One of the most frequent concerns I hear from friends and clients centers on the chaos that is their child’s bedroom. Never-ending mounds of toys and books, dirty clothes that get thrown around before bath time, markers and crayons all over the floor – these create a vicious cycle ending with the headache of cleaning it up day after day all by yourself. Today I would like to offer some realistic ideas that start with you, the parents.
Are you organized? One of the most effective ways for a child to learn is by example. Staying organized needs to start with the parents. If a child sees the house as an organized, orderly area, they will transfer this idea to their space as well. In other words, everything should have a place. I realize that a small percentage of kids may function best with some amount of chaos and disorder in their lives, but I believe that most kids want and need order in their physical environment. This does not mean that your home should look like a museum or that you can’t have some clutter. It does mean that everything has a designated place and that the family deals with piles in a timely and organized fashion. Put mail away or throw it away the night you receive it, put laundry into closets and drawers, store food in the fridge and cupboards, shoes in the closets, coats on racks or in closets, the list could go on forever.
Start with the thing that bothers you most. If the number of toys living in your child’s room is a problem, move them out of the room! Limit the number of toys your child may access at any given time. Going through toys as often as once a month can help eliminate the build up of toy clutter. Throw out broken toys or toys you cannot repair, as well as any items you wouldn’t donate. Take notice of what toys your child loves at the moment and keep those things nearby. For the rest of the toys, decide whether you want to keep them or donate them. Items that your child has not touched for months or years are good candidates to start the elimination process. For the toys that you are keeping, split them into two groups. You should have one group consisting of toys for now and another group of toys for later. You may want to rotate toys in a month or every quarter, but having toys on a rotation until your child grows out of them is an easy way to keep your child interested. It’s also easy on the budget! It is likely that your child will receive toys as gifts throughout the year. Use this opportunity to replace toys in the rotation. If your child is old enough to choose which toys they want now and which to save for later, encourage them to do so. It is up to you, as the parent, to stick with the plan. Keep the out-of-rotation toys hidden or out of reach. Pick a day to rotate the toys and mark your calendar. Chances are very good that your child will have forgotten some of the toys that you set aside and they will be excited to see them again.
Once you have the biggest issue out of the way, the rest of the room should fall into place. After that, it is just maintenance.
If you have other organizational issues or more questions please contact me directly. I look forward to speaking with you!
More articles related to this topic: