No one tells you in Parenting 101 just how much stuff you’ll need to raise children. Seriously, I had no idea. The clutter is real people, and every inch of space matters. My only option is super, duper, extra organization of every single item.
Today I’m sharing my 8 Tips for Corralling the Clutter, learned completely by trial and error. And I should say I’m a lifelong student of organization techniques. I would love to hear from you on the subject. Maybe you are Spring cleaning or working towards a more simplified life. What’s working for you?
Here are a few things I’m trying.
1. Maximize space by using a hanging storage method.
This is the most simple of the tips. On the inside of the closet doors I’ve hung shoe pocket organizers. But instead of using them for shoes, I store bows (you’ve never seen so many in your life) and socks. Oh, and on occasion Hop-Hop the stuffed bunny makes his way there for the night too.
This is super easy. An unexpected little bonus is that the girls enjoy the responsibility of gathering their bows and socks for the school day because they can easily reach what they need.
2. Tuck it under the bed in an organized way.
Clothes management is my biggest organization task, and I’ve tried lots of different methods. I shop consignment and garage sales which means I am usually buying several seasons ahead. Keeping the sizes organized can be overwhelming.
This is the only method that has worked so far.
I use these long, flat storage containers that slide nicely under the bed. Under one bed I place the clothes that don’t quite fit yet, but will in 2-3 months.
Under the other bed I use the flat containers to store clothes that become too small during that season. Once I month I take those clothes to the attic where I have larger bins or donate them. This allows me to only hang and fold clothes that actually fit during that season.
3. Double up on hanger space.
Our closets aren’t that spacious, so I needed to get creative with the hanging strategy. For any outfits that have two pieces, I hang the pants, shorts, or skirt on the same hanger for easy access.
I also found I was playing the early morning matching game of tops and bottoms, which fyi…never works. This takes any need for guesswork out of it.
4. Go for multi-purpose furniture.
One of my most favorite pre-babies stories has to do with this mirrored dresser, turned changing table, turned dresser.
Weeks before the girls were born I told my sweet friend Krisha I was on the look-out for a stylish dresser that could easily double as a changing table for a little while. Well, that was all she needed because about two days later she texted me with pictures, and it was all but purchased.
As a side note, I couldn’t believe it when I saw this dresser in Pier One just a few weeks ago. I love the even split of drawers because each girl now has her own side. It worked perfectly as a changing table, and now as a dresser.
5. Dividers keep hanging clothes organized.
I absolutely love these little pink dividers…and my label maker, of course. In the beginning the dividers read 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and so on. I quickly realized we would blow past an entire category if I didn’t have the outfits organized.
Then later the divider label became Mon, Tues, Wed, and so on. This is great for any week, but especially when I travel for work. It keeps all of us organized.
6. Use temporary plastic bins for odd-shaped spaces.
Again for me, every inch of space counts, and I need to maximize it. I pulled out the measuring tape and went to town mapping out every available inch.
For example, here’s a tall storage bin in the corner of the closet. It’s slim enough to fit the tight space, and I’ve used these drawers for lots of baby gear and toddler necessities.
I thought temporary storage meant a year or two, which I would have been happy with. It’s hard to believe I continue to find uses for these fun bins.
7. Label everything.
And I mean everything. My label maker is a top five investment for me. I’m not into searching and digging if I don’t have to. Having drawers and bins labeled saves me so much time.
8. Every item needs a home.
I adore these polka dot bins I found to store the bed time zoo of stuffed animals. I love how they add a pop of color while being completely functional and practical.
These cute bins have also inspired the girls to independently put their animals away. What Mom doesn’t love that!
Mostly I’ve figured out that if I spend about 20 minutes a week keeping these spaces organized I don’t feel overwhelmed by the volume of clutter.
Thanks for stopping by, and if any of these tips work for you I hope you’ll let me know.
My best to you.