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Organizing Maintenance

I’ve been doing a bit of organizing lately.  (I know – shock! right?)   One truth about organizing that has been ringing true in my house lately is that you have to keep up with the maintenance.  The areas I’ve been working on are areas that have been organized several times before, but because life got in the way they have been…well…trashed.  :)

Our closet under the stairs that includes my paper organizing system became a disaster during December.  I had Christmas presents hiding there until Ellie discovered them.  They were quickly moved to Kenny’s office Santa’s workshop and the closet became a catch all for whatever I didn’t have time to deal with.

So I got things back under control.

*note to self: I still need to go through receipts and coupons.  

The girls’ drawers were starting to look like this again.

Plus with Christmas and Ellie’s birthday, the toy situation was getting out of control…again.

Remember last summer when I organized all the toys in these bins?

Well – the doll clothes and barbies were constantly pulled half way out of the closet and strung all over the floor.  It has been really bugging me the last few months.

So one morning while Ellie was at school and Kole was napping, I enlisted a certain “Fancy Nancy” and  tore the girls’ room apart re-arranging things in a more functional way.

I went through clothes and did the normal upkeep – moving Ellie’s too small things down to Addison and  bagging Addison’s too small things for my niece.  Got the closets looking like this again.

And the drawers looking like this again.  My girls actually do a pretty good job of keeping their clothes this way.  They are sectioned by skirts, pants, leggings, and socks.  Now each of my girls has one dresser drawer for clothes and the rest are for toys.  Toys are what they are getting into all day long so I wanted to move them to a spot that was easier to access and more accommodating.  That’s a nice way of saying THERE ARE TOO MANY TOYS IN THIS HOUSE AND THEY ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY!  Ahem…moving on.
The bottom drawer now holds all of the doll clothes.

When I decorated Kole’s nursery I fell in love with these bins for books and diapers so I bought a few extras in different colors.  I knew they would be fun to use to organize something at some point.

They are perfect for doll shoes and accessories.  I love the way they look in the drawer.  I also love that the dolls have their own plastic i pods!

Then I used the whole bottom dresser drawer for barbies, Liv dolls, Moxie girls, and fairies.  (If you have little girls I’m sure you know all about Liv and Moxie dolls!)  Of course I know when I organize that things won’t be kept this perfect.

Here is a picture of the dolls a week later.  I can live with this.  A specific place for them that is easy for the girls to get to and easy for clean-up.  *note to self: do NOT buy these girls one. more. doll.

One drawer is just for random dress up toys.  I got rid of A LOT of this stuff…while Fancy Nancy was busy attending to her dog Frenchy.  Again, I know it won’t look like this next week, but with a lot less in the drawer they’ll at least be able to find what they’re looking for. 

A fun little organizer from the Container Store.  We have to be so careful with all the little “stuff” that accompanies dolls now that Mr. Kole is putting any and everything in his mouth.  

The bins that used to hold doll clothes and barbies are now used for dress-ups, shoes, and barbie clothes.    Things that are played with but not as often.  
Another area I attacked…again…was the tub toys.  Above is the way they were organized in the beginning, but it was impossible for my girls to keep it that straight.

So my solution is to leave the lids off several bins.  Now it’s easy for them to grab a few toys before tub time and easy to put them back after.
Feeling much better about the minor changes that will make things easier to maintain.  This post made me happy.  The week ahead is off to a good start!  :)
xoxo, Erin
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17 thoughts on “Organizing Maintenance

  1. very nice!! I have been on an organizing kick since the first of January and already I am noticing little things getting out of place again. It definitely takes a lot of upkeep…. I have to keep reminding myself that if I just take the extra minute or so to put things away right than it will save a lot of headache in the long run!!

  2. Thanks for this post! I loved seeing how your organized everything initially (really like the paper storage ideas!), and how it needs to be kept up. So often I think my organizing system didn’t ‘work’, when I realize I do actually have to keep it up! Great to see how you adapt it.

  3. Hi Erin! I always love your organization posts!! I learn so much from you – you are inspiring!! Keep ’em coming!

  4. How on earth do you have so many drawers to put stuff in??? And why aren’t all your pretty white drawers covered in pencil and SHARPIE drawings like mine are?????

    Seriously, why do some kids (mine) think its ok to draw on their white dresser and other kids (yours) not even ever think of such a horrific thing?? :)

  5. Those girls do have a lot of toys and I’m sure they have a ton of fun with all of them. You have a great system going on to manage it all…lots of storage :) I giggled at the closet under the stairs because it made me think of the Friends episode where Monica reveal her messy closet. Nice job!

  6. So, ya, all I was thinking was LATELY?!

    So if they each only have one clothes drawer now and the other drawers are filled with toys, where are their pajamas?

  7. Looks great! Your organizing posts make me happy, too. (Is that weird? :) Your organizational posts are my favorite! Thanks for sharing with us.

  8. i am so glad to know that i am not alone with this struggle! so many of those pictures look like they could be from my house! i never thought to put the toys in the dresser drawers! the only toys we have in the girl’s bedrooms are some dress-up items. I have them in this:

    i think they still sell it and i love it because it gives them somewhere to have all their princess stuff organized.

    i just did my own closet this weekend- ohhhh, that felt good!

  9. I just love reading your organization posts! I wish I was this organized:) I can only imagine what your classroom looked like! I thought about you yesterdy when I was in Archivers (I know weird that I don’t know you and I thought about you haha!) they have an American Girl scrapbooking collection! Your girls would probably love it! Have a great week.

  10. Fabulous! Feels so great, doesnt it. Whenever I read you blog on organizing, it inspires me to organize something — even if it is one tiny drawer!

  11. I was THIS close to shaking my head in disappointment and taking you off my blog list. I’m glad you pulled it out and did what you are best at!!!! hehehe!!!!!

  12. I’ve been following your blog for a little while after I found it on my friend Sara’s blog. Your organization posts really inspire me. I try to go through the toys about once every 3 months. Mine though are all trucks and legos. A helpful tip: I put hanging shoe organizers on the back of the bedroom doors, and then any little toy that I can’t find a home for, I drop it in the hanging organizer. It works like a charm, and makes clean up so easy ;)

  13. Just found your blog. Love it!!! I am noticing alot of Pottery Barn around your house. Huge fan myself.
    Where did you find the tin buckets? Adorable!

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