Everything You Need to Know about Organizing Your Child’s Playroom
If you’re a parent of a toddler or a young child, then you know that cleaning up after kids can easily become a full time job! Aside from toys being left everywhere, there’s also the matter of crayons under the bed, bread crumbs on the carpet, doodles on the walls and soiled garments mixed with Lego sets and Barbie dolls.
In some cases, the clutter gets so bad; you’re just tempted to forbid your kids from taking any toys out!
The good news is: there are ways to make your play room an organized – and safe – haven for your kids. Consider the following tips:
Categorize. The first thing to do is to make an inventory of the kinds of toys that you have in your playroom, then sort them into major categories (e.g. “dolls”, “art materials”, “building blocks” etc.). Assigning toys to categories is a big help in minimizing clutter, as kids don’t have to rummage through everything to find what they want. You can use a separate storage space for each toy category, and even create personalized compartments for each child. Label each storage space with pictures if your child is too young to read.
Throw the unwanted away. An inventory can also help you figure out which toys are still in good working order, which toys require repairs, and which toys have become choking or cutting hazards and therefore need to be thrown away. It’s also a good idea to sort with your kids which toys are their current favorites, and which are ones they’ve outgrown. Encouraging kids to donate toys they’ve outgrown to a charity is a good way of not just minimizing clutter, but promoting the value of sharing in children.
Don’t make it so crowded! Store toys in such a way that the actual playing area in the room is not sacrificed. Bringing in bulky cabinets and desks defeats the purpose of having a playroom — you want spaces where kids can lay down those tea cups and airplanes, and imagine that they are in a whole different world. Plastic boxes with wheels and small cabinets with drawers are good ideas. You may also consider plastic hooks where they can hang up bags and packages.
Instill the habit of cleaning up after play. If you want to minimize clutter in your kids’ playroom, make sure that you encourage your child to appreciate the value of being organized. Making a game of putting things in their proper place is a good way to help kids enjoy the clean-up process. You can also give rewards to kids who have consistently made their play room an organized space. Firmly establishing rules, such as “no eating on the playroom” is also a good idea.
Lastly, assign a “mess is allowed” area. If you feel that you are stifling your kids’ creativity by forbidding them to make a mess, then create a “free zone” where they are at liberty to do what they want. This can be a small section of the room where they can make cut-outs, leave things on the floor, or smack their clay wherever they wish. True, you’re encouraging kids to create clutter. But at least this way you’ve minimized the areas of your home that will fall “victim” to your child’s early artistic efforts.
Do remember to let your children be free to express themselves but just to help clean up after play is done. Enjoy the chldren, they are our future.