Raise your hand if you wish you had more organization in your life!
Now raise your hand if you don’t have the bandwidth or mental capacity at the end of the day to:
- Pick up after your children
- Try to determine what toys, books, etc. that the kids no longer use
- Measure walls and floor space
- Research bins and organization systems
- Buy said bins and systems
- Install said systems
- Organize small toys and knickknacks
- Go on Goodwill runs
You get my point 🙂
My older boys have never been able to keep their room clean – until now. What’s the secret? Read on to find out!
I am not here to give you my own organizational advice – far from it. I am that person who needs all the help she can get!!
But I am here to tell you about how amazing, relieving, and inspiring it was to work with the talented Lisa Saksons of Organized by Lisa with a completely impossible space: a tiny, shared bedroom of two boys ages 4 and 11 that housed too many Nerf darts, toys, dirty clothes, furniture pieces and sharp little Lego pieces (that I swear are going to push me over the edge if I step on one more in the middle of the night!).
The best part? Her solutions have helped my boys keep their room cleaner on a consistent basis, AND has made their (ok, sometimes MY) job of tidying it up easier!
THE BACK STORY:
In 2016, when my husband and I had the “yeah, a third child would be amazing!” conversation, we never in our wildest dreams could have imagined we would be blessed with twins. You see, this is the type of thing you always hear about happening to other people!
What began as an option for my oldest to share or not to share a room with a sibling quickly turned into the question of “What kind of bunk bed can we find to accommodate this tiny room with a funky ceiling that you will now be sharing with your younger brother?” We also wondered how we were ever going to consolidate their toys, books, and clothes.
With four kids (including infant twins), my attention was rarely focused on the tidiness of the boys’ room. When it was time to clean their room, I think even the boys were overwhelmed with all of the stuff and wondered where to put it. The room was somewhat of a jungle, jam-packed with more and more furniture pieces like desks and drawers to try to contain the madness of Legos, books, and just plain randomness boys like to save.
The boys’ bedroom is pretty small. It measures 10 feet deep by 8 feet wide, and the ceiling pitches down to a height of only six feet on the back wall. The tiny closet’s ceiling is also pitched, creating an awkward space. Just your typical, early 1900’s Seattle craftsman.
In summary, we had an awkward space, too much stuff for the space, and the boys didn’t have a “place” where each thing belonged (although they would both say that “under the bed” was a perfectly valid answer). I didn’t have the time or energy to tackle the problem. Mostly I didn’t know where to start with tackling such a huge mess.
I wanted the space to be efficient but not cluttered. I wanted it to be inviting yet utilitarian. I wanted everything to have a place so that the boys wouldn’t feel overwhelmed when asked to tidy their space. I also wanted them to be able to reasonably maintain a tidy-ish room on a regular basis. So yeah, I clearly needed help!
THE FIRST STEPS:
I reached out to Lisa Saksons of OrganizedbyLisa.com, who offers organizational services in the Seattle area (and actually beyond with virtual consultations). You can easily book a complimentary 30 minute consult via her website. The best part? She is happy to help with as much or as little of the process as you need!
Lisa came to my house one day to look at the space I needed help with and create a plan with me. I wasn’t supposed to clean things up prior to her visit (“whew!” and “eek!” simultaneously!), and she assured me she absolutely doesn’t judge (I could have hugged her for this but that would have been weird).
She listened to what I hoped to accomplish and helped to create a plan. She took notes about the goals I had for the room, and measured the closet space. She had a lot of great ideas, and helped me make some decisions I had been waffling about for a while.
The day after she came over, I received an email summarizing the goals for the room and links for several shelving system options, bins, shelves, and “behind the door” storage.
Her recommendations were to open up the space with storage solutions that were intentional, functional, efficient, and also neat and clean-looking. These included ideas for:
- A “floating” bookshelf
- Acrylic shelving to display prized Lego creations
- A clever behind-the-door storage system
- A functional closet storage system to maximize space
- Large Lego bins at floor-level that would be easy for the boys to pull out and then sit on the floor to use
GETTING IT DONE:
She included clear instructions for the next steps we needed to take, like removing the desk and the drawer cart, clearing out the closet space, and going through toys to donate or toss things that were no longer needed or used.
One of the best things about the service Lisa offers is that she will go through the stuff with you and make a Goodwill run, if needed. She will also procure needed items for the project, or help you get set up with TaskRabbit for IKEA runs or putting together/installing items.
My husband is pretty handy and we felt like we could brave a trip to IKEA with four kids in tow (we nearly didn’t, but that’s a story for another time), so we did the shopping and installation of the closet shelving system and bookshelves that Lisa recommended ourselves. Once those were installed, she came back over to help label each bin – my half-joking idea for a miscellaneous bin was kindly rejected, (because everything needs a home!) and organized everything into our new systems.
THE END RESULT:
I felt like I could breathe in the boys’ room for the first time EVER! It turned into an amazingly inviting space that the boys WANTED to spend time in. There was no clutter and everything had a place! I don’t believe I could have achieved this on my own, mostly due to bandwidth and not knowing where to even BEGIN with such project.
The closet system was a perfect fit for the space. The boys are pretty good about taking the bins out to use the treasures they contain, and then putting things away when finished.
I loved the bookshelf Lisa recommended because my kids always stack books on their sides anyway!
We really liked the idea of acrylic shelving, but ultimately I found some acrylic cubes to hang on the wall above the top bunk to maximize the space. I am 100% certain that Lisa’s recommendation of a shelf would have been cleaner looking – some old habits die hard!
We decided to keep our behind-the-door hanging pocket system due to efficiency, but we added some hooks at the foot of the bed for hanging bathrobes so it didn’t look so cluttered. I also may spend a few dollars to buy one with clear pockets, to (hopefully) help reduce those “Mom, I CAN’T FIND IT!” moments.
In the end, Lisa helped me to get a project done that I had been wanting to do but didn’t know how to start. She gave me easy steps and expertise with how best to accomplish my goals for the room. We ended up with a space that is no longer a mash-up of random things and sad attempts to contain said things, but rather a space that is easily maintained, relaxing to be in, and overall more user-friendly and enjoyable.
AND, now my boys understand that everything has a place so their room stays neater and cleaner!! It has simplified the chore of tidying their room when it does need to get spiffed up, so now the task is a breeze for them!
Lisa is offering a special 15% discount off a three hour session for Nanny Parent Connection members (new clients only please)!
Just mention “Nanny Parent Connection” at time of booking to take advantage of $45.00 off her normal session price!
To take advantage of this discount, please visit organizedbylisa.com to book your consultation or organizational services.
Take it from me – seriously book her now! Working with her was the best decision, and I have several other projects I have in mind for Lisa to help me out with now. Nothing big…okay, basically my whole house! 😉
Lisa Saksons, founder of Organized by Lisa, helps her clients create calm, organized spaces at home and at work. As a mom and former tech executive, she was always juggling, but felt like it was only a matter of time before all the balls were dropped. When given the opportunity to stay home for a few years, she decided to take it. During those two years she created modern and fresh solutions to streamline her day-to-day within her own home. The outcome was; more time with kiddos, less stress, a feeling of calm. The bonus, it never took more than 20 minutes to clean up the house since everything had a place! Not long after, at the urging of a good friend, she decided to start her own business and Organized by Lisa was born! Lisa loves helping her clients feel that same sense of calm and accomplishment that drove her headfirst into this career. For Lisa, organizing is the perfect marriage between function and style. Her solutions are both aesthetically pleasing, and easy to maintain.
To see her work firsthand (or to pick up some tips), visit her on Instagram @organizedbylisa. She also offers complimentary consultations via her website.