Kids can't always verbalize the stress they feel when their bedrooms are cluttered, but many studies show children have difficulty concentrating in rooms with too much visual stimuli. I believe that kids thrive on structure and routine, and it's our job as parents to teach them how to be tidy!
Organization is a learned skill that takes practice and plenty of reminders as kids grow. This is a skill that they will appreciate someday, which is what I tell myself about several aspects of motherhood.
Step #1: Assess the Space
When entering a child's bedroom for the first time, I immediately take into consideration three factors: clothing, toys, and books.
Clothing: Is this child old enough to do their own laundry, including putting away all of their clothes when they are clean? If so, is their routine working for them, and do they have the right amount of clothing for their physical space?
Toys: Does this child have toys in their room, and if so how are the toys stored? Have they outgrown some of the toys in this space, or is everything still loved?
Books: Most kids have books in their bedrooms, but I assess whether there are books stored in a bookshelf or if they are scattered all over the room.
Step #2: Sort Items Thoughtfully
When I'm working on a child's bedroom project, I always start by pulling everything out. I'll usually start with their clothing, categorizing by type - group all sweatshirts here, all the t-shirts there, etc.
With the help of my client, we will select items that are too small and set aside for donation. After that, I'll put the “keepers” back in functional order. I want my littlest clients to easily find something to wear each morning, without stress or tears.
Step #3: Add Systems to the Routine
One of my favorite tips for fostering daily organization habits in kids? A stair basket. Placing a simple basket at the bottom of your stairs will encourage every family member to place “upstairs” items in the basket, so that each item can be relocated to its proper location every night.
Kids can put their library books, pajamas, papers, hair products, or anything else in this basket. Everyone should work together as a team to keep the house tidy, so it shouldn't just be Mom carrying this basket up the stairs each night!
Step #4: Set the Example
Kids learn by watching their parents. This isn't meant to put pressure on you, but rather inspire you to teach them how to tidy up and why it's important. I find that making organization a priority in small, everyday tasks is the way to go. Avoid the drama in making it a giant “clean up the entire house” session. Baby steps go a long way with children and adults, too.
Organizing as a Family
Decluttering and organizing don't have to be a drag, and it can be really fun and empowering to include your kids in the process. The sense of pride little ones feel after accomplishing a task like decluttering a shelf in their bedroom goes a long way. And if it all feels too hard and impossible to accomplish in your limited hours each day, I'm here to help if you need my services.
Want to love every room in your home again? We can help! Reach out here, and let's organize your kids' bedrooms this year.