Monday, January 9, 2012

Organization: Current List/Stuffed Animals

First step to getting organized: make a list.  Here is my current "spaces/items to organize" list:

-scrap space (clear room for project life!)
-kole's drawers/closet (go through clothes)
-girls' book shelf
-addie's closet/drawers
-ellie's drawers (go through clothes)
-laundry room cupboards
-kids' bath toys
-girls' toy kitchen (scary stuff hiding in that microwave!)
-my bedroom hutch
-my dresser
-my closet (go through clothes)
-my bathroom drawers/cupboards
-nightstand drawers
-closet under stairs 
-stuffed animals

I just walked through my house and wrote down every space that could use a little "sprucing up."  Some of these areas have already been organized and just need a touch up.  Some of them (hello my mess of a closet) need a major overhaul.  Having a list makes it feel manageable.  Now I can just work on spaces whenever I have a minute and happily check off my list.  

A few posts back one of my cute Virginia friends (hi Lucy!) asked me what I do with my stuffed animals.  She was wondering how to organize them since her daughter loves them all.  Well - it was perfect timing because that very day I had come up with what to do with our crazy amount of stuffed animals.  And I have the SAME problem Lucy.  After years of birthday parties and holidays and trips and surprises for good behavior and grandparent visits and weak moments in Target - we now have a crazy amount of stuffed animals and dolls.  My girls truly CHERISH each and every one of them.  They also truly play with and take care of each and every one of them.  


I used to keep stuffed animals in these baskets in the playroom.  

But lately they have been filled with my little man's treasures.  And truth be told, our crazy amount of stuffed animals/dolls weren't fitting well in this spot anyway.  

So one afternoon the girls and I went in every room and rounded them all up.  I boxed up and stored all of the Christmas stuffed animals with our Christmas decor in the garage because it's more fun if those toys are only pulled out in December.  The girls were so stressed about the rest of their "friends."  (They know all too well what happens when mom starts making piles.)  I promised that I wasn't getting rid of anything and explained to them that we just don't have the space to have all of these "friends"out right now.  I had them choose a handful to keep out to play and sleep with and I assured them that the rest of them would be close by.  


A while ago I got the comforter on my bed dry cleaned and when I picked it up it was in this fabulous heavy duty clear sack.  I knew I could find a way to use that sack so I hung onto it.  As soon as I saw the crazy amount of stuffed animals/dolls I needed to store, I knew just what would hold them!  Problem was that I only had one and that baby filled up fast!  So I went back to the dry cleaners. 

And I asked them for two more sacks.  Kenny should be thrilled.  I didn't spend a dime.  (Did you read that babe!?  I didn't spend a dime!!)  That's a first for me.  :)  I'll tell you why this was the perfect solution (aside from the fact that it was a free solution).  I needed something that wouldn't break/tear easily.  I also needed something see through because now when my girls want to locate a certain "friend" it will be easy to find instead of using black garbage bags that we would be dumping out all over the floor every other week.  

They also have this really great handle so they are easy to move around.  

Another spot that has been organized before and just needed some "sprucing up" was the closet under my stairs.  This spot always becomes my catch all for any and everything when I get busy.  And December was insanely busy.  Just 20 minutes and this closet went from the picture above...

to this.  I cleaned out all of the files so our paper organization hub is ready for 2012!  

Then I cleaned out space in the back of our closet to make room for the stuffed animals.  

Now they are still with us, but not all over my house.  When the girls want to get out some new "friends," they are easy to pull out and find.  The rule is that if they are taking some out, they are putting some back in.  Of course, if there are a few toys that never get pulled back out... well... let's just say I don't have the same problem my girls do "letting go."  I know this isn't a perfect solution, but I think it will work great for us.  (Hope that helps Lucy!)

So I'm feeling good!  Two items checked off my list!  That's a good thing.  Lots still left to organize.

But that's a good thing too.  :)  

20 comments:

sarah said...

I love your list Erin... so many things you have on your list are on mine too!!! I really need inspiration for how to organise different areas - laundry, closet etc! so I'm looking forward to following you (and participating!) on your organising journey!

Simply LKJ said...

Great solution for the stuffed toys and dolls. I swear they multiply like rabbits!! Since we spent much of the summer/fall weeding out while semi-finishing our basement, I am finding the little bit of organizing I have to do a lot more enjoyable. I have always loved organization, but this way it's fun not a chore!!

