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Time to Play

Everything I need to know, I didn't get from the playroom.
For this post, I'm just gonna go with some of my helpful hints. These are ideas that I have picked up from my own experience with children, and from my experience of organizing kids' rooms and playrooms for my family and friends.


Books:
Bookcases are a fabulous thing.....until the kids get to them.
This bookcase was in the kids' closet in their bedroom. They had a separate playroom for their toys. I suggested the books be taken out of the bedroom and moved into the playroom. This solved a couple of problems: bedrooms stay cleaner if they are used solely for the purpose of sleeping; and it's a lot easier for Mom to get to the bookshelf and clean it when she's cleaning the rest of the playroom.

It's important to organize the books and make them look nice. This will not necessarily motivate the kids to keep it looking nice, but it will definitely be a motivation for you. In this case we put board books on the bottom for her youngest to get to, and all of the oversized books went in the bookcase on their sides.


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Toy boxes:
The problem with toy boxes is that inevitably the bottom fills up with small pieces and parts. The kids no longer play with the toys in the toy box, because they cannot see them, or get to them without emptying the whole thing. I suggested that we move the miscellaneous toys to the cute tote organizers the homeowner already possessed. Then we put all of the stuffed animals in the toy box. No small parts or pieces to get lost in the bottom of the box, and no more trying to find room for the billions of stuffed animals that kids “have” to keep.

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Other tidbits of random kid-related organizing knowledge:

*Put things on the top. If you don't put something on the top of a chest of drawers or a bookshelf, or a toy box; kids will put lots of somethings up there for you.

*Don't forget the corners. If you place perpendicular furniture together and leave an empty triangle in the corner of a room, you have created a hidey-hole. This is where you need to look for lost remotes, missing socks, and any other item you haven't been able to find.

*Go through the old clothes. Keep what you will pass down. Then give the rest away to bless the lives of others. Old, purposeless clothes in the tops of your closet are not heirlooms, they are clutter, and missed opportunities to help someone less fortunate.

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Taking Big Bites

From “10 Things I Hate about You”:
Chastity: I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?
Bianca: I think you can in Europe.
Usually I'm called in when someone has reached the alarming state of “overwhelmed”. I'm starting to realize what gets a person worked into this state.
Has this ever happened to you?: You have a room that needs attention. You sit down in the room and attack with a vengeance. You make pile after pile. Then all of the sudden, you get called away. Someone needs a snack, a ride, to go potty, to be picked up....etc. Then when you go back to the room in question, you have no idea what the piles mean. So you quit (until another day)
It occurred to me that a vital part is missing in my “class”. You have to have a game plan. And my game plan for you is this: Start big...as in big picture. We're not gonna miss the forest for the trees...put the trees down and start looking for the forest.
Organizing a room with multiple functions, like this office, cannot be done all in one sitting. You have to do a big sort first, then you can parcel off the little sorts one at a time. This keeps you from being overwhelmed. In this particular room, I went for the really big sort first. Papers on one side of the room, and Items on the other.

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Once that was finished, I sorted the Papers into:
financial,
school,
personal,
warranties and instructions
,
and church.
Then I sorted the Items into:
parts,
memorabilia,
electronics
,
and misc.


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Once this stage was reached, the room was looking in pretty good shape, but there was still time left so I made a big mess once again as I took my medium sort and sorted it further.
Financial was broken down into:
health,
banking,
investments,
and home services

Warranties and Instructions was broken down into:
large appliances,
outside,
TV & DVD etc,
Computer,
Kid/Baby,
Kitchen
and misc.
The homeowner already had file folders made up for the different financial papers, but had fallen behind in filing. Now she could combine the two piles at a later date and with a smaller degree of stress. She could now pick up two file folders and go through them, consolidating one section at a time (instead of having to go around the room and gathering all of the papers to be filed).

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Start small by thinking big. It works. It really works.

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I'm a stay-at-home mom of 3 who likes to organize, craft, & read (among other things)
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