And Keeping It That Way
If there’s one room you wish you could just keep the door closed and never look at again, it’s probably your kid’s room (Or maybe your basement, or your closet……OK, there are lots of rooms) But thanks to toys, books, clothes, and crafts, children’s rooms can feel particularly disastrous – especially since a certain little guy or gal never seems to be keen on keeping it tidy. Here are some great tips from GoodHousekeeping.com to help navigate these problem areas.
- Involve your kids from the beginning – It’s important to work WITH them, and not around them. Even kids as young a 3 years old really want to participate, and they’re really exited to be involved in the decision making. You might think your kid would get too bored or frustrated – but if you consider it from their point of view: You’re talking about their toys and paying lots of attention to them! Plus they will feel more inclined to keep things tidy if they fell like they are part of the project and they will, at the very least, know where everything should go.
- Have the kids give you a “tour” of the room before you start. – This gives you a good sense of what is important to them. Pay attention to their tone and sense of their language. Things that are their ‘favorite’ says that it’s meaningful to them. Repeat it back to them so they know you are listening and they will trust you know what is important to keep.
- Talk about how stuff has “a home” – One thing we all heard growing up was to ‘put that away’ which fees so negative. Instead, try ‘Can we put that where it lives?’ It’s a clever language tweak that re-frames the task in a positive light.
- Give your kid permission to let go of stuff they really don’t want – Volume can be very overwhelming for children, but most kids don’t know that it’s OK to say no to stuff they don’t want. Try to set up situations in which you can donate items to charity – it continues the idea of using positive language when it comes to de-cluttering. We’re giving the item a new home, instead of just getting rid of it.
- Start from the bottom up, literally – With little ones especially. It’s just nice to start on the ground because that’s where they are and where they spend a lot of their time. This strategy takes the process down to their level and keeps them grounded in the task. Plus, if they can see where their items’ new homes are, they’ll make a habit of placing them there.
- Reinforce their routine with cubbies – They are a great organization tool for kids because it recreates what they’re experiencing at school. You can place them in the entryway or their room creating a ‘drop zone’ area they’ll naturally maintain. With a cubby they can drip their stuff and not even have to think about it.
- Define boundaries with décor – Parents like to put tables against a wall to maximize space, however pulling the table away from the wall allows kids to move more freely and fully around it, and welcome friends. Adding a rug underneath the table anchors the room and their stuff. It creates a mini room within the room. You can get creative with a distinct boundary to make it easier to identify and honor the space (like say glitter crafts) that should only take place in certain spots.
- Lead by example – This should come as no surprise but its a HUGE deal. Kids mirror what their parents are doing. Sometime syou need to look at yourself and really see if your kids are modeling your behavior. Even something as small as putting your shoes away can be a mini-lesson in actions.
Just because this blog is about de-cluttering and organizing a kids room, doesn’t mean you can’t take some of these ideas and run when them in other areas of the house.