork. Call me an extreme minimalist, but I cannot imagine hanging on to every single doodle. In fact – and I’m sure I’m in the minority on this – I throw away 99.9 percent of their drawings. I’ve taken photos of several special pieces and kept a handful physical ones, but that’s the extent of my collection in the four years since I’ve become a mother.
The irony of it all is that I consider myself quite a sentimental person. I have massive, oversize totes full of hand-written notes my childhood friends wrote to me when I was in elementary school. Insanity, I know! But for whatever reason, throwing away my kids’ artwork is not something I feel guilty about. Realistically, you can’t keep it all, and if you try, you’ll lose your mind trying to organize it.
Besides, when you keep too much, it lessens the value of the pieces you truly do love. And if you look at art projects from a childhood development point of view, it’s more about the process of creating rather than the result. You can even start involving your kiddos in deciding which art to keep, that way you’re teaching them the principle of boundaries at a young age.
I wish someone would’ve introduced me to this idea when I was younger. Maybe I wouldn’t have totes of childhood notes cluttering my garage…ha!
For those select few masterpieces that I do keep, I tuck them away into a large, sturdy file box. There, I can categorize and label the contents with each child’s name and age.
Last but not least, let’s talk about organization hacks for kids’ clothes and shoes.
My biggest piece of advice – besides decluttering – is to display items clearly. When you see what you have, it’s easier to get dressed faster.
For example, I used to have one large box of shoes per child. We’d all waste countless hours every week sorting through out-of-season boots or looking for that lost second sandal. I’ve since upgraded the girls’ shoe storage to these plastic storage boxes. They’re modular and stackable. So whether your child has 6 pairs or 24, you can change the setup as their needs change.
Plus, having a designated space for each pair will help your child to put them back in their place.
Drawer dividers are another super helpful item, because you can easily assess your options! I used the 32-compartment drawer organizer to store our girls’ socks, and it’s saving us so much time! Honey Can Do has so many other closet organization products – everything from baskets to shoe racks to drawer dividers and more!
That, ladies and gentlemen, wraps up my list of organization hacks for kids’ spaces. Even if your budget is limited, you can get organized by thinking outside of the box!
I hope you learned something new today and are now ready to tackle your own kids’ bedrooms, nurseries or playrooms. Or maybe you have another room in need of organizing! Either way, be sure to enter the $100 giveaway on Instagram! Don’t forget to use the code FOXYOXIE for 20% off when shopping Honey Can Do!
Looking for more inspiration? Check out more posts about designing kids’ spaces:
- Girls’ Shared Bedroom + Playroom Tour
- Playroom Tour + Design Inspired by Montessori Ideas
- Wooden Wall Art and Decor for the Playroom (or Nursery
- Multi-Purpose Baby Shower (or Birthday Party) Decor that Can Transition to the Nursery or Playroom
- Chattanooga Ronald McDonald House Playroom Redesign: The Reveal
- The Sweetest Nursery Reveal You’ve Ever Seen