Getting organized with kids can be a challenge, and getting the kids to help out is even more difficult. But if the kids feel enthusiastic about the job of cleaning, organizing and storing, there’s a much better chance they’ll want to help. One way to get them excited is to let them decide, or at least help to decide, where and how they’ll keep their spaces clean. Here are five storage solutions that your kids can help you put together—and use all on their own.
Monster Toy Box
This is fun to make, fun to use and fun to look at. Although the toy box in this picture was designed by students at the University of Minnesota and operates on voice command, it’s easy to make a simpler version with your kids. Just use a plain toy chest and let the kids choose what color their monster will be. It can be covered with paint or fabric, and with some teeth and big eyes painted or pasted on, the monster will be ready to eat up your kids’ messes. On wheels, it even becomes mobile—a toy in itself.
Personalized Coat Hooks
I remember getting home from school as a kid and immediately tossing off my backpack and coat without looking at where they landed. As it turns out, hanging my coat and backpack would’ve been a lot more appealing had I had anything to do with deciding what they’d be hanging from. Personalized coat and backpack hooks are easy to make and serve as both décor and a place for the kids to ditch their things on the way to the kitchen for an after-school snack. Pick up some small wooden planks or letters and have the kids choose paint colors. After the paint dries, attach hooks and hang the final products in a convenient place.
When your kids come home from school with newly completed art projects, a small part of your soul (most likely the part that hates clutter) cringes. Here’s an idea that will make you and your kids smile—an art gallery wall where they can hang their own masterpieces. Mount corkboard, magnetic strips, string and clothespins, or even clipboards on a wall with a step stool beneath them so the kids can step up and put their work on display. Take pictures of the art when it’s time to take it down and replace it, and you can have a book printed, preserving the work without the hassle of storing sheets of paper in all different sizes and shapes.
Here’s another project that’s fun to make and to use. You can make chores into a game by creating giant chore dice out of cardboard boxes, paper and markers. Cover a square box in paper and let the kids write chores on each side. When it’s time for those tasks to be completed, pull out the dice and have each of the kids roll to see what job he’ll be doing. You can join in and roll yourself a chore to make it feel even more like a game. Bonus—painting the dice with chalkboard paint will allow you to erase the chores each time you use them, so that the ones that don’t need to be done daily or weekly won’t take up any unnecessary space.
DIY Storage Jars
via House to Home
Some of your kids’ most clutter-inducing things are the tiny toys and craft supplies that are so easy to step on when they aren’t put away. These fun jars are easy to make and can corral the small stuff so no more feet (or vacuums) are injured. Just glue a small toy—an action figure, a little car, a dinosaur—to the lid of a mason jar and let it dry. Then, let the kids paint each lid a solid color or with a fun pattern. They can decide what goes into each jar and where the decorative jars will sit when they’re not in use.
There’s no reason to let having kids prevent you from keeping your home organized. You just have to make sure that the kids think that organization is fun! These ideas can get you started on showing your kids how they can help you stay organized and have fun while they do it.