5 Tips to Include Your Kids in Your Time Management Plan

 the organizing mentor
It seems everything in life takes on a whole new dimension when we are parents, doesn’t it?
Does that mean we have to run late? Does it mean life always has to be chaotic?
Does it mean our homes are destined to be a disorganized mess?
No! My children are all grown, however, when kids are little it is very important to include them in your time management plan. Not just for your own sanity but also for the good of your children.
Here are 5 tips to include your kids in your time management plan:
1. Children thrive on a scheduled routine. A routine not a strict schedule, after all flexibility is a necessity with young children (and adults!).
2. Children are usually fast learners. Do not underestimate their ability to learn to manage their own time, they learn fast! Set a timer that will allow them to know when the time is up for tasks that need to be completed in a certain amount of time. This helps everyone at home stay on task.
3. Post a schedule for children who can read to follow. Incorporate your children into your time management plan with a “loose” schedule. Once they learn what to expect, children are generally eager to embrace what needs to be done.
4. Allow them to check off tasks as they are completed or earn stickers. Children are no different than adults in that they love to check off what they complete. Earning a sticker is just icing on the cake, so to speak.
5. Give your children small organizational tasks to accomplish according to their age and ability. A two year old can be instructed to take his clothing and put them in his dresser drawer, while being supervised. He can also be taught to pick up what he takes out of drawers or toy bins. 5 years and above are capable of helping fold clothes and put them away. Find what works with your kids and set up a plan to spend just a few minutes of the day guiding them in simple tasks.
These 5 tips to include your kids in your time management plan will help get you gain ground in your time management, as well as enable you to see some positive strides towards your home becoming more organized.
Feel free to share your own tips of how you include your kids in your time management plan and keep your home organized.

Organizing Baby’s Room

I am always happy to hear from clients who have a particular organizing question. Today’s post is about one such question – how best to organize the baby’s room.

The dilemma:

babys room   babys room closet
We are living in a small house and want to move baby into her own room. Because we lack storage closets, half of the closet in the baby’s room is used for dad’s clothes. While we have the baby’s toys in another area of the house, the room needs to hold all of the baby’s clothes, shoes, jackets, diapering needs and stuffed animals. Working with what we have, what do you recommend?

The Solution for Organizing Baby’s Room:

 1. Sort and Purge

Start by sorting through everything on the floor. Have 3 baskets or bins at the ready- one for garbage, one for donations, and one for things that need to leave the room. As you sort, put the baby’s clothes into categories- wears now, too small, and too big.

 Next, take everything off the dresser and sort and purge again. This is a great place to keep any baby mementos that you don’t want played with (or broken).

 2. Location

This is where the planning comes into play. Based on your photo of the room, I recommend adding an additional shelf to the top of the closet and use it to store the file box and things you rarely access. On the original closet shelf I would put the bulk purchase of diapers and wipes for easy access. Since it appears you have already removed one closet door, remove the left closet door as well.

 Purchase an additional hanging bar to increase your hanging space and put baby’s hanging outfits there. I would use the left side of the closet for baby’s clothes so that dad can still have his clothes on the right side.

 3. Containerize

In the dresser you have four drawers. Starting at the top drawer, here is how to organize the dresser:

 * Socks, tights, leg warmers and bibs

* Onesies, play clothes

* Outfits (folded together)

* Hats, sweaters, mittens

Use a hanging organizer on the back of the door to hold all baby shoes. Put the baby shoes that are still too big in the top pockets.

For the clothes that are too large for baby to wear right now, purchase a plastic tote with a lid. Place clothes in there with the largest sizes at the bottom. Label the outside of the tote. You can also use ribbon to bundle the like sizes together and label each bundle.

Purchase a toy hammock for the stuffed animals. Rotate them out two at a time for the baby to play with.

4. Maintain

As your baby grows, remove clothes that are too small as you notice them. Have a donation bag somewhere in your home at all times. Before shopping for more clothes, check your plastic tote for clothes that can be brought out and worn. Purge the toy hammock regularly or those stuffed animals will quickly outgrow the space!

10 Reasons to Organize Your Closet

Today we are focusing on your clothes closet.  Let’s get going by looking at 10 reasons to organize your closet.

organize your closet

1.) You find yourself wearing the same outfits week after week
2.) You can’t shut your closet door(s)
3.) You can’t move your clothes hangers because it’s packed so tight in there
4.) You can’t find your favorite shirt but you are sure that it’s “in there somewhere”
5.) Your closet rods are sagging
6.) You can’t see the floor of your closet
7.) There’s a layer of dust on the shoulders of some outfits
8.) You can’t find the other shoe
9.) You have clothes now hanging on hooks behind every door
10.) You have clothes piled around your bedroom with nowhere to put them

If you can relate to any of these reasons, read the following articles on my blog and follow me through my closet organization (you’ll get to see the before and after)!

