Sharing my best home organization tips for a family home that doesn’t feel cluttered. From closets to drawers, to cords- let’s talk strategies for organizing your home beautifully.
As a busy family of 6- organization in our home needs to work hard for us. And as a naturally ‘messy’ person, I need systems to be easy to maintain and manage. These are my best home organization tips and ideas to help get your home in order, running smoothly and stay that way. From dealing with cord clutter to kids losing puzzle pieces to where I keep cleaning products, this is what works for us. I’m also going to link a ton of DIY projects that are helpful for organizing your home as well as other blog posts that give more information on specifics like kids art paper clutter and closet design!
I recorded this first as a YouTube video last week and after talking for 40 minutes straight (what?!) I realized I have a lot to say on the subject. I’ve edited that video down a bit, but for the sake of making this blog post super clear, concise and easy to navigate- I’m going to edit it down even more here. I’ll link to my other posts with specific systems where it makes sense and I’ll save my decluttering tips for a post of it’s own. Because that really can be a beast of it’s own if you let it!
This post is a long one! If you’d like to jump to a specific section, click one of the links below! Cheers!
- Keep things where they make sense for you
- The easier it is to access, the more likely it will be put away
- Look at your clutter and plan for it
- Craft Room
- Maximize Wall Storage
- Closet Organization Tips
- Electronics and Cord Clutter
- Organizing Paper Clutter and Photos
There’s three main themes to these tips that I keep coming back to- let’s share those first!
Affiliate links used where possible in this post – see all my policies here.
Keep things where makes sense for you- not where they ‘should’ go
We grew up in homes that worked for families with less small appliances, less electronics, and probably less stuff in general. As the things we keep in our home change, so should the way that we use our home storage. Even if it’s something you’ve always done.
If you find clutter on the counters stresses you out, keeping the toaster in a cupboard is a great idea… even if you’ve always kept it on the counter. We put ours away once it’s cooled down on the days we use it (a few days a week) and our kids can manage taking it in and out without issue. The 20 seconds that takes is worth the clear counters for us.
Or if you find your linen closet is crammed but your kids bedroom closet is only using the bottom half? Why not move the sheets for that bedroom onto the top bedroom closet shelf? What else could we use that space for? Winter clothes for that child?
You get to decide what each of your closets, cabinets, and pieces of furniture hold in your home. Why not rethink what you’ve always done?
The easier it is to access, the more likely it will be put away
I would say that this is especially true for kids, but as a recovering mess myself… this is also very true for me. If your Instant Pot is always left on the counter for days (or weeks) after it’s used because it’s such a pain to put away above the fridge, behind the liquor or whatever else… maybe you should rethink where or how you store it. We keep ours under the sink. It’s not the ‘norm’ but it’s a tall appliance that I didn’t want to have to move a shelf in one of my cabinets to allow it to fit and lose all that cabinet storage. Under the sink? I’m not missing much!
Whether that means adding pull out drawers to your cabinets, labels to your kids storage or pegboard to make your craft supplies easy to put away… if it’s easy to access, it’s easier to put away.
Look at your Clutter and plan For It
What is cluttering up your space? Is it stacks of kids artwork? Maybe having an easy system like this will help you stay on top of that. Having a place for that art to go is also helpful! Is it reminders for the dentist and field trips? Maybe a command station with a large family calendar is what you need! I share mine below ;)
Maybe it’s casserole dishes that have been left behind from a family potluck- don’t want to forget to give them back so they’re on the counter… again! Perhaps a shelf in your entry coat closet could be dedicated to ‘give backs’. We started this in our last house, dedicating one of our 6 entryway drawers to ‘givebacks’ and giveaways and it’s stuck- we now have a basket in our entry closet just for that. And anything larger (a bag of baby clothes for example) will go on a hanger in the entry closet. I see these anytime I’m getting my shoes and can grab the bag or item for the person I’m seeing that day.
