Keeping a child’s room tidy and organised can often seem like an impossible task. You may start but then think to yourself ‘What’s the point?’ If your child is with you they will only start to take things out again after you have spent time putting them away. Getting into a routine and taking a little time to organize a kids room isn’t difficult.
From storage ideas to how to organize, here are my 10 simple tips on how to get your child’s room tidy and keep it that way.
De-clutter and Get Rid
If your child has a lot of toys, think about how many they actually use or play with. Get rid of toys that your child has outgrown or lost interest in. Other family members or friends will no doubt be grateful to receive them. If you could do with the extra cash, Ebay is a good way to sell unwanted items for payment.
Store and Rotate
It is a good idea to put some toys away so they can be rotated from time to time. Doing this will reduce mess and clutter but also prevent your child getting bored with the same toys all of the time. Younger children will be excited to see new toys (even though they are not new). If a child has too much choice they may become overwhelmed and not play with any of their toys.
Organise and Stack
Finding a home for everything will keep a sense of order in your child’s room. There are some great ideas out there for storage in a child’s room; baskets, bins and containers allow different kinds of toy to be stored separately. Keeping things separate means they are less likely to become mixed up and lost. It will be easier for your child to find what they need without getting frustrated and upset too. Sometimes a different color for each storage container is a good way to distinguish between types of toy; dolls, play figures and cars for example. Specifically there are a number of Lego storage ideas that are designed to keep all the little bricks together in one place.
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Get Them Involved
Encourage your child to help tidy their own room. Although you are the one doing most of the tidying, by getting them to take responsibility for their own area they stay occupied and out of your way. Otherwise they will simply follow you around taking things out that you have just put away. Maybe get them to sort their blocks or Lego into colours or sizes; it gets them to respect their toys and teaches them to be responsible. Something else that is recommended for toddlers is an activity chart. It teaches them that they need to do certain things before they get a reward or before they can do something else. A star or sticker is awarded when the activity is complete, for example cleaning their teeth before bed. Or in this example tidying their room.
Use a laundry bin in your child’s room as this will stop clothes being strewn about the floor every day, making the whole task of tidying a nightmare. Encourage your child to put their clothes into the laundry bin when they take them off. All that is required then is to sort the clothing into separate washes instead of having to gather them from the floor and bed first. Our little girl (2 years old) has now taken it upon herself to pick up her clothes and put them in the laundry bin in her room. She just copies what we do now and it’s quite funny to watch her. No clothes on the floor either!
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Make it Fun, Not a Chore
No child really enjoys cleaning and tidying but if you make it into a game or maybe a song with some actions tidying up can be fun. You can easily make up your own little rhymes or songs to go along with how you tidy. Make it fun, not a chore.
One at a Time
Try to get your child to get just one thing out to play with at a time, unless there are toys that require a second toy or additional accessories to go with it. If they want to play with something else they must put that thing away first before playing with the other.
Take Responsibility – Them, Not You!
That word (responsible) sounds a little too harsh for a toddler or young child but all I mean is this. If they are given an area of responsibility that is appropriate for their age, such as cleaning up after themselves, they will be less likely to make the mess in the first place.
At The End of the Day
Whatever happens your child should be encouraged to tidy up at the end of the day. They have played hard and created their own little mini tornadoes of mayhem. Now it’s time to ‘tidy all the bits and bobs, the things that help us do our jobs, all our toys we put away, ready for use another day…’ Look at that, a fun song for tidying up to. Easy when you know how! Actually I can’t take credit for that one as it’s a slightly edited version of something from a kids TV show. You get the idea though; they make the mess, they tidy it up. If they want to have dinner or have a story before bed, they help to tidy their room first.
No Food or Drink
A child’s room should be a no go zone for food and drinks. It doesn’t matter how many times you ask them to be careful with their bottles or cups, use a plate, use two hands, something will go wrong and you will spend the next 20 minutes trying to remove a stain from the carpet. Maybe their favourite toy or book gets ruined by a smudge of chocolate or spilled juice. Make it easier on yourself and say no to food and rink in their room, other than water at night-time if required.
So there you have it, my top 10 tips for getting a child’s room tidy and keeping it tidy. The key element is to make it fun if you can. Many parents will try to instil respect and responsibility in their children from an early age. Remember though, they are just little children and they will learn quickly enough through mimicking you and learning the error of their ways on their own.