Boy, can kids’ bedrooms be a challenge! Trying to get kids organized can be tough and trying to get them to keep their rooms clean is even harder. I don’t have the secret to keeping their rooms spotlessly perfect at every moment but I do have a few tips that should make things more bearable for both parents and kids.
Make sure furniture is kid sized.
Every feature and piece of furniture in a child’s bedroom should be kid sized and kid friendly. So often, parents buy tall 3-4 drawer dressers and the kids can only comfortably reach the second drawer for the first 6-7 years of their lives. At the same time, parents expect the children to put their clothes away. This is setting a child up for failure.
Even adults have a hard time keeping our things picked up, even when we can reach the drawers and see into them. How would you feel if you had to put your clothes into a drawer a foot or more taller than you are?
Besides, tall chests can be dangerous in a child’s room. The kids, because they can’t always reach the top, will pull out the bottom drawer and stand on it to reach things. Some children who do this end up tipping their dressers over on top of themselves, which can seriously injure them. Another thing to consider is that if the drawers don’t slide easily, little fingers can get pinched.
Keep everything low.
Use low shelves as much as you can for things the children need to reach. Save any upper shelves for long term storage or decorations that only mom and dad need to be able to access.
Lower the rods in the closets. Parents often get frustrated because children don’t keep their clothes hung up. Try standing on your tip toes and reaching as hard as you can to hang things and you will understand why they don’t do it.
Place things like coat hooks, bulletin boards, and shelves all down low. Don’t forget to hang children’s pictures at their eye level, not yours.
Control the clutter.
There is no law that says you must keep every toy your child receives or every paper he colors on. You are the adult– the one who needs to be practical and in control of your emotions. Decide how many toys will fit reasonably in your child’s room and get rid of the rest. Don’t eliminate things while the child is present or every item he hasn’t touched for months will suddenly become the favorite toy he can’t live without.
Sometimes, when my kids received an overwhelming number of toys, I would box some of them and store them away. Then, every once in a while, I would trade them out and the kids felt like they were getting “new” toys. This is another way to reduce the clutter.
Take into account your child’s responsibility level, too. A 3 year old can help keep three containers of toys under control but not five or six. An 8 year old can be responsible for a few more.
Label bins, containers and boxes.
Kids learn their colors pretty early on so place things in colored containers for easy clean up. For example, all the marbles go in the red box, the crayons go in the green box, etc. You can also cut out pictures to place on the end of the boxes to illustrate which items belong in those boxes.
Remember to keep children’s bins and containers small and light weight so the kids can manage them.
Make sure children have small clothes hampers and small trash cans in their rooms.
I knew one mom who was constantly complaining because her kids would leave their dirty clothes on the floor but they had no hampers in their rooms. They had to walk through three rooms to put their clothes in a hamper, which caused much of the problem.
These are just a few things you can do to make it easier to manage kids’ bedrooms. We include a lot more tips like this in our Saving with Kids e-book collection, which is jam packed with ideas to help with kids, not just this area but in all aspects of life. For more information, you can check out Saving with Kids here.
photo by: pintoy