If it’s game pieces that clutter up your living room table because your kids are always missing a piece when they clean up… well, we made a space for that too. We have a ‘kids drawer’ in our living room console and every time we find a small piece or card to a game, puzzle, or set… it goes in there. When we’re moving the couch to find something and find…. more things? Well, they go in there! Then next time they’re missing a piece, they know where to look and it’s almost always in there.
If it’s your laptop and cord… make a spot for that where you use it. The middle drawer of our console is for me to store my laptop and the left is for Shane to store his things.
Alright, other than those general tips, let’s look at some specific spaces and get some ideas going!
Kitchen Organization Ideas
Before we talk about organizing any of the things in your kitchen… have you ever thought about decluttering your kitchen? How many gadgets have you dragged from house to house that you haven’t used in years? Was this just me? But honestly, the less you have to organize, the easier it will be. If you come across something you can’t remember using or just don’t like when you do use it… pull it out and set it aside to donate. I promise, you will enjoy organizing so much more when it’s things you want to have in your kitchen.
Pull outs and drawers are your friends
If you’re designing or renovating a kitchen, take this and run with it… but even if you’re just looking for ways to increase the functionality of your current kitchen, stay with me.
You can actually add pull outs or interior drawers to most kitchen cabinets. Just measure the size of your cabinet and search at your favourite hardware store. Heck, even Amazon sells them- check it out! Pull outs or drawers allow you to get to the back corner of that bottom cupboard without pulling everything out while on your hands and knees. Even if you can only put them in a couple of your cabinets, those bottom shelves will make such a big difference to the accessibility of things in there.
You can see we have pull outs in our pantry cupboard that allow me to open up my sugar/flour canisters, scoop and put the lid back on without ever moving the canisters. This helps my kids be able to cook/bake with less mess too!
If you have a plug inside one of your cabinets… might I suggest a pull out for some small appliances? We have our coffee maker, coffee grinder and blender on a pull out shelf I DIYed for $8 last year. You can see the full tutorial for that right here. This was an example of rethinking what we’d always done. We only use this coffee maker on mornings my husband works- we get up an hour or two before our kids and our espresso machine that we love (see our whole coffee station with that right here!) is just too noisy. This coffee maker didn’t ‘fit’ anywhere on the countertop without blocking a switch or window and would sit unused the rest of the day (and for 7 days at a time when he was off shift). This pull out shelf allows us to pull out the shelf at nighttime and set the coffee for the morning, then when we wake up, we can pour it out and let it cool down while we go about our morning. When the kids wake up, things have cooled down and we can push it back in with no steam damage to the cupboards and go about our day without it in the way.
Organizing drawers is an easy way to start getting your kitchen feeling organized and under control. There are SO many different drawer organizers, I’m not going to pretend to know the very best (because there 100s!), but here’s what works for us.
For cutlery, we have on that was sized exactly for our drawer by the cabinet company. I didn’t know this was an option, but I think it added less than $20 to our order so if you are planning a remodel, ask about it! Our last home we did IKEA cabinets and IKEA has tons of awesome drawer organizers sized specifically for their drawers.
If you are going. to order a cutlery organizer, make sure to measure your drawer first- but I do love the ones that expand to fit your drawer- like this! So you don’t have a cutlery organizer that fits *good enough* but slides.
For other drawers, I have this organizer (photo above) that I made just using craft wood- you can see how easy it is in this post here. If you’d like to buy instead of DIY, these adjustable drawer organizers I’ve heard such great things about!
I also love dollar store drawer organizers. There are so many great options BUT. You need to know what you want before you go and buy out the store. They have lots of different sizes and options, but knowing what you want to store and how much space you have for it is important. Many dollar store drawer organizers have angled edges. I like the ones that are a bit straighter, but if you are going to use angled ones (like I did in this kitchen miscellaneous drawer), measure the top wider edge, not the bottom. You can see that mine are different colours. That doesn’t bother me, but here’s why! I like to buy one or two of a container or organizer when I spy them, bring them home and make sure they will work for what I had in mind, then go back and buy more. And with the dollar store- sometimes that means being flexible on the colors.
