Organizing is Not My Thing, So Please Help!!!

bedroom organizing

bedroom organizing

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Organizing is NOT my thing.  I’m excellent at maintaining or tweaking, but starting from scratch is not my cup of tea.

Unfortunately I need to organize my granddaughter’s room at my house.  We’ve painted, furnished and accessorized (mostly) but now I’m paralyzed.

I’ve looked at photos.  I’ve gone through the organizing sections at Wal-mart and Target.  I’ve analyzed.  I just can’t figure out what to do.

Can you help me?

I know from your comments on my posts that there are a lot of great organizers out there and I could sure use your help.  So in case you’re willing, here’s the scoop.

Ivy is 5-1/2 years old.  She stays at my house one or two times a week and has a lot of toys here.  There are already some storage options in the room, including:

  • A dresser with three large drawers & two small drawers.
  • Two nightstands, each with a small drawer and larger drawer.
  • A cedar chest at the end of her bed.
  • Two closets that are empty except for a shelf at the top.
  • Two large drawers under each closet.
  • Four drawers in the window seat between the closets.
  • A four-shelf bookcase with books.  We have another one in the basement that could be used in her room.

Most of the storage is available for her stuff although I’d like to reserve some of it for some of household items like rugs, towels, sheets and cleaning rags.

Ivy’s toys include:

  • Stuffed animals.
  • Books.
  • Doctor kit (in her nightstand)
  • A container of character sets like Daniel Tiger, Olivia, Hello Kitty, etc.
  • Legos (one small box)
  • Duplos (two boxes)
  • Bigger blocks – three containers (she plays with these a lot)
  • Art supplies
  • Skates
  • Puzzles (four or five)
  • Fabric for her dolls.
  • Dolls
  • Doll bed
  • Doll house
  • Doll booster seat
  • Grocery cart
  • Stroller
  • Balls (a couple)
  • Mr. Potato
  • Odds & ends
  • Jewelry
  • Doll clothes
  • Tent & sleeping bag

I went through everything about two months ago and got rid of a lot.  But Ivy loves her stuff and plays with most of it at least some of the time.

I’m willing to buy containers if I need to but I don’t want to spend more than $50.

Please have mercy on this organizationally challenged blogger and help me organize this room!

organizing a bedroom

organizing a bedroom

organizing a bedroom

organizing a bedroom

organizing a bedroom

organizing a bedroom

organizing a bedroom

organizing a bedroom

organizing a bedroom

organizing a bedroom

organizing a bedroom

organizing a bedroom

organizing a bedroom

organizing a bedroom

organizing bedroom

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Born in Kentucky, I am a wife and mom to 1 son and 2 daughters . I have an ink pen obsession, as well as a love for all things planner. I have been married for 10 years to my high school crush. I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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9 thoughts on “Organizing is Not My Thing, So Please Help!!!

  1. It’s only about 6am here in the UK so I’m not at my best yet, but off the top of my head I have a couple of ideas for stuffed animals. If they’re mostly for show and only occasional use, something like this would work http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00073HJG8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00073HJG8&linkCode=as2&tag=househmanage1-20. In my experience it’s kind of a pain to get the stuffed animals in and out, so I wouldn’t recommend that for every day use. There’s some really pretty ideas around if you google “stuffed animal storage net”.

    I suspect all/most of the stuffed animals are for playing with rather than decoration (which was the case in our house at least), in which case I’d suggest something that can hang on the wall near Ivy’s eye level. In the past I’ve used a clothes line and flower pots. http://blog.douglascuddletoy.com/stuffed-animal-storage-four-amazing-solutions/ #2 on that link is the sort of flower pots I’ve used before, but the swing is pretty cute too. I can’t find any links to the clothes line idea, but it’s literally just putting a couple of screw hooks into the wall and stringing the clothes line between them. Then the stuffed animals hang from it with regular clothes pins. Super cheap, easy to set up, and looks pretty cute too. Obviously, make sure Ivy can reach it so she can get things and put them away herself. The downside to a lot of stuffed animal storage solutions is that they’re not practical for kids to maintain on their own. Under the window and/or on the wall where the bookshelf currently is is where I’d put the clothesline and/or flower pots, depending on how many she has and if they’d end up blocking the heat/ac vent. You could also use the hanging baskets that are usually used for flowers if you have any of those lying around. Oh, and my husband’s just reminded me that we put knots at regular intervals all along the clothes line. That way it’s pretty obvious how many stuffed animals will fit on it and helps it not get jam packed when it’s clean up time. One stuffed animal hangs between 2 knots was the idea.

    I’ve known a few people who have used bean bag chairs for stuffed animal storage. Basically you just use the fabric cover and ditch all the insides. Then you stuff the bean bag chair with the stuffed animals. The upside there is that it looks tidy and doubles as a place to sit. The downsides are that it’s pretty wasteful since you just throw out all the “beans” that came with the bean bag chair (which can also make a huge mess if you’re not extremely careful) and that it can be uncomfortable to sit on if you get a plastic eye/nose poking out into the seat area as it were.

    If you guys are up for it, you could turn one of the closets into a doll area. I only have a couple of partially formed ideas for that right now, so I’ll keep thinking about it and get back to you if I do come up with something. Basically I’m thinking that one closet could be dedicated to her dolls and their accessories, I’m just not sure how I’d arrange everything right now. Maybe someone else will be able to expand on that a little. I know when I was a little girl I used to spend a fair bit of time at my grandparents house and my grandpa built all kinds of things for me and the other kids into the closets in the house. One closet became a “secret office” for me, complete with desk, chair, filing cabinet, lamp, shelves, cork board wall, etc. It was “secret” because when you closed the doors it just looked like a normal closet. Another closet became a giant doll house, and another closet was a sort of rain forest thing with wallpaper that had all kinds of tropical plants on it and then a few artificial trees with toy birds perched on the branches and plastic bugs hidden around. I think he even put bark on the floor. I used to think those “secret” areas were the best thing ever when I was little. Of course, that was before computers and internet and all that so maybe kids these days wouldn’t be quite so interested in it lol Anyway, I’m thinking something kind of like that, but less elaborate for Ivy’s dolls in the closet, but I don’t have a lot of ideas yet. I’ll come back later if I think of anything else.

