Clutter-free and children don’t go together. But parents and responsibility do. That brings you to the mammoth task of keeping your child’s bedroom clutter-free and teaching your child to do the same. Where there are kids, there is going to be piles of clothes and shoes, and a deluge of toys and games. And this mess mountain will not just stay limited to the kid’s bedroom, but overflow into the living room and the master bedroom as well.
But can you do anything to stop this disaster from striking?
Yes. Most of the time we fail to control our children’s clutter simply because we do the cleaning in our way–the adult way. Children’s clutter needs to be cleared up and dealt with in their way. So here are nine handy tips for you to have a clutter-free child’s bedroom.
1. Use Cartoons to Aid Cleanliness
Popeye or Pokémon, most kids are inevitably obsessed with some cartoon. Work that to your advantage. Add their favorite cartoon posters on the closet doors. Have baskets featuring their favorite character to stack up answer sheets and school reports.
The study table is one area that should always remain clean and organized. Cartoon character merchandise is easily available in the market. Place pen stands and bins with cartoons on them to keep your child more involved in the cleaning process.
With his favorite character staring at him from the bins and stands, he is more likely to put his pencil and stuffed toys back where they belong rather than leave them out.
2. Keep the Bed Only for the Pillows and Blankets
To eliminate the clutter on your children’s beds, avoid keeping a zillion decorative pillows and soft toys on them. Keep it simple. Teach your kids to make their bed early on and incorporate this activity into their routine, much like brushing their teeth each morning.
3. Have a Dry Erase Board
A simple addition to your child’s room can go a long way in bringing order and organization to it. A dry erase board is one such addition. Kids routinely ignore your urges, orders, and even threats to clean up their rooms, sometimes deliberately, sometimes out of forgetfulness, and sometimes because they just don’t know how to do it.
Help them out with a dry erase board. Writing down tasks on such a board is a good way of reminding your kids what needs to be done. Tell them to erase the tasks as they get them completed and mention alongside the time it took them to finish each of the tasks.
This is a systematic way of introducing your kids to a new habit, while also encouraging accountability in them. Once the habit of completing things on time sets in, your kids may well go on to use the dry erase board to set their own reminders!
4. Use Large Baskets and Crates for Storage
Big- to moderate-sized baskets and crates are a good way to keep a room tidy. Show your kids which toys and games go in which crate. Play with them then see to it that they put things back where they belong.
Limiting the number of boxes and crates in the room will also limit their collection of toys and games and contribute to a smaller mess. Baskets for socks and other small, easily misplaced items is also a good idea.
5. Opt for Colorful Hangers
Kids are usually more fond of hanging their clothes than they are of folding them, and that is because hanging requires significantly less effort than folding. Buy a range of colorful hangers (like the ones available at onlyhangers.com) to make organization fun for your kids and to increase the likelihood of them hanging their clothes neatly in their wardrobes.
Even better, show them how it is done. Hang an item yourself then let them hang the next one. Assign different colored hangers for different clothes to make it fun. Do this for a week and they will soon get the “hang” of it.
6. Have Lots of Open Shelves
Some clothes cannot be hung. For those, install a number of open shelves in your kids’ bedroom. Young children do not fare well with drawers. Store their foldables neatly on the open racks. They will be able to see what goes where and will soon follow your example.
7. Stash Away the Redundant
You have to teach your children the importance of purging and sharing. There will, however, always be books and toys that your kids will simply not want to give up. When the number of “can’t- give-ups” exceeds the capacity of the room to hold stuff, stash this stuff away in cartons or boxes and put them in the attic or the basement. If your kids create a scene about it, assure them they can recover those toys whenever they want.
8. Use Picture Labels
Pictures make the best labels for kids. So if you want to assign a basket for socks, label it with a picture of socks, similarly with sweaters, crayons, toys, and so on.
9. Make Cleaning an Activity to Look Forward To
On the dry erase board, write down the tasks that need to be accomplished. But along with it, also write down the reward or the treat they get for finishing their work. At the end of the week, once all the cleaning is done, treat them to something they really like. Let the treat be an experience rather than a commodity, like a trip to the zoo or the movies. More things in the house only equals to more clutter.
About the Author: Millie Rainer writes on a variety of topics such as fitness, parenting, travel, and fashion. Her core focus is on building her authority as a blogger and she is doing this by writing actionable, useful, and engaging content. Follow her on Twitter @MillieRainer.