Few things can get messier than a small child's room, and the problem only becomes worse if you have more than one child sharing a bedroom. You may try to limit clothing and toys, but somehow they still seem to multiply so that you can fit them into closets or toy chests anymore. The problem is usually caused by a combination of both too many items and poor organizational tools. The following tips can help you address both so that you can regain control of your children's room.
Tip #1: Sort and Conquer – Alone
Your first sorting foray into a younger child's room should be done on your own. During this trip get rid of any clothing that is damaged, no longer fits, or isn't worn anymore. Also sort through the toys and remove those that are broken or are no longer age-appropriate. Don't pull out anything that your child still plays with, though. The reason you want to do this alone is that a young child will often suddenly become attached to items they didn't even care about before.
Tip #2: Bring In the Kids
Once you have sorted out the initial extras, bring in the kids to help. Encourage them to choose items to donate or sell. Kids will often get on board if they know their toys will go to other kids and not to the landfill. Keep in mind that sometimes kids will become overly involved with decluttering and will want to give away even much loved items. If you know they will regret something later, quietly set it aside and return it when they mention missing it.
Tip #3: Sort Seasonally
Plastic storage bins are your friend. Only keep items in the room that will be used within the next three months. This means that winter clothing and toys are packed away in bins for summer, and vice versa. You can store the bins in an attic or basement, or you can slide them under a bed or onto a closet shelf. Then, switch out the items during the seasonal change. This can effectively cut the room's contents down by half.
Tip #4: Choose the Right Storage
Good organization requires the right storage system. Provide plenty of low storage for items you want your children to have easy access to, such as favorite toys, building sets, and books. This not only gives the children access to play, but to also clean up. Use high shelves to store items you want to to limit access to, such as messy craft sets or toys with multiple small pieces. Clothing is best stored inside a closet system, which can stay closed so little hands don't pull down all the hanging clothing.
Avoid overly fussy storage systems. Small children aren't going to sort their building blocks by size and color each time they put them away – just use a single container to throw them all into. Stack books in baskets that are placed on the shelf, instead of expecting the books to be shelved neatly with spines out. The key is to have a place for everything, but to keep it simple. You can even use picture labels to help your children put things back in the proper place.
These tips can help you get started to a more organized home. If you still need help, contact a professional organizer in your area.