Organization took upon a whole new meaning once I had children! One day I will miss dress-up clothes strewn throughout the house and play food everywhere besides the play kitchen, but until then I was ready to welcome expert advice from Beth Bayfield of Little Acorn Consulting, to help get our playroom back in order and better equipped for creative play. Little Acorn Consulting will help design spaces in your home for your children that help promote order, independence, a sense of peace and overall simplicity.
Beth founded Little Acorn Consulting after 18 years as a Montessori Teacher so that she could spend more time with her family (she has a 3 year old son, so she gets it!) and so that she could serve families in another way. She is passionate about helping families reconnect together and offers suggestions and support in creating a home space that supports family connection, exploration, discovery, joy, creativity, responsibility and order. Her designs and suggestions focus on quality over quantity.
Prior to coming to our home to see all of our “organized clutter”, Beth sent me a questionnaire to get a better idea of our family goals and understand what kind of adventure was ahead of her that day. Beth offers several home design packages to her clients. I chose the 3 Goals package, as I felt that it was the best fit for my family.
Our 3 Goals:
- Minimize stuff to maximize learning and play.
- Introduce new activities and play into daily routine.
The morning that Beth arrived for our session, we began with a good chat about life with kids, being a mom, and the mess that comes with it all. It is always comforting to know that others deal with the same challenges when organizing. Suddenly I felt a bit of a relief knowing that our “mess” was normal.
After talking we headed over to dive into the trenches of the playroom. We started with the dress-up armoire, which was clearly overflowing with glitz and glam. Beth suggested picking a few dresses to hang and putting the rest in storage to later rotate when the girls felt like they needed a new selection. Another great suggestion was to use small baskets in the drawers below for accessory storage so that everything had a special spot. Simple yet doable practices that we could put in play right away!
One of my frustrations with the playroom is that we have so many big toys (Doll House, Little People Castle etc) that line the perimeter of the room. There is not a great deal of room for open space. Toy rotation was once again the answer. I am guilty of giving the girls too many play choices, when in reality, reworking and minimizing those choices is the best practice.
Toy organization was definitely a problem area for us! We just throw toys in bins and then lose track of what we have to play with because it is shoved behind something. A bookshelf type of system was recommended, again using baskets to organize. This would help to make all toys visible and even make cleaning up easier. Fewer toys equals less stuff to put away. I like it already!
Two additional areas that we discussed were the pantry (which is a home for all of our crafts, games, and art supplies) as well as the implementation of a command center for the girls. Once again storage baskets were overflowing, so downsizing the amount of activities (or the million crayons & coloring books) was necessary. Beth also suggested creating an activity cupboard for the girls that they could access. Putting games & activities down on their level is a great way to promote independence. We plan to incorporate a command center in the kitchen to help promote responsibility and routine.
We had such a productive morning! After meeting with Beth, I felt refreshed and ready to tackle our 3 Goals. Sometimes it takes a fresh set of eyes to create the motivation needed to conquer the never ending battle of organization.
A couple of days after our session, Beth sent me a summary report that detailed every step of our time together that morning. She also included additional activity suggestions, as well as a private and personal Pinterest board for even more ideas to implement into our plan. Organizing with kids is always a work in progress and I now have many things in my parenting tool belt to make that happen!
And I am not alone in feeling like this time invested with Beth was well worth it. Another one of her clients had this to say:
My kids absolutely love their new rooms! They used to watch TV or play on my phone non-stop, but since they got their new rooms, they are completely off electronics now. Highly recommended!
- Mom to a 3 year old boy and 18 month old girl; and client of Little Acorn Consulting