Does the thought of organizing kids’ rooms seem overwhelming? You are in good company. My boy’s room can be a nightmare to walk through at times. I have noticed that when items have a specific or designated area, clean up for them is so much easier. I’ve learned there are a few techniques that seem to work so I’ve compiled a quick list to help you and your child keep their room neat and tidy!
Three Easy Steps to Organizing Kids’ Rooms
Step One: Setting expectations and solutions
“Solutions must fit the child.” Make sure you are seeing your child’s room from their point of view and that where you set things is practical and easy for them. Also, make sure that your expectations are appropriate for your child’s age. You may have to help your toddler keep things picked up while your older child can be given more responsibilities.
You can reference this list of age-appropriate chores for kids if you are having a tough time deciding what would be expected of your child. If you have a good idea of what you want your kids to do, you can use some of my favorite chore charts to help your child remember what to do and keep them on task.
I love this magnetic chart from Melissa and Doug for younger kids.
And this dry-erase chart is great for older kids.
Once you have your expectations in place, the key here is to discuss them with your child(ren). Let them be a part of the decision-making process so they don’t feel like you are simply exerting control over what they deem as their own space. If your child feels an expectation is unfair, hear him/her out. You may be able to come up with a compromise that works for you both.
If you choose to do rewards for keeping on top of chores and cleaning, discuss what would be reasonable and encouraging for your child to complete the tasks. On the other end of the spectrum, be sure your child knows the consequences that will be in place for not following through. Consequences should be clear, be appropriate for the child and task, be the appropriate length of time, and always be followed through on.
Example consequence: Your child has not put their books away even though they are supposed to do so as soon as they are done reading. A consequence could be that they will not get a story at bedtime that night. Here the consequence fits the task (books weren’t put away so no bedtime story), and it was the appropriate length (just for that night, they can always do better the next day!).
Step Two: Sort and Declutter
Now that you and your child have some goals in mind, you can begin, with your child’s help, to sort through the entire room. Rid yourselves of broken toys, incomplete sets, items they have outgrown, and any garbage that has accumulated! Encourage your child to donate old toys.
Getting rid of their prized possessions is not easy for all kids. Even if a toy is broken, your child may still see the fond memories associated with that toy and find it difficult to part ways with it. Too Many Toys is a great book to show your kids the value of donating their old things. If your child is simply not ready to part with something, don’t force them to do so and don’t do it in secret. Doing so could develop trust issues between the two of you, and you always want your child to trust and confide in you before others.
Once you and your child have determined which items should be removed from the room it is time to sort and organize the things that will be staying. Having a place for everything to go is an easy way to help kids keep rooms picked up and tidy.
Step Three: Organize with solutions that are practical and functional!
Store out-of-season clothes and toys away until they are needed. If you are limited on closet or storage space elsewhere, you can use inexpensive under-the-bed storage bins to give these items a home.
If you have toys that your children just couldn’t part with during the big sort, separate into smaller boxes or storage bins and store a few away out of sight. Then pull out the box of toys and switch them out with whatever playthings your child is currently ignoring. You’ll keep extra toys off the floor, and your children will be excited to see their old things again (it’ll seem like a new toy!).
If you have lots of pretend toys, or even need extra hanging space, this ‘dress-up’ organizer is a big space saver! The kids love it too because it is just the right height for them to be able to reach their own things.
Keep books in an easily accessible location near reading spots. Add a beanbag chair next to a bookshelf to encourage reading and to make it fun. As your child grows, adjust the shelves upward and replace the beanbag with a comfortable chair. If you are limited on space, a bookshelf with a built-in nook is a great option!
Move sporting equipment out of the child’s room whenever possible. The garage or basement is a great alternative location, and you can find specially designed racks that can hold everything from tennis rackets to soccer balls and in-line skates.
I really love the sports gear storage stations that have a bin or basket underneath in order to catch things like balls. We have one in our garage and it works great to store bats, bike helmets, balls, gloves, and so much more.
Organizing kids’ rooms can be simple, you just have to stay on top of it and make sure everything has a home. From clothes to toys, to school supplies. If it doesn’t have a home it is going to end up on the floor. Once everything has a place to go, be sure to add reminders to your chore charts so your kids will remember to put things in their proper places.
Once everything has been sorted and properly placed, be sure to refer back to the chore chart on a daily or weekly basis so your kids remember to keep things nice and tidy! I also like to help the kids with their tasks once in a while, it not only is a great time for bonding but also shows them these tasks can be fun!
Print out these fun, editable, Clean Room Checklists to use for your kids. Simply place them inside a sheet protector sleeve and you have a DIY dry erase chore chart that you can use over and over again. You can download both a boy chore chart and a girl chore chart if you would like different colors. Here is a sample of what it looks like (the name is editable).
Do you have any other tips for organizing kids’ rooms?
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