Traveling with kids can be challenging and fun at the same time. With so much energy, and short attention spans, keeping kids content can take work. We have a few suggestions we hope will be helpful – of course, so much depends on the age of the kids traveling, but we hope these suggestions can be of benefit on your next family road trip.
Set Up: In the last blog post, we told you about the Kid’s Basket we set up in the back seat – it holds all the essentials such as a small trash can, Kleenex, paper towels, baby wipes, and hand gel. This is part of the back seat set up, aimed at helping kids be more self sufficient and to keep several sources of entertainment within reach. If their backpacks of “extras” (books, stuffed animals, etc) are kept on the floor near their feet, they are easily accessible. We love these back-of-the-seat hooks and these organizers for hanging headphones, water bottles, stuffed animals, or whatever else they want to have readily available. Finally, if you keep a rimmed plastic tray (like these) for each child to use on their lap, it makes playing games, coloring, or eating much easier!
Binders: Last year we took a two week road trip…. before we left home, we printed off contents for a binder for each child and put it together in a folder. This included a printed map of where we were going, facts about each state we were visiting, and information on each National Park or area of interest we were exploring. This allowed them to get a feel for what we were going to see before we got there (we made this age appropriate for each child). We added games to the folder – license plate game, road trip bingo (this was a favorite), word searches, cross word puzzles, and other games. We only printed a few pages of each, because we didn’t know which would be the “it” game during the trip. Once we could see which game was the favorite, we printed additional pages at hotels as we went along. All these can be found on Pinterest or by googling “Kids Road Trip Games”. The binder also had pockets where the kids kept flyers and information booklets they picked up during the trip.
Journals: Gifting each child a new, small sketch book and colored pencils for a trip allows them a place to document what they experience. They can journal each day, writing about things they did and what they liked, or sketching what they saw. They can also use the sketch books to collect and tape post cards from each place they visit. By allowing kids to use an old camera to take their own pictures, they are able to uniquely document their trip in a personal way. You can add their pictures to the sketch book too. It makes for a fun way to remember the trip!
Books On Tape: This is a family favorite of ours and we highly recommend trying it! Listening to a story keeps everyone entertained for hours, allows everyone to be engaged in the story, and can create fun discussions over dinner or as you explore. Before the trip, load several titles to your audible account (or your reading subscription of choice), or you can find downloadable audio books or books on CD from your local library. The kids can choose a few stories, and then you can throw in a few classics like Charlotte’s Web, James & The Giant Peach, or Old Yeller. When the story is done, you can spend time talking about everyone’s favorite part. Bonding over a good story is always a good thing!
Other Games: We have a small collection of travel games that always come along. Some are for evenings, like jenga or charades, and some are useful in the car, such as peg board, connect four, and Family Time/Which Would You Choose. Family Time is a favorite – you go around and each family member answers the questions (for example: “Describe a perfect day from beginning to end”). The kids love this game and we love hearing their thoughts. The trick with these games is that we keep them for travel only – that way they stay “new” to us. You can find loads of travel games at Target, Walmart, or Amazon.
National Parks: Did you know that all National Parks have a Junior Ranger Program? If you stop at the Visitor’s Center when you arrive, kids will receive a booklet with games and questions to fill out and a list of things to observe as they explore the park. After they’ve completed it, stop by the Visitor’s Center again and they will be sworn in as a Junior Ranger and receive a badge. There are hats and vests you can purchase to pin the badges on and wear while you explore the park. The National and State Parks also have a “Parks Passport” you can purchase. Each ranger station has a date stamp you can stamp in your passport when you visit. In addition, each park has stickers for purchase that you can place in the passport. This is another fun way to commemorate your visit. Lastly, did you know that 4th graders get into the National parks for free? It’s the perfect age to visit!
The last piece of entertainment is an ipad or in-car entertainment system. Movies are definitely a nice thing to have during long car trips.
We hope that these suggestions help with engaging your kids on your next family road trip. Let us know if you try any of these ideas (and if so, how they worked). If you have any additional suggestions that you’d like to share, we’d love to hear! Happy Travels!
