How To: Organize Your Life to Adapt to the New Normal
“The New Normal”- Definition? An unsustainable lifestyle where super-moms are expected to work full time while also entertaining and educating their kids full time, keeping a clean and organized household and, of course, ensuring dinner (the 17th meal of the day) is on the table at 6PM. I started this journey with naïve and optimistic eyes – assuring everyone around me that kids would be back to school, businesses would be open and we would be back to our old routines in a few weeks. Two and a half months into this journey and I’ve come to accept that we need to embrace the new normal and think of new and innovative ways to survive.
Keeping yourself organized alleviates one of the added stresses that come with the #stayathome orders. Check out these easy and inexpensive organizational tips to incorporate into your home.
1. Art Carts
Organizing art and home schooling supplies make your everyday routine a lot easier. Keeping things easily accessible means your kids can be more independent and gives them a clear view of what tools are available to them without having to include you every step of the way.
I have young kids, so I like to keep my writing tools in horizontal storage baskets instead of things like cups or mason jars. Not only does it hold a lower centre of gravity, but it looks neater and is easier to store on top of the moveable carts. The categories that work for our Writing Tool baskets include:
- Washable Markers
- Dry Erase Markers
- Fine Tip Markers
I used my printer and laminator to create the drawer labels and adhered them with Velcro so that they are easily interchangeable if we need to switch them out. The labels that worked for us include:
- Tissue Paper & Pompoms
- Felt & Fabric
- Popsicle Sticks, Feathers, Beads
- Wooden Letters & Numbers
- Loose Parts
- Paper Rolls
- Measuring & Analyzing
- Ties & Clips
- Straws, Q-Tips & Cotton Balls
- Paint Brushes
- Paint Accessories
Writing Tool Boxes: Dollarama (3/$2)
Art Carts: 10 Drawer Rolling Cart by Recollections at Michaels ($48 each) + Kidtivities Art Cart Labels ($10)
2. Compartmentalized Pretend Play
Young kids learn through curiosity and imagination. Playing with doll houses or pretend play helps kids learn social and emotional skills, improve language and encourages problem solving.
All those teeny, tiny accessories can really start building up. Keep them organized with compartmentalized storage boxes.
Doll House Accessories:
I love this drawer organizer from IKEA. It keeps all the small dollhouse accessories organized, together and away from the bottom of my feet.
Storage Box: Skubb box with compartments at IKEA ($9.99 each)
Play Kitchen Accessories:
The Trofast from IKEA is so multifunctional it can easily last from Toddler to Teens.
I’m currently using it as part of our Pretend Play Kitchen Corner. I’ve pulled it out from the wall to give access to the back so the kids can pretend to play cashier and ice cream parlour. The small bins underneath are organizing the kitchen food (plates, utensils on the top, sandwich and pizza making sets in the middle, fruits and veggies on the bottom). Large bins on either side hold boxes for grocery store play.
Storage Chest: Trofast storage combination with white boxes at IKEA ($99)
3. Worksheets, Colouring Books & Stickers in Bankers Boxes
And you thought Banker’s Boxes were just for filing away your taxes!
All of those colouring books, reusable worksheets and stickers can be tucked away into one, organized, tidy box that’s easily accessible by you and your kids.
The labels that are currently working for us include:
- Dough Mats
- Alphabet Cue Cards
- Learning Letters
- Learning Numbers
- Lego Bases
- Colouring Books
- Activity Books
- Dot Stickers
- Jewel Stickers
- Misc. Stickers
- Letter & Number Stickers
AmazonBasics Hanging Files (25/$16) + Bankers Box Heavy Duty File Box ($30) at Amazon.ca
4. Organize School Memories
Here’s those Banker’s Boxes again! Keep all of your kids’ school memorabilia safely organized and in one place. I’ve designated each grade to a folder so that, every year, you can add things like awards, report cards, photos, birthday cards and special memories to the folder. Each folder includes a cover sheet with room to include a school photo and a summary of your child’s year.
AmazonBasics Hanging Files (25/$16) + Bankers Box Heavy Duty File Box ($30) at Amazon.ca + Kidtivities Preschool-12 Cover Sheets ($15)
5. Dinner Drawer
We call it the ‘Dinner Drawer’. It’s a drawer in our playroom that includes Grab & Go activities that I can easily grab for the kids when we go out for Dinner or for long car rides. I keep things in this drawer that the kids don’t see regularly, so it’s exciting to them and keeps them occupied for longer periods of times. I include things like crayons & colouring sheets, books, busy bags and road trip bingo!
From creative arts to STEAM activities, Kidtivities posts easy, educational and fun activities (every day!) to keep you and your kids happy and entertained – all in the comfort of your own home.