It’s Saturday and I’ve been on hiatus from my site and from Her View From Home. I have several good reasons. 1. It was Christmas. 2. My husband had knee surgery and became the 4th child in my brood to look after. Compared to my other three kids, he has been by far the best at getting me to pull my hair out.
Now that I have him settled comfortably in bed (duck tape and prayers have helped), I’m in the process of de-cluttering and organizing my home, post Christmas mayhem. Tired of lets-just-throw-it-all-in-a-tote-and-untangle-it-next-year routine, I dived into Pintrest and found some great ideas for you, little mama! Plus I have tips to organize your kids stuff. 🙂
You can either save the boxes each ornament comes in, or save space and time with egg cartons.
Get One, Toss Two
It happens every year, something gets upgraded or doubled up. The rule as I begin organizing the new loot is this: for each gift received, toss two counterparts.As you put away the holiday gifts, take time to sort through the items. For example if you or your children have received a new DVD, consider tossing two titles.
Set a box aside of things to toss. You and your children can decide leave the box on the doorstep of a family in need, leave the items at your local church, or give it to stores like Goodwill and the Salvation Army.
Talking to your kids about those in need will help the process be a bit easier when it’s time to de-clutter, on top setting the example of helping others in need. This creates compassion for others, gratitude in what God has blessed them with AND restores your sanity because your home isn’t so cluttered.
Designate & Assign Quarters
When a new item arrives, decide where the best place in your home is for storage. For example, the window seats my husband made me have two purposes, a place to lounge and to store items my kids play with frequently. Each cubby is assigned certain items. Cubby # 1. Games, Cubby # 2. Coloring books, crayons, pencils, etc. Cubby #3. Mom’s books, Cubby # 4. Kids’ gloves, hats and scarves.
Of course, as the seasons change and the kids grow up, the items will change. The key is to get the memo out to your family members so they can help maintain a clean home.
(To make your own window seats, click here)
Set Up a Toy Library
It is inevitable no matter home much sorting and tossing, toys will be floating all over your home. Mine tends to look like the Febreeze commercial You know, the one where the mom is picking up toys and Febreezing the carpet, only to turn around two seconds later to observe all the toys back on the floor? That is my house, multiplied by three kids!!!
We’ve done a few things to help with the toy overflow epidemic that is sure to happen after Christmas and birthday celebrations. My husband built book shelves for the kids in each of their rooms and we’ve also set up a toy library.
A toy library is simple and reserved for new and old toys alike that have value but aren’t played with as much right now because of the interest your child has in other toys. These toy library items will seem new and exciting if they’re given a rest for a few months, then brought out to liven up during a snowstorm or during a bout of “Mom-I’m-bored.”
A Toy Library can be set up several ways.
1. Reserve a closet in your home for all of your children’s toys.
2. Reserve the top part of each of your children’s closets
3. A Toy Trunk
4. Reserve shelves in your children’s playrooms.
5. Designate an area in your garage.
Use clear plastic totes or zip lock bags to store toys in. Label each container with what is inside, so you and your child knows where to return the item.
When your child checks out an item from the toy library, ask your child to replace it with something else from her stash of toys. This will keep the clutter down, the toys more fun, and proves what I’m always telling my kids, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”