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Q and A (Little girl gifts and getting started organizing)

Another Q&A today!   I received this question from a friend of mine:

I am starting to make my Christmas shopping list and would love advice from a mom of little girls.  My daughter will be 20 months at Christmas time… what would be a good “girly” gift for her?  I have this boy thing down, but no clue on the girls stuff.

Well!  Glad you asked!  And I’m happy to answer.  Especially since we opened the subject of Christmas up yesterday and it seems many of you are like me and ready to start planning early.  Fabulous!  :)  I will be posting more Christmas ideas soon!  To answer your question, here are a few things my girls loved at that age (and for years after!) –

Age two and up with little girls is all about pretend!

 Tea parties become every day events so pretend food and dishes and tea sets are always a hit.  

Dress-ups are HUGE.  My girls were in some sort of dress-up every day from age 2 to 5.  Usually Costco has fun treasure boxes full of different dresses.  And of course – the princess dresses (and heels!) are always favorites.  Pretty much anything to do with the princesses will be a hit.

I got this tent for my girls when Addison was around 2 (El was 4) and they still love it.  We pull it out every few months.

Don’t forget accessories!  Shoes, hats, jewelry.  Even if your little one isn’t into this stuff yet, she will be soon!  Little girls like to be doing whatever their mommy is doing so things like…

pretend cameras,  

pretend ironing boards, 
pretend vacuums, 

and pretend brooms are all fun Christmas gifts.  Apparently they even work for the boys once in a while.  Although Kole never believed sweeping was a broom’s true calling.  :)

At 20 months, your little one might be a bit small to drive the Barbie Jeep, but she isn’t too small to be a passenger in it!  Maybe one of her brothers could take her for a spin until she grows into it?  You can set it to a slow speed for really little ones.  We got this when Ad was 2 and El was 4 and they LOVED it.  I can’t wait to get this baby reved up for Kole once we have a yard!  He has no problem with girl hand me downs.  It’s all he knows!  No shame around here.  Of course that might change once he is older than two.  :)

You can’t go wrong with dolls and stuffed animals.  

And this adorable Fisher Price My First Doll House for toddlers has been a favorite for years.  It is a PERFECT first doll house for a two year old.  My girls STILL play with this at least once a week.  Notice I’m CAPITALIZING a lot of my words so show you how much I truly LOVE this dollhouse.  Because I DO!

If you are looking for something a little more baby and immediately fun for a 20 month old, my favorite baby/toddler toy is the Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Learning Home.  All three of my baby/toddlers have loved this and played with it so much.  If you have a baby age one and up you will love it!  It’s the one baby toy I’m hanging on to for the grandkids to play with someday!  And you know I don’t hang onto much.  :)

Hope that helps give you a few ideas!  I included several more favorite toy ideas in a post I did last year  just before Christmas  – Christmas Gift Ideas – Our Favorite Toys.  That post also includes links to most of the toys so it makes for easy early shopping!  I’m going to put together another similar post for this year with new toys that have been a hit around here.  On to the next question!

I came across your website because I want to start organizing and de-cluttering.  I just love everything about your website and blogging.  I just wanted to ask you how you got started?   I have such a hard time.  I really want to do it, but I’m such a procrastinator or I feel overwhelmed.  After seeing all of your ideas I want to toss everything!  I think about it all day at work what I want to do but the minute I get home I lose all ambition.  Any words of encouragement would be great.

Such a sweet comment (thanks again!) and such a good question.  I didn’t really “get started” with organizing because it’s something that comes naturally to me.  I have been organizing my things and keeping things “just so” since I was four years old.  Probably before that, I just can’t remember.  :)  But there are a lot of things that don’t come easily for me (cooking comes to mind) and I know exactly how you are feeling.  So overwhelmed that it is easier to just do nothing.  My best advice is to make a list.  Walk around your house and write down all of the spots that need to be organized.  If you need to organize everything, just start with one room and write down what needs to be organized within that room.  Be specific.  If you’re tackling the kitchen, write things down like: silverware drawer, under the kitchen sink, etc.  Here is an example of one of my “to organize” lists.

 I always have a “to organize” list going.  Once you have a list in place, pick one spot to work on each night.  Even if it is just for 10-15 minutes.  I live by this motto:  Something is always better than nothing.  Turn on some fun music to get you going (that always helps me!) and then just DO IT.  All it takes is cleaning out ONE thing (a drawer, a cupboard, a closet) and you will be so happy every time you open it.  That will motivate you to want to organize more!  Everyone can commit to 15 minutes each evening.  Start small and before you know it, you’ll be an organizing pro!  

