Friday, December 26, 2008

Need Help! Calling all organizers!! (and a giveaway)

We had a great Christmas. I will share more about that later. For now, I need help. I am way overwhelmed with all this new stuff we got. I don't know how to find room for it - even if I do a purge of old stuff first. I need some good ideas on how to organize toys. Here are pics of places we keep them.

1. December 064 The living room. We want to have less toys in here though and find a better way to organize them. Excuse the small tree....I just was not in the spirit to put up the big tree this year.

2. December 065 The girls' room. We just have a small two bedroom house and the girls share a room. There is room for some toys, but I am looking for ideas on how to better organize them.

3. December 066 Lastly, our basement. It's partially finished, but we haven't really utilized it other than for storage and an office when we had the desktop. We want to put some toys down there as the girls got a Diego train set that needs some more room and a rose petal cottage. It gets pretty cold down there in the winter (we are going to get some sort of heater), so I don't want to move ALL toys down there - just want them to have a space to call their own. I also want to make the one corner my "office". Even though I have a laptop and can work from anywhere in the house, I need a space I can call my own with all the stuff I have going on.

ANY suggestions anyone that is good at organizing has would be much appreciated. Oh, and I don't want to spend a fortune running out and buying all kinds of organizing products, so if this could be done cheaply, that would be even better.

To make this more fun, I am going to have a giveaway for a $10 Starbucks giftcard. Leave me a comment with your ideas. I will take suggestions through Tuesday, December 30th. Then I will randomly chose a winner. Please, only US entries. Thanks!

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CanCan (MomMostTraveled) said...

I think your tree is fine. Mine is smaller than that. Who said they have to be big? ;)

Diane said...

Since you have a small place I think you need to utilize your wall space more and think about taking things off the floor. My first tip for the living room is that I dont like to keep toys out there or if you do then get a creative chest that could be used as a table or piece of furniture that can open and you can put the toys in the chest so that you have more floor space and can hide the toys when you have company.

Mandi said...

I think rather than trying to find a place for all of the toys at one time, you should pack some up (using plastic bins or even just large cardboard boxes). Sort the toys into sets and then rotate them every couple of weeks. You'll have less toys out, which will save you time cleaning up each day and your girls will get more quality play out of the ones that are out.

I'm launching this Sunday, and we'll be talking about what to do with all the new toys and *stuff* from Christmas next week, if you can hold on that long for more ideas!

doodlesplace -at- gmail -dot- com

gretablau said...

Weed out the toys. See if there are any the girls aren't into anymore. Also, looks like you could use the vertical space in their room better. Shelving with boxes to keep stuff in or for books? I need help too!

Bridgette said...

If you don't have space to spread OUT, than go UP! Looks like your basement could use some shelving!

PainterMommy said...

I was inspired by your post, so I have answered your request for organizational ideas on my blog. Check it out!


Sandy Jenney said...

Sorting needs to be part of the process. Too many things and not enough space = taking some things out. It may be donating or storing in another space. Then I would use your upward space. You can take the space that your small toy shelf is and get one that goes up the wall Ikea is great for low cost cubby wall units...or Target. You can also get shelves at Lowe's or Home Depot and use plastic baskets for even a lower cost solution. Things that you need to help the younger kids with..put higher on the shelf so you can help them with it. Plastic kitchen you maybe go downstairs (unless its used daily).
Look at the toys the kids really play with (don't look at how much you spent or how much YOU love them)

Brandi said...

Here's what I did. It's a pretty bad example since it's a total mess, but you can kind of get an idea. Our basement is kind of W shaped, so we have a separate TV (man pit) area and play area. The bookcases and the bins all came from Target. I'll take a picture of it clean tomorrow to show you. Since you don't have that much floor space and everyone's suggesting you go up, you can also do something like what I did in our "formal" living room. The bookcases are the same, except the ones in the basement all are the smallest size.

Amanda said...

I'm in about the same boat. My house looks like Toys R Us threw up in it. First thing to do is go through ALL the toys and throw away the broken ones and happy Meal toys. This got rid of an entire black garbage bag in our house. Then for the living room, I found an old steamer trunk cheap and got rubber maid containers for the toys inside. I have boys, so their cars are in one, Legos in another, etc. Then I put a book shelf in the living room for games and books. And that's it in the living room. If it doesn't fit in the trunk or on the shelves, it goes elsewhere. Probably why their rooms are chaos LOL. But, it keeps the toys in our living space manageable.

Nessa said...

Shelving, Shelving, Shelving!!! Also consider donating to the less fortunate the toys that the kids seldom play with. Get the kids involved in the selection too. A great way to get rid of junk too is to join You list what you want to give away and then select someone to come pick it up from you. You may also be able to find organizational helpers there like the shelving, bookcases and tubs. Good luck :)

Anonymous said...

I don't know that I would put my office down in that basement. If it gets cold down there, realistically, how inspired are you going to be to work?
I think I would take 90% of the toys and store them on shelves in the basement for easy accessibility to drag upstairs. Rotate the stock frequently , let them each pick 10 toys to keep in their room ONLY.
I'd make a space in the living room for my office or my bedroom office.
Once you get all those toys organized in one place, you'll free up lots of room and cause less chaos.
I used the rotation system with my son and it worked extremely well. He had to exchange one toy for another.

Joanna said...

One of my favorite storage ideas are pretty and useful storage spots! For example, in the girls' room, a wall pocket would be really cute.

Jenni Jiggety said...

I wish I could help..I have the same organization problems!

Jackie said...

I agree with some of the other posters..utilize some wall space by putting up some shelves. What I use to do was put toys in laundry baskets (we had one just for the toys for the kitchen set). The kids would play with the toys and it was easy to put them right back in the baskets. Doesnt look real fancy, but it was very practical.

I must say, though, my living room and the girls' bedrooms looked just like your photos. This may sound kind of funny...but enjoy it. They grow so fast. I actually miss seeing the Little Tykes toys around the house.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm way late, but...I use those three drawer units(plastic). We got some great girly colors at K-mart for super cheap. I'm kind of a freak on everything having it's own place so barbies in one drawer, lil pet shop in another, dishes in yet get the idea. I also HATE to find books and board games mixed with other toys so I too suggest a great shelving unit in the basement with maybe a bean bag or two around that area for reading. I watch a lot of HGTV and have gotten lots of ideas from them. Lowes has great storage/organization solutions!

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