In preparation for summer break, I wanted to get my daughter's room organized with "a place for everything". We've had too many things (of hers!) laying around the house lately and I caught on to the fact that she didn't know where to put the things that were always left out. Let me offer some tips if you're needing to do the same thing!
As ALWAYS, you'll want to take "everything out". In a bedroom, do this in phases. Don't empty all clothes and all toys from closets, dressers, toy boxes etc all at once. Start with one category: toys and books for example.
Let's say you're starting with toys and books. Gather ALL toys and books (including everything laying around other parts of the house) and just start sorting. Sort toys into piles of like-items. Some of the categories we ended up with were dolls / doll clothes / barbies / coloring books & crayons etc. My daughter's latest toy interest is LOL dolls, and we had a pretty big pile of them. We ended up creating a category for LOL dolls and other miscellaneous toys she's really into right now.
The next step would be to plan for how to store the toys and books. Use furniture you already have, wall space, etc. If you need to purchase new storage furniture, make sure to measure your space and plan for containers that will be functional for your child to use.
My favorite way to store toys is with cube organizers. These pieces allow the storage bins to be removed completely to transport toys. I like that they can also work as bookshelves if necessary. Books can stand on top OR within one of the cube sections.
Here is another method of storing books: on floating shelves. I like that I can keep some books out of reach this way! The books on the top shelf are only brought down under mom's supervision!
For my daughter's smaller possessions and "extra special" treasures, we kept those things close to her bed in a rolling cart. I love using carts for so many different things and they work great as "nightstands" in a child's bedroom.
The top shelf of the cart holds her favorite stuffed animals and an echo dot. The middle shelf holds 6 cup organizers that separate her treasures into categories: sunglasses / lotion and lipgloss / bedtime water & sleep mask / scriptures / money / small treasures.
The cup organizers come in many different containers and can be found at The Container Store (I'll link them below)!
Moving onto clothes organizing...
I thought it was necessary to include my daughter in the process of getting her room organized. She's six years old and needs to learn WHY and HOW we've set up the systems in her room, so that she can maintain it. If children don't understand the system, they won't keep it up.
We removed ALL clothing from my daughter's dresser drawers and set aside clothes that no longer fit. Once we were left with only the clothes she can still wear, we divided everything up into categories: pajamas / underwear / socks / jean pants / leggings / shorts / swimsuits / winter accessories etc.
Separating categories inside of drawers is a great way to keep things organized.
You don't have to spend much money on drawer organizers. We used old baskets and $1.00 sterilite shoeboxes for separating categories!
File folding is another great way to keep drawers organized. This way, you can see every pair of shorts / pants in this drawer (rather than stacking pairs on top of each other).
When it comes to organizing clothes in a closet, the main rule for neat hanging is MATCHING HANGERS. It doesn't matter what hangers you like to use, just use the same throughout. This way, all the clothes hang at the same position and everything is easy to see. I also like to separate categories... as you can see in the picture above, we keep winter clothes up high and summer clothes down low. Winter is separated by coats vs. long sleeve tops; summer is separated by casual dresses vs. short sleeve tops. (Sunday dresses are found on the other side of the closet). Hanging clothes by color takes your organizing a step further and is also really pretty to look at!
Here's a helpful tip for setting up kids' rooms: have a bin designated for clothes that don't fit anymore. Keep the bin in the closet, under the bed, or somewhere close so that clothes can be added to it easily. When that bin is full, it's time to pass those clothes on / sale them / or donate! (The aqua bin in the picture below says "too little"... this is where I toss the clothes & shoes that my daughter grows out of!)
Last but not least: Keep a bin or a box that holds special keepsakes for your child. The file tote you see above is where all special artwork / school work / awards / school pictures live. I'm offering assembled, customized file boxes for pick up in Mesa, AZ - more info can be found HERE.
The next blog post on organizing kids' rooms (part 2 of 2) will include more details on keepsake file boxes, and how to store special papers, pictures, and other treasures for your child(ren)!