Believe it or not, the start of school is just around the corner. Being a former teacher and school librarian, I get so excited about the start of school. Since my daughter is starting kindergarten in August, this is the first year that I actually get to buy school supplies for one of my own. I am such a nerd and bought all of her new kindergarten supplies in June. Lesson learned though, I did spend a small fortune and will wait for sales and tax free shopping next go round!
So, before you start stressing about back to school shopping and getting those supplies in order, lets be sure to get the kids’ rooms in order! Whether your kids are in kindergarten or in college, you don’t want your kiddos to start school with a cluttered and messy room, do you?
Maybe you are fortunate enough to have your kids in camp this week? If not, just make it a fun project you can do together and get rolling!!!!
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Organizing doesn’t have to involve a lot of money spent on products. Whatever you do, don’t go out and buy a bunch of organizing products. It will just add more clutter and cause you some unnecessary trips back to the store.
2. Get rid of all of those small toys, stuffed animals, or whatever it is, that you really don’t need or your kids don’t play with anymore. If your kiddo has a hard time saying goodbye to things, take this time to give a lesson on repurposing and giving to those left fortunate. I know I have written this before, but one of my favorite Berenstain Bears books when I was little was the Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room. I just loved when they cleaned up their rooms and ended up with all of those organized and labeled bins for their toys! If your kids are young, read them that or Room Enough for Daisy, which is a picture book that teaches kids valuable life lessons like how living with less can benefit an individual and a community. It also teaches them to appreciate what they have and that more is not always better.
3. Separate like items and decide what you want to use to containerize. This is the part where you can go shopping and it doesn’t have to be expensive. They have tons of bins at The Dollar Store or you can go crazy and buy $50 beautiful bins at Restoration Hardware….the choice is yours! I have found that it is easier to use products with an open top so you can just throw things in rather than using products with a closed lid. For example, in my case, I have several cute pink baskets in my daughter’s room….one for mini fairies and princesses, Barbies in another basket, Strawberry Shortcake in another basket, etc… We actually have a separate little plastic four drawer container for American Girl accessories and clothes. Be sure to label your baskets with a cute tag or you can even use pictures for little ones. Just remember that everything in the room should have a spot and those things always go in that spot. If there isn’t a spot for something, it often also helps to have one big bin or tub for all of those random toys that don’t fit into a certain category…sort of like your kids “junk drawer.” Check out our previous post on favorite products for toy “organization” for more ideas. If you have too many toys and things around, get a big plastic tub with a lid and put the toys in there. Stick that tub in the back of a closet and “rotate” the toys every month or so. That way you don’t have too many things out and causing clutter all at once.
4. You don’t need to save every little project from camp this summer and school last year. I keep one archival box for each school year (I use the Stockholm Document box from The Container Store) and keep the art projects and other keepsakes in that box. If it gets too full, it is time to go back through and reevaluate what to keep. Arts and crafts are another whole post that we are going to revise and revisit soon, but for some ideas, check out our previous post on art storage.
5. Start going through clothes that your child has outgrown. Be thinking about the awesome sale Charleston Repeats that will be held in September. Go ahead and register now so you are ensured a spot as a consigner! I swear by this sale…make a lot of money every time I do it. It takes some work, but it pays off in the end. You can also sell those toys and other items you are purging at the sale!
Remember, our goal is to help you reduce clutter and keep things simple. The less clutter you have around, the easier it is to clean and keep up with, thus reducing your stress and allowing for a happy momma!