Welcome to day two of our SPRING CLEANING WEEK series! Catch up on day one and be sure to enter for your chance to win A GIVEAWAY A DAY this week! All of this week’s giveaways run until Friday at 5:00 PM CST. Subscribe to our mailing list here to be the first to receive our daily posts and giveaway information (Scroll to end of each post to enter!).
The children’s spaces in a home quickly turn into the catch-all areas for scattered toys, games, clothes, and other knick knacks. To help my boys learn how to pick up after themselves and maintain some level of organization, I recently put systems in place that make clean-up time easier for everybody. At first, my oldest was upset I had moved things around, but I noticed that he and his brother soon felt empowered and confident in knowing that everything had a proper place! It was also like Christmas morning in the sense that they rediscovered old belongings that had been buried in clutter before, and they had excitement over setting aside toys they had “outgrown” as well. The go-to solutions we’ve found for children’s areas range from baskets and bins to dividers and hangers, shelving units, boxes, and beyond. Today, we’re sharing about all of these ideas with the hope they may be helpful to your own home projects, too!
For the Bedroom
My boys are pretty close in age, so they share a room with twin beds, which means double the messes and double the need for a good organization system in there! Both of them come home from school with papers and art projects that stack up fast. We will occasionally frame a “masterpiece” or two, but there’s only so much room on our gallery wall for that! So, I let them decide which school work is valuable to them to hold onto, and they have an underbed storage box for those items’ safe-keeping. We discard of the rest, and this exercise helps them prioritize what’s valuable in their minds and allows me to keep my sanity by resolving the clutter of paper piles and old projects! Once full, I label the boxes with each child’s initials and the year, then store them in the attic. They usually each fill one up per school year, and I know we’ll treasure their preschool and kindergarten archives for years to come. My older son is into writing his own “chapter books” right now, so he is currently filling his bin with stories of adventure and imagination! It will be so sweet to pull those out someday and remember this phase of life.
Both of my boys have also collected many stuffed animals over the years that they still enjoy playing with and snuggling next to at night. While they “donated” several of these plush buddies to their baby sister’s nursery, the ones they opted to keep are contained in striped canvas hampers that match the décor of their room. We have one coordinating small canvas bin to serve as a catch-all for little LEGOs and other miscellaneous toys that find their way to the bedroom, too. Since they are now clear on where everything goes, there are no excuses when I ask them to tidy up their room!
My most important piece of advice in this “spring cleaning” process is to include your children in it as much as possible. If they take “ownership” in the organization steps, you can hold them accountable, and they are more likely to maintain the new systems that are put in place!
For the Closet
Fortunately, my boys have a sizable closet that can accommodate both of their budding wardrobes, but I have to keep their drawers and hanging spaces in order with a closet organization set, which also came in handy for Liza’s nursery (See our Nursery Reveal post for more on that!). I label their respective hanging items categorically as “School Uniforms,” “Sports,” “Tops,” “Pants,” “Sets,” “Sweaters,” “Jackets,” “Out of Season,” and “Special Occasion.” One son’s clothing is on one side and the other’s is across from his. When my oldest son outgrows something, it goes in a hand-me-down bin for little brother until that size fits #2!
They each have a stack of built-in drawers for their things, too, so they don’t get confused about which items are whose. In their drawers, I use cloth divider bins that neatly contain pajamas, t-shirts, shorts, socks, and accessories. I intentionally put pajamas, underwear, and socks in a bottom drawer so that they can easily access those items when dressing themselves. Similarly, we have their school uniforms hanging on a low rung, so they can reach what they need to get ready in the morning. Lastly, I’ve bought a pack of hanging bags to protect special clothing we want to save for future generations or hand down to other family and friends. We have a closet section labeled “Heirloom” for those items.
P.S. Prior to my recent organization kick, another overwhelming barrage of “stuff” had landed in my boys’ bathroom. My children love bath time, but they don’t need a bathtub overflowing with an ever-growing collection of rubber duckies, toy boats and foam letters! We didn’t have any luck with bath toy storage “solutions” like catch-all nets and bins that are supposed to stick to the wall, so we purged the bath toys they no longer enjoy and now keep the remaining favorites in an extra-large “shower caddy” container next to the tub. MAMA ALWAYS SAID™ less is more, and we’re working toward that on many fronts.
For the Playroom
The playroom was by far one of our biggest projects in the home organization overhaul, and it required the most purchasing of bins, baskets, and beyond. Both of my boys love building things, so we have accumulated thousands of pieces of LEGO, Duplo, and other blocks throughout their lives (It’s their top birthday and Santa request every year!). I found these stackable LEGO-shaped storage bricks for all of their little LEGOs (no label needed on those!) and had to purchase some large seagrass baskets for their larger toys and Duplo sets.
To keep a solid system in place (and since my oldest child can now read), we labeled every basket and bin with hanging chalkboard tags and a chalk marker. Now, we all know know where to put things, so we can implement the same rule that Lolli set for my brothers and me growing up: “If you mess up, you clean up!”
Since some small toys would get lost in the bigger baskets, I also bought several woven bins with lids to catch categories of play items that would fit into those better. They stack nicely and come in a few sizes, so when it’s clean-up time, the boys just toss in their toys in, then stack the bins against the wall for next time. The lids hide any clutter underneath, so they keep the playroom looking neat and tidy when things aren’t in use. I labeled all of these with the same chalkboard tags and marker I used to label the baskets above. Those things are handy, y’all, which is why they’re also our GIVEAWAY item today!
In addition to baskets and bins on the floor, we also have five window alcoves in our third-floor playroom, which have been transformed into functional storage spaces thanks to these simple storage cubbies. The top of the cubby shelves is the perfect stage for many a play scene, and we place book collections in the shelves and drawers. I labeled the three drawers below with craft paper gift-tag stickers (same as those used in our pantry!) to designate spots for extra paperbacks, nature guides, and bookmarks. The boys loved this new book storage system so much they began calling it “our family library.” They now put a bookmark wherever they “check out” a book and then return it to that same spot before selecting another title. This library system makes them feel “big” and makes story time even more fun!
In our downstairs hallway, we have a “mudroom” closet, which is where we stow rain jackets, boots, and other items handy to keep near the backdoor when it’s time to “grab and go.” This area also needed some attention regarding organization, so I found some white woven bins that fit nicely into the cubbies and shelves and categorized them according to our family’s everyday needs and patterns. They were easy to label with erasable black bin clips and a chalk marker. Now, we can quickly find what we need on our way out (like jackets and diaper bag essentials!), and we also all know where to store whatever finds its way inside (like a recent rock collection, which goes in the “nature” bin).
VOILA, Y’ALL!™ Those are our tips and ideas from recent experience, which we hope you may find helpful, too! As a recap, here are some of the products and tools we used to organize the children’s spaces around our house:
Asterisk ( * ) denotes product linked is similar but not exact.
Today we’re giving away a set of chalkboard tags and a chalk marker! These tags are so versatile, you can use them in almost any room of your house. While I use them to label my boys’ toy baskets, you can also use them to label drink dispensers at a party!
To enter the giveaway, just enter your email below. The winner will be announced on Saturday, April 14, at 10 AM CST on our Instagram stories, so make sure you’re following us @lolliandme! Winner must respond with shipping address within 48 hours.