Friday, August 06, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday {#7}

I'm taking my cue from my much-more-organized-than-me friend Jennifer, and having an "organization" theme for today's "7 Quick Takes."  (Seriously, go to her blog.  She has such pretty pictures to go with her post!  And her house is so cute.  As in, I've actually been there and know this person in real life, even though I may or may not have met her on the internet first.) 

1.)  This week some sort of organizing-bug hit and I spent yesterday afternoon cleaning out our mess of a bedroom closet and our coat closet.  I got all of Anna's schoolwork she did at the homeschool program she attends, and organized it by subject in a $1, 5 pocket file I picked up at Target.  The day before that I cleaned out what used to be the guestroom, and what will now function as Mary Lu's room, and got my homeschool stuff organized on the bookshelf in our schoolroom.  I also found some over-the-door hooks for the girls' bedroom that now hold bathing suits and a backpack  (for $2.50.  Can you tell I love the dollar section at Target?!)  I am generally too lazy and unmotivated to dig in and organize, but when the fancy strikes, I run with it!

2.)  Now I'm in a dilemna over what to do with kids' shoe storage.  We have a rubbermaid container with drawers in our coat closet, and each child has a drawer for their respective shoes.  The thing is though that this particular container is large, and awkward in that space, and I'm not really a fan.  I'm wondering if it would be better for each child to have their own basket/bin/something-from-the-Target-dollar-section to keep his or her own shoes in, in their bedroom.  Of course THAT leads to the issue of, my kids' rooms are small.  Homes built in 1912, and added onto in the 1970's, don't have big, huge, sprawling bedrooms with lots of space for shoes.  Bedrooms are mostly for sleeping anyhow so I'm really (usually) okay with somewhat cramped quarters.  But the shoes.  Yosef and Biniam have a good-sized closet so I could find space in there.  Anna and Kaitlyn, however, have a shallow closet with not very much room.  They have toy bins under their beds, although I might be able to fit another shoe bin underneath.  How do YOU store your kids' shoes?

3.)  Speaking of under-bed storage, we de-bunked our boys' beds last night and moved their old, rickety dresser that recently fell over on Yosef into the original, un-finished part of our basement.  I can now use that for storage of linens, etc. (YAYYY!!!!) and I've decided to put all of their clothes in shallow bins under their beds (one for shirts, one for pants, etc.).  We've been doing that with PJs for a long time now, and they are able to manage their clothing really well that way.  (They put away their own laundry.)  The dresser however always got too full, and things were just stuffed in there and it fell on top of Yosef...basically they showed themselves a lot more capable of maintaining order with a bin under their bed than with a dresser, so for now, that's what we'll do.

4.)  Our garage STILL needs desperate, desperate attention.  It is a mess.  It looks like a tornado came through and deposited a lot of random stuff all over the place.  We don't park in there (it's detached, and there's no room, because of all of our junk) and we probably won't even when it's cleaned out and organized.  We'd like to use it for storage, but we really need to go through and get everything situated/thrown away/sold on Craigslist.  My main thing is, we have an extra fridge out there that I'd like to plug in and start using.  Kevin doesn't want to do this, but I'm tired of my kitchen fridge being so full of stuff that it's a pain to get to anything.  We buy four (!) gallons of milk at a time, and until two of those gallons are gone, things are pretty tight.  Anytime I have a party and need to chill drinks, it's a nightmare too.  (As if I entertain or throw parties more than about three times a year.  But I can pretend.)  The other day I made a peanut butter chocolate pie that had to be refrigerated, and I was barely able to make room.  SO I really look forward to utilizing that garage refrigerator.  Kevin will come around.  I just know it.  (We have a huge industrial-ish freezer down in our basement that is WONDERFUL.  It was even more wonderful before I accidentally knocked something frozen into the lightbulb and killed the light.)

5.)  One of the hardest things for me to stay on-top-of around here is clothing my kids have outgrown.  We keep it all because we have five children, and Anna's things become Kaitlyn's things which will eventually become Mary's things.  Someday we may have more boys, so we keep Yosef and Biniam's old clothes too.  But it is so hard to maintain order of all this stuff!  We do have some organized bins out in our garage, but I need to do some more sorting and get some more bins.  Darn.  That doesn't sound very fun.  Part of me would LOVE to just donate all the clothes to the ARC, but honestly, this whole hand-me-down thing saves us a lot of money and hassle.  (Well, I suppose I'm trading one hassle for another.)  So I will keep going with it.  Even if it kills me.  And it might.

