When you have kids, it’s a nightmare keeping anywhere tidy, but if you had to choose one room in the house where you just want to hide away from the world, it would of course be the kids’ bedrooms. The countless amounts of books, crafts, clothes and toys can feel like a different world in itself, especially when the kids don’t like to put anything away after themselves. In this article, we will go through some helpful strategies which encourage your child to get involved with decluttering whilst also getting them to put things away after themselves.
Involve The Kids From The Start
The best tip we can give you is to work with your kids, rather than work against them or around them. It’s great to get your kids involved as young as 3 years old to get their room sorted. You may think this won’t work and they will get bored, but the truth is that it is their room so they won’t want you binning important things. They will also be excited that you are making lots of noise about their stuff. If your kids are helping out, it will give them a sense of ownership over the declutter which will mean they are more inclined to keep it tidy and put things away.
Have The Kids Give You The Grande Tour
Asking your children what they want to keep and what they don’t is one of the hardest things for a child to answer, they of course don’t want you throwing anything away. This can be moved around by asking them to give you a tour of the bedroom, this way you will be able to identify through their tone and language what is important to them and what isn’t. Once you have determined their language and tone, this is the way you are going to speak about their stuff too. For example, if they call a toy their favourite truck, then you will call it that too as this shows that you respect it. Building trust is essential at the early stages so you can get on with the tricky stuff.
Talk About How Stuff Has A ‘Home’
Kids are great at making things real by personifying their stuff which is a telltale sign that this can be manipulated to get rid of things. This can easily be done by asking where they want things to live such as ‘Do you want this to live with us?’ or ‘Where should we give this a home?’ Once you have started to remove the stuff to new ‘homes’, you can then start to ask where to put certain things rather than telling them to put things away.
Give Your Kid Permission To Get Rid Of Things They Don’t Want
Rather than telling your kids, we are getting rid of things, it’s worth trying to tell them that you are giving them a new home which sounds much better. Volume can be sheer when decluttering so it’s important to teach your children that it is okay to get rid of things they don’t use. This way you can start telling them the importance of giving things to people less fortunate like charities such as your old designer baby changing bag or the big box of lego they don’t use.
Start From The Bottom
When everything is on the floor anyway, you may as well start there so you can start to see at least some of the floor. It’s also great to start on the floor because that is where your kids are. The bottom-up strategy works great as it takes the process to their level and encourages them to stay grounded with the task at hand. Another great reason why this process works is it encourages the kids to put things back to where they belong as they are seeing you put things there, and you are also asking where things live.
Reinforce The Storage
Storage is a declutterer’s best friend when organising any room no matter where. Cubbies though are one of my favourites for children’s rooms as it resembles what they are used to in school. They can be placed anywhere, but I suggest having them near the entrance of the room and have it like a drop zone. This way it is still organised but they have the sense of not having to think too much about keeping the place tidy enough.
Count To 10
Making things fun works a treat with kids when trying to get laborious tasks complete so it only makes sense to create a game out of tidying up and putting things back in the right place and making it fun. There are numerous ways to do this but for a simple yet effective strategy, count back from 10 and get the kids to pick up ten toys and put them back in the right place before you get to zero. This way, you get things done quickly, whilst also having the kids think that it was a game. This also gets everyone to talk out loud and direct others to where things ‘live’.
Define Boundaries With Decor
Adding decor to any room adds colour and contrast. It’s the same with a children’s room, you can make certain areas for different things such as having a table and chairs in one corner to create a craft area. I prefer moving the table away from the corner, yes, it may look like a waste of space but it encourages children to use them more as there is more accessibility for them to move and sit with their friends when they come round. Adding images or wall stickers around the area makes it that little bit more inviting. Rugs under the table are another great way to draw them in as it anchors the room as well as it protects the floor from having pen marks etc.
Lead By Example
Kids learn a lot from their parents so leading by example is key for all this to work as kids mirror what parents do. If your kid’s aren’t behaving the right way, then it’s important to take a look at yourself to see whether your kids are following your actions. Something as simple as putting the dishes away once you have eaten, or putting your keys in the designated area are both tasks that show that everything has its own place.
These tips are going to help you in getting your kids to put things back where they belong by decluttering and having a beautiful children’s bedroom.