Winter has us cooped up inside for most days, though Wisconsin weather HAS been quite kind to us as of late, so we’ve been able to enjoy playing in the snow. Still with all the indoor time it is a prime opportunity to get organized!!
A visit from one of my dearest friends, who has know me since 5th grade, was exactly what I needed to get inspired and start organizing. Here’s how she helped me attack at least one room – our living room:
- Dump out one bin or focus on one area at a time. We have a lot of wicker and cloth bins, so we just dumped out their contents to see what toys were where.
- Start sorting like items. By doing this, we identified “themes” of play-things. We planned out bins for cars / trains, pretend-play, games, books, technology / music, dolls, blocks and one miscellaneous.
- Ask yourself – does this item need to be in this room? We had this conversation about my daughter’s hair-things. They were stored in a bag in the living room. “Why are they in the living room?” my friend asked. “Because I often do her hair in the living room,” I explained. “Why can’t they go in the bathroom?” she inquired. I thought about this, and realized, oh yeah, they CAN go in the bathroom closet instead. Good call, my friend! You should also ask yourself, “Should this item be kept, sold or donated?” Build a pile each for keep, sell, and donate.
- Decide what fits where. Once we took some items out of the room to be placed elsewhere in our house, we started filling up my existing bins. Before doing so, my friend (who is also a neat-freak) vacuumed out the cloth bins. We filled up bins and she found spots to place them that I didn’t think of before. It was genius!
- Find “homes” for the remaining items. This meant I had a list of bins and plastic tubs to buy. I searched my own home first, so I could make the most of what I already had. Just shifting toys around a bit helped me find similar patterned cloth bins.
- Buy said bins / organizers & finalize the room. It’s amazing what you can fit into bins that are more accessible for kids than a toy’s original packaging! Now I am ready to rotate my kids’ toys more often to keep them entertained this winter. Already, I feel like everything has its place, and we’re picking up before getting something new out. Clean, organized house = one happy mama!
Here is my new & improved tv stand converted into toy storage:
At my going rate, I hope to keep on organizing this winter, so come springtime I can be outside with my family!
How do you keep your home organized? Let me know if you have any tips that work well for you!