Tackling the clutter!
Kid’s are messy, I think we can all agree on that. My kid’s seem to find ‘beauty’ in every piece of scrap paper, fruit snack wrapper, and empty box. I see other mom’s posting pictures of their house and it looks like a magazine is coming over any minute for a photo shoot! My house isn’t like that….ever. Our house isn’t big, our girls share a bedroom so that room is especially troublesome but I have had enough! I’ve decided that it was time to regain control and my sanity by organizing my kid’s rooms to optimize their space and control the clutter.
First step is the PURGE!!! This step is cathartic all by itself. You will probably need to do this when the kids aren’t home for the most successful purging. Broken toys, games missing pieces rendering it unplayable, clothes that no longer fit, etc, all need to go. I know its not the ideal way to spend a Saturday that the kids are at their grandmother’s but trust me it will be way more productive if they aren’t crying and trying to save every thing you try to toss. The feeling of shoving all those ‘art’ supplies in a plastic trash bag is therapeutic to say the least, and I think you are still going to enjoy your Saturday. YOU will feel better after this step alone! Also, a little word of warning, there is a good chance that you will find things that are…ummmm how do I put this….things that are gross. Like not, ewww this is kind of gross, but more like “choke, sputter, GAG, WTF!?” gross depending on how long their room has left in its natural state. Hang in there!
Side note: Toys, books, and clothes that still have some life in them can be donated to your local mission, church, or day care center for an added bonus of good karma!
Next you will want to consider how you are going to organize the remaining items. Whether you use baskets, bins, shelves, doesn’t matter as long as it is something that both you and your kids will find aesthetically appealing and functional. You will want something that your children can understand the concept of. Bins with labels can be helpful for children who are learning to read, shelving for books, tubs that fit under the bed, and a dirty clothes basket are all helpful items to keeping the room neat and tidy.
Lastly, and most importantly, MAINTAIN this sacred space!! You worked very hard to get this room into a state of tidiness so its important to not let it backslide. Regular purging whether daily, weekly, or monthly depending on your schedule is imperative to keeping up and not letting it go back to its former state. Incentivize kids to participate in the cleanup, something small because let’s be honest, they shouldn’t get rewarded for something they should be doing anyway.
I found that once I tackled this monster and got their rooms back in order that they spent more time playing in there. It seems like maybe the clutter bothered them too without them even realizing it (or maybe it was just so bad they didn’t have room to play in there), whatever the case may be their tidy (I still use that term semi loosely) room is much more enjoyable for all of us.