    Also, I totally see what you mean about Ivy’s bed. The bedspread/larger quilt idea is the only other idea I’ve had about that so far. Good luck! 🙂

  2. I’ve just thought of an idea for Ivy’s bed that would probably be easier than finding a new bedspread, and certainly easier than making a new quilt. If you have any suitable fabric you don’t mind using, you could add a little ruffle to the edges of her existing comforter. Then it would cover those extra little bits of sheet that show while allowing you to keep the comforter centered on the bed. You could make the ruffles as long or short as you want, which would allow you to keep the sheet covered without being too close to the floor like a bed skirt would be. I would probably just add it to 3 sides so that she doesn’t have ruffles near her face when she’s sleeping. That would probably annoy me lol

  3. Pegs or hooks directly on the wall or attached to a piece of furniture (like the bookshelf or dresser) would be good for the jewelry, especially necklaces. One of those over the door shoe holders would be good for art supplies.

  4. Have you asked her for her thoughts? At 5 1/2 I’m sure she’d have some good ideas! Otherwise I wonder if you need more clarity about what “organised” means to do you. Does it mean “out of sight”? Does it mean “easily retrievable”? Does it mean “similar items grouped together”?

    If it was me, I’d probably set everything out by category (e.g. all clothes on the bed, all lego/duplo in one pile, all doll stuff in another pile, etc) and look at big a volume/space they each take up, relative to each other. Then I’d look at what’s the smallest storage space I have to house all of those together. For example my son’s clothes all fit into 3 drawers (socks, pants, pyjamas in the top, all shirts & jumpers in the middle, all trousers, tights, shorts including swimming shorts in the bottom). If we need clothes for him we always go to the same part of the room. In the pic above with the 3 white drawers between the wardrobes you’ve got a different category of thing in each drawer (clothes, quilting, cleaning), and then the drawers under the wardrobes have toys. But what if all of her clothes could fit in those 3 dawers? Or if they could all fit in the brown chest of drawers, and that top white drawer could house the puzzles (it’s shallower so in my mind it’s good for storing flat things).

    Good luck!

  5. I would start with the closet and remove the doors. then put up a tension curtain rod and hanging curtains so that she can access the closet easier. I would then add some sort of shelving units to each closet. On the shelves I would put larger toys at the bottom, with clear shoe size containers on the upper shelves – filled with like style toys (that way one container can come out and play at a time. I would turn one night stand into a dress up stand (jewelry and any dress up clothes). The other I would turn into doll clothes and doll accessories. She seems to be lacking a desk….any chance you could get her a small desk and then it could house all of her art supplies? If not, then utilize a drawer or two for art supplies. The trick is to get everything that you can into clear containers with lids grouped by “like” items. If you have room, bring the other bookcase up and put stuffed animals and any dolls into it. If you are not able to get shelving for the closets, then put one bookcase into each closet and organize the shelves as described. Move the books that are currently in the bookcase to the window seat. Books can easily go into plastic tote bins also. Not sure what is in the dresser, but if possible I would move all of your stuff into it and let the drawers in the closet area be just for her clothes and stuff. Check the dollar store for containers and storage ideas. The key for organizing it to see what you have, figure out how to corral it while still keeping it accessible. BTW, if I could I would come to your house and organize the whole thing with you – I love doing this kind of stuff. I would either take the trunk out of the room or use it to store your own stuff….stuffed animals can be displayed on top of it as well.

  6. As GM mentioned, keeping like with like is a great way to organize. Also keeping Ivy’s things at Ivy-level (lower). If it fits, you might be able to use that extra bookcase *inside* one of the closets to create a place to store games, bins of the small toys and maybe baskets of other smaller toys. I’d probably use one of those closets exclusively for kid stuff and use the other one exclusively for the household linens storage. In the “linen” closet, in addition to using some re-purposed bottom shelving, you can also make use of the hanging rod to hang small rugs and folded tablecloths on sturdy hangers.

  7. GM has great ideas. I also like the idea for a small desk for her art supplies. I would keep one of the closets for your things. You could hang fabric from hangars and get one or two small plastic drawer units for other things. You can also hang rugs, and sheets from the hangars. In the center drawers where you have some of her clothes and the other two drawers have your things, I would put her stuff in the bottom drawer so you don’t have to bend over so far to get to your things.

  8. When my son was her age, I set up a shelf for him. I collected enough baskets of different sizes to sit on the shelves. In each basket was one game or collection. For instance, one had blocks, one had modeling clay, one had a collection of stones, one had action figures, one had legos, etc.

    When he wanted to play, he just took down a basket and played on the rug in front of the shelf. If he wanted anything else, like blocks to build something for his action figures, he took that basket down too. As he played, I was in and out of the room (our living room), I just monitored what was still in use and what not. I guided him to put away what he didn’t need so he had more space and less distractions.
    It was helpful to me too in his training for the future. Less is definitely more here.

    There is space in her closet to set up a shelf, but it works best in a family room or where she plays while you do your adult activity and where there’s enough space for grandma to get down on the floor or sit on a nearby chair and play too.

  9. Thank you for all the great suggestions! As soon as I get through jury duty next week and my daughter’s baby shower, I’m going to use some of your suggestions and get that room whipped into shape. I’ll post an update when it’s done.

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