It's the battle cry of millions of parents: "Clean your room!" Will it ring out in your house today again?
Seasonal events like birthdays the holidays or a new school year bring fresh motivation to the drive to get kids organized and nowhere are the battleground more intense than in the children's bedrooms.
These eight tips will sure help bring their room to order
- Take a child's eye view
Get down to your child's eye level to help him or her get organized. Look at your child's space, storage, furniture and possessions from his or her vantage point. The view may surprise you!
Adult furniture and organizing systems don't translate well to children's needs. Sticky dresser drawers are hard for small hands to manage. Folding closet doors pinch fingers and jump their rails when pushed from the bottom. Closet hanging rods are out of reach, while adult hangers don't fit smaller clothing. Traditional toy boxes house a tangled jumble of mixed and scattered toy parts.
To organize a child's room, solutions must fit the child. For younger children, remove closet doors entirely. Lower clothing rods and invest in child-sized hangers. Use floor-level open containers to hold toys, open plastic baskets to store socks and underwear.
Devise a simple daily checklist for maintenance. To organize a child's room, tailor the effort to the child.
· Bring the child into the process
Resist the urge to wade into the mess alone, instead, look at the organization process as a learning activity, and put the focus on the child. Professional organizer Julie Morgenstern, author of Organizing from the Inside Out, recommends that you view your role as that of organizational consultant to your child.
As his or her guide, survey what's working, what's not, what's important to the child, what's causing the problems, and why the child wants to get organized?
Partnered with your child, you stand a better chance of devising an organization scheme and system that makes sense to him or her. If they're involved in the effort, children are better able to understand the organizational logic and maintain an organized room.
· Sort, store and simplify
It's a conundrum! Children's rooms are usually small, often shared, and generally lack built-in storage. Yet these rooms are host to out-of-season and outgrown clothing, surplus toys, and even household overflow from other rooms. Kids can't stay organized when the closet is crammed, the drawers are stuffed, and playthings cover each square inch of carpet.
The solution: sort, store and simplify.
Begin with clothing: sort it out! Store the out-of-season or outgrown clothing elsewhere.
Finally, simplify! How? Does your son really wear all the 27 T-shirts crowding his drawer? Remove the extras so the remainder can stay neat and orderly in the available space.
For younger children, a toy library is the answer to over-abundant toys. Using a large lidded plastic storage container, large box or even plastic garbage bag, entrust a selection of toys to the "toy library." Store the container in an out-of-the way place for several months.
· Label, label, label
When it comes to keeping kids' rooms organized for the long haul, labels save the day!
Use a computer printer to make simple graphic labels for young children. Pictures of socks, shirts, dolls or blocks help remind the child where these items belong. Enhance reading skills for older children by using large-type word labels.
Slap labels everywhere: inside and outside of drawers, on shelf edges and on the plastic shoebox storage containers that belong there, on boxes and bookcases and filing cubes.
Playing "match the label" can be fun--and turns toy pickup into a game.
· Build a maintenance routine
The usual peaks and valleys approach to room cleaning can vex and frustrate children. Their room is clean, they play, and suddenly, their room is back to messy normal.
Help children stop the cycle by building maintenance routines into the family's day.
"Morning Pickup" straightens the comforter, returns the pillow to the bed, and gets yesterday's clothing to the laundry hamper.
"Evening Pickup" precedes dressing for bed, and involves putting away the day's toys.
Building routines into the family's schedule will keep disorder from becoming overwhelming. Tap them today in your organized home!
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This article is a brought to you by HOG Furniture Creative Team with excerpts ideas from organizedhome.com