How to Organize and Stage Your Home with Kids
Whether you work in your home, outside the home or a combination of both, it can be hard to keep your space clean –especially if you have limited space. Not to mention, you want it to have an adult feel for you while also being kid-friendly and fun for your little ones. So how do you strike a balance? Is it even possible?
I’m here to tell you that a balance is possible, and that there are many benefits to putting in the time now to save yourself and your family stress later. So, let’s start with the end in mind.
What is your goal with organizing your home? Is it to get rid of unnecessary clutter? Be smarter with your available space? Or are you planning to move soon and need to get your home ready to show to potential buyers?
No matter what your organization goals are, you can help make them happen by following these tips.
Benefits of Organizing Your House for Kids
You’re busy. I get it! And if you’re like me, using your limited free time to organize your home isn’t exactly at the top of your list of things to do. Especially when life with kids is already challenging and busy enough. However, if you can carve out time, even just a few minutes a day, you’ll be on your way to living in a more organized and stress-free living environment.
You’ll get out the door faster.
As a mom of a 10-month-old son, I’m all too familiar with how long it can take just to be able to leave the house. But, if everything has a “home” in your house, you’ll never be trying to locate where your keys went or where your daughter’s favorite toy is. This can make packing up and getting out the door much easier.
The less stuff you own, the less you have to clean.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you do a good job of eliminating unnecessary items from your home, you’ll have less things to keep track of and clean. It might be hard to part with some items at first, but you’ll thank yourself later for the time you saved yourself cleaning and maintaining things later.
Being spontaneous is much easier.
What if you could pick up at a moment’s notice and take the kids to that waterpark a few hours away for a night? Sounds impossible, considering it took two months just to organize that play-date you’ve been talking about with your mom friends. But with a clean and organized home, those spur-of-the-moment activities can become a reality.
It brings order to a chaotic life.
No matter what you do, a life with kids will always have some degree of chaos. However, if you take the time and effort to get your home and your children’s belongs organized, you’ll be as close as you can be to balance and order.
Organizing Tips by Room
Getting your kids’ space and yours organized may seem like a daunting task. This is especially true if you’re like me and have a smaller home with limited storage space. But don’t let that discourage you. We’ve broken down some of our best tips by room so you can focus on one thing at a time. Remember, these things take time, and that’s OK!
Before we dig into each of these areas, there are a few things you should keep in mind as you set out on your organization mission.
It’s a mindset.
In order to see long-lasting results from your organization efforts, it’s important to commit to changing your old habits. It’s not a quick fix or one-time effort. It’s an ongoing effort to maintain your newly organized spaces.
Before you attempt to start organizing, you need to figure out what items you can donate or get rid of. There’s no use storing things you won’t use. So, box up those old toys or clothes that don’t fit anymore, and start making room for the things that you actually need.
Involve your kids
This is a team effort! If you want to be successful, get your kids onboard. After all, it’s their stuff, too. Give them a say in what to keep and let go of. Have them pick out a cool new bin or container for their toys. The sky is the limit here, just make it fun!
If you’re like most, your child’s room has a combination of clothes, toys, laundry and diapers (if your kiddos are still very young). Organizing these items doesn’t need to be complicated. Once you’ve figured out what clothes and toys you can either donate, sell or get rid of, you’re already halfway there.
Now that you’re down to the essentials, think about picking up some bins to organize what remains. You can find some in almost any color or style so that it will match their bedroom décor. Once you have them, you can then assign a bin for each type of item. All the toys in one, diaper-related items in another, and so on.
Two words: closet organizer. Whether you have a large, walk-in closet, or a tiny closet like my son, a closet organizer will help you store your child’s belongings easily. Ours attaches over the back of the door. I have all of my son’s shoes, hats and other miscellaneous items stored there. This makes it easy to spot and access what we need, and it doesn’t take up any room in the actual closet.
Another way to get organized is to install shelving inside the closet or add more tension rods to hang clothes from. That is an easy way to double the space quickly and easily. All of these options won’t break the bank and will go a long way in keeping your kid’s belongings organized.
Similar to organizing your child’s bedroom, the playroom will require some purging. Once you’re down to what you what you think is necessary for your family, consider rotating out the toys that are left throughout the year. That way, you have more open space in your playroom and your current toys never go out of style!
