If you’re like most moms, you’re always busy. Organizing may not be your thing. Keeping the kids room tidy can be a challenge. Even if you’re not working outside the home, you’re still doing things that occupy all your time.
You wish you had more help. You can make that wish come true.
You’ll learn simple ways to organize your kid’s room with their input, and your kids can help maintain it.
A lesson from my mom
Every fall before school started,
my mom would go through my room and make sure there was a place for all my school books and supplies. We had a small piece of furniture with three drawers and three cubby type shelves, and it had pink fabric covering the face of it. My sister and I appropriately called it, “the pink thing”.
We were instructed to put all our school items in the drawers and cubbies every day when we got home from our classes. We had a similar setup for the hall closet. The top three shelves were used for family linens, towels, etc., and the bottom three shelves housed Barbie dolls, board games, and any other toys to keep us entertained.
The system worked,
and growing up I honestly never had to struggle to keep my room clean, or feel overwhelmed with deciding where to put things. Everything had a place, so cleaning up was like solving an easy puzzle. I just had to put everything where I knew it belonged.
The take away is make sure everything has it’s own space in the room.
Some of my childhood friends did not have this same sort of system in their homes. I recall feeling really overwhelmed going to their homes, and specifically in their bedrooms to play, or listen to records.
I would say, “I can’t play in here like this.”
So, my friends (this happened with more than one friend…..) and I would spend time sorting laundry, stacking up books and papers, and clearing a space on the floor before I felt comfortable enough to play.
My friends were great, and never kicked me out of their homes, and their moms loved me. I just felt better in a tidy environment. It didn’t have to be immaculate, but I did better when I had things in order.
My mom has the neat freak gene, and I got it from her.
I’m not militant about it, but I choose to keep my home in order. I like it tidy because it helps me feel at peace. It might need a bit of dusting or there may be some dog hair sprinkled about. However, I never have to do the mad dash smashing stuff in closets when someone stops by unexpectedly.
5 Tips to get started now!
Jump Start “Project Clean Kid’s Rooms” with these 5 easy steps.
1. Start with the kids
Involve your kids to figure where their things fit best. You may want to organize it in a way that is logical to you. It needs to make sense to your kids. Ask them to group their toys, crafts, clothes, etc. based on what they use the most. Also, be sure they can reach, and have easy access to items they need. If it’s easy, they’ll comply.
2. Limit things
There comes a time in every person’s life when enough is enough. Children may not grasp this, as adults may not be modeling this behavior. When you’ve reached the tipping point, and one more toy won’t fit in the box or closet, it’s time to start saying goodbye. Let your kids participate in what items are going to be donated. The best rule is for every new item they get, they must let go of and old one. It is a great rule for adults too!
3. Allocate space for everything
Everything in their room must have a designated space. There should be no items that are “homeless”. Homeless items always require thought, and frequently get moved about. They become a perpetual problem, as there is nowhere to put them. It is much easier to simply put things where they belong, then trying to decide what to do with a particular item. There is little to no thought required in returning items to their pre-assigned locations.
4. Make space for activities
Group activity items together. A bookshelf can be next to a reading nook. If space allows, you can have a separate crafting area. For smaller spaces, you can keep art supplies and toys in separate containers that are easy to access. There should always be some empty floor space to keep the room looking clean, and also allow space for dancing or jumping around.
Get creative and use their work to decorate their rooms.
5. Have labels
As you make space for everything, make labels. They can be words or pictures. The kids can make them too. This will help them remember what goes where. Supervise them and watch them return all used items to their “homes” at the end of each day. This will reinforce the need to put things where they belong. With enough practice, it will become a life long habit.
What organizing challenges do you have? Can I help you with them? Let me know on my Facebook page at Elaine’s Lane
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