Organizing Kid Projects

If your kids are anything like mine, they go through stages of what they are really into. Right now my kids are into three things: origami, coloring cards for Christmas, and homework. Well they probably don’t want to be “into” homework but they have to be. So rather than putting all of those supplies back in the office every day, and also to respect my husband’s space as he works in the office, we are making little stations for those activities in the living room, where the kids hang out.

 

I have been a little puzzled as to how to implement this properly over the last few weeks, because each project takes up so much space. Finally I looked at the entertainment cabinet, which is not really full at all, and realized that I could use the space where all of our millions of movies and CDs would be if we had millions. There’s big shelves under there, it’s easily accessible to the kids, and there are doors so the clutter can hide.

 

So this morning I will be rearranging the movies and CDs to make room for my kids’ projects, and hopefully all of us will win in this situation.

 

Call us if you need new eyes to look at your frustrating areas and brainstorm new ideas!

 

Deborah’s Office/Craft Room

Deborah really loves markers, and pens, and fun foam, and craft supplies of all types. Her specialty is teaching small children about the world and helping them to love learning. As we worked with her we could tell she was an awesome teacher. Her heart is with her little ones and providing them with an enriching experience is important to her.

Before: Chaos is the first thing you see.

After: View from doorway: peace

On the other hand, the items Deborah has to store to teach the toddlers were overtaking her office. She was starting to feel like she was drowning in clutter, and she couldn’t find the things she needed quickly so she would have to go buy more.

Does that sound familiar to you?

Before: The piles of boxes hold treasure inside

After: All the office supplies are beautifully organized and ready to go!

We spent a half hour talking about what her goals were for the room. We decided to rearrange the room so that she could have a bit of a storage area for her boxes of supplies without them being visible from the door of her room. This combined with sorting and purging gave her office space a great makeover in just 6 hours. We were proud of Deborah because she was ready to give away items that she knew she wouldn’t need any more, and she was ready to throw away items that wouldn’t be useful to others. We made a lot of progress and her husband was happy to see the new room!

Perhaps now they can play the piano in their new office area.

Before: The piano is almost hidden by clutter.

After: The piano is ready for music!

Time elapsed: six hours

 

Elementary School’s Attic

Today we tackled a school attic that was in dire need of cleaning out. According to fire code there are supposed to be three pathways clear across the room. There were no pathways. Two teachers were hoping to find room to store some of their supplies, and there was no space.

We spent three hours organizing 3/5 of the 80 by 20 foot area (the other 2/5 was already fairly well organized).  We had three teachers in addition to myself, and three custodians hauling off all the trash.

Art/PE Area Before

Art/PE Area After

The end result was so encouraging and fresh looking! We found some items that had been lost in the shuffle that teachers wanted to use. We found a lot of items that were old, broken, or obsolete. We found about 12 boxes of blocks (evidently blocks are out of fashion this year but still valuable). We found very sturdy and well-made carnival games that hadn’t been used in years. And we found some awesome Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wooden cutouts.

Kinder/PreK Area Before

Kinder/PreK Area After

Serene Spaces was very proud of the teachers and principal we worked with. They were all ready and motivated to get rid of all the things that were broken or unnecessary, and they were very happy to have the space organized. We were so thankful for the custodians who helped us carry all the trash to the dumpster.

Trash Pile 2

Trash Pile 1

As you can see from the pictures, we were able to make very large pathways for the fire code, and we will paint the paths so that no one stores things in those areas anymore.

Files Area After

It was a really great day!

 

Roxanne’s Closet

The client:

Roxanne is a librarian at a local school.  Her storage closet is overwhelming her with clutter, and she needs to keep part of the closet clear for access to electrical panels.

The problem:

The closet has large posters that need to be stored properly, costumes languishing in disarray, and a shelf full of cables and headphones.

Before

After

The solution:

We bought a hanging hook for the costumes, a bin for the cables, and labeled and sorted all the boxes.  We helped Roxanne to sort through her items and decide what to give away.  We also found a great way to store all the posters in a system that Roxanne can use in the future to find and put her posters back when she’s finished with them.  In the end we had a fun closet that helped her to feel peace when she entered it.  We also only spent about $15 total.