The Basics of Closet Organization

My Closet Transformation, Part 1

My Closet Transformation, Part 2

More Closet Tips



Packing Kids for Summer Camp

I came across this darling picture of my daughter headed to summer camp. What great memories!

Do you have kids going to camp this summer?

Here’s what I did for packing for my kids for camp.

Camp is all about fun for the kids not staying clean or worried about their belongings.

I used Ziploc® bags for their clothes. I would put an entire outfit in one bag – socks, undies, a top and a bottom.

I packed a Ziploc® bag for every day that they were to be gone and put it in their suitcase/or duffel bag. When it was time to get dressed each morning, they would open a new bag and put on whatever it contained.

I also used a bag for their swim suit, towel and sunscreen.

I told my kids that it was okay for the dirty clothes to go back in their suitcase without a bag. That way they knew what was clean and what was dirty.

Bagging their clothes also insured that their outfits matched, I know, only a mother would care about that! 😉

With my son Branden, it was not unusual with him to come home with half of his clothes still bagged! He was so busy having adventures that he would forget about changing clothes!

Oh well, at least the clothes were available!

Kid Closet Ideas

I’m lovin’ Pinterest! When a client needs a special twist on organizing, I head over to Pinterest for ideas. In fact, follow me on Pinterest – I’m always pinning!

Here’s a photo collage of some great kids closet to round out my closet series this month. In trying to give credit where credit is due, click on the links below the photo to get more information.

Love the colors and the simplicity of this closet. The boxes can hold shoes, pjs, toys, you name it!


Getting Your loved Ones Organized

So you are determined to be more organized than ever but you don’t live by yourself… There’s your other half, the kids and maybe even a mother in law in the mix! You may be wondering how to get them organized. The answer … you can’t.  It’s like making someone love brussel sprouts (sorry mom). You cannot make someone be organized, and if you could, they certainly would not be organized the way YOU expect them to be.

Getting organized is a choice and a person must be ready to make that choice. The best way to get loved ones at least interested in getting more organized is by setting a good example. Here are a few simple ways to set a good example:

Set up easy systems for others to manage. For example, a launch area near the door you use to enter and exit their home. Have a place for keys, glasses, and bags in that area.


Label things. For example, label the laundry sorter. Label the kids toy bins.



Ask for help with keeping the common areas organized. Have family members spend 15 minutes before bed daily picking up the family room and putting things where they belong.  You have to ask for help, they aren’t mind readers.

Talk about what you are doing to be better organized. Open the door for communication and this may inspire them to work on an organizing project of their own!











For the Sake of Your Children; Learn to Throw Stuff Away

Amen!  This is a guest post from my friend and Clever Container team leader, Melissa Schmalenberger aka Ms. Simplicity. If you like this article, please tell her so!
So often when I work with client’s they are terrified to throw* anything of their child’s away. I am not sure where this fear comes from, but parents everywhere I give you permission to start to throw your kid’s stuff away. I am talking about gum wrappers, broken bracelets, one earring without a mate, torn books, pieces of half scribbled on paper and toys they no longer play with. I am not telling you to get rid of their prized possessions, simply the junk and clutter in their room that surround them.

Tool Tuesday – A Timer for Everyone

In a forum for Professional Organizers, I saw a post asking about a timer that would help an ADD client. I quickly paid attention to that discussion thread as I often help ADD clients and parents of ADD children.  The tool that was suggested was the Time Timer.
So guess what? It’s today’s Tool Tuesday feature! I’ve done a little research and really think this is worth checking into – even if you don’t have ADD!

Organizing Memorabilia

I was on a mission earlier this summer to reduce the amount of memorabilia that I saved.  That was one of the reasons I put together the questions for memorabilia.  My husband and I have been married for 14 years and in that time we have moved 4 times.  Now I am used to moving, I was a military kid.  But what I noticed during the last move was how many boxes of memorabilia we were toting around.
So I set a goalreduce our memorabilia by 50%.  That may sound a bit harsh to some of you but as the saying goes “to each his own”.  And I love a challenge – they motivate me to succeed! Let me start out by saying that at this point all of our children are adults and all but one is living on their own.
Here are some photos of what I started with.

Cute Ways to Display Our Kids Art

 Found some really darling ways to display the art our little kids bring home. to learn how it’s done, just click the link below the photo. Enjoy!


 Painted frame shapes on a wall

Painted on frames

 Sharing Our Kids Art Space.

Hung a board with clips

a little of this, a little of that: DIY: {Kids} Art Display.

Repurposed a large frame

Large frame

Delightful Order: Child’s Art Board Tutorial.

Scanned the artwork

Get The Look: Children’s Artwork Collages | Apartment Therapy Ohdeedoh.

Hung a wire clothes line

*Random Thoughts of a SUPERMOM!*: Pillow and Art Wall Questions..

Awesome product- window like frames


Have you heard of Pinterest?  You can see the ideas I find there by following my pin boards.