[ THE ] TIPS: SCHOOL YEAR STORAGE

Every. Single. Day. My kids come home with a mountain of papers. I stand at the kitchen counter and admire each one with them until they are safely upstairs and I can decide whether I want to actually keep anything. The first ones to hit the recycling bin are the half-drawn doodles that clearly happened when they had 5 minutes in-between activities and were handed a piece of paper and a crayon. Then I flip through the worksheets... If it has a sticker or a note saying "WOW! Definitely going to Harvard!" I'll keep it. The other 99% go into the recycling bin to keep the doodles company.

The more difficult decisions happen with actual artwork and projects. My general rule of thumb is that I hold on to anything personalized (portrait, handprints, what they're thankful for over the holidays, etc), and anything I actually like and think I'll want to have in the future. If you're feeling uncertain about something in particular, just hang on to it since you'll go through everything a second time before the next school year starts! 

For instance... I'll keep this because it's portrait of our family, with the additional bonus of Stella making me look tall and skinny with a good outfit and a hand on my hip. 

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STEP 1

Select a sentimental storage box for each child to hold all their items from the school year. This can be papers, tests, artwork - whatever comes home that feels special. Add a label so you know which box belongs to which child! 

I like using the white Stockholm Boxes above, but use whatever works best in your home and for the amount of stuff you need to store!

STEP 2

Throughout the school year, put everything you're keeping directly into the designated box, but try your best to edit the items down! Not EVERYTHING is a keeper, and it will make the end-of-year clean-out much easier! 

Important to note that these boxes should be accessible since you will want to add to them on a daily or weekly basis. I keep mine in our office, but putting them in the mudroom, front hall closet, or even in the kitchen, also works! 

STEP 3

Select stackable storage bins that adequately hold your items (remember that some projects are oversized and bulky!) and won't be a burden to store in your home. I keep my storage bins in the attic, but find a spot that makes sense for your space and will allow you to grow the collection. 

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These particular bins are from Target, and they are the perfect dimensions for the artwork my kids bring home. 

STEP 4

At the end of each school year, or at the start of a new one (or in October because you’ve been too busy and putting it off), go through each box and transfer the items you definitely want to keep into the storage bin. Think of the sentimental box as the year-long holding spot for all the “probably keep” items, and the storage bin as the “definitely keeping” items. 

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STEP 5

Make sure to add a label so it’s easy to spot if you ever want, or need, access! I hear Kindergarten photos make excellent full page ads in high school yearbooks, so I want mine to be easy to find!

TIP: It's fine to add to a box if it isn't completely full. Stella's Kindergarten box was filled to the brim, so I labeled it accordingly and it will go into storage. Sutton's box is only half full, so I labeled in "Preschool" because I plan on adding this year's items as well! 

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PRODUCT RECAP

Stockholm Document Boxes
Sterilite Storage Bins
Sharpie Paint Markers
and since everyone seems to be asking... my rug! 
 

MORE OPTIONS

If you are tight on space, or only want to hold on to the bare minimum, we suggest taking a photo and creating a book instead. The Artkive app is great for this since it caters specifically to this purpose, but you can also use a traditional photo book company like Chatbooks or Shutterfly. These books make great gifts for grandparents, so it takes care of your storage needs and gifting needs at the same time!

Here is my real-time school year purge that I documented on Instagram Stories in case you missed it! 

XO, Clea

[ THE ] TIPS: SUMMER STORAGE

It’s Labor Day! Which doesn't really feel like a day off when you have kids... More like an extra hard work day before the start of the work week. But it DOES mark the end of summer! So whether you are packing-up summer supplies until next year, or you plan to soak-up the sun for a few more weeks, here are a few summer storage tips! 

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Before you get started, designate a spot in your garage, attic, or storage closet for seasonal items. We often store summer items near winter items so that they can be easily swapped out depending on the season. 

  • Organize your summer supplies into applicable categories. For instance: Games + Activities, Entertaining, Pool Floats, Outdoor Supplies, etc. 
     
  • Choose stackable bins that fit your space, take advantage of the dimensions, and will comfortably hold all your categories. Make sure to label the bins for easy identification!
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  • Just because you have multiple pool floats, doesn’t mean they have to all be inflated at the same time. Always keep an electric pump available so that you easily inflate and deflate as needed. Our favorite is the Sunnylife pump since it's compact and works perfectly with all the pool floats! 
     
  • Keep a weather-resistant cart outside. You can use it to hold food and drinks when you’re entertaining, bins of bubbles and sunscreen for kids, and even turn it into a poolside towel table. 
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  • Add some storage hooks to accompany the seasonal bins. It’s a perfect way to store sporting equipment, outdoor games, and summer gear. 
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We're off to throw one last pool party! Links to all the products are below! 

