Thursday, July 23, 2009

Picnic Post, Organization

I love organizing, so I don't even know where to begin on this post. I have seen so many wonderful posts on this topic, so I'm feeling a bit intimidated posting any of my not-so-brilliant ideas on this subject. I just like having a place for everything. Here are a few ways I organize the stuff that my boys use on a daily basis:


I have a lot of books... I had my books sorted by theme (Valentine's Day, transportation, etc.) while teaching and it worked for me there, so I just kept the system going at home. I divide my themes with a manilla file folder half that I wrote the theme on running down the side. Then I file all the books in that theme behind the divider. I rotate my books by season or theme we're studying, pulling only those books out and putting them in a basket for my kids to pull from. This makes it easy to keep my books in order and helps me read a variety of books to my kids, so we don't get stuck reading cars books over and over, and nothing else.

When we go to the library, I also make sure that library books stay in our library tote so they don't get mixed up in our personal books.

I also have a whole shelf of board books in no particular order for my toddler to go through. This way, he has his own books that don't need to be "organized" and he stays out of the more destructible paperbacks (well, for the most part...).


I have two words for organizing toys- sweater tubs. I love my labeled sweater tubs. They are just the right size to hold a "collection" of toys, yet manageable enough for my kids to pack, lift, stack, and put away by themselves. I put the word and a picture on the label so anyone who was picking up toys (read "friends playing over" here) will know exactly where to put them.

Art supplies:

I keep a little pencil box (with scissors, glue stick, crayons and pencils), coloring books and activity pages, watercolors with a water cup (a plastic fruit cup container), and stickers in a portable handled tub, so when my kids want to do an art project, everything is in one place.

I think the real key to effective organizing is to just do what makes sense for your family. It shouldn't be too complicated, and it should be simple enough that your even your toddler can help clean up. Then, keep at it!

If you are looking for more great organization ideas, head on over to ABC's and 123's for more inspiration!


  1. I'm not much of an organizer, so I talked about freezing meats for this post!

    We also keep library books separate. It only makes sense!

  2. Great post, I especially love the sweater tubs idea!

  3. I love baskets and bins too!! We also keep the library books separate--such a help!!

  4. I love your idea for a library tote. So many times I'll find library books on the book shelf!

  5. Good idea on the library tote. We are constantly losing library books over here.

    KC at the Wonder Years

  6. I have labels on my toy bins like yours, but I like your drawlings better.

  7. I think that the idea of putting "theme books" into a separate "read now" place is brilliant. We sorely miss this in our house, and the books are always on all the surfaces in Anna's room while she is hunting for what she wants to read. Thanks for the tip!

  8. sigh, but they have to stay in the library tote, that's my downfall. They take it in their room and it disappears.

  9. Great post. I think another key thing is not to have more stuff than you have storage space for - this is where I fail!

  10. Some great ideas. Sorting and purging is important too. I try every summer to go thru things; toys and books and pass them on to someone else. My kids have out grown kiddy books, so I kept my favorites (oh that was hard) and gave the others to a friend in our ward with 6 kids under 11. She was delighted. I love your site Diana, you have some wonderful ideas. We have your family job hunt in our prayers too, hang in there.