How to Organize with Kids - Part 2
Updated: Nov 14
Article may contain affiliate links in which I earn a small commission when product is purchased using my link.
If you haven't had the chance to read part 1 of this 3 part series "How to Organize with Kids," go back to read that first before continuing. It gives great insight into my journey into organizing with young kids. You can find the it here.
In this part 2 blog post, I wanted to expand on the products that I use to keep their room organized. These are all products that I have personally used and love, but there are also some added that would make a great alternative to what we use.
Use Open Bins or Containers
I cannot stress this enough. Containers with lids are not great for littles or elementary age children (or many adults for that matter). Most children will not take the time to lift the lid to return their toy to its location.
We decided on getting these adorable pink containers from The Container Store to place their favorite items! When the girls are ready to play, they get their container down, play with whatever they want then return to the shelf.
I've also come to love these multipurpose bins. They are tall and fit perfectly into their toy box to store toys in categories. Before using these, the girls never knew what they had in their toybox. So many toys were not being played with.
Now, the girls know exactly what they have to play with whenever they open the lid. I especially love that they store their many Barbies perfectly! There is even room along the edges of the containers to store bigger toys that don't fit in a container.
Containers with Lids Have a Purpose
I'm not completely against lidded containers. Here is an example of how I use these type of containers in their bedroom.
They are mainly used for items that aren't played with daily or have several pieces to contain. I got these containers from Target (I believe they are from the Brightroom collection). I couldn't find the exact ones online, but these from Amazon are similar.
Stuffed Animal Storage
Whew. Stuffed animals... dare I say more. My children have been inundated with toys for every holiday or celebration and every day in between. I absolutely love all of the stuffed animals and many often bring a smile or laugh to our faces as the children open them. They are just so darn cute, and it's heartwarming to see your child give that stuffed animal its very first hug. Just precious.
The problem with stuffed animals? They are bulky and are very difficult to store, especially when you have children who share rooms. My favorite solution by far has been this hammock! It keeps all the animals off the floor. The only negative for me with the hammock is that it had to be hung up high because of the way their room is set up and the size of the hammock. I knew this before purchasing it, but I just loved this hammock so much that I knew I had to make it work, I also loved that it came with two in a pack, one for each of my girls.
We have used a bean bag chair similar to this one below, and if you have the space in the bedroom, it is an adorable way to decorate along with storing the animals.
The only downside, other than it taking up floor space, is that my girls couldn't see the stuffed animals inside and they were often forgot about. Just like with the toybox. Again, in order for children to keep their room tidy, they need open containers.
For smaller stuffies, I use this adorable tin basket that was gifted to me years ago... Notice it has some wear and tear, but it has been such a great asset to getting and keeping the girls' room organized that I can't seem to part with it.
Something like this cute basket from Amazon could make a great alternative to store small stuffies.
As a reminder, children are visual and need to be able to see what goes in each container. That's why I decided to use these labels (from Lily & Theads on Etsy) to help my children know what belonged in each container. This is essential for your child feeling successful when tidying their room or playroom.
Here is how the labels turned out. Love how the neutrals paired nicely with the pink and white of the containers.
Notice I arranged the open bins lower so they could reach them easily. Those are the items that my girls tend to play with more frequently.
My daughter was so excited about having the new labels on the containers. She was pointing and telling me what belonged in each container. I couldn't help but capture her excitement in explaining what was in each one. Even though she can't read yet, she knew what was in there based on the label's picture.
Final Thoughts on Containers
I don't want to pretend that it's a perfect scene in our home all the time. If you can remember from the Instagram post, I stated that children need to be helped and reminded to return the items to the bins. Using open containers isn't a fix all scenario. It has to be taught over and over again. And even when it's taught over and over, it's still not perfect. But the kids have a better understanding of where to place their toys, and they are more willing to tidy when they don't have to worry about a lid getting in the way.
As a side note... if a container starts getting too full, it may be time to declutter that category. For example, I noticed the dress up bin was getting close to overflowing. When we have a few minutes, I will look through the container to determine if there is anything the girls aren't playing with anymore. Or I will have them take ownership and make that decision on their own.
P.S If you are still feeling stuck about how to declutter and organize your child's room, I am only a click away. I offer decluttering and organizing sessions in which I can help you get started with implementing systems. Visit me at www.southernsort.com/contact to schedule your complimentary consultation.
P.P.S Be on the lookout for the 3rd and final part of this series on Organizing with Kids which will address tidying each night, helping them organize, and making organizing fun.