Ahhhh, summer! Time for sunscreen, beach towels, and taking to the open road. Family road trips can be full of adventure and exploration - you have flexibility to discover places off the beaten path, you are able to see the landscape change as you drive, and you are able to observe the subtle details of the towns you drive through. Whether it’s a couple of days, or a couple of weeks, a family road trip can be the most memorable part of your summer!
Having several people living out of a small space, however, can make a mess of things quickly. Being organized during a road trip can save time and prevent lots of headaches. Before you pack up the kids and head off, we’ve got a few tips for staying organized on the road.
Packing: Assuming that all family members are old enough, we find it easiest if everyone has their own suitcase. Even young children are able to pull a rolling suitcase in and out of hotels. It’s also helpful if each person has their own backpack of “Extras” (books, stuffed animals, water bottles, etc.). With this set up, it’s easy for each family member to grab their respective bags and get moving.
Collapsible bins: We’ve said this before, but these bins are awesome. They spend all their time in our car, whether we’re at home or not… and they are especially helpful on a road trip. They stay small and stacked when not in use, and can be used for so many different things!
Food: Everyone is different when it comes to food planning. If you like eating out for every meal, you won’t need to plan and organize your space quite as much. We try to pack our own food for breakfasts, snacks, and some lunches, in order to stretch the dining budget and maximize flexibility. We stop at grocery stores as needed along the way, keeping our cooler and a collapsible bin easily accessible from the tailgate. Keeping snacks in a smaller bin in the second row for easy access, along with napkins and baby wipes for messy hands and faces is helpful. Take a little time to make a lunch food bin, supplied with a rolled up table cloth, napkins and baby wipes, a small cutting board and knife, utensils, plates, and non-cooler lunch food (ex: bread, chips, peanut butter, etc.). The lunch bin will have everything you need and is easy to grab when you stop for a picnic at a beautiful spot. Having a second food bin is also helpful, for storing all other non-cooler food that does not go in the lunch bin (ex: dry cereal, extra juice boxes, raisins, bagels, etc.). This keeps the lunch bin lighter and more mobile. If you are not planning on using disposable dishes/utensils, be sure to throw in a small sponge, drying towel, and a small bottle of dish detergent in a baggie in the bin for easy clean up. Thinking ahead for all the little things makes the entire trip easier and more time efficient.
Extra Backpacks: We mentioned “backpack of extras” at the beginning – this allows each child to pick a few items they want to take. These items can include toys, coloring supplies, books, and stuffed animals. It’s really helpful on road trips for each person to also have a second, lightweight, day pack. The day pack can be filled with only the items you would need for that day. For example, if you plan on stopping to get out and explore or take a hike, you might pack a hat, sunglasses, camera, water bottle, notebook, pencil, and travel guide. Each person can choose their own items, but has to carry their own bag!
Laundry: After lots of trial and error, we discovered an on-the-go laundry system that works for us…. We hope this might give you a few ideas! We keep a small drawstring laundry bag in a suitcase to use for dirty clothes each night. Each morning as we load the car, the contents of that small bag are put in a larger drawstring laundry bag kept in the car. We keep a gallon ziplock bag with our “laundry kit” in the bottom of the larger laundry bag. This kit contains several dryer sheets, laundry detergent pods, a stain stick, and a roll of quarters. This saves a lot of hassle (and money) when we get to a hotel laundry room or laundromat. A collapsible bin serves as a laundry basket for carrying clean, folded laundry back to suitcases. This system keeps everything contained, organized, and ready to go when we need to do laundry on the road.
Plastic bin for shoes: If your road trips involve hiking, exploring, and nature type activities, you will inevitably end up with dirty, wet, or muddy shoes. A plastic bin (the under the bed type), stored in the back of the car makes for an easy and contained dumping area for messy shoes. The lid can be put on, and other bins can be stacked on top to save space. The entire bin can easily be taken out of the car and used to clean the shoes, if needed. This saves the floorboards from getting too messy, and protects blankets, stuffed animals, and other items that end up by your feet.
