Back to School: Picking it Up

Michelle Kohanzo of Land of Nod shares her tips for organizing your home

Michelle Kohanzo, managing director of The Land of Nod, knows a few things about organization as the mother of four kids under the age of 14 and running the successful children’s retailer.  Michelle offers Elizabeth Street her secrets for keeping her organizing her home and get ready for back to school.
“I believe that kids should “live” in the whole home, this includes their stuff.  This philosophy creates a bit of an organizational challenge, but with a few key strategies it is possible to keep your home from being overrun by dinosaurs, art projects, and Nerf guns.”  Here are Michelle’s top 5 tips for keeping it neat:

1. Baskets – You can never have enough baskets, and if they have lids even better!  Containers allow for easy clean up in every room.  This is especially key for all the small toys that seem to multiply in my home.  I suggest looking for baskets that suit your room’s décor.
2. Hooks –
 Wall hooks are an easy, inexpensive option for encouraging organization.  Make sure to place them near the door at kid height—otherwise everything will just end up on the floor.
3. Storage-palooza
 – This is the mother of all storage bins – it holds everything and anything!It is perfectly sized for kids to fill.  Every home needs at least 2 of these—I have 4.
4. “Thinning the herd” –
 This is a phrase that my husband coined – it means getting rid of excess stuff (see multiplying small toys above).  I try to “thin the herd” every couple of months.  This is best accomplished when the kids are out of the house – say at grandma and grandpa’s on a Sunday afternoon.
5. Pick it up –
 my kids are sloppy, and they need to constantly be reminded to pick-up after themselves.  Resist the urge to do it yourself – make your kids responsible for their own mess.