Organizing Extravaganza – Kids’ Rooms, Bathroom, Linen Closet

Sunday and Monday were the kids’ rooms.

Boys’ room: (time = 10 hours, including planning, cleaning, and 2 trips to Target. My husband spent 3 hours putting dresser together with my son’s help.)

I list the problem I needed to solve –> solution

  • Not enough storage, clothes crammed into dresser –> Added dresser from Target for more clothes storage since toddler’s outgrowing sharing a dresser with big brother
  • Blanket serving as curtain ever since old blinds fell down –> Replaced broken blind; Hung curtain rod and dug curtain out of closet; rehung curtain.
  • Random messy papers and drawings taped to walls –>Took down random papers, saved a few but most were trash. Rehung cute cow picture that brought in colors of room (blue, yellow, red).
  • Clutter taking over room –> Moved all Legos into closet (Lego workshop area), cleaned up bookcases and “building area”
  • Needed reading area –> added beanbag and canvas bin for books from Target
  •  Had my son pick up most of the Legos in closet to at least show some floor.

Girl’s room: (time = 1 hour. It wasn’t bad because I just did hers a few months ago and she’s neater.)

  • Straightened up, moved toy shelf to make room for beanbag.
  • Added beanbag because she wanted one like brother. Will try to have them do reading time in beanbags during rest time. I want them to get in the habit of independent reading.
  • Ignored disaster of a closet for now.

Tuesday (today) was kids’ bath and linen closet.

Kids’ bathroom – total time 4 hours

Okay, I wanted to post about how I go about this because I thought it might be interesting to some. Not sure if everyone does this or not. It might be that random degree in environmental design, but I really like to think about the environment of each space. What is the purpose?

Form (or, stuff) follows function. So, for me to know what needs to go into a space I have to think about what we’ll be doing there.

And just so you know, I wasn’t at all in the mood for doing this today, but it had to be done. It’s next. So, I made myself sit down during lunch and think about the kids’ bathroom.

1. What are the purposes of the room? Seems obvious, but I jotted them down in my notebook anyway.

a. Brushing teeth
b. Baths
c. Fixing hair
(d. potty training & potty – this summer)
e. medicine/cleaning supplies storage

So that tells me what needs to be in the room.  Stuff to make those functions as easy as possible.

I had a revelation here, and that was that maybe the reason my daughter’s hair is only fixed about half of the time is we’ve never had a place for her hair stuff to be, it just floats around from room to room and gets lost. So, I realized there’s a whole extra drawer in the kids’ bathroom just holding pens, pencils, and random bits of junk. I decided to make that the hair fixing drawer. It ended up holding brushes, clippies, detangler, etc.

2. Give each drawer, shelf, etc. a purpose. I drew boxes on my notebook paper and jotted down the main function for each space. (I took a picture and hope to go back and add pictures someday to give you a better idea, but I don’t have time to do it today.)

  • a. Drawers: Teeth stuff, hair stuff.
  • b. Cabinet on left side under sink: storage for extra supplies like toothpaste, soap, etc. Also cleaning supplies the kids use like baby wipes and vinegar spray and paper towels.
  • c. Cabinet under sink (middle): trash can, “hamper” for clothes (a plastic box we use for a hamper in there)
  • d. Cabinet on right side: diapers, pull-ups, wipes, extra tissues and toilet paper
  • e. Above toilet: medicine in boxes with lids, bath supplies, washcloths

So, after I drew my little sketch which took all of 10 minutes, I was ready to go. I had an idea of what I was doing in there, where I was going. I threw away a big trash bag full of half-used sticky, old things, then wiped off the shelves, went for another Target run (it’s so nice to have my dad in town so I can leave during nap time) for organizing boxes, then finished up.

It felt like a lot of work, but I was shocked that it really only took about 4 hours. I spent about $50 on supplies at Target, but you could do it with less certainly. I just wanted organized boxes and we really needed the medicine less accessible. That cabinet was a poisoning waiting to happen.

So, my verdict is: totally worth the afternoon. Must do this every year. That bathroom is so much more functional now; I’m not fighting BandAids dropping from the shelves every time I open the cabinet door. Wonderful.

Linen Closet        Total time = 2 hours (NO trips to Target this time! Woohoo!)

Planned what I needed in there, sketched out a plan (10 minutes), cleaned it out. Labeled, put everything back.

My issue now is I have a big bagful of perfectly good (but old) sheets and towels and blankets. What do I do with them? Who can I give them to? (Or to whom can I give them?) Help! Please comment if you know where I can donate them where they will do the most good.

I think somewhere that helps people get started in apartments of their own could use them, they are very practical, but I doubt Goodwill accepts them. Help! Thanks!

Someone mentioned MEND Crisis Pregnancy. Any others in case they don’t need any right now or all of it?

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