Organize Spices in a Drawer
About 6 years ago, we switched from a spice cupboard to a spice drawer and I’m never going back. Having all your spices lined up and easy to see without digging or spinning or potentially knocking other spices over or out on the counter? It’s a dream. And it’s affordable. These are IKEA spice drawer organizers and dollar store spice containers. They have changed the look of their spice drawer organizers since we got them, but they essentially work the same. 10/10 highly recommend! I also made my own labels for them and you can see this whole spice drawer makeover on my friend Kim’s blog from… you guessed it, 6 years ago ;)
Canisters and Containers for Kitchen Storage
This tip seems to be one that you either love of hate. I love canisters and containers for kitchen pantry storage. But there was a bit of a habit building that went into using them. Canisters for flour, rice, sugar and such are generally accepted as a good idea to keep things fresh. I love my containers here. They’re easy to use for the kids, store airtight, and come apart to pieces for washing. I also love that they’re square or rectangle so there’s no wasted space. Again, pairing these with the pull outs means we never have to lift the canister of flour or sugar out of the cupboard.
Canisters for cereal seem to be a bit less common. The argument against them is that they look beautiful, yes, but you’re just wasting time pouring your cereal into there. I think a lot of this is habit building, now when we come home with cereal, I pour it straight in and put any extra bags on top of boxes at the back of our cabinet. These containers are at the front of the cabinet so they’re easy for the kids to grab what they need and they can pour with these canisters and have waaaaay less spills when they were when we just used the cereal in the box/bag. Even my 4 year old can pour his own cereal. He’s been using these canisters successfully since he was 3. Of course there’s the occasional spill. But honestly, so much less often now that we are using these. For me- that convenience is worth the 2 minutes I spend pouring cereal into the canisters.
But… a couple more benefits? No more having 3 bags of cheerios opened and shoved to the back of the cupboard to get crushed forever. And when a cereal is running out… you’ll see it happening since it’s clear! You won’t pick up a container only to realize it’s way too light and you won’t have the breakfast you wanted.
We have a couple different cereal canisters, but these are our favourite ones.
Baskets where pull outs aren’t possible
There are some cupboards or spaces where pull outs just aren’t possible. We have custom bay window cabinets that are wider at the back than they are at the front to make the most of that space. I didn’t want to lose that extra space, but there was tea boxes and peanut butter sliding to the back of the cabinet as we pulled bigger things out. organizing the smaller things into clear baskets helped us contain this cabinet and make it really easy to find what we are looking for. There’s one for spreads- peanut butter, chocolate spread, cookie butter… perfect for toast days. There’s two for tea and one for hot chocolate. Just keeping like items together makes them easier to find, make your cupboards more organized and it makes it easier to get at things behind them- just pull out the whole basket… not 21 things.
We also use these clear baskets (you could use any basket) to organize our cloths drawer. We keep our tea towels, dish cloths, and cloth napkins in our kitchen so we can restock easily and keep room in our linen closet for board games. Yep! We didn’t use them as much when they were stored on the bookcase downstairs, so we cleared a shelf to keep them up here. The cloth drawer was a mess of linens so these containers are nice and deep (not like a normal drawer organizer) to hold tea towels, dish cloths, napkins and specialty rags (window rags are the best!). I shared this drawer in my organize with me video last year if you’re interested in more organizing!
We use these same bins for birthday candles and sprinkles (a small one), snacks for the kids lunches (makes packing lunches easy and again… I can see when we are running low and in need of a Costco trip) and for my under the sink essentials. Speaking of under the sink…
Storing Small Appliances
We’ve already talked about my love for pull out shelves. You can DIY or buy, but if a pull out for your appliances isn’t for you or if you prefer using them on the counter, here’s some things I consider. My stand mixer I prefer to use on the counter. The kids help and they can sit on the counter and reach easily. On a pull out, we’d have chairs everywhere and for sure mess on the floor instead of the counter. No problem. But stand mixers, coffee makers, instant pots and air fryers… these aren’t that small of small appliances. They take not only space in your cupboards but height. And when you make appropriate height shelves, you lose out on shelves!
