The summer temperatures are on, and your children are out school for a few months. Summer is a great season to instill the discipline of staying organized while there is less responsibility being placed before them. What a great time to get their rooms organized and in order!
Let Children Have a Say
Involving your kids in the process will help get their room organized in a way that suits their needs, along with teaching them about decision-making and organizing. This also gives your children choices and a feeling of empowerment.
Out with the Old
First things first, it’s time to get rid of all that is no longer needed! Old schoolwork, broken pens and crayons, worn and unused toys are at the top of the list. Anything with missing parts, like games and puzzles can also go.
Get rid of any clothes they have outgrown or worn out. If you see more stains than shirt, it’s definitely time to part ways. Shoes that are old or too tight also need to be gotten rid of as well.
Parting with old toys can sometimes be a painful process for kids. Make sure you aren’t throwing out one of their beloved possessions before you toss out anything.
Toys can carry a lot of sentimental value, especially for younger children. This is another aspect of why including your kids is important. This is their room, their space, after all.
Start at the Bottom
Begin organizing the toys and items that are down low, where kids are. Bookshelves are great for books of all sizes, and are easy for kids to keep straightened. Make sure the bookshelf is not too high and can be secured to the wall, to avoid small children from climbing on and tipping it over.
Plastic bins can be used to separate different types of toys help kids keep things orderly. For example, one bin can be for the small stuffed animals, while another bin can hold the trucks and cars. Colored plastic bins can also help kids remember what goes where.
For older children, bookshelves may hold books and favorite knickknacks. Desks are a good place to keep small trinkets or collectibles, as long as it doesn’t become overloaded with too much stuff and their desk space remains functional.
Keeping Your Bed Neat
Beds should be straightened every morning, before the kids get off to their summer activities. It’s a good habit to get into that fosters good organizational skills.
Too many toys on the bed can become a distraction at night and just looks messy. Allow younger kids one or two favorite toys to sleep with to keep things simple.
Keeping toys under the bed isn’t a great idea, as things tend to find their way to the furthest reaches of that space. If you have room, you can buy under-the-bed drawers with handles that roll, which makes storing under the bed easy and convenient.
The closet can become the nightmare section of a child’s room if left unchecked. Clothes need to be hung up or folded and put into drawers. A hamper in the closet is a great way to deter clothing from making its way to the floor. To learn more in depth about closet cleanliness, read my blog, Closet Organizing Made Simple.
Storage above the clothing should only be for items that are not used, as this is way too high for a younger child to access safely. This type of storage is best placed in clear plastic bins where the contents can easily be identified.
This way, there is no need to dig through these bins to find something, and it is up and out of view of your children. This is a good place for out of season clothes or excess toys that can be brought out at a later time and swapped for toys that have become less interesting.
Many kids have an area in their room for doing artwork. This may be a desk or an easel, generally somewhere that they can spread out and get creative. Keeping art supplies all together in one place is best so everything is easy to find. Designate one drawer or plastic bin to keep such things as markers, coloring books, paints and crayons.
Many children have pets in their rooms, which is a maintenance project all by itself. Pets can be very beneficial for kids, but turtles, fish, snakes, gerbils- you name it- all need cleaning and upkeep.
If this is your child’s responsibility, make sure that there is a regular schedule for cleaning out the pet’s cage, tank, etc. This helps to keep your child accountable and gives them a sense of accomplishment. It will also keep their pet happy!
Keeping the Mess at Bay
Giving your child a chart of tasks to do to keep their room organized and clean will help keep them on task without all of the reminders. Kids will feel good about being responsible for their own space.
Having them do these tasks on a regular basis will help to keep their room in order and keep them from losing things or feeling disorganized or disoriented in their room. This also provides peace of mind to you, the parent, that you don’t have to be responsible for your child’s space.
Starting Summer off Right
Cleaning out and organizing your child’s room at the beginning of summer helps them to get off to a good start before they are running in and out the door for the next few months, going from one activity to another. Help your children get organized and in control of their space. Summer organizing never felt so good!