Contain and Maintain
Where there are kids, there will be stuff―lots of it, scattered everywhere. In the children's rooms and bathrooms, Lauri keeps their precious things in containers that look good enough to be showcased on shelves and countertops. She has focused on transparent holders so the kids can find what they're looking for with no "Hey, Mom!"
"Kids are natural collectors," says Lauri. "They pick up things everywhere, and I like to encourage that―even if sometimes I find myself wanting to yell, 'Put that down! That's garbage!' " For collections of shells, rocks, and other found treasures, Lauri buys white-topped clear jars and identifies the contents on office-supply labels. Each jar is a packaged memory. Arranged on a shelf, the collection makes a pleasing display. "I've tried to find a way for the children's inclinations and interests to be incorporated but contained, so that those things don't bother me," Lauri says. "It's part of respecting that the kids have to have their private space, as Douglas and I have to have ours."
Storage jars: $1.50 to $3.50 each, containerstore.com.