We all know being a mommy is the best job in the world, but also very stressful and busy. From my experience, any help that a mom can get is usually appreciated. So I’ve put together a list of organizing ideas to give mom a break.
I think it’s safe to say every house has that collection of socks with no match in sight. (I always liked the idea of hanging single socks on a board that says “single, looking for a sole-mate”). I actually just used what I had available at the time, and it stuck! For two of my children, I used a small basket inside their dresser drawers to hold all their socks. They are small, flat baskets that I don’t even remember why we bought them, but can be found here on Amazon.
For my oldest child, I used one of his Easter baskets from last year. (You know, the ones that are too cute to get rid of. Same goes with Halloween baskets.) So now, he has a big minion basket in the top of his closet that holds all his socks. Cute and efficient.
Speaking of Easter baskets, another great use for the multiple baskets you probably have in your house is for holding cars. For any moms of boys, you likely have countless toy cars scattered around. Designate one or more baskets to be where the cars belong. When our son gets done playing with his cars, he knows they go in the yellow bucket. From hot wheels to the talking cars to the superhero motorcycles/helicopters, baskets are the perfect place to hold the numerous cars. And while you’re at it, designate a place for the basket itself to go. (Ex: against the window or in the corner)
For moms of girls, same thing applies to the countless ponytail holders, ribbons, hairbrushes, and baby doll accessories! Yes, our toy room has a basket designated for each of these.
Another thing we have accumulated lately is toy food. Where does this all this food come from, anyway? Our kids were very excited to get a play kitchen for Christmas. Since then, I have started keeping all their toy food in all the compartments of the kitchen. The fridge, oven, cabinet, and baskets that came with the kitchen will easily hold all their food, plates, and pans.
To add a little more fun, we found a miniature shopping cart for them to push around and “shop” for their food. My daughter played with one at Grandma’s house and it quickly became her favorite toy there. So when we found one for sale, like this one, of course we got it! The cart can double up as both a toy for shopping and a storage area for the food when the kids are done playing.
If you don’t have a play kitchen, don’t worry! We also had a toy microwave and a toy oven that held their food before we got the kitchen. And if you don’t have those, dollar store baskets or Easter baskets work great, too! Anything that could function as a designated place for the food to go after playing is a great idea.
4. Stuffed Animals
Doesn’t every family have what feels like a dump truck load of stuffed animals? We have a newborn, a 2 year old, and a 4 year old, and 6 year old, so we have all types and sizes of stuffed animals. What is there to do with them? I have found several solutions that work in our house.
One option is under the beds. Especially right now, while our crib mattress is in the highest slot, we can store plenty of animals under the bed. Even better, the big kids can see them and can reach for the ones they want.
Another option I found was a small hanging toy storage for the closet, found at Amazon or Walmart. It has 5 small spaces to hold the lighter animals in each compartment. It’s also made of mesh so the children can see what is in each part. We also have a small storage bin that folds together like a playpen does, which holds many of my son’s animals.
One more choice is a toy hammock. You can find a great one here! This is more for a display than the other choices are. However, it is still another option to hold those animals and get them off the floor. Like I said, we have a LOT of stuffed animals in our house. So many that we needed all of these options scattered around.
Our family has lots and lots of clothes right now that don’t fit any of our kids. Our daughters are 2 years old and 4 months old. So all the hand-me-down clothes that we are keeping that are in between those sizes have to be stored somewhere. The best solution I have found for them is reusing the zipper bag that our bedding sets came in. These bags were originally made to hold a whole comforter, either baby size or adult size, so they have plenty of space inside to hold clothes. They’re also sturdy enough to hold the weight of the clothes as well as having a zipper to protect them from dust.
Right now, I have two of those bags full of clothes not being used. One is for the children’s clothes and the other is for maternity/ out of season clothes. If you don’t have one of those bags hanging around, I suggest one of those huge Tupperware storage boxes. Those boxes could hold just about my whole dresser. The only downside is that they take up a lot more room. So if you’re low on space, you could look into the boxes that fit under the beds. You just pack them full of clothes, slide them under the bed, and you’re done!
FYI, under the bed is a great place for storing anything that fits there. Shoe boxes, or plastic boxes the same size fit great under the beds and are easily within reach of the kids.
6. Baby toys
Most baby toys are small enough for the babies to hold in their tiny hands. So one day, I decided to hang an over-the-door shoe holder on my baby’s bedroom door. Each pocket in it is the right size to hold a rattle or car seat toy. Plus, it keeps all the baby toys in one designated place when you try to look for them.
Those shoe holders could also be used for baby dolls or action figures. Another use would be to hang on the bathroom door to hold all those bottles of baby shampoo or lotion that you likely got at the baby shower.
These few things have helped me so much. When I take on the (way overdue) task of cleaning the playroom by myself, or when I ask my older two children to clean up after playing, I know that everything has its place. And because of that, the whole process goes more smoothly.
We do it one category at a time…
“Put your books on the bookshelf.” “Put your food in the play kitchen.” “Put your guys in the guys bucket.” (Yes, we have a “guys” bucket that holds superheroes, wrestlers, Star Wars characters, and Pokémon characters. And yes, all of these guys have fought against each other, lol!) Etc…
The kids seem much more willing to “clean the whole room” when they do it in small sections and they know that each toy has a specific place. No, this does NOT happen everyday, and my house is not perfect. But when it does, I can breathe and relax knowing that 1) the kids’ rooms are clean, and 2) it happened without anyone yelling or crying. Again, it’s not always this way, but when it is, I sure appreciate it!
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