With three kids, this has proven to be a bit of a nightmare. I can hardly keep up with my own messes, let alone theirs. And as they get older, their messes are getting bigger.
Over the years I’ve come up with a few ways to keep some of chaos at bay, but I’m always searching for new ideas that might help. The big kids are getting to the point where they are more than capable of cleaning up after themselves and keeping their toys and school supplies organized. And I think if I implement some new rules and regulations, and provide them with the means to keep things somewhat neat and tidy, we’ll all live a less cluttered life. Hopefully.
To that end, now that we’ve moved into a new house and are starting fresh, I am determined to find a way to get my kids, and myself, organized right off the bat. I have put a lot of thought lately into what I can do to make sure that everything has a place, and to make it easy enough for the kids to be active participants in keeping their things neat and tidy.
We are fortunate in that we are remodeling our house, so we have opportunities to add in certain features that will help us. But you don’t have to tear down walls and add built-in cabinets to get your kids organized.
These are a few of my favorite organizational items for children. What are some of yours?
Book Sling 1 of 15Available in fun fabrics, a book sling is a great way to keep books organized and readily accessible. Would be awesome next to a bed or desk and doesn't take up floor space!
$25 From Etsy
Ikea Pails 2 of 15I love the bright, fun colors of these metal pails. The fact that they're metal means that they're sturdy and will stand up to some abuse. The 4 Gallon size is perfect for holding toys, shoes or any other items you want to keep together but out of sight.
Bin Organizer 3 of 15Another great way to store miscellaneous toys and books. I use the various bins to separate different types of toys. Wood blocks in one bin, Matchbox Cars in another...you get the idea.
$55 From Amazon
Modern Storage Unit 4 of 15I love this modern take on storage bins. You could use this for socks, shoes, hats, mittens and scarves. Or toy cars, legos, books and art supplies. The possibilities are endless.
Owl Toy Box 5 of 15A different take on a toy box, this is sure to add some whimsy to your little one's room while giving you a great place to "hide" things.
Large Baskets with Lids 6 of 15I have this large basket and I love it. Over the years it has housed toys, clothes and extra pillows and blankets. It looks nice enough to keep in the Living Room, but also fits well at the end of a bed.
$50 - $99
From World Market
Open Baskets 7 of 15I have open baskets scattered about my house, holding all sorts of items. I use one on the porch for shoes, several in the living room for toys, smaller ones for remotes and video game controllers and I have several in the media cabinet holding DVDs and Video Games.
From World Market
Dresser Decals 8 of 15These cute dresser decals are a great way to teach kids the proper place for their clothes. No more mess when you tell them to grab a pair of shorts and they pull everything out of the t-shirt drawer trying to find a pair. Also, you can give them their clean laundry to put away and be confident it will end up in the correct drawer. Probably not as neatly folded as it once was, but at least it's put away!
$18 From Etsy
Repurposed Metal Lockers 9 of 15I was lucky enough to be given a set of old metal lockers by a friend. My husband isn't as convinced as I am of their usefulness. Yet. I plan on refinishing them and using them in one of the boy's rooms or the playroom to store the *copious* amounts of toys and games and books that are always in need of a home. It would also be a great place for art supplies or could even be used as a dresser. Labeling each door would give you even more organization and keep things neat and tidy and easy to find.
This one is $475 from Etsy, but you could possibly find one cheaper at a garage sale or antique shop and refinish it yourself. If you're so inclined.
Letter Hooks 10 of 15I am going to use these hooks in our bathroom for towels. Each kid will have a hook with the first letter of their name. It serves double duty - they're not inadvertently swapping towels AND, I'm not going insane trying to properly rehang their towels. I am a huge fan of hooks instead of towel bars. These would also be great for backpacks or jackets. If it's something heavy, be sure the hook is properly fastened to the wall. $14 each
Bathroom Storage 11 of 15Along the same lines as the towel hook, but with the added bonus of a mason jar for toothbrush, toothpaste or hairbrush storage. Yet another way to keep personal items separate and organized. Also, it frees up precious counter space!
$26 From Etsy
Arts & Crafts Organizer 12 of 15I love the idea of this, especially as we wade further and further into the world of First Grade homework. No more searching through a box for the supplies we need, everything is front and center and readily available in this crafty and cute bucket.
$20 From Etsy
Chalkboard Labels 13 of 15A cute, cheap and functional way to organize and store every day items. Pick up some mason jars from the grocery store, add chalkboard labels, and you're in business. Easy for kids to find on their own, and, even better, provides for easy clean up when homework or arts & crafts time is over!
Shoe Organizer 14 of 15Instead of, or in addition to, holding shoes this cute canvas organizer can be hung on a closet door and can hold toys, socks, underwear, art supplies or bathroom necessities.
$25 From Target
Storage Playmat 15 of 15I hate toys with little pieces. Sadly, they come with the territory of having older kids. Trying to keep them away from the baby can be a nightmare, so I love the idea of this storage playmat. The kids can open it up and play with their cars or legos, and when they're done they simply fold it back up, toys and all. Easy clean up and I don't have to be super stressed about the baby choking on Lego Batman! Win/Win!