30 Day Kids Organizing Challenge

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Kids Organization, Summer Organization

girls in the car 70's

Two summers ago I launched a kids 30 day summer organizing challenge.

The idea came to me as was looking at my now 12 year olds “hoarder-ish” room and realized she needed an action plan to get organized.

Like many kids, Logan often struggles with staying on task, so creating a checklist with daily challenges was an effective way to keep her motivated and focused.

Each activity is simple, quick and requires minimal supervision (woo-hoo!). The challenges range from donating 10 stuffed animals, to unloading the dishwasher.

The goal is to teach 3 things:

1. Independence
2. Accountability
3. Responsibility

Although you can apply the list throughout the year, I loved the idea of implementing it during the summer months when my kids had more downtime.

I’ve geared the tasks to school age kids, but anyone can participate; simply substitute any task that does not apply to something more appropriate. (For example, sort the mail, recycle old magazines, etc).

The point is to do something every day.

I’d love to follow your progress, so feel free to comment and share your story. I look forward to hearing from you in 30 days!

You can download the Checklist HERE:

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P.S. If you are struggling with clutter, take a moment to fill out our Clutter Quiz to see how SBO can help!

Happy Organizing!

How to Organize Your Kids’ Closet

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Closet Organizing, Closets, Kids Organization

kids closet

Organizing any space can be overwhelming, but organizing kids’ clothes can be downright daunting. Rapid changes in size and style are enough to drive anyone mad.

One day your daughter loves dresses, the next day she refuses to wear them.  One day your kid is a wearing a size 8 pants, and within in a week they are floods!  Your sister and best friend just cleaned out their kids closet and dropped 3 bags of hand-me-down clothing on your doorstep.With scenarios like this, it’s easy to understand how clothing can quickly get out of control.

Today I’m going to share 5 simple steps to help you navigate through the abyss also known as your kids closet:

1. Be Strategic:  Before you decide to keep something for next season or future kids, ask yourself how often it will likely be worn.  For example: If you know that your older sibling has a different body type or style than the younger sibling, it’s probably best to donate rather than hold onto clothes that more than likely will never be worn again.

 

2. Five-Year Rule:  Hand-me-downs are a great way to save money, however, don’t feel inclined keep everything. If your child won’t grow into the clothes within 5 years, donate it!  By the time they will fit into it fashion styles will changes and let’s face it…who knows if you kid will even like it by then.

 

3. Store Smart: If you’ve ever stumbled across a bag of clothes only to realize that you missed the season, you know how frustrating that can be! Clear storage bins that are labeled with the appropriate size is the most efficient way to ensure you will remember you have clothes on hand when the time comes to use them.

 

4. Donate, Donate, Donate: Anything gently used, that will not be worn by anyone else in the house. It’s important to keep in mind that if you’re not using it, someone else will. There are lots of places that accept gently used children’s clothes including charities, a church/synagogue, or family and friends.

 

5. Walk Down Memory Lane: Remember that dress your daughter wanted to wear to school every day for 6 months? Or the Spiderman costume that your son wore whether he was in the house or not?  These are memories that deserve a place in your home, just not in your closet! Designate a memorabilia bin for each child to store keepsakes that you will want to pass on someday.  Like all bins, they should be clear (to easily identify the contents) and labeled for easy identification.

Happy Organizing!

p.s. SBO Special: We are offering 10% any closet organizing package during the month of May.

CONTACT US for details!

Back to School (Already?!?)

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Kids Organization

colorcodedcubbies

I must confess, I’m somewhat in denial that the school year is quickly approaching.

The start of school means packing lunches, juggling extra circular activities with homework and of course endless papers which = stress!

Regardless of whether your child is going into first grade or off to college, there are some great tools that can help make getting organized easy and fun.

On a recent trip to the Container Store, I picked up 3 products that I’m absolutely lovin’ because they are fun and functional.  Check them out:


1.    Magnetic Glass Dry Erase Board

Easily mounts on a wall where you can write anything from reminders for doctor appointments, practice schedules, or dinner menus.  I recommend giving each child their own dry erase board to manage giving them personal accountability.  ($19.99)


 2.    Charging Station by Quirky 

          

We are all inundated with cords, chargers and devices galore. This sleek charging station comes in a variety of colors, has 4 USB charging ports hidden in the back with ample room to hide cords, keeping your counters clutter free! ($49.99)


 3.    Smart Store Colorwave Tote System

I love this versatile system because it can be used for anything from art supplies to hair accessories (I use it to corral nail polish and manicure supplies).  The locking tote makes it easy to carry around so it’s great for dorms (stick it under the bed), or carry it to the kitchen table when your kids have an art project they need to work on.(Components range from $3.99-$18.99)


September is a great time to regain control of your home after the summer. If you have an area of your life that needs a little more organization, but you’re not sure where to begin just shoot me a note to let me know how I can help.