Drying rope: Since exploring frequently involves pools, beaches, rain, or water, it usually means you will be back on the road before clothing items are dry. Tying a small rope across the back of the car (above the packed items), creates a place to drape these items. And speaking of being wet – a second under-the-bed type bin can be kept in the back (stacked neatly under all the other bins) with raincoats, umbrellas, and beach towels.
Kid’s Basket: “mom, do you have a napkin?” “Mom, my hands are sticky.” “Mom, can you throw this away?” “Mom, do you have a Kleenex?” :-) Before each road trip, take time to create a back seat basket, with a box of Kleenex, a roll of paper towels, a pouch of baby wipes, hand sanitizer, and a cereal Tupperware container (the kind with a pour lid that opens) lined with a grocery store bag to use as a garbage can. This allows the kids to be a bit more self-sufficient and gives them easy access to those much needed items.
Road Trippers App: Have you all seen this app? It’s so much fun! You can plan your entire trip on it; routes, stops, hotels… and you can share it with your family so everyone can follow along and participate. It also shows you “things to see” along the way, in case you’re passing by something you didn’t know was there but would be neat to see. It shows you popular places of interest, quick picnic areas, or restaurant and fuel stops. It can help plan for some interesting and fun places to stop – check it out!
Ziplock Baggies: Okay, this may sound a little crazy, but really – baggies are so useful! They come in handy for leftovers, toys, items collected along the way, a dry place to keep your cell phone when it’s raining… you name it! Trust us, ziplock baggies are essential on the road!
We hope these few suggestions are helpful as you set out on your road trips this summer. Stay tuned… our next blog post, ‘Summer Road Trips: Kid’s version’, will have tons of suggestions when traveling with kids. And please, if you have any suggestions that have been helpful for you on road trips, leave us a message. We’d love to hear what works for you!
There are so many great organizing products out there...but we frequently find ourselves using some of the same products over and over because they are so functional! With so many people tackling organizing projects in their homes, we thought it was a good time to share some of our favorites with you again.
These bins are literally some of the most functional bins EVER….we use them everywhere to organize everything! We have used them to organize books/papers, freezer items, sporting goods, food/pantry items, cleaning supplies….just to name a few ideas. These Multi-Purpose bins from the Container Store come in 4 sizes, are durable, and super affordable for any organizing budget!
Drawer Spice Organizers
Spice jars can give even the most organized chef a headache! Who has ever knocked over 4 bottles just to reach the one you really need? Who has accidentally purchased 3 bottles of ground cinnamon because you couldn’t find it in your jumbled mess of spices? One of our favorite ways to organize spice jars is with the use of in-drawer spice jar organizers. If you have the extra drawer space in your kitchen, this is a fabulous way to keep your spices easily accessible and neatly organized. These are 2 of the in-drawer spice organizers we like to use:
Drop-Front Shoe Boxes
We love to have different shoes for all different types of weather and styles, but finding a convenient way to store (while still being able to access them) can prove difficult. For those of us who are not lucky enough to have shoe shelving built into our closets, the drop-front shoe box is an excellent option for organizing shoes. You can stack the shoe boxes vertically to maximize your space, but still get to any pair of shoes easily without having to “dig” through and restack boxes!
If you’ve followed our past blog posts, you have probably read about our LOVE for these collapsible crates. These crates are sturdy and spacious when you need to store/organize a variety of items, and then fold flat when not in use to conserve space. We love to keep them in the back of our cars for groceries, but they can serve a million other purposes!
Bin Clip Labels/Label Holders
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of good labeling! When everything has a proper place (and you and everyone else in your family know where that place is) you will be much more successful at maintaining an organizing system over time. Bin clip labels can add function and style while helping you stay organized! These are a few of our “go-tos”…
We hope this helps you as you organize your home. Let us know if you have any favorite products of your own! Happy Organizing,
Jen and Emily
With August here, many of us are thinking about the school year ahead and what that will look like. Many school districts have already announced decisions and most are offering options for in-person, online, or a combination of the two. Regardless of what the choices are, the 2020-2021 school year will look much different for our kids, and for us as parents. As you prepare for the upcoming school year, we hope to help with our 10 tips for navigating the school year ahead.
