Kids accumulate lots of stuff over the years, most of which ends up strewn about their bedrooms. If you're tired of looking at mountains of clutter in your child's room, Mighty Mommy has 6 practical tips to help your kids get their rooms tidy and keep them that way.
When I first became a mom nearly 20 years ago not only was I absolutely crazy about my new baby girl, I was also crazy about all the paraphernalia and gear that came along with this tiny little being. It quickly became clear that along with having kids you also end up having lots of stuff.
Now, 8 kids later, we have acquired more kid-related odds and ends than I ever dreamed of. And you know where most of that stuff ends up, don’t you? In their bedrooms!
With several kids sharing a bedroom over the years, I would often get overwhelmed with the chaotic state of their rooms. Even my kids who were organized still managed to collect little cars, stuffed animals, clothing, game pieces, empty juice boxes, and more clutter all over their bedroom floor, under beds, and anywhere else there was space for a pile.
Thankfully, their bedrooms all have doors, so it was easy enough to close off the unsightly mess when I really couldn’t stand it any longer. But after too many mornings frantically searching for the mate to a shoe or a homework binder, I realized that although a messy room isn’t the end of the world, my kids needed to learn how to take care of their things and their living space. And I bet your kids could too.
That's why today Mighty Mommy shares 6 tips to help your kids keep their bedrooms clean and organized.
See also: How to Get Kids to Help Out with Chores
Tip #1: Announce the New Expectations
If you want to encourage your child to tidy up his/her surroundings after a long period of chaos, you need to set aside time to clearly state what the new requirements are from now on. This is true whether your child is 5-years-old or a moody teen.
Chances are, regardless of age, your child is going to need lot of direction and help to get started. But it’s important for him to take ownership of this overhaul. Help him realize that their mess is making things more difficult for them, and that you will help implement a process that he will be able to maintain once it gets done.
Be clear and concise and don’t nag. Sell your child on the benefits of keeping a tidy space—less time wasted looking for lost items, a more inviting place for them to hang out with friends, or whatever other reason you can come up with that would actually incentivize your child to get on board. (And if that includes a small bribe, so be it).
Tip #2: Help Minimize Stuff
One of my favorite mantras is “Less is More.”
Taking a good inventory of what your kids have in their bedrooms is a great place to start as you get ready teach them better organizational habits. Do they really need 20 stuffed animals piled up on the end of the bed? Could a dozen books be donated or traded with friends instead of having them scattered all over the floor? Why are they hanging on to Barbies with missing legs and Xbox games they haven’t played in months?
Even though it might be tempting to grab a large garbage bag and start chucking while your kids are off to school, the better approach is to get your child's input on what stays and what goes. Once things are pared down, it makes it much easier to organize the remaining items and keepsakes that are really important to them.
Tip #3: Organize From the Ground Up
When you declutter your kids' rooms, keep toys and belongings used most often on lower shelves, in lower drawers, or on the floor. Higher levels are for less frequently used items or items that you believe need adult supervision. Use an under-the-bed storage bin that's long and flat to hold things your child likes to play with or for extra storage for items your tweens and teens don’t use on a daily basis.