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Kid-Friendly Play Spaces 
February 2011
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Now that the weather outside is frightful, your kid's playroom (or bedroom) becomes their indoor playground. Since they're spending most of their time indoors this month, make their play space more user-friendly and easier to maintain.

  • Forget those overloaded, deep toy boxes. They only invite kids to pull everything out and throw it all over the place just to get to the stuff on the bottom. Opt instead for open shelving and clear plastic bins so that kids can see what's inside without taking everything out first. (Check out this extra-deep shelving from IKEA that works well for storing plastic bins: great toy shelving.)
  • Sort toys into categories: Barbies, Matchbox cars, Legos, dress-up clothes, etc. Put each category of toy into its own bin and label the front, then line them up on open shelving.  (A unique, fun storage option for Legos is Box 4 Blox.)
  • For pre-readers, snap a picture of one of each category of toys and affix it to the front of each bin. Pictures can be laminated first, or you can just cover the entire picture with clear packing tape.
  • Large cars and trucks can be lined up on the shelves independently. A "parking space" can be delineated for each vehicle by striping sections off with colored masking tape.  You can even tape a picture of each vehicle on the front of the shelf for each designated parking place!
  • For puzzles whose pieces become a giant, scrambled mess on the floor, try this trick from my favorite kindergarten teacher: Assign each puzzle a number and write it on the back of the board with a sharpie marker. On the back of each individual piece belonging to that particular puzzle, write the same number. This may take a bit of time at first, but makes cleaning up and getting the pieces back together for each puzzle much easier. To save even more time, just dump each puzzle and its pieces into a two-gallon zip-top bag with its number marked on the front. Puzzles can then be stored standing on end in a plastic bin, making it easy just to "flip through" and choose!
  • Large zip-top bags also work well for those games whose boxes have become broken down, making it hard to keep all the pieces from falling out. Cut out the front of the game box and use clear packing tape to affix it to the front of a bag, (Ziploc XL bags work quite well for this purpose). Throw all the pieces, game board, and directions into the bag for a new, inexpensive, more secure container.
  • Arts & crafts supplies should be sorted into categories, as well (construction paper, markers, scissors, glue sticks, etc.) and put into labeled bins. These can be placed on higher shelves for limited, "parent-only" access for younger children.

With everything assigned a clearly designated "home", clean-up becomes so much easier! Even the youngest child can match a toy with its picture and get things into the right bin. At the end of each day, make clean-up time fun by setting a timer and racing to get everything back in its assigned bin before the "ding"!


Lisa S. Griffith
Lisa S. Griffith

Quick Links



WORKSHOP: Conquering Paper Clutter

Wednesday, February 9th

7:00 - 8:30 pm

Barrington Community School

Barrington Middle School

261 Middle Highway

Barrington, RI


In this workshop participants will learn strategies for managing the day-to-day influx of paperwork that often threatens to take over our home spaces and lives. You will learn how to establish a household information center that organizes the various papers that come into your home. You will be able to reclaim your kitchen countertop, dining room table, or any place that catches the overflow. Never miss another deadline for a bill payment, a field trip permission slip, or a party RSVP. Put your hand immediately on that team game schedule, school calendar, or church directory. Get it all under control and keep it under control for you and your family. For details and registration, go to:



FREE Community Shredding Event

Wednesday, February 9th

8:00 am - noon

Eco-Tope, Inc.

150 Colfax St.

Providence, RI


Clean off that desktop, kitchen counter, and dining room table. Purge those old household files. Shred papers with personal information and protect yourself from identity theft. For details, go to:



WORKSHOP: Organizing for Busy Moms 

Wednesday, February 16th

 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Barrington Community School

Barrington Middle School

261 Middle Highway

Barrington, RI


All mothers are working mothers! Whether you work in or out of your home, managing a home and a family is a full-time occupation. How do you juggle it all, keep it organized, and maintain your sanity? In this workshop, you will learn organizing tips and techniques geared towards busy moms. Learn how to manage your time, their stuff, and have something left over for yourself. Check out Lisa's favorite products for the home, get some time-saving strategies, and have some fun in the process! For details and registration, go to:


Eco-Depot & E-Waste Collection

Saturday, March 5th

8 am - noon

Johnston Central Landfill

65 Shun Pike

Johnston, RI


Saturday, March 12th

8 am - 1 pm

Warren D.P.W.

21 Birch Swamp Rd.

Warren, RI


Get rid of all of those old computers and other electronic equipment. Safely dispose of that old paint, used motor oil, and anything else that clutters up your home and garage that you can't just toss in the trash. For details, go to:


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From my heart to yours!


Lisa S. Griffith
The Organized Way