Practice. In-Person school for most children will require or encourage additional safety precautions that weren’t in place before: masks and/or face shields being the most significant. Kids will transition easier if they have practiced this ahead of time – not simply tried on a mask/face shield, but really worn it for an extended period. This will help identify an ill-fitting or uncomfortable item ahead of time, and minimize discomfort/fitting issues at school. Talk to your kids about how the teachers and staff will look different with their PPE on to help ease the fear and anxiety of seeing that reality on the first day. Practice and encourage proper hand washing and using hand gel. Discuss the possible spacing guidelines that may be in place, such as colored circles on the floor to mark social distance, one-way halls, or dividers between desks. The more you talk to your child about the possible differences they will experience in school, the less overwhelming it will be when they walk into a school that looks very different from the one they went to last year.
Designate a Space. For those who will be experiencing online school, it can be challenging to create the best possible environment for learning at home. The first step is to designate a space just for school. Keep it separate from the “relaxing” area, such as a bedroom or play room. This way they will have an “in school” area, differentiating it from the rest of the home where they don’t have to be in school mode. Think about the long term impact when choosing the ‘school’ area – you may not want to set it up on a table where you eat meals regularly, since it will be difficult to do both in one space. Think about the possible distractions around your ‘school’ area, and try to minimize those. Find a chair that will be conducive to sitting and learning in (ie: not a bean bag and maybe not a rigid dining chair).
Technology. Think ahead about what type of electronics your child will need. Will they be working on a laptop? A chrome book? An ipad? Make sure the software is up to date and there is enough space to download any school required programs. Investing in a comfortable pair of headphones might be a good idea, especially if you have more than one child who will be participating in online school. Think about a charging station for all the electronics. You may want to purchase an additional surge protector, just for your ‘school’ area, and plug all school related electronics in there for continued use throughout the day.
Dividers. Consider a divider if you have more than one child who will be doing online school at home. If your children tend to distract each other or if they do better with their own space, purchasing a tri-fold display board might be a good idea. They can be used when needed, and folded up and stored when not in use. The child can use the display panels to tape up their schedule and their various online platform login and passwords.
Contain the Clutter. Consider purchasing baskets/bins (or using what you have) to contain school work before it gets out of hand. Designate a bin or basket for finished work, and another for ongoing items. Just like in the classroom, if there is a designated spot for it, then the expectation for tidiness is set. Consider getting several pencil holders for pencils, pens, and markers, and place them in a spot easily accessible to each child. If each child prefers their own, an individual school supply case/box would be ideal.
Plan for breaks. Keeping the ‘school’ area separate from other areas creates separate spaces for being ‘in school’ and ‘out of school’. Carve out time for down time and an outlet for energy. Could you set up some beachballs in the backyard? Maybe purchase a new basketball for the driveway? Map out some new routes for bike rides together? Purchase new art supplies? Look up a few kid friendly recipes for you to create together? Make a list of structured ways to take a break from online learning, and incorporate those with unstructured down time.
Stick to a routine. Before Covid, when the school year started, we all had a weekday morning and evening routine that ensured that kids got to school on time and were rested enough to succeed in school. Talk with your child, and set the same expectation for at home learning. Eating a healthy breakfast, getting dressed, and taking time to set up for the day will help your child do their best academically, whether in-person or on-line. Once you have a schedule for your on-line curriculum, schedule in the fun activities, down time, and meals and set a time for the “end of the school day”. This will help set the tone for the day and the expectation for learning time versus home time.
Plan ahead for meals and snacks. Let’s face it, online learning at home is going to take a lot of work for us as parents. Make it easier for all by stocking up on snacks that are easy for kids to grab on their own. This could be individually packaged snacks or doing some prepping, cutting, and bagging on the weekends. Whatever works for your family, make it easy for yourself (and help create independence) by setting it up ahead of time. Taking some time to think ahead about meals can save a lot of stress later, too. Maybe it would be easiest for your family to pack sack lunches for each child, just like in-person school. When lunch time rolls around, each child grabs their own lunch and heads to the table. Maybe it’s time to look into that insta-pot you’ve been eyeing for a while, and stocking up on easy insta-pot meals. This might be a great time to learn how to meal prep! Many people plan and prepare (slice, chop, measure) an entire week of dinners on the Sunday before. This makes it easy to prepare a healthy meal after a long day of managing online school. The goal is to think ahead about what would work best for your family while minimizing stress and extra work.