To save even more space, you can hang hooks and shelves on the wall to hang your child’s belongings. The key here is to make sure they’re at your child’s eye level so that your child can keep things tidy themselves. You can still use shelves that are out of your child’s reach
The living room is one area that many parents would like to keep as clear of toys as possible. But it’s also where you spend a lot of time with your kids, so you want them to be able to enjoy the space, as well. That’s where (you guessed it) storage bins or baskets come in. Allow each child a bin and a few favorite toys. Then at the end of each day, everything goes back in the bin. Quick and easy!
If you have bigger toys, you could consider having a special “kid zone” where they are housed. That way, instead of toys being all over your living room, they are restricted to just one area. Your kids have a unique little nook for them, and you have the rest of the room for yourself. Win-win!
Keeping Your House Clean
One tip that my mother always told my siblings and me growing up was “there is no such thing as later.” As much as I hated being reminded of that as a kid, she was right. If you take the few extra minutes to wash those dirty dishes or put away the clean laundry, you will be able to maintain your newly organized living space. If you don’t, simple household tasks will start to add up, and you’ll be right back in Disorganization City. Here are some tips to help you keep your home clean.
Kids can help here. Especially if you make it easy for them by using two hampers in their room: one for whites and one for bright colors. You can also do the same with your laundry. It makes throwing in a quick load so much easier.
You could also consider picking one day of the week where you do at least one load of laundry. The more regularly you stay on top of it, the less daunting it will be, and the more likely you are to maintain a good routine.
Remember when we talked about purging? This applies to your dishes, as well. Do you need 10 mismatched sippy cups or mismatched silverware? Get rid of any unnecessary items in your kitchen, and it will make keeping up with dishes much easier.
Also, remember that there is no such thing as later! Don’t fall into the trap of putting your dirty dishes in the sink and waiting until later to clean them up. A few extra minutes here will go a long way toward keeping things tidy.
Because you’ve already set up bins, shelves and other areas, everything now has a home. The key to keeping it that way is to make sure you don’t let clutter build up over time. Return things back to their rightful home on a regular basis. And if you start running out of space, it’s time to purge again!
Staging Your Home with Kids
Now that you’ve learned how to organize your home and keep it clean, what if you want to sell your home? Selling a home is hard enough, let alone with kids. Your child may be apprehensive about moving or upset that they aren’t able to access some of their belongings when it’s time to tidy up for showings. To help, here are some tips you can use to stage your home and keep your kids happy.
Keep it clean
One of the most important things you can do when staging your home is keeping your home clean. Sometimes it’s as simple as just dusting and making your floors sparkle. Other times, especially for those of you with kids andpets, you’ll need to make sure you also remember remove any trace of bad odors.
Make it fun
Include your kids in the organization and planning fun. OK, maybe it’s not what they would typically think of as “fun,” but with a little imagination you can make it that way!
For example, for each showing on your home, you could give your kids a special reward for getting their belongings in order. Or, you could make it a race. Whoever cleans up the fastest – and to your liking – gets ice cream.
Ensure it’s worth your while
After you’ve put in the time and effort to get your home ready to show, you’ll want to make sure you get the most eyes on it as possible. That’s where open houses come into play. Once your home is staged, use these five tips to promote your open house to buyers. This way, you really get some exposure to your home and help increase the chance that it will sell quickly.
Detach from the ‘stuff’
One thing that will help you stage your home in preparation for buyers is to emotionally separate yourself from your house and the objects within it. But that’s not all. Check out these seven must-dos on the day you show your house to get yourself and your family ready.
Surviving Home Showings with Kids
So you have the pre-showing situation in order. Your kids have cleaned up their belongings and your home is ready to pass the buyer inspection test because you put in the ground work earlier. Now what? Here are some ideas of things you can do to occupy your time while potential buyers walk through your home.
- Check out a museum.This is especially good if you’re selling in the winter when outdoor options are limited.
- Visit your nearest community center or park.Doing an activity like this is typically free of charge for residents and can provide a much-needed escape during the home-selling process. Especially for the kids!
- Try out your area’s newest attraction. Did your town or the next city over get a new exhibit? Waterpark? New mall? Use this as an excuse to check it out!
The Bottom Line
Organizing a home with kids isn’t an easy task. But the rewards are huge. When you’re finished, you’ll have less stress, and your kids will have more fun in their newly organized spaces.
And, if you decide to sell your home, it won’t take weeks (or months) to get everything in order. That means if a potential buyer wants to view your home, you’ll be ready and waiting for them. A home that is well-maintained goes a long way in the eyes of buyers.
Happy selling, you got this!