One of the storage solutions we’ve decided on as a family is to use under our sink for small appliances like this. We have one small clear basket of dish soap, counter spray, scrub brushes and rubber gloves… then the rest of the space is for ‘tall stuff’. Our paper towel holder is down there too, the Instant pot… I mean, there’s more than enough room and I don’t miss having any of those messy under the sink things that were normally stored down there!
Storing Chemicals with toddlers
Under the sink is typically where families store chemicals. Using a cabinet lock can be a good way to make sure these stay out of reach from toddlers, but we’ve chosen a different option! While we keep the essentials under the sink (dish soap and counter spray), we keep everything else in a cupboard up high. I have a basket that slides perfectly into this cupboard, I can just pull it down and pick out what I need, then slide it back up there. This is where we keep rug cleaner, oven cleaner, window cleaner, extra Magic erasers… all the once in a while cleaners. The plastic basket contains any leaks (although we don’t have any now that they’re not getting knocked over under the sink!) and keeps these safely out of reach from my kids. We’ve used this system for 3+ years and it’s been such a great solution for us.
But wait… what about bathroom cleaners?! Sticking with the tip of keeping things where you use them, I’ve had it suggested to me to keep cleaners in your bathrooms. I’m still a bit nervous about keeping most chemicals where my littlest can reach them. He just turned 4 and spray bottles are still so exciting. We keep lysol wipes in our bathrooms for quick clean ups (little boys- ha!) but I keep a caddy of all the bathroom cleaning supplies at the top of our linen closet. This is in the hallway right outside our main bathroom so easy to grab when it’s time to clean the washroom, up high so I don’t need to worry and out of the kitchen where most of us are struggling to find enough cupboard space.
Also these little caddies are so handy. I got this particular one from KSP but you can find them anywhere. Here’s a comparable one on Amazon and I even picked up one from the dollar store for our car detailing chemicals to keep in the garage. You can grab the whole caddy when it’s time to clean and even keep your rags in one of the compartments.
Craft Room Storage
If you’re one of my regular readers, I know you love crafts, hand lettering or DIY. So chances are you have some supplies to store. This is my first home I’ve had a dedicated craft room, but a lot of these tips will work no matter where you are storing your supplies. If you’d like to see my full basement studio and all the custom storage we built into there- you can see the studio side here and the office side here!
Where we store kids craft supplies
The first thing I wanted to point out is that I don’t keep every craft item in my craft room. We actually dedicate a kitchen cupboard closest to the dining room for a craft cupboard for the kids. It’s kind of a mess right now, but I took a photo for you anyway ;)
We have a shelf for their sketchbooks, we have markers and pencil crayons, a shelf for paper, watercolor paints and small activity books and a shelf for playdoh and kinetic sand. These are all activities that get done at the kitchen table while I’m cooking dinner and having them right there makes clean up easier and faster… so cleanup is more likely to get done!
I do keep other paints in my office. As someone who’s scrubbed acrylic paint out of every rug in our home… I prefer to keep the painting in one place whenever possible.
You can see my full office before/after right here. This room has tons of storage DIYs. From this rolling craft desk where the ends are cupboards (where I keep my paint in one side and fabric in the other end), to this full wall of built in shelving with a barn door, to the under sink cabinet and built in wall to wall desk to the open shelving, dresser turned storage or this pegboard… there’s a lot of places to store things in this space. Which is great because I have a lot of crafty things to store. Instead of pointing out all these again, I want to share some tips for you that anyone can find helpful in their craft room.
Storing sewing supplies
I’m going to repeat it again… keep the things you use every day out… put the rest away. Or in another way, keep things where it makes sense for how you use them. If sewing is your primary craft and you like to do that daily, of course… keep that sewing machine out! But if you’re like me and sewing is just one of the many things you dabble in… you know you can put that away! I keep mine on my open shelf and just pull it down and plug it in when I’m working on a project. If a project is taking a couple days, of course I can leave it down but I don’t need to devote desk space to something that gets used on occasion.
