Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Two Great Ideas for Organizing your Toddler's Stuff

Project Simplify Hot Spot #3 is up at Simple Mom. This week's challenge is tackling the kid clutter!

This is exciting for me, because I REALLY need to start getting Little Man's room ready for Maverick's impending arrival. I actually started tackling this project on Sunday, before I even knew that this week's Hot Spot would be the kid clutter.

I've been slogging away at it, with good results (got rid of a couple BIG toys and a whole bag of stuffed animals today). I'm going to post everything under a Before & After post, but I thought I'd share two things that work really well for keeping a 2 year-old organized. I wish I had thought of these, but I didn't.

The first really GREAT thing is the photo label:

It just makes sense! Little Man can't read yet, which is why the photo works so well. He is able to identify what is IN the buckets and that helps keep us a lot more organized. I've discovered that when there aren't photo labels, we end up with a HUGE mess on our hands. If he can't read the plain ol' P-Touch label on the side, he opens (and often dumps) many of the bins in search for that with which he wants to play. I can't tell you how horrifying it is to walk into his tiny room and see several overturned buckets.

As I went through and reorganized/purged his toys today, I took photos of the contents of the bins that don't currently have photo labels. I hope to have all his buckets labelled by the weekend.

I also highly recommend the Trofast storage system from Ikea, which is what is pictured above. I really can't say enough good things about it!

The second really GREAT thing is the book sling:
We used to keep Little Man's books on a shelf next to his bed. It was a great location for the first year or so of his life, when I picked all the books we were going to read at bedtime. Then he started wanting to pick, but again, that pesky lack of ability to read reared its ugly head. Since Little Man couldn't read the spines, he couldn't identify the books. He solved this problem by pulling out all the books until he found what he wanted. Fun for him, not for me.

Then my friend Summer clued me into the amazing thing which is the book sling! She posted a photo on Facebook of the one she made for her son and when I inquired as to how she made it, she directed me to the AWESOMENESS that is Penny Carnival and the tutorial for creating the book sling. I was able to crank these two slings out in a matter of an evening. I can't sew or cut a straight line to save my life, so if I can do it, so can you!

The beauty of the book sling is that Little Man can easily identify his books without having to know how to read. Other than the very first time he had access to the books, he has been very good about not pulling out all of his books.

Anywho, those are my two great things. Hope they help you! :) Stay posted for how Little Man's room comes out!


  1. These are great storage ideas! Thanks for stopping by today and commenting on my chalkboard tags! Isn't it kind of addictive to organize once you get started?

  2. Michelle-- It REALLY is. I actually have to admit that Little Man's room is the most organized room in the house, but I think that is because everything has had a place from the get-go. I already have my husband enlisted to cut me circles for my tags! I'll definitely link back to you (and give credit where credit is due) when I get mine up!


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