I recently worked with a local family who has been through a LOT this year. Lots of illness has resulted in many, many changes–due to cancer, Mom recently lost her leg. In addition to frequent medical interventions, the family has three amazing children and both parents work full time. And you thought your life was crazy!
Luckily, this is a family of survivors–mellow, joyful survivors. I worked with Mom and their nanny to do a bunch of organizing projects in the house. It was a long day, but worth every minute–I know it sounds crazy, but organizing can be fun!
Below are some of the projects we did–along with my initial suggestions and before and after pictures. Enjoy!
The first picture, the bench with baskets, would be a perfect place to store shoes. The shoe area that you have right now is great, but looks like it gets easily overflowed because of the number of people in your family. By clearing out the toys in these baskets (that the kids probably don’t play with much anyway) each child can have their own basket of shoes, and potentially have a hat and a pair of gloves in there, too. As all the kids are getting to an age where they can become self sufficient, having a clear area for each child’s shoes can help with the routine of getting out the door, which I know can be VERY difficult with three! I would clean this bench of all toys and keep just 2-3 pairs of shoes in each basket, storing out of season stuff in another area (perhaps up top of the closet.
After: Easy enough fix, right? I didn’t even work with them on this one–just made the suggestion, and their nanny was able to do it quickly!
Now the kids know EXACTLY where their shoes go–and there’s enough space to fit them!
The hutch in the kitchen would make a great spot for the kids to store their own dishes or snacks so that they can put them away by themselves. Because kid dishes are generally not breakable, having a bin for cups, a bin for plates and bowls, and a pin for silverware would make it easy for them to unload their things in the dishwasher. Promoting self sufficiency in this set up is key.
The kitchen can also use some general categorizing and organizing to make the most efficient use of space. This shouldn’t be too hard and I think will mostly just be moving things around and getting rid of things that you don’t use.
After: Woohoo! Look how classy the top looks with all the “like” dishes together. The kid dishes are now stowed below so that the kids can get them on their own.
Stacy’s Suggestions: I think that this closet can really be used for anything, it just depends what the most pressing issue is. Is it important to have diapers accessible upstairs? Art supplies? Cleaning supplies? Kitchen appliances? Think about what is the best to have accessible and not go downstairs for, and we can categorize and store it here.
We moved the vases all to one spot on the side.
We used clear drawers to hold other items that aren’t needed as frequently.
We put lesser used items in clear boxes at the top…
We also added a shelf that doubles as a wine rack!
More to come–this was a big day, and we got a lot done!