By Jennifer Chung
Are you tired of the never ending battle of keeping your kids' room clean? Making a few modifications can help create space so everything has its place. Get your kids involved in the organization process by having them make labels, sort toys into bins and put clothes on shelves. Participating in the process of setting up a system will encourage them to take ownership of keeping their room tidy and clutter free. Try these 10 organizing tips to win the battle over bedroom and closet chaos.
1. Shoes can clutter a closet quickly, so put a small set of shelves at the bottom of your child's closet to stack the shoes. Put boots on top and slippers on the bottom shelf. You can also buy shoe organizers or make your own.
2. Space can be tight in your child's closet, so consider placing two clothing racks on top of each other so you can hang two tiers of clothes. On the other side, add shelving to store foldable items, such as pajamas, bath towels, and other items you want to have easy access to. You may even place games on the lower shelves so it's easy for kids to help put things away when they're done playing.
3. Provide a laundry basket for dirty clothes after bath time. This ensures that when the dirty clothes come off, they never hit the floor.
4. When you put clothes away, hang outfits together to save space or if you use shelves to store clothes, keep outfits folded together, making it easy for your child to get dressed in the morning.
5. Use clear stackable plastic totes, as they are great for storing toys with multiple pieces like puzzles, blocks, cars, or craft supplies and you can see what is supposed to go inside. If there is a place for everything, it is more likely that the kids will get involved in keeping things tidy and picked up.
6. Kids are more involved when parents help them pick up toys or put away clothes, because it is a process of teaching and modeling the behavior that you want to see them adopt.
7. Ask your children for their input on how they would like their closet organized, because everyone's sense of organization is different. Some kids might want pants together, tops together, etc., and others might want colors together or outfits together. If the closet is organized based on their sense of organization, then it's much easier for them to participate in putting their clothes away and keeping things tidy. If the closet is organized based on the parent's way of doing so, then your child may not buy into the process and you will constantly be battling to keep the closet and room picked up.
8. Buy colored hangers for different items. For example, sweaters can hang on red hangers, pants on green hangers, shirts on yellow hangers, etc. Then your child can hang all of the same colored hangers together.
9. Make it easy to put things away, and don't create more work than you need to. For example, athletic uniforms, training kits, etc. that are used on a daily basis when in season, get worn and washed daily. Instead of folding them and putting them away over and over and over again, keep a special bin for your child's current sport and just toss the items in there so stuff is easy to grab and easy to put away for both parent and child.
10. Only fold what you have to! Does it really matter if boxers are folded? Probably not, especially since they are inside of a drawer usually. The easier you make it, the more likely, your child will buy into putting his or her clothes away.
Whether your child is 3 or 13, they have a desire to please you. Getting them involved in chores early will teach responsibility and pride in their work. As they get older, give them more of a say in how they want to have their room and closet organized. As they see the benefits of a clutter free room, they will be more enthusiastic about maintaining it on a regular basis.
ABOUT JENNIFER CHUNG
Jennifer Chung is a parenting expert and co-founder of Kinsights: part parenting community, part online health record. Kinsights provides parents with a safe place to seek answers to their questions while also helping them track their child's health information. Organize your child's growth and developmental milestones, immunizations, medications, allergies, and more. Connect with Kinsights at Kinsights.com to learn more and sign up. You also can follow them on Facebook/kinsights and Twitter (@kinsights).
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