Between the craft clippings, endless outfits and stacks of school supplies, keeping your kid’s rooms organized can be quite the challenge. How many of us have spent what seems like hours tidying up a child’s bedroom, only to barely see the floor within the next 20 minutes?
Before you spend your next Saturday tidying up toy piles for the third time this week, take a look at some of our helpful tips to get you off to a smart start — and keep things organized all year.
7 ways to keep your kid’s room organized
1. On-the-wall bookshelves. Back-to-school time also means a return to homework assignments, reading materials and piles of books. Vanessa Brady of Tried & True suggests behind-the-door DIY bookshelves to keep your kid’s library in order (without taking up the extra space).
What you’ll need: aluminum track, baseboard, screws, saw, drill and hammer.
- Cut aluminum track and baseboard to desired length;
- Insert wall anchors;
- Mount the track to the wall and secure the moulding;
- Fill with your kids’ favorite books!
For more thorougsh instruction, check out her step-by-step tutorial. A word of caution – the shelves will hold large books, but not will not hold children who are monkeying around!
2. DIY homework station. The key to keeping clutter at bay is to provide your kids with space to put their school and craft supplies. If your child doesn’t have a designated work space, consider a fold-up desk that attachesdirectly to the wall and acts as a distraction-free working environment when needed.
Looking for places to store those tiny but essential school supplies? Organizing expert Aby from Simplify 101 believes that simple and fun containers found in your own home can be put to use.
“Colorful metal buckets or old muffin tins are perfect for corralling supplies like pencils, glue and scissors,” she notes. “If your child is old enough, consider using glass jars for colorful supplies such as ribbon, fabric and other supplies.”
Consider a few other storage solutions:
- All-purpose basket or caddy for storing loose odds and ends.
- Colorful, inexpensive bins for corralling movies and toys. Want to make each one unique? Create homemade labels for a crafty, personal look.
3. Lots of labels. Labels can help your little ones (and you, too!) sort your things on the craziest of days. Kat Eden of Education.com suggests identifying your containers, boxes and baskets with stand-out pictures.
“Labeling storage containers is always a good idea, but what if your kids are too young to read? Use what they can identify: pictures. If you have really young kids, print pictures on address label stickers and stick to the containers using clear packing tape.”
Remember: bursts of bright color and creative labels go a long way.
4. Outfits by day. Forget chaotic mornings spent searching for clean clothes. By selecting and labeling outfits for your kids on Sunday, you can prepare for the week ahead and shave some serious time off your morning routine.
Create (or print) chalkboard outfit organizers to hang in front of your kids’ clothes for the week. Label each outfit by day, so they never walk down the stairs in a non-matching outfit ever again.
Laura, DIY expert and blogger for Make Life Lovely has several tags available for printing.
5. Rolling toy storage. Don’t let your children’s elaborate Lego architectural work or inexplicably multiplying stuffed animal collection get in the way of a clean bedroom. Under-the-bed toy storage is close enough for little ones to reach, yet discreet enough to minimize the mess. Using a drawer or crate, create a rolling storage box to store those not-so-attractive toys. Add wheels and paint or customize labels to make them unique!
6. Grab-and-go station. Backpacks and lunchboxes need homes of their own (note: that place shouldn’t be your family room or kitchen floor). Create a designated station so your kids have a place to stash their lunch box, homework, jacket and backpack when they’re returning home — or running out the door.
Kat, an organizing expert from the Organised Housewife, recommends using wall space near the front door or garage — but feel free to implement this in any bedroom or nook.
To create your own:
- Remove dust or dirt from wall;
- Attach a strip of corkboard to the wall (paint if desired);
- Attach appropriate number of hooks to the strip;
- Hang up backpacks, bags, lunch packs and more!
7. Above all: have fun. Children love their toys — but they also love to pull the drop-and-run whenever they decide they’re finished. Peter Walsh, professional organizer and HGTV host recommends adding a twist to the clean-up process for some kid-friendly fun.
“There’s lots of research that suggests your child’s behavioral patterns are set by age three, and organizational skills are no exception,” Walsh notes. “Make cleaning into a game by using plastic dustpans to scoop up small toys, or use a timer to see how many items your child can pick up before the bell rings. Keep it fun and give your child a job he or she enjoys.”
Need to continue your organization elsewhere?
Keeping your kid’s room organized may not happen overnight, but implementing creative ideas will help your little one get involved in tidying up — hopefully, for the long haul.
Have questions about organizing your kid’s bedroom? Feel free to leave them in the comments section below or connect with us on Twitter @LifeStorage.