Stand Up Inspiration: Organized Homes With Kids. Yes, It's Possible.

Stand Up Inspiration: Organized Homes With Kids. Yes, It's Possible.

Photos by Bruce Buck for The New York Times

Photos by Bruce Buck for The New York Times

On the heels of a recent post about living the good life with kids, I began to see a flurry of advice for overwhelmed parents. Seems I'm not the only one with an impossible dream to live in peace with small, organizationally deranged humans who leave a trail of toys wherever they wander.

Whatever the reason, I've seen a lot of organizing help from around the globe that tries to accommodate our kid's things. Every family in the U.S. should see this disturbing video on abundance in American families. Our affluence has consequences.

As for solutions, the photos above and below made me stand up and start pacing (my way of thinking), only to sit back down and post our unused things for sale online. My kids definitely have too much and they only play with half it - over and over again. The other stuff should go on to kids with less. We could definitely buy less too, as this recent New York Times Motherlode post suggests and gathers advice from parents hoping to avoid the Holiday Gluttony.

The first step in getting your kid's rooms in order is simple - simplify. Reduce the volume. Subtracting things can have the unexpected effect of adding value to what's left.

Here's where you can get help with your kid's stuff:

  • A post from across the pond where legos are tamed by a mom with help from her three boys.
  • A new book from one of the minimalists I follow.
  • This practical how-to for the board game problem.
  • What if your kid's room doesn't have a closet? A solution from Apartment Therapy. More here.

And if you only have a minute to think about this (because sometimes we moms only have a minute to think about these things), watch this one minute video from Apartment Therapy.

20140213-LOCATION-slide-GN5R-master675.jpg

If you want to see how one family does minimalism, and one room living, with kids. Yes, it's possible (!) and thought provoking. I think making a picture perfect space, then adding a family and having them conform to the space (via habits) builds some great values into the children living there. So here is an amazing example of how certain values inform thoughtful design and that design influences how people live and use the space.

Here's inspiration too, if your kid's room is just so-so and you want to see something that'll get you off your duff.

Ultimately, what I want for my kids is a beautiful home where we enjoy the time we have together. I want to enjoy their childhood and I want them to have fun. They may thwart my vision for a perfect home but it's fine. I push for tidy because I'm sensitive to the way things look and feel around me not because I care about interior design. I spend time organizing their things because it's easier to build, make, play and imagine when you can find the tools and toy parts you want to use. 

An Introvert Finds Co-Workers

An Introvert Finds Co-Workers

The Good And The Bad Of Work I Love

The Good And The Bad Of Work I Love