Learn some handy tips on reducing clutter in your child’s room. Raise your hand if this sounds familiar: you open the door cautiously and step inside, expecting at any moment a live animal or, at the very least, an avalanche of toys to topple on top of you. You gingerly set the clean clothes in the closet and bolt while you can make it out of there alive.
Yes, kids’ rooms are universally messy, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Sure, it’s challenging to teach kids how to clean their room and stay organized, but not impossible.
In order to do it effectively, you have to remember what it’s like to be a kid. You CAN have an organized room for your kids. Here are a few tips to help you get started!
First off, when you tell your kids to “clean your room”, they see that as throwing the comforter back on the bed and shoving the toys that are on the floor back into the closet. That’s definitely not “your” version of clean, right? Well, then show them, don’t tell them, what you expect. Work with them one afternoon and clean their room together. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but get it to a point where you’re happy. Then, take a picture of the cleanroom. Frame it, or tape it on their wall. This gives them a visual picture of a clean room, and what you expect to see when you tell them to tidy up.
Keeping clothing current can be a big challenge. Kids grow so fast and it’s hard to constantly weed through the stuff that doesn’t fit. Set up a “Donation Station” in your laundry room. Whenever you’re washing clothes and think that something is too small, throw it in! Whenever they come downstairs in something you KNOW is way too small, the Donation Station is right there so those clothes don’t creep back into the closet. You’ll probably have to do a serious sweep once a season, but this is a great way to manage it a day today.
Don’t underestimate the power of your label maker. Labeling baskets or bins with titles such as “Lego”, “Power Rangers”, “Barbie”, etc. can help your kids learn where certain toys go. If your kids are too young to read, you could also take a picture of the type of toys that go in each bin to go along with the printed label.
You can also reduce clutter by discouraging family and friends from buying toys as gifts. Gift certificates for activities such as theme parks, Chuckie Cheese, or the movies are just as appreciated, and it will go a long way towards reducing the enormous pile that builds up after every Christmas.
While it may seem a daunting task, keeping your kids organized isn’t impossible. Keep it simple!