6.)  I'm also attempting to find a good place to store a large printer/copier/scanner.  This thing is a behemoth.  I'm so glad that we received it free-of-charge from Kevin's aunt, because we really needed one, but where shall I put it?  I'd like to have it actually set up for use, as opposed to just storing it and then having to lug it around when I want to use it.  I'm THINKING maybe I should put it in the guestroom.  Then I can move the laptop in there when I need to print or whatever.  I have an old changing table in that room that it MIGHT actually fit on.  We will see.

7.)  Today I'm hoping to get to Walmart to pick up school supplies and lunch boxes for my soon-to-be-kindergartner-sons!  They're so excited!  I found them backpacks recently but they still need lunchboxes.  (Anna of course still has her backpack and lunchbox from last year.)  Last August when we got school stuff, we made a fun morning of it and then met Kevin for lunch.  Hoping to do the same today, although I still need to make a list of what we need and also, you know, get the five kids fed, ready and out the door.  No small feat.  But if we go out to lunch, I get to have a soda.  So I'm thinking we'll do it!


Samantha said...

Hi Brianna!

Shoes, shoes, shoes............. I finally stopped fighting the shoe battle and bought what we call the "shoe bench." It is a bench with little cubbies underneath large enough for 1 adult pair or several kid pairs of shoes. Our 2 year old's job is to keep them sorted and put away in there. We also have alot of shoes lined up by our back door. Really we just have too many pairs of shoes! I keep church shoes in their closet so that they don't wear them during the week.

I second your need for an extra fridge. We have a freezer and and extra fridge/freezer in the garage. They are so nice to have because I don't like my house fridge stuffed to where I forget about things and can't find anything.

We keep all of our kid clothes too, although with Bennett being 7 already and no boys, I don't know how long I will keep anything but the classics and shoes from now on. I have a small fortune in bins and keep them by gender and size in our storage area. The girls have several bins in their room (smaller size, current size and larger size) so that I can put the clothes that are too small away and take out bigger ones when they are ready and when the seasons change.

Happy organizing!

Young Mom said...

Ugh! The clothing thing is a nightmare! I have 3 girls in 3 years and we have so much girl clothing!! Everytime we finally get everyone in the right sizes, the season changes, and then when we change everything for the right season, someone (or all 3) is ready to switch to the next size. I'm fed up with it too, but like you, I feel it's better to hang onto them then to throw them out.

Shannon- said...

Dearest Brianna,
I kindly ask- that when you are finished with your list of 7- please visit my home and repeat above list in new location. Thank you in advance. Much appreciated and desperately joking... sorta. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I finally gave up and bought two large (deep) baskets to put under the coat racks near our front door. One basket for the girls' shoes, and one for the boys'. Since every time they come in, they kick their shoes off, at least I can say, "In the basket!" And whenever we leave the house, and someone shouts for shoes, I can say (you guessed it), "In the basket!"

Administrator said...

Here's what works for us in regards to shoe storage...I hung one of those over the door shoe organizers on the inside of the door to our coat closet. That holds the casual/play/get dirty type shoes for the whole family (larger boots go on the floor in there or on the top shelf). Also in that closet I have a basket that holds winter hats & gloves for everyone in the family & I put in one of the double hang bars so that the kids can reach their coats down low & our adult coats are up high (I also store snowsuits in that coat closet). The rest of mine & hubby's shoes are kept in our closet (his are on the floor or top shelf, mine are in clear plastic shoe bins stacked on the shelves) In my girls' room I have another one of those over the door shoe organizers on the back of their bedroom door which stores their nicer shoes, tights, socks, undies. My son doesn't have the volume of shoes or tiny things that the girls do, so his nice shoes are simply on the floor in his closet.
I keep a lot of their outgrown clothes too for the same reasons which I store in bins (organized by sex & age). I also frequently take advantage of end of season clearance sales for the next year, so often have a bin for those items too. What I have forced myself to do is go back through those bins on occasion and reduce the volume of clothes because at some point it just get crazy. If things are starting to show wear, then they are out...if I remember something not fitting well, it goes, etc. The reality is that my kids always have more than enough clothes & the larger our family grows the more often the clothes get washed because I have a full load faster which again reduces the need for so much since dirty clothes get washed & back in closets faster. For the clothing that my kids are currently wearing, I hang most of it...I find that it gets used more that way (double hanging allows me to keep things I don't want them wearing on a daily basis up high while their everyday play clothes are easily accessible to even a young child to help facilitate dressing themselves. PJ's, trunks/suits, underwear, etc. get put on open shelves or hanging pockets so they can be seen/accessed easily. Dressers don't typically work as well for kids because of the whole out of sight out of mind thing.

Administrator said...

That last long winded comment was me, Ginger. I'm working on a second public blog & am making it more anonymous. Happy organizing!


Blog Template by