Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Attacking Two Boys' Massive Messes!!!

Oh Boy! If I were a fake person who wanted to carry on the "Martha" persona that gets randomly thrown at me, I would NOT post this. I cleaned out my boys' rooms today on my first day at home in forever! What a fun way to relax on my day off!
But I'm an organizer and you know what, people constantly admit they don't want me to see their closets or I'll 'flip' when I see their house or they have to clean before I come over and guess what, we all have to deal with things getting out of hand! My boys' rooms are my 'issue'. My bedroom is on the lower floor so I avoid their wing at times as it stresses me out! I've been promising them that we were going to ATTACK and today we did! So, here's how it went!

Phase 1--The Before!

What? Where's the picture? Oops! Okay so it was bad. You could walk through their rooms but it was bad. Their closets were mounds of toys and not one bin was holding the correct items as they were just throwing stuff wherever. It was a mound of toys.

Phase 2--Empty your room!

Seems drastic but it is the best visual for them to not only see their room clean but when you have 2 kids the same sex, sorting legos in one central area just makes more sense. So I had them bring everything out to the loft area. Start with one bin and if it's mostly legos, get the rest out and fill it with legos! See lots of kinetics, start a bin and keep going! Oh and USE the trash bags! So here is the loft after they sorted for 4-5 hours and I joined for the last 3. Full on rushing, craziness--no sitting. This was WORK.

Here is the bar where there are bags that I'm getting rid of that we never use and I think you can see 5 garbage bags. There are 2 in the loft area and some in both the bedrooms and we ended up with 9 bags total!!!

Phase 3--put it all away!

They picked their bins by priority and I inspected each bin to make sure it was sorted by like items and confirmed they were playing with those items. Once "approved" (they loved this) they put it away. Carter had 2 huge bins of matchbox cars. He is almost 8 and hardly ever touches them! So I made him sort down to one bin by picking his favorites and that was it! I worked all day and still need to organize their bookcases but the closets are done! Woo hoo! James, who is usually the messy one, got rid of a LOT! He is 10 now and doesn't need all the matchbox stuff like he used to. He is a legos freak and has TONS--the bottom two bins are just legos. I hope that this cleaner area will really help make things easier for him to manage. I am OVER small parts and I worked hard to get rid of stuff that wasn't used often!

Carter seemed neater but he has stuff stashed everywhere and had to keep more than James. He has a fun built in bed with lots of niches and places to stash stuff and I'm going to need to watch him so he doesn't let this get crazy again.

I love clear MATCHING bins for kids rooms. Look at how clean this looks. Imagine if I had the same system but some had a green lid, 3 had blue lids with a big curve, some were colored, etc. It is an initial investment but if you get good bins, they last forever! I have the clear shoe boxes from The Container Store, which I ordered by the case online, and they are used throughout my house and are the ONLY bins. Super easy long term and kids need to SEE what's on the bottom of their bins and boxes!!!

My cousin Wendy asked me about lego storage recently. We've done it all--big table, tried to sort by the kit, one big bin, sort by color but where we have ended up is a multi storage system. First, we have the 2 big bins in the closet filled. If I pick up, that's where I put things. But this fun thing is on his wall near where he plays and it's an easy place for him to toss them. If he had to walk all the way to his closet every time he found a tiny piece, it would be far worse. This unzips on the bottom so he can dump them all out and then it comes out of the holder so he can fill it and put it back on the holder and it's all picked up! There's a large lid bin in his closet with all his directions to all the kits he owns and he has a display area in his room for the things he has made that he doesn't want to put away. I think you have to make it easy to get to and easy to pick up or it won't work well. This works for us!

Someday I'll get photos of their rooms up but I am thrilled their closets are so clean now and had to share!

post signature

Posted by Picasa


SoBella Creations said...

Kids rooms can be tough to organize. My girls have the trosfast system from Ikea in their closets. They have a bin for everything. Now if I could only find them some better bookcases. Ours are crammed full even after getting rid of a lot of unread books.

If you have any ideas for great bookcases send me an email.

jenjen said...

It looks so good! I spent most of yesterday trying to go through my kids' stuff and get organized. Unfortunately, I need about a week straight to get it all cleaned out. Ugggh.


Decorating Queen said...

Love the idea of keeping the storage bins the same--you are so right--really brings it all together. And good idea for the Lego storage. Another great job! TFS.