September’s Monthly Organizing Challenge:Living Room Organization

September’s monthly organizing challenge is to go through your living room organization.

Here are the areas you need to go through to really complete this challenge.

  1. In the entertainment center: Go through your DVDs, CDs, and Photos. Store items in bins. Buy bins as needed.
  2. In the kids toy area: go through and donate any toys that your children do not use. Get new storage bins if needed.
  3. In your coffee table and end tables: clear out the drawers and bins in them. Get rid of unused items. Replaced broken bins or containers.
  4. In your coat closet: clear out any coats that are not used and donate them. Buy baskets for gloves. Get hooks for hats, assign a place in the closet to hang the hooks for hats and bags.

After clearing out your space, move your furniture and clean underneath and behind each piece.

Your room will be much more functional and user-friendly for everyone in your family when you clear the clutter and assign homes for items in your living room.

Let me know how it goes. I would love to hear from you.

Till next month, happy organizing!

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Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

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Organized Kids in Training

Organized Kids in Training

When your children are toddlers, you need to set the standards of what you are looking for when it comes to keeping your house in order.

Here are some quick tips to help your toddler be an organized kid.

  1. Store the kid toys and clothing at their eye level so they can put away their own toys.
  2. Get containers that have wheels to move around easily.
  3. Hang additional rods below the existing rod to help maximize the hanging storage in the closet and allow your toddler to help put away clothes.
  4. Clear plastic picture labeled bins are great for young kids.  They can see what is in them easily and be able to put them away.
  5. Show by example: show your child that you too know the importance of putting stuff away.

REMINDER: Make sure they are putting away their stuff after every play time.  If it tends to be a problem to get them clean up right after they are done playing with them, schedule a time at the end of each day before bedtime, to put away the toys.

Showing your children the importance of keeping their space clean and neat will teach them to take pride and responsibility of the things they own.

Happy Organizing!

Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

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August’s Monthly Organizing Challenge: Organizing Children Rooms

This month’s organizing challenge is to go through your child’s / children’s room(s) to get them ready for school. Kids love structure. Making their room a well-organized space and you will empower them to keep it that way.

  • Decide where they will be studying. Will they have a desk in their room to study or will they be at the kitchen table?
  • Do they have all the supplies they need in their desk area? If not, make a list and be sure to get the missing items prior to school starting.
  • Organize the child’s toy bins. Are the toys sorted by type? Have the child help you organize the bins. Label the bins to help remind your child where to put the toys.
  • Organize the books in your child’s room. Are there books that can be removed and donated? Are there any books that they need for school? Are they easily accessible?
  • Check under your child’s bed. Are there items under there that need homes?
  • Organize your child’s closet. Do they wear all the clothes they have in there? Does anything need to be replaced?

As always, divide the tasks throughout the entire month. Do a few tasks each week and you will be able to get your child’s/children’s rooms ready for a successful school year.

Happy Organizing! Till next time.

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Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

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July’s Monthly Organizing Challenge: Organize Basement

With this warm weather, it’s a great time to organize your basement.  This month’s organizing challenge is organize basement and your space.

Make a list of the areas you want to organize in your basement and decide which area you will be working on each week.  The goal is to finish the area by the end of the week.  Here are some suggested areas to organize in your basement.

  • Long-term Storage area
  • Laundry area
  • Family room area
  • Toy area
  • Bathroom area

Go through the entire area, remember to take everything out of bins and cabinets.  Go through the content and then place back only the things you will use.

Happy Organizing!  Let me know how it goes.

 

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Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

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Organize Your Kids Playroom Tips

toyChildren play rooms are so much fun to organize!  It’s one of my favorite places.  There is no restrictions on how to do it.  Kids are very flexible when it comes to their space.  Here are my quick tips to organize your kids playroom.

1. Small bins for small items: Store items in the bin and be sure to label the front of the bin.  If your child can’t read yet, use a photo of the object that is inside.  If you want to help them associate words with objects, add the name to the top of the image.

2. Craft area should have smaller bins that hold crayons, pencils, markers, etc… Here is a set of craft area labels I used when my kids were smaller  in their craft zone. Tip: Click on the link and print them out on sticker full sheet labels and cut them into smaller squares, then affix them on the bins(plastic bins work best) you are using for these items. In the craft area labels file, I added some squares you can use to customized your bins.

