Your home is a mess, but that’s not your main problem. The issue is you have kids. Youngsters require quite a lot of stuff, and that stuff tends to get everywhere, creating chaos around your home. Fortunately, there is a solution to your problem: kid-friendly organization.
Kids learn to be dirty, which means before those mess-making habits set in, you can teach them to be neat. By outfitting your home with the following organization and cleaning tools, you will find it much easier to convince your kids to help with the clean-up.
1. Make Stuff Scalable
You might not realize it (or you might hope to forget about it), but your kids are growing up. Even the baby of the family will soon outgrow her baby blankies, her stuffed animals, and her tiny furniture set. Instead of replacing your kids’ stuff every couple of years when they age out of it, you should invest early-on in toys and furniture that will grow alongside them.
As soon as your baby no longer needs his crib and changing table, you should equip him with items that will scale with him. Instead of decorating with a juvenile theme like mutant turtles or airplanes, you should stick to a subtle, adaptable color palate. You can buy big-kid beds, desks, dressers, and more in which your kids can stash toys first and clothes or devices later. When kids become accustomed to storing their belongings in familiar places, they will continue to do so without complaint.
2. Allow a Display Shelf
To a child, everything is new, one-of-a-kind, and unbelievably exciting. As a result, children usually become avid collectors of anything and everything ― stuffed animals, weird rocks, cool stickers, and more. There is nothing they like more than showing their collections off, but without a designated place to do so, most will settle for stacking their prized possessions on every counter, arranging them along the walls, and generally placing them chaotically and inconveniently to you.
Allowing your kids display shelves may seem like indulging their hoarding behavior, but actually they serve as functional pieces of furniture that can change purposes as your little ones grow. Small bookshelves work equally well for showcasing childish treasures and for housing heavy high school textbooks. Similarly, floating shelves can hold up trinkets as easily as they can support pictures of friends. Such a trophy case will quickly cut down on your household clutter.
3. Take Out the Old
It’s hard to be clean when your storage spaces are a mess. Therefore, when your kids’ closets, chests, and drawers become overfull, you’ll likely see some chaos leak into the rest of your house. To mitigate this, you should schedule times throughout the year when you and your little ones can sift through their toys and clothes to locate items to no longer need or want.
You might also take these opportunities to empty your own storage spaces, perhaps doubling the space in your garage or backyard by ridding yourself of that old boat or giving yourself more closet space for upcoming shopping trips.
Kids often have trouble letting go of old possessions. To help them through these experiences, you can try any of these strategies:
•Teach beneficence. Kids are incredibly empathetic, and by explaining how their old, unwanted stuff can bring joy to other kids might help them let go more easily.
•Provide options. When kids can carefully curate their belongings, they won’t feel as bad about losing some stuff. You can pair up possessions and ask your kids to pick which one to keep.
•Keep stuff around. Often kids regret their decisions to part with one thing over another, so holding onto stuff for a while is smart. There might be space in your garage or basement for a bundle of soon-to-be-gone stuff. Give them a chance to figure out what they can truly live without.
4. Make Stuff Portable
Clean-up time is exhausting for everyone, and it is even worse when you and your little ones have to jog back and forth between where they were playing and where they store their stuff. Instead, most of your kids’ storage equipment should be able to move with them, so they will be more likely to put playthings back when they’re done. It isn’t difficult to find containers with wheels ― or even to add wheels to your storage solutions ― so your kids won’t have to run all over the place to keep clean.
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