Hey, we love our kids. The mess and chaos that they leave behind? Not so much. Luckily, there are a few simple ways you can organize your home, even when Hurricane Child blows through the kitchen. Here are some of of our fave ways to stay on top of the mess and retain some semblance of organization – at least most of the time.
1. The Snack Box
We don’t know about you, but we hear the words “I’m hungry!” at least 27 times each day. That’s where the snack box comes in handy. Grab a box for the fridge and one of the pantry, and then fill them with healthy, filling snacks (we love string cheese, granola bars and crackers). It puts the control into your kids’ hands, so no more whining or digging through the cupboards.
2. Elastic Door Hack
Tired of kids slamming their doors (and waking up younger babies and toddlers?) Try this simple hack: Twist a rubber band from one side of the doorknob to the other, crossing over the latch. The band will hold the latch down so doors close more quietly. Naps for everyone!
3. Magnetic Cups
Washing cups all day long is pretty much par for the course when you’re home with thirsty kids. But you can save the effort (and water!) by grabbing some cheap cups and sticking on magnets. Kids now have cups that stick to the fridge so they can use the same one all day long.
4. Play Wallet
Our kids love getting into our wallets, which makes a mess and causes panic when the Visa goes missing. Deter thieving kids by making up their own play wallet: Save up old store loyalty cards or fake credit cards from your junk mail, add a few crayons and a small notepad and you have a few minutes of blissful quiet while your wallet stays safely in your purse.
5. The Boring Box
“I’m bored!” It’s the two words parents dread the most. Get rid of the boredom blues by heading to the dollar store and picking up craft supplies, small toys, games and puzzles. Put them into a box and then add a list of play suggestions. The next time one of your kids utters the ‘B’ word, pull out the box and let ’em go to town.
6. The Sock Bag
Missing, stinky socks: They’re a fact of life for parents ever. Make sure socks find their match by ditching the sock drawer for two sock bags. Use one mesh laundry bag for clean socks and one for dirty. Then, when the dirty bag is full, toss the entire thing in the wash and it becomes the clean bag. So simple and no more sorting!
7. Ice Cube Jewelry Holder
Parents of little girls know that accessories are where it’s at. Of course, accessories are also what’s sucked up by the vacuum cleaner, so keep them organized with an ice cube tray. Girls can arrange and rearrange their rings, earrings and necklaces to their heart’s content.
8. Homework Center
Tired of all the books, papers, permission slips and backpacks all over the place? Create a central place for kids to dump all of their school stuff so you can sort through it as soon as it comes in the house. A filing rack, garbage can and a few hooks are all you need to stay uber-organized during the school year.
9. Sports Storage
If your family is the sports family, you know that getting all of that gear together and out the door can seem like a miracle each time there’s a practice. Stay organized by labeling wire baskets for each child and sport. When you come through the door, the gear gets dumped into the basket, where it can be easily found the next time.
10. Mason Jar Organizers
The bathroom is the one room no one wants to clean: It seems like it’s always disorganized and messy. Get a leg up on the clutter by designating a mason jar for each child. They’re cheap and easy to decorate. Then, you know exactly which child is responsible for the toothpaste left out or the toothbrush on the sink. Hey, we’re all about chore delegation!
Okay, so chances are that if you have kids, your house is going to be disorganized and messy from time to time. But with a few genius solutions, it doesn’t have to drive you completely insane.
Of course, we think that the fingerprints on the fridge and the toys in the bathtub just mean you’re doing a really great job.