Plan social time. If your children will be participating in online learning at home, consider setting up some opportunities for them to socialize. This could mean facetiming friends or playing online video games together. If you know other families who are in your same situation, perhaps you make plans for outdoor play dates together. During this time of covid, we are all making the best decisions we can for our families, and that includes how socially distant we choose to be. Keeping that in mind, brainstorm ideas that allow your child to socialize with friends and peers, while maintaining guidelines that you’re comfortable with.
Give grace. This one is the most important. Give grace to yourself, your kids, your friends, your kid’s teachers…. Let’s all give grace to each other. We all deserve it. We are all navigating a new norm the best we know how. Each family is different – some families have medical issues to consider, some have elderly family members who rely on them, some are struggling with severe anxiety or depression with the current situation. You just don’t know what others are going through. Our teachers are facing a whole new way of teaching and are doing their best to step up and figure it out. Our kids have fears and are not used to learning in this type of environment, whether in-person with new guidelines or on-line at home. As parents, we are trying to plan ahead for a year that has so many unknowns and may change in an instant. So…. Grace. Lots of grace and love and respect and flexibility.
School is fast approaching, and now is a great time to start thinking about what that will look like for your family. Start planning and preparing so you can minimize stress and hopefully ease into this new norm with a plan in place to help things run smoothly.
For those of us who live near the coast, June is more than just the beginning of sun-filled summer days. June also means it is the beginning of hurricane season. While we hope it is never needed, it is important to be organized and ready with hurricane supplies in the event a big storm heads your way.
As hurricane season begins, it is always a good idea to check your emergency kits and restock/replenish as needed (don’t forget to check expiration dates)…or if you don’t have an emergency kit already – now is the time to put one together! By planning ahead, you will save yourself some serious headaches and worry when the time comes. Every emergency kit might look slightly different based on your family’s needs, but we’ve put together a list of some things we always make sure to include in our emergency kits.
Emergency Kit Supplies
With hurricanes, you generally have the benefit of knowing a big storm is likely heading your way. When sheltering at home, these steps can help protect you and your family while you weather the storm and its impact on your area:
In the event you decide to leave town quickly/must evacuate when a big storm is heading your way, it is always a good idea to have a “go-bag” packed ahead of time. When it is time to quickly get out of town, you will be prepared and won’t have to worry about remembering all your necessities during stressful decision making moments.
Items to consider packing in your “Go Bag”
Living near the Gulf of Mexico, our emergency preparedness tends to focus on hurricanes, but these emergency kits/supplies/tips are good to consider for anyone who might find themselves facing an emergency situation.
Remember, as Benjamin Franklin once said, an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure!
Jen and Emily
When I was a kid, I was fascinated with rainbows…I drew them CONSTANTLY. Anytime I was given a piece of paper and a few colored crayons, pencils, or pens…a rainbow would quickly appear. I loved how the colors of the rainbow blended together in perfect harmony. It always gave me such a feeling of happiness…contentment. As an adult, I still love to create the rainbow when organizing. There really is something almost magical about ROYGBIV. For those of you unfamiliar with that acronym, I’m talking about RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE, INDIGO, and VIOLET…the beautiful colors of the rainbow!
You might ask why ROYGIBIV organizing is so great…let me share a few reasons why I love it so much!
The ROYGBIV color pattern still leaves me with the same sense of happiness and contentment that I experienced as a child. Try it out for yourself and see what happens!
Finding what I’m looking for is so much easier when I’m guided by color. It saves time and frustration.
Just about anyone, young and old, can follow this organizing system. If you know your colors, you can maintain this type of system!!
