Saturday, March 1, 2008

Kid's junk--lets see it!

I think the first instinct that comes to mind when thinking of organizing kids spaces is to HIDE the mess. Toy baskets, primary or pastel themed bin systems, cardboard type shoe boxes, canvas drawers on shelves, dressers, the BIG toy box, and the list goes on with the ways that well meaning parents 'help' their kids get organized. The problem with this? Once you organize it on day one, you have no idea on day two what your lovely kids have thrown in there. How many times have you cleaned out a toy basket only to find juice boxes, a 3 week old sippy cup, 11 McD's toys, wrappers from straws or a cracker or two? There are many many directions one can take in a child's room depending on their space, interests and decor but the one thing that I feel is a MUST in all kids rooms is clear storage.

Consider a child's perspective. If you don't know what they have stashed in their bins and boxes, how do all those bins and boxes look to them? Having clear storage bins helps them see what they have immediately and begins the early training they need in sorting. It is a life skill, I promise! There are many bins on the market but my favorite is from . They have many options but the Men's Shoe Box (in picture)is the best! They are $3.79 each though you can buy them by the case. The regular shoe box is a bit too small but the Men's Shoe box can hold large groupings together from tons of lego to all of Barbie's wardrobe. The reason I prefer this box is that simplicity is key when it comes to bins. Many have wide angled sides, bulky colored tops with clip down 'locks', large lipped handles and none of that is needed and just makes the area look cluttered while taking up valuable space.

Another issue with kids rooms is labeling. I have done it myself. You want to help him sort his toys so you label all the bins or if you are an AMAZING mother, you put a Polaroid of what's inside so they can 'see' what it is before they can even read. WONDERFUL and BRILLIANT idea. Except, someone has to maintain it. The second you get them a new Ants in the Pants game or someone gives them a special lego system or they are now done with the clown stackers but now have a magnetix set, you have to go back to the way you created your system and update it. 9 out of 10 times, it just doesn't happen. System Failure. This is another reason clear bins are a must. I feel labels are a distraction when it comes to toys and they should learn to sort these items visually. Letting them sort their things, decide where their bins belong and finding their bins in their large closet are all skills that will help them in school. All too fast they have to organize their own pencil box, sort their spelling work from their poetry writing, know where the classroom books go compared to their library books that should be in their school desk while figuring out what to put in the teacher's box and what to sort into their take home folder. I promise, creating a simple system that they can navigate and maintain at an early age will improve their education. See how important organization is?

1 comment:

Nancy Sabina said...

Hi! I came over from Today's Creative Blog and you've been distracting me for hours now. I've read through all your posts! But this one is the most important one for me so far. My daughter and I have been struggling with the storage in her room. I bought her these nice, pink, boxes to store all her stuff and they are always EMPTY! These clear boxes might be just the trick. I am SO going to The Container Store tomorrow. THANKS!