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Easy, cheap DIY way to organize kids’ art supplies

by respaced on November 13, 2014

Art Shelf Easy, cheap DIY way to organize kids art supplies

Art supplies can look so messy and cluttery so fast, especially when the kids are in charge of putting them away. But I have found that if we sort/store them by COLOR, kids are much more likely to put them back after they are finished with them. Plus, the supplies look so colorful and lovely when they are organized this way! If art supplies are a part of your life, they might as well look great, right?

The colored paper on the top shelf is sorted by color into 5 rainbow-colored folders I bought at Staples (the folders are essential because otherwise the papers will not stay in the rack). The mesh incline file sorter is also a Staples find for $12.

The magazine holders on the second shelf were a Goodwill find for about $3 each. One magazine holder holds art books (like all of those “How to Draw” books). The other magazine holder holds specialty art supplies and papers, like Nathan’s stamp set and stickers.

The little chalkboard labels came from Michaels for about 50 cents each. (Tip: Don’t skimp on labels! Kids need stuff labeled so they know where to put things BACK when they are done!)

The red box on the bottom shelf is just a shoebox lid. The little red cups are cheapo plastic cups I found in my kitchen (you can buy similar ones at the Dollar Store). I sorted all the crayons, markers and pencils by color — and I threw away all the broken crayons, pencil nubs and dried-out markers. No use in storing art supplies that aren’t in primo condition!

Finally, the corner shelving unit was a freebie from a friend who couldn’t find a need for it in her house anymore. I like how small it is, because it means there is no room for clutter to pile up on the shelves.

The whole set-up came to about $20, which is great because who wants to spend a lot of money on stuff to organize more stuff?

Happy Organizing!


When your child won’t play in the playroom

by respaced on October 28, 2014

9dcd32a5eff9ddb227688c91b0fc9869 When your child wont play in the playroom

If you have been reading my reSPACEd blog for a while, you know that one of my specialties is organizing kids’ spaces. And one of the most common reasons I get hired to organize a kid space is because the parents are frustrated that their child will not play in the designated playroom.

Usually there is a pretty simple reason why the children will not play in the playroom — because they want to be near where Mom and Dad are. So if the playroom is not the area where Mom and Dad hang out, the kids will bring their toys into the room where Mom and Dad are hanging out (typically the living room or kitchen) and play with them there.

So sorry if you built this beautiful, state-of-the-art playroom in the basement or at the opposite end of the house. Your young child will probably not want to use it until he or she is older (like 8 or 9) and maybe not even then. You cannot force a person to stay and “have fun” in a room where they don’t want to be. It’s just not realistic.

But this is a good thing! It’s a good thing that your kids love you so much that they want to be near you!

Of course, you might be sick of living with toys constantly underfoot in the living room and/or kitchen, so here are 3 ideas for dealing with that situation:

1. Stash the toys in neutral-colored, grown-up-looking furniture such as baskets, lift-top ottomans and basket/canvas pull-out bins. For example, the KALLAX unit in the playroom image (above) can be moved into the living room and used for toy storage (below) at no additional cost to you. Put different categories of toys in each of the baskets in the KALLAX unit from Ikea. With the baskets, the whole unit is under $175.

505094194a2eaba2fe91322ff2a1412b When your child wont play in the playroom

2. Allow only certain kinds of toys in the living room. Maybe that means that all big plastic toys have to live elsewhere. Or maybe you don’t want to allow Legos in the living room. Set some limits that make sense to your family.

3. Institute a mandatory 10-minute clean-up time each night, concentrating on the toys. This time could be right before dinner or right after dinner. Set the timer for 10 minutes, then work alongside the children to see how many toys you can get put away before the timer goes off. Whichever kid puts away the most toys gets to pick the bedtime story you read aloud to them! Or something similar.

As a last resort, you could always put a comfy chair in the playroom and plop yourself down with your laptop or a good book while the children play.

How do you handle toys in your house? Do you try to contain everything in a playroom? Or have you found some great solutions to store toys in the more public rooms of the house? Let us know in the comments below.

Image courtesy of via Pinterest and via Pinterest.


Trofast vertical Halloween Need more space? Try this first before you buy anything new

In the quest to find ever more space in our homes, we often neglect to think VERTICAL. Beyond installing more shelves and bookcases, look around and see if some of your furniture may be able to be tipped on its side to give it a fresh new look.

This is what I did here with our Ikea TROFAST unit. I removed the pull-out bins and stacked two units on top of each other. This way, it can display my son’s collection of foam Halloween houses he has been building. When it’s not Halloween, this is where I display my oversize bowls and cake plates that are too big to fit in my kitchen cupboards.

In case you’re wondering, this is the way the Ikea TROFAST unit usually looks:

labeleled bins 2 003 Need more space? Try this first before you buy anything new

Rather than buying new furniture, see if you can find more space in your house by using your existing furniture in a different way. You will get more space AND save money!


Unique DIY take on a kids’ desk

October 13, 2014

Would this kind of desk work for your kids? Perhaps it would even work for YOU as a bill-paying, schedule-checking, paper-management area in your home. I like how it forces all of your stuff to live inside that crate, preventing the “Stuff Creep” we all have to deal with, especially when it comes to mail […]

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Exciting news! I’m in a magazine!

September 30, 2014

So this really neat thing happened to me: I was contacted by Real Simple magazine to submit a tip for their article “76 Greatest Organizing Tips of All Time.” The magazine is the October issue, which means it is on newsstands now. This is so thrilling for me! For professional organizers, Real Simple magazine is […]

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The flat surface clutter cure

September 12, 2014

Sick of everyone in your family using the kitchen counter (or any flat surface) as a dumping ground? Try putting a handy-dandy little sign there to break this habit: Need it bigger so it can’t be ignored? Try this: I know it seems so silly, but when I use this with clients’ families, it WORKS […]

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How to track your kids’ homework, manage their schedules and get To Do’s done

September 2, 2014

If you are a parent to a school-age child or children, Back to School Week is a huge week for you. It’s exciting, scary, expensive, stressful and thrilling all at once. And it completely tests your organization skills. If you are a parent who struggles with organization, starting a new school year can be really […]

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10-minute organizing tips for your home

July 29, 2014

Most of us are pretty pressed for time most days. At least, that’s the most common reason people give me for their disorganization — they have no time to sort through their things! It’s understandable. It’s hard to carve out four hours or more to do a major organizational overhaul of a room. So what’s […]

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Organizing bedtime kisses and hugs

July 7, 2014

My mama friend from Moreland MOPS is letting me post this picture of the schedule one of her kids made that outlines the order in which Daddy hugs and kisses each child good-night. This way, each of the four children gets a chance to be the first one to get Daddy’s kisses/hugs at night. Nobody […]

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The 8-year-old-organizer has a better way of keeping things off the stairs

June 24, 2014

Remember this post, where I came up with a solution for storing things that need to go upstairs in wall folders instead of in piles on the stairs? Well, Nathan, my 8-year-old future organizer, decided to take matters into his own hands. He came up with this device: See, throughout the day he puts the […]

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