Color coordination is automatic…you don’t have to think twice about where something belongs – just find the matching color.
ROYGBIV organizing can be applied to almost any type of item….books, clothing, files, food, your daily calendar/schedule, office supplies...the list is endless.
It just looks PRETTY! If an organized space can be functional AND pleasing to the eye, you’ve hit a homerun in the organizing world.
The next time you decide to do some organizing, try and create a few rainbows of your own!
Jen and Emily
Fall…with it comes all things pumpkin spice, cooler weather, festivals and parties galore! Halloween kicks the fall season into gear….and then you are often left with an over abundance of candy and Halloween costumes come November 1. Never fear…we have a few simple suggestions on how to keep things under control!
First, let’s talk about ALL. THE. CANDY! It always amazes us that our children come home with their weight in candy after a night of trick or treating. While your sweet tooth might enjoy some of it, your dentist will probably not be happy if you have too much!! So, what do you do????
1 - Separate all of the chocolate from the other types of candy and place in bags to freeze. Throughout the year, you can pull the candy out in smaller serving sizes to enjoy! When separating the chocolate, put all the Hershey bars in the same bag and you will be ready the next time you want to make s’mores!!
2 - Donate to the Troops!!! There are several non-profit organizations that accept candy and then mail it off in care packages. Check out these organizations if you are looking to send some to our troops!
3 - Frequently, local businesses and dentist offices will serve as a collection point for the candy and will mail it in for you. Be sure to check your community for any drop off spots!
4 - Keep a little for yourself! Endulge your sweet tooth and enjoy!
Once you have the candy under control, what do you do with all the costumes and dress up accessories? Don’t worry – we have a few ideas for you!
1 - Sell the costumes. Make a little money from your old costumes by selling them at a local consignment store or on an online resale site. Even though Halloween has come and gone, people are frequently looking for costumes for other reasons.
2 - Create a dress up box for your kids to enjoy throughout the year. It is amazing the creative and imaginative play that takes place when little ones have dress up clothes to play with. Having extra dress up clothes can also come in very handy when special days at school show up on the calendar…now you will be ready for Storybook Parade Day, Alphabet Parade Day, 50’s Day, and more!
3 - Pass on favorite costumes that no longer fit to younger siblings or neighbors/friends so others can enjoy them!
4 - Check with your local church, schools, daycares….they often have dress up areas for the little ones and would gladly accept donations to add to their costume selections.
With these simple ideas, you no longer have to be spooked by all the Halloween excess and can keep on top of your organization!
Jen and Emily
Y’all…we are both ‘pen and paper planner’ kind of girls. Don’t get us wrong, we love our technology and appreciate the many reminders our phones send us on a daily basis, but when it comes to “holding down the fort” kind of control over our daily schedules (for ourselves, for our families, and for our business), we stand by the tried and true paper planner.
With that being said, we have tried out about a billion and one different planners over the years. Some are total duds, some have good qualities, but none of them compare to our current favorite planner….The Simplified Planner (created by Emily Ley).
A few of the reasons we LOVE The Simplified Planner are:
Serious quality paper. No need to worry about your pen bleeding through the paper - this stuff is thick and durable.
Hourly Daily Schedule. Each weekday has an hourly schedule that runs from 6am-9pm (because we all know that life extends way beyond the normal ‘8 to 5’).
Two Different Format Options. Choose from either the Academic Yearly Format that runs August-July (Jen’s preference) or the Traditional Yearly Format that runs from January-December (Emily’s favorite). Pick the format that works best for you and your life!
The Yearly Bucket List. We all have big dreams and even bigger goals. There is something about actually taking the time to write them down that helps your dreams and goals turn into realities.
Extra Designated Space for “To-Dos” and “Notes”. The daily “To-Dos” and “Notes” sections help you stay on top of all your responsibilities and keep you on track.
If you find yourself wanting to try a pen and paper planner for the first time or if you are simply wanting to change your current planner, we think The Simplified Planner is a great one to check out (and no, we aren’t being compensated in any way – we just really love this planner).
