Monday, August 22, 2011

10 Habits of Organized People

Is an organized person born or made? The nature versus nurture argument relates to being organized as well. CNN Living has a list of 10 habits that organized people have (and unorganized people can work to acquire). Here are the bullet points:
  1. Walk away from bargains.
  2. Make peace with imperfection.
  3. Never label anything "miscellaneous".
  4. Schedule regular decluttering sessions.
  5. Stick with what works.
  6. Create a dump zone.
  7. Ask for help.
  8. Separate emotions from possessions. 
  9. Foresee (and avoid) problems.
  10. Know where to donate.
Read the whole article here

Friday, August 5, 2011

READER REQUEST: Lego Organization
Organizing the instruction manuals to the Legos are one thing. The actual Legos are apparently another. Like I said in my other post - I have all girls. The ideas I'm about to give are not out of keep that in mind. But, hopefully these tips will help you find a great Lego system that works for you.

Tip 1: Don't sort by color or type. If I had Legos, this would be hard for me not to do. However, chances are they will just end up a big "mess" again...and all your sorting goes down the drain. Not only will all the Legos get unsorted, but I think the actual looking for the pieces is good for the child. It teaches them to discriminate between Legos that look very similar. And it makes the project take longer (and what parents doesn't want their child to work uninteruppted for a longer period of time?!).
  • Exception: When the Lego collector is older, it may be more helpful to sort by type. But for young kids - stay away from this hyper-vigilant organization. 
  • Do sort by size. I can think of nothing more annoying (well, that's not entirely true) than needing to find a wheel in the midst of large pieces. So, do keep a bin to put the smaller items. A tackle box or bead box would work great for this and can be found at any craft store.
  • You may also want to keep any people and people accessories in a box by themselves.

Tip 2: Have a "no more than" rule. Your child (husband, roommate, etc) can only have X number of Lego projects out at one time. Maybe that number is 2 if you're tight on space. Maybe it's 4. Not only will that help with not having an disorganized space, but it will teach kids to finish a project before moving onto the next.

Tip 3: Create a "My Creations" notebook. Instead of keeping every thing out that they have created from their Legos, take a picture of it and put it in a notebook. That way, they can dismantle it and reuse the pieces without losing their work.

Tip 4: Have a designated space for the creations they are working on, the ones that are finished but they don't want to dismantle, as well as the container of loose pieces. It may be an entire shelf on a bookcase. It may be the fireplace mantle. Be as strict or loose with that space depending on what works for your family. If it were me, I'd say no Legos in my room. Or the formal living room. Or the kitchen. Or the laundry room. You get the picture. Legos should stay in their space.

Tip 5: Get creative on the space. Short on space? Think high and low. Is there room underneath the coffee table for a decorative basket that can hide Legos? Short on floor space? Can you hang some shelves on the wall? Or get bins that stack on top of each other. Haven't used that Fondue pot you got for your wedding? Hide some in there. Yes, I'm kidding about that one. Short on money? Use gallon size plastic bags to keep the sets organized. Go around your home and look at space differently and creatively.

Tip 6: Train table. For kids who are aging out of train tables, convert it into a Lego table. Put the loose Legos in the bottom drawers and they can use the top to construct.

Tip 7: Think and plan. Your storage and organization will depend on many factors, including (but not limited to!):
  • How many Lego sets do you have? And how many Legos you have that don't even go to a set? Do your children like to be creative with all the pieces or do they tend to make the set over and over again without taking artistic liberty?
    • Do you want to keep the sets together? Or is it okay to have them all in one bin?
  • How much time is spent on playing Legos?
    • Don't spend tons of money, time, and energy on something that rarely gets played with (unless you think that the lack of organization is the reason for the lack of playing!).
  • What is your budget and what space limitations?
While researching for this post, I happened across a Wikihow post on different ways to store Legos. But before you buy any containers or start conceiving any grand storage solution ideas, be sure to answer the questions above to figure out to what extent you want to organize.

Happy constructing! Be sure to post below if you have a Lego organization that works for you!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lego Creation Paper Organization

I got a strange request from a client to help her organize her son's Lego instruction sheets. I thought it strange since I have all daughters and Legos have yet to enter our home. Barbies, horses, and Polly Pockets - yes. Thankfully, they don't come with instruction sheets.

So when she asked me to organize the Lego instructions, I didn't really know what they were. Until...

So, here's the after:

I put paper clips on the top of the plastic sheet protectors so the Lego books wouldn't fall out and get disorganized again should one of the boys turn the book upside down.

So, all you parents of boys (or any men who happen to still like Legos): how do you organize all those books that come with Legos?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Before and After Pictures - Working With a Client

Toys, toys, and more toys. In her living room. Not organized. Driving her crazy. She wanted to reclaim her living room for adult use, so we moved all the toys in her children's room. 

Although the pictures are at a different angle, I assure you it's the same room! We put all the bedding on the floor away and bought this cube storage from Target. Add some bins for the trucks that were too big to fit in it and viola! Toys out of her living room.

Take away tip: Notice the two shelves without anything on them? When creating space or organizing, be sure to keep some blank space to grow into. 

Take away tip: I didn't change this bookshelf see what a huge difference straightening books can make?!