I store my fabric in one end of my rolling desk as well as on my open shelving. I do have one other bin of fabric in storage still so it’s probably time to go through and downsize… fabric is so hard to get rid of! I keep my sewing ‘kit’ or supplies like needles and pins in one of the small drawers in my dresser in here. You could use a basket if you rather, but keeping it all together is helpful. Then thread? That gets a shelf of it’s own, right on display. This is a DIY- you can find the plans and tutorial right here.
For storing Cricut supplies
When I first got my Cricut, I was so excited… but then I realized how much of a pain they can be to set up and store! And then all the materials? Did I mention I keep scraps for projects? Ha! Here’s what I’ve come up with in my office and honestly- it’s a dream.
I built this DIY rolling Cricut Caddy when I made over my office a couple years ago and have been loving it since. It took about 25 minutes to build and is so handy to use. I measured my Cricut and sized the shelf perfectly to roll under my desk when not in use. I added a shelf for all the tools (the little clear containers keep the tools and blade replacements), then added a hook for mats on the bottom. You can find the full tutorial to make your own here. I hang my long mats on the wall right behind this.
Materials I keep in those IKEA Skubb bins on their sides up on my open shelving. This keeps them all together and they’re roughly organized into the type of vinyl. My Cricut EasyPress collection is up here too. I also have a small under desk set of drawers that I use for scrap vinyl (smaller pieces I know I can use again). The last storage is the small shoe box size storage boxes that I have my Cricut Pens and Cricut Joy Materials in, also on the open shelving. They’re the perfect size and also from IKEA.
Maximize Wall Storage
This gets a whole section to itself, because really- wall storage will help with so many things! Just getting something off the floor or out of a drawer will help you gain back a little bit of space, and a little bit goes a long way. In my office, that looks like the thread rack, but also this pegboard.
I love pegboard for storage of awkward items that you use often. It’s utilitarian, but can be dressed up by painting and framing. I did that here in my office as well as with my paint brushes in our storage room. I made a tutorial when I did that- you can find it right here.
But this doesn’t just work awesome for craft rooms… we use this in our garage too with a slat wall organizer. This gets everything from shovels to garden hoses to tools to our kids bikes off of the floor. Floor space in the garage is huge when it’s also your workshop! You can see a whole blog post on slat wall tips right here.
In the house, we’ve used the same strategy to ditch classic guitar stands and hang them on the wall. You can find the DIY tutorial and plans for those right here.
I also built these exercise wall storage shelves for our small exercise room to get all those bands and mats off the floor. You can find plans for those here!
And for essential oils, we built this handy shelf for our bathroom that looks like art but stores all the oils. We actually moved them all to our kitchen drawer because we use them more in the kitchen, but if you don’t have drawer space, I 100% recommend this build! Find the full DIY here.
And last but not least, we use this strategy for kids books! I’m sure you’ve seen book ledges (like in this under stairs space at our last house), but we also use this for kids nightstands where they just want to hold their books they are reading and their waterbottles. you can see that in our shared boys bedroom (great space saving tip!).
But if you’re looking at storing even MORE books… Let me introduce you to books on hooks. It is the perfect storage solution for corners or nooks where there’s not enough room for an actual book case or furniture of any kind. We used this strategy in our old kids bedroom between the door and closet- I know so many kids rooms this would work well for! You can unhook a basket at a time for young kids and then just hang it back up when they’re done! You can cycle the top basket to the bottom every once in a while for kids who can reach the bottom basket or two. Easy. So very easy.
Closet Organization Tips
I love organizing closets. Closets are a space home organization can really shine. We’ve made over all but two of our closets since moving into this home and all of them in our last house. With a family of 6- each of those closets needs to work hard for us. I’ve shared lots of tips in other blog posts, I’ll link those here and then add some more tips for you with some examples of things we do a bit differently to make our closets super useful.
