Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Struggling to get organized? Especially in the kids room!

If you know me, one the biggest challenges that I have in my house is space.  We really don't have large closets or large pantries.  No crawl spaces or basements, we pretty much have a coat closet that holds maybe 10 coats and everyone's shoes, one storage closet and a very very sad pantry.  Well since that is the case, I really need to research and see what others are doing to help organize our house.  Since we have three children, all different ages, it can be tough to keep things in their place.  Here are my organizing tips that I used for my daughters room.

1.  Use your vertical space.  We have a net posted up in the corner of the room that helps hold all of my daughter's stuffed animals.  It keeps them out of the way but if she wants to play with them, we can get them down easily.

2.  Use the "under the bed" space.  Clear plastic containers are your friends.  These long narrow bins are great for board games.  The kids can take them out and put them back as they please.

3.   Chalk board paint on the walls will all your children to express themselves, but will get rid of that big bulky easel in their room.  Sell the easel at the next garage sale or donate it to another child in need!

4.  Bins are great!  Ikea has some really fun colorful storage bin organizers for kids and they hold plenty.

5.  Ziplock bags are not only sandwiches.  I buy the freezer bags in a variety of sizes to try to keep all of the pieces to each toy together.  Freezer bags cost a little more, but are much stronger and will last alot longer.  The zipper bags are great and easy for little fingers to open and close.

6.  You can also use a six shelf organizer which hangs in the closet.  The nice thing about these are that you can plan a weeks worth of outfits and not have to worry about what they need to wear until next week.  Also this allows you time to get rid of any clothing that doesn't fit and get it donated.

 7.  Bookshelfs are a wonderful tool.  Encourage reading by having one shelf dedicated only to books and use baskets to fill the second shelf for sock or underwear.  Always remember to anchor these to the wall so that they don't fall over.  Very Dangerous!

8.  Use a closet doubler!  Since children have smaller clothing, you can really expand our their closets and put all of their clothing hung up.  Amazon has a great one here for only 11 bucks!  You can't beat that. 

9.  A great way to organize all of those bows, hair things and costume jewelery is by hanging a jewelery organizer on the back of the door.  Plenty of pouches with a clear lining will allow your daughter to see all of her fun clips without having to dig around looking for matches.

10.  My last tip is to just constantly purge and donate.  We have so much stuff in our home, that we have a donation bin going at all times.  I also love knowing that I can help others in need as well.

Do you have any tips?  Post em!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hot Wheels® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Temps are cooling off, time to get outside!

After a record year 100 degree plus days, I am super excited that things seem to be finally cooling off.  I tend to keep the kids inside more during those super hot days with the exception of taking them to the pool.  I find it is just too hot here in Houston to take them to the zoo and places like that.  Now that fall is coming (which is my favorite time of year) we can start doing all of the fun things that we had missed out on all summer We are a pretty active family.  We all enjoy football games, fishing, bike riding, playing in the park.  We play games like ladder ball and horseshoes. 

A year or so ago we actually tackled a new game that really we really enjoy.  We are learning how to play Frisbee golf.   This encompasses everything that I love about being out with my family.  Ironically enough there are frisbee courses all over the place.  And just like golf, each course seems to have its own personality complete with obstacles, but since it takes place in the woods, you also have the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty around you.

Another new thing that we tackled this year was camping.  We took all three children to the Sam Houston National Forest and this was a wonderful experience for everyone.  The kids got to fish all of the time, cook out on an open fire, set up camp sites and swim.  Needless to say that I was in desperate need for a washing machine and my own toilet, but well eventhough we all got dirty, I feel that it was a great experience for the children and I believe something that they will remember.

Speaking of dirty,  Clorox 2 is doing a promotion encouraging families to get outside and get dirty.  If you take their "Pledge to Play" you will also be entered into a sweepstakes with some pretty fantastic prizes.  Haven't you always wanted to take the kids to Yosemite National Park?  I can tell you that that vacation is already on our wish list and well if Clorox 2 wants to send us there, I would be nothing but thankful.

Here it the link to the contest:

So I encourage all of you to check out this awesome giveaway and get yourselves outside.  If you have a moment, I would love for you to share with me, what your family's favorite outdoor activities are.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox2® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.