Until then, enjoy the last few weeks of summer fun! 

Clean Your Room!

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Getting Organized, Kids Organization

“Clean up your room!”

One of the most commonly used phrases heard from parents all over.

If you’ve ever uttered those words, you’ll agree that it’s a losing battle that typically ends up with tears, yelling and mutual frustration.

The problem with the phrase  “clean your room” is that it’s vague and leaves a lot to interpretation:

  • Does clean my room mean get all my stuff off the floor? (ok, then I’ll shove everything under my bed)
  • Does clean my room mean no piles of clothes lying around? (ok, then I’ll just stuff them inside my drawers so you don’t see them)
  • Does clean my room mean I have to throw everything away? (because I don’t want to do that either)

Think about how you feel when you’re staring down the barrel of a cluttered room: overwhelmed, anxious, and frustrated.

Not knowing where to begin can be paralyzing-even for you, so imagine how your kids feel?

We all need a strategy and action plan before we start de-cluttering so we don’t fall into the same bad habits that got us there in the first place.

1. Be Specific: “I need you to pick up your dirty clothes and put them in the hamper,” or “please clear off your desk”.

2. Set A Timer: Allot a specific amount of time to dedicate to a project, otherwise it may seem endless. Knowing that you have 1-hour to work on something makes it manageable.

3. Use Your Organizing ESP: My 3-step method for organizing any space: EMPTY, SORT, PURGE. Following these simple steps will help you stay on task without getting sidetracked.

girls bedroom

I talk a lot about Personal Accountability, and it’s no different for kids. Teaching your children life skills at an early age will help set the foundation for success in school, sports, and eventually adulthood.

As parents we are often too close to the situation to be objective. We get frustrated easily; have trouble communicating calmly, so our message gets lost.

How many times have you asked your child to do something and they ignore  you or fight you on it, only to hear the same message from another adult and have them complete it with ease?

If you’re at the end of your rope, it may be time to call in some reinforcement.

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We hire experts to train our kids in music, sports, and art-why not to learn proper organizing skills?

I’ve developed a 3-session coaching program to help get your kids on track. Each package is customized to your child’s specific needs as we work together to set them on path for long-term success.

Contact us today to find out how to get started. With summer just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to help your kids get simply B organized.

Happy Organizing!

Defining a Homework Hub

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Kids Organization, Paper Clutter, Published Works

This segment originally aired last September, where I introduced the importance of establishing a “Homework Hub” on wfmz. People are always asking me what to do with kids school books, supplies and on-going projects. The first thing I ask is if they have a “homework hub”.

A “Homework Hub” is a designated area where your child stores his/her school supplies so they have everything in a specific space.

For us, it made the most sense to use our breakfast bar in our kitchen as the girls’ hub. There is plenty of room for them to spread out to do their work, they have a designated area to store their supplies and best of all  I am literally 5 feet away. It enabled me to easily prepare dinner, check email, while allowing them ask me questions about their homework or  engage in a conversation about their day.

Most importantly, it created a routine They quickly learned where to go when they came home, and what to do. They had everything they needed within reach so that they could work independently.

What items should you keep in your “Homework Hub”?

Depending on the age(s) of your children the list will vary, however below are some staple items that I recommend having on hand at all times:

  • pencils
  • sharpeners
  • erasers
  • ruler
  • calculator
  • flash drive
  • scissors
  • glue/glue stick
  • compass
  • protractor
  • extra notebooks and loose leaf paper
  • construction paper
  • crayons
  • markers
  • colored pencils
  • any other supplies your child uses on a regular basis  

Note: No two Homework Hubs look alike. You need to factor the needs of your kids, your designated space and your daily habits. The importance is to establish a system that works for your family.

The purpose of the “Homework Hub” is to help foster independence, improve time management and reduce unnecessary stress, anxiety and frustration for both parents and kids.

Happy Organizing!