- Small Walk In Closet Tips
- Use a DIY closet system
- Grow with me closet ideas for kids
- Shared kids closet (what we store where for our 3 boys in one room)
- Our Front Entry Closet Organizer
- No entry closet? Check out these DIY shoe drawers
- No mudroom? Check out this mini stair landing mudroom
Pull outs and Drawers VS Baskets in Closets for Kids
The first tip I’m going to re-iterate is using pull outs or drawers wherever possible. They cost a bit more than baskets on shelves, but your kids will have a harder time dumping them out and an easier time cleaning up. We’ve done a mix of drawers and shelves with baskets in our bedroom closets and a mix of shelves with baskets and wire pull outs in our entry closet. The wire baskets are great for breathability if you are putting away things that might be dirty (shoes! backpacks!) or slightly damp (winter jackets!). We have added a third wire basket pull out to our front entry closet since this reveal for kids mittens/hats/snowpants. They’re my favourite feature of that closet.
Add hooks to closets
Another addition you can make to your closets is hooks. I know this isn’t revolutionary…. but it took us a while to do for fear of ‘wrecking’ a beautiful custom closet. We added little nails as hooks to my daughters closet to store her necklaces. We added hooks to our walk in closet to store our hats and we added hooks to the back of closet doors (entry and boys bedroom) to store hoodies/jackets. Hooks are so great for kids that can’t quite figure out hangers. They’re easy to use and something that is easier to use is so much better than something that is ‘right’ but never gets used.
You can also add hooks to bedrooms and take some of the regular use things like hoodies out of the closet and make them easy for kids to hang up quickly. We’ve done this in both our kids bedrooms. If you’d like to see their bedrooms you can see the bedroom our 3 boys share here and the bedroom we designed for my daughter here.
Label Everything for Kids
It may not result in the most beautiful closet, but I promise it will result in the most maintained closet. Kids benefit so greatly from labels. They’re visual. For my kids that read, that means word labels (see my daughters closet!) and this works for desk drawers too! We labelled one drawer for each of our sons that share the desk- I need to add a third label on there now that my toddler is old enough to want his own. This is great for shared bedrooms so they can have their personal goodies in a special place. And by goodies, you know I mean pokemon cards and mcdonalds toys… but whatever works ;) I have a full post on labelling things with. your Cricut right here!
In the boys closet, instead of words- we’ve let them each pick a sticker to stick on their drawer, they each have one level of shelves/drawers to themselves so that’s all the labelling that’s needed.
For kids that aren’t old enough to read… labels still help! Opt for picture labels like we did in this closet makeover. We ironed these labels onto IKEA SKUBB bins and even our little kids could find their own clothes and help put away laundry. You can see that post and video right here.
What to put on the floor of kids closets
One of the tips that’s in most of those blog posts up there is to choose closet organizers that float. That’s a custom closet tip from a closet expert and it’s a great way to save a little money- why pay for a shelf on the floor when the floor is essentially a shelf?!
We keep shoes on our closet floor- the fancy ones we only wear on special occasions. But our kids don’t have those… so what do we keep down there? A stool! Pop a stool under your closet organizer so kids can reach all the items they need to easily. We also keep a basket of socks on the floor and in our boys closet we keep their building blocks. In my daughters closet we keep a basket of stuffed animals. But the stool? That is life changing and will help stop kids from scaling your closet organizer like a jungle gym.
What to keep on the top shelf of kids closets
Since kids can’t reach the top shelves of their closets- this is your opportunity to make the space work for you and your home organization goals! Here’s what we use that space for. When our kids were little, we used that space for extra diapers. Costco buys were essential, and this is where we’d keep the restocks. We also keep bins of clothing that they will grow into, that is seasonal, or that we are handing down from one kid to another. I will often go through the bins at the change of seasons and as I notice my kids outgrowing clothes. Going through these bins regularly and cycling clothes through will keep you from having clothes you forget to bring down and give them… which would totally happen if I left them in the storage room!
I mentioned this above, but we also keep kids sheets in the kids closets. Having them here makes nighttime changes easy and frees up space in our linen closet. Which allows us to use that linen closet for just towels, bathroom cleaners and… board games! See more about how we maximize and organize our boys shared closet (with no dresser!) here.
Electronics and Cord Clutter
More electronics, more cords! Remember when we just had a phone on the wall and a desktop computer in the basement? Simpler days, haha! But really, with all these phones, ipads, laptops, cords, and cords… there needs to be some changes in the way that we store things. Here’s how we manage our electronics.
