We are super excited to get some top tips from a professional organizer this month. We welcome with open arms Danielle Boerger as Creative QT's latest guest blogger! Danielle runs Simplify in Style, a business based in Cincinnati who focus on home organizing and moving services. Danielle is all about creating style and function in your home, sounds perfect right?! Make sure you check out her social media accounts to be inspired: Instagram @simplify_in_style, website, blog and Facebook @simplifyinstyle.
1. Just Start!
The task of organizing the entire playroom can be daunting and overwhelming. If you aren’t ready to tackle the whole thing, start small. Grab one bin and look through it. Take out anything that you no longer want or need. The next day, do a little more. It will take some time up front to get it organized, but once you do, it only takes a few minutes each day to maintain the systems so that it stays organized. It's so worth the initial investment of time!
Before you start deciding what stays and what goes, pull everything out. Yes, I mean EVERYTHING! Divide it into categories. Put all of the cars together, arts and crafts together, dress up together, etc. This way, you can see how many you have of each item. It is easier to declutter when you see 1,000 mini cars and know that it is probably okay to donate half! Don’t get too hung up on this part. These don’t have to be your final categories, just broad categories to start is fine.
3. Teach your Kids to Declutter!
We truly believe that learning how to declutter is a life skill. Often when we are working with clients, they tell us that they never learned how to purge, and now it is hard for them to part with things. Involve your kids in at least part of the process. Tell them what you are going to do, and maybe even take them with you to donate the items so that they see they are helping someone else. This is a great thing to do around their birthday or around the holidays.
Create a bag or bin for donation and trash. Start looking at each category one at a time. If anything is broken or damaged, toss it. Try not to think, “so and so gave this to them,” or “maybe they will play with it if they see it again.” Less is more when it comes to kids toys. Giving them less options means they will play deeper and longer with the things they do have. Ask your child to look at the category of items and pick out what they really love. If they are sentimental and like to keep everything, try putting a number with it, “Susie, pick out your 5 favorite dolls to keep.” This gives them ownership, but encourages them to get rid of a few. Check your local area for places to donate the excess toys.
This step is our favorite. Put large things in large bins and small things in smaller containers. If you toss a bunch of small toys in one of those large cubes, you’ll never find what’s at the bottom! You can even put containers inside of containers! We love using these zipper pouches for games and things with small pieces. Then we just toss all of the pouches in a larger bin.
Art supplies are always a hard one for our clients. After you have sorted everything, just grab a few shoe box size bins like these and divide by categories. We also love these multipurpose bins for coloring books and paper because they can stand vertically. That way you don’t have to dig through a pile of coloring books to find the one you want. Just pull out the bin, and put it right back in without the mess!
We love using picture labels for little ones. You can easily make these by just typing the toy name into google and printing off a picture. If you are a crafty or artsy person you can also draw or use a tool like the Silhouette Machine to cut out images. Picture labels make it easy for your kids to put things away themselves. Clean up is much faster, when they don’t have to figure out where everything goes.
Anyone else heading straight to their toy room to get started on the purge? Thanks Danielle for making the dreaded task of toy room organization actually seem attainable!
Creative QT designs quality + innovative toys that declutter homes and inspire creative play. Founded by parents of five, Adam and Dana Sue Hinkle, Creative QT’s vision is to empower parents and encourage a culture of families that Make Time Together. All products are designed to enrich families’ lives through active, creative play and play based learning. Creative QT products are laboratory tested for compliance with CPSC requirements and are free of lead, cadmium and phthalates so you can play with confidence. So, go ahead … today is the day: be your kid’s hero.
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Shared materials are a thing of the past this school year so we've been getting creative with ways to make individual learning resources with our products. In this blog we share how to use ourStoryBricks® andPeel 'n Stick Baseplates to turn a small $1 container into a multi-purpose learning box which fits conveniently inside a student's desk.