Thursday, March 24, 2011

Project: Simplify - Hot Spot #3: Kid's Clutter

This week's hot spot was our kids clothes and toys. Decluttering Morgan and Parker's stuff wasn't a terribly difficult task because after Christmas we went through everything and reorganized it. They were both on the cusp of moving into a new size of clothes and with all of the new toys they got from Santa, we had some major rearranging to do.

So far, all of Parker's old clothes have gone to Kristin for the twins and just last month, I took two big tubs of Morgan's clothing to Once Upon a Child to sell. In the last few weeks, I've also sold all of our big baby items on craigslist - the swing, bouncer and more. It's so nice to have that free space back again.

For the clothing purge, I went though Morgan's drawers and took out some old stuff - leggings that were too tight and shirts that were stained (which I saved for paint projects and messy crafts). I've also been buying spring and summer clothes for both of them and I put Morgan's dresses on hangers and hung them away from her winter dresses because all she wants to do is wear them now. Her closet is huge (it's bigger than ours) and I'm able to store more than just clothes in there. I posted about her room here and will be doing a little redecorating in a few weeks after we get her new bedframe. I folded her spring and summer pajamas, shirts, shorts and leggings and put them on a high shelf in her closet. Lately, Morgan is notorious for taking off her clothes and putting a new outfit on. Or running around naked. Or dressing her stuffed animals and dolls in her clothes. Most days, I try to consider it a step towards independence and not just more laundry I have to do. ;) Parker's clothing is already well organized. I'm constantly pulling out clothes that are getting too small, so right now, everything that is in his drawers is wearable and I keep the clothes I want to give to Kristin in Morgan's closet.

One thing I did set up was an inventory list for Morgan and Parker in Evernote. I noted their current height, weight and size as well as the number of pants, shirts, pajamas, etc they have. Plus, as the seasons change, I left a little space to make notes about what they may specifically need - like white socks, or shirts to match blue pants, etc. With the Evernote app, I can just check my notes on my iPhone when we are out-and-about and avoid buying duplicate items. I love Evernote!
Organizing their toys was a fun project too. On Monday morning, I started dumping out all of the toy baskets and bins and Morgan asked, "Mommy, what are you doing?" She's probably used to watching me pick up the toys, not make a bigger mess. She helped me sort the toys into categories while Parker rummaged through everything:
These were our categories:
  • balls
  • blocks
  • rattles
  • ride-on toys
  • cars
  • music
  • Legos and Lincoln Logs
  • dress-up
  • 'baby entertainment'
  • puzzles
  • stuffed animals
  • small electronics
  • coloring
  • Little People
I really didn't switch much around but it was really nice to take stock in what we have and put some missing pieces back together. I use a lot of Target itso bins and Land of Nod baskets (which fit perfectly in IKEA's Expedit shelving. I also love SkipHop's old Bin-go floor bins. Here are a few progress pics:
And, here is the after (which stayed like this for all of 20 seconds):
And a close-up of the shelves:
I keep all of the battery operated 'baby entertainment' up high so Parker only uses them when I take them down. (I'd prefer he plays with the more open-ended toys, like balls and blocks.) Then, when I do take some down, it's like a little treat, because he LOVES all of the noise, lights and commotion. :)

Woohoo! 3 weeks down, 2 to go! I don't know what I'm going to do with myself when we don't have any weekly hot spots to tackle.


  1. Nice work! I'm interested in looking in Morgan's closet. We have nothing but diapers yet in the boy's closet because we have that dresser, but obviously that will change and I'm looking for organization ideas!

  2. is that all of the toys you guys have? Holy crap, we need to get rid of some of ours...I have about 5 times that many for one child....

  3. Emily, I think this is the majority of their toys. Morgan has some 'quiet time' toys and dolls in her room. We also have a play kitchen, table and chairs and art easel in a room off our living room that didn't need decluttering. It may not look like much, but they each have their favorite toys and are very happy to play with them day after day. :)

  4. Looks great! My least favorite thing to do... declutter toys!