Getting kids to clean up their room is a problem us moms seem to continually struggle with! I have a few tips that can change everything for the better and help relieve that stress in your life.
Tip #1- Get Rid of the Excess
We all have too much stuff! It is impossible for a child to clean up their room when clothes are oozing out of their drawers and closets, and when there are so many toys you don' t know where to put them all. It can be over whelming for us. How can we expect a child to deal with that? When things are too overwhelming, kids tend to shut down.
So what do you do about it? Go through ever toy and donate, sell or throw away EVERYTHING that is broken unloved or never used. You only want to keep the things your child truly loves! Are there just too many toys that are truly loved? Clutterbug.net had an idea about this that I thought was brilliant. Box up some of the toys for now and rotate them down the road when the kids are ready for a change or for something new. (I'll leave a link to Clutterbugs video about this at the end)
Go through the same process with your child's clothes. When everything is clean and put away things should be able to fit in their drawers and closet easily. If things are oozing and a super tight squeeze, it will be to hard for your child to put away and they won't do it. GET RID of the extra stuff they hardly wear anyway.
#2 Plan Your Space
For everything to be in it's place, you have to HAVE a space designated for it! Have a sorting party with your kids. Spread everything out on an open surface and start sorting. Put all pieces and parts together. Baggies are great to help during this process. Decide what is junk and get rid of it! Then decide where you want things to go. Create a home for EVERY single item in the room.
Cubby shelving is a great way to keep toys organized. You can find this type of shelving almost anywhere these days and they are pretty reasonably priced. You can find them at Ikea, Target and Home Depot just to name a few places. You can find bins or baskets that go with your child's room decor to put in the cubbies.
There are lots of other types of shelves or drawers you could use, but you just want to make sure there is a way to separate toys. Remember, every toy is going to have a specific home it always returns to!
Labeling is SOOOO important! It is what helps to ensure that things go back into its designated place. Label where ever you can! These are labels my daughter made for my grandson's room. I just think they look fantastic! Let me tell you how she did it.
Chelsea took a picture of Milo's toys on a white background in super good lighting. She just used the camera on her cell phone. You might want to move your set-up around trying different lighting till you find what works best. You don't want shadows or the background to look grey.
Having both pictures and words on you label is always nice, especially for a child's room.To add words to your pictures I use an app called "Phonto." It's free and works great! You can take the picture AND add text right on your phone. There are tons of different apps that do the same thing. This is just one I stated with and its worked great for me.
Chelsea then just had her pictures printed in a 5X5 size at Costco. For only a few bucks she has these amazing labels for her toy bins! She attached them to these fabric bins with double sided tape. They have stayed on just fine!
#4 Create structure and consistancy
Milo is only 18 months old and he cleans up his room willingly. He actually LOVES doing it. Kids crave structure and thrive on consistency! If you have a place for everything it's easy for the child to quickly put things away. We as parents want to help them through the process for awhile till it becomes habit for them. It is SOOO worth the time to help them along for awhile. It's of course easier to start when their young, but you can start at anytime. Help your child or even teen, sort and get rid of things, create a place and label things. Be by their side and help them keep things clean for awhile. Remember to be positive and encouraging. :)
Chelsea also keeps Milo's shoes and socks in a basket on the floor in his room. Because it is easy access, Milo is able to get his own shoes and socks AND put them away. Again, having a place and being consistant makes it easy for Milo to do this on his own at a very young age! It works and he LOVES doing it!
Having a home for everything makes it super easy for kids to put things away. They don't have to think about it! Creating these habit when your child is young is going to help him tremendously his whole life! And your life will be easier too. Dedicating a day or two to get your child's room in order and organized now, will save hours and hours and hours of nagging frustration later! Make it happen and good luck!!! - Tracy