kids

Jen Jones

Organize This: Child’s Bedroom

Even if your child was not born with the fictitious “organizing gene”, there are basic things that can be done to keep a child’s bedroom tidy and easy to maintain.  The key is to implement systems that are simple enough that your child feels confident in using.  It is also important to consider the number of steps any single chore will take.  Here are my top ten favorite tips for maximizing storage in a kid’s bedroom, as well as providing them with systems that they will enjoy and be able to utilize with ease.

 

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1.  Down under:  Add a set of drawers below the bed to hold off-season clothing, extra bed linens and even toys.  This is especially helpful in shared bedroom set-ups, in which floor space is much more limited.

 

 

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2.  Think up:  Not only does it benefit a space to tap into the unused area under a bed, but it is also smart to think up, and make the most of the space above and around the bed.  Shelving and cabinets provide ample storage for books, collectables and hobby supplies.

 

 

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3.  Keep it accessible:  As I mentioned, the golden rule is to keep organizational systems simple for your child.  When determining storage for items you wish for your child to both access and pick-up, consider their height.  Be sure they are able to easily reach shelves, bins, hooks, hangers, etc… Bookshelves and cubbies are ideal for toy storage as they are low to the ground and will grow with your child over the years.

 

 

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4.  A clothing plan:  Mornings are busy and hectic enough.  Avoid morning struggles of determining your child’s daily wardrobe, by utilizing hooks, labels or shoe pockets to lay out clothing in advance.

 

 

5.  Work it:  As children progress through school, they will begin bringing home more and more homework.  To give them an impactful place to study, mix and match tools and accessories to maximize their given workspace; a pin board for school memos and future assignments, a calendar to manage schedules and dates, plenty of surface space to spread out books and write, a clock to keep track of time and storage for accessories such as pens, pencils, paperclips and headphones.

 

 

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6.  Book club: Kids and books go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Especially if your child enjoys reading in bed while trying to fall asleep.  Slim picture ledges or spice racks allow books to not only be stored in a simple fashion, they also double as playful room decor.

 

 

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7.  Take a seat:  Not only do storage ottomans shine within entryways and living rooms, they boast as storage within children’s rooms as well.  Not only do they provide your child (or their friends) with a place to take a seat, they are great for hiding bulky and unsightly items.  Everything from toys to shoes to extra bedding for weekend sleepovers, ottomans are always a winning solution.

 

 

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8.  Little treasures:  My kids are always collecting things.  Marbles, action figures, rocks… and as they get older, those collections evolve into awards and trophies.  Instead of fighting the growing collections, showcase them on decorative shelves or bookcases.  Smaller items should be displayed out of the reach of little fingers and appreciated from afar.

 

 

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9.  Take a stand:  Create a bedside surface for reading lighting, an alarm clock and a place for a nightly glass of water.  If room space is restricted, a dresser or desk make a great stand-in, multi-functional option.

 

 

10.  Label happy:  Labels work wonders in any organizational situation, but they are especially helpful in kid spaces.  Keep the labels easy to understand with single words or simple images.  The labels create a consistency for your child, and after awhile, putting things back in the correct spot will be second nature.

 

 

 

Honeycomb Shelves / Underbed Drawer / Desk / Storage Bin / Memo Board / Nightstand / Basket Labels / Wire Shelves / Storage Ottoman / Bookshelf

 


BHG Guest Blogger

DIY Drawing Table for Kids

 

Hi, Everyone. My name is Danielle Driscoll and I blog over at Finding Silver Pennies. I live in a coastal New England town with my English husband, two little boys and our rescue dog. The blog is dedicated to our life by the sea, redoing our historic home, treasure hunting at the beach & yard sales and fun family ideas. When I’m not running after my little guys then you can be sure I’m down in the basement painting furniture. It was a dream come true to be featured in Better Homes & Gardens. All the more special that my sons, John & Conor, could take part in the fun.

From a very early age I got hooked on Yard Sale-ing and antiquing. Since before I could walk my mom had me by her side looking for treasures. Most weekends you can find us out sale-ing before we hit the beach.

 

We discovered the drawing table I created for my boys at a friend’s yard sale. The table is quite big and super sturdy. I absolutely love the turned legs, and oak paints so nicely because of the grain of the wood. BUT I almost passed on it thinking it was just too big!

 

How could I resist the bargain of a $5 table?!?

 

My sons LOVE to draw and I thought what better way to repurpose an old and unwanted table for years (and I mean years) of enjoyment?!? We completed this table back in September 2012 and it is still going strong and has provided many, many hours of fun for our whole family.

 

I shared the tutorial on my blog here. My oldest son had just started kindergarten and both Conor and I missed him so much. We decided to paint the table together to pass the time.  Here is the before:

I first sanded down the surface because there were scratches, and then I painted the top in Valspar chalkboard paint I had left from another project. I applied three coats with a Purdy XL Glide brush. You can also use a paint roller. The vibrant green is Antibes Green Chalk Paint®, decorative paint by Annie Sloan. I applied two coats of the green and did two coats of clear wax to seal it (no wax on the chalkboard top).

 

As you can see, Conor started young with Chalk Paint®. Here he is painting at the age of 3!

He was so proud of himself, carefully brushing the paint on. He kept saying, “Mommy, John is going to be so proud of me. He’s going to be really surprised.” I guess it goes to show that you’re never too young or too old to breath new life into an old piece.

 

The boys haven’t tired of this table or the other ones I’ve painted for them in Chalk Paint® including a subway sign chest, a decoupaged sailor dresser, a grain sack dresser and a union flag bureau.

