Monday, January 14, 2013

Organizing for kids

I consider myself a fairly organized person.
I've always been that person who was a planner, wanted things divided into appropriate ways, liked to clean out - simply put... I wanted things organized.
Despite having 3 young children now {more now than ever}, I think being organized is crucial.
I once read somewhere that the average person spends forty minutes per day searching for things. YIKES! I also read somewhere that for every minute invested in getting organized, an hour is earned. That is an amazing return on your investment, I couldn't be more certain of that!
I said recently that I stumbled upon a new blog that I've become addicted to, IHeart Organizing.
I have scoured the blog and LOVE looking at all the ideas that are out there to organize both big and small spaces in our homes - closets, cabinets, drawers, and rooms.
In the midst of blogging the other night and thinking about what I should dig into & reorganize next, it occurred to me that there are already so many essential organizational "systems" that are in place to better help our kid-friendly household function smoothly and {fairly} efficiently.  Be it big or small, all of these help keep the peace, make morning and bedtime routines run and teach the kids some responsibility.  Let's review:
NUK holder on Marilyn's dresser - one spot that they all go to eliminate lost ones.
Everyone has a laundry basket (with handles).  Not only are they easy to fill up with dirty clothes, but they are also light-weight for the kids to bring to the laundry room themselves.  Simply put - helps keep rooms cleaner and less work for this Mama.
My kids have a ton of books - probably too many (if that's possible).
So, the kids each have a bookshelf in their room.
Although I envision a better organized way to keep their books (and more user-friendly), they each love to plop down in their cozy reading chairs & enjoy a good read.
In order to keep some sanity in our playroom, my hubby built a shelf to hold several labeled toy bins.
Labeling them with both words and a picture encouraged even our youngest to help clean up when playtime was over.

Keeping our family's medical supplies organized in the linen closet has also been a lifesaver. 
Having a sick child {or even injured} is no time to wonder where your medicines are or how much you have left for the next time. 
In the green container (L), all of the kids' medicines.  In the white container (C), are all of the our ointments, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol and bandaids.  Finally, in the wooden crate (R), are all of the adult medicines.
Tubby time is much easier now that I have a small, recycled, plastic container under the sink that holds the kids' shampoos, bubble bath and body wash.
{Sorry for the poor quality picture}
In each of the kids' closets is a tub/bucket that sits high and out of the way for clothes that the kids' have outgrown.  It makes it really simple between my cleanout projects for clothes to be stored out of the way until I can clean out & reorganize.

Speaking of storing clothes - each of the kids have labled buckets up in their closests that hold clothes that they will eventually grown into.
Having the kids help set the table is just a little bit easier now with their placemats placed in a low spot under our computer tower.  I just ask them to grab a placemat of their choice (along with their spoon & forks) and they hardly realize they have helped me with meal time.

Speaking of meal time, I have a big bucket under one of the lower cabinets that is home to all of the kids' plates, bowls and snack cups.  I can't tell you how much easier this has made things for me in the kitchen.  The kids grab their plates or snack cup when its time to eat.  They know they have to pick it and then I can get what they need.  Again... more responsibility on them.
Probably one of my most favorite projects that my hubby helped me with...
My Command School Center near the front door.
It has absolutely eliminated the school chaos that was taking over when school first started.

In Alaska and with 3 young kiddos, there is most certainly a need to help maintain some order with all the winter gear.  A simple idea but very effective for everyone to keeping track of their things (even Marilyn).

 Another helpful "Hubby Built" Project that most certainly helps with organization in the Arctic Room is our storage bench.  With plenty of seating space to put shoes/boots/snow gear on and storage for the kids' shoes.
Just above the seating bench are hooks for Mommy & Daddy to hang our jackets...
 ... and low hooks for the kids to hang their jackets.
All of this helps eliminate the mess with the mass amount of winter gear our family has.
So there you have it.  Some of my essential organizational systems in place as we speak that help keep us running fairly smoothly morning, noon and night.  Although I'm realizing there are better ways everyday to keep us organized... these ideas have most definitely served us well.

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