Good morning and happy Monday! It’s raining here, but I’m not complaining one bit. It was supposed to rain all day yesterday, but it decided to hold off. My parents were in town and we were able to go to church and head out to lunch before they left. I took the girls to see The Nutcracker and we had a fun dinner out with them. Let’s just say it would’ve been miserable having to do all of that in the rain! So I’m thankful the rain decided to stay away for an extra day.
What I Wore
I had a reader request for a How I Do It post on storage and organization. While I always wish I could be even more organized, I have some tips that may work for you in your home.
How I Do It: Storage & Organization
First Things First. I am in no way a neat freak, extremely organized or have extreme systems on how I store things. Many of our boxes from the move are still in cardboard boxes in our garage. It’s pretty organized, but one day I want to switch out all the cardboard for streamlined rubbermaid boxes. But I haven’t done it yet. Everything to me is a work in progress. Things change, and I get that. For instance, something that I used to stay organized when my children were little, may not work anymore and I’m okay with that. Their toys get bigger, they accumulate more cars and dinosaurs, so I’m always changing things around and purging. Even in this post, what I say may work for me now, may change in six months time. You have to be flexible and know what works for you.
Organizing the Children’s Clothes. Wheeler and Effie have a bunk bed in their room. They’ve shared a room since Effie was about 20 months old. They had twin beds for awhile, but begged for a bunk bed (loving this whole look from Pottery Barn Kids above, by the way). It’s been great because it takes up less space in the room. The boys have always had their own rooms. Queen beds in both. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but in the past six months, they’ve been sleeping together. And each night, they take turns on which room they sleep in. In each of the childrens’ rooms, they have a dresser. In the top drawer, they have socks and underwear, the second drawer down are shirts, the next drawer down are shorts/pants, and the bottom drawer are pajamas. This makes it super easy for them to pick out what they’re wearing. The boys are different sizes so they have separate dressers, but the girls wear the same size which makes organizing all of this (and putting away laundry) a lot easier.
On Laundry. Like every other person with children, it’s a constant battle to keep it from piling up. For those of you that separate their laundry by categories, like most people, y’all would probably call me crazy. I don’t separate any of it, even darks and lights, towels and sheets, I just throw it in altogether. Sometimes I’m on top of it, other times I’m not. I used to set aside a day once a week to do it all, but I found that I couldn’t wait until a Tuesday, for instance, to wash something that needed to be worn before then. Plus, my children’s clothes are getting bigger, so I’m always trying to get as much done as quick as I can, so it doesn’t accumulate. And trust me, that can happen very quickly. I’ve definitely washed my fair share of diapers, pull-ups, crayons, etc., but that’s life. Each child does not have their own laundry basket in their closet. I keep one in the girls’ closet, and the boys just drop theirs in there too.
On My Clothes. That’s one of the biggest questions I probably get, is how I store all of my clothes. First of all, each season I go through things I want to purge or haven’t worn in a year. Most of it all goes to my mom and sisters. Lucky them. I used to have blog sales and sell things on ebay, but I honestly don’t have time anymore. In our old house, we had a walk-in attic, so anything I wanted to store for a season or two would go in there. I had a double hanging rack, and I’d store that season’s clothes in the attic which cleared out my closet to make room for the current season’s clothes. I’m not one to have packed racks. It makes it so much easier to see what all I have with less clutter. Since we don’t have a walk-in attic here, the other season’s clothes go in the kids closets. Theirs are all deep walk-in closets, so they all have extra space. As for my shoes, I’ve always stored all of them in their original boxes on shelves in my closet. It makes it so much easier to see each of them. I also switch those around each season. For instance, the summer sandals and flip flops were just moved to the upper shelves and I pulled down the boots and closed-toe shoes.
