I’m hoping that you’re still doing a rockstar job taking control your three things this month because, sweet mercy–you can manage to organize three things.
Whatever it is that has been bugging you, whatever it is that causes you the most stress or anxiety, start there.
That sock drawer? The coat closet? The laundry room? You can do it.
This is the year, friends. We’re taking control of our life and our time, and we are living focused.
Need the whole deal? Check out the get yourself organized post as a refresher.
I do understand that often it’s overwhelming if you choose something big to organize. We often don’t know where to start or what to do after we get started. Or sometimes we just get sick of doing it in the middle and want to quit (I do, at least).
Lucky for us, I have recently joined forces with the amazing Rachel from Rachel and Company, and we have some really cool projects in the works.
Like cool ways to help you and your family get organized–and stay organized.
Like cool things just for your tween. Or just for your kids. Or just to help you organize some super-tricky parts of your life.
Until then, I have Rachel sharing some awesome tips for organizing play spaces over here for us today.
You’ll love her.
And you’ll totally love the Organizing Play Spaces Printable we’ve created. (Scroll on down–you’ll find the link!)
Here’s the skinny. . .
Organizing Play Spaces–4 Steps to Awesome and Tips Every Parent Needs:
Organizing Play Spaces, by Rachel Rosenthal
The holidays are over but are the new toys, games and books your kids got for the holidays taking over your home?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone! They’re taking over my home too and I do this for a living.
Now that everyone is back in school and we’re all back in somewhat of a routine, it’s time to stop tripping over that new toy fire engine when you get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. It’s also time to finally organize all this new stuff!
So, what to do?
To start, find a designated “play space” to keep everything organized, or as you know, the toys and games will take over your home.
Even if you don’t have an entire room to devote to “play”, creating a space in the corner of another room can really help contain the clutter in one area (or at least give you a starting point!).
Without a place to put something, we can’t expect our little ones–or even ourselves–to have an organized play space. And while as moms we are prone to taking on all the organizing ourselves, I am giving you permission to stop doing it all yourself.
Depending on the age of your children, I say, get them involved.
There are age-appropriate organizing tasks that your children can do, and now is the time to empower them to be involved in living an organized life.
Things might not be “perfect” or the way you want them, but that isn’t the point. We want to empower our children and ourselves in creating a space truly conducive to play.
organize play spaces teachmama.com 3
Below are some tips on organizing your play space that even your youngest kids can help with!
- Put all small items like doll accessories, toy cars and even game pieces in labeled containers without a lid. This keeps similar items together and makes for easier play and clean up. Adding a label (a picture or words) helps little ones participate with the organizing.
- Don’t try to organize your entire play space at once. Choose one category of items, like dress up clothes or board games and focus on just that before moving on. Our printable on organizing your kids can help. It lists out some of the top items that need to be organized in a play area and gives just a few easy steps for paring down what you have and getting an organizing system into place.
- Have a “hide the clutter” basket. Keep a large empty basket or container in your play area. This can be used two ways. Just make sure that you set a time limit on how long items can stay in this basket. We recommend no more than one week.
1. A quick hide all: if you need to get things off the floor in a flash (think unannounced guests).
2. An easy organizer: Whether it’s you or your kids who are reorganizing the play area at the end of play time, fill the container with everything that is left out, then carry it with you to put the items away where they belong.
Rachel Rosenthal of Rachel and Company is an organizing extraordinaire. Rachel uses creativity, style and a little elbow grease to help families get their homes, schedules, routines and lives in order. As a professional organizer, Rachel empowers families of all ages and sizes to live more organized, productive lives and has helped over 900 clients since starting in 2008.
Rachel works nationally with clients, is based in Bethesda, MD with her 7-year-old identical twins, and she has been featured in publications such as Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Washingtonian, The Washington Post, Parents, NBC4 and Fox5. Rachel can be reached through her website: www.rachel-company.com.
Thank you, Rachel!
I love Rachel’s idea of the open containers, especially for younger kids, and I love the idea of the ‘hide the clutter’ basket–with limitations and guidelines.
So let’s get you organized, my friends.
Here’s a super-cute printable that Rachel and I collaborated on. I think you’ll dig it.
Organize Play Spaces Printable: organize play spaces teachmama.com 3
If you choose to share or link to the printable (and we hope you do!), please link to this post rather than the document itself. Thank you!
So there you have it–a really quick way to organize your child’s play space, wherever that may be!
How do you stay organized? What do you use to organize play spaces? I’d love to hear it!
RacheI, I liked your organizing tips but here is my situation: With a toddler running, jumping and climbing everywhere in the house, staying organized has been an impossible task lately. I can temporarily clean up the mess and put things back in their right place, but half-an-hour after, the clutter is back! The worst part of my home is the living room! You literally walk on toys, Lego blocks, toy cars, etc. Yes, I have containers in the living room to put all the toys in, but my son just loves the experience of dumping the whole container out and spreading the pile!
I completely understand where you are coming from and remember this time in my girls’ lives. You are in a time where I feel like the mantra of “this is just temporary” might be something to think about! A suggestion for when you have a toddler would be to have less options for him to dump, if you find yourself cleaning up the clutter too often. You could put away some items temporarily and rotate the toys in play. In addition, since he likes to dump, I would suggest a game of putting things back to end play time. For example, you could pretend there is a race to put the Legos back in the bin or time him to get his cars into their garage (a bin).