Tornado warning! Don’t panic and run to your basement- I’m not updating you on your weather forecast- I’m referring to the inevitable state of your children’s bedrooms. At the end of yet another eventful, action-packed time of playing with toys, games and pretend, it almost seems easier to just place some caution tape across the door and call it a day. Well, you would unfortunately have to enter the disaster zone at some point. But I am here to tell you that there is a solution for damage control. You can maintain your home (and your sanity) by applying these simple tips to organize your kids’ rooms and keep them organized!
- Keep, Toss or Donate. It’s a good habit to do a little inventory, so to speak, on your kids toys from time to time. I routinely practice this after birthdays and Christmas, when the kids get to stock up on some new toys. Make three piles. If a toy or game is broken or missing parts or pieces- it’s time to bid them farewell. Then there are the toys who don’t get a lot of attention and are often found in a corner or stuffed under the bed with a company of dust bunnies. If they are in good shape, consider placing them in the donate pile or next summer’s garage sale heap. This is my personal favorite strategy for throwing out – I mean retiring unused toys- for lack of better explanation to my four and six-year old.
- Categorize Alike Toys into Bins. Qualifying bins can be anything from small plastic tubs, decorative fabric boxes or baskets. This is an effective alternative to a toy chest- which honestly does not fall into the category of organizing toys- don’t let the nostalgic dancing bears on the box fool you- it’s the textbook definition of organized chaos. Yes, the toys are compartmentalized, but at random and in no particular order. You might be amazed at what you can find at the bottom of a toy chest- anything from a missing Uno card, to moldy crackers, maybe even a neighbor kid. Organize alike toys in the same bins. Have a bin for Barbie’s, a bin for cars, bin for animals, action figures, etc. This also helps alleviate the headache from the daily “Mom! Where’s my…”.
- Utilize Wall Space. Floating shelves or baskets are perfect for displaying and storing your child’s favorite stories, coloring books and crayons. It frees up drawer and closet space, while adding a sweet personal touch to the room. This concept is not limited to just nurseries anymore. Children of reading age can enjoy the benefits of having their books on display to encourage their reading.
- Take Advantage of Closets. Maybe you’re picturing the current state of your child’s closet: stuffed to the brim and bursting at the seams- that is not what I’m referring to! My approach to bedroom organization is to avoid having every inch of the perimeter of the room displayed with toys or furniture. You want the room to feel spacious and open, not cluttered. Relocating toys can offer a solution to keep a room looking clean, while also providing functionality. Instead of an elaborate closet organization system for clothes, consider consolidating clothing to dresser drawer space. Use the closet space to store toy bins, baby dolls, dress up clothes and games. Closets create easy accessibility for children, but also designate a structured place for things when guests come to visit. And unlike a jam-packed closet, you won’t have to feel embarrassed if those doors do open.
5. Organize Dresser Drawers. It’s the same concept as the toy bins. Organize clothing into drawers with other like clothing- pajamas with pajamas, shorts with shorts- you get the idea. Evaluate sizes of clothing at the beginning of each season. If you can determine that your child won’t fit that adorable sweater next winter, it’s time to sell or donate. If you find you still have a lack of dresser space, simply put out- of -season clothing into labeled tote containers to store in the basement or garage until the next appropriate time of year arrives.
Organization can be challenging and time consuming, but necessary when we are striving to manage our homes with the upmost efficiency- may the good Lord grant you patience in the midst of sorting through the rubble. But when the job is done, you can remove the caution tape and unroll your sleeves with a great deal of personal satisfaction. Maintenance is key to keep your home functioning and running smoothly. Although this requires a degree of self-discipline as well, you may want to use this as an opportunity to introduce these concepts to your children and hand over some responsibility for their rooms. Having a designated place for everything will make their job easier when putting things away and teach them beginner organization skills and stewardship. Now go forth and conquer those bedrooms!
The Humble Homemaker