I was so excited for back-to-school (or more accurately, mom-summer) to begin, that I spent the last month working with The Container Store to turn our playroom into a study station for the kids. Stella is officially a second grader and has *actual* homework now (thank goodness for google because I literally do not know how to help her with math - WHY DID THEY CHANGE HOW TO DO MATH) and she needs a proper place to sit and concentrate. Sutton is only in Pre-K, but...

1) he will be learning unnecessarily complicated math problems before I know it

2) he needs to do everything his older sister does or he panics and

3) it would throw the room off to only have ONE desk unit, and let’s be honest this is the most important reason.

Since I’m more than a little familiar with all that The Container Store has to offer, I knew the Elfa system was the way to go. I could customize it to fit the playroom perfectly, and add shelves, drawers, and utility boards to my heart’s content. Which I did. And then some.

My goals for the space was to have enough accessible shelving to hold the current school year’s projects, classroom art, and memory boxes - but also enough upper shelving to hold past years as well. As kids get older you collect less and less (they don't make Thanksgiving Turkeys with your kids hand print in the 8th grade…) so eventually your storage boxes can span a few years instead of a single one.

I also wanted to make sure to have several drawers for notebooks, coloring books, and the endless stacks of white and color paper used for art. Mission accomplished and now I don’t need to look at them on the desktop!

Last but not least, I wanted a setup that inspired creativity, was visually beautiful, and of course - served the core function of holding supplies. The Elfa utility board system allowed me to hang, clip, hold all sorts of things, but most importantly, a tray of pens, pencils, markers, and more. And I obviously was not going to pass-up a rainbow moment, so I used these colorful boxes to hold everything. Why the rainbow you ask? Because it always looks pretty, it keeps all the items contained within a system, and Stella can always find the color she needs and knows exactly where it goes when she’s done.

Now for the best news, The Container Store’s Shelving Sale is going on now through 10/14, and Elfa is 25% off! I think I'm going to need to make myself a desk now since I'm guessing my kids won't let me work at theirs...


Elfa shelving solutions
Document storage boxes
File storage box
Rainbow boxes
Poppin desktop sorter
Poppin desktop pencil cup
Poppin calculator
Poppin scissors
Poppin notebooks
Glass jars
Desk chair

xo, Clea


Divided Fridge Drawer Clear
Divided Turntable
Tall Drawer
Egg Bin
Narrow Drawer
Large Berry Bin
Produce Bin
Small Fridge Bin
Tip 1: Stock Up on Healthy Staples

If you want to start eating healthier, you obviously need to stock your fridge with healthy food. It helps to create a list of core staples to have on hand at all times. This takes the guesswork out of grocery shopping, and you’ll feel more prepared during meal and snack time. 

Tip 2: Edit, Edit, Edit

When it comes to actually organizing your fridge, don’t skip the editing process. Even if you don’t feel like it, start by removing every single item from your fridge until it’s completely empty. We suggest keeping a trash bag nearby and tossing anything expired as you go. And since your fridge shelves are probably due for a deep clean, here’s your chance to actually get in there and wipe off that weird sticky layer! 

Tip 3: Create Zones

Every category should live in a designated zone (location) and preferably, within a contained and visible home (clear product). This allows everything to be accessible, accounted for, and aesthetically pleasing...while also maximizing shelf space.

Tip 4: Label It

Labeling isn’t just the finishing touch, it’s actually the secret sauce of the system. Labels are really just straightforward directions for where items go. They concretely identify the contents that live in each container. It not only helps *you* maintain the system, but it holds your kids, your partner, and anyone else using the space, too. 

*Reminder: Think broad, not specific when labeling your categories. It should be a simple road map that’s flexible enough for the occasional outlier. 

Tip 5: Freeze It

Your freezer is valuable real estate in your fridge set up, so clear out those old popsicles and spilled frozen peas to make room for favorites your family will actually eat. We're looking at you last minute meals.

We love using our Freezer Bins to contain the chaos amongst the frozen pizzas and kids snacks. Organizing this space will take the dread out of opening this often-forgotten area, we promise!

Thoughts welcome!

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