Yay all of the clutter should now have gone and you should be that step closer to the perfect room you visualised on day 1.
So how can we ensure that our kids bedrooms stay as tidy as possible for as long as possible?
Lets look at some tips for ensuring the room doesn’t get out of control in the first place, and what to do if it does!
You’ve already decluttered so that’s the first step done.
Separate and Containerise like with like: If you have all of their toys piled high in the corner of their room then chances are by the end of the day (or even in the blink of an eye!) that pile will be spread across the bedroom with your little one actually playing with nothing! As Ive mentioned previously Im a stong beliver in containerising and putting like with like. We have the Ikea Kallax units throughout our home and they are perfect for kids toys. We have a few categories of toys and each gets their own little cube, we have dolls/babies, Duplo, Food for their wooden kitchen, Shopkins, dress-up, figures and playsets. Each is housed in the Ikea Drona boxes, my children decide which they want to play with, pull the box out (usually tip the contents all over the floor!) and then play. When its time to tidy up it all just gets scooped back in and put back on the shelf.
Create homes for things and use labels: Give your children a clear indicator of where things should live when they are put away. Make sure everything can be tidied away without having to move other things or struggle into a space. Don’t overfill boxes or drawers. Once things have a home use labels so your children can easily see where things should go. You can use written worded labels for older children or pictures for younger children.
Don’t tell them to ‘clean their room!’: Sometimes kids will just get everything out, sometimes they may have planned on putting it away but Grandma came for a visit and before they knew it it was bedtime and they hadn’t tidied up, life happens and we cant expect kids to have their rooms perfect all the time. When its a mess and does need tidying don’t just shout at them to clean their room. Just like adults, kids get overwhelmed too! Instead of saying ‘clean your room’, start by working in catergories. So ‘lets gather all of the cuddly toys up super fast and put them away first’ once that’s done then ‘lets see if we can have all the building blocks gathered up in 30 seconds” and so on until its all eventually put away. Bite sized chunks and making it fun is so much easier than repeatedly asking them to clean their room whilst they stand staring at it not knowing where to start.
Show them what to do: Sometimes (majority of the time!) it just seems easier to go and clean their room yourself. The nagging and the moaning and the dragging of feet can just seem not worth it. BUT, if you always tidy their room for them they will never learn to do it themselves. Actually show them where things go, and explain to them WHY its important to tidy up, so their toys don’t get lost or broken, so they have more floor space to play, so they can spend more time playing rather than searching for what they want! Even really young children can help to put things away, the key is to make it seem like a game. Showing them and helping them until tidying away automatically becomes a habit is such a great life skill to have. Even at nursery they will be expected to help with ‘tidy up time’ and certainly at school age they will be tidying up and working within an organised setting daily.
Make sure they can be independent: When thinking about storage or furniture in a childs bedroom think about whether they can access things for themselves. We have lowered the rail in the wardrobe so my eldest can choose what she wants to wear but also hang things back up, their drawers are arranged so my youngest can access her drawer without having to climb up anything! (Always make furniture is securely fixed to the wall!!) Their school uniform hangs separately on a free standing rail so there is no confusion or stress (well less stress!) on a school morning. Their clothes are folded and stored vertically so if they have a specific item in mind they want to wear there is no rummaging through drawers to find what they are looking for. If you want your children to tidy their bedroom of toys independently then make sure they can access where they need to go safely and without assistance. Involve your children in the planning of storage and organising, its their room and their stuff and its them who need to take responsibility so ask them what would make tidying up easier? What creates them the biggest problems? They may have a solution you haven’t even thought of.
Heres a list of fabulous solutions for toys and clothes:
Ikea Skubb boxes- perfect for separating clothes in their drawers/bottom of wardrobe
Ikea Kallax and Drona boxes- These shelving systems are so versatile and their are many ‘hacks’ for creating fabulous ideas for storage.
Ikea Trofast system- Ive seen these used for crafts and lego, they are incredibly versitile
Drawstring bag- these are canvas bags that can be spread on the floor, the idea is that your child plays on the mat and when they are finished you can pull the bag together scooping all of the little toys they were playing with in one easy go. Perfect for lego, sylvanian families and shopkins etc
Now we have a few storage and organisation ideas in place its time to clean!
- Open the window and let in fresh air
- Dust inc the blinds, light fitting, the bed frame, skirting boards and any surfaces
- Vacuum including under the bed
- Give the windows a clean and if you have time wash any curtains
- Change the bedding
Phew! Fingers crossed your now looking at a lovely tidy, organised and fresh room! Well done!
One thing to try and remember is that children are children for such a short amount of time, and the time that they will be into toys is even shorter. Whilst some children are more naturally tidy and are happy to play with one toy at a time before putting it back some children are like whirlwinds and create a trail of toys everywhere they go! The main thing is that they are having fun and as the saying goes “Let them be little!” That saying I do hope these tips do help ease at least some of the chaos