Today I am VERY happy to bring you another guest post, and even happier to introduce you to my little sister!
My sis is here to share some home organization tips with us. Before I hand over my blog, let me tell you just a little bit about her. She is a wife, an amazing mommy, and lover of Jesus. She is also an artist (participating in her first art show next weekend), and talented teacher, and musician. Before giving birth to her daughter she taught Band and Chorus for 10 years. In 2002 she was awarded Teacher of the Year. To say she is clever and creative is kind of putting it lightly. I am super proud of her!
Hi, I'm Aaron. I'm happily living out my childhood dream of being a wife, mommy, and homemaker. I live in Virginia with my husband and our sweet 5 year old daughter and fun loving 3 year old son. I love to be creative and I'm currently developing a 12-step program for Pinterest addicts. I trust God and His crazy love for me and I am grateful He drew me to Himself long ago.
The following pictures show how I have been organizing my home "on the cheap". I have used many Dollar Tree, Target, Lowes, and Walmart items.
First off - The Kids Rooms
I decided to store most of the kids toys in the basement where we do a lot of playing but I wanted them to be able to have their favorite things in their rooms. I purchased each of them a shelf unit from Walmart for $15. Then I took them to the Dollar Tree where they got to pick out bins for their shelves. My daughter's pink and green bins store hair accessories, random treasures, and items for her dollhouse.
My son's buckets store instruments, stuffed animals, favorite books, and other treasures. The tops of the shelves are great for larger items.
Another space saving and organizing idea is to use closet space. Kids love to play in little private nooks. Here I used cheap wood to make a place to store as well as play with cars and trucks. Cleaning up his cars is fun for him because he can "zoom" them across the board and into the Dollar Tree bucket at the end of the top shelf.
In the basement family room/play room I did some major toy organizing. I bought three modular storage units from Lowes for $40 each. One is for my daughter's toys, one is for my son's toys and one is for shared items like crayons, notepads, Mobigo games, and Wii accessories. I found perfect plastic bins from the Dollar Tree. They are wider and deeper than normal shoebox size bins. We picked three different color lids to make putting them on the correct shelf easy. For the kids' individual bins we made labels to make putting the right toys in the right bins easy. This system has made cleaning up their own toys much easier for the kids and has cut down on the frustration of not being able to find the parts and pieces to sets. The bins are nice because the kids can play wherever they want by just taking the bin with them and then packing it up and putting it back downstairs when they are finished. The whole project was only $180 and has made a huge difference in my ability to keep toy clutter under control.
The arrangement of the modular shelves helped me make a clear delineation between my art zone (OFF LIMITS!) and the rest of the basement.
Also in the basement are two $30 shelving units from Walmart. They are cheap but I am pleased with the look now that I have them filled.
Inexpensive baskets from Walmart hold games as well as DVDs.
The linen closet is small but holds a lot when organized well. Dollar Tree bins corral my various vacuum parts, swiffer duster, light bulbs, extension cords, furniture mover pads, etc. An inexpensive laundry organizer from Walmart made a great place to keep our laundry out of sight and sorted. An inexpensive shower curtain, also from Walmart, helps provide a cleaner, slim-lined look by allowing us to get rid of an awkward (and ugly) bi-fold door. Plus, it adds some nice color to the hallway.
With our kitchen being small and the cabinet not being able to hold dishes and food, we needed a pantry. This unit was only $70 at Target - much cheaper than building more cabinets or buying a piece of furniture. Though it is a bit more industrial looking than I typically like, I was pleasantly surprised at how it fit with the kitchen once it was filled with food. It also allows me a space for large appliances such as my crock-pot and Foreman grill.
Dollar Tree items came in handy again on this project. The yellow mats and red buckets as well as a storage basket for little packets were all $1 each! The yellow mats make the shelves smoother and add some color and softness to the unit. The red buckets hold snacks and lunch-packing items for easy access.
One more Dollar Tree fix -
$14 worth of Dollar Tree bins organized all my bathroom stuff - medicines, toiletries, accessories...as well as our wash cloths and hand towels. Everything is easy to get to and even better, easy to put away! Gotta love that Dollar Tree!
Another modular shelf stores our children's books upstairs. Since we read every night before bed, we needed the kid books easily accessible. By organizing the sections, it is easy to find particular titles. We have a section for Golden Books, Bibles and Christian authors, board books, Usborne books, soft bound, and hard bound. One cube, the upper left, is for library books only. By always keeping library books in one spot, it is easy to gather them up to take them back when they are due. We keep a library bag tucked between the wall and the bookshelf.
Thank you Aaron for sharing with us. It's always nice to see what other mamas are doing to organize their homes. You certainly gave us some wonderful examples. I love the idea of always keeping the library books in one place and the toy bins with labels are super. Please visit again!