We have a charging station. In our last house, we made a wall mounted one in our kitchen- you can see a full tutorial for that right here.
In this house, we made a charging box for our small devices. It keeps them tidy and out of the way, but also keeps them out of sight which helps with screen time (something I’ve been personally trying to curb!). You can see a full tutorial for that here. I also have a little charging station on my desk with a desk mounted extension cord. You can see more about that in this post here.
Lastly, we dedicated a drawer to my laptop and cord storage in our living room console. It just wasn’t practical for me to bring my laptop back down to my office every time I was done using it. This is a good landing pad for it and keeps it from cluttering the countertops when it’s not in use. I also store my day timer here.
Organizing Paper Clutter + Photos
Ohhh the paper clutter that comes with kids! I thought I had a handle on things before kids, but now they come home with 10047 papers from school whether it’s completed assignments, optional homework, newsletters, artwork, or fundraisers… my goodness there is a lot of paperwork. Here’s what has been helping us.
Create a Command Center
I’ve seen some beautifully designed kitchen command centres with gorgeous dry erase calendars and a desk area. We don’t have a desk area or a mud room in our main floor. We have a kitchen cupboard though! We dedicated the cupboard closest to our entry door as our ‘command station’. We tape up calendars and have a container of pens and baskets for keys and paperwork. This has worked so well for us to know where the papers will be when kids are needing that permission slip and when we get a note about a special hair day at school, we can scribble it on the calendar and toss it. These calendars are free printables I create every year- you can grab them right here!
How we manage kids art
Kids art is one of the biggest paper categories in our home. Although it’s not a home organization highlight most of the time- having a system for it make such a big difference.. With 4 kids, we get a lot of it every single day. I have a full blog post and video detailing how we manage it RIGHT HERE. Essentially, we ask them if they’d like to keep each piece. If they would, they can display it on their bedroom art shelves (they each have one). We also recently hung a pinboard in their playroom for art.
If it’s not one they want to hang but it’s *special* or if it’s hung for a while and it’s ready to take it down but they still are proud of it… we take a photo of it and post it to their private instagram. They caption it, explaining what the art is about (we do this for the little kids). Grandparents follow this account. Then we have those photos and captions printed into art books for them to look through anytime they want and to show off to family and friends. We love this system. Honestly- I’m a bit behind right now, but I am committed to it as it brings me so much joy to watch them sit and laugh together over their past projects as they look through the book. See more about that here.
Print your family photos
Last but not least, I want to address family photos! I am such a fan and would encourage you to print them as often as possible. But where do you put that stuff? I know! There’s only so many walls and if you find clutter overwhelming like me, you don’t want to cover them all. Here’s what we do.
We have a hallway gallery wall for family photos. We fill our hallway with photos we cherish. It’s all in one place so it’s intentional looking and brings me joy each time I walk down the hallway. All of our frames match (IKEA), but you could do an eclectic look if you like as well. We add to this regularly and switch out photos each time we get new family photos taken. We make sure to include candids too. A lot of these are from our phone and just moments. we want to remember.
We also print photobooks. When I say this, I get one of two reactions. I either get- that’s so much work! I could never! OR I get… Oh yeah we try to as well but I’m so behind or I want to but can’t ever find the time!
I wrote a full blog post about our family yearbook system, but the gist is that we only do ONE book a year. I take all the photos from the year and put them into one folder and then make a year book from that. The one folder goes in Google Drive so I can find old photos easily and I love getting a book for each year so that I get all those little moments snapped with our phones printed too. A double page spread with all the photos from one camping trip? Done! A double page spread of all those cute baby smiles? Heck yes! Just get them printed and start enjoying them. See my full post of tips right here.
I hope that you found these home organization tips helpful! I could honestly talk forever about organization. Which is a good sign that I should make some more posts around specifics. Is there anything in this post that you’d like more information on? Or anything I skipped that you struggle with and would like tips? Let me know in the comments!