Kids- so small and cute. Their stuff- not so small or so small it frequently gets stepped on. Every day, the war wages on the home fronts of adult space and kid zones. The toys scatter down the hallway, crayons and pencils find their way in to bed, clothes of different sizes everywhere. How in the world can anyone think of sanity when you are fighting on so many fronts?
The answer: make your kids your partner. As a parent, I see it as my responsibility to teach my children to be responsible for their things. That includes keeping their stuff tidy. From my experience, children are naturally prone to chaos; they need structure put in place to help guide their cleaning process. This is where they become your allies. By putting structures and systems in place, cleaning up will be much easier for the kids and for you.
1) Keep separate areas: I once read that you should always keep the children’s dressing/sleeping area, playroom, and crafting areas separate from one another because if you don’t then all those things blend together. Like when the crayons and Legos all get shoved under the bed. So divide these areas up and conquer. We don’t all have large enough space to give our kids a playroom, so maybe this means that you keep toys in the living room and crafting stuff in the kitchen.
2) The Bedroom: The two problem areas here tend to be the closet and under the bed. My advice: get to them before they do. Set up organizers in these spaces so these areas don’t become dumping grounds. Tracie at Penny Pinchin Mom suggests that you start with the closet and to sort through clothes by sizes and seasons. You’d be surprised what you can declutter by donating and simplifying. Alea Milham at Premeditated Leftovers breaks down this sorting process even more in to the categories:keep, donate/sell, toss/repurpose, and save for another child. By reclaiming the under the bed space, clutter won’t have more places to run and hide. Check out these ideas from Decorating Your Small Space. The bedroom is also a great place to store kids’ stuffed animals since they likely take one or ten to sleep with them at night. TeePeeJoy.com has a post with “109 Animal Storage Ideas“! No matter what kind of space you have, I bet one of these will work for you! This one is my favorite!
3) The Playroom: How in the world did we get so many toys? Many of us wonder. The bigger question at hand is “How do we keep them all organized?” As I have been researching this topic, the most common advice is to PURGE regularly! Hilda at From Overwhelmed to Organized suggests doing this before birthdays and Christmas. If you have more children that will grow in to the toys, then at least STORE toys for later. Don’t have them all out at once. ROTATE toys in batches to keep things from getting too chaotic. This will also keep your budget for a playroom lower since you won’t be buying more baskets for the toys to be on display. If you have the space, designate areas from crafting, dressing up, reading, etc. At Modern Parents Messy Kids, they suggest ” Depending upon your child’s developmental stage, label storage containers with either words, pictures, or even by a color system.” I love this advice because this is another way kids can become your allies.
Next comes the fun part: designing your play room! There are so many ideas to draw from. Most use combinations of bins and baskets and buckets. You will need to decide what works best for your family. Here are a few of my favorite ideas:
Art Corner: Make and show off masterpieces:
Lego Mania: These ideas are brilliant! And are worth every penny!
Lots Of Toys: If you’re not there yet, you will be sooner than you think so think ahead!
Big Kid Toys:
Good luck organizing! I hope you feel inspired to tackle these spaces and take back sanity!
Thanks for stopping by!