5 Ways to Organize Children’s Toys and Books on a Budget

I remember a time when I was so excited to start my family. The joys of being a parent are something that cannot really be explained in words – it’s something you can’t even fathom until you’re knee deep in it and take time to reflect on how incredible it can be.

With that being said – who actually knew just what a full-time job it could be to keep up with kid’s toys! Have you ever stepped on a Lego? I am pretty sure that pain is the worse than a broken bone.  So, before another season of chaos, wrapping paper, and new toys comes and goes – I am on a mission to organize the toys and books we have and donate the ones we don’t need to Goodwill.

When I first started this mission, I stopped by several retailers around town only to find that storage tubs, shelves, and even fabric totes were off-the-charts expensive! It is, after all, the holiday season and my budget is already tight. I walked out of those stores as fast as I walked in and headed to my local Goodwill store – and if you’re lucky, you have more than one close to you!

In order to do this toy and book organizing on a budget, I knew I was going to have to think outside the box to find untraditional methods and items that could be used for my mission. And of course, I found everything I needed at Goodwill! Be sure to shop the whole store because you might see something that sparks an unconventional idea or way to organize while you’re browsing!

Books – once you figure out how to store them then find the best way to organize them. Alphabetically, by age, by type of book, etc…:

  • Wall storage – this can be anything from a shelf, to a fabric shoe hanger, to a gutter that would traditionally go on the outside of your house. Look around and see if you can find something that would hang and hold the books.
  • Bookshelves – this might seem obvious, but just throwing your books on the shelf is messy. Use bins, tubs, and other things to not only store but organize your books.

Toys – oh the joys of toys!

  • Zipable or otherwise closeable bags are the perfect place to collect and store those (ouch) Legos, matchbox cars, or other small items that need a place.
  • Hangable fabric shoe organizers can be a great way to not only store things but see what you’ve stored to easily grab it out to play with. Think barbies, arts and crafts, and this might even work for the matchbox cars or Legos.
  • Plastic tubs or drawers are always a great tool for organization. You can even get creative if you have little ones by printing off a sticker or tag of some kind to help them remember where each type of toy goes when it’s time to clean up.
  • Magnetic strips on the walls can be a perfectly simple way to store anything that is metal – such as matchbox cars.
  • Laundry baskets, especially tall ones or ones with lids, can be a great way to store those stuffed animals. It may not seem like organization, but when all of those fluffy things are in one place, it will feel great.
  • Hooks and baskets – If you don’t mind putting a small hole in the wall, hanging some hooks that baskets can then hang on is a brilliant way to easily store and organize toys. You can also get the stickable hooks that won’t damage your walls.

What have other creative ideas you come up with for organizing your kids toys on a budget? We’d love to see your unique ideas and Goodwill finds! Share them with us on social media using the hashtag #ShopGoodwill.

P.S. By shopping at your local Goodwill for your organizing mission you’re not only getting a good bargain, you’re also supporting a great cause. Did you know that 87 cents on the dollar of every purchase from a Goodwill goes towards local job training opportunities? You can find your nearest Goodwill store at http://www.goodwill.org/locator/. You never know what treasures you will find there, but you can be confident you’ll be helping your local community!

How to Keep Being Efficient at Home: Workplace Organization

*This is a guest post and this blog did not receive any compensation.*

Modern mothers do housekeeping, bring up children, look after themselves, and even work freelancing. It seems they need to be superheroes to do all these things.

Are you a happy mother, too? Do you want to be close to your child and work at the same time? I have several tips for you!

Today I am going to show you the way how to keep being efficient at home. And it is all about workplace organization.

To be honest, this idea is simple, but most people forget to do it.

So, I recommend you to start with a place. It should be a quiet and comfortable room where you can put a child to sleep and start working. You can paint the walls blue or green, as it will be restful for both of you.

If you have an idea where to organize this working area, let’s discuss the details. Without keeping your desk clean, you won’t be able to work productively. So, please, hide all extra stuff in a locker. You can make shelves for books or notes, just don’t keep it on a table itself.

Mothers need special care about their health, so don’t neglect the possibility to buy a new comfortable chair. It should support a lower back, and don’t forget to work standing to increase productivity and see neck pain relief. By the way, how is your child? Stand up every 20 minutes to check your baby and reduce a risk of diseases.

Do you want to keep being efficient at home? Check this infographic by OmniPapers to read details about home workplace organization.

How else can you combine work, baby-care, and housekeeping? Mommies, share your ideas with us!

OrganizationWorkplace

Helpful Tips for Organizing Household Tasks

Helpful Tips for Organizing Household Tasks

Helpful Tips for Organizing Household Tasks

Cleaning and maintaining a home can be a massive undertaking. Without a plan, it can seem impossible to accomplish all of the necessary tasks while also caring for children and maintaining your sanity. Perhaps your New Year’s resolution was to get organized or maybe you looked around one day and thought, “I can’t do this.” No matter what your reason, we are glad to help you with our tips on organizing your household tasks.

The first thing you need to do is make a list of all the household tasks you do. All of them. Now think of all the tasks you don’t (or rarely) do and write down those too. Then ask your partner in parenting what other tasks you may have forgotten and write all of those down in your list. Your list is going to be massive. It’s going to be daunting. It’s going to seem impossible to accomplish all of those items. The good news is, it’s not as bad as you think. Getting started can seem overwhelming, but bare with me for a minute and you’ll find that you will spend less of your time cleaning each day but your home will look better.

Once you have your list, you are going to determine how often each task needs to be completed. Divide your tasks into categories:

Daily

Weekly

Bi-monthly (twice a month)

Monthly

Quarterly

Yearly

You can also make a “Projects” category for those projects you would like to get done when you have free time.

Now for the fun part: organizing everything so that it doesn’t all have to happen in one day!

You need a blank monthly calendar. Whatever you put in the “Daily” category is going to be done every day. This ensures that no matter what else happens, you will have food to eat and clean dishes to put that food on. 

Take a look at your weekly jobs. Group similar jobs together and pick a day of the week that you are going to do them. If you have a day that is busy because your kids have scouts or basketball or you have a regular lunch date with friends, schedule that day a little lighter so that you are able to realistically complete all your tasks. For things like taking out the trash, consider your garbage pick up schedule. 

Now, look at your bi-monthly jobs and see if there are similar jobs that would pair well with them. For example, I have weekly vacuuming scheduled on Tuesdays so it makes sense to do any bi-monthly vacuuming on those days since I will already have the vacuum out. Put these events on your calendar twice.

Monthly tasks need to go on the calendar only once. Find a good spot for those jobs. For the quarterly and yearly jobs, I reserve one day a month which I don’t schedule anything else. I pick from the list a job that hasn’t been done recently. Make sure to rotate the jobs so that each one gets done. I also have one day a month called “Pick a project!” in which I get to go to my project list and select something to do. I schedule this for the weekend so that I can enlist my husband for some quality kid time and I have time to work on what I want.

Here is a sample calendar with all of the daily, weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, yearly and quarterly tasks. You can see that I have scheduled very few jobs on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so that we have lots of family time together and that I get a break from mopping, dusting, vacuuming, etc.

organizing your household tasks calendar

Organizing household tasks can be time consuming but I found that it is time well spent. Each day I have a clear list of tasks that need to be completed. Once they are done, I don’t have to worry about it. Before having my tasks organized, I felt like there was always something left to do at the end of the day and I was never able to catch up. I have a greater sense of accomplishment now and I actually spend less time attending to household tasks than I did before.

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