Welcome to Clean Sweep, news.com.au's bi-monthly series of house organizations with exclusive tips on how to unclutter your home directly from Australians who have made their way to success.
You may consider yourself a very lucky minority if you have never felt the disabling pain of walking barefoot on a piece of Lego.
Finding a stray toy that prints on your sole (or your soul, if it's the fifth time of the day) is a familiar feeling for most parents – and usually means that your child's toys are not stored.
According to Sydney's mother Christine Krkach, constantly finding her daughter Mia's toys scattered in their living room "drove me crazy".
The professional stripper searched Instagram for ideas of personal organization for toys, but she was unable to find one that suited her. She had to come up with her own solution.
Now, Ms. Krkach shared her ingenious trick to keep children's toys out of sight and tidy – and you'll never walk on a piece of Lego again.
For this part of Clean Sweep, Ms. Krkach has opened her site at news.com.au for a tour featuring the hacking organizations she uses at her home. You can watch them in the video above.
"REALLY GOOD IDEA TO KEEP TOYS"
Ms. Krkach's passion for the organization of the home began when the small space in which she and her husband moved after their marriage meant that things had to be kept in order and at a minimum.
In 2016, she founded her decluttering service. She is now helping Sydney families get by with the trash and keep things in order.
Since welcoming their first child, a Mia girl, last year, Ms. Krkach has recognized that it is impossible for things to always be neat.
But she was frustrated by the difficulty of storing Mia's toys in a large basket.
"I would really have trouble, because around lunch time, she would take out that basket and there would be little toys all over the house," she said.
"I was vacuuming and picking it up, it drove me crazy. When we went to play, it took us so long to find all the pieces. "
To get rid of the toy basket, Mrs. Krkach bought Ikea organizers and transparent pencil cases of different sizes on eBay.
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In the drawers of her TV stand, she has stowed smaller toys in matching cases, storing them vertically in the organizer of the container lid, adjustable to the waist.
All the biggest toys are stored in the drawers at the bottom.
"She sits down with me, we play together, she chooses what she wants, we pack together, then she chooses the next one," Krkach said.
"It probably takes me less than 30 seconds to pack them. And then we play with the following and all the pieces are there. It really has been a lifesaver using such a really cheap idea to store toys. "
Even better, Ms. Krkach said the toy solution had become a useful way to teach her 16-month-old daughter to tidy up her belongings from an early age.
"She seems to think it's fun to pick up all the pieces and put them away, so that's fine, I'll take it as long as it lasts," Krkach said with a laugh.
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HOME HOME ORGANIZATION: DO AND DO NOT
Chop Chop in the kitchen
Since she became a mother, Krkach has taken meal preparation to the next level and spends an hour every weekend cutting and washing all her food after the supermarket's weekly store.
"I have a young baby who does not sleep very well. So I have to be very organized and make sure all her food and all her food is ready, "she said.
"If we had a bad day or got stuck in the car trying to get her to sleep, I know that as soon as we go out, everything is cut, ready to go. I literally come to cook it, a huge time saving there. "
After discovering that the containers were taking up too much space, Ms. Krkach is used to most of them and uses reusable Stasher bags available from Howards Storage World.
On the bottom shelf, she bags all the pre-washed and pre-cut foods and stacks them vertically in the transparent bags. The fresh fruits are washed and stored in long transparent Kmart containers on the second shelf.
On the top shelf, Ms. Krkach keeps the leftovers and the food that she is thawing in the few plastic containers that she still uses, which means everything is easily accessible to any time.
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Get rid of things you do not like
Ms. Krkach thinks, like other declutterists, that less is more, and keeping something that you do not like in the hope of using it one day would only create more waste because it could hide elements important.
"Many people feel guilty about throwing things away, but the reality is that you will not be using something you do not like if you bought something else that you like" , she said.
When it comes to containers, do things well
Ms. Krkach said that we should not be content with old containers, you should always make sure you know your measurements.
"People want to organize and sometimes they can go out and buy a simple set of containers," she said.
"But there are so many options for organizing these days, with compartments separating things. And it's obvious that it makes life so much easier when you can see things rather than just throwing them in a box. "
You can follow Christine Krkach on Instagram or find out more about her work on her website.
Do you have a good house organization or cleaning story to share? Email Clean Sweep at the address [email protected]
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