Amber@Munchkin Land said...

Erin,

There is this "bean bag" thing that is half mesh with a zipper that you can stuff all the stuffed animals you can into and it doubles as a place to lounge and read books! :-) When you want a stuffed animal all you have to do is unzip. I think I plan on getting one for my little girl when she is more interested in "friends". I believe the company (that I receive their catalog, magically) is called One Step Ahead. Google them and you should find what I'm talking about........ just another option.
Hugs from Kansas~
Amber

Amber@Munchkin Land said...

OK, so here's the link: http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=538146&cmSource=Search

But if you type "bean bag stuffed animals" in their search bar it will bring up some different options. :-)

Sara Ancich said...

Making my list today. Thanks.

Lucy said...

Yes, yes, yes - that is wonderful! Thank you so much for posting this. I can already picture all of the great hiding places in our house for the clear bags!

Cheryl said...

great idea on the stuffed animals!

Erin said...

That is SO cool Amber! Thanks for sharing that link. What a fun option!! I love it!

Motivated Mommy of two said...

These are great ideas, I have started my list of all the rooms that need to be organized around my house.

Samantha said...

I'm loving these organization posts, they are really motivating me to tackle some projects around my house. I have these pinned in my organization folder on Pinterest. Thanks for sharing, I'm looking forward to more posts on organizing. Oh--and I loved the Project Life post you did, I had never heard of Project Life and now I'm so excited to do them for my boys. I'm glad I found out about it now, when my boys are 16 months old and I'm not TOO far behind yet. Thanks!

Susan said...

Hi Erin - I absolutely LOVE your organizing posts! Actually, I love all of your posts, but I especially LOVE these! Could you please, please share your binder with us? You know the one you said you use instead of a planner. My life is getting super busy these days - my kids are all involved in different activities, and I volunteer too much! I can't keep track of it all! Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Erin! Could you do a post or comment and talk about how you have the kids rooms organized. They always looks so perfect and my kids always look, well the exact opposite. ;) Since I am sure Kole is growing like crazy, how to do have his clothes organized? Do you still have your scrapbook stuff in there with his stuff? Any ideas or suggestions would be a GREAT help! Thanks so much! :)

Erin said...

Thanks everyone!

Hi Susan! I'm sharing my binder soon! :) (I don't know if it will help you though because it's more of a place to organize my projects vs. my daily schedule...I'll try to post it this week and hopefully it will at least give you a starting off point!) :)

Anonymous - Sure! I can take pics of my kids' rooms to post sometime. Yes - scrapbook stuff is still in Kole's room - all of our things are sort of mixed together. :) And let me assure you that my kids' rooms do NOT always look perfect. I make them clean their room every night so we start the day with clean rooms, but usually by 5 or 6 in the evening it's a different story all together! I'm going to share how I organize Kole's clothes in a post sometime in the next few weeks.

Becky said...

Something special about stuffed animals. My daughters are still with us in a special place :). P.S. You are amazing!

Mich said...

Thanks for the motivation. I referenced you in my blog today. I hope I didn't embarrass you. You might want to be associated with people like me! :)

The Wallace Family said...

Love this idea. I think stuff animals are cute and I have bad habit of getting them for Kendall too often as well. Trying to watch doing that:) So much fun that you marked two things off of your list!! I marked one off my list tonight as I went through my bathroom closets! 1 garbage bag later and a few new containers in there and it's looking pretty good and I am so excited about it!! And I was even more excited to walk into the kitchen and mark that one off my list:)

Mary Beth said...

Erin,

I read this blog yesterday, and then this morning I saw a how-to on another blog if you want to make your own plastic storage bags. Here's the link to the make it & love it blog with the how-to: http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2011/12/clear-toy-storage-bags-with-drawstring-closure.html

They're cute, but I think going to the dry-cleaner and getting some free bags would be more my style since I don't sew. :)

Jennie DePiero said...

Erin,

I love all your organization and I was wondering how you organize jewelry? I have lots of long necjlaces and earring's - any ideas?

Erin said...

Hi Jennie!

I'm going to do a post sometime soon with links to all of my past organization posts and how I organize my jewelry will be included! :)

lovinglife said...

Erin, what do you do with all the doll clothes and accessories and shoes??