Keeping Things Organized in a Small Space {Guest Post}

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The littlest people in the world have the most stuff! And whether you live in a tiny apartment or a large mansion, having kids leads to serious space issues and storage problems. So how do we keep all of their stuff from taking over the nursery and our homes?

I sought out advice from someone who knows a thing or two about living in small spaces with children. And who better than Peggy from Paul & Paula? She lives with her husband and 2 small children in Amsterdam, a city notorious for it’s small spaces.

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Hello everyone!

This is Peggy from Paul & Paula and I am very excited to be here today.

I am a mother of a 1 year old boy and a 4 year old girl. Together with my husband we live in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Nicole asked me if I could write something about storage and how to keep things tidy.

The first thing I can tell you is that it is nice to have storage boxes or baskets however, the more you have or the bigger they are, they will always be full.

How this happens I have no idea! But the moment you buy a new storage box – it will be full in a matter of seconds.

We live in Amsterdam, a city famous for small houses and even though we are lucky to live in a big apartment I am careful to not let the toys take over.

So how do I keep things organized? Here are my tips for keeping the clutter at bay.

  • Do not tidy up once a day but all the time. We finished with one game; we bring it back to its place. The train set goes back into its box when not being played with and when little brother pulls out all the books from the shelf I put them back as soon as I can.
  • Get the kids to help. Your kids have a “special request” like watching a DVD or having a cookie? Take the opportunity to ask them to tidy up first. Normally that works very well.
  • Go through the toys frequently. We have 2 kids who play with different toys and just recently I got rid of all the baby toys because nobody plays with them anymore. If anything is broken, it’s gone.
  • Limit soft toys. You might not agree with me but soft toys can take a very good amount of space and somehow you end up with tons of them as soon as you have your first child. We did not keep them all. No, we did not. They never get played with. We donate them.
  • Keep small toys in closed containers. I keep things like marbles and Playmobil pieces in extra containers and boxes so I’m sure they do not end up in baby’s mouth and we do not lose them.
  • Everything has it’s place. We do have assigned boxes for baby toys, dressing up gowns, blocks and the like… and the books always go back on the shelf, all craft supplies back into their box. It really helps to have things on hand when needed (especially when your child is demanding something particular at THAT moment) and things don’t break so quick as well.
  • Storage should be accessible to the kids. Make sure these boxes are easy to reach for the children so they can help you keep things organized. If you put them up high you will be the only one to tidy up.
  • Keep shoes in a box. We have a shoe box just for the kids. First thing when we come home, shoes off and in the box. Works really good and even the little one knows where to find his shoes. {we do this too and it REALLY helps}
  • Keep things off of the floor. Behind the kids’ room door we installed hooks to hang coats and backpacks. Everybody knows where to put and find their jacket.
  • Categorize clothing. Kids clothes are arranged by items. And for little things like socks and underwear I use boxes from kids shoes to keep everything in place.
  • Maximize storage. Of course, we have a unit under the bed used for extra bedding and blankets.

Storage solutions we use in our house:

1. INBYN from Ikea. Nice looking storage box that fits perfectly in our living room.

2. LIDAN  from Ikea. Normally designed for bathroom storage but I like the light colour, soft and flexible texture and that you can wash it.

3.Giant LEGO Brick Storage Boxes {Made by LEGO exclusively for STORE}. They’re fun and really encourage the kids to help me pick up. Read more about them here.

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Thank you so much for reading and having me over. I hope you liked my little “tidy with kids” moment.

Happy day everyone!

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About Nicole @ Chic & Cheap Nursery

Nicole is the founder/editor of ChicCheapNursery.com and mom of a 4-year old princess. She has a B.A. in Architecture and a passion for design—nursery design to be precise!
View all articles by Nicole

Comments

  1. We also love storing gear in totes and then hanging them on cute hooks anything to get it off the floor!

  2. Some great advice here! But not limited to people with small spaces to live in.. These are great practical tips for anyone with kids! Now, if someone can come over my place and convince my kid to ‘tidy up’ too??

  3. Great advice! I am always looking for ideas for strorage! Thanks.

  4. Thank you very much for publishing this kind of article. I like your article very much.

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