3. Legos organization:  Watch your child play and identify how he/she plays with them. Does he group them by color or by size?  Then, determine how you are going to store the Legos. This post is the way I organized my kid’s Legos. Check it out. Organizing Your Child’s Legos.

4.  Electronic games: Organizer that will hold controllers, headsets, games, and other items needed to play the games.

5. Larger toys and pretend zones:  Having zones like, dress-up, playing house, Barbie world, allow the kids to really get emerged in the pretend play experience.  My kids loved it when they had all their things around them in these area.  For larger toys, setup an area of the playroom for them.  If they are really outside toys, store these items in a garage or shed.

Hope your playroom turns out wonderfully.  Happy Organizing!

 

 

Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

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Talking with a Child about Purging and Organizing

Alphabet and Number BlocksI wrote this about 5 years ago and felt I needed to re-post it since this month’s challenge is to Organize your playroom and toys. This post gives tips on talking with a child about purging and organizing.

During Memorial Day weekend, after climbing over lots of toys in the heater room, we realized we needed to replace our heater and a/c units. I went on a mission to purge the children’s unused items. With a son who wants to keep everything for the rare occasion his friends or cousins come over, it was not an easy task.

So, I sat down with him and we discussed making room for new more exciting toys! I first explained to him the difference between “needing” and “wanting” to keep items.

“Wanting” is wishing to keep something because there was a connection to it in the past. For example, wanting to keep a doll because your aunt gave it to you when you were younger, but you have not played with it recently, or it is no longer your favorite.

“Needing” is for items that you use today and will use in the future; like reference guides or a storage bin for loose toys and school supplies.

I decided to describe the difference in very simple terms so my 7-year-old would understand it. From my experience; children look to their feelings first to decide if they are willing to get rid of an item. This process helps them distinguish what they are feeling and what to do with the feelings.
It was time to jump right in and start purging! I was so excited! We pulled out everything from the closet. Then, each item we put our hands on we asked these questions:

  1. Is there little or no dust on the object? I explained to him that if it had a lot of dust that meant he has not use it for a while because dust settles on items that have not been moved.
  2. Does he remember the last time he played with it?
  3. Is it a toy for his age?
  4. Does it still fit him?
  5. Is it in good condition?

If he said, “no” to any of these questions, chances are, we could get rid of it without a major meltdown.

We were able to eliminate 12 bags of toys from games to large figures using this process.

To help him let go of those items that were borderline need and want, I promised him I would give these toys to other younger children who may not be able to buy them for him or herself. So, I emailed to friends and family and anything that wasn’t given away went to Goodwill.

Another way to help your child get rid of unused toys is to ask them if there is a toy they want to replace a particular toy(s). You can promise them that they could have a new toy if they get rid of a target number of old toys. This way, your child will also feel that you understand his/her feelings in letting go of items. This will give him the incentive to purge. Chances are, as they get going, they will get excited and start getting rid of a lot more than the target number you agreed on.

As life changes, the new system and items will need to be looked at and modified again. After all, organizing is a process that consistently needs changing depending on the situations and opportunities you experience in your life.  That is the main reason I never get bored with organizing!  The process always changes.  I can create new ways to organize the same space.

Enjoy the change!

Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

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May’s Monthly Organizing Challenge: Organize Toys

This month’s organizing challenge is to go through and organize toys.  Have your child do this task with you.  If you have several areas, do one or more areas throughout the week so the process is less stressful.toy

  1. Go through each section of the room.  Do a section of the room at a time to make it less stressful. Has your child played with this toy?  If you don’t know, ask your child if he plays with it recently.  If no, it would go in the donate pile if it in good condition.  If it is broken or in bad condition, it goes in the trash or recycle pile.
  2. After you have gone through the purge process and removed all the unwanted items.  Breakdown the areas in zones. Here are some zones to help you: Craft zone: Kids do allow and adult supervised sub-zones, Game zone, Pretend play zone, Exercise zone, Learning zone, and Outside play toys zone.  And, any other zones you may need.
  3. Then, start sorting into these zones.  Find bins that work for the amount of items you have to store in each zones.  Re-purposing existing bins save you money and time.

