I love, love, love watching the Home Edit, but by no means is my home as organized as that of Joanna and Clea! Even though I'll never get to that level of organization here are some practical organizational tips from a Mom of four who truly understands that we don't have endless hours to organize, but that some systems are helpful to keep your home running smoothly!
1. Totes or Bins for each Kid
I truly believe this has been the most helpful organizational method we have implemented lately. With two stories in our home, it is a never-ending battle to keep things on the correct floor and get it to the right bedroom or final place. Last year right before we welcomed our baby boy, I bought each child a different colored laundry hamper and asked that when they find a toy, clothes, shoes, or anything else that is out of place downstairs that they place it in the basket. We even make a game out of it some days having the girls try to collect everything they can in 5 minutes and then take it upstairs. We can then repeat the same activity upstairs by collecting cups that need to go back to the kitchen or other items that truly belong downstairs. On laundry days I use these same baskets to sort laundry and take it around to their rooms.
2. Changing Table Upstairs and Downstairs
This was a game changer for me when we welcomed my third child. I had been using a makeshift floor changing station with my toddler and I knew that once we had a newborn I wouldn't want to walk to the nursery for every diaper change. I searched my local Facebook marketplace and found an adorable second-hand Jenny Lind changing table that has been the perfect addition to our living room. I'm able to use baskets underneath to stay organized with diapers, creams, lotions, and even blankets, and changes of clothes. We keep little man’s favorite Caden Lane blanket in there for morning naps.
3. Snack Attack
If your kiddos are like mine they are always needing a snack even if you literally ate 10 minutes ago! If you can relate then the snack bin in both your fridge and pantry is for you. I like to make snack-sized Ziplock bags of fruits and veggies to keep in the crisper drawer for my kids or me to grab. In the pantry, I put approved snacks down low for my children to grab when needed and move snacks I want to limit up higher. We currently have veggie straws, raisin packs, apple sauce pouches, and pirates booty in the lower bin for quick snack grabs. I promise this will save time and you'll be even more efficient when it's time to make lunch boxes for back to school.
4. Family Google Calendar
This one is really helpful for staying on top of activities for our oldest girls and I can only imagine how happy I'll be to have started using this once I have all four kids in different activities. My husband and I both have access to the calendar and we add kid activity schedules, our own personal events, work related travel, and even family travel to the calendar to ensure we are all synched up.
5. Toy Organization
This is an area that I am still mastering, but when time allows I like to utilize a Montessori approach of rotating toys. I have two large storage bins that I will fill with toys and place in the garage while keeping the other toys in white baskets on accessible shelves for my girls to play with. Each month I try to rotate them and add some seasonal books or play things to help keep them engaged.
What are some of your favorite organization tips for babies through teens? I am sure establishing organization techniques when your children are little will only help you and them when they are older, but I'll have to admit sometimes with a baby under 6 months I just don't have the energy. Moms and Dads, don't forget to give yourself grace on the days where you just need a break and know that there will be days ahead with more time to focus on organization. Just as I’ve done, I think starting small is the best first step!