Simple Rules Parents Can Use to Minimize Clutter in Bedrooms
They can’t help it; children are clutter magnets. Anyone in charge of themk knows that kids can create lots of mess, but don’t you love ’em!
A whole lot of it has to do with their young age: kids are still a bit ego-centric (that is, a bit self-centered), and it’s hard for parents to make them notice their surroundings. If you want to raise an organized child, you have to set rules to help them appreciate being organized.
But what rules can you set for organizing children? Consider the following:
A 1:1 Toy Rule
One reason why toys eventually become clutter in kids’ bedrooms is because there’s just way too much of them. To control bedroom clutter, start when they are young. At every stage in a child’s development, their interests ch different kind of toy is recommended. So how do you keep your kids from growing a collection? However, children can’t buy toys at this age. Grownups have to buy them and the toys are so precious that it is hard to resist.
Very early on, teach them the 1:1 Toy Rule. That is, for every new toy that they receive, they can share an old toy with another child who may not have as much as they do. This way, the number of toys in the household is at a constant number. You also get the added benefit of knowing you’ve made a difference in another child’s life!
Tidy up as you play.
This is the toy equivalent of telling kids to “clean up as you go.” If you want kids to learn the value of organization, don’t let them do as they wish on their play space and then spend all your weekend cleaning up after their mess. Instead, instill in them at a very young age the habit of tidying up after they are finished playing. For good measure, at the end of the play day, sing the pickup song and make a game of picking up toys with them so the space is clear in the morning!
There are many varieties of toy bins available in the market nowadays, many of them child-safe, which makes de-cluttering easier. If clean-up is as easy as putting a toy in a basket, then it’s not too much to ask.
Dirty laundry on the hamper; clean clothes in the cabinet.
Toys are not the only clutter in a child’s bedroom. There are the clothes as well!
It’s not unusual for children to take off a shirt and then leave it on the bed, or remove socks and dump them on the floor. Which is why you should set up a laundry basket in your kids’ room, one that they can easily reach. If you search online, you’ll find that there are many laundry bins available today that are quite appealing for younger kids. One bin, for example, has a basketball hoop on top, so that clearing up laundry becomes fun.
As for their clean clothes? Spend some time orienting your kids on how to organize their cabinets. A simple tip is to label every drawer: “underwear”, socks”, “hankies”, etc. with pictures and words so that your child will know where each article of clothing should go. Use hooks for bags, belts and suspenders. Place hanger racks within reach so that they can hand up their clothes on their own. And if the they are not able to fold their clothes yet, at the very least give kids a “to fold” bin. You can work with your child on the folding skills as they grow.
Children are like a blank slate that we write on. What we teach them now carries over into how they are as young adults and then grownups. Take a little extra time and encourage good habits today. You will reap the rewards in the years ahead!