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September 06, 2011

Organizing with Your Kids: How do you organize all the little things?

The final session of Organizing with Your Kids for 2011 starts today! In celebration of organizing with your kids, I'm doing one more Q + A blog post. Here's today's question:

Questionmark_copyright_simplify101 How do you organize all the little things, such as beads, found rocks and sticks, tiny toy pieces, etc? 


First, recognize how your child uses these small items. I often tell the story of the countless hours I spent when my son was younger separating the tiny stuff in his room into categories that made sense to me…diecast cars in one pile, Lite-Brite pegs in another, bouncy balls in a third, Legos® in a fourth and so on. However, to my son, these items were all the same—they were toy “trash” that he used to play garbage trucks! Sorting into categories that made sense to me didn’t help either one of us. I was frustrated when my efforts evaporated before my eyes; and it didn’t help Collin play and use his things. 


The moral of this story is to start by recognizing how your child uses the items in his room. Then, with this in mind, select a container for them. 


Second, divide items into separate containers or compartments if it helps your child use or enjoy the items. It certainly didn’t make sense to separate Collin’s Legos from his Lite-Brites—and it would have made even less sense to sort the Legos by color or size! A big bin for all of his small toys (a.k.a. garbage) made play time and clean-up easier. 


Once you understand how your child uses the items, match the storage container to the size of the items you are storing. Put large items into a toy box or large storage bins, and store small items in smaller containers such as plastic food storage containers, canvas bins or tackle boxes.



Display treasures and other small keepsakes on shelves. 



Or contain  collections in clear plastic jars or glass jars if your kids are older.



If you'd like more ideas for organizing with your kids and helping them create organized spaces that work for them, join me in the online workshop Organizing with Your Kids. We're just getting started and would love it if you and your kid(s) would join in the fun!  


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Katie Glaser

Oh, I can relate to the "trash" situation! One of my sons does the same thing in his room. I've made nice labels for his toy bins but I am overwhelmed by the little piles. At the end of the day, I end up throwing all the misc collections into his night stand drawer. His piles are a little more random, so I'd have to be really observant or really creative to find a system that works for him. It's good to know I'm not alone. :)


You should look at the organizer bags offered at samanta grace designs (online store for easy order). You can pick the material and can even have them personalized with your childs name.

Can be used for everything from school supplies to food - I could not live without mine! Not only are the great for keeping things organized but theya are so cute!

Supra Footwear

I had always wanted to learn about this topic ... I think it's great the way you expose .. great work and continuing on with this great blog

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