Today we’re sharing a guest post from Rachel Rosenthal, founder of the Washington, DC-based organizing firm, Rachel and Company.
You may not have checked off all of your spring cleaning and organizing goals quite yet, but the good news is that summer is actually the perfect time to get these type of tasks done. Sure, the kids might be home for the summer and that may seem like the worst time to tackle these projects, but in reality having the extra helping hands (regardless of their age) will help you in the long run to get your home organized once and for all. I promise!
Below are four areas of your home to tackle getting organized this summer (with the kids’ help!).
Toys and books.
Go through the toys and pull out any broken toys, toys with missing pieces, or toys that your children have outgrown and move to the trash, or–if they are in decent condition–move to the donation bag. The same goes for books that are no longer at your child’s reading level.
How to get your kids involved: make it a game! Set a timer and see many toys and books that are no longer in use (or broken) to add to a donation or trash bag.
Crafts and games.
Since craft supplies, puzzles, and games typically involve many pieces and categories, they are common categories to get a little disorganized. Use clear bins and reusable bags to separate and contain the contents of each category, and make sure to discard any sets that are missing critical pieces (i.e. puzzles), are broken, or are no longer usable (i.e. dried out glue or empty sticker books).
How to get kids involved: let them get creative! Kids can get puzzle and game pieces together, test out craft supplies to see what’s dried out, and make handwritten labels (masking tape and marker will do!) to stick on to bins, boxes, and shelves for categories that are being kept.
Pull out everything in your pantry (including spices and oils!) and get rid of anything that is expired or that your family no longer consumes. Take this as a time to categorize everything that is left so that when it goes back into the pantry the like items are grouped together and it is easy to see what you have and what you need for future grocery trips.
How to get your kids involved: make it educational! Have your kids look for expiration dates and toss out any expired food. Task them with grouping the remaining food into food groups and categories to make putting it all back in the pantry even easier.
The garage and basement can easily become full of items that you no longer need, want, or knew that you even owned. Take stock of what you are storing in these locations to avoid hanging on to items that you don’t need and are taking up storage space. It will look much worse before it gets better but I recommend taking out and touching everything that you have stored in these areas. This should involve the entire family.
How to get your kids involved: be a project manager and divvy up the duties! Explain the plan of attack to the family and give each person a job. After the work is done give a small reward for all of the hard work (incentives work!).
About Rachel Rosenthal
Rachel Rosenthal is an organizing expert and founder of Rachel and Company, a Washington, DC-based professional organizing firm. Since 2007, Rachel’s firm has worked with 2,000+ clients, and teamed up with prominent brands, including West Elm, Pottery Barn, The Container Store, and Four Seasons. Rachel is a TODAY Parenting Contributor and her organizing tips and expertise has been seen by millions and in 70+ publications, including Real Simple, Martha Stewart, House Beautiful, The Rachael Ray Show, and local NBC, ABC, and Fox morning shows. Rooted in the belief that organization can be achieved by all, Rachel emphasizes solutions that are easy to use and enhance a home’s existing aesthetic. Check out her site and follow @rachelandcomp on Instagram!