Jen & Emily
Ask The Organizer –Part 1
You asked...and we listened! Here are a few of the questions that we have recently been asked:
“If I hire you to help me organize, are you going to make me get rid of all my belongings?”
No, we will never make you get rid of anything you do not want to part with. Our goal is to help you realize what items you use/want to keep and organize them in a way that is most beneficial to you. We also want to educate you on how you can maintain your new organizational system so you are successful in maintaining your space.
“What is the best way to organize kitchen drawers?”Kitchen drawers are notorious for becoming over run with duplicates of various kitchen gadgets….who REALLY needs 6 spatulas? It often helps to organize same size items together and then contain them in a basket/bin within in the drawer. Once your items are organized, you have a better idea of what you have and don’t have (and you can finally open and close your drawer easily). By making sure everything has a specific place, you are less likely to place random items/duplicates in the drawer and can continue to keep the drawer organized over time.
“How do I keep my kids’ playroom organized?”
It is never too early to learn how to be organized and it is a skill that will prove beneficial throughout life. Even the smallest of children can begin to learn how to stay organized – the trick is finding the right system that works for them. Generally, for a children’s playroom, different bins and buckets are ideal for helping your children get and stay organized. For the readers out there, you can label what goes in each bin/bucket. If your children are too young to read, simple pictures of toy cars, play food, dolls, and other toys will help your little ones know how to sort their toys. You can also have a specific color bin/basket for each child for them to keep their “special” toys that are theirs alone. At the end of each day, every toy needs to find their proper “home” so your children will know right where to find them the next day!
“I don’t want people to know how “messy” my house has become. Do you talk about your clients to other people?”
ABSOLUTELY NOT!! We take what we do very seriously and we appreciate each and every person who trusts us to come into their home and allows us to help them. We always keep all work we do confidential.
“I’m overwhelmed and I feel like my entire house needs to be organized. How do I even know where to start?”
We completely understand and are happy to help you with all your needs. We can assess all the areas you would like organized and assist with prioritizing what rooms/areas would benefit you most from being organized first. Whether you are wanting to tackle your entire house at once or gradually organize one room at a time, we are here to help you at your pace.
“I’m embarrassed about how cluttered and disorganized my home is. What will you think of me if you see my home like this?”We are busy, working moms ourselves and we completely understand what it feels like to be overwhelmed….we have all been there and completely understand the variety of feelings that often come along with the clutter and disorganization. We do not want anyone to ever feel embarrassed or ashamed and we approach every project with an open mind and a non-judgmental attitude. Our goal is to offer help and get you to a position where you feel in control of your surroundings once again.
Keep the questions coming! We love to help you in any way we can!
Jen and Emily
A big part of organizing is learning to say ‘good-bye’ to those items we no longer use or want.
“To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that
have outlived their purpose.” -Marie Kondo
So, what do we do with those things we are getting rid of? While some items need to be thrown away, many of our belongings can be given a new life through donation or recycling.
There are a number of different organizations that accept donations. Some organizations will only take certain items, while others will take most anything. Some sites require that you drop off items yourself, while others will send a truck to your home for ‘pick ups’. Take the time to research some of the donation centers in your area to find out what items they will take and who will be benefitting from your donated items.
A few donation sites we like to use include:
When books are no longer needed or used, the library is always a great place to start…. They accept books and magazines, as well as CDs, DVD’s and books on tape. For children’s books, consider donating them to local schools. Books are always needed at schools, both in the library and in the classroom.
Baby, toddler, and young children’s toys are always needed at local church nurseries, daycares, and preschools. It’s easy to call the one nearest you to find out how to donate. Public schools usually have play areas for Kindergarten and 1st grade, and they could use gently used toy and craft items as well.
A few tips/tricks about donations:
For items that cannot be donated, be sure to check and see if they can be recycled before tossing them in the trash. You would be surprised at the number of items that can be recycled these days. Contact your local recycling center to see what specific items they do and do not take.
While we realize it is often difficult to initially part with your items, you will be amazed at the amount of new found freedom and organization you can achieve by decluttering. Through this process, you can also help others by giving new life to your old things!
Jen and Emily