"We love the I Could've Bin A Container Collection from Land of Nod," say bloggers Kristin and Betsy, The Little Style File, who says homework space for their elementary-aged kids is their biggest organization challenge. "Little spaces hold everything from pencils to glue sticks to sequins, and the memo board is a great spot to show-off their latest masterpiece!"
"The week in between Christmas and New Year's Eve is a great time to get ahead on organizing your life," says Cristin of Simplified Bee. "One way to do this is to write down the goals, projects, and activities you'd like to achieve in the year to come. This exercise will help you prioritize your time and allow you to hit the ground running in January."
"Buy extra organizers before the Christmas season," says Traci of Traci Zeller Designs. "My favorite toy organizer is IKEA's Trofast system -- trust me, there will be a run on these bins immediately after Christmas."
"Make your holiday decorations do double duty," says Melissa of A Place to Nest. "Choose winter colors instead of just red and green or holiday specific decorations. Then you can leave them out for the full winter season. After Christmas is over you only have to store away a few reindeer and Christmas trees and can leave out the reds, the blues, and the snowflakes."
"We get our home organized before the holidays by clearing out old toys, clothes, games, and books that my children no longer use," says Janel of A Mom's Take. "We make a habit of donating to both toy drives and used donation centers to give back and make room for incoming gifts. We get the kids involved by making it a game which keeps it fun."
"As holiday cards arrive be sure to save those with new addresses. Updating mailing lists before the New Year kicks in, is a great way to have your list ready for the following holiday" says Cristin of Simplified Bee.
"While the change of seasons is a natural reminder to weed out your wardrobe, there's no built-in time to review your household linens," says Traci of Traci Zeller Designs. "I chose January, traditionally linens are on sale about that time, but more importantly, I think fresh fluffy linens are a grand way to start a new year!"
"Find a space in your house you have to pass on your way out the door," says blogger Melissa Davis of A Place to Nest, who used some chalkboard paint and hooks to keep her to-do lists organized right in her entryway. "You can use this as a weekly recipe center too. It helps organize your shopping list the weekend before."
Keep princess dresses and firefighter costumes at a small arm's length away by hanging them on a clothes rack, says Jessica, blogger behind Stay at Home-ista. "I put the rack at the lowest level, and hang each item on a child-sized hanger. They also have clips on them for attaching the various extra pieces of an outfit, so everything can hang together. It helps them learn to hang things back up in their own rooms."
"I like to fill a basket with "mom-approved" items and place it on a low shelf in the pantry," says Chris Nease from the blog Celebrations At Home. "This way the kids can get their own healthy snacks when they need to, and since they're all in one place, you know when you're running low and need to re-stock. It gives me peace of mind that the children are eating the foods that I want them to eat because it's 'their' snack basket."
"Traditional toy boxes (think plastic and/or primary colors) can be such an eyesore in a family room. Instead, use unlikely containers like wooden wine or vintage soda crates to store kids' toys," says blogger Piera Jolly of Jolly Mom. "Puzzles, Legos and other small items fit perfectly inside wooden wine crates. It's a great way to keep them hidden in an elegant way."
"Find a large binder to keep your child's favorite work in," Kim Stoegbauer from The TomKat Studio tells us. "I never want to hear the words, 'Mom! You threw away my hard work?' Hole punch and use sheet protectors to store the originals. The end result will be an organized book that you and your child will treasure forever."
For smaller budgets, turn refurbished thrift store finds into alternative storage options. "I found beautiful and well-built dressers, stereo units, and buffets that just needed a little T.L.C. and paint," says Jen of City Farmhouse. "The best part? I never spent more than $25. I sanded, primed, and painted this piece and gave it a new life. It now serves as a play station for my boys. I also used a beautiful, rustic toolbox to hold their favorite reads. Don't be afraid to use items for different purposes!"
Mar from Obviously MARvelos needed a catchall solution for her bedroom that hides anything from books to crayons, yet is sturdy enough for kids to access. "I wanted something that would easily blend in with our décor and it had to have doors so our items would be kept out of sight," she says of her storage unit. "We found our ultimate solution at Home Depot. My husband brilliantly suggested adding a tree decal to tie the cabinet into our earthly bedroom decor -- I was sold!"
"If you have a small coat closet that isn't being used because you live in a warmer climate, you can transform that closet into a more functional space for your family with just a few tools and very little sweat. Turn it into a pantry, a mini office with a built-in desk inside, a school supply closet, or even a bookshelf," says Texas blogger Emily of Décorchick!, who uses her coat closet to house her holiday decorations.
"Not everything has to be hidden or stored away -- especially things you use on a daily basis," says blogger Emily A. Clark of Design. Simplified. "Instead, find ways to display everyday objects in pretty containers. Woven baskets, galvanized buckets, and glass apothecary jars are all great storage options. We use a dough bowl as a stylish and easy-to-reach crayon holder on our kitchen table."
"Hanging a mirrored window with hooks beside a front, side, or back entry is an easy way to create space for items you need on your way in and out of the house," says Sarah of Cozy. Cottage. Cute. who made her own hook mirror from an old window found in her laundry room. "It also helps minimize clutter by keeping items off the floor. Pair the mirror with a bench or some cubbies to instantly create a mini mudroom!"
Copyright © 2013 Meredith Corporation.