Organizing a child’s room is a great way to start or end the school year. In the fall, it gives you and your child a chance to figure out which clothes and toys they’ve outgrown, while in the summer you can use the time to clear out all those school papers.
Whenever you decide to do it, be sure you work with your child rather than doing it all for him/her. Not only will this help your child appreciate the amount of time and effort involved, but it’s a great way for your kids to learn how to clean on their own, too.
You will need:
- Boxes marked “Donate/Sell”, “Trash” and “Elsewhere”.
- Cleaning cloths.
- All-purpose spray.
- Hooks, baskets, clear containers and other storage solutions (optional).
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.
Once your child’s room is organized, encourage him or her to keep things neat with a daily tidy routine for the bedroom. A little regular cleaning keeps messes from piling up and gives your child a clean, pleasant place to sleep and play.