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DIY Organization: Secret for Organizing Tiny Pieces of Kids' Stuff for a Dollar

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I’m always striving to be more organized. Photo via Flickr

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Are you tired of finding those little Barbie doll shoes, tiny legos, caps to a lost marker, or other random toy pieces?

Does it make you crazy to chase after your children to put their stuff away?

That’s why I want to share a quick tip that I use to solve that headache.

What’s funny is. . .I like a clean house but I HATE cleaning it. This  idea makes the whole process PAINLESS.

DIY Organization Quick Tip

Go to the dollar store and purchase an ice cube tray. Put all of the little pieces of random teeny tiny items in there. It can be a permanent home or a temporary place to store  items. Tuck them in a drawer or put them on a shelf. I find that having it out in the open on a shelf makes it easier for my daughter to put it away. It’s not an eyesore either.

I purchased an ice cube tray from the dollar store to solve this problem.


While cleaning my daughter’s shelf, it made it easy to give these items a home while I got other things in order. I set a timer for 20 minutes as a part of Money Saving Mom’s  30 Day House Cleaning Challenge  and played my favorite songs on the ipod while cleaning. It helps me manage my time better.

When I get to the end of my playlist  I set up, I know that the timer will go off and that I have done enough. So I am able to pace myself. I play the same music over and over when I clean. My family actually knows I’m busy when they hear the music. They know exactly what I am doing too because I only play certain songs while cleaning.

I made chalkboard “labels” out of wooden plaques for the purple baskets. If we want to store something else inside, it makes it easy to change the name. Use this tutorial to make the plaques. I just used oval-shaped pieces here and drilled holes in them and tied them with ribbon at the end.


I was able to get this shelf organized in 20 minute time frame. Most of the items were out of place and just needed to go back home. I’m actively trying to delegate my cleaning responsibilities. Here’s a list of ten tips to get your kids in on the chores.


Tips to get kids in on the cleaning:

1. Play songs to keep all family members motivated.


2. Music helps children (and adults) learn time management.

If you know you have to complete something before a song ends, it’s easier to keep track of the time you are spending. When I taught, I learned this from a kindergarten teacher. She would play calm music that lasted for 10 minutes at snack time. The kids knew the song by heart, so they learned to pace themselves while eating, being sure to incorporate cleaning up time. I use this idea for myself.


3. Do something fun afterwards.

Cleaning isn’t so bad if there’s a reward at the end of the tunnel.


4. Make it part of your routine.

(You won’t have to nag your kids if it’s becomes expected.)


5. Start early and make them do age-appropriate chores.

(I even have a list of how to take care of technology gadgets.)


6. If you pay your kids for chores, make them invoice you.

(I would forget to pay my daughter, we turned her list into an invoice.)


7. I explained invoicing to my children by showing them Freshbooks.

(I made a tutorial for beginners of all ages.)


8.Model how to organize.

Organizing is actually a skill. I used this little ice cube tray to put away those tiny pieces like Barbie shoes, random craft supplies, and other little random pieces that never seem to have a home. It also temporarily houses lost items. It’s not glamorous but it does the job.


9. Use gift bags as temporary storage places.

If we need to donate something or move it to another room, we temporarily use gift bags to house them. it beats a garbage bag.


10. Get storage containers and make them decide where to put stuff.

Sometimes they have better solutions than we do. Here’s where my daughter houses her accessories.

Here are other challenges I completed.

Day 1 How to Vinyl Tile Your Bathroom Floor for 30 Dollars in 360 Minutes


Day 2 DIY Organization: Secret for Organizing Tiny Pieces of Kids’ Stuff for a Dollar

Day 3 Tidy Up the Laundry Room in Minutes for 30 Dollars

Day 4 Cleaning Games: Dirty Little Secret for Cleaning Your Sink on the Cheap

Day 5 Cure Sink Clutter and Cut Cleaning Time in Half for Free

Day 6 Free Help: Vacuuming Confetti

Day 7 I took a day off.

Day 8 Declutter in Minutes with this Trick Plus Motivation from REAL SIMPLE Editor-in-Chief

Day 9 How to Clean Picture Windows on the Cheap

If you find this information useful, you should take a minute and share it with your friends. Or comment. Thanks.



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