Sometimes it seems hard enough keeping our own closets organized, but attempting to keep the kids rooms and closets clean and organized can be a never ending battle. Toys, games, clothes, shoes can end up all over the place, so think how easy your mornings would go if you and your little one knew where everything was? As young children learn to be more responsible and take care of their belongings, a system to keep things tidy, that also anticipates your growing child’s needs, can go a long way in eliminating struggles. The good news? There are several ways…both big and small…that will help you conquer the clutter while teaching your little one a few good habits along the way.
Studies show teaching kids strong organizational skills goes beyond keeping their room clean, and can help them develop a positive self image, teach them to focus and prioritize, and encourage better time management. Before you get started with the practical side of getting things organized, begin developing good habits with them. Now that summer is here, there is more time to focus on making changes. Some ideas include: making cleaning up a game, give them chores to own themselves, and set clean up timelines. Ready to get started? Here are a few ideas even the little ones can try this summer that will not only help them stay organized, but set them up for success all year long.
Step one in the process really is about a clean slate. Start by taking everything out of the closet and work with your child to sort through items. Create piles (keep, donate, don’t belong, seasonal, toys, books, trash, etc.). Once the closet is empty, you can better see the space and the items that need to be stored to determine the best solutions. One tip is to also get down on your child’s level and look at the closet. Are rods too high? Are shelves adult height making it difficult to reach things or put them away? Consider adding lower shelves, a double rod, and a step stool that will make it easy for kids to hang up clothes or get what they need on their own.
Sanity Savers: Storage
Probably one of the best ways to keep things organized for the long-term is by using a variety of storage options that will hold things such as shoes and toys and everything in between. Have fun (but keep things coordinated) by using bold colors, or use clear bins to make sure everything is easily seen. The point is to add a variety of options such as closed bins and open baskets to hold everyday items. If you’re looking to add built-in customized options, pullout shoe trays, and deep, pullout wire baskets allow for items to be easily displayed and make it easy at clean up time. Overall, remember separate compartments or storage solutions give each item its own space so everything is right at their fingertips.
Bring the Fun
Yes, organization can be fun! There are some great ideas out there for keeping things tidy and letting the kids have a little fun at the same time. Try a “Clothes for Each Day” hanging organizer. This lets you and your little one spend a little time on Sunday planning the week’s outfits. Kids can pick out what they want to wear, put them in this organizer, and then they are set for the week. Think how easy your mornings will be!
Clothing tags are also popular right now and allow you to organize your child’s clothes by size, color and type of clothing. This can help teach your little ones how to put their things back where they belong while adding a fun design element to the closet.
Adding personal items or style elements can help create a sense of ownership and entice kids to keep the space cleaner. Framed photos, special books, designer hooks, fun posters, or a full length mirror adds color, personalization, and interest to normally functional space.
If you really want to go big, consider a closet remodel. Planning is important here, but the investment could go a long way in creating a closet space that grows with your child’s needs. Get creative and go beyond your typical closet design with ideas such as including a desk in the closet for homework, expanding with a walk-in closet that includes drawers and shelving which could help eliminate the need for a dresser in the room, or include other built-in components such as laundry baskets, jewelry storage, and areas for sports equipment.