Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Resolutions?

I have never been one to make New Year's resolutions, in fact I'm pretty sure the rebellious gal in me would not keep a resolution just because it was something I "had" to do. So I don't make them, however this year I have already resolved to spend more time on my art. This really has more to do with me rearranging my priorities than anything else. As hard as it may be to ignore the dirty house, I have to walk past it and lock myself in my studio. I am hoping a little organization will help keep the household in better running order this year. Let's see I organized my hat collection which has made it much easier to find hats and gloves before heading out the door. Next is the boys' toys, a collection which outnumbers the toys I had my whole child hood!(Insert "When I was your age" statement here!) New toys had no where to call home, so what better to do on a snowy winter day?
Here are a few tips for you, which can also work for any clutter you may have in your home. This is not for the lighthearted as it makes a bigger mess while in the midst of cleaning, but fear not, focus on the end result!

Choosing clear containers allows you to find things quickly,
labeling them is great, and using pictures
for little ones who can not yet read is even better.
 Dumping all the toys into a big pile in the middle of the floor is my first step. Then I had the boys help me sort them into piles, superheroes, dinos, cars, etc. Then I comb through the piles and remove any broken toys.
Next order of business, donating toys. This can be a challenge since they rarely want to donate or discard ANY toy, so I make them take turns picking out a toy that they no longer use. ( Tip: Telling them their toy is going to a cousin or family friend does seem to make parting with their beloved toys easier.) It is good to reexamine their toy stock every once in awhile, for example, my son has acquired a fair amount of bug catching tools. His problem being finding those tools when he has spied a bug. Having these in one place will help save Mom searching time, after all I am the one who plays with them!
After  purging/sorting finding the proper containers, ones that fit all of the contents, but are not too large for them to carry, is needed. 

This box has been a dr. kit, toy holder, and now it is an adventure kit.
We have used everything from old gun cases to shoe boxes.

Cereal boxes make great magazine holders.
(Tip: If you buy a child a gift consider buying the parent one too, a container to put the toy in after they have removed it from the packaging. They will love you for it!)
Now maybe you can see the light at the end of the tunnel? Putting the containers back in their place may seem easy but remember access to these toys is key. Do you really want them to have easy access to all those new board games they received for Christmas with their ten million pieces? I do not! That's why they are on the top shelf which means they will be asking to play with them which also gives me a chance to make sure they have picked up their other toys before handing them a beloved game (*wink*).
Sit back and take a look at your hard work, feels good doesn't it? I hope that you get one area of your home organized this year, just one, and you will reap the benefits, I promise.
 Happy New Organizing Year!


  1. I once heard on tv that if you want your children to pick up their toys and put them away, you need to give them a place to put it. We have labeled containers for Lego and containers for other small toys. Works like a dream. It's easy on me as well when I help them clean up. It also helps that Russell is very organized and loves order. Great post Jessica.

  2. Great organizing ideas...thanks for sharing!