Saturday, January 30, 2016

My Biggest Organizational Challenge: LEGOS

While I have three young boys, by far my biggest 'housekeeping' challenge is our oldest son's Lego sets. He loves Legos. We are Legoland Annual Passholders. His past three birthday parties have been Lego-related. For his last birthday, we spent the night at the Legoland Hotel! You get the point. What this means for me is that I have Lego sets all over my house. Since we also have two younger boys, it is a challenge to keep all the pieces out of reach of the baby. 

I tried keeping them in his room. I tried keeping them on a shelf in the playroom. I tried keeping them in the dining room. 

No problem here, unless you wanted to... use your dining room table? or sit at the table for dinner?
The only thing that has worked so far is keeping them in the box! For some reason, he doesn't like that idea. 

An idea that I think might just work is It is kind of like Netflix or Gamefly, but with toys. You receive a toy in the mail, play with it, and return it. Then you get a new one! I think this is a wonderful process because it also reduces wasted toys, and teaches kids the value of sharing toys. 

It's also a great way to decrease the VOLUME of toys in the house. With three boys, this could be a lifesaver for me! I love that you could, say, get to build the Lego set without having to buy a new one.      Over Christmas, our oldest son received an obscene amount of new Lego sets. A few of them are still sitting here unopened. They were expensive! It's OK, if he doesn't open them soon- I'm going to put them away as an 'investment' for him. There are Star Wars Lego sets that we refused to buy him over Christmas, and he really wants. I was curious to see if those were on Pley's list of toys- and they are! So rather than buying him the Death Star on Amazon for over $500 (no, I'm not kidding), this monthly fee sounds like a real bargain!

Look how clean this room is! 
I was concerned about the cleanliness of 'sharing' Lego sets. But from what I've read on their website,  they have considered this and YES they toys are cleaned when they are returned and before they are sent out again. doesn't just have Legos. They  have a variety of toys, grouped by ages and there is something for everyone. You can actually save money on toys. For an example, K'NEX Raptor's Revenge is currently selling for over $27 on and with Pley you can build that and return it and get a new toy for $19.99/month! 

Have you tried this company? I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, January 22, 2016

GUEST POST: Cheap Ways to Make Your Kids' Room Look Styled

This guest post was submitted by Ryan Miller of, Remodeling Ideas to Increase the Value of your Home.

Dreaming of decorating the whole house? If you’d love to live with a stylized décor, there may be one thing stopping you—money. Here at Modernize, we understand how to do chic on a budget, so here are a few tips to stylize your child’s room without breaking the bank.

Say Yes To Color
When we think of childhood, we think of playing, having fun, being full of energy (sometimes too much) and being carefree. That fun part of youth can easily be incorporated into an affordable décor. You can go a long way with paint color, so choose a color that adds a fun and energetic pop, but doesn’t overwhelm the space. Try using complementary colors for a cohesive look.

If you’re not ready to paint the walls orange just yet, why not go for a neutral color and use decorative accents for that pop of color? Paint wooden or paper letters from the craft store and spell out your kids’ names. This fun, decorative DIY option will usually cost you less than $50.  You can also wrap the letters in yarn, or comic books or magazine pages for an eye-catching design.

The trick to creating a stylized look with color is to coordinate accessories, such as rugs, fabric organizer bins, and any personal trinkets.

Control the Chaos
No kid’s room will ever stay clean. It’s a rite of passage as a child to make a mess. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with it! Organize toys in a decorative toy chest, or save money by utilizing fabric and plastic bins. You can even slide these bins into a cubby system for easy access and cleanup.

If you have a closet in your child’s room, use all the space you can by hanging a shoe organizer over the door and storing shoes, toys, craft supplies and more. This reduces clutter in the room, and gives your kiddo more space to play. You can also install a simple shelving system in the closet to utilize vertical space.

Give Old Items New Purpose
Need more storage? Try repurposing what you have. A shelf can easily become a bench with storage underneath. Just give it a fresh coat of paint and a decorative cushion. Then you can store all those toys in cute fabric bins.

Look around your house (and the garage) to see what you’re not using. Don’t like that end table? Repaint it and replace the drawer knob with something fun that your child will like. Recover undesirable cushions and pillows. The sky is the limit! Thrift stores and donation centers often have hidden treasures just waiting for you to breathe new life into them.

Make the Room Interactive
It’s not true that a fun kid’s room has to cost a fortune. You can incorporate a slide into a room with a few scraps of wood, some paint. and plenty of cushions. Build a reading nook with a curtain, a lamp, and some bean bag cushions or floor poofs. Another great idea is to paint a wall with chalkboard paint. Kids already want to write on the walls, so why not let them do it? Design spaces for your child to play around the room and interact with her environment. Not only will it create a safe and exciting space, it will make your design look crazy expensive (we won’t tell anyone that it wasn’t!)

If you’re not sure where to start, just listen to your child. What colors does he/she love? What toys does she like to play with? Incorporating your kiddo’s personality into the room creates a uniqueness that money can’t buy.