Professional organizer, Jennifer Johnson with The Orderly Space, is answering listener questions all about organization! We discuss tackling the playroom, beautifying your fridge and making it functional, what the heck to do with outside toys, and routines to help us ensure we actually stick to this new organized way of living!
Say Hello to the Answer to Your Prayers, Jennifer Johnson!
Jennifer Johnson, a mom of two and the owner of The Orderly Space is a professional organizer. She helps her clients, busy women (you!), focus on making spaces functional. Jennifer steps in to create beautiful, stylish organizational solutions for busy women on the go, and does so with such realistic and easy to implement strategies.
In this episode, Jennifer is answering listener questions all about organization! I asked my audience to send me question they had for a professional organizer, and I asked them ALL on today’s episode! We discuss tackling the playroom, beautifying your fridge and making it functional, what the heck to do with outside toys, and routines to help us ensure we actually stick to this new organized way of living! It’s time to clear the clutter, roll up your sleeves, and get organized!
Why Is Organization and Order Important?
When your house is a mess, your life is a mess. Now this isn’t true for everyone, but for many, a chaotic house is a reflection of your inner chaos. This is 100% true for me. When my life is feeling overwhelming and out of control, my house is usually as the messiest. It’s a clear reflection on my schedule, priorities and mental state . Children also appreciate order and organization. Think of your kids in their class. Their classroom gives them a sense of control, items and supplies have places to go, expectations are clear. It sets them up for success. I’ve also noticed a difference in my kid’s energy when their space is extra messy. Behavior is a little more erratic and focus is harder. So interesting!
The Question of the Century…How to We Keep it CLEAN?
We’ve all been there. We organize something, we deep clean, we’re feeling great…and an hour later it looks as if we didn’t even do anything! Anyone else lose their mind over this? Jennifer’s first suggestion for this is decluttering and purging.
1. When tackling a new space- clear the WHOLE room out. Pull every dish out, pull everything out the pantry/fridge/etc. This allows you to SEE what you have and what you can get rid of.
2. Make a decision- keep or toss/donate
3. Bring in the bins and LABEL! (i.e. bins for the character toys, bin for the cars). Make this very easy for kids so cleaning up is a realistic expectation for your kids
How to Handle the Purge…When Kids Suddenly Get Attached
So we see all of their toys in the middle of the room (can you even imagine how grossed out you’ll be after seeing it all? ? And then your kids start to see things they forgot about and automatically get super attached. Jennifer has some great tips for this! First, give a choice. Which one do you want to keep? Show them two like items and have them choose. I also loved her idea of a temporary donate area. When your kids are at school or you are going through toys and can’t decide…put it away in the garage. If they ask for it, you get it out, if they don’t after a couple weeks/months…time to donate!
Download my free checklist: 10 Things Every Mom Needs to Do Before the School Year Ends! It’s a quick guide for ending the school year relaxed and prepared for starting summer break with your family!
Taking Command of All the Paper
1. Go as paperless as possible
2. Have two bins: to do (forms for school/bills) or to file (statements or kid’s art)
-then every week, spend about 10 minutes emptying those 2 containers!
-kid’s keepsakes: have one single filing tote with a file for each grade level. Everything that comes home goes into that file, and then when it gets to the end of the school year…you go through it together and decide what to keep (most likely writing pieces/art/special mementos)
Making Your Fridge Work for You
Jennifer has a great idea for having clear bins in your fridge with everything you need to make dinner that night. I thought it was genius because it helps with those families with working parents! Both partners can grab the bin and know what’s for dinner. I am totally doing this to have it all laid out and ready to roll for Ryan on nights I need to work a little more!
Have a place for kids to grab their own snacks. They get their own bin or area that they can to. You can also take advantage of this for lunch making! One bin for dairy, fruits/veggies, protein, etc. And they can grab something out of each bin and pack their own lunch! Just prepthis on Sundays and make your fridge work for you. GENIUS.
Kid’s Clothes and Laundry
Loved the tip of having a basket for each family member in the laundry room! This makes for easy sorting right out of the dryer and kids can bring it to their room on their own. Give them some ownership over this.
As for the clothes they outgrow in their closet, Jennifer has two bins in each kid’s closet- one for too small, and one for too big. Anytime a closet purge or a kid tries something on and it’s too tight, they throw it in the too small bin. Once that’s full, it’s time to donate or consign. If they get an outfit for their birthday or you find some good deals and size up, put it in the too big bin until it fits. I loved that this was another easy visual for kids to do on their own!
Connect with Jennifer!
Website: The Orderly Space
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Download my free checklist: 10 Things Every Mom Needs to Do Before the School Year Ends! It’s a quick guide for ending the school year relaxed and prepared for starting summer break with your family! Download it below!