As our girls are getting older, our landing is getting overcrowded and packed with stuff once in a while. Everything they don't want in their rooms anymore ends up on the landing.
So the other day I looked through it all and asked if they really didn’t want it any longer. It’s true, there was a lot of stuff that they had outgrown. And some of it, they didn’t like anymore. Time to get rid of it.
Our youngest helped me sort out the little things that belonged together. And after a couple of hours, we had a bunch of packages that we could sell. I took photos, wrote a description and put everything online in a local selling group on Facebook.
I think it’s important to let our kids decide for themselves what they want to keep and what they could donate, sell or toss. If the toy is still good and worth something, why not pass it on to another child? We always give the money back to the kids as kind of a stimulation and reward for taking care of it while they played with the toy. And sometimes you just have to throw something that is broken or incomplete in the trash can.
This way we try to teach our girls to look after their belongings and organize and tidy their rooms. Of course, it is not always spick & span. What children’s room is?
We also tried the one-toy-in-another-toy-out-system. But that is proven difficult here in our home. Why? Because our girls don’t usually just get or buy toys besides birthdays or Christmas. So if they get something new on their birthday, I really don’t think it’s fair to say: “OK, now you have to find something you can get rid of because of the new toy you have gotten”. We do practice that when they buy something from their allowance.
It is still important to let our girls organize and tidy their rooms themselves. And I have to admit, it’s an ongoing battle sometimes. Especially with our middle one, she has "other important things to do, you know".
Helping them get organized, we talk and decide together what they need. Is it a dresser or see-through bins? A bookshelf or a portfolio for their art and drawings? Their dad built some awesome furniture for one of our girls. And they got such roll-under-the-bed-storage boxes. So easy to use.
By really looking at what the girls can use themselves to tidy their rooms, they learn to do it themselves. Although we have 3 teenagers in the house right now we still need to control, motivate and stimulate them.
It is important to stay positive and help them tidy their rooms, especially when they are younger. You can encourage them to put one toy back in its home before they take out the next one. That way their rooms don’t get too messy and they get overwhelmed when it’s time to clear away everything for the day.
So to summarize on how to organize a kid's room:
* look at what they need to organize their toys and belongings.
* let them help with/decide for themselves what they want to donate, sell or throw out once in a while
* practice the rule one-toy-in-another-toy-out-system when appropriate
* let your kids organize and tidy their rooms themselves
* keep motivating and stimulating them to do so
* stay positive
And sometimes it's just a mess. Just agree about a time when their rooms have to be organized and tidied up. At our house, that's Sunday evening before dinner.
How do you and your kids organize and tidy their rooms? If you have any tips and tricks share them in the comments. I would love to read and learn!
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P.S. This is a post in a series for 2017 to help you get more organized. So every month I will give you tips and tricks to organize your home, life, money or bag. Let me know if you are looking for some tricks to organize something in specific, OK?