My Children’s Artwork. I don’t save everything. I remember when Wheeler was younger, I feel like I saved EVERYTHING. But even with her art, I’ve purged it too. I make a point to keep anything with their photo on it, their handprints, a great journal entry, anything that’s a self portrait or family portrait. If it’s on canvas, I’ll put it on their walls in their room. Some artwork I decide to frame. It honestly just all depends. But for the rest, most of it goes. For the time being, I try to store them in boxes and write the date on each piece I’m saving. This is huge. Even if you look at it now and say to yourself that you’ll be able to remember when they wrote their name, drew this certain pic, made this ornament, I’m going to guess in even just a few years, you may not. It takes two seconds, just make a point to write their age and date on most of their work. One day, I’ll go through all of it and make books for them to flip through later. To save yourself some trouble, especially if you have multiple children, go ahead and be picky about what you want to save now. You don’t want to save it all to have to go through later.
Bookbags, Shoes, Jackets, etc. Where Does It All Go? After we moved, I bought this little cubby storage unit (shown above). Like I mentioned before, this works for us now, but as they get older, I realize they’ll grow out of it. But I must tell you, it’s been the best purchase! Just like they do at school, when they get home, I tell them to hang up their bags, take off their shoes, hang up their jackets, and they can do it, all in one place.
I realize they have more than one jacket, so I have this little storage unit that holds their jackets, hats and gloves. They can switch out what they want to layer up with, whenever they want. I use these little inserts for them too. In the warmer months, I use the same unit for bathing suits and cover-ups.
Toy Storage. Like any other parent, I realize that toys can get out of hand pretty quickly. But the simpler you organize your toys, the better. We have an IKEA unit that’s been discontinued, but it has been a godsend. This one is very similar and a great price for such a large unit! Each set of toys has its own place. As much as I want to tell you that they get out a Legos basket, play with it, then put it back…they don’t. But even when the room may look like it’s exploded toys everywhere, at least when I ask them to clean up, they know where each of their toys goes.
I also have three of these big buckets in the playroom too. Two of them store their larger cars, trucks and dinosaurs, and the other one stores their train tracks. I just realized it may seem like the boys’ toys take over most of the playroom, but it’s kind of true. The girls keep their dolls, Barbies, Barbie house, etc., in their room so the boys won’t destroy them. Hey, boys will be boys, right? I mean that’s not to say that the girls don’t play with the boys’ toys, but it’s easier to organize them this way, and the girls are a little kinder on the boys’ toys than vice versa. Plus, with the boys’ toys being mostly out of their rooms, aside from books, they’re not going up to their rooms to play as often. We also have a sun room where the children’s play kitchen, pretend food, art supplies, art table is, so that helps split up the play space too. We have an armoire in the den where we store all of our board games, a closet in the entryway where we store all of their puzzles and craft activities (at the top and out of reach) and little boxes that are on top of the shelving unit in the playroom that hold other toys that I may not let them get out as often (i.e. musical instruments).
On Scheduling Activities. I used to always use a physical planner to organize our plans, but that got to be a little too hard because I didn’t always have my planner with me. Then I switched over to strictly using my phone, and never looked back. Only until about a year ago did I buy this dry erase board calendar. Not only was it good to have as reminders for me, it also helped Lanier know what plans we had. And now that Wheeler and Effie can read, they love looking at what fun upcoming events we have on the books and are excited to inform the boys! They especially love to see it around the holiday season!
Unfortunately, my exact style dry erase board has sold out, but the two below are great choices, as well!
Let me know if I left anything out on how I store/organize certain spaces! Would love to help! I’m always open to your suggestions too!
And just in case you missed this weekend’s post, head back here to check out my Holiday Gift Guide for the Kids for a range of ages!
Hope y’all have a great start to your week! Be sure and check out tomorrow’s post! I’ll be sharing my favorite dresses for the holiday season!
Last Night’s OOTN
Vest (currently 30% off with code: SHOPGIFTS; it runs big, size down one size) // Leggings (30% off with code: SHOPGIFTS; for sizing, they’re true to size; I own both small and medium) // Dress // Rings // Booties (currently 50% off; I’m an 8.5 and wear a 9 (39) in them)
Cozy & Comfy Tonight