Ella from Little Red Caboose made a list of 30 days challenges for 2013. January was "30 days of knit and purl and random crochet too". For me, January was "get some yarn, look at it from a distance and agonize"! However, February's challenge is right up my alley : "deep cleaning 1 corner at the time". Hello "OCD" mom!
Alice's room was the first project I tackled. Fine, Dan will tell you that the room looked pretty much like that even before the 30 days challenge but whatever!
A few suggestions to keep an organized toddler room...actually, I have only one suggestion: Toddlers, like adults, don't need a gazillion things to be happy.
A small quantity of second hand Duplo Lego in a tote bag is perfect for Alice...and Dan.
Alice has a few (about 5) stuffed animals and dolls on display in her bedroom but everything else must fit in the turquoise bin (except that enormous bear in the closet from Dan's mom...we have a derogation). We don't receive that many stuffed animals and dolls anymore (except from Dan's mom, seriously, this is a problem!) so we are now at a perfect equilibrium. If the bin eventually gets too small to accommodate everything we will find a new family for a "less popular" animal or doll.
The toy closet (note: the door is always open during the day and Alice can get herself whatever toy she wants to play with)! As suggested in Simplicity Parenting: "An avalanche of toys invites emotional disconnect and a sense of overwhelm".
Most of Alice's toys are open-ended (ex: blocks, balls, craft material, instruments, cars, etc.). Opens-ended toys allow the child’s imagination to take their play in any ways they want...so you don't need to have many objects to keep them entertain.
Alice also loves puzzles and small board games but we only keep the ones that are age appropriate.
Small objects, like her forest critters, are generally in cotton drawstring bags.
We are sssooo happy to have two closets in her room. Eventually, this closet will be for her clothes. For the moment, her little outfits are in her chest of drawers and her closet is for her two strollers (and her stash of second hand clothes from Value Village for the future...up to 4 year old).
Over the door hooks are awesome. However, I will soon add a few hooks that are easily accessible by Alice (to put her mini backpack for example).
Alice has 3 bookshelves in her bedroom. All her books must be nicely displayed. If it is too difficult to achieved, it is a sign that we have too many books. We just keep our favorite ones available. We make sure that they are in good condition and still interesting for her. We also rotate according to the seasons or stuff like that.
And one last thing: every night, before Alice goes to bed, we clean up everything. It only take 5 minutes...it's true!
Hurray for simplicity!
Next project : our bedroom and our office...where there is actually room for improvement.