It may be fun for kids to have a lot of toys, but it is no fun to trip over toys or to be unable to find toys, clothing and other items when you need them.
It may be tempting to hire a professional organize to come in and get your children’s bedrooms under control; there is great value in organizing your kids’ rooms together with them.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you work to tame the mess in your children’s bedroom.
Get Rid of Stuff
It’s almost impossible to keep a room neat and tidy when you have too much stuff. This is even more true for children who are just learning organizational skills than it is for adults.
Start off by getting rid of toys that are broken or no longer played with and clothing that is stained or defective in some other way or no longer fits. If you have younger children you want to pass clothing down to, box it up for now. Be sure to label the box to indicate the contents of the box before putting it away.
If you have a lot of clutter to go through, start off with one small area such as a dresser or even one corner of the room and focus on that until you have had an opportunity to go through each of the items.
If you choose to give away some of the items you no longer want, immediately box or bag them and put them in the trunk of your car. The next time you’re out, drop them off at a second hand store, or at the home of a friend.
Organize Toys in Storage Containers
I love storage containers for organizing. It’s a good idea to use multiple containers that are as small as possible and that stack neatly. For instance, rather than have one huge container for art supplies, have a container for markers, a container for scissors, another one for glue and tape and so on. If desired, the small containers from the same type of category such as art supplies can be put into one large container.
Be sure to label the outside of the storage containers so that is is clear what should go in each one. If your children are young and don’t yet read, label the containers with photos that represent the types of items that should go into the containers.
Organize Children’s Toys in Zones
Kindergarten classrooms are often organized by zones, and it’s no surprise that those who are with kids all day long know how to keep things organized. Zones make it easy to know where toys belong, and they also create a sense of purpose and can even set a certain mood. For instance, a reading zone can have a bookcase and a comfy chair such as a beanbag chair. When children enter the reading zone, they will likely get into a reading mood.
Organizing toys by zones also makes it easier to put toys away because the items will be used in the same area where they are stored. The less effort it takes to put the toys away, the more likely it is they will be put away consistently.
Get Down on a Kid’s Level
Toy storage should be easily accessible to the kids who will use the toys, and should also be easy for them to handle. If you make it hard for children to reach the toy storage units, or if they have a hard time doing things like opening the lid to the storage containers, they will be less likely to use them.
Involve the Kids in Organizing Their Rooms
If you involve your children in organizing their rooms, and if you have their help in doing things such as labeling the containers and zones, they will be more likely to have a sense of pride and ownership in their rooms and be more likely to cooperate when it comes time for clean up.
Although your children’s rooms may not stay perfectly tidy, if you reduce the amount of items you have, organize things by zones and in containers and involve your children in the organizing process, you’ll be more likely to win the battle over clutter.