{Organizing Small Spaces: Clothes}



Today we have a guest post from “The {Collazo} Family Journal”. Feel free to check it out any time for {Homeschooling Ideas and Information}.

Hi!!! I am so glad you stopped by today. I want to show you that where there is a will, there is a way!

On previous posts on my {In Pursuit} blog, I shared with you how I haven’t always been so organized. My lack of organization and my procrastination was starting to spill over into my children. When I started seeing my habits in my children, I knew something had to change. They were not going to struggle like I have to gain the skills necessary to take care of a home.

I’ve shared with you how a simple responsibility chart has really helped my son {click here to see} and daughter {click here to see}.

I’ve also showed you how a morning cleaning routine goes for Chai’anne {check it out here}.

Well, this weekend I took her room head on and started to eliminate some of the challenges I’ve found along the way.

{Challenges}

  • Cluttered and disorganized closet.
  • Toys scattered all over the room. No real space for play.
  • Empty walls

{So what changed?}

For starters we made three piles. To wash, to throw away, to give away. We went through clothes, toys, books, and more together and we sorted through. Anything that was stained or broken went to the garbage. Really- do we need 10 stained shirts to save as ‘hanging out’ shirts? NO NOT REALLY!!!

Getting rid of toys was not so much fun for Chai’anne at first. I had to explain that:

  1. She had too much stuff and with Christmas just around the corner, we had to make room for new toys.
  2. There are kids out there who don’t have fun toys to play with and they would be so happy to play with some of Chai’anne’s great toys! (She liked that! Especially after we talked about how happy she felt when we were in the hotel without toys and people donated toys to her).
  3. If she doesn’t love a toy and doesn’t play with it, someone else could get better use out of it.
  4. It’s important to be good stewards of our stuff so broken toys should be thrown away.

{FIRST THE CLOSET…}

I’ve shared with you about our very tiny closets. This is Chai’anne’s closet. When we moved in, it only had the very top shelf and that one top rod.

We added wire shelving to double the shelving space in her closet. Then I began to organize.

On the top shelf to the right is a plastic bin where I store summer clothes that will still fit her next year. Anything that I knew would no longer fit by summer of 2012, was donated. The other bins hold other random summer item. All dresses were put in the right side of the top rod. I tend to sort the dresses from casual to dressy and by color. You don’t have to do it that way, but it definitely makes it easier for me to find things.

On the left side of the top rod, I put all of Chai’anne’s pants and jeans. I used to have them folded in a basket but everyday when I would go to her room, Chai’anne would have the basket out of the closet with pants all over her room. PROBLEM SOLVED. Now they are hung too high for her to get so easily.

Long sleeve shirts and sweaters go on the left side. I kept some tank tops folded on the shelf there. However, most of the spring/summer clothes was put away.

We don’t have a coat closet in our home (how could there not be a coat closet in a home?!!!  As a matter of fact, I do not have… not one…. closet on the first floor of our home.) In the spring and summer coats are washed and then put into plastic bins sealed tightly. Come winter though, we run into the problem of finding where to fit these bulky coats and jackets.

By simply adding a small wire shelf to the bottom of Chai’anne’s closet, I was able to add a lot of space for the extra winter bulk.

And of course, every girl needs a space to hang her accessories. Simple plastic hooks were put up and now there is a home for her belts and purses.


You’re probably wondering where all the shoes are. At one point, they were on the closet floor. That would result in shoes thrown all over the place. Then we went to hanging them on the back of the closet door, but since the closet is so small, they got in the way every time we had to go into the closet.

Solution: We moved the rack to her entry door. So when you open the door to her room, it’s still hidden, but it no longer gets in the way when we look for clothes. By the way, did you see the cute label I made? She knows that shoes go on this rack. But 4 year olds have a great way of pretending that they don’t know where anything goes. Labels like this help curb the excuses at my house. {I will teach you how to make labels for your home in a future post, so stay tuned}.

Below is a picture of her dresser.

On the top shelf we keep the three baskets holding her underwear, socks, and stockings.

The second shelf of cubes hold Miss. Piggy and two baskets of jackets.

The three drawers (see the little pink tag on the first drawer? That’s a picture of PJ’s.) hold her PJ’s and there are two more drawers you can’t see for her jogging pants, tights, and extra blankets.

A place for everything and everything in  it’s place. That’s the organizing rule.

And don’t get all crazy on me… it didn’t always look like this. It takes work. Lots of work. And then after the time invested in organizing a room, it takes more work… teaching your children the same… and then, it takes even more work to maintain it.

The trick is to put things back immediately. If you washed clothes, don’t let it hang around the house until you’re in the mood. Believe me, no one is ever in the mood to put clothes away. But… it has to get done. You will be so pleased that you took the extra 2 minutes to put the clothes in its designated space.

I cannot stress enough how organization is changing my life. And it’s a process. It’s a journey. Not every single part of my home is perfectly organized. As a matter of fact, places in my home evolve as our needs change. However, I can assure you that every single place in my home is on my target list. So stay tuned and I will show you how to get there.

Alright, so how are we doing with those challenges I mentioned earlier?

{Challenges}

  • Cluttered and disorganized closet.
  • Toys scattered all over the room. No real space for play.
  • Empty walls

I feel great about this list already.

Come on back to see how we organized the toys and found an easy solution to hanging up art. You won’t want to miss it!

{SO HOW ABOUT YOU?}

How do you bring order to tiny spaces or to your kids rooms? I would love to hear from you!

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Posted on November 8, 2011, in DAILY LIFE, FAMILY LIFE, HOME & ORGANIZATION, HOME MANAGEMENT, LIFE, MOTHERING ON PURPOSE, ORGANIZING, PARENTING and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I love this!-I’m actually in the process also of organizing my daubhters room, but I started with her walls first, I painted the walls then I purchased some kiddie art, just a few colorful pieces. So now I’m about to start organizing clothes and toys, what did you do with the toys that were not thrown away?

    • Hi Erica. That’s a great question.

      Chai’anne actually did the first round of sorting through toys. I would hand her a basket filled with toys and she would decide which she wanted to keep and which she would give away. Then I would go over the basket of toys she wanted to keep and we would decide if we would keep it based on how often she uses them, if she had multiples of the same toys, etc.

      There are several options for getting rid of the toys that are still in good condition.
      1.) If you know of a friend or family member in need, have them pick out of the pile. One kid’s old toy is another kids treasure. As a matter of fact, I just had dinner at a friends house and Chai’anne came home with a 1 foot tall horse. Last week, I would have said, “no say, no more toys brought to the house.” But this week, because we had done so much de-cluttering, she was able to bring a toy she loved home that someone else was no longer going to use.)
      2.) Shelters are sometimes in need of toys for children who come in. Check your directory.
      3.) Thrift stores love donations. Check your local directory.
      4.) On the way to my husbands job there is a drop box for one of the local charities. We tend to drop them off there.
      5.) Another awesome option is Purple Hearts Pick-Up. We did this after our fire. We had a lot of clothes that were professionally washed and put into storage until we moved back into our house. We decided we were going to live life differently after the fire. So we donated boxes and boxes of clothes. Your contributions are tax deductible and they go to a very good cause. Click this link for more info…… http://purpleheart.gooddonor.org/web/pagedetail.aspx?pgID=aboutus

  1. Pingback: » {Conquering Those Projects}

  2. Pingback: {Conquering Those Projects} « In Pursuit

  3. Pingback: {Organizing Toys and Artwork, Part 1} « In Pursuit

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