Pinterest is full of great organizing inspiration, but I have to add a caution with that one.  I think sometimes it’s so easy to spend all of your free time looking at blogs, Pinterest, and magazines for inspiration instead of just jumping in and doing the work.  I know I’m guilty of this!   So here is your homework: Read my tips for getting and staying organized and start with #1 – make a list.  The next step is to clean out and organize just one small space on that list.  Then check it off and you are one step closer to an organized home.

Let me know how it goes!

That’s all I have time for tonight friends!  Sorry it is taking me so long to catch up on questions.  I appreciate your patience!  If you’ve asked me a question, I will get around to answering it at some point.

Enjoy your day.  :)

xoxo, Erin
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14 thoughts on “Q and A (Little girl gifts and getting started organizing)

  1. Great tips as always Erin! I love your motto that doing something is always better than doing nothing. That kind of statement is very motivating to someone like me. Also, I was just about to give away our laugh and learn home but I may have to hold onto it too.

  2. Thanks Kristen! My kids loved that laugh and learn home! I think part of the reason I’m hanging on to it is because it holds so many memories for me. :)

  3. Great post!

    Do you have any Christmas ideas for what to get the men in your life? Dads, brothers, etc…

    Girls are SO easy to shop for, I find boys are the hard part!

  4. Great tips on organization:)

    Just a quick question – how long is a good idea when sorting out a room? It’s just I badly need to sort out a bedroom but I get bored easily.

    I often find it better to spend about 3 hrs a day doing things like this, rather than the whole weekend – not that I’d really want to do it on a Sunday tho.

    How do you approach things like this? I suppose also that having all day to work on things like this would be impossible with 3 children!

    I think the list idea is great, I’d never really thought of that before.

    Thanks for a great blog.

  5. Great answer to the 2nd question Erin! I love when people help others go from overwhelmed to organized :) I totally agree…make a list and then just start…somewhere…with whatever time you have available. Over time those little bits add up to a more organized house! Love all the girly toys too :)

  6. Your girls are so adorable and look like they’re having fun! Even with all those toys you seem to stay so organized and keep your house clean. I’m still working on it! :)

  7. Thanks everyone!

    Melissa and Emily – great idea! I agree. Boys (especially husbands!) are so hard to shop for! I’ll put together a post sometime during October with some ideas for kids and men.

    Hi Julie! Three hour organizing projects NEVER happen around here. :) I tend to spend 15-30 minutes max each day organizing something because that’s all I have time for.

    Angela – I’m constantly working on it too! Keeping a clean house with little kids is like brushing your teeth while you’re eating oreos. Near impossible! :)

  8. Hi again Erin,
    Thank you for answering my questions. I’m definitely
    going to follow your advice & just do 15 – 30 mins on these organising projects. I really feel I’ve spent for too long in one day & because of this I get bored & lose enthusiasm.

    By the way, are you & your family doing anything special this weekend with it being conference?

    Do your children watch/listen to conference, if so how do you approach it? Do you have colouring & word games for them? This would obviously be too much for Kole but I just wondered if the girls are into conference yet?

  9. I agree with what you said about Pinterest and other blogs. It can sometimes give you an overwhelming feeling that you need to organise everything right now and all at once. But infact like you, I can be guilty of spending all the time finding the perfect idea and procrastinating about it instead of just doing it. Cassie x

  10. We LOVE Christmas around here! Can’t wait to see all the fun Holiday decor floating around blogger land!

    We only have one little one, but we also love the Fisher Price Laugh and Play house. Kendall probably played with it more than any other toy we had!

    Thanks for all the great ideas Erin!

  11. Just a suggestion of gifts for young boys my son really loved the imaginext toys. They have all the super heros, dinosaurs, pirates so many different themed sets. They are durable as well. My son got the batman set when was about 2 and would play with all the time.

  12. Hi again Julie!

    Our girls are getting old enough to watch *some* of Conference with us. We record it all and watch it in smaller bits of time so the girls don’t lose focus (plus with Kole around it’s hard to really watch anything on TV). :) A lot of times we’ll watch some of it with them and then finish it up at night when the kids are in bed and we can actually listen. :) I have tried “Conference Bingo” with them once and they really enjoyed that.

    Jeanal – Great suggestion! Thank you! I’m going to look into that for sure.

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