From Pigpen to Playpen
You think you need help getting organized? When a couple with quadruplets is desperate to unpack and create a tidy playroom in their new home, Evette Rios helps turn their basement from a pigpen to playpen in just one day! Here's how she does it:
• Move boxes into the room where the stuff in the boxes belongs, even though you don't yet know exactly where each item will go.
• Don't think of your packing boxes as storage. Get your stuff out of the boxes and into bags and bins instead.
• Tell the kids: "choose it or lose it." Take all the boxes out on the lawn and tell the kids to make piles of toys they'd be willing to give away. Not only will you be getting rid of stuff, you'll be teaching your kids about giving away the toys they don't use to needy children.
• Color-code toys and playthings by child. Mark everything with their color by painting toy chests, frames with their photo in them or name plates and put colored stickers on their toys. This gives them a sense of responsibility for their own stuff -- and makes it easier for grown-ups to track which mess belongs to whom. This color-coding system also works for anyone who has to share space with a group of people.
When everything is packed away or out on the lawn getting organized, it's a great time to spruce up your space. Here are a few great and inexpensive ways to update the look of a room.
• Give the room a fresh coat of paint. "Paint can really transform a room," Evette says. "And it's relatively cheap."
• Drape some fabric to cover ceiling beams.
• Area rugs are also an inexpensive way to define space, and add color and visual interest.
• Lighting also makes a huge difference: "Going from overhead lighting to task lighting, floor lamps and table lamps makes a room nice and cozy," she adds.
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