By Sherrie Le Masurier
Q: Organizing kid rooms is a challenge for me since my children are real pack rats. Do you have any ideas on how to organize all their kid room stuff?
A: You’ve come to the right place for advice on organizing kid rooms and how to cope with all that kid room stuff that invariably clutters up their floor space.
Clutter seems to be a fact of life these days with so much kid stuff coming into our homes on a continual basis. In addition to Christmas and birthday gifts there’s all that stuff in between that kids get for going back to school, in birthday party loot bags or simply what they buy with their own allowance.
For starters, as parents we need to understand a couple of things. Most kids aren’t born tidy and unfortunately their sense of order is not always something that comes naturally.
Learning the right organizing kid rooms techniques is just as important for the parents of young children as it is for the children themselves. By having an easy storage system in place for all kid room stuff you encourage positive habits in your child.
By partnering with your child during clean-up time you’ll be able to demonstrate what goes where and in the process will encourage him to become more orderly himself.
The first step is clear the room of any kid room stuff you don’t want in there. For instance, does your child use his bedroom for both sleeping and playing? If so, does he do the bulk of his playing in his bedroom or in another location in your home? This could be a separate playroom, a family room, in the basement etc. The reason I ask is that before you start organizing your child’s kid room stuff you need to determine what can go and what needs to stay for practicality, play and sentimental purposes.
Knowing how your child uses his room is also an important step in effectively organizing kid rooms. There’s no point organizing excess kid room stuff that won’t be used in the room. Extra kid room stuff should either be given away or found a more practical storage location nearby where the item(s) will be used.
Okay so once we know what kid room stuff we will be organizing we can get started with the task at hand.
Organizing kid rooms can be fun as long as you have a good storage system in place. Come up with a place for everything. Kid room stuff should be stored in locations that are easy for your child to access. Taking out and putting away clothes and toys should be simple to do.
This is where low shelves, rows of cubby holes, bins, baskets, trays, low hooks and the like come into play.
A good kid room storage system will also encourage the positive habit in your child of putting things back where he found them. The thinking here is once you show your child where a particular toy goes then he may be persuaded to return it back there the next time he finishes playing with the toy. It’s all about your child knowing where his things belong. This technique also teaches your child to become the keeper of his own belongings.
You can further teach responsibility by insisting that once he is finished playing, all the related pieces must be returned to their designated spot before another game or activity is started.
The Montessori method, pioneered by Madame Montessori is also about storing related items together in a designated spot.
Another thing to note about designated spots is that no ‘foreign’ kid room stuff should appear where it doesn’t belong. You may wish to come up with routine inspections in order to keep tabs on whether your child is taking the time to put things away properly or whether he is getting lazy. Or in some instances, it’s not a matter of being lazy it’s more about the organizing system not being right for your child.
Are the bins of toys too heavy or do all his books slide whenever he tries to take one out to read? If so, consider separating the toys into a couple more bins and dividing up your child’s book collection into frequently read favourites and ones that he only reads occasionally.
When it comes to storage containers you can usually come up with some great ideas by looking at office and kitchen organizers. For instance what about shallow wicker trays similar to the plastic in and out letter trays you find in many offices? Such trays are ideal for everything from homework and artwork to hair accessories and game boy games. In a baby room, trays are ideal for storing folded undershirts and socks.
Other organizing systems elsewhere in your home are also great for serving up a little inspiration. For instance, how do you store your books, your DVDs, your magazines, or your personal care products?
The right storage containers for organizing kid rooms are often a question of money and taste. A customized closet system may work best for one family’s kid room stuff while another family would be happy with a storage system made up of recycled boxes from the grocery store. Whatever your budget there is an organizing solution for you.
For more information on organizing kid rooms visit Closet Design, Closet Organization And Closet Storage Tips For Kid Rooms www.decorating-kids-rooms.net/organize-kid-rooms.html