Teaching Our Kids to be Clutter-Free
Not long ago I made a presentation for tween girls and when I pulled up my well-organized drawers where everything was folded and neatly stored away, there was a Ohhhh in the room that took me completely by surprise. As the presentation unfolded I learned that most of them were living out of their laundry baskets, that their closets were a hot mess and that they just preferred not to look at it, so they closed the door. They didn’t know how to keep their rooms organized or clutter-free.
Everyone has at least one room in their home that is a magnet for clutter. For families with children, it’s usually the kids’ bedrooms. They are catch-alls for toys, games, clothes, schoolwork, musical instruments, and everything else that kids seem to collect, no matter what their age. For many the mess is overwhelming and it seems easier to just shut the door and never look.
Keeping back the clutter might seem like a never-ending battle, but it’s possible. A solid organization plan using the tips below will keep your kids’ rooms neat and clean.
Overflowing dresser drawers and jam-packed closets not only contribute to clutter, they make getting ready for school in the morning a real challenge. A simple schedule can turn a daylong job into a quick task.
If your kids are younger and growing rapidly, evaluate each piece of clothing every time you fold laundry. Simply ask yourself if the item still fits. If it does, it goes back in the drawer; if not, donate it. In addition, check for stains, tears, and other damage that can’t be hidden or fixed. Toss items that are no longer wearable.
For older kids, quickly evaluate clothing at the end of every season. As your kids are going back to school, ask yourself if their summer clothing will still be wearable in the spring. Donate clothes that won’t be useable. If you can use the items for younger children later, sort them by size and store in clearly labeled bins.
Kids’ toy collections grow and grow until you don’t know where they all came from. Preventing your home from turning into one big toy box starts by involving the kids. The trick is to make picking up toys easy and fun.
Make it easy for kids to keep their toys put away. Designate shelves with pretty baskets or colorful plastic bins for toys. Add five minutes to your nighttime routine for putting toys away. You’ll be teaching them valuable skills and habits along the way. If more than one child shares a room, have each child pick out a different colored bin. Designated containers will prevent fights and make the task simpler.
Homework and Other School Supplies
Morning is often the most stressful time in a household. Getting each child out the door fully dressed and on time is a challenge. Organizing homework and school supplies will prevent scrambling on the way to school.
Designate a place where all homework is stored. This might be an “in” basket on a desk, or a small box or basket on a shelf. When your child comes home from school, everything he or she brings home goes there. During homework time, each child will know exactly where to look for the necessary books and papers.
Nothing but homework should be kept in the homework box, and homework can never be left anyplace else. Keeping the spot for homework only is critical.
I have 3 boys and I know that keeping kids organized can seem like an uphill climb, but involving the kids in fun habits makes it easy. You’ll organize your home and reduce stress. Plus, you’ll be teaching your children how to live a clutter-free life, and that will serve them well over the years – even if it seems we’re talking to death ears now. 😉
Enjoy these Closet Organizing Products and how to use them to keep your kids’ room (and yours) clutter-free.
Closet Organizing Products
Over the Door Organizer
Offered in several colors, these organizers can hold every little item that would otherwise be scattered around the room. From socks and underwear to brushes and make up, all stays in one spot.
Over the Door Shoe Organizer
Keeping all your shoes organized and out of your way. If possible install it inside the closet door to avoid visual clutter when your bedroom door is closed and you’re resting.
Hanging Jewelry Storage
Makes it easy for you to spot what you have and what you’re looking for. Ideal to “remind” you of all your jewelry and start using all you have.