Let me know how it goes.  I hope this process helps you clear the clutter in your playroom!

Note: Stop back next week where I will talk about how I spoke with my child about getting rid of his toys.  Please come back and check it out.

 

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Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

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Six Steps to Organize Kids Closets

TulipsIt’s springtime!  The birds are singing, the kids are playing outside.  Daylight Savings Time is here and we have more time and energy to do different projects around the house.  As every parent knows, the first place to clear out is the kids closet! The kids closets are usually a place we need to visit regularly since kids grow and tend to grow out of their clothes more quickly than us, adults. We hope. =) Here are six steps to organize kids closets.

Determine the amount of time it will take

Each closet various in size and the amount of time it takes to go through everything in the closet also varies in time.  Cleaning out a small closet could take two hours;  larger walk-in closets could take up to 6 hours. On average, each closet would take about 4 hours of your time.  You can split this time into different days or all in one afternoon.  It usually takes a  few hours to purge and a few hours to organize.

Involve the kids

Always involve the kids in their closet.  They not only need to try on clothes from last season, they also need to see where you are putting the clothes.

Here are the different areas of the closet you will need to go through with your kids:

  • Undergarments
  • Pants
  • Shirts
  • Dresses/Skirts
  • Sweaters
  • Hats
  • Hair Accessories
  • Jewelry
  • Jackets
  • Toys (if any)

Go through each of these above sections and  get rid each piece of clothing if…

  • They are faded.
  • They are worn: Anywhere on the garment. Look around the knees of pants, around the collar of shirts/dresses, around the cuffs and liners of jackets.
  • They are too small for the child.  If they are good condition, donate or give away the garment.
  • They are stained. Check the chest area of shirts and the thigh area of pants.
  • They shrunk from the dryer. Or if an item that matches the item that shrunk or was damaged, like a pair of pants/dress, and can’t be used with anything else.

NOTE: Make a list of the clothing that you need to purchase for each child.

Group the items again!

Then group the items again into the above groups and revisit the items.  See if there is anything that is else that can be purged.

Group like items and find a new home

If not, then neatly place these grouped items in its new home. The home could be a drawer, hung on a hanger, or in a bin.  Wherever you decide to put the group of items, make sure all of the items fit in the space with a little bit of extra room for new items.

Happy Organizing your kids closets!

Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

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2/25/2013 Kids Closet Organizing Weekly Challenge

This week’s organizing challenge is kids closet organizing. The assignment is to go through your kid’s closet and get rid of any clothing, toys, and games that your child has grown out of, doesn’t need or want anymore.  Vacuum the floor in the closet. How much stuff did you get rid of?  I would love to hear about it.

Happy Organizing!weekly organizing challenge

Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

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Organizing LEGO pieces

If you are like me, we get bombarded with Lego’s after the holidays. We find them everywhere, in the sofa, under the kids’ sheets and bed, in their shoes. They even get vacuumed up my the vacuum cleaner – annoying!   However, after over 12 years of Lego’s being stored in our home, we have had interesting ways to organize them. We tried organizing them by throwing them in various bins with no order, a large bag with a drawstring, then organizing them by type, and now as my kids get older, organizing them by color seems to be the best option. The kids seem to want the Lego masterpieces to be all one color now.  So, here is the current way we are organizing LEGO pieces.

So, before the holiday, I measured the space I was planning on using (under the family room table) and purchased these drawer bins that pull out and labeled them corresponding to each color of blocks.

These drawers have wheels and are next to my fridge in my family room and under the table. It works really well for the kids. This has not been destroyed for over two weeks. Yay!

On the top of these drawers, we added some other bins for the smaller groups they have in their collection.

I then labeled each shelf with a corresponding title that helps them know where everything goes. The larger drawers where the colors that are most common, like white, gray, and instructional booklets.

I labeled the smaller drawers: yellow, red/orange, and green/blue.

On the top of the table (not shown) is a town that my son is building, it’s a work in progress so I don’t want to spoil the surprise. When he finishes the masterpiece, I will upload a photo.

Whatever you decide to do, get the kids involved. They love it when they get to decide what they want to do.

Till next time, happy building and organizing!

 

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Till next time, happy organizing!

Sabrina M. Quairoli

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.