It’s almost time for back to school!
Dare I say that while summer is still in full swing. Have you had time to take a break? The heat, high humidity and large volume of rain in late June and July has been a bit too much! Make the most of what’s left of summer–while you still can.
Is organizing your child’s bedroom on the list of tasks before he/she heads back to school?
If so, let’s get started and turn over another leaf!
ORGANIZING CHILDREN’S ROOMS
“I take a very practical view of raising children. I put a sign in each of their rooms: “Checkout Time is 18 years.” Erma Bombeck
It’s important to be clear about the functions your children’s rooms have to fulfill before you begin. When it comes to children’s rooms, think about kindergarten. Designate an area for storing each type of item–books, toys, art supplies, etc.
Before starting any organizing session with children, remember to keep their attention span in mind. You might be able to organize for 3 or 4 hours at one session, but most children can’t stay focused for that length of time. Setting a timer is often helpful. It’s also a good idea to schedule a snack break.
Try to make it fun!
Use clear storage containers as much as possible, so your children can see what is inside. Be sure to label all containers. If you have young children, attach a photo to the container to make it easier to put their belongings away. Or get your children to draw an image they can attach to the container.
Similar items should be stored together. The most important thing to remember is that items should be stored as close as possible to where they are used. An item is more likely to be put back where it belongs if it doesn’t take a lot of effort.
Arts and Crafts
Plastic storage towers are great for storing arts and crafts supplies.
Art Work and School Projects
You and your children should go through their art work from the past school year. Set a reasonable limit, and let them decide which pieces are their favourites. Store these items in a plastic container or memory box, and label it with their name and the school year.
Some school projects are too bulky to store. Take a photo of your child’s volcano; that way he/she will be able to view it whenever he/she likes.
Check out Artkive–a clutterfree way to enjoy your children’s artwork.
Place books in an open bin or basket so that the covers face the front. If you put them on a bookshelf, young children who can’t read yet aren’t able to identify books by what’s written on them. They identify books by the image on the cover.
DVD’s and CD’s can be contained in baskets or small bins.
Have your children sort through their toys. Discard any toys which are missing pieces or are broken. Any toys that they have outgrown can be donated. Suggest to grandparents, family members or friends that they could give tickets to a show, a gift card to their favourite ice cream spot or have them contribute to sports activites or lessons, their education fund, etc.–instead of purchasing more toys.
Items which hang on the back of a door can provide storage for shoes, stuffed animals, etc.
Remove any clothing that your children have outgrown. Pack up clothing and label containers if you have younger children who aren’t able to wear the clothing yet. Donate clothing to friends, family or a children’s thriftshop.
It may be a good idea to install a lower rod in children’s closets. It can be removed once they are tall enough to reach a standard rod. Young children have difficulty hanging clothes on hangers. Clothing may end up on the floor because that’s easier. Children also have difficulty opening dresser drawers–because they are not strong enough–so baskets on shelves might be a better option.
Getting dressed may be easier if you separate clothing by colour or category (shirts, pants, dresses, etc.). You can also hang clothes as a complete outfit.
For older children—especially teenage girls—you can double your closet storage by adding a second rod.
When it comes to children’s rooms, safety is critical. Ensure that any heavy items are secured. Bookcases and shelving should be attached securely to the walls. Young children have a tendency to climb.
Don’t forget to reward your children for all your hard work at the end of your organizing session.
Schedule a daily or weekly clean-up time so that your children’s rooms don’t get too out of control. Make tidying up part of your children’s chores. It may take some time to figure out what works best, and it may be different for each of your children. If all else fails, close their door and remember that they do eventually move out!