Tuesday, May 3, 2011

shared spaces:organizing my messy people

I have been a mom for 7.5 years and I have officially tried every contraption, every method, every bin, every thing out there to try and get/keep my kids organized.  While some have worked, most have only worked temporarily.  The one thing I have figured out is that their needs(organizationally and otherwise) are always changing-hello full time job!  There are a couple things I know for sure: the colored bin thingy from Target does not work(to prove this I have purchased and given away at least three), hooks are a must, and you can't have enough baskets. 

Two of the boys share a room.  They love it.  I know they love it because at the end of a day where they may have argued and carried on for hours, they always go to bed  talking and giggling with each other.  I think that's a good thing. What is not a good thing, or I should say, what is a hard thing, is keeping a shared space looking and feeling good.  Organized bedrooms are important to me, basically because I have to walk by.  Also because it's important to get good rest and who can feel restful in a mess.

I don't expect this space to be spotless all the time-pleeeease as if they could oblige.  Everything just needs a place when it is picked up.So here are my tried and true tips for kid's bedrooms.

 Trophies, ribbons, special trinkets(garbage most of the time for Holden-the boy who can't part with the wrapping), needs a special spot.  Everyone has a shelf.  This shelf is constantly edited-by edited I mean things are thrown away to make room for something else. 
We have a couple different spots in the house for book.  These are favorites. A basket with a lid to conceal  little toys found nearby at the end of the night.

 Everyone has one basket for stuffed animals.  One-that's a rule.  If it starts to overflow something has to be given to Goodwill.

 At the moment we have one dresser, but another will eventually make it's way in here.  It holds jeans and shorts.
 The top drawer has more "special" things.  I once tried to just have one shelf per child, but realistically they collect more and they can't be stopped.  I don't want to deny them the things they find important, but I don't want to look at it either.  They have cards, fliers, stuff they don't want Sloan to have.  Just the other day Holden had a Honey Nut Cheerios box in there-really-I let it stay for a few days and then it magically flew out to the recycling-he noticed. Again,a basket for each. Never get rid of your baskets!

 Hooks are crucial to these people.  Hats, extra bags, capes(?) are all in one spot.  I originally  had this shoe rack thingy downstairs but guess what, no one put their shoes in it!  Now it holds gear.  Soccer gear at the moment, but the plan is all uniforms, special equipment to wear etc. go in these cubbies.  I might have to get a basket on the top for anything that won't fit :)

 I hang all their shirts and dress pants.  My number one gripe was shirts stuffed into drawers that came out all wrinkled not to mention all over the floor in a mad hunt for just the right T-shirt.  Having everything hung up makes seeing t-shirt easy, no wrinkles and except for the occasional broken hanger due to pulling(should get better as they get taller), shirts are kept in their place.  I should have them divided up per boy-need to work on that.

The bins hold underwear, socks and pj's for each.  This is surely a temporary method, as their clothes will only get bigger and won't fit in these forever, but this is a versatile piece that can be used in a laundry room, garage etc.

 I used to have a laundry basket in the closet for dirty clothes, but dirty clothes just made it on the floor next to it.  I swear when I bought a hamper and brought it out in the open, dirty clothes were actually put into it-amazing!  This one will have to be replaced soon.  It's looking a little tore up.  I think it has something to do with Sloan wearing it on his head when it's not full of laundry...well...truthfully even when it is full of dirty laundry.  It that gross and something I should be embarrassed of?

Bunk beds are the best.  It's like camp every night.  The ultimate kid organizer-one stacked on top of the other.  In the past I have only used a bottom sheet and blankets for bedding-the top sheets are too hard to deal with on the top bunk-which never ever gets made.  Asher did get a sheet set this year with a top sheet and it's not much of a problem on the bottom bunk, although for the record it is driving me crazy that you can see it poking out in this picture :)  My favorite part of the room is the clip on lights. I don't know why, I guess it's just something I would have liked as a child.  When it's "lights out" and each one turns on their little clip light to read it's just cozy.  Just a boy, a book, and his dreams.


Kristin said...

Such lucky boys to have such a nice room. And a great mommy that understands they need to have a place for their stuff.
Zach has two bins from IKEA, once when they were getting out of hand I told him if he didn't clean them by sunday that I was going to clean them on Monday and everything I wanted to throw out I would. Well that was fine by him, until he came home Monday after school and found that I had gotten rid of his prized bottle cap collection (that he hadn't touched in months). Now he keeps his bins very neat and never overflowing :)
PS: i filled a whole garbage bag with stuff from those bins and he only missed one thing.

Becca said...

you're right...keeping these peaople organized is a full-time job! Too bad I already have one or my kids rooms might be as amazingly organized as yours. I've been wanting/needing shelves for trophies and such! Love the top drawer thing...perfect for keeping all "treasures" out of sight. Holden, Asher and Sloan are lucky guys to have an organizational guru as a Mom!

Lisa said...

LOVE reading! And yet so ignorant to your struggles. I am meticulous about my closet, which is why Matt's half hazard closet is in the guest bed room. I imagine if I had kids they would be traumatized by my OCD closet organization. Yet I can leave dishes in the sink for ages, go figure!