Remember how great it felt on the last day of school when you threw away that huge stack of homework papers you’d gathered in your locker or desk all year? Organizing a child’s room is a little like that, and now’s a great time to do it with the end of the school year so close.
You will need:
- Boxes marked “Donate/Sell”, “Trash” and “Elsewhere”.
- Cleaning cloths.
- All-purpose spray.
- Hooks, baskets, clear containers and other storage solutions (optional).
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- Mess it up: Pull everything out of the closet, dump the toy box and empty the non-clothing drawers on the floor in one massive pile.
- Sort and group: Pull out toys your child has outgrown and put them in the Donate/Sell box. Broken toys go in the trash, and anything that belongs in another room should go into the Elsewhere box. With the remaining items, group the toys into small ones that need to be in a container, medium-sized toys that can go on shelves, and large toys that go on the floor (e.g., play kitchens, Hot Wheels tracks).
- Involve your child: Have your child put the smaller toys into containers of his/her choosing. Work together putting the containers on the shelves or into the toy box so your child learns basic organizing skills.
- Work from the bottom up: Since kids are short, put their favorite toys within reach on lower shelves. Save the high shelves for rarely-used toys, mementos and those million-piece craft kits that you’re tired of picking up.
- Label everything: Once you’ve got things arranged on the shelves, label the shelves so your child knows where to put things after playing with them. (If you don’t have a label maker, I heartily recommend this one from Epson. I’m addicted to mine!)
- Repeat with clothing: Move on to your child’s clothing and shoes, pulling everything out of the closet and dresser drawers. Put outgrown items into the Donate/Sell pile, and hopelessly torn or stained clothes in the trash. Now is a good time to separate out-of-season clothing, too — put it in the Elsewhere box for now.
- Final steps: Take the Donate/Sell box to your car so you can drop it off at your favorite charity next time you’re running errands. Throw away the trash, and return items in the Elsewhere box to wherever they belong. If you’d put out-of-season clothes in there, now’s the time to box and label them for storage.
Encourage your child to take responsibility for performing a daily tidy routine in his/her room. You’ll find the room is far easier when it comes time to clean, and your child will enjoy playing in there a lot more, too.