Guest Post By: Danielle Lazier, Founder, SFhotlist Team, Top-producing San Francisco real estate agent.

Organizing and decorating your home when you’re single is one thing, but throw pets and kids into the mix and the state of your home can quickly unravel. Of course we love them to pieces, but when pets and kids are underfoot, it seems as soon as you clean one mess, another one is waiting. Yet with just a few creative ideas, your home can be organized in pet-friendly, kid-friendly ways that will have the whole household organized and content. Try these five creative ways to organize your home for pets and kids to create just a little bit more order in your life:

1. Start with the entrance

Let’s face it, pets and kids are messy. So start at the beginning and optimize your entrance. A shelf and hooks on the wall is an easy solution to discarded coats, clothes, toys, collars, and leashes. Rather than these items ending up on the floor, you can hang them tidily and within handy reach. Use the shelf for storing towels that can be used to clean dirty paws, hands, and feet. By dealing with the messiness right at the start, you’ll prevent it from getting trekked into the rest of your home. It’s a good idea to have a laundry hamper by the entrance, too, so that dirty clothes can be immediately put where they belong instead of strewn across your floor. Additional ideas for the entrance include having a place for hand sanitizer and/or baby wipes, to prevent sticky hands from staining walls and dirtying door knobs.

2. Invest in stain resistant furniture

There’s no use crying over spilled milk, but it would be nice if it didn’t leave a stain. Four types of stain resistant fabrics are leather, vinyl, pleather (if you can find some high quality versions, so that it still looks classy), and Crypton, a nearly indestructible, synthetic fabric that’s resistant to stains and smells. While some of these may still suffer scratches and tears from paws and fingernails, at least you can minimize the mess left from spilled liquids and muddy paws. Another alternative, if you want to stick with other types of fabrics, is to choose darker colored material, so that stains are less likely to show.

3. Embrace the power of bins

If you have pets and kids in your home and you haven’t yet discovered the joy of plastic bins, it’s time to embrace the convenience they afford. Since they come in all shapes, sizes, and materials, you can place bins in every room in your house if you’d like to. They’ll keep your rooms looking neat and organized, even if the contents of the bins are a haphazard mess. Bins are a convenient and easy way to store clothes, toys, games, and more. Just be sure to label them so that you don’t get the kid toys confused with the ones meant for Fido.

4. Create a kitchen play space

Most households spend the majority of their time in the kitchen, but this is especially true for households that contain kids and pets. While it can be amusing to let your kids tear apart your tupperware drawer, this can get old after a while. Plus, where are the pets supposed to play? Teeth marks on your tupperware are not exactly a desired feature, either. The solution is to create a play space in the kitchen, complete with toys, pillows for lounging on, and room to get messy. Tuck the play space under a counter island, convert a pantry into a play nook, or designate a corner for the critters and munchkins.

5. Design a reading nook

Reading nooks are a delightful way to organize some of your children’s books and toys, and pet toys, too. Studies have shown improved social skills in kids who read to animals. By designing a reading nook, you’ll give your kids a quiet little enclave where they can read to and bond with their favorite animal companions. Line the shelves with children’s picture books and include a jar of pet treats so that the kids can reward the pets for good behavior. Reading nooks can be so inviting, you may even want to cozy up in there yourself!

It’s important to consider both your kids’ and pets’ lifestyles when organizing the layout of your house. The above ideas are just five creative ways you can organize your home for kids and pets. What other creative organizing ideas can you think of? Reach out to me on Twitter at @sfhotlist… I’d love to hear your thoughts!

About Danielle Lazier

Since 2002, I have been a leading San Francisco Real Estate Agent. With hundreds of past transactions, I am a well-regarded Realtor and an industry innovator. In addition to my deep connections throughout the San Francisco real estate community, I am the founder of one of San Francisco’s first real estate teams, At the SFhotlist Team, we aim to deliver top results and an enjoyable experience every time!

I attribute my success not only to my passion for real estate, but also to my intuition regarding the psychology of buying and selling. My clientele works in diverse industries with an emphasis on technology, finance, medicine, law, business and the arts. My business has grown successfully and consistently thanks to the repeat business of happy clients and their introductions to friends, family and neighbors. This track record is only possible because I deliver both results AND an enjoyable experience.