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Tackle a Tiny Area: Toys

Tackling toys to many is not a tiny area! But if you tackle it in one hour segments, it gets the job done! 

Kids play with toys when they are not ovewhelmed by the quantity. Think about a kindergarten classroom.  There are 25 kids and not even 25 toys.  So less is more in this space.  If you have new toys, you can save them for holiday toy drives. If you have missing parts, just keep a bin of all strays until the parts are rounded up. Summer is great time to organize this area with your kid’s help.  This is a teachable skill to be organized and to declutter. 

Have black garbage bags with you and your timer.  Invite your kids to help and set the timer for 15 minutes. In that time, ask your kids to donate what they don’t love, what they want to share with others, and what is no longer age appropriate. Drop these into the bags, filling only until easily carried to the car. Have your kids drop off the items with you. 

Set your timer for 15 more minutes, 3 more times, working around the room.  At the end of the sessions, bring the items to the car and be sure to drop them off later that day. 

You may have a few keepsake toys to store.  Purchase 66 quart bins, with latches to secure closing, to store in the attic. 

How many hours will this take? I suggest 2, 3 or 4 one hour sessions to get the job done. Breaking this job into small units makes it happen. 

Organizing a kid friendly space means having them have access to their toys.  Here are two creative resources for you to use.  Busy Boxes from Container Store make rolling toy bins with different size containers.  IKEA has Trofast tiered units to help organize toys. 

http://www.containerstore.com/shop/toyStorage/boxesCases?productId=10000647

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/categories/series/19027/?pageNumber=0

Remember to label to keep your toys systems and storage in order.  Pictures are a great way to label too!

Tackling a Tiny Area: Kid Art

You have a year (or more) of your child’s homework, art work and photos.  Your kids have worked hard and it is a challenge to let go of what seems like an overwhelming quantity of art, papers, and work.   This is a great time to evaluate what to keep and what to let go.  Kid art may not seem like a tiny area, but making this a manageable one hour project will help you move forward. 

  • Start by defining what you know to be precious to you.  Is it a hand print? Is it the first 100 on a paper? If you know what you find more important, then it is easier to make a decision.
  • Define what quantity of precious items you want and also where you will store the items. Kids keepsakes can be stored at the top of their closets, marked in a box by year.
  • Eliminate the “junk” now by recycling the paper, but be sure it is not where your child can see it. 
  • Take pictures of the art work, especially any with food items, and create a digital scrapbook of the year’s artwork.
  • Separate out the year’s school and athletic photos.  Use clear slip in pages and keep the baseball, school, and other 8 by 10 photos in this notebook.
  • Have fun with this tiny area! Ask your child to pull 10 items that they love!
  • Be sure to label the year, and the school year. 

I would love to learn how your art tackling is coming!

Tackle a Tiny Area: Linen Closet

Small steps lead to big accomplishments!  Tackling a tiny area can make a difference in your home or office.  This summer we are taking a tour of these projects and creating a plan for you.  This project is the linen closet. 

It starts out as just a small mistep.  You are in a hurry and drop your towel on the floor. Then company is coming and you swoosh it into the linen closet.  Then you don’t know what to do with something in your room, so you open the linen closet and drop in something totally random.  And then you are so overwhelmed each time you open the door, how you could ever get organized?

How do you tackle this tiny area? Set your timer for one hour! Have 2 garbage bags ready, one to drop in what is to be donated and one that is for trash.  Start at the top shelf, taking each item out and deciding what to do with it. If you are keeping it, establish categories like first aid, medications, body wash, make up, travel, and any others. Any items that need to be distributed to the rest of your home, start a group by the door just for distribution.

Once you have decided what to keep, decide what will keep these categories together.  Is it a functional clear plastic shoe box or a pretty wicker tote? Now you know how many to buy, so measure your space.  You can order online at Amazon or make a quick trip to a local store to purchase these items.  Remember you will be labeling this container to maintain order too. 

Tackling this tiny area has big rewards! Now you now what you have, you can easily find it rather than purchase duplicates, and your success will push you forward in the next area you tackle!

Let me know how your baby steps in organizing is coming along!