I hope you can pop by my blog to say hello and see some of the other painted pieces.

 

I’ve also shared a behind the scenes post of BHG visiting my home. This photo was taken while the crew was setting up and the kids were drawing:

The crew came through a blizzard! The snow was falling and the kids were drawing but you’d never know from the image in the magazine that the weather was so bad. Thank you to BHG for including our fun project in the magazine and on this blog!

 


Jen Jones

Organize This: Toys!

Trend:  Dipped Baskets!

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Of course, these super chic baskets can be used to store just about anything, but I think they would be most darling in a child’s play space.  Whether that is your living room, playroom or bedroom, they are versatile enough to house a variety of toys while your kiddos are young, and transform into beautiful adult storage when they are grown.

What are other functional, fun and smart ways to store all those toys?  Here are a few more ideas.

 

Storage ottomans have to be one of my most favorite simple solutions for toys.  They come in so many colors, shapes and sizes; and they double as seating or a place to prop up your feet.  They can be tucked into corners and under console tables or be placed in front of the sofa.  The best part is that most are soft sided, making them even more kid friendly.  I love that they keep the toy clutter discreetly tucked away, yet toys are simple to access at playtime.

 

A sideboard or a set of cabinets can also be relied upon for tucked away toy storage.   Chic on the outside yet they boast all sorts of storage for games and bulky toys on the inside!  The best part is that they can also be used in just about any room in the home.

 

Bookcases or cubbies keep toys right within reach and keep it simple for youngsters to access the items they adore, and they also provide the versatility of mixing and matching baskets and bins for both concealed and open storage.

 

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Within our own personal playroom, space was awkward and limited so I used some Expedit bookcases to create benches that not only provide oodles of low toy storage, but also double as seating.  Multi-functional solution for the win!

 

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Open bin storage units not only look great, but separate toys by type, are ultra durable and also assist in quick clean-ups.

 

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Sliding bins and crate like bins with wheels tuck nicely under shelving and furniture when not being used, yet are easy peasy to pull out when it’s time to play.

 

Mini suitcases are not only darling room accessories, they also make great storage for all those itty bitty toys and miscellaneous items that kids tend to find and “collect”.

 

Pocket organizers utilize a room’s vertical space and are especially great for housing dolls and their accessories.

 

As much as I adore a good woven basket, canvas bins are a bit more durable and the soft sided edges make them especially ideal for little ones.  They are also lighter weight and come in a large variety of colors, patterns and sizes.

 

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Jen Jones

organize this: kid’s closet!

One of the best things we did for our kids and our family, is get the kid’s closet organized so that it was easy for them to manage and use on a daily basis.  Because they have an organized closet, they are able to help hang their clothes, pick out their clothes, get on their pajamas and easily identify where everything goes.  Here is their closet now:

As simple as the closet seems to be, quite a bit of thought went into getting it just right for our boys.  Here are some of my favorite kid’s closet organizing tips:

  • Labels!  Big bold labels ensure the boys know exactly where to find each clothing type, and where to put it away on laundry day!  The labels in the photo above were added to standard canvas bins with iron on heat transfer.
  • Double hanging allows the closet space to be truly maximized.  Shirts are hung up high, pants down low.  Simple to understand for the kids.

  • Divide and conquer!  Our boy’s closet is divided down the middle by a bookcase turned closet organizer.  Each boy has their own personal side of the closet so clothes are never mixed or confused.
  • Think outside the standard storage box.  The days of wire shelves are numbered.  Often times less expensive, non-traditional closet storage such as bookcases and modular storage cubes, offer more storage capacity, cubbies and customization options.

  • Add a step stool to the closet so that little ones can safely reach their clothing without climbing.
  • Remove the closet door.  We found that the closet door took up half of the space to access the inside of the closet.  It also took up a lot of space within the room when open.  By removing the door, the kids have easy access when selecting and putting away their clothing.  To keep it concealed, a simple curtain takes up much less space than the door.

  • Attach extra hooks within the closet to hold things such as belts, hats and backpacks.
  • If the closet doesn’t come installed with drawers for the itty bits, then adding some through canvas bins or simple kits can dramatically increase the storage capacity.

  • Take a few extra minutes on Sunday to select the clothing for the week.  A little extra time on Sunday will be a huge timer saver on weekday mornings when the kids are getting up and ready for their day.

  • Don’t have a bedroom closet?  Outfit an old armoire with some shelves, baskets and bins to create one!

 

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Style Spotter Editor

Fun Labels To Get You Organized

Hi Everyone, this is Samantha Thorpe from Storage magazine. We are really into using labels to help keep you and your family organized. No matter what area you need to get in order in your house—closet, pantry, bathroom, entry, or kid’s room—labels help everyone know where to return items so the next person can find them. Now, that is easier said then done.

But fun labels are a great reminder that there is “A place for everything and everything in its place,” as Isabella Mary Beeton first wrote in The Book of Household Management in 1861.  So try downloading these labels to get organized today.

Make it easy to find food you have stocked in your pantry with these mix-and-match labels (above left) available at  BHG.com/FoodLabels. You can add your own categories as well!  These free downloadable labels come in a variety of patterns and sizes. They’re easy to customize to describe your containers’ contents.

You can also get your kids organized with labels that make it easy for them to put things away. For kids who can’t read quite yet, use labels with photos to help them put their trains, stuffed animals, and other items in the right place.

-Samantha Thorpe, Storage Magazine