Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How to Feel More Organized: Keeping up with Kids

In addition to my attempts to keep myself organized, I've been implementing strategies to keep up with my kids as well.

A Clothes Box in Every Closet
This is a place in each of my kids' closets where I can quickly stow outgrown, damaged, or disliked clothing until I am ready to deal with it. I repurposed a pretty Piperlime box for my daughter's closet.I also have a box in the laundry room to store items after they are cleaned, but it's nice to have a storage spot right where the kids get dressed so that I can separate the items right away--sometimes outgrown clothes get reintegrated with the regular laundry en route to the basement, and they don't quite make it to the Consignment box. (Of course, I don't consign an item unless it meet my criteria.)

This way I can take a larger amount of clothing to the basement all at once when I have time to think about what I am doing, reducing the chances of the clothes ending back up in the drawers!

A Toothbrush in Every Bathroom
I don't know how other kids are, but my kids are highly distractable when we are trying to focus on leaving the house. If I send them upstairs to brush teeth, it takes forever for them to reappear, mostly because they got lost on the way! I finally got the message and put toothbrushes, floss, and toothpaste in every bathroom. Now, whether we are preparing to leave the house, preparing to go to bed, or someone just has bad breath, dental hygiene supplies belonging to my kids are close by.

I included supplies for the master bathroom because I've made the habit of preparing a toothbrush for any kid who joins me in the bathroom while *I* am brushing my teeth. I need a few extra toothbrushes for this strategy; I've found the sample size toothpaste and floss from the dentist works well in lesser-used bathrooms. I'm finding that it is well worth it to help my kids avoid skipping brushing, especially since both kids have tooth issues that increase their vulnerability to cavities.

A Spot for Every Lunch Box
My son takes his lunch to school every day. My daughter uses her lunchbox 3 days per week. What this used to mean was that my son's lunchbox was sitting on the countertop when the weekend arrived, and my daughter's was taking up space in the kitchen every day! I realized that even items that are used nearly every day need a 'put away' spot. Now that I designated a spot in a cabinet to store them, our lunch boxes spend much less time cluttering up the kitchen counters, and I always know exactly where to find them when we DO need them.

This is what works for me, I hope it works for you, too!

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