This post is a bit long, but I think it’s worth it.
So when I left off, the girls’ room had been picked up and the floor swept, but was still in desperate need of some organizing.
I recognized that at least The Taterbug needed to have some input into the organizing part. So we sat down and I asked her a lot of questions. Things like: Why do you think all your dress-up clothes wind up on the floor instead of on their hooks? Why are your dirty clothes all over the floor when you have an empty hamper in your room? How come your shoes never make it back into the organizer on the back of the bedroom door?
While I realized that the answer to a lot of these questions is “we have too much stuff, and it’s waaaay easier to just dump it all on the floor than to put it away”, I did actually gain some insight into why the things we’ve tried in the past didn’t work out well.
We concluded that they had too many dress-up clothes, and they were stored in too many different locations. When it was time to pick them up, it was overwhelming to put them all back. Solution: We sorted through and donated about half of what they had. Since the wall hooks and the small nightstand weren’t getting used to put the dress-up clothes away, we’ve got a different storage solution in the works.
Which leads to the hamper:
We used to have a pop-up hamper for each child. They were frequently dumped out and used as robot costumes. Eventually they wore out, and I was not sad to see them go. Next, we used a tall hard plastic hamper in their room. They liked to turn it upside down (hence the empty hamper with clothes all over the floor) to stand on so they could reach the shelves in their closets, and the high pockets on their shoe organizer. Solution: I swapped the rigid plastic hamper for a pop-up style sorting hamper that used to live in the bathroom. If necessary, I will permanently attach it to the wall to prevent it being dumped out and re-purposed.
The Husband, aka “Imelda”, has a shoe hoarding problem. As a result, these 2 little girls had more shoes than any 6 little girls needed, and they were everywhere except where they belonged. Solution: We purged a bunch of shoes, and put the summer shoes away with the summer clothes. We have declared a moratorium on buying second-hand shoes for the children. I don’t care how much they beg.
Then I created two short shoe organizers by cutting their normal-sized one in half, and reinforcing the top edge of the lower half with duct tape. I put grommets in the top so it could be hung on hooks. Here’s a tip: Don’t buy a cheap grommet kit, it’s just not worth it.
They each now have a shoe organizer that should be easy to reach, and the organizers limit how many pairs of shoes they can keep. The only exception is boots, which can sit on the closet floor under the organizer. I might have hidden their nice dress shoes at the top of the organizers (and behind dresses) so that they don’t get worn in the chicken coop.