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Our tips and creative ideas will help you organize your kids' spaces, toys, artwork, and more.
Decorating Editor Rebecca Robertson transformed a bookcase into a storage bench by turning the piece on its side, sewing a cushion cover, and mounting casters. Above it, hooks were hung at staggered heights, some low enough for her son Luca.
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Keep the kids' bathroom organized by assigning each child a color, and coordinating their toothbrushes, towels, and more to match.
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To create a graphic, tidy arrangement of your child's artwork, paint pieces of 1 3/8-inch lattice in high-gloss paint and adhere them to a wall with glue and nails. Screw Bulldog clips to the lattice to hold a rotating selection of art, as well as other meaningful pieces.
Lattice; Martha Stewart Living Paint (on lattice), interior/exterior latex, in Cornbread; both from homedepot.com/marthastewart.
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This idea is a great way to teach your kids where everything goes. Designate a low drawer for your children's plastic dishes. To remind them of what goes where, paint and label a silhouette of each dish.
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To create attractive bins for toys in the common area, paint wooden crates in several shades of blue and label them. Arrange them on an open shelving unit.
Crates (similar to shown), woodthings.com. Martha Stewart Living Paints (on crates), high gloss, in Twilight, Cloudless Day, Myrtle Blossom, Azurite, and Darkening Sky, homedepot.com/marthastewart. Powder-coated steel shelving, rtishelving.com.
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Get organized -- again and again -- with these chalkboard drawers. The labels can be erased as contents in each drawer change.
To make them, affix masking tape in square outlines to fronts of drawers or tins; cover each square with latex chalkboard paint. Let dry; remove tape. To add a border, place two strips of masking tape parallel to each other on opposite sides of square; paint, let dry, and remove tape. Repeat with two other sides.
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This built-in bookcase -- which is backed with a striped wallpaper that echoes the walls' yellow lattice -- displays artwork, including a painting of a girl and a giclee print of red chairs by Leah Giberson.
Wilton Stripe wallpaper, in Yellow, cowtan.com (to the trade only).
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Stocked with everything a student needs, this hideaway is an inviting place to pore over homework. Two store-bought bookcases are filled with handy, stay-organized tools, like a calendar for upcoming school events, an "in" box for unfinished assignments, and an "out" box for finished homework to be checked by Mom and Dad.
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Here, a compact arts-and-crafts spot is set up next to the bed. A gooseneck curtain rod was installed on an Ikea table to hold a roll of paper, with a slat of lattice securing the paper to the other end. A lazy Susan and wall-mounted caddies keep supplies organized.
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Cereal Box Organizers
Kids go through cereal fast. Make use of all the empty boxes by turning them into handy desk organizers. Large boxes work well for books, small ones for supplies.
Cut box with a utility knife at desired angle and height. Wrap decorative or contact paper around box to see how much you'll need; unwrap and cut. Secure paper with double-sided tape; trim excess.
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Using a twist on under-bed storage, the area below a store-bought loft bed becomes a welcoming small-scale study. An adjustable desk is made of painted plywood attached to a homemade wooden frame, which was screwed to the bed's base for stability.
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A ready-made plate rack can be easily transformed into a child's bookshelf, displaying both toys and books.
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This month your kid is into dinosaurs; next month, trains or outer space may be his obsession. How can you decorate a room to reflect his growing curiosity without completely changing the decor? The answer is bulletin boards. A bulletin-board picture rail hung in a child's room or play area lets you proudly show off kids' artwork while keeping tape and thumbtacks off the walls.
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Kids are natural collectors. They love shells and marbles, stamps and coins, even bottle caps. But the things they love needn't end up hidden in drawers. This desk display puts collections to good use.
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It's difficult to build a train track when you can find only four rails. A compartmentalized toy chest can help. Stencils on the front of each drawer help kids find toys quickly.
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