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[ THE ] TIPS: SMALL SPACE LIVING

It's time to head back-to-school (where did summer go?!), and whether you're moving into a dorm, an apartment, or helping to get your kids settled in one of the above - small spaces require some inventive solutions. As Target's home organizing expert's we wanted to put together some easy-to-implement ideas for getting organized when storage and space is limited. By adding a few smart products, you'll have room for all your items and not have to live with clutter! Hopefully that's not your roommate's name. 

BATHROOM 

We are obsessed with this chrome hamper because it creates extra counter space (particularly helpful with a pedestal sink), holds laundry, and the shelves hold everything from baskets to 6 rolls of toilet paper. 

Products:

Chrome Hamper
White Rope Basket
Glass Canister
Soap Dispenser

LIVING AREA

One of our favorite products at Target is the square shelf mirror, and now it comes in a smaller size and a coordinating square wall shelf! It's SO versatile and can be used for a variety of set-ups. Whether it's for make-up, school supplies, or even a coffee station - you can use it in any room of the house. 

Another one of our favorite space savers, is hanging decor that doubles as storage. This round wall hanging is such a chic way to display notecards, photos, sunglasses, etc. 

Products:

Square Shelf Mirror
Small Square Shelf Mirror
Square Wall Shelf
Round Wall Decor
Iridescent Pencil Cup
Iridescent Tape Holder
LED Sign

DESKTOP

Maximizing your desktop means using stackable and modular products. Our favorites include these white and wooden letter trays, and coordinating desk organizers - and of course we took the opportunity to fill them with rainbow Sharpies and fun binder clips!  

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Products:

Desktop Storage Unit
Stacking Letter Trays
Brit + Co Binder Clips
Brit + Co Notebook
Brit + Co Sticky Notes

BEDROOM

However large your bedroom might be, an efficient nightstand is a must. Lamps, clocks, books, a charging station for your electronics - it all needs to find a way to fit. One of our favorite products for ANY room is the 3-tier Storage Cart, but it works perfectly next to the bed. And because the sides are open, you can easily plug-in all your devices while storing them at the same time. 

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Products:

Grey Storage Cart
Artificial Succulent
Table Lamp

Check out additional tips on A Bullseye View, and our dorm room ideas on PopSugar

XO, THE

 

[ THE ] YOUNG HOUSE LOVE PODCAST

You guys!! The podcast we recorded for Young House Love is up on iTunes! We chatted with them for over an hour (because we had SO much to talk about and group vacations to plan), but somehow they managed to edit us down into an intelligible segment! The entire podcast is linked below, but here is the Cliffs Notes version:

  • I (Clea) grew up in LA and know some celebrities, but do NOT know Amal Clooney which really upsets Joanna and she thinks I should just try harder. 
  • We organized 2 of GP's homes and live for her. 
  • Biggest organizing mistake: YOU CANNOT TAKE SHORTCUTS
  • Biggest conundrum: The organizing process results in a huge mess! It's the only way to put it back in proper order. 
  • Biggest organizing to-do: Group like-items together 
  • No one needs 11 face creams
  • Mantra: You get the item or the space, but not both. Decide the value of the item versus the value of negative space, and let that guide your decision whether to keep or purge. 
  • Correct products are game changers. Incorrect products are just mo' products, mo' problems. 
  • 3 shopping tricks: Take measurements; Make yourself a list; Overbuy and return
  • Best way to get your feet wet: Always start with a drawer.
  • Best pantry hack: Back stock bins for overflow.
  • General pantry categories will keep you from pantry paralysis. 
  • Setup systems around your habits instead of trying to adapt your habits to new systems. 
  • Lose the packaging whenever possible.
  • LABELS ARE LIFE.
  • We earn the least fun mom award every time. 
  • Stella will probably not be working for The Home Edit when she grows up.  
  • We're kind of a lot. 

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE YOUNG HOUSE LOVE PODCAST

WATCH OUR INSTASTORIES LISTENING TO THE PODCAST FOR THE FIRST TIME

FAVORITE PRODUCTS LISTED IN SHOW NOTES

1. Divided Turntable

The Divided Turntable is one of the most versatile products, and can be used all over the house. It's our go-to item for creative a caddy, and we use it in a playroom for art supplies, tea and coffee in the kitchen, cleaning supplies in the laundry room, and pharmacy and first aid in the bathroom. 

2. Natural Baskets

Storage baskets are an essential staple for every room. A seagrass basket compliments all styles of home decor, and neatly contains your odds-and-ends. 

3. Huggable Hangers

The single best thing you can do to transform your closet, is to use a good set of hangers and toss anything mismatched. Your clothes will be properly cared for, and your closet will look refined and polished. 

 

Big thank you to John and Sherry for including us in their show, and being some of our favorite online friends! 

XO, C + J