*Photo Courtesy of livingthebalancedlife.com
I recently visited a friend who has a 6 month old baby. I was pleasantly surprised that their home was not cluttered with toys. Their living room looked like adults actually lived there instead of looking like kidville rents space from them. It got me thinking about how I could encourage the rest of my clients to live with less for their children.
I came across this blog post “Why Fewer Toys Will Benefit Your Kids” by Joshua Becker, the ultimate minimalist, and it really hit the nail on the head:
Toys are not merely playthings. Toys form the building blocks for our child’s future. They teach our children about the world and about themselves. They send messages and communicate values. And thus, wise parents think about what foundation is being laid by the toys that are given to their kids.
Wise parents also think about the number of toys that children are given. While most toy rooms and bedrooms today are filled to the ceiling with toys, intentional parents learn to limit the number of toys that kids have to play with.
They understand that fewer toys will actually benefit their children in the long-term:
1. Kids learn to be more creative. Too many toys prevent kids from fully developing their gift of imagination. Two German public health workers (Strick and Schubert) conducted an experiment in which they convinced a kindergarten classroom to remove all of their toys for three months. Although boredom set in during the initial stages of the experiment, the children soon began to use their basic surroundings to invent games and use imagination in their playing.
2. Kids develop longer attention spans. When too many toys are introduced into a child’s life, their attention span will begin to suffer. A child will rarely learn to fully appreciate the toy in front of them when there are countless options still remaining on the shelf behind them.
3. Kids establish better social skills. Children with fewer toys learn how to develop interpersonal relationships with other kids and adults. They learn the give and take of a good conversation. And studies have attributed childhood friendships to a greater chance of success academically and in social situations during adulthood.
4. Kids learn to take greater care of things. When kids have too many toys, they will naturally take less care of them. They will not learn to value them if there is always a replacement ready at hand. If you have a child who is constantly damaging their toys, just take a bunch away. He will quickly learn.
5. Kids develop a greater love for reading, writing, and art. Fewer toys allows your children to love books, music, coloring, and painting. And a love for art will help them better appreciate beauty, emotion, and communication in their world.
6. Kids become more resourceful. In education, students aren’t just given the answer to a problem; they are given the tools to find the answer. In entertainment and play, the same principle can be applied. Fewer toys causes children to become resourceful by solving problems with only the materials at hand. And resourcefulness is a gift with unlimited potential.
7. Kids argue with each other less. This may seem counter-intuitive. Many parents believe that more toys will result in less fighting because there are more options available. However, the opposite is true far too often. Siblings argue about toys. And every time we introduce a new toy into the relationship, we give them another reason to establish their “territory” among the others. On the other hand, siblings with fewer toys are forced to share, collaborate, and work together.
8. Kids learn perseverance. Children who have too many toys give up too quickly. If they have a toy that they can’t figure out, it will quickly be discarded for the sake of a different, easier one. Kids with fewer toys learn perseverance, patience, and determination.
9. Kids become less selfish. Kids who get everything they want believe they can have everything they want. This attitude will quickly lead to an unhealthy (and unbecoming) lifestyle.
10. Kids experience more of nature. Children who do not have a basement full of toys are more apt to play outside and develop a deep appreciation for nature. They are also more likely to be involved in physical exercise which results in healthier and happier bodies.
11. Kids learn to find satisfaction outside of the toy store. True joy and contentment will never be found in the aisles of a toy store. Kids who have been raised to think the answer to their desires can be bought with money have believed the same lie as their parents. Instead, children need encouragement to live counter-cultural lives finding joy in things that truly last.
12. Kids live in a cleaner, tidier home. If you have children, you know that toy clutter can quickly take over an entire home. Fewer toys results in a less-cluttered, cleaner, healthier home.
I’m not anti-toy. I’m just pro-child. So do your child a favor today and limit their number of toys. (Just don’t tell them you got the idea from me.)
You can read the original post here.
Want help sorting and purging through your kids toys? Our team of professional organizers can help you have a beautiful and well curated play room in no time. Take a look at one of our recent playroom makeovers:
1. Raise your bed with risers. The higher the better, because you’ll want to maximize every bit of space you have. This gives you room for under-bed storage for shoes, off-season clothes, and extra sheets and towels.
2. Think vertically and utilize wall space. Often there is extra wall space above the bed or over the desk, where you can install shelves that are great for books, photo albums, and decorative knick-knacks.
3. Bins and baskets and containers—oh, my! Having everything sorted and in its proper compartment will save you time and space. Be sure to buy a vessel (or 10) to hold your makeup, a place to store school supplies, and a three-drawer unit for underwear, socks, and bras.
4. Use the over-the-door space. Purchase a clear shoe-storage unit for the back of the door to keep shoes, jewelry, toiletries, cleaning supplies, or even snacks. These perfectly sized compartments are great for stowing a plethora of items.
5. Get crafty with the closet. If you need more room for hanging items, a rod-doubler will transform the space into a double-hanging closet. If it’s more folding space you need, drawers or hanging sweater bags will do the trick.
Read the full article on glam.com.
It is really hard to believe August is here and that the summer is speeding by. It was just yesterday I was reading about NYC moms hiring professional organizers to pack their kids up for camp (only in NYC!! Read the article here) and now its almost time for those kids to come home.
Getting your house in order before the new school year is absolutely essential to staying organized throughout the year. Even if you don’t have school aged kids its a nice idea to organize your home in the Summer for the start of Fall. September is the new January – a perfect time for renewal.
So…where to get started?:
-Toss the things that no longer serve you- clothes that are too big, workout gear you never use, books and magazines you’ve been holding onto but haven’t read.
-Throw out anything expired or unusable (medicine, food in the pantry, etc…)
-Set up a donation area in your home and figure out where you would like to donate those items. For a comprehensive list of where to donate what click here.
-Create systems where you need them most. Is your morning routine a mess because you can’t find your makeup? Set up a specific area for makeup so you always know where it is. Is finding your keys always difficult? Set up a hanging key station near the front door.
-Enlist the help of a friend or an expert- its often hard to keep yourself motivated and having a trusted friend or professional organizer to serve as your cheerleader can be a huge help.
Do you live in a teeny, tiny space in Manhattan? Does your NYC closet need a makeover?
B Organized is more than happy to measure your space and order you a gorgeous custom closet. BUT…there are times when a custom closet won’t work because perhaps your space is a bit awkward or you don’t want to invest the money since you are living in a short term rental… then what? With a few product purchases you can have your closet in perfect order.
1. Double Hang Closet Rod $12.99 – Instantly double your hanging space!
2. 12 Pair Shoe Organizer $39.99 – Perfect for shoes and purses. Durable and sturdy this product will last a lifetime.
3. Expandable Closet Shelf $15.99 – This can double your shelf space. Great for teeshirts, sweaters, and more.
If you think your closet space is not ideal its best to enlist the help of a Professional Organizer who can recommend the perfect products to get your wardrobe in order.
When organizing: start small. Here are some ideas of small organizing projects you can do around the house
-Pick a junk drawer, throw out all the trash, put back in only what you need. More on getting rid of your junk drawer for good here.
-Get rid of old magazines- anything from 2 months ago or more that has not been read has got to go.
-Declutter the bathroom drawers- toss old, expired makeup.
-Sort through old to-do’s and trash the ones you haven’t gotten around to in 6 months.
-Go through old photos and toss the ones you don’t need. Keep the ones you love and start a photo project.
As always if you are overwhelmed call in a professional organizer. My team of organizers in New York City can have your home clutter free in no time.
Moving is stressful. We all know that. As an NYC organizer and frequent un-packer I am here to tell you it can be a little bit less stressful with these helpful tips.
1. Start early. 3 weeks is ideal.
-During week 1 go area by area in your home or apartment and purge items that no longer serve you. This may result in piles — donation, give to your sister, return to a friend. You will have 2 weeks to see to it that those items get to the proper places. If you can’t manage to get them there then just throw them out. Under no circumstances should you bring them to your new place!
-Week 2- gather packing materials and begin packing. Have the moving company drop off boxes or go to local stores to see if they have extras that they will give you. My best tip is to go to a wine store and ask them for some boxes with inserts – these are great for wrapping wine glasses, liquor bottles, vases, and kitchen spices. Start packing up the items you use the least.
-Week 3- packing, packing, and more packing. Enlist the help of friends and family. Its much easier when you have company. Leave the larger items to the side (TVs, lamps, etc…) so the moving company can properly pack them.
2. Label, Label, Label!!! Every time you finish a box- label it. This makes unloading and unpacking so much easier. Its also great for the movers so they know where to put the items. Label items bedroom #1 then put a sign up in the new place indicating which room is bedroom #1. This way you won’t have to do any of the heavy lifting.
3. Take breaks. Moving is a lot of work physically and mentally so its important to take time for yourself. Take a walk, grab drinks with a friend, read a book. This way when you actually do sit down to pack you can be more focused and get more done in less time.
**A note about my most recent move: In the past I have used and referred Schlepper’s moving company but I recently had a client that was not so thrilled with them. After a Facebook poll which resulted in equal recommendations of Moishe’s and Flatrate I went with Flatrate because price is king. The movers were very good BUT they sent 3 movers instead of four which really held up the process, they sent filthy blankets for wrapping furniture (after I specifically requested and was promised clean ones), and they broke my mirrored night stand. I did receive a credit back for the filthy blankets and the broken furniture. So this isn’t a glowing recommendation but it wasn’t the most terrible either.
Here I am at the end of a long move:
*Original article appeared on celebrityparentsmag.com
While it probably started off neat and organized, over time you’ve created a chaotic junk drawer full of Q-Tips, half-used markers and loose screws. How to organize your junk drawer–once and for all:
1. Dump out the entire drawer on a large clear surface (a big table or the floor).
2. Give the junk drawer a new name! Something like: ‘essentials drawer’ or ‘very useful items drawer.’ This new name will help you to get rid of the junk drawer once and for all! Not sure where to put your grocery receipts? It’s probably not fitting to keep them in the ‘very useful items’ drawer.
3. Sort all items into categories (ie: trash, items to keep but belong somewhere else, items which actually belong in the newly renamed drawer).
4. Group similar items that are to remain in the drawer together (office supplies, mailing supplies, electronics, etc.) Consider finding a new home for items that are taking up the majority of drawer space. For example if your drawer is overwhelmed by takeout menus get a cheeky take-out-menu box to hold them.
5. Invest in drawer dividers. Make sure that they fit exactly to measure and that they have dividers with non-slip rubber so that all items stay perfectly in place.
6. Make a date with yourself to do monthly maintenance on the essentials drawer. Be ruthless about what can come into this drawer from now on.
It’s Official– Spring is here! At least according to the Calendar. The weather could step it up a bit to bring the temperature to iced-coffee weather if you ask me.
In any event Spring’s arrival can only mean one thing to a professional organizer- Spring Cleaning!
I read this passage in a book titled The Way Of The Happy Woman by Sara Avant Stover and I truly think it sums up why you should embark on a spring cleaning journey:
“The more clutter you have– in your home, car, or purse, or on your computer hard drive– the more your energy gets dissipated and called to the nonessentials. How must time do you spend looking for files (hard and soft) because you don’t have a clear system in place? Here are some questions to ask yourself as you go through your home, room by room, with the intention of simplifying and making space for new opportunities:
1. Does this lift my energy when I think about or look at it?
2. Is it genuinely useful? Did I use it last year?
3. Does it reflect who I want to be this year?
4. Does it make me feel powerful, beautiful, and confident? (This questions works especially well when you get to your underwear drawer. Not sexy? Treat ourself to things that are!)”
If this whole idea of spring cleaning is overwhelming to you then enlist the help of a friend or profession to keep the motivation high. If you chose to do it yourself play some upbeat music, light a candle, and get moving!
For more on what to do with the items you want to donate click here. And for what to do with your winter gear as the weather gets warmer check out this post.