The Coupon Lady: Back-to-school means time to reorganize kids' rooms

Well, it’s back to school time. My oldest started fourth grade and my youngest started kindergarten.


Honestly, I thought it was going to be hard to see my youngest join her big brother in elementary school, but when the day came I didn’t shed a single tear.

As much as I love my children, it has been nice to have time to myself this past week. Grocery shopping is a lot easier without children, and it is easy to fit six or seven stops into a single day of errands when you don’t have to fuss with potty breaks, nap times and cranky kids.

It is also much easier to clean the house, with no little ones making messes faster than mommy can clean up behind them.

With my newfound freedom, I’ve decided to thin down my house. My daughter’s birthday is coming up, and I decided to give her new furniture. Her bed is fit for a princess and has a slide, castle tower and playhouse area underneath a loft bed. I took advantage of last year’s clearance sales and was able to save a few hundred dollars on the rest of the bedroom set. I even managed to get the dealer to hold off delivery until right before her birthday and included set-up so I don’t have to put it together!

How do you know what you need for a home organization project? First of all, you have to figure out what your space needs to do. My children’s rooms have to be a place for them to sleep, play, store clothes and store toys. Because they will do their homework in my office, we don’t need a desk in either room.

In addition to the new bedroom furniture, I decided to update our storage – the small toy boxes were just not cutting it anymore. I decided to take advantage of a few “back to school” sales and bought a few new organizers for my kids.

After we figured out the goals for the room, we thought about the furniture we had and evaluated what we needed and didn’t need. After some furniture shuffling, we decided that the only purchase we needed to make for our son’s room was a shelving system.

In my son’s room, I wanted to showcase his love for building and mechanics and have furniture that would be able to grow up with him. I found a five-shelf silver metal bookcase at Target on sale and clear snap-top storage bins that were also on sale. I bought enough storage boxes to fill up the bottom three shelves in three different sizes.

For about $120, I was able to provide him with an industrial-looking setup that holds hundreds of thousands of Legos, science kits, costumes and sports gear. What I also love about this setup is that I can label each box, and he can clearly see the items inside.

My daughter will be getting a new bed, dresser and nightstand. We also decided that she needed more space for toys, so we purchased a cubical toy box that was able to give us more vertical storage. When my organization was complete, we were able to get rid of four toy boxes and three bags of toys in both children’s rooms.

When you organize your children’s dressers, you don’t have to use fancy dividers. Shoe boxes work great to separate items such as socks, hats and gloves. Going through clothes can be a challenge, especially with clothing that can have sentimental value. I have a small box for “special clothes” such as birthday shirts and hospital take home outfits, but otherwise I get rid of anything too small or worn.

After you finish your project, if you find yourself with a large pile of toys and clothes, it’s easy to make a few dollars toward new purchases. The fall consignment sales are starting soon, and registration has already begun for consignors for the Trinity on the Hill church sale. Sellers take home 60 percent of the sale price and the church keeps 40 percent for mission work, so it’s a chance to earn money and give back to the community at the same time.