If our children had it their way, we’d all be buried in a sea of Barbies and Legos by now. However as parents, it is our job to guide our little ones to value and respect our home and environment.
When we teach our kids to value and respect their belongings, we are teaching them to take responsibility, to treat their things nicely by putting them away after playtime so it doesn’t get broken or lost. This is an essential life skill to impart in your child (also, so you don’t have to spend the rest of your life picking up after them!)
Creating a simple system, something our kids can independently manage is one of the ways to introduce them to organising. Here are 5 tips you could try in your home.
1. Keep It Contained
Not every home has a space for a playroom but it is essential to designate an area where the majority of toys will live. By doing this, kids will develop a sense of ownership of the area but more importantly, you get to contain their toys within a zone.
Bulky items (blocks, train sets and stuffed animals) can be stored in large floor baskets that are durable and accessible. You could go for something chic to suit your house decor, or something cute which your kids may find more attractive. Shelving systems work well too – use open movable bins that fit the items comfortably.
If your kid has plenty of cars, trucks and trains that they play with daily, you could make organising fun by getting them to line them up and creating a parking lot!
2. Don’t Get Too Specific
Instead of separating bigger Duplos from smaller Legos, consider allowing for a more relaxed categorisation of where things belong. Creating a broader category – blocks, dolls, cars – will be an easier task for kids to grasp which (fingers crossed) will result in less resistance during clean up time!
Use stackable shoe boxes, modular drawer storage, and smaller bins or behind the door shoe storage to store items that might get lost in the mix. Identify each category with a paint pen that will easily wipe clean with rubbing alcohol for future updating.
3. Sort by Colours
Organising by colours is an option to instantly brighten a room. It will create a playful and creative space for children’s growing minds.
Arrange books and toys by colour and you will not just have a pretty playroom, your kids will automatically understand the storing system. Plus, they can learn colours too!
4. Clear the Clutter
Kids are naturally collector of things (read: hoarder) which means that the process of updating their toys can often turn into a dramatic scene. However, when clearing out the clutter, it is important to get them involved. This way, they will understand that we are making room for items that they regularly use and love. It is also a great way to instil the joy of giving when unwanted items are donated to those in need.
5. Drop Basket
Prepare one basket where kids can throw their toys in as they are done with them. This is particularly useful for younger kids. This way, you can control the chaos and cleanup time will be as easy as grabbing the basket and returning the items to where they belong.
After a cleanup session, don’t forget to tell your kids how nice the room looks. Be sure to compliment them on a job well done. They will certainly take pride in what they’ve achieved.
A clutter-free room does not only give our children space to develop their imagination, it also helps in reducing restlessness. Don’t we all want calm and cool kids?
By Iylham Yushaak
A self-taught home organiser, Iylham is continuously polishing her talents and reinventing traditional organising into a system that’s smart, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing. You can find her at www.iylhamorganizing.com and her Instagram account @organizingwithiylham.
Feature photo by Anna Blomqvist