Organizing Family Spaces. Tips and Tricks that are Aesthetically Functional!
Since the newest Marie Kondo craze has hit the internet hard, I wanted to share some of my personal organizing tips... no worries, you don't have to hug or talk to any inanimate objects! I want to share what has worked for our family with two school age children who love doing all the things! I know keeping a single space dedicated to your little ones is hard, so hopefully these ideas will help you keep your home looking less jungle gym, while still keeping things easily accessible to your little friends!
One of the biggest tips I can give when someone wants to start organizing their home, is to start one room a a time! Draw out a plan on a piece of paper that gives you an idea of what items you will need to purchase and come up with a plan! If you have no idea where to start, or have questions, feel free to message me on facebook, I'd be more than happy to help!
Here, we will start in the living room, where no matter how hard you try to keep this space an adult sanctuary, the minis seem to always migrate their belongings during the day!
We finally decided to get rid of our living room coffee table and switch to a storage ottoman instead! BEST DECISION EVER! It is still functional for holding things like drinks simply by adding a tray! Inside we keep our snugglies, and our gaming stuff! It is aesthetically pleasing, cozy (kids love laying on it,) and functional... WIN!
You can get a similar ottoman here!
In our playroom we have a wall desk hanging at a height the kids can reach and work at easily. We use a storage ottoman here also for seating. These ottomans are very versatile, look nice, and the kids love them! They are a great way to store things while being functional and aesthetically pleasing at the same time!
We have 2 in the play room. This one is used as a seat, as well as stores very important NERF guns allowing for easy battle access! ;)
The other one sits next to our play room couch and is a magical bottomless portal for all things princess dress up, and doubles as an ottoman /side table for drinks (we just add a tray!)
One day I completely lost my mind and sorted all 849,493,434 legos we have... This cart has been a life saver and such the perfect place for keeping lego pieces. You can simply toss them in there if you think organizing by piece type is a lost cause, or you can go through and organize each drawer by type suck as wheels, people, gears, blocks, flat pieces, irregular pieces, etc... Mine are pretty good about keeping their prized possessions organized. It was also fun for all of us to sit down and do together! The thing I like most about this set u is that the kids can bring the cart into the living room (it rolls) set up a play area with a blanket, and play! It's moveable! Organization on wheels!
These little dish bins are from the dollar store, I have a million of them and use them for everything! They are great for little ones to manage carrying as they have little handles on each side and they are sturdy! (They don't bend!) They also double as great sensory bins for things like water beads etc!
You can find them online here, but they are far more expensive!
We keep all of our video games in plastic bins with lids. They fit nicely in our cube shelves and are stackable with the lids on! Being clear, the kids can find what they need without having to rummage through and open all of the bins!
I keep all of our sensory play fun stuff in the kitchen in a lower cabinet so they kids are free to grab and work with. I also keep a vinyl table cloth here so they can lay out if they are working on something that may make a mess. Some of the ththings we keep here are:
For our play-doh sets, I have learned taking them out of the boxes, and storing in gallon size zip lock bags saves SO MUCH SPACE! I keep mine in a dish pan (I told you I use them for EVERYTHING!) I cut the side of the box out that shows what parts are in it, and keep in the bag! So they can easily find which set they are looking to work with!
Invest in trays to help contain the craft, as well as establishing that boundary I discussed the importance of spacial boundaries here in my Montessori Room Set Up Post Here!
I like using juice glasses for markers, colored pencils, and crayons! They are the perfect size, and it's so much cheaper to buy a basic set of juice glasses than it is to buy desk orgnaizers!
Moving on to our craft room/ office space! This used to be a really shoddy guest room that was never used... we decided to make it more functional and haul all of our craft materials/books here! It is used frequently, being upstairs the kids enjoy working on small crafts to unwind before bed!
My husband out did himself again building the babes and I the PERFECT craft room desk! We used the same cube shelves we have throughout the house in our bedrooms and playroom! One is laying horizontal, the other standing vertical to create the "L" desk space.
You can find the white shelving board here on Amazon as well. You may need a different size, just type in search the size you'd like! Home Depot also carries long ones that you can cut in half!
There are tons of different cube bins! They are larger and really sturdy!
The peg boards are AWESOME! They were intended for garage/tool use... however I thought they were perfect for saving space and looked neat! They come in different colors and are reasonably priced! You can find them here!
You can get an awesome peg board accessory set that has pretty much everything you will need for $14 here!
A closing tip when it comes to organizing and making more room is to save your floor space! Check out my post on the kids' rooms how we used wall desks and shelving! Our latest AHA! moment was my husband building a Loft style bed for our daughter's room. She has a ton of barbie stuff, including a massive barbie house and we were running out of room. Lifting the bed allowed for more floor space! She absolutely loves it!