Sometimes you have to laugh so you don’t cry.I stood in the doorway in disbelief at the mess before me. Half an hour earlier, I had left her happily playing “kitchen” in her room so that I could cook dinner.
With my mouth hanging open in both shock and terror, I took it all in as I scanned the room. Every drawer, bookshelf, and container had been emptied into the middle of the floor. Her attention to detail was impressive, and nothing had been left untouched.
There, teetering atop the mountain she had so proudly built, was my two-year-old grinning from ear to ear at her accomplishment.
It is one of those moments as a parent that you simply must freeze with a photo so you don’t forget, or in case you need a favor when they are a teenager, you can whip out the picture as proof that they owe you one.
Four hours later the room was back to its original state, and only then could I see the humor in it.
Now do you feel better about what you are facing in your child’s room?
Kids are disorganized by nature.
Their rooms become a mess overnight leaving Moms throwing their hands up in the air in surrender to the floor covered with “stuff”. Despite what we Moms think, kids really don’t want to live in a messy room.
Ask yourself, “Why is the room messy?”
Does he/she have too much stuff? If there is more “stuff” than can reasonably fit in a room, it can be overwhelming or even impossible for a child to keep the room neat. Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate the contents and “spring-clean” the room.
Clearing out the unused and outgrown
Start with the closet and work your way around the room. Closely examine the contents and determine what needs to stay and what can go. Have they outgrown this? Are they ever going to use this? Have your child participate since you may need their advice on items.
Make a pile of clothes, toys, and books that you need to:
- pass down to a younger child or neighbor
- toss (broken or missing pieces)
- donate to a charity or sell at a consignment store
Once you are done, you will find you have ample space available to organize what is left.
Everything needs a “place”
The key to keeping the room organized is everything having a “place”.
Have you noticed how the toys, puzzles, etc. at a preschool are arranged? How does it stay neat with 20 kids playing every day? The answer…everything has a place. When “clean up” time comes, even the smallest of toddlers knows where everything goes and can participate in tidying a room.
Now apply that philosophy to your child’s room. Assign a place for clothes, games, toys. Use baskets and plastic containers to store groups of small items. Use labels to mark the contents so your child will know where to put his toys when he is done. If your child didn’t participate in the organizing, give him a tour of the new room so he is familiar with the arrangement.
I recently organized my teenager’s room. Things he had outgrown long ago were taking up precious storage space. I was able to remove 4 lawn/leaf bags full of items from his room. His little sisters thought it was Christmas when they received a few lost treasures such as Lite-Bright. With more space now available in the closet, I was able to get items such as musical instruments off the floor and onto a shelf in the closet.
Identify the trouble spot and solve the problem
What is causing the most clutter?
My child’s collection of game systems, games, and accessories was the cause of a constant mess on the floor. Every time the cabinet door was opened to look for a cord or controller, out spilled the contents in a tangled ball of cords and accessories, and he wasn’t able to find what he needed. I realized this was the main source of the clutter in his room, and it needed to be fixed.
Since three drawers in his dresser were now available from the cleanup, I took his game system controllers, cords, accessories, etc and created a drawer for each type of game system. This freed up space in the entertainment center to actually place the games neatly so you could see them all. Now when he needs a cord to a specific item, he knows exactly where it is without digging through a mess. Problem solved. Since reorganizing the room, he has kept it immaculate, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
As you make more space available, you are able to organize the room so it functions well. When toys are off the floor and in closets or drawers, the room immediately evolves into an inviting, relaxing atmosphere free of the chaos of clutter.