As any parent can attest, kids come with a lot of stuff. Walking into a child's bedroom to see piles of clothing, toys, school supplies, art supplies, and books can make the thought of ever getting organized seem overwhelming. It doesn't need to be. There are things you can do to get your child's room organized and help him to keep it that way.
- Get rid of the things your child no longer uses. Amid the clutter in most children's rooms are things that they have outgrown or broken. The first step to organizing is sorting through everything and getting rid of those things that aren't being used. This doesn't have to be an overwhelming task. You can set aside an afternoon for you and your child to go through everything or you can do it in small increments over the course of several days. Get some boxes and large garbage bags. Mark boxes with labels saying "keep" or "donate." The bags are for anything that can be thrown out. Go through all of the items in the room, and place them in the appropriate box or bag until everything in the room has been placed in a bag or box.
Create a plan for the room. Now that it's empty of clutter, it's easier to designate a spot for all the things your child uses the room for - sleeping, studying and/or reading, playing, creating art projects, etc. Take a good look around the room and figure out where your child will be doing each of these things. This will help when deciding where to put things. Keep in mind the things your child will need in each area - a good light and nightstand for the child who likes to read in bed, a workspace for children interested in creating art projects, etc.
Keep like things together on shelves or in labeled bins. Your children will be more likely to use and enjoy the things in their rooms if they are accessible and not hidden amid tons of other clutter. Instead of filling a toy box with all sorts of different toys, use low shelves, cubbies and clear bins or baskets and bins with labels to organize toys, art and school supplies. In this manner, the next time your child goes looking for his car collection, he'll know exactly where to find it. This keeps things from getting messy because he won't be tossing other things around to find his toys, and it also makes cleaning up easier for him once all of his things have a place of their own.
Use a hamper, hooks and a low closet rod to keep the clothes off the floor. Keeping a hamper in your child's room for dirty clothes makes it easy for her to place them there rather than dropping them on the floor. A closet rod within your child's reach makes it easier for her to choose clothing, as well as hang it up herself. Hooks are great for jackets, backpacks, and many other of your child's belongings. Make sure the hooks are placed within your child's reach to make it more likely that your child will hang his things up.
Maintenance is the key to keeping things organized. Once everything is organized in your child's room, make a plan to keep it that way, and get your child involved in helping. Make a game out of putting toys away - set a timer to see if he can get all of his toys put away within a certain time frame or have races to see who can put things away fastest. Make picking up the room part of your child's bedtime routine. Throw out broken toys immediately. Keep a small box in your child's closet for outgrown clothing and toys that you can donate to charity. Put things in there as soon as they are no longer used.
It's amazing how much clutter can be created by one child's stuff. Remember that getting it organized and